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Divided opinions on gay marriage in the Church of Ireland

Published 08/05/2015

Joanne Sweeney speaks to clergymen at the synod to gauge their opinions on the hot topic.

Against

Reverend Adrian Dorrian

"While the Church ought to be welcoming to people from all backgrounds, including sexuality, I believe in the biblical definition of marriage of being between a man and a woman for life. I think the way the Church provides for that at the moment is sufficient."

Against

Archdeacon David McClay, Archdeacon of Down and Rector of Willowfield

"I believe the Church's position is truly biblical. In considering human sexuality, it's unfortunate that we have focused so strongly on gay relationships rather than the whole spectrum of sexuality."

Against

Canon Ian Ellis Editor of The Church of Ireland Gazette

"I agree with the Church of Ireland view that defines marriage between a man and a woman and that's fundamental teaching of the church. What I personally want to do is facilitate listening between the two points of view within the Church."

Against

Reverend Dr Alan McCann, Rector Holy Trinity Woodburn

"I'm definitely of the mind that marriage is between one man and one woman. The Church teaching has always been clear on this and I think what's happening is people are trying to redefine what the Bible says is sin."

Against

Reverend Barry Ford, Church of Ireland chaplain

"I'm not persuaded that the teaching of the Christian Church for 2,000 years needs to change. The Church and Christians have every right to offer that interpretation of marriage as a gift to the whole of society."

For

Reverend Mairt Hanley, Diocese of Ardfert and Aghadoe

"I would like to see the day where it would be possible to have the blessing of same-sex marriages as I think a lot of people would take great comfort from having their relationships recognised in church."

For

Canon Charles Kenny, committee of Changing Attitudes Ireland

"While I don't think a change is going to happen next week, we are making progress. Church opinion is coming round to accepting there is nothing sinister about people who are not heterosexual."

For

Dr Richard O'Leary

"We have the background of the referendum going on in the south and we know that there is increased support and understanding for gay people and their relationships. I think some of that will infuse the Church and its understanding of gay people."

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