This Gazette Review supplement is intended as a contribution to the wider discussion that is taking place in the Church on the subject of same-sex relationships. It is a difficult debate, as the extensive correspondence over recent months in the Gazette has shown, but it is one that simply must take place.
There has to be a mutual listening and it is precisely for this reason that the correspondence in our columns has not been halted, as we sometimes do when it seems that enough may have been said on a topic. Rather, on this subject, the exchanges need to continue, but they may do so only in a spirit of mutual regard.
Here, the Bishops lead the contributions with a background to the forthcoming conference which they have called on the subject.
There then follow two articles, both approaching the subject from a spirituality and experiential perspective. The first is from an American Episcopalian lesbian couple, the Revd Jan Nunley and her partner, Susan Erdey. Then follows an essay by an abstaining gay man, who is a member of the Church of Ireland but, for reasons that are understandable, writes under a pseudonym, Marcel Sanchez.
The final two contributions are more of an academic nature and are by the Very Revd Stephen White, Dean of Killaloe, who writes from a liberal perspective, and the Revd Melanie Lacy, originally of the Church of Ireland but now teaching at Oak Hill College, London, who approaches the issue with a conservative view.
The order in which these four articles appear (liberal, conservative – liberal, conservative) is based on the approach that, when a change is suggested, those proposing or supporting it speak first.
The Gazette hopes that this supplement, which is also being published online with our e-paper (www.gazette. ireland.anglican.org), will be found to be of use within the Church of Ireland as the debate on same-sex relationships progresses. – Editor