Gay clergy in the Kirk

Without the central authority of the Catholic and Episcopal churches, the Kirk is very loosely coordinated through a vague committee system. This means that individual ministers and congregations can pretty much go their own way. Politically, the clergy is far to the left of their parishioners but that has rarely been a problem. The few Thatcherite ministers are much more likely to be found playing golf in the R & A than debating in the General Assembly. Theological issues rarely surface and the position of women elders (lay leaders in the congregation) provoked much more controversy than the ordination of women. The issue of homosexual clergy has long been the elephant in the living room. The General Assembly was hoping to quietly by-pass the issue and simply affirm the right of the Aberdeen congregation to call a minister of their choice. However, the lay editor of the Kirks monthly magazine, in her final excoriating editorial before retiring, kicked the issue high in the air and provoked the powerful evangelical wing. Shining “light” in the dark corners of a marriage or any relationship is rarely a great idea. It might have have been better if the editor had kept her personal views to herself.

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