Belfast Telegraph

Dismissal of same sex marriage elder Smyrl backed by former Presbyterian moderator

Defending Mr Gribben and the church's position that
Defending Mr Gribben and the church's position that "marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman", Dr McNie said personal attacks on someone simply "doing their job" is both unfair and unhelpful (stock photo)
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

A former Presbyterian moderator has given his backing to the church's general secretary after an elder was dismissed for being in a same-sex marriage.

Rev Dr Ian McNie was speaking after Steven Smyrl lost his position of 12 years with Christ Church, Sandymount in Dublin.

Mr Smyrl had challenged the decision to sack him, but was informed by clerk of the general assembly, Rev Trevor Gribben, that his appeal had been dismissed.

Defending Mr Gribben and the church's position that "marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman", Dr McNie said personal attacks on someone simply "doing their job" is both unfair and unhelpful.

"In fulfilling his responsibility with credibility, Trevor Gribben is required to both articulate and promote the decisions of the General Assembly and has done so publicly on different occasions. This undoubtedly will bring him into a collision course with those who are uncomfortable with the scriptural position of the Church," he said.

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