Gay couples to be married in Scottish churches for first time

Marsha Scott
June 9, 2017

The first two clauses of Canon 31 - containing the doctrinal statement that marriage is to be understood as a "physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman" - were deleted, and replaced with a single conscience clause to ensure that no cleric would be obliged to officiate against his or her conscience.

But the Church stressed that no member of clergy would be required to sanctify a marriage against their conscience.

Anglican churches are to conduct same-sex weddings for the first time in Britain after the Scottish Episcopal Church backed gay marriage yesterday in a historic vote that puts pressure on the Church of England.

"This same decision is hard and hurtful for others whose integrity in faith tells them that this decision is unscriptural and profoundly wrong", he said.

A spokesperson for the Church of England responded by saying the CofE's teaching that marriage is between one man and one woman remains unchanged but admitted there was "real and profound disagreement" on the issue.

"Changing our definition of marriage...is a schismatic move that will cause serious harm to our unity and future relationship with our sisters and brothers throughout the Anglican Communion".

In response to the vote, Rev David Chilingworth, head of the Scottish Episcopal Chruch, said: "The step we have taken today is a momentous one".

'This is a departure from the faith and teaching upheld by the overwhelming majority of Anglican provinces on the doctrine of marriage, ' he said. For them this new chapter will feel like an exclusion - as if their church has moved away from them.

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Gafcon said: "While Anglican provinces such as the Episcopal Church (USA), Anglican church of Canada, and Scottish Episcopal church are rejecting the authority of the Bible, faithful Anglicans are uniting through Gafcon to proclaim and defend the unchanging truth in a changing world".

"The issue of marriage on same-sex couples is something on which we clearly do not have a common mind; but the change would keep the conscience of both sides, and protect the conscience of those who think marriage after divorce is wrong".

"No-one is being asked to change their theology of marriage".

"I'm also pleased for what this means about our church and the way we have been able to do this". The new canon was an official recognition of a diversity of viewpoints, he added.

Last year, the US Episcopal church was subjected to punitive measures at the end of a four-day meeting of church leaders in Canterbury.

"We are broken and we need to acknowledge that".

In January a year ago the American branch of the Anglican Communion was sanctioned over its views on marriage and homosexuality.

However, in February the report was rejected at the General Synod, in what gay rights campaigners said was a victory for "love and equality".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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