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The Scottish Episcopal Church has reprimanded one of its own rectors who orchestrated a rebellion against the selection of a new bishop.
Leaders told Rev Canon John Walker from St Marys Church in Inverurie they were "dismayed" by the "invidious" position he placed the incoming Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney in.
In a letter seen by Premier, they said: "We regard it as particularly regrettable that you have chosen to communicate with us by publicly releasing your letter and press release without any prior indication to us of your intentions and we are dismayed at the invidious position in which it places Canon Dyer as the Bishop elect of the diocese."
Earlier this month, Canon John Walker joined six other paid clergy from the diocese in accusing the Church of stoking "disquiet and division" by selecting Canon Anne Dyer.
The seven church leaders said the appointment of Canon Dyer - a supporter of same-sex marriage - would not reflect the views of Aberdeen and Orkney - a traditionally conservative diocese.
The Church's College of Bishops took over the selection process for a new Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney after the usual nomination process failed to produce three candidates.
Demanding that the diocese be given a vote on the appointment, Canon Walker and his fellow signatories said: "The protest, which we make regretting its necessity, centres on the actions of the four Scottish Bishops currently in office in making an appointment which directly goes against the established wishes of the Diocese on the views it would hope that our new Bishop would hold, and minister to us from the perspective of them."
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