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The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label=
Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ulstèr-Scotch'', ga, Albanaigh na hUladh), also called Ulster Scots ...
, Kirk o Airlann) is a
Christian church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Catholic Church, errors in the Catholic Church. ...

Christian church
in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
and an autonomous province of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, ree ...
. It is organised on an
all-Ireland All-Ireland refers to all of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Great Britain ...
basis and is the second largest Christian church on the island after the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history ...
. Like other
Anglican Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia * ...

Anglican
churches, it has retained elements of pre-Reformation practice, notably its
episcopal polity An episcopal polity is a hierarchical A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items are represented as being "above", "below", or ...
, while rejecting the primacy of the Pope. In theological and liturgical matters, it incorporates many principles of the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...

Reformation
, particularly those of the
English Reformation The English Reformation took place in 16th-century England The Tudor period occurred between 1485 and 1603 in History of England, England and Wales and includes the Elizabethan period during the reign of Elizabeth I until 1603. The Tudor pe ...
, but self-identifies as being both
Reformed Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformat ...
and
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...
, in that it sees itself as the inheritor of a continuous tradition going back to the founding of
Christianity in Ireland , a Romano-Briton Christian missionary, generally recognised as the primary patron saint of Ireland. Brigid of Kildare and Columba are also popular patron saints. Christianity ( ga, Críostaíocht) is, and has been the largest religion in Ire ...
. As with other members of the global Anglican communion, individual parishes accommodate different approaches to the level of ritual and formality, variously referred to as
High High may refer to: People with the name * High (surname) Science, technology and economics * Height * High (atmospheric), a high-pressure area * High (computability), a quality of a Turing degree, in computability theory * High (technical analy ...
and
Low Church In Anglican Christianity, the "low church" wing of one of the Anglican churches includes those who give relatively little emphasis to ritual, sacraments, and sometimes the authority of clergy. The term is most often used in a Christian liturgy, l ...
.


Overview

The Church of Ireland sees itself as that 'part of the Irish Church which was influenced by the
Reformation The Reformation (alternatively named the Protestant Reformation or the European Reformation) was a major movement within Western Christianity in 16th-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Catholic Church and in ...

Reformation
, and has its origins in the early Celtic Church of St Patrick'. This makes it both "
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...
", as the inheritor of a continuous tradition of faith and practice, and
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
, since it rejects the authority of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , fo ...

Rome
and accepts changes in doctrine and liturgy caused by the Reformation. Following the Synod of Ráth Breasail (also known as Rathbreasail) in 1111, Irish Catholicism transitioned from a
monastic Monasticism (from Ancient Greek , , from , , 'alone'), or monkhood, is a religion, religious way of life in which one renounces world (theology), worldly pursuits to devote oneself fully to spiritual work. Monastic life plays an important role in ...
to a
diocesan In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
and
parish A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
-based mode of organisation and
governance Governance is all the processes of interactions be they through the laws Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity ...
. Many Irish present-day dioceses trace their boundaries to decisions made at the synod. The work of organizing the Church was completed by the
Synod of Kells The Synod of Kells took place in 1152, under the presidency of Giovanni Cardinal Paparoni, and continued the process begun at the Synod of Ráth Breasail (1111) of reforming the Irish church. The sessions were divided between the abbeys of Kell ...
which took place in 1152, under the presidency of Giovanni Cardinal Paparoni. Diocesan reform continued and the number of
archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek language, Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheranism ...
rics was increased from two to four. The synod granted the
Primacy of Ireland The Primacy of Ireland was historically disputed between the Archbishop of Armagh 200px, St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh (Roman Catholic), St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Armagh, the episcopal seat of the post-Reformation Catholic archbi ...
to the Archdiocese of Armagh. Some modern scholarship argues that early Irish Christianity was functionally separate from Rome but shared much of its liturgy and practice, and that this allowed both the Church of Ireland and Irish Catholicism to claim descent from
Saint Patrick Saint Patrick ( la, Patricius; ga, Pádraig ; cy, Padrig) was a fifth-century Romano-British culture, Romano-British Christian missionary and Archbishop of Armagh, bishop in Gaelic Ireland, Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is t ...
. It is also said that the Catholic Church in Ireland was jurisdictionally independent until 1155, when
Pope Adrian IV Pope Adrian IV ( la, Adrianus IV; born Nicholas Breakspear (or Brekespear); 1 September 1159, also Hadrian IV), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 4 December 1154 to his death in 1159. He is the only Englishman to ...

Pope Adrian IV
purported to declare it a papal fief and granted
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of ...

Henry II of England
the
Lordship of Ireland The Lordship of Ireland ( ga, Tiarnas na hÉireann), sometimes referred to retroactively as Norman Ireland, was the part of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title= ...

Lordship of Ireland
in return for paying
tithes A tithe (; from Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early m ...
; his right to do so has been disputed ever since. In 1534,
Henry VIII Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fro ...

Henry VIII
broke with the Papacy and became head of the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
; two years later, the Irish Parliament followed suit by appointing him head of the Irish church. Although many bishops and most of the clergy refused to conform, the new Church of Ireland retained possession of diocesan buildings and lands, since under the feudal system bishops held that property as
vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief ...
s of the Crown. Despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the new church, a large majority of the Irish remained Catholic, while in
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label= Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative ...

Ulster
the church was outnumbered by
Presbyterians Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Criticism of the Cath ...
. However, it remained the official state church until disestablished by the First Gladstone ministry on 1 January 1871. The modern Church of Ireland is the second largest religious organisation in the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a in north-western consisting of 26 of the 32 of the island of . The capital and largest city is , on the eastern side of the island. Around 40% of the country's popula ...

Republic of Ireland
, and the third largest in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
, after the Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches.


History


Formation

Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose coming as the was in the (called the in Christ ...

Christianity
in
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_Europe image:Small_Island_in ...

