A letter printed in the Irish Times in response to the open letter from liberal Irish clergy urging the Irish bishops to reject the election of David McClay as Bishop of Down and Dromore due to his support of GAFCON.
Sir, – It saddens me that once again The Irish Times has allowed its pages to be used to spread vicious and untrue rumours about Gafcon (Analysis, November 18th, Rite and Reason, November 19th). Far from being schismatic, Gafcon has allowed the vast majority of the Anglican Communion to remain united despite attempts from some to tear the very fabric of our common life.
The pleas of brothers and sisters across the globe have been ignored and the plain teaching of Scripture has been abandoned. Instead there has been a persistent and prolonged attempt to drive the Church of Ireland away from its true Anglican heritage shared by millions across the world. It was my privilege to be at Gafcon in Jerusalem last year, the biggest international gathering of Anglicans in over 50 years. Men and women from more than 50 countries gathered in that great city to proclaim Christ faithfully to the nations.
Every Church of Ireland minister is committed to this. At their ordination, they promise to expound the Scriptures and teach the doctrine of the Church of Ireland to all irrespective of gender, race or sexuality.
Anyone reading the Jerusalem Declaration, which sets out the beliefs of the Gafcon movement, will notice that it merely upholds the classical authorities of Anglicanism, the Bible as the word of God written, the Creeds and Councils of the early church, the Articles, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordinal. This is something that every bishop in the Church of Ireland is called to do and what the average church-goer in Ireland expects from their bishop. These are the things that unite us. – Yours, etc,
Rev Timothy Anderson, Chair, Gafcon Ireland