Over 200 ministers and elders in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) have signed a letter expressing their agony, frustration and fury over the decision to exclude gay couples from membership and ban baptism for children of same-sex couples.
Last month, the PCI at its General Assembly voted to adopt a new policy. Prior to that, ceremonial ties have been cut with the Church of Scotland, owing to its unconventional stance on the issue.
According to Pink News, Church documents state: “The Presbyterian Church in Ireland has a clear position on marriage and human relationships based on the teaching of the Bible.
“The position that has been clearly and consistently adopted in PCI is that homosexual activity is not consistent with Christian discipleship since it does not accord with the will of God expressed in his moral law.”
In a bid to address the letter, a statement has been made by the ruling elders of the PCI called ‘A Cry from the Heart.’
The Presbyterian Church spokesperson told BBC News it recognized that many of its members “will hold different views.”
Reverend Eric G. Mckimmon, a PCI ordained minister, said in a newsletter, “whatever the Bible says by way of condemnation of irresponsible or abusive relationships (heterosexual or homosexual), it does not have relationships of love and commitment in mind.”
BBC News said, Rev David Latimer of First Derry Presbyterian Church, former moderator Rev Ken Newell, the former clerk of the general assembly Dr. Donald Watts and the church’s first female minister, Rev Ruth Patterson were signatories to the letter.
Taking to Twitter handles, concerned members voiced their views.
By Ololade Olatimehi