Ireland
is generally dated to the mid to late fifth century CE, when the Romano-British cleric
Saint Patrick Saint Patrick ( la, Patricius; ga, Pádraig ; cy, Padrig) was a fifth-century Romano-British culture, Romano-British Christian missionary and Archbishop of Armagh, bishop in Gaelic Ireland, Ireland. Known as the "Apostle of Ireland", he is t ...
began his conversion mission, although the exact dates are disputed. Prior to the 12th century, the Irish church was independent of
Papal The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Chr ...

Papal
control, and governed by powerful
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monasteries
, rather than
bishops A bishop is an ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are thus then authorization, authorized (usually by the religious denom ...

bishops
. While the
Kingdom of Dublin Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr were the seafaring Norse people from southern Scandinavia (present-day Denmark, Norway and Sweden) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * who from the late 8th to late 11th centuries raid (mi ...
looked to the English
Diocese of Canterbury In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted ...
for guidance, in 1005 CE Brian Ború made a large donation to the Monastery of Armagh and recognised its
Archbishop In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' an ...
as
Primate of all Ireland The Primacy of Ireland was historically disputed between the Archbishop of Armagh and the Archbishop of Dublin until finally settled by Pope Innocent VI. ''Primate (bishop), Primate'' is a title of honour denoting ceremonial precedence in t ...
in an attempt to secure his position as
High King A high king is a king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the early modern period) File:Nezahualpiltzintli.jpg">Aztec King Nezahualpiltzintli of Texcoco King is the title given to a male monarch in a variety of contexts. The ...
of Ireland. At the 1152
Synod of Kells The Synod of Kells took place in 1152, under the presidency of Giovanni Cardinal Paparoni, and continued the process begun at the Synod of Ráth Breasail (1111) of reforming the Irish church. The sessions were divided between the abbeys of Kell ...
,
Pope Anastasius IV Pope Anastasius IV ( – 3 December 1154), born Corrado Demetri della Suburra, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members ...

Pope Anastasius IV
claimed Ireland as a
papal fief In the feudal system of the European Middle Ages, an ecclesiastical fief, held from the Catholic Church, followed all the laws laid down for temporal fiefs. The suzerain, e.g. bishop, abbot, or other possessor, granted an estate in perpetuity to a p ...
, and imposed a system bringing it more into line with
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first king of Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , fo ...

Rome
. Under the
Laudabiliter ''Laudabiliter'' was a papal bull, bull issued in 1155 by Pope Adrian IV, the only Englishman to have served in that office. Existence of the bull has been disputed by scholars over the centuries; no copy is extant but scholars cite the many ref ...
in 1155, English-born
Pope Adrian IV Pope Adrian IV ( la, Adrianus IV; born Nicholas Breakspear (or Brekespear); 1 September 1159, also Hadrian IV), was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 4 December 1154 to his death in 1159. He is the only Englishman to ...

Pope Adrian IV
granted
Henry II of England Henry II (5 March 1133 – 6 July 1189), also known as Henry Curtmantle (french: Court-manteau), Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of ...

Henry II of England
the
Lordship of Ireland The Lordship of Ireland ( ga, Tiarnas na hÉireann), sometimes referred to retroactively as Norman Ireland, was the part of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title= ...

Lordship of Ireland
in return for paying
tithes A tithe (; from Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early m ...
to Rome. His claim was based on the 4th century
Donation of Constantine and Constantine the Great, showing the purported Donation (Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome) The ''Donation of Constantine'' ( ) is a Forgery, forged Roman imperial decree by which the 4th-century emperor Constantine the Great supposedly transferred ...
, which allegedly gave the Papacy religious control over all Christian territories in the western
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it included large territorial holdings around the in , , and ruled by . From the t ...

Roman Empire
. Its legality was disputed at the time, since Ireland was never part of the empire, while the Donation itself was later exposed as a forgery. The Irish church was divided into
Diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
s, headed by bishops, while adopting English
liturgy Liturgy is the customary public worship performed by a religious group. As a religious phenomenon, liturgy represents a community, communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance ...
and saints, such as
Edward the Confessor Edward the Confessor ( ang, Ēadƿeard Andettere ; la, Eduardus Confessor , ; 1003 – 5 January 1066) was one of the last Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a cultural group Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the so ...

Edward the Confessor
, and
Thomas Becket Thomas Becket (), also known as Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Thomas of London and later Thomas à Becket (21 December 1119 or 1120 – 29 December 1170), was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as ...

Thomas Becket
. In 1536, the Irish Parliament followed their English colleagues by accepting
Henry VIII of England Henry VIII (28 June 149128 January 1547) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Ital ...
as head of the church, rather than the Pope. This marks the founding of the reformed Church of Ireland, confirmed when Henry became
King of Ireland Monarchical systems of government have existed in Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(righ ...

King of Ireland
in 1541. Largely restricted to
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_( ...

Dublin
, led by Archbishop George Browne, it expanded under
Edward VI Edward VI (12 October 1537 – 6 July 1553) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerged fr ...

Edward VI
, until Catholicism was restored by his sister
Mary I Mary I (18 February 1516 – 17 November 1558), also known as Mary Tudor, and as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to ...

Mary I
in 1553. When
Elizabeth I of England Elizabeth I (7 September 153324 March 1603) was Queen of England and Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_a ...

