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Church of Scotland May See Mass Resignations Over Gay Clergy

Church of Scotland May See Mass Resignations Over Gay Clergy


As many as 150 ministers in the Church of Scotland are threatening to resign over the church's decision to allow openly gay clergy, London's Guardian reports.

The church's general assembly, its governing body, opened the way to ordination of gay clergy in May, lifting a moratorium on appointment of gay and lesbian clergy that had been imposed after a gay man, Scott Rennie, became a minister in 2009. There will not be full inclusion of gay clergy until at least 2013, following completion of a study by church leaders.

Still, the Guardian reports, "senior sources estimate as many as 150 serving ministers are considering resignation, in the largest schism in the church since 474 ministers quit in 1843 to form the Free Church of Scotland." The dissatisfied clergy may form another breakaway denomination, some observers said, but a spokesman for the church contended the objections to gay clergy are not so widespread.

The church is Scotland's largest Protestant denomination. Read more about the controversy here.

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