The Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy has released some information about the meeting earlier this week which was attended by the Bishop of Lewes.
See Fellowship declares its opposition to civil unions from the Portadown Times.
The Evangelical Fellowship of Irish Clergy (EFIC) said the civil partnership of Portadown-born Tom Gordon and New Zealander Mark Duley has made it “very difficult” for the CoI to stay united.
The Rev Trevor Johnston chaired a meeting in Belfast on Monday addressed by the Bishop of Lewes, the Rt Rev Wallace Benn, who last year caused a furore in the Church of England when he made a highly controversial comment about women bishops.
Mr Johnston told the Portadown Times, “There are usually around 40 clergy at our EFIC meetings, but Monday’s was attended by 80 from all over Ireland, with 80 per cent of them rectors and all strongly opposed to same sex partnerships. The main purpose of the meeting was Bible study, but this issue was discussed widely and clergy from all over Ireland are opposed.
“The Bible is unequivocal throughout, and the meeting took place in a very serious mood. There was a groundswell of distress by people who do not want to see their church divided over this issue, but it will be very difficult to hold the Church of Ireland together.”
He added that the bishops’ conference in the spring and then the General Synod could be a watershed for the church, “and this crisis will be very hard to resolve”.
There are letters on this subject in this week’s Church of Ireland Gazette (scroll down).