Church of Ireland not to take stance on same-sex referendum

Membership is encouraged to vote

 

The Church of Ireland is not to take a position on the samesex referendum, while encouraging members to vote. The Catholic Church opposes the referendum and has said that allowing same-sex marriage would be a “grave injustice” and a disservice to society.

Rev Gillian Wharton, rector of Booterstown in Dublin, has said there was “a huge variety of opinion with regards to this issue,” within the Church of Ireland. “There are children I know being brought up by people of the same gender in a very stable and loving environment.”

She continued: “I don’t think I can say looking at a variety of relationships that I am aware of, that one is better than the other.”

Speaking on the Radio Ulster Sunday Sequence programme she recalled that in 2012 the Church of Ireland had begun a listening process on same-sex issues at its General Synod that year.

A motion passed then affirmed the church’s traditional view of marriage, but also that “to love thy neighbour as thyself (as being) is absolutely paramount and that everyone in the church is welcome and there should be no distinction of welcome”.

In 2013, the church set up a select committee on human sexuality whose report is expected to be released at General Synod in May of this year.