Last month the Church of Ireland had an intense debate on the subject of same-sex marriage, after receiving a report that took four years to say very little, except that church people need to learn to differ graciously on such an emotional and complex issue. The Church of Ireland General Synod handed back this theological hot potato to their bishops for further guidance, and I don't envy these worthy men and one woman their task.
Only last week the Scots at their General Assembly seemed to move towards allowing its ministers to officiate at same-sex weddings in churches, but I am not so sure about that. Church politics are very subtle. The Scots are further ahead than the rest and allow clergy in same-sex civic partnerships to act as ministers and deacons in those congregations which are happy that they do so.
However, in last week's General Assembly in Edinburgh, the Church of Scotland passed the issue to yet another committee which is due to report back next year. It seems that every time the supporters of same-sex marriage force the subject on to the annual agendas, it is steered back into the ecclesiastical long grass for further consideration. The reality is that the major churches do not want to be forced to vote finally 'Yes' or 'No'... they know rightly that any decision to approve same-sex marriage will split their churches down the middle. Read more via Belfast Telegraph