Church of Ireland fails to find compromise over thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving ceremonies for same-sex couples divided the Irish church into two caps. A motion is set to be debated at the all-Ireland church’s General Synod on Friday to make its policy towards LGBT at least a little bit more liberal. The motion would direct Bishops to “investigate a means to develop sensitive, local pastoral arrangements for public prayer and thanksgiving with same-sex couples at key moments in their lives”, but it does not mean that the tacit ceremonies will be allowed to same-sex couples. “The “injury felt by members of the church who enter into loving, committed and legally recognised, same-sex relationships, due to the absence of provision for them to mark that key moment in their lives publicly and prayerfully in church” is recognized by it It will be heard at a meeting of the church’s General Synod, which takes place in Limerick this week. The Belfast Newsletter notes that it would be the first major vote on LGBT issues since 2012, when the synod passed a resolution defining marriage as being “between one man and one woman”. Some church leaders are not against thanksgiving ceremonies while others strictly oppose it. For example, Writing for Virtue Online, Rev. Dr. Alan McCann, rector of Holy Trinity Woodburn in Carrickfergus, claimed it was “embracing the sinful way of life” and could lead to an “exodus” from the church.

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