Elizabeth I of England
became queen in 1558, only five bishops accepted her Religious Settlement, and most of the Irish clergy had to be replaced. This was hampered by the church's relative poverty, while adapting to the changes of regime damaged the reputation of those who remained.
Hugh Curwen Hugh Curwen ( - 1 November 1568) was an English ecclesiastic and statesman, who served as Archbishop of Dublin and Lord Chancellor of Ireland The office of Lord High Chancellor of Ireland (commonly known as Lord Chancellor of Ireland) was the h ...
was Dean of Hereford until 1555, when Mary made him Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, before returning to the reformed church in 1558. Despite accusations of 'moral delinquency', he remained Archbishop and
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the in in the , nominally outranking the . The lord chancellor is appointed by the on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their i ...
until 1567, when he was appointed
Bishop of Oxford The Bishop of Oxford is the diocesan bishop of the Church of England Diocese of Oxford in the Province of Canterbury; his seat is at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The current bishop is Steven Croft, following the confirmation of his electio ...
. The absence of Gaelic-speaking ministers led to the adoption of a gradualist policy, similar to that used in Catholic areas of Northern England. 'Occasional conformity' allowed the use of pre-Reformation rites, combined with acceptance of the established Church; this practice persisted in both England and Ireland well into the mid-18th century. Lack of
Irish Gaelic Irish ( in Standard Irish Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a d ...
literature was another restriction; shortly before his death in 1585, Nicholas Walsh began translation of the
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
. Continued by John Kearny and Nehemiah Donnellan, it was finally printed in 1602 by William Daniel, who also translated the
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
, or BCP, in 1606. An Irish version of the Old Testament was published in 1685 by
Narcissus Marsh Narcissus Marsh (20 December 1638 – 2 November 1713) was an English clergyman who was successively Church of Ireland Bishop of Ferns and Leighlin, Archbishop of Cashel, Archbishop of Dublin (Church of Ireland), Archbishop of Dublin and Archbish ...
, but the revised BCP was not available until 1712.


17th century

At the beginning of the 17th century, most native Irish were Catholic, with Protestant settlers in
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
establishing an independent Presbyterian church. Largely confined to an English-speaking minority in
The Pale The Pale (''An Pháil'' in Irish language, Irish) or the English Pale (' or ') was the part of Ireland directly under the control of the English government in the Late Middle Ages. It had been reduced by the late 15th century to an area along ...
, the most important figure of the Church's development was Dublin-born theologian and historian,
James Ussher James Ussher (or Usher; 4 January 1581 – 21 March 1656) was the Church of Ireland The Church of Ireland ( ga, Eaglais na hÉireann, ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots pe ...

James Ussher
, Archbishop of Armagh from 1625 to 1656. In 1615, the Church of Ireland drew up its own confession of faith, similar to the English version, but more detailed, less ambiguous and often explicitly Calvinist. When the
Thirty-Nine Articles The Thirty-nine Articles of Religion (commonly abbreviated as the Thirty-nine Articles or the XXXIX Articles) are the historically defining statements of doctrines and practices of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is ...
were formally adopted by the Irish church in 1634, Ussher ensured they were in addition to the Irish Articles; however, they were soon superseded by the Thirty Nine Articles, which remain in use to the present day. Under
Charles ICharles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of French and German kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of Hungary (1288 ...

Charles I
, the Church of Ireland claimed to be the original and universal church, while the Papacy was an innovation, thus vesting it with the supremacy of
Apostolic succession Apostolic succession is the method whereby the ministry of the Christian Church Christian Church is a Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followe ...
. This argument was supported by Ussher, and Charles' former personal chaplain,
John LeslieJohn Leslie may refer to: United Kingdom * Sir John Leslie (physicist) (1766–1832), Scottish mathematician and physicist * John Leslie (TV presenter) (born 1965), Scottish former television presenter * John Leslie (bishop of Clogher) (1571–1671) ...
, a key supporter of Caroline reforms in Scotland, appointed bishop of Derry & Raphoe in 1633. During the 1641–1653
Irish Confederate Wars The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War (from ga, Cogadh na hAon Bhliana Déag), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of civil wars in the kin ...
, nearly two-thirds of Ireland was controlled by the largely Catholic
Confederacy Confederacy may refer to: A confederation, an association of sovereign states or communities. Examples include: * Battle of the Trench, Confederate tribes * Confederate States of America, a confederation of secessionist American states that existed ...
, and in 1644,
Giovanni Battista Rinuccini 250px, right Giovanni Battista Rinuccini (1592–1653) was an Italian people, Italian Catholic Church, Roman Catholic archbishop in the mid-seventeenth century. He was a noted legal scholar and became chamberlain to Pope Gregory XV. In 1625 Pope ...
became
Papal Nuncio An apostolic nuncio (also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), a ...
to Ireland. Irish Catholicism had developed greater tolerance for Protestants, while sharing their hostility to elaborate ritual. Rinuccini's insistence on following Roman liturgy, and attempts to re-introduce ceremonies such as foot washing divided the Confederacy, and contributed to its rapid collapse in the 1649–1652 Cromwell's re-conquest of Ireland. The church was re-established after the 1660
Restoration of Charles II The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the kingdoms of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Ir ...
and in January 1661, meetings by 'Papists, Presbyterians, Independents or separatists' were made illegal. In practice, the penal laws were loosely enforced and after 1666, Protestant
Dissenter A dissenter (from the Latin ''dissentire'', "to disagree") is one who dissent Sticker art arguing that dissent is necessary for democracy.">democracy.html" ;"title="Sticker art arguing that dissent is necessary for democracy">Sticker art arguin ...
s and Catholics were allowed to resume their seats in the
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city ...
. In 1685, the Catholic
James II James II and VII (14 October 1633Old Style and New Style dates, O.S.16 September 1701An assertion found in many sources that James died 6 September 1701 (17 September 1701 New Style) may result from a miscalculation done by an author of anonymou ...

James II
became king with considerable backing in all three kingdoms; this changed when his policies seemed to go beyond tolerance for Catholicism and into an attack on the established church. His prosecution of the
Seven Bishops The Seven Bishops were members of the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy ...

