The Scottish Episcopal Church has responded to sanctions from the worldwide Anglican communion on its decision to perform gay marriages in church with the pro-LGBT maxim: “Love means love.”
Anglican primates meeting in Canterbury agreed Tuesday the Scottish Episcopal Church should be excluded from ecumenical and decision-making processes for three years after it voted in June to amend canon law that states marriage is between a man and a woman, reports The Guardian.
Bishop of Moray, Ross, and Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Mark Strange said of the decision that he recognised the Scottish church’s actions “caused some hurt and anger in parts of the Anglican communion”, but stood by its actions to abandon biblical teaching.
“I will do all I can to rebuild relationships, but that will be done from the position our church has now reached in accordance with its synodical processes and in the belief that love means love,” Bishop Strange said.
Church of England Votes in Favour of ‘Marking’ a Person’s Gender Transition with Religious Ceremony https://t.co/kYFUfcmGPU
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In January 2016, the communion took similar action against the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America leading to it being banned from taking part in internal committees and involvement in decision making for three years as a result of the U.S. Church’s pro-gay marriage stance.
Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said it made him “very sad” to impose the conditions on a sister church. He told a press conference on Tuesday that despite his belief a split in the church between conservatives and progressives was not inevitable, the differences were irreconcilable: “That’s a fact, and it’s no use pretending it isn’t.”
Earlier this week, Archbishop Welby struggled to give a “straight answer” to GQ magazine on the biblical teaching on gay sex, saying: “Inherently, within myself, the things that seem to me to be absolutely central are around faithfulness, stability of relationships and loving relationships.”
At one point in the interview with the men’s magazine, Welby appeared to be suggesting that the “will of God” changes depending on the current year, saying: “I am having to struggle to be faithful to the tradition, faithful to the scripture, to understand what the call and will of God is in the 21st century.”
Amendments put forward by supporters of biblical marriage at the Church's General Assembly were defeated. https://t.co/cdiPpvLxt1
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The biblical, conservative body within the Anglican communion have been pressured in recent years over the issues of same-sex wedding ceremonies in churches – and indeed gay marriage for clergy – by progressive factions.
This past summer, the General Synod of the Church of England voted to ‘welcome transgender people’ by considering preparing a church service as a way to “mark a person’s gender transition”.
And in May, a leading figure in the (Protestant and Presbyterian) Church of Scotland told its General Assembly there is “no theological reason” to oppose same-sex marriage, which is anticipated to pave the way for same-sex weddings in its churches.
According to the Christian Post, the Very Reverend Professor Iain Torrance acknowledges the Bible condemns same-sex acts but claimed Scripture was framed by a “cultural context” that is no longer applicable.