We met over three days in an atmosphere of prayer and worship to reflect on current disquiet in the Church caused by disagreements on the matter of human sexuality. We acknowledge that this tension is a cause of distress to many.
Our discussions were frank and careful and, at times, painful. We committed ourselves to listen carefully to one another and speak openly about our differences within the context of a variety of reactions within the Church. Strengthened by our honest interchange of views, we corporately agreed a way forward.
A pastoral letter to the Church will be issued through the Clergy in the next few days. It will highlight key themes and outline a process by which the Church may move forward. This will involve a major conference in Spring 2012 to which members of the General Synod and others will be invited. The conference will provide an important opportunity to learn from and listen to one another as the Church strives to discern the mind of Christ.
As Bishops we commit ourselves to work together on these issues. In addition, we envisage that further study and research on biblical, theological and legal issues will be required.
The Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Ireland
- The Most Revd Alan Harper, Archbishop of Armagh
- The Most Revd Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin & Glendalough
- The Most Revd Richard Clarke, Bishop of Meath & Kildare
- The Rt Revd Harold Miller, Bishop of Down & Dromore
- The Rt Revd Paul Colton, Bishop of Cork, Cloyne & Ross
- The Rt Revd Ken Clarke, Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh
- The Rt Revd Ken Good, Bishop of Derry & Raphoe
- The Rt Revd Michael Burrows, Bishop of Cashel & Ossory
- The Rt Revd Alan Abernethy, Bishop of Connor
- The Rt Revd Trevor Williams, Bishop of Limerick & Killaloe
- The Rt Revd Patrick Rooke, Bishop of Tuam, Killala & Achonry
- The Rt Revd John McDowell, Bishop of Clogher