Meanwhile, in Scotland

Rev Scott Rennie

The Church of Scotland prepares to ordain an partnered gay man.

There is, of course, opposition, and here. Nonetheless Rev Rennie has strong support from his prospective congregation - more than 80% of whom voted for him - and from the presbytery in Aberdeen.

The Aberdeen case requires a decision. The big problem for the Kirk is how to deal with this matter justly, without provoking a damaging split. I think it can be done. Here's how. The congregation of Queen's Cross want Scott Rennie as their minister, backed by the Presbytery of Aberdeen. The General Assembly should support them. The Assembly should also promote a process of further study, dialogue and discernment.

In the midst of all the current problems of the world, the sight of the Church of Scotland getting its theological knickers in a twist over a couple of people in a committed relationship is not a pretty one. Scott Rennie is a fine minister, and a good and brave man. Future Kirk generations will look back on this - as this generation does with regard to the abolition of slavery and the ordination of women - and wonder what the fuss was all about.

And behind the reckless talk about a new Disruption, there lies a profound irony. Why did the ministers walk out of the Auld Kirk? It was because they wanted congregations to have the right to choose their own ministers.

(Last January the Scottish Sun's headline read: Churchmen fight to dump gay Rev)

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