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  • Living

Tuams gay dean tells his story

Wednesday, 8th July, 2015 10:10am

Story by David Burke
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Tuams gay dean tells his story

A DISREPUTABLE PRIEST
By Ian Corbett
Gilead Books £7.99 (UK)

WITHOUT doubt, Tuam has never had a Church of Ireland Dean quite like the Reverend Ian Corbett. Dean Jackson was a huntin’, shootin’, fishin’ kind of dean, well liked by his peers. Dean Spence was a shy, retiring man. Dean Grant was an urbane, witty individual.
They all maintained harmonious but reserved relationships with their Roman Catholic confreres. In Dean Jackson’s time it was a sin for a Catholic to enter a Protestant church, but as things grew ecumenical, joint blessings of new factories and schools became the standard.
However, until Dean Ian arrived, no-one had ever seen a Church of Ireland minister in vestments at a ceremony on the altar of the Cathedral of the Assumption.
He was the proverbial breath of fresh air, becoming well known and liked in the town, involved in various projects, and then he wrote that controversial briefing paper for the Lambeth Conference on how one could be both Christian and gay, “quoting in support dangerous authorities like Desmond Tutu”.

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