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Scottish Episcopal Church to look at marriage canons at General Synod.

Scottish Episcopal Church to look at marriage canons at General Synod.

The Scottish Episcopal Church will hold their annual General Synod this week, from June 11-13. Among their other tasks will be a decision to revise their marriage canons especially in light of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Scotland.

The Sunday Times writes (paywall):

THE Scottish Episcopal church is to hold a historic vote on same-sex marriage that could pave the way for ministers to wed gay couples in two years.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in Scotland since December 31, 2014, but gay couples have been blocked from traditional church weddings because the country’s two main churches, the Catholic church and the Church of Scotland, are opposed to gay marriage. Same-sex weddings are forbidden by episcopalian canon law that states marriage is between one man and one woman.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, writes:

“What is likely to attract most attention at this year’s General Synod is the beginning of a process through which the Church shall consider whether it wishes to consider change to its Canons on Marriage.

“As members of General Synod begin to read their papers in preparation for our meeting next month, they will recognise that this is a particularly important Synod.

“During the last two years, our Church has committed itself to the Cascade Process of conversation across difference in the area of same sex relationships. In Province, Dioceses and congregations, people have been courageous and open in expressing and listening to the diversity of views which are held within the Scottish Episcopal Church. We have sat together as one Church and shared thoughtfully and prayerfully.

“We now move to consider whether or not we should undertake a process of canonical change regarding Marriage. First we shall discuss a comprehensive paper on the Doctrine of Marriage from our Doctrine Committee. Then we shall consider whether or not we wish to consider future change and look at a range of possible ways forward.

“It is my hope that here too we shall think and act as one Church. That doesn’t mean that we must, or that we shall, all agree. We are considering an issue which in our times is profoundly challenging for all churches. Our ability to do that depends on our commitment to sustaining our visible unity in Christ.”


Posted by Andrew Gerns.


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Scott Wesley

I do hope a very inclusive spirit guides this process so that clergy and parishes have broad pastoral latitude. Nobody should be compelled to do what, in good conscience, they can’t do, but at the same time, it would be very good in my opinion, if those who, in good conscience, can embrace marriage equality were allowed to do so – or at least if the path to such permission were left open.

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