A man getting baptized. Photo/Pixabay

Church of Scotland to consider online baptisms, Communion

By  Trevor Grundy, Religion News Service
  • May 19, 2016

CANTERBURY, England – The Church of Scotland will launch a two-year investigation into the possibility of introducing online baptisms, Communion and other Christian sacraments.

The church, known as The Kirk, has seen its rolls fall by almost one-third between 2004 and 2015, to just under 364,000 members.

Some 750 commissioners from congregations across Scotland and other parts of the world are scheduled to meet in Edinburgh May 21-27 for its annual General Assembly.

The church’s Legal Questions Committee, which is responsible for advising the General Assembly, the church’s lawmaking body, is pushing for “a wide-ranging review of practice and procedure which is impacted by the use of new technology in church life.”

It adds: “Now is the time to open up a wide range of discussion on these contemporary developments.”

Baptism, one of the key Christian sacraments, normally demands the physical presence of the person undergoing the rite.

Section 9.6 of the General Assembly’s Blue Book points out that there are no easy answers to some of the questions being asked, “but, in a world where the fastest growing communities are being fostered online, the committee believes that now is the time to open up a wide range discussion on these contemporary developments.”

David Robertson, moderator of the Free Church of Scotland, whose members broke from the Church of Scotland in 1843, said: “The notion of online baptism is as ridiculous as the nation of online weddings or online Communion. At best it is a cheap gimmick, at worst it comes across as yet another desperate attempt by a declining national church to shore up its numbers and justify its existence.”

Comments (1)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

When The Catholic Register reprints a story from Religion News Service, it is essential that the story be edited for a Catholic audience. Reprinting the sentence, "Baptism ... normally demands the physical presence of the person undergoing the...

When The Catholic Register reprints a story from Religion News Service, it is essential that the story be edited for a Catholic audience. Reprinting the sentence, "Baptism ... normally demands the physical presence of the person undergoing the rite" is unacceptable for a Catholic publication.

Read More
Noel McFerran
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

  1. Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

Support The Catholic Register

Unlike many other news websites, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our site. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.