The row over same-sex relationships in the Church of Ireland has ended after three motions opposed by gay rights campaigners were withdrawn from the General Synod without debate.
The issue may be raised again within the next two days at the synod in Dublin, although it is more likely that any major decision on the issue will be delayed for up to two years.
A Church spokesman said last night that a controversial resolution which backed the Church's traditional teaching on marriage between a man and a woman had been withdrawn.
“There was a possibility that the resolution might have been undoctrinal in its content, and therefore it was withdrawn before a debate,” he said.
Two other resolutions were also withdrawn by their sponsors, the Archbishop of Dublin Dr Michael Jackson and the Bishop of Down and Dromore Harold Miller.
The resolutions were vociferously opposed by the Church's gay rights lobby, which claimed that it had not been consulted.
Campaigners said they would be stigmatised by one resolution which claimed that sexual relationships outside traditional marriage were not “normative”.
Gerry Lynch of the lobby group Changing Attitudes Ireland said: “It seems that the battle is over for now, but it will come back.”