Seven Bishops
in England for seditious libel in June 1688 destroyed his support base, while many felt James lost his right to govern by ignoring his
coronation Oath An oath of office is an oath or Affirmation in law, affirmation a person takes before assuming the duties of an Public office, office, usually a position in government or within a religious body, although such oaths are sometimes required of offic ...
to maintain the primacy of the Protestant religion. This made oaths a high-profile issue, since ministers of the
national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a common language, history, ethnicity, or a common culture, and, in many cases, a shared territory. A nation is more overtly political than an ...
churches of England, Scotland and Ireland were required to swear allegiance to the ruling monarch. When the 1688
Glorious Revolution The Glorious Revolution of November 1688 ( ga, An Réabhlóid Ghlórmhar; gd, Rèabhlaid Ghlòrmhor; cy, Chwyldro Gogoneddus), the invasion also known as the ''Glorieuze Overtocht'' or Glorious Crossing by the Dutch, was the deposition of ...
replaced James with his Protestant daughter and son-in-law,
Mary II Mary II (30 April 166228 December 1694) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Gr ...

Mary II
and
William III
William III
, a minority felt bound by their previous oath and refused to swear another. This led to the Non-Juring schism, although for the vast majority, this was a matter of personal conscience, rather than political support for James. The Irish church was less affected by this controversy, although the
Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh The Bishop of Kilmore and Ardagh was the Ordinary (officer), Ordinary of the Church of Ireland diocese of Kilmore, County Cavan, Kilmore and Ardagh, County Longford, Ardagh in the Ecclesiastical Province, Province of Province of Armagh (Church of ...
became a Non-Juror, as did a handful of the clergy, including Jacobite propagandist Charles Leslie. The
Protestant Ascendancy The Protestant Ascendancy, known simply as the Ascendancy, was the political, economic, and social domination of Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. ...
in Ireland is traditionally viewed as beginning in 1691 when the
Treaty of Limerick The Treaty of Limerick ( ga, Conradh Luimnigh), signed on 3 October 1691, ended the 1689 to 1691 Williamite War in Ireland The Williamite War in Ireland (1688–1691) ( ga, Cogadh an Dá Rí, "war of the two kings"), was a conflict between Ja ...
ended the 1689–1691 Williamite War. The Church re-established control and the 1697 Bishop's Banishment Act expelled Catholic bishops and
regular clergy Regular clergy, or just regulars, are clerics in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximat ...
from Ireland, leaving only the so-called
secular clergy In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, socia ...
.


18th century

In 1704, the
Test Act The Test Acts were a series of English penal laws In English history, the penal laws were a series of laws that sought to uphold the establishment of the Church of England against Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that orig ...
was extended to Ireland; this effectively restricted public office to members of the Church of Ireland and officially remained in place until the 1829 Catholic Relief Act. However, the practice of occasional conformity continued, while many Catholic gentry by-passed these restrictions by educating their sons as Protestants, their daughters as Catholics;
Edmund Burke Edmund Burke (; 12 January NS.html"_;"title="New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS">New_Style.html"_;"title="/nowiki>New_Style">NS/nowiki>_1729_–_9_July_1797)_was_an_Anglo-Irish_Politician.html" "title="New_Style">NS.html" ;"title ...
, who was raised Church of Ireland but whose parents simultaneously raised his sister Juliana Catholic, is one example. It is estimated fewer than 15 – 20% of the Irish population were nominally members of the church, which remained a minority under pressure from both Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists. The 1719 Toleration Act allowed Nonconformists freedom of worship, while the Irish Parliament paid their ministers a small subsidy known as the 'regium donum.' Although willing to permit a degree of flexibility, like their English counterparts, Irish bishops viewed their status as the national church to be non-negotiable and used their seats in the
Irish House of Lords The Irish House of Lords was the upper house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from medieval times until 1800. It was also the final court of appeal of the Kingdom of Ireland. It was modelled on the House of Lords of England, with mem ...
to enforce this. However, in 1725 Parliament passed the first in a series of 'temporary' Indemnity Acts, which allowed office holders to 'postpone' taking the oaths; the bishops were willing to approve these, since they could be repealed at any point. In the 17th century, religious and political beliefs were often assumed to be the same; thus Catholics were considered political subversives, simply because of their religion. During the 18th century, sectarian divisions were replaced by a growing sense of Irish autonomy; in 1749,
Bishop Berkeley George Berkeley (; 12 March 168514 January 1753) – known as Bishop Berkeley (Bishop of Cloyne of the Anglican Church of Ireland) – was an Anglo-Irish people, Anglo-Irish philosopher whose primary achievement was the advancement of a theory ...

Bishop Berkeley
issued an address to the Catholic clergy, urging them to work together with the church in the (Irish) national interest. After 1750, the government increasingly viewed Catholic emancipation as a way to reduce the power of Protestant nationalists like the
United Irishmen The Society of United Irishmen, also simply known as the United Irishmen, were a sworn society in the Kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( Classical Irish: '; Irish language#An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish: ' ()) was a client ...

United Irishmen
; this had potential implications for the church since the requirement non-church members pay tithes was deeply resented. The movement ended after the 1798 Rebellion and Ireland's incorporation with Britain.


19th to 20th centuries

Following the legal union of Ireland and the
Kingdom of Great Britain The Kingdom of Great Britain, officially called Great Britain,"After the political union of England and Scotland in 1707, the nation's official name became 'Great Britain'", ''The American Pageant, Volume 1'', Cengage Learning (2012) was a s ...

Kingdom of Great Britain
by the
Act of Union 1800 The Acts of Union 1800 (sometimes referred to as a single Act of Union 1801) were parallel acts of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification of the Acts of UnionAct ...
, the Church of Ireland was also united with the Church of England to form the United Church of England and Ireland. At the same time, one archbishop and three bishops from Ireland (selected by rotation) were given seats in the
House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of the . Membership is by , or . Like the , it meets in the . ar ...

