Via Integra

Fr Mark's progressive Anglo-Catholic take on European Christianity

  • This is my collection of material about the current state of the churches in Europe. I am interested in looking at how they are dealing with the pressing issues of our time: the issues of gay people and women in ministry/ leadership are particularly pressing at the moment, as is the area of declining church attendance.

    I would like to see how Europe's traditional religious institutions are coping with the new Europe currently being forged, in which public opinion and ethical attitudes are becoming inceasingly pan-European, and are evidently presenting a series of strong challenges for the churches.

Scottish Episcopal Church – the gay issue

Posted by Fr Mark on August 8, 2009

tribeofdan02Scottish_Episcopal_Church_logoClergy of the Scottish Episcopal Church may already perform same-sex blessings, although the Church has not yet approved an official liturgy:



Senior cleric comes out for gay weddings in church

 From New Scotsman, 12 July 2009
By Marc Horne

A SENIOR Scottish clergyman has “come out” and launched a campaign for gay couples to be given the right to get married in church.
The Very Reverend Kelvin Holdsworth has spoken publicly about his sexuality and called for Holyrood to change the law to allow same-sex partners to tie the knot in the same way as straight couples.
In a frank and outspoken interview, the Provost of St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow said that gay clergy would eventually be able to get married in their own churches and offered a “blessing of peace” to an Anglican bishop who called on homosexuals to “repent”.
He also claimed he was aware of “numerous” gay and lesbian priests employed by his church and insisted that Scotland was “more grown up” than England in dealing with issues of sexuality.

His intervention comes shortly after the Church of Scotland came close to splitting over the appointment of an openly homosexual minister.

Current legislation stipulates that civil partnerships cannot take place in churches, and Holdsworth has called for the “discriminatory” policy to be scrapped.

The priest’s remarks have been warmly welcomed by gay rights groups, but have met with opposition from a neighbouring Episcopal church.

Holdsworth said his sexuality is known throughout the Church and by members of his congregation, who are fully supportive, but felt the time was right to speak out on the issue to a wider audience.

He said: “Civil partnerships contain many of the same rights and privileges as marriage, but they are not the same. You can’t celebrate a civil partnership in a church and if I tried to I’d be breaking the law.

“I want every gay couple to be able to walk down the street holding hands if they wish to do so.

“I also want every gay couple to be able to walk down the aisle holding hands if theywant to too.

” I want to alert MSPs to this, so parliament can bring in this relatively small, but veryimportant, change.”

The priest was initially against gay marriage, but changed his mind after being approached by a male couple who asked him to bless their partnership.

“It really convinced me that the way people feel about one another is exactly the same, whether the couple is gay or straight.”

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