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Church of Scotland lifts moratorium

Timothy Kincaid

May 23rd, 2011

Four hundred fifty years ago, the Scottish Parliament adopted the Protestant Confession of Faith and established the Church of Scotland influenced by the theology of John Calvin and based on the teachings and administrative structure of John Knox. Immigrants to the Americas from Scotland brought this faith with them and it became known as Presbyterianism.

So it is fitting that this month has a parallel movement between the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Church of Scotland. (Guardian)

Scotland’s largest protestant church has voted to allow gay men and lesbians to become ministers.

The Church of Scotland imposed a temporary ban after the appointment of Scott Rennie, a gay minister, to a church in Aberdeen in 2009.

The general assembly, the church’s law-making body, voted on Monday morning to lift that moratorium, officially allowing gay ministers to take on parishes for the first time since it was founded in 1560-1 by John Knox, a leading figure in the Scottish reformation.

The Church of Scotland hold religious prominence in the country with about 40% of Scots identifying with the denomination (a plurality) though only about 9% of Scottish residents are active members of the Kirk.

It is yet to be determined whether gay ministers will be required to live in celibacy or whether those in committed relationship may serve. And only time will tell whether threats of schism will materialize.

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