Sunday, May 24, 2009

I Can't Quite Believe My Eyes

From the AP and currently appearing on the NYT front page: Church of Scotland Votes to Appoint Gay Minister

The Church of Scotland has voted in favor of appointing an openly gay minister -- the latest case involving sexuality to create a division in the Anglican Communion.

[...]

The case has divided Scottish religious leaders and follows tensions within the worldwide 77 million-member Anglican Communion. About 900 elders and ministers took part in a debate on Rennie's case, but many chose to abstain from casting a vote.

Anglicans have conducted lengthy debate over sexuality issues since the Episcopal Church -- the Anglican body in the U.S. -- consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire in 2003.


Emphasis added.

It is a matter of some considerable historical importance that the Church of Scotland is not an Anglican church or part of the Anglican Communion. There is a church in Scotland that is part of the Communion, the Scottish Episcopal Church, but this is not that; this is the much larger, and official, Church of Scotland. A reporter who lacked any knowledge of the history, or of Scotland, but who knew a little bit about religion, might have noticed that the decisionmaking structure involving "about 900 elders and ministers" judging a minister didn't seem very much like that involved in confirming Robinson's appointment as bishop, insofar as it lacked a House of Bishops. Decisionmaking by "ministers and elders" is an institutional form distinctively associated with Presbyterianism ("presbyter" = "elder"). Episcopal churches have bishops ("episcopos" = "bishop.") The Church of Scotland is Presbyterian. Anglican Churches are Episcopal.

2 comments:

X. Trapnel said...

Did you email either the AP or the NYT about the mistake? It's still uncorrected on the Times' site.

Jacob T. Levy said...

I have.