The Scottish Episcopal Church has itself issued a press release Statement regarding today’s media reports – 23rd March 2005.
There has today been wide reporting of a statement issued by the College of Bishops in response to the Anglican Communion’s Windsor Report and the meeting of the Anglican Primates in February. Press interest has focused on one small part of the overall statement.
The statement was in fact issued on 4 March. It acknowledges the difficulties currently faced by the Anglican Communion and expresses the Bishops’ commitment to work to preserve the unity of the Communion. In particular, the Bishops commit themselves to facilitating discussion “across difference”, recognising that within the Scottish Episcopal Church there are both those of gay and lesbian orientation and those whose theology and stance would be critical of attitudes to sexuality other than abstinence outside marriage. The Bishops “rejoice in both” and express the hope that the energy of both groups can be harnessed to serve the Church and the proclamation of the gospel.
In referring to the fact that there is no current bar to ordination for someone who might be in a close relationship with a member of the same sex, the Bishops were simply stating the present position as it applies in Scotland where, unlike some other provinces, no motion discouraging such ordinations has ever been passed by our General Synod. Consequently, the statement earlier this month does not represent any change in policy on the part of the Bishops.
The Glasgow Herald continues with Split in Anglican community over gay priests.
The Scotsman has Evangelicals warn of ‘battle for Church’s soul’ in gay row.
Cedric Pulford of ENI filed Anglican bishops in Scotland say gays not barred from priesthood.
Jonathan Petre in the Telegraph has Scottish bishops declare support for gay priests.
Ruth Gledhill in The Times has Scottish bishops risk split by supporting gay priests and there is a second article ‘I feel proud of my Church today’.
The CEN reported Scots on collision course with Communion.