With the Church of Scotland encountering increasing difficulties around same sex marriage and its General Assembly’s recent decision to allow gay men and women to become ministers, are we about to embark on a period of influx to the Catholic faith in Scotland?
Divisions among the hierarchy and congregation of Scotland’s principal protestant church have been keenly felt in recent years with the growth of secularism and an increased drive towards social equality. The Church of Scotland has opened its doors to new ways of thinking around delicate issues such as women bishops and same sex marriage. It now plans to open that door further following formal approval to ordain actively gay ministers.
While the Church of Scotland has opened the door wider on this issue, its Christian brothers and sisters on the Catholic side, have left the door closed and the lock firmly bolted.
Some within the Church of Scotland see this as an opportunity for the church to embrace increasing social equality while others believe, with justification, that the Bible does not permit sexual relations between people of the same sex; in fact, it explicitly forbids it.
The Catholic Church will simply have no truck with altering its long-held 2,000 year old position, quite unlike its protestant brothers and sisters who, having already opened the door slightly, now find themselves struggling to keep out the increasing secular force at the other side.
For any Christian, this sort of pandering should leave an uneasy feeling in the soul. I know that, as Catholic, I personally feel an increasing degree of anxiety around the Church of Scotland’s constant manoeuvring and straying from the Truth to ‘fit in with the times’ at the expense of the Word of God.
Don't get me wrong, while the Catholic Church remains steadfast in its opposition to sexual relations between people of the same sex, it is still a Church that is open to everyone. However, like any organisation, it has its own set of rules and tradition requiring compliance. This is no different to any organisation in society never mind those which are distinctly religious.
The Anglican Church in Ireland has already witnessed mass emigration to the Catholic faith in recent years, with hundreds returning to full communion with the Church formed by Christ and built by Peter. Will our protestant brothers and sisters in Scotland feel a similar desire to come home?