A pastor defrocked for officiating his son’s gay wedding named Frank Schaefer is appealing the decision of the Methodist Church.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Methodist Church had the pastor defrocked for violating the Methodist Book of Discipline.
Like most churches in the United States, the Methodist Church has a strong stance against homosexuality based upon the Bible. While people in the LGBT community are openly invited to attend church services, such ideas are not encouraged, and pastors are banned from officiating same-sex unions or gay weddings.
Even though his son’s gay wedding took place in 2007 in Massachusetts, which became legal in 2004, Frank Schaefer was recently put on a 30 day suspension for “conducting a ceremony that celebrates homosexual unions and disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” The regional Board of Ordained Ministry was asking Schaefer to repent, but he refused, so they had the pastor defrocked… albeit, reluctantly, according to the ex-pastor:
“So many of them came to me and they shook my hand and some hugged me, and so many of them had tears in their eyes. They said, ‘We really don’t want to do this, you know that, don’t you?'”
Because of this seeming reluctance to have the pastor defrocked, Schaefer tried appealing the decision. So far the board has refused to comment, but their stance is unlikely to change since in 2012 a nationality meeting of the Methodist Church confirmed their official stance on homosexuality.
John Coleman, a spokesman for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the denomination, says they were forced to have