Church of Ireland’s Dublin Archbishop “hobbled” by diocesan synod

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Unclear but numerous rumours of serious disagreement within the Diocese of Dublin & Glendalough were finally brought to light at the recent Diocesan Synod held 4-7 October.

Archdeacon of Dublin, David Pierpoint told reporter Patsy McGarry of the Irish Times, “The effect will be the removal of much of the authority from the office of archbishop.”

The Irish Times is the most widely read newspaper amongst members of the Church of Ireland in the Republic. This dates back to the time of Irish Independence. Most Church of Ireland and Presbyterian Church of Ireland members supported the treaty negotiated by Michael Collins as did the paper. The majority Roman Catholic population were split in their opinions. Since then, the Irish Times has been considered the paper of record by Protestants in the Republic.

The reporting on the dispute within the Anglican Diocese of Dublin & Glendalough has been mainly via McGarry’s reporting.

McGarry reported, “The diocesan councils will remain subject ‘to the overarching authority and jurisdiction of the archbishop in respect of ministry’, according to the text, and will keep ‘an appropriate balance’ regarding gender, ethnicity, skills and cultural and social background.

“Under the changes, the membership of the two diocesan councils will change, with the number sitting falling from 45 to 35, but the existing number ratio between Dublin members and those from the smaller Glendalough diocese will be maintained.”

Opponents of the archbishop told McGarry that they were “following the legal advice  that had been given in June 2021 about compliance with updated charities legislation. The United Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough is a registered charity.”

Mr Robert Neill, who proposed the changes said, “What we have been operating to date in diocesan councils does not really work in accordance with the Government’s legislation.”

Mary White of Kilternan parish in Dublin told the paper, “A huge amount of funding comes out of your pockets as parishioners through the parishes. We as trustees are responsible for that money … trustees “must abide by the law and meet its requirements as much as we can. We’re duty bound to do that.”

The archbishop and his supporters were defeated in 15 separate votes on the matters.

The headline of another story on the situation said, “A Church of Ireland schism sees an archbishop sensationally hobbled.”

Before becoming Archbishop of Dublin, Jackson was the Bishop of the Diocese of Clogher in Northern Ireland.