The Head of the Church of Scotland has been criticised over his links to a company behind a film that is against the idea of accepting homosexuality.
The Moderator of the General Assembly, Right Reverend Albert Bogle, was a previous director of Sanctus Media, the company that has sent out a “partisan” pro-traditionalist DVD to all of Scotland’s 900 parish ministers.
Reverend Albert Bogle has also been criticised for allowing Sanctus Media to use his West Lothian manse as its headquarters, when he vacated the building for a separate residence.
A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said: “For the duration of his moderatorial year, Mr Bogle has vacated the manse of St Andrew’s, Bo’ness, and the congregation has allowed Sanctus Media, a not-for-profit company, to use the premises in the meantime.”
Although he quit the company when he took on his General Assembly Moderator role, one source said: “Many in the Church are deeply unhappy the Moderator has become embroiled in a partisan production when his office is meant to be a source of unity for the whole Church.”
The DVD – sent out ahead of a critical debate on allowing gay clergy in eight weeks’ time – features parish minister Dr Alistair May saying: “The important thing to remember is it is quite explicit within the New Testament that homosexual practice is not to be condoned.”
Sanctus Media has said it had no input in the content of the DVD, made under commercial contract, which features several ministers offering the traditionalist message.
The sleeve notes say the group presents “one side of the argument” on the production called ‘Facing the Reality – Can Someone in a Same Sex Relationship be a Christian Minister?’
It adds: “The purpose of this DVD is to examine why many ministers and members of the Church want us to retain the traditionalist understanding of homosexual practice despite increasing pressure from within our rapidly changing society.”
Reverend Wilma Pearson, an associate minister in Glasgow, later says: “I struggle to see how a practising homosexual minister can address particular texts in scripture saying although the Bible says this is wrong, my lifestyle says I don’t think it’s wrong.”