Yesterday, Friday 10 JUN, the second day of the three days of General Synod, the delegates of the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) mostly debated calmly and then took a vote with regard to the marriage canon of that church. The vote simply required a simple majority for the 1st reading of the matter before the Synod. It appears to have achieved much more.
Bishops 5 71.4%
Clergy 43 69.4%
Laity 49 80.3%
The matter now goes to the 7 dioceses of the province for discussion and comment. The matter will then return to next year’s General Synod where it will require a 2/3s majority in each of the three houses of Synod to take effect. What the delegates are voting to do is the remove from the marriage canon the definition that marriage is between one man and one woman. Additionally they propose to add a conscience clause allowing any clergyperson who cannot of good conscience officiate a marriage to refuse to do so without fear of consequence on their part. The logic of the proposal is that the marriage canon would no longer state something that someone in the SEC might not believe and allow those clergy who cannot of good conscience officiate a same gender marriage to excuse themself from participation.
Soon after the vote was taken in General Synod, the Scottish Anglican Network promulgated on its website an open letter (above), received earlier in the week, to members of the SEC from the Global Anglican Future Conference’s (GAFCON) entities in the United Kingdom, the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans UK and the Anglican Mission in England. In this letter the GAFCON folks offered to provide Alternative Episcopal Oversight by bishops affiliated with GAFCON for Scottish Episcopalians who are unhappy with the morning vote regarding the marriage canon.
As predicted when those two GAFCON affiliated entities first appeared on UK soil, bishops with absolutely no authority to do so, are once again offering their services to go mucking about in another bishop’s patch! It happened in North America and the end result was the Anglican-Communion-wannabe, the Anglican Church in North America, trying to replace the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada in the Communion. We had offered a warning to the four autonomous Anglican Provinces in the United Kingdom and Ireland, now those dire predictions appear to be materializing.
The letter reproduced as a screenshot above can be found on the Scottish Anglican Network’s website.