Defrocked Methodist Pastor Reinstated

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(Photo: Melissa Lauber)

The United Methodist Church’s highest court has decided to overturn the defrocking of a Pennsylvania pastor who officiated his son’s same-sex wedding.

The United Methodist Judicial Council has ruled that Frank Schaefer, formerly pastor at Zion United Methodist Church of Iona, Lebanon, could have his clergy credentials reinstated.

A UMC spokesperson provided The Christian Post with a copy of the decision Monday morning, wherein the judicial council upheld the Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals’ decision overturning the defrocking of Schaefer.

“The judicial council … finds there are no errors in the application of the church law and judicial decisions. The penalty as modified by the committee on appeals stands,” read the decision. “The committee on appeals is fully authorized by the discipline to amend or modify the penalty of the trial court as long as the penalty is ‘not higher than that affixed at the hearing or trial.’ The Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals modified penalty does not violate the discipline.

In April 2007, Schaefer officiated the same-sex wedding of his eldest son, even though the UMC Book of Discipline forbids clergy from overseeing gay weddings.

Last year, a member of Zion UMC filed a complaint against Schaefer, charging him with violating the Book of Discipline.

Schaefer was found guilty in a church trial and suspended for 30 days, with the additional obligation that he must stop blessing gay unions or surrender his clergy credentials.

After refusing to agree to not perform any more gay marriages in the future, UMC officials defrocked Schaefer…Read More

Source and Original Content by Christian Post

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