The Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Rev. John Neill, says that the twelve bishops of Ireland have found ways to continue to minister together even as they disagree about the ordination of gays. He tells the Irish Times that he has mellowed his position from opposition and is sorry that Bishop Robinson is not part of the Lambeth Conference.
Speaking to The Irish Times at the Lambeth Conference, Dr John Neill said he “would emphasise that all of us (Irish bishops) feel our positions are compatible with scripture and respect each other’s different understanding (of scripture) on the subject”.
Dr Neill said he had been “very strongly opposed to gay clergy but over the years I have mellowed a great deal”. It had been a similar case where his views on the ordination of women priests were concerned: “As you get older you do see a bigger picture,” he said.
As for the consecration of then canon Gene Robinson as bishop in 2003 he felt it was “untimely” but he had been very impressed by an American bishop who had opposed that consecration but had later said to him “now you are going to be a bishop and I am going to work with you”.
Dr Neill continued: “And that’s the way I feel too. The consecration may have been premature, but once it happened it was proper to recognise him as a bishop of the church. I am just sorry he is not part of this conference.
The Irish Times: Room for differing opinions on gay clergy, says archbishop