House of Lords
at Westminster, joining the two archbishops and twenty-four bishops from the Church of England. The Irish Church was over-staffed, with 22 bishops, including 4 archbishops, for an official membership of 852,000, less than that of the Church of England's Diocese of Durham. The Church Temporalities (Ireland) Act 1833 reduced these to 12, as well as making financial changes. Part of a series of reforms by the 1830–1834 Whig government that included the
Reform Act 1832 The Representation of the People Act 1832 (also known as the 1832 Reform Act, Great Reform Act or First Reform Act) was an Act of Parliament, Act of Parliament of the United Kingdom (indexed as 2 & 3 Will. IV c. 45) that introduced major chang ...
, it caused deep political splits. The implications of government legislating church governance was a contributory factor in the
Oxford Movement The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church The term ''high church'' refers to beliefs and practices of Christian ecclesiology In Christian theology Christian theology is the theology of Christianity, Christian belief and practi ...
and had wide repercussions for the Anglican Communion. Another source of resentment was the funding of the Church by
tithes A tithe (; from Old English Old English (, ), or Anglo-Saxon, is the earliest recorded form of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early m ...
imposed on all Irish subjects, even though the majority were not members. This led to anomalies like the incumbent of a living near Bessborough, who in 1833 was receiving £1,000 per year, despite the fact the parish had no Protestants or even a church. The "
Tithe War The Tithe War ( ga, Cogadh na nDeachúna) was a campaign of mainly nonviolent civil disobedience, punctuated by sporadic violent episodes, in Ireland between 1830 and 1836 in reaction to the enforcement of tithes on the Roman Catholic majority for ...
" of 1831–36 led to their replacement by the ''tithe rent charge'' but they did not entirely disappear until the
Irish Church Act 1869 The Irish Church Act 1869 (32 & 33 Vict. c. 42) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the Unite ...
. The Act ended the Church's status as a state organisation; its bishops were removed from the House of Lords and its property transferred to the government. Compensation was paid but in the immediate aftermath, parishes faced great difficulty in local financing after the loss of rent-generating lands and buildings.


Governance

The head of the Church of Ireland is, ''ex officio'', the
Archbishop of Armagh The Archbishop of Armagh is an archiepiscopal In many Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ori ...
. In 1870, immediately prior to its disestablishment, the Church provided for its internal government, led by a General Synod, and with financial and administrative support by a Representative Church Body. Like other Irish churches, the Church of Ireland did not divide when Ireland was partitioned in the 1920s and it continues to be governed on an all-Ireland basis.


Structure

The polity of the Church of Ireland is
episcopal church governance Episcopal may refer to: *Of or relating to a bishop, an overseer in the Christian church *Episcopate, the see of a bishop – a diocese *Episcopal Church (disambiguation), any church with "Episcopal" in its name ** Episcopal Church (United States ...
, as in other Anglican churches. The church maintains the traditional structure dating to pre-Reformation times, a system of geographical
parishes A parish is a territorial entity in many Christianity, Christian denominations, constituting a division within a diocese. A parish is under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of a priest#Christianity, priest, often termed a parish priest, ...
organised into
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
s. There were more than 30 of these historically, grouped into four provinces; today, after consolidation over the centuries, there are 12 Church of Ireland dioceses or united dioceses, each headed by a bishop and belonging to one of two surviving provinces. In May 2019 the Church of Ireland Synod agreed to the merger of the dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry with Limerick and Killaloe. Full merger will come into effect on the resignation or retirement of either of the current bishops. The new diocese will be known as Tuam, Limerick and Killaloe and will be part of the province of Dublin. At that point there will be 11 Church of Ireland dioceses. The leader of the southern province is the
Archbishop of Dublin The Archbishop of Dublin is an Episcopal polity, archiepiscopal title which takes its name after Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Since the Reformation in Ireland, Reformation, there have been parallel apostolic successions to the title: one ...
, at present
Michael Jackson Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter and dancer. Dubbed the " King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade car ...
; that of the northern province is the
Archbishop of Armagh The Archbishop of Armagh is an archiepiscopal In many Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was ori ...
, at present Francis John McDowell. These two archbishops are styled
Primate of Ireland The Primacy of Ireland was historically disputed between the Archbishop of Armagh 200px, St Patrick's Cathedral, Armagh (Roman Catholic), St Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Armagh, the episcopal seat of the post-Reformation Catholic archbi ...
and
Primate of All Ireland The Primacy of Ireland was historically disputed between the Archbishop of Armagh and the Archbishop of Dublin until finally settled by Pope Innocent VI. ''Primate (bishop), Primate'' is a title of honour denoting ceremonial precedence in t ...
respectively, suggesting the ultimate seniority of the latter. Although he has relatively little absolute authority, the Archbishop of Armagh is respected as the church's general leader and spokesman, and is elected in a process different from those for all other bishops.


General synod and policy-making

Doctrine, canon law, church governance, church policy, and liturgical matters are decided by the church's
general synod The General Synod is the title of the governing body of some church organizations. The Anglican Communion The Church of England {{Main, General Synod of the Church of England In the Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a Chri ...
. The general synod comprises two houses, the House of Bishops and the House of Representatives. The House of Bishops includes the 10 diocesan bishops and two archbishops, forming one order. The House of Representatives is made up of two orders, clergy and
laity In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established s. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over ...
. The order of clergy holds one third of the seats while the laity holds two-thirds of the seats. As of 2017, there are 216 clergy members and 432 lay members in the House of Representatives. The membership of the House of Representatives is made up of delegates from the dioceses, with seats allocated to each diocese's clergy and laity in specific numbers; these delegates are elected every three years. The general synod meets annually, and special meetings can be called by the leading bishop or one third of any of its orders. Changes in policy must be passed by a simple majority of both the House of Bishops and the House of Representatives. Changes to doctrine, for example the decision to ordain women as priests, must be passed by a two-thirds majority of both Houses. The two sit together for general deliberations but separate for some discussions and voting. While the House of Representatives always votes publicly, often by orders, the House of Bishops has tended to vote in private, coming to a decision before matters reach the floor of the synod. This practice has been broken only once when, in 1999, the House of Bishops voted unanimously in public to endorse the efforts of the Archbishop of Armagh, the Diocese of Armagh and the Standing Committee of the General Synod in their attempts to resolve the crisis at the Church of the Ascension at Drumcree near
Portadown Portadown () is a town in County Armagh County Armagh (named after its county town, Armagh) is one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland and one of six counties of Northern Ireland. Adjoined to the southern shore of Lough Neagh, the count ...

