Scottish Anglican Bishops Say Gay Clergy will be Accepted

Bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Church said they will not halt the ordination of active homosexuals, placing them at odds with the majority of the world’s Anglican community.

In a statement released on its website earlier this month, the Scottish bishops said their church “has never regarded the fact that someone was in a close relationship with a member of the same sex as in itself constituting a bar to the exercise of an ordained ministry.”

``The Scottish Episcopal Church has sought to be welcoming and open to persons of homosexual orientation in our congregations,'' the statement further elaborated.

The church’s statement was made at the wake of the formation of the largest rift in recent Anglican history. At an international Anglican meeting last month, the Communion asked the U.S. and Canadian branch of the church to refrain from taking part in a key global gathering until 2008. The request was made in light of the North American churches’ liberal stances on homosexuality.

Scotland's bishops also expressed regret over the request for the two churches to withdraw.

"We are conscious that as a church we are much indebted in our life both to a significant presence of persons of homosexual orientation, and also those whose theology and stance would be critical of attitudes to sexuality other than abstinence outside marriage,” the statement read.

"We rejoice in both," the bishops' response said.