Kirk re­port on hu­man sex­u­al­ity pub­lished


THE lat­est re­port from the The­o­log­i­cal Fo­rum on hu­man sex­u­al­ity to come be­fore the Gen­eral As­sem­bly has been pub­lished.

The com­pre­hen­sive doc­u­ment will be con­sid­ered by com­mis­sion­ers in Ed­in­burgh next month.

The doc­u­ment has found its way into the pub­lic do­main ahead of sched­ule, be­fore all the Gen­eral As­sem­bly reports are pub­lished in the Blue Book on Thurs­day.

In light of the re­port ap­pear­ing in the na­tional press, the prin­ci­pal clerk has autho­rised its im­me­di­ate pub­li­ca­tion to al­low com­mis­sion­ers, mem­bers of the church and mem­bers of the pub­lic to un­der­stand fully the con­tent and con­text.

The Gen­eral As­sem­bly is be­ing asked to con­sider two key is­sues: au­tho­rise the Le­gal Ques­tions Com­mit­tee to un­der­take a fur­ther study on the le­gal im­pli­ca­tions of con­duct­ing same-sex mar­riages and re­port back to the Gen­eral As­sem­bly in 2018, and to in­vite the Church to take stock of its his­tory of discrimination at dif­fer­ent lev­els and in dif­fer­ent ways against gay people and to apol­o­gise in­di­vid­u­ally and cor­po­rately and seek to do bet­ter.

In re­leas­ing the re­port the Con­vener of the The­o­log­i­cal Fo­rum, the Very Rev Pro­fes­sor Iain Tor­rance, said: ‘The Re­port ad­dresses what has been a long-run­ning ar­gu­ment in all the churches.

‘In years past there has been an idea that in time one side in this ar­gu­ment would emerge as the sole vic­tor.

‘ We don’t think like that now.

‘That is why we are ar­gu­ing for what, last year, the Fo­rum called ‘con­strained dif­fer­ence’.

‘This is saying that within lim­its we can make space for more than one ap­proach.

‘It is closely sim­i­lar to what the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury calls ‘mu­tual flour­ish­ing’.

‘This is a cen­trist re­port, aimed at en­cour­ag­ing mu­tual flour­ish­ing.’

The Prin­ci­pal Clerk, the Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, said: ‘It is un­for­tu­nate that this re­port has found its way into the pub­lic do­main be­fore this year’s vol­ume of As­sem­bly Reports has been pub­lished.

‘How­ever, it is im­por­tant that people are now able to ac­cess the full re­port.

‘It will now be for the As­sem­bly to de­cide whether it wants to ask the Le­gal Ques­tions Com­mit­tee to pur­sue fur­ther re­search on the mat­ters which would re­quire to be ad­dressed in any new leg­is­la­tion per­mit­ting Min­is­ters and Dea­cons to of­fi­ci­ate at same-sex mar­riage cer­e­monies.

‘If the Gen­eral As­sem­bly does move in this di­rec­tion a fur­ther re­port will be heard in 2018.’

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