Portadown
.


Statutes and constitution

The church's internal laws are formulated as bills proposed to the Houses of the general synod, which when passed become Statutes. The church's governing document, its constitution, is modified, consolidated and published by way of statute also, the most recent edition, the 13th, being published in 2003.


Representative body

The representative body of the Church of Ireland, often called the "Representative Church Body" (RCB), is the corporate trustee of the church, as established by law, and much of the church's property is vested in it. The members of the RCB are the bishops plus diocesan delegates and twelve co-opted members, and it meets at least four times a year. The staff of the representative body are analogous to clerical civil servants, and among other duties they oversee property, including church buildings, cemeteries and investments, administer some salaries and pensions, and manage the church library. While parishes, dioceses, and other parts of the church structure care for their particular properties, this is often subject to RCB rules.


Orders of ministry and positions

The Church of Ireland embraces three orders of ministry: deacons, priests (or presbyters) and bishops. These orders are distinct from positions such as
rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical), a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations *Rector (academia), a senior official in an educ ...
,
vicar A vicar (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Repu ...
or
canon Canon or Canons may refer to: Places * Canon, Georgia Canon is a city in Franklin County, Georgia, Franklin and Hart County, Georgia, Hart counties in the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. The population was 804 at the 2010 census. His ...
.


Diocesan governance

Each diocese or united diocese is led by its Ordinary, one of the ten bishops and two archbishops, and the Ordinary may have one or more Archdeacons to support them, along with a Rural Dean for each group of parishes. There is a diocesan synod for each diocese; there may be separate synods for historic dioceses now in unions. These synods comprise the bishop along with clergy and lay representatives from the parishes, and subject to the laws of the church, and the work of the general synod and its committees and the representative body and its committees, oversee the operation of the diocese. Each diocesan synod in turn appoints a diocesan council to which it can delegate powers.


Parochial governance

Each parish has a presiding member of the clergy, assisted by two churchwardens and often also two glebewardens, one of each type of warden being appointed by the clerical incumbent, and one by popular vote. All qualified adult members of the parish comprise the general vestry, which meets annually, within 20 days each side of Easter, as the Easter Vestry. There is also a select vestry for the parish, or sometimes for each active church in a parish, comprising the presiding cleric and any curate assistants, along with relevant churchwardens and glebewardens and a number of members elected at the Easter Vestry meeting. The select vestry assists in the care and operation of the parish and one or more church buildings.


Cathedral governance

Special provisions apply to the management and operation of five key cathedrals, in Dublin (which contains two Church of Ireland cathedrals), Armagh, Down, and Belfast.


Tribunals

The church has disciplinary and appeals tribunals, and diocesan courts, and a court of the general synod.


Present


Membership

The Church of Ireland experienced a major decline in membership during the 20th century, both in Northern Ireland, where around 65% of its members live, and in the Republic of Ireland. The church is still the second-largest in the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a in north-western consisting of 26 of the 32 of the island of . The capital and largest city is , on the eastern side of the island. Around 40% of the country's popula ...

Republic of Ireland
, with 126,414 members in 2016 (minus 2% compared to the 2011 census results)''Census 2016 Results''
.
and the third-largest in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
, with around 260,000 members. In 2016, a peer-reviewed study published in the ''Journal of Anglican Studies'' by ''
Cambridge University Press Cambridge University Press (CUP) is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge , mottoeng = Literal: From here, light and sacred draughts. Non literal: From this place, we gain enlightenment and precious knowled ...
'' found that the Church of Ireland has approximately 384,176 total members and 58,000 active baptised members.


Cathedrals

The Church of Ireland has two cathedrals in Dublin: within the line of the walls of the old city is
Christ Church CathedralChrist Church Cathedral is the name of many cathedrals around the world, and may refer to: Australia * Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton, an Anglican cathedral in the Clarence Valley Council, New South Wales * Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, an ...

Christ Church Cathedral
, the seat of the Archbishop of Dublin, and just outside the old walls is
St. Patrick's Cathedral
St. Patrick's Cathedral
, which the church designated as the National Cathedral for Ireland in 1870. Cathedrals also exist in the other dioceses. There is also the metropolitan cathedral church of Ireland, situated in Armagh, St Patrick's Cathedral. This cathedral is the seat of the archbishop and metropolitan,
the Most Reverend The Most Reverend is a ecclesiastical address, style applied to certain religious figures, primarily within the historic denominations of Christianity, but occasionally in some more modern traditions also. It is a variant of the more common style ...
John McDowell John Henry McDowell (born 7 March 1942) is a South African philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom'. T ...
.


Offices, training of priests and teachers

The church's central offices are in
Rathmines Rathmines () is an inner suburb on the southside of Dublin in Ireland, about three kilometres south of the city centre. It effectively begins at the south side of the Grand CanalGrand Canal can refer to multiple waterways: * Grand Canal (Chi ...
, adjacent to the former
Church of Ireland College of Education The Church of Ireland College of Education or C.I.C.E. as it was more commonly known ( ga, Coláiste Oideachais Eaglais na hÉireann) was one of five Irish Colleges of Education which provided a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree, the qualifica ...
, and the church's library is in Churchtown. Teacher training now occurs within the
Dublin City University Dublin City University (abbreviated as DCU) ( ga, Ollscoil Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath) is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary educat ...
Institute of Education, overseen by the Church of Ireland Centre, based at the former
All Hallows College All Hallows College was a college of higher education in Dublin Dublin (, ; ) is the capital and largest city of Republic of Ireland, Ireland. Situated on a bay on the east coast, at the mouth of the River Liffey, it lies within the Provi ...
. The church operates a seminary, the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, in Rathgar, in the south inner suburbs of Dublin.


Anglican Communion

The churches of the Anglican Communion are linked by affection and common loyalty. They are in full communion with the Episcopal see, See Archdiocese of Canterbury, of Canterbury and thus the Archbishop of Canterbury, in his person, is a unique focus of Anglican unity. He calls the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference, chairs the meeting of Primates, and is President of the Anglican Consultative Council. The contemporary Church of Ireland, despite having a number of High Church (often described as Anglo-Catholic) parishes, is generally on the
Low Church In Anglican Christianity, the "low church" wing of one of the Anglican churches includes those who give relatively little emphasis to ritual, sacraments, and sometimes the authority of clergy. The term is most often used in a Christian liturgy, l ...
end of the spectrum of world Anglicanism. Historically, it had little of the difference in churchmanship between parishes characteristic of other Anglican provinces, although a number of markedly liberal, High Church or Evangelicalism, Evangelical parishes have developed in recent decades. It was the second province of the Anglican Communion after the Anglican Church of New Zealand (1857) to adopt, on its 1871 disestablishment, Synod, synodical government. It was also one of the first provinces to begin ordaining women to the priesthood (1991).


Relation with the GAFCON movement

Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON Ireland was launched on 21 April 2018, in Belfast, with 320 attendees from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. International speakers included Archbishops Peter Jensen (bishop), Peter Jensen (retired Archbishop of Anglican Diocese of Sydney, Sydney) and Gregory Venables (Primate of the Anglican Church of South America). The Church of Ireland was represented at Global Anglican Future Conference, GAFCON III, held on 17–22 June 2018 in Jerusalem, by a six-member delegation which included two bishops; Ferran Glenfield of Diocese of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh and Harold Miller (bishop), Harold Miller of Diocese of Down and Dromore, Down and Dromore. Their participation was criticised by some members of the Church of Ireland. The Church of Ireland is not a member of GAFCON and the church communicated that attendance by clergy was unofficial in "a personal capacity" and he General Synod has voted against GAFCON's statement on the Lambeth Conference. GAFCON supporters refuted their critics claims, saying that they endorse Lambeth 1.10 resolution on human sexuality, which is still the official stance of the Church of Ireland, but has been rejected by the liberal provinces of the
Anglican Communion The Anglican Communion is the third largest Christian communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eating of bread and drinking of wine, ree ...
. The Rev. Charles Raven stated: "the charge that GAFCON is a breakaway or separatist group is not supported by the evidence. It is a movement of reform and revitalisation which has enabled faithful Anglicans to remain within the Communion, especially in North America and Brazil. While being clear that participation in its common life is based upon fidelity to the biblical gospel, not merely upon historic ties, the Jerusalem Statement and Declaration of 2008 says quite unequivocally that 'Our fellowship is not breaking away from the Anglican Communion'."


Ecumenical relations

Like many other Anglican churches, the Church of Ireland is a member of many ecumenical bodies, including the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland and the Irish Council of Churches. It is also a member of the Porvoo Communion.


Flags

In 1999, the church voted to prohibit the flying of flags other than St Patrick's flag and the Flag of the Anglican Communion. However, the Union Flag continues to fly on many churches in
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label= Ulster-Scots, Norlin Airlann) is a part of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usa ...

Northern Ireland
.


Publications

The church has an official website. Its journal is ''The Church of Ireland Gazette'', which is editorially independent, but the governing body of which is appointed by the church. Many parishes and other internal organizations also produce newsletters or other publications, as well as maintaining websites.


Doctrine and practice

The centre of the Church of Ireland's teaching is the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The basic teachings of the church include: * Chalcedonianism, Chalcedonian Christology; Jesus Christ is fully human and fully God in one person. He died and was resurrected from the dead. * Jesus provides the way of eternal life for those who believe. * The Old and New Testaments of the Bible ("God's Word written") were written by people "under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit". The Apocrypha are additional books that are to be read, but not to determine doctrine. The Biblical apocrypha#King James Version, Apocrypha of the King James version of the Bible constitutes the books of the Vulgate version that are present neither in the Tanakh, Hebrew Old Testament nor the Greek
New Testament The New Testament grc, Ἡ Καινὴ Διαθήκη, Transliteration, transl. ; la, Novum Testamentum. (NT) is the second division of the Christian biblical canon. It discusses the teachings and person of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus, as ...

New Testament
. * The "two great and necessary" Anglican sacraments, sacraments are Baptism and the Eucharist (also called Holy Communion and the Lord's Supper). * Those Anglican sacraments, "commonly called Sacraments that are not to be counted for Sacraments of the Gospel" are confirmation, ordination, marriage, Confession (religion), reconciliation of a penitent and unction. * Belief in heaven, hell and second coming, Jesus's return in glory. The 16th-century apologist, Richard Hooker, posits that there are three sources of authority in Anglicanism: scripture, tradition and reason. It is not known how widely accepted this idea is within Anglicanism. It is further posited that the three sources uphold and critique each other in a dynamic way. In Hooker's model, scripture is the primary means of arriving at doctrine; things stated plainly in scripture are accepted as true. Issues that are ambiguous are determined by tradition, which is checked by reason.


Modern doctrinal debates


Ordination of women

In recent decades, the church has ordained women to all offices. In 1984, the General Synod approved the ordination of women to the diaconate and, in 1987, the first woman, Katherine Poulton, was ordained as a deacon. In 1990 the church began ordaining women to the priesthood. The first two women ordained were Kathleen Margaret Brown and Irene Templeton. In 2013, the church appointed its first female bishop, Pat Storey.


Same-sex unions and LGBT clergy

The church has been divided over aspects of human sexuality. In 2002, the issue became pertinent as a vicar provided a blessing for a lesbian couple. The denomination announced a period of discernment to allocate time to the perspectives within the discussion. In 2010, a congregation was recognised by the church for receiving an LGBTI award for offering services for LGBTI people. The Church of Ireland canon defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman, and does not perform same-sex marriages, but the church also supported the legal right of same-sex couples to register a civil marriage. Civil partnership in the United Kingdom, Civil partnerships have been allowed since 2005. The church has no official position on civil unions. In 2008, "the Church of Ireland Pensions Board ha[d] confirmed that it will treat civil partners the same as spouses." The General Synod adopted the Pensions Board's policy in 2008. In 2011, a cleric in the Church of Ireland entered into a same-sex civil partnership with his bishop's permission. Assurances of sexual abstinence were not required from the cleric. In 2012, the church's Clergy Pension Fund continued to recognise that "the pension entitlement of a member's registered civil partner will be the same as that of a surviving spouse." Regarding cohabitation, the church said that "any view of cohabitation has to be the intention of the couple to lifelong loyalty and faithfulness within their relationship." In 2004, then Archbishop John Neill (archbishop of Dublin), John Neill said that the "Church would support the extension of legal rights on issues such as tax, welfare benefits, inheritance and hospital visits to Cohabitation, cohabiting couples, both same gender and others." The church recognises four general viewpoints within the denomination ranging from opposition to acceptance toward same-gender relationships. Prior to the referendum on same-sex marriage, the church remained neutral on the issue. In 2015, the Bishop of Cork, the Rt. Rev. Paul Colton, Bishop Michael Burrows of Cashel, and two retired archbishops of Dublin endorsed same-sex marriage. While voting "no" on gay marriage, Bishop Pat Storey endorsed civil unions. Also, 55 clergy signed a letter supporting the blessing of same-sex couples. In its pastoral letter, the church reiterated that, presently, church marriages are only for heterosexual couples, but that clergy may offer prayers for same-sex couples. When asked about clergy entering into civil same-sex marriages, the letter stated that "all are free to exercise their democratic entitlements once they are enshrined in legislation. However, members of the clergy, are further bound by the Ordinal and by the authority of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland." Services of Thanksgiving for same-sex marriage have taken place in congregations; for example, St. Audoen's Church hosted "a service of thanksgiving" for same-sex marriage. LGBTI services are also allowed by the Diocese of Cork, Cloyne and Ross. REFORM Ireland, a conservative lobby, has criticised the official letter as "a dangerous departure from confessing Anglicanism" and continues to oppose same-sex marriage recognition. Reflecting division, the church deferred its report on same-sex marriage to listen to all voices. ''The Church of Ireland Gazette'', although "editorially independent", endorsed a blessing rite for same-sex couples. Many congregations, including cathedrals, have become publicly affirming of LGBTI rights. A church report has determined that "the moral logic underpinning the negative portrayal of same-sex eroticism in Scripture does not directly address committed, loving, consecrated same-sex relationships today". In 2017, the General Synod considered a proposal to request for public services of thanksgiving for same-sex couples, but the proposal was not passed; the church's select committee on human sexuality recommended that the bishops continue to study the issues. There were 176 votes against the motion to request public services, 146 in favour, and 24 abstentions. The Bishop of Cork, Paul Colton, declared his support for same-sex marriage ceremonies in the Church of Ireland.


Liturgical issues


Irish language

The first translation of the
Book of Common Prayer A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of v ...

Book of Common Prayer
into Irish was published in 1606. An Irish translation of the revised prayer book of 1662 was published in 1712. The Church of Ireland has its own Irish language body, ''Cumann Gaelach na hEaglaise'' ("Irish Guild of the Church"). This was founded in 1914 to bring together members of the Church of Ireland interested in the Irish language and Gaelic culture and to promote the Irish language within the Church of Ireland. The guild aims to link its programmes with the Irish language initiatives which have been centred round
Christ Church CathedralChrist Church Cathedral is the name of many cathedrals around the world, and may refer to: Australia * Christ Church Cathedral, Grafton, an Anglican cathedral in the Clarence Valley Council, New South Wales * Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle, an ...

Christ Church Cathedral
. It holds services twice a month in Irish.Church of Ireland Notes, page 2, ''Irish Times'', 10 January 2009. From 1926 to 1995, the church had its own Irish-language teacher training college, ''Coláiste Moibhí''. Today, there are a number of interdenominational ''Gaelscoileanna'' (schools where Irish-medium education is applied).


See also

* Anglo-Irish *
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is a List of Christian denominations, Christian church which is the established church of England. The archbishop of Canterbury is the most senior clergy, cleric, although the Monarchy of the United Kingdom, mona ...
* Scottish Episcopal Church * Episcopal Church (United States) * Church in Wales * Bishops' Selection Conference * Protestantism in Ireland * Religion in Northern Ireland * Religion in the Republic of Ireland


References


Sources

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Further reading

* Cross, F. L. (ed.) (1957) ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church''. Oxford: U. P.; pp. 700–701 * Fair, John D. "The Irish disestablishment conference of 1869." ''Journal of Ecclesiastical History'' 26.4 (1975): 379–394. * MacCarthy, Robert ''Ancient and Modern: a short history of the Church of Ireland''. Four Courts Press Ltd., 1995 * McCormack, Christopher F. "The Irish Church Disestablishment Act (1869) and the general synod of the Church of Ireland (1871): the art and structure of educational reform." ''History of Education'' 47.3 (2018): 303–320. * McDowell, Robert Brendan. ''The Church of Ireland 1869–1969'' (Routledge, 2017_. * Neill, Stephen (1965) ''Anglicanism''. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books * ''The Church of Ireland: An illustrated history'' Booklink. 2013


External links


Church of Ireland

Church of Ireland Theological Institute

Representative Church Body Library


{{DEFAULTSORT:Church of Ireland Church of Ireland, 1536 establishments in Ireland Anglican Communion church bodies, Ireland Protestantism in the United Kingdom Members of the World Council of Churches, Ireland All-Ireland organisations Anglicanism in Ireland Anglicanism in the Republic of Ireland Christianity in Northern Ireland Religious organizations established in 1536