Church of Scotland orders ban on debate on ministers in same sex partnerships

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Scotland last night effectively gagged its members from public discussion of gay ministers and postponed a potentially divisive vote on the issue for two years in a desperate bid to avoid a schism.

A debate on a call to ban openly homosexual people from appointment to the ministry was torpedoed by an 11th-hour motion that dominated the General Assembly yesterday.

Instead of proceeding with the vote – which many traditionalists had warned could split the Kirk – members agreed to establish a commission to study the issue and report back in 2011.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterianSexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

Posted May 26, 2009 at 6:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Dialogue and listening…now, where have we heard this tripe before?

May 26, 7:52 pm | [comment link]
2. Timothy Fountain wrote:

“to avoid a schism” - hasn’t anybody watched, listened or learned?  Yes, they might defer a de jure schism, but the de facto break is already real.

May 26, 8:27 pm | [comment link]
3. Ralph wrote:

“The motion also contained a clause calling for a moratorium on any public comment from Kirk courts, committees and ministers on the issue, effectively gagging them.”

Telling Scotsmen to keep their mouths shut! Thanks for the laugh.

William Wallace would lift his kilt.

May 26, 8:33 pm | [comment link]
4. Statmann wrote:

Always follow the money. We got our way, now let’s not complain or get mad, and keep sending in your money!    Statmann

May 26, 9:22 pm | [comment link]
5. Passing By wrote:

Just like the family drunk, let’s not talk about it.

May 26, 9:25 pm | [comment link]
6. John Wilkins wrote:

well, those who really care can talk about it in the privacy of their own homes.  Perhaps we should discuss the filioque clause.  Much more important….

May 26, 11:13 pm | [comment link]
7. New Reformation Advocate wrote:

Tim+ (#2), you’ve hit the nail on the head.  In fact, I agree with all of the first five commenters, but I think Tim’s point is especially important.  Heresy is implicitly schismatic, and the grossly unbiblical notion of moral relativism that underlies disastrous decisions like this CoS decision, or TEC’s momentous and catastrophic decision to go ahead with Gene Robinson’s consecration in 2003, is both heretical and inherently schismatic.

There is no evading the dilemma.  Biblical Christianity is inevitably polarizing and divisive in a fallen world.  So division in our modern western world is inevitable.  The only question is this: will our churches prefer to maintain unity with a secularized, increasingly anti-Christian society at the cost of proving unfaithful to Christ and the authentic gospel and splitting internally, or will our churches stay united and faithful to the gospel while accepting the cost of incurring the misunderstanding and hostility of the surrounding world?  Those really are the only choices.

David Handy+

May 27, 12:02 am | [comment link]
8. Ad Orientem wrote:

Re #6

Perhaps we should discuss the filioque clause.  Much more important….

That and homosexual marriage do have one thing in common.  They are both heretical.

Christ is risen!

May 27, 12:10 am | [comment link]
9. robroy wrote:

After creating a major fact on the ground, they tell everybody to shut up. So if a minister defies the gag order, he will be defrocked - but it’s OK for Mr Rennie to have (homo)sexual relations outside of Christian marriage?

They are giving the TEClub ideas. Enough of the listening process. Abandonment of communion for even discussing homosexuality! (See the Anglican Curmudgeon’s latest.)

May 27, 1:26 am | [comment link]
10. Jill Woodliff wrote:

Is the gag order for clergy only?

May 27, 2:51 am | [comment link]
11. AnglicanFirst wrote:

“Telling Scotsmen to keep their mouths shut! Thanks for the laugh.”

I agree.  The Kirk doesn’t seem to know the temperament of its own people.
What the Kirk gave as an order is, in its actual effect, a ‘challenge.’

May 27, 8:25 am | [comment link]
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