Mervyn Kingston’s legacy


Sir, – Your excellent obituary of Mervyn Kingston (Obituaries, August 17th) is the more striking for the silence at his passing evinced by the official channels and representatives of the Church of Ireland itself.

Regrettably, it is a church held to ransom by its extremists: a church that protests that it is engaged in a “listening process” to which no gay priest can feel safe in contributing; a church that appears thus to regard even a dead gay priest as one to be ignored as he is buried by his loved ones; a church whose fearfulness would stifle the human compassion and charity that should move anyone, whatever their views on a divisive subject, to celebrate the totality of a life well lived with integrity and courage.

Doubtless it has been decided that Mervyn engaged too publicly and too honestly and too soon with an issue the church couldn’t avoid anyway, as Canute-like it watched the tide of global Anglicanism touching even Ireland’s shores.

Perhaps no one has publicly questioned the validity of Mervyn’s ministry. But then no one has had to – for that has been effected by the silence of a church whose preferred don’t ask, don’t tell policy has spawned so much misery and homophobia – self-loathing or otherwise. The institution’s obsession with the other’s mote cannot conceal the beam of its pharisaical presumption. – Yours, etc,