Professor sacked for BBC contribution says he’s considering leaving the Presbyterian Church

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Rev Prof Laurence Kirkpatrick was found guilty of “gross misconduct” by a church disciplinary panel after his June 2018 BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme appearance.

He discussed the Presbyterian Church’s decision to loosen its ties to the Church of Scotland, which was mainly due to the Kirk’s less traditional view of same-sex relationships.

 

In the church’s letter sent to Rev Kirkpatrick, he was told that he had taken part in the programme “at a time when there was considerable media comment, mostly of an adverse nature, about your employer, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland”.

It added that he had failed to gain the Church’s approval for taking part and that his comments during the broadcast were “unacceptable”.

As a result, he was “summarily dismissed” from his post at Union Theological College (UTC).

Rev Kirkpatrick told BBC Radio Ulster’s Sunday Sequence that if he left the church it would be with a “heavy heart”.

“Leaving the Presbyterian Church is certainly an option for me, and it is one that I will consider and I will think about that,” he said.

“Why would I stay in an organisation that has sacked me?”

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