Rev.Dr. Alan McCann: Calls for Repentance by Irish Dean and Bishops in Church of Ireland” at:
By Alan McCann in Dublin
Special to virtueonline
May 14, 2012
Just to let you know that the motion was passed today. All of the amendments, four in total, were defeated by a 2:1 ratio in the house of laity and house of clergy.e motion itself was passed 3:1 in the house of laity and 80 in favour, 60 against in the house of clergy.
When the Bishops voted it was 10:2 in favour of the motion, with the Bishop of Cork and Bishop of Cashel and Ossory voting against the motion.
On the whole the debate was respectful, courteous and not without some humour on occasions.
Personally, the most powerful speech of the day came from one of our ecumenical guests, Father Ireanaeus du Plessiis.
He spoke from a deep personal faith and conviction, with great courage warned the General Synod against acting unilateral and changing the doctrine of marriage which the church catholic has held to for nearly 2000 years.
He gently but firmly spoke about his own Antiochian Church and how for them the matter of human sexuality was settled nearly 2000 years ago by the Church catholic - that marriage is between one man and one woman and outside of this all were to remain celibate.
He lovingly spoke of 'holy space' and not just the 'safe place' that the motion mentioned. He also reminded those present, and especially the clergy, that we were to be holy because God is Holy.
In my heart I wished we had such leadership speaking with such conviction, clarity and courage before a general synod. God used this man in a powerful way today.
The passing of the motion was received in respectful silence, as requested by the Archbishop if Armagh. He had chaired this part of synod with fairness and allowed a long time for people to put their viewpoints.
It was disappointing and to be honest hurtful to then read what can only be described as a vitriolic diatribe on certain liberal and pro-gay blogs immediately the vote was announced.
However, that came as no surprise as members of Changing Attitude Ireland, who attended as visitors, stood at the back of the synod hall during the vote.
Personally it did not intimidate or annoy me to have to walk past these individuals to go into the voting lobby but I know some synod members did feel it was intimidating to have to do so.
Thankfully, the Church of Ireland synod has restated this is what the Church teaches concerning marriage and the 'only normative place for sexual intercourse.'
Thankfully it has also condemned language and actions that bring hurt, shame and fear into the lives of others (irrespective of sexuality).
It has committed the Standing Committee of the General Synod to bring before Synod next year proposals for a Select Committee and its terms of reference.
I for one am not gloating over the passing of this motion. It pains me to belong to a Church which at one point appeared to be unclear as to what it actually has taught and does teach about marriage.
It pains me that some people would want to move away from God's revealed will for mankind in the area of human sexuality but I am encouraged by the actions of General Synod today.
The result of the vote has been a tirade of negative comments from the pro-gay lobby both inside the Church of Ireland and further afield.
On BBC Radio Ulster's Sunday Sequence the chairwoman of Changing Attitudes Ireland, Canon Ginnie Kennerly, even complained that members of synod stayed on the third day of synod to vote.
Imagine, complaining that people actually turned up, as they were elected to do, for the last day of synod and exercised their democratic right to vote. It would appear you are only allowed to turn up on the last day if you vote in a certain way.
This motion doesn't actually change anything in the Church of Ireland as it simply restates the teaching of the Church. However, it does restate the standard against which teaching and practice is to be measured. The liberal revisionist pro-gay lobby are already seeking to demonise those who voted for this motion and who adhere to the teaching of canon 31, and the prayer book on marriage, as those determined to go on a 'witch hunt' for gays within the Church of Ireland.
Such propagating of untruth has come as no surprise to many who have had to live with this for years from the pro-gay lobby. It falls into line with the pre-synod lied that no gay people were invited to the Cavan Conference.
Changing Attitude Ireland were invited to put forward a speaker for the conference and they (the seemingly inclusive group) put forward their chairperson, Cannon Kennerly, and then complained that no gay people were speaking - despite the fact that two of the keynote speakers identified themselves as homosexuals.
It would be good if in the listening process that the truth was actually spoken and half-truths and outright lies were not pedalled. It would appear that certain members of the pro-gay lobby believe spin = truth.