Sir, – In relation to a very interesting and encouraging account of an interview with Archbishop-elect Farrell, I would add just one point (Patsy McGarry, “Next archbishop of Dublin would like to see women deacons in church”, News, January 2nd).
Archbishop Farrell is sadly correct in stating that the issue of women priests has split the Church of England. It should, however, be realised that the chief reason for the division has not been about women priests as such, but rather the contention of some that the Church of England does not have the right to ordain women, when the major part of the Western Church does not do so.
The concern for some in the Church of England that they should not act unilaterally is a specifically Church of England issue. It does not apply to the majority of the members of the Church of England, nor of course to the overwhelming majority of Anglicans worldwide. – Yours, etc,
JOHN RW NEILL,
Sir, – Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell is quoted as saying that blessing divorced and remarried Catholic couples, or same sex couples, should not be countenanced. “We can’t have that sort of thing in the church.”
I assume he is referencing the modern Christian Church?
I’d like to remind his grace that Jesus Christ, in none of the four recognised gospels, has a single word to say on the matter of same-sex couples, or homosexuality for that matter. The biblical passage most often used to condemn homosexuality is Leviticus 18:22 from the Old Testament. Leviticus was written hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus. I suspect, given Jesus’s befriending of prostitutes, lepers, and societal outcasts, he would have been a champion of gay and minority rights in general. – Yours, etc,