Earlier this week there were reports from Scotland that the Scottish Episcopal Church had written to the Scottish government resisting any decision to legalize same-sex marriage in Scotland. That came a bit of surprise to many in the United States who thought the Scottish Church and the Episcopal Church were in closer agreement on the pastoral care of same-sex couples.
Thinking Anglicans has helpfully gathered together documents about the story and put them into a larger context. It appears that the response of the Scottish Episcopal Church to an inquiry from the government was answered factually, that at present the Canons on Marriage in Scotland forbid same-sex marriages, but that ban is, at present, under present discussion.
Here’s a quote from the church’s press release:
“…In submitting its response, the Scottish Episcopal Church has stated that its General Synod expresses the mind of the Church through its Canons. The Canon on Marriage currently states that marriage is a ‘physical, spiritual and mystical union of one man and one woman created by their mutual consent of heart, mind and will thereto, and as a holy and lifelong estate instituted of God’.
The Rt Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Convener of the Faith & Order Board’s working group on the consultation explains “The Canon on Marriage is clear in its wording and that has given the working group set up by the Faith and Order Board a common basis on which to discuss the issues raised in the Government’s Paper. The Church’s current position is that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and this clarity allows us the space to listen to the many differing views held by the members of our Church.
“The general issues raised by the consultation document are matters which are already the subject of ongoing discussion within both the Anglican and Porvoo Communions, and in which the Scottish Episcopal Church plays its part. Our written submission is offered in the knowledge of these ongoing discussions, it is placed within the Government’s time frame and has therefore sought to indicate our canonical position without pre-empting any debate we as a Church are or could be engaged in…”
So it seems a bit of reach to report that the Scottish Episcopal Church has joined its voice to others in Scotland calling for a ban on “gay marriage”. The Church responded factually to a government inquiry. There’s less here than some of news articles would want us to believe.