Changing Attitude Scotland welcomes the opportunity to comment on the official statement from the Primates’ Meeting of the Anglican Communion in 2016.
It is a matter of regret that the US based Episcopal Church has been told it cannot represent the Anglican Communion on interfaith and ecumenical bodies and also that the US church cannot vote in deliberations within the communion for three years where matters of polity and doctrine are being discussed. This will particularly include the Anglican Consultative Council a body which only meets every two or three years. We note that very few motions are presented at the Anglican Consultative Council which actually deal with matters of doctrine or polity and whilst regretting the snub to the US based church believe that its involvement within the life of the Communion will remain substantial.
It appears that the Anglican Communion has applied sanctions to itself rather than to the US based Episcopal Church and there is little logic to be found in limiting in any way the ability of the Anglican Consultative Council to be consultative.
Rather than seeing the “sanctions” being applied to the US based Episcopal Church as that church being sent to the naughty step for three years, Changing Attitude Scotland believes that it is possible that in time this may be seen as the emergence of a group of provinces in which the full inclusion of LGBT people will be an unquestioned badge of honour. We will work for the Scottish Episcopal Church to join such a grouping. Over the last few years in Scotland we have seen public opinion change from being broadly suspicious of gay and lesbian people to public opinion being broadly supportive of gay and lesbian people. We believe that we see the same thing happening across the world and that this change is unstoppable. The acknowledgement that it was merely a majority of Primates who shared in reaffirming the definition of marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman for life indicates that change is already present at every level within the Anglican Communion. The views that we have championed are now held by Anglican Primates.
At one time all Anglican Communion statements were predicated on the view that the only understanding of marriage was that it was exclusively between a man and a woman and that only that view could ever be held with integrity by godly Christians. In the statement from the Primates’ Meeting of 2016 this is suddenly acknowledged no longer to be the case.
We are pleased that all members of the Anglican Communion remain members of the Anglican Communion and note that the Primates have made no mention of the so-called Anglican Church of North America.
The Primates acknowledge that it is possible that other provinces may follow the US based Episcopal Church in allowing same-sex couples to marry in church. It is our hope that Scotland will become one of the first to do so and that many others will subsequently follow.