Two Kirk ministers face censure over gay debate

Two evangelical ministers in the Church of Scotland may face being disciplined by the Kirk because they have written letters to newspapers about the recent row over homosexuality.

The appointment of divorced father-of-one and openly gay minister, Scott Rennie, to a parish in Aberdeen has been backed by the Kirk.

But Ivor MacDonald and David Randall may be reprimanded for talking about the matter to the press.

At a recent meeting of the General Assembly the Kirk decided to have a two year freeze on the appointment of gay clergy and clergy were urged not to talk about the row in public.

But since then Revd MacDonald and Revd Randall have both written to newspapers about the matter, leading to speculation that they may be admonished.

On Wednesday, Revd Ivor MacDonald said: “The position is that we were ‘urged’ not to speak on this and I will be happy to speak.”

In his letter to the Herald, describing events at the General Assembly before the Scott Rennie vote, Revd MacDonald, said: “The Moderator ruled that I could speak but that I could not mention homosexuality.”

Revd David Randall of Loudoun Church, Newmilns, Irvine sent a letter to the Scotsman newspaper criticising the General Assembly’s decision over the gay minister.

Revd Colin Brockie, the clerk of Irvine and Kilmarnock Presbytery said he would be examining the letter.

Earlier this week a commission to investigate the issue of gay ministers over the next two years was set up by the Kirk. It will be convened by Lord Hodge.

Although Revd Rennie’s appointment is to stand, the General Assembly has ruled that no further ordinations of practicing gay ministers would take place until the end of the two year probe into the issue of homosexuality.

A report is expected in 2011.

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