Church of Ireland upholds traditional marriage

The General Synod of the Church of Ireland has passed a motion upholding marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The motion, passed on Saturday, affirms Canon 31, which states that marriage is “a union permanent and lifelong, for better or worse, till death do them part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity”.

Synod, which met at Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, agreed that the Church recognised “no other understanding of marriage”.

The motion continued: “The Church of Ireland teaches therefore that faithfulness within marriage is the only normative context for sexual intercourse.”

It also acknowledged, however, that members of the Church “have at times hurt and wounded people by words and actions in relation to human sexuality”.

The motion commits the Church to increasing its awareness of the issues surrounding human sexuality and welcoming all people.

It states: “In order that the Church of Ireland is experienced as a ‘safe place’ and enabled in its reflection, the Church of Ireland affirms a continuing commitment to love our neighbour, and opposition to all unbiblical and uncharitable actions and attitudes in respect of human sexuality from whatever perspective, including bigotry, hurtful words or actions, and demeaning or damaging language.”

The motion concludes by requesting the Standing Committee to progress work on the issue of human sexuality in the context of Christian belief.