A councillor has announced he will leave the Church of Scotland as a result of its appointment of an openly gay minister.

John Hogg, who represents a ward on the Moray council in northeast Scotland, announced resignation from the church citing, “fudging of the issue of ordaining openly practising homosexuals”.

He follows Reverend Thomas Mackinnon who last week told his Kilmuir and Logie Easter congregation that he would resign over the appointment.

According to the Press and Journal, Hogg said he could not “be a part of a church which places secular liberalism above the authority of the Bible”.

Hogg, an independent councillor, intends to continue worshipping at, and supporting, Alves church, but will not accept communion.

The councilor insisted his decision to remove himself as a communicant member of the church was not a condemnation of homosexuals.

He said: “My decision is based upon three issues; two linked and one separate. Firstly, the General Assembly’s challenge to the authority of the Bible with, and secondly, the undermining of Christian authority in the developing world and, thirdly, the assembly’s tacit acceptance of medically-dangerous practices.

“Great, timeless, fundamental wisdoms are denied; Christian authority in some of the world’s most desperate societies weakened; scientific and medical authority is discounted.

“One crucial issue for me is the distinction between homosexual celibacy and activity. Just as fornication and adultery preclude moral and spiritual authority, so must homosexual practices.”

Rev Rennie’s appointment as Scotland’s first openly gay minister caused controversy in recent weeks, with thousands of names added to a petition opposing his induction, prompting fears of a schism in the church to a degree not seen since the 19th century Disruption.