by Rex Wockner
International News Briefs
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland voted 326-267 on May 24 to uphold the appointment of a partnered gay minister at a parish in Aberdeen.
The Rev. Scott Rennie was appointed to the parish a year ago but had been unable to assume his duties as opponents sought to block the move.
In issuing its decision, the General Assembly ordered a moratorium on the appointment of any more gay ministers until a church commission studies the issue and reports back in 2011.
Church ministers opposed to Rennie’s placement have vowed to withhold collection plate funds from the national church in retaliation.
“The General Assembly has shown itself to be seriously out of touch with its grassroots in the churches,” said the Revs. David Court of Edinburgh and William Philip of Glasgow. “But it should remember that these are the people who have – hitherto, at least – kept a creaking denomination afloat financially. There will be a great deal less willingness to do that from now on.”
The Church of Scotland – “the Kirk” – is Presbyterian and counts 14 percent of Scots as members, though 42 percent of the population named it as their denomination in the 2001 census.