Skip to comments.Scottish Episcopal Church Issues Attempted Denial [& a response]
Posted on 03/24/2005 12:45:07 PM PST by sionnsar
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.
Anglican Mainstream has issued this response to the recent announcement by the Bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church
(1) If the statement really does represent the considered view of the Scottish Episcopal Church, then it has forfeited the right to claim that it stands in the tradition of orthodox Anglicanism and the Universal church
(2) The extent of the 'tear in the fabric of the Communion' is made even clearer, since, presumably, the Scottish bishops are by their statement aligning themselves with ECUSA and Canada as intending if necessary to 'walk apart' from the rest of the Communion
(3) The Scottish bishops' statement exacerbates the potential fracture within other Anglican churches in the British Isles, particularly the CoE - and that makes the Archbishop of Canterbury's task in holding the Communion and the CofE together more difficult
(4) As with the statement from the Salisbury six, the Scottish bishop's pronouncement raises the question whether they speak for their clergy and lay people as well as for themselves. Was it significant that the Scottish Synod did not discuss the statement at its recent meeting?
Dr Philip Giddings Convenor Anglican Mainstream UK
Canon Dr Chris Sugden
Contact: +44 (0)1865 883388
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