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Church of Scotland votes to allow gay ministers

Traditionalists threaten to leave as Scotland's national Church faces one of the most divisive issues since its formation in 1560.

Traditionalists threaten to leave as Scotland's national Church faces one of the most divisive issues since its formation in 1560.

The Church of Scotland's General Assembly narrowly voted in favour of temporarily lifting a ban on recruiting and ordaining gay and lesbian ministers.

A matter of contention within the Kirk for some time, on 23 May 2011 the General Assembly also agreed to establish a Commission to address theological issues around same-sex relationships. The Theological Commission is due to report in 2013 before a final decision on the issue is taken.

The controversy follows the appointment in 2009 of the Kirk's first openly gay minister, Reverend Scott Rennie. Traditionalist members of the Kirk failed to block Mr Rennie's appointment as the minister counted with the support of his own Aberdeen congregation.

A report on the implications of the Rennie affair said the Kirk was critically divided by the issue of ordaining gay and lesbian clergy.

With the Church of Scotland already suffering from falling numbers, the report warned that one in five members would leave in protest if the Kirk finally resolves to ordain gay ministers.

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Celtic Countries is the online magazine for people who enjoy the Celtic nations, their natural splendour, culture, and lifestyles.

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