A statement from the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Ireland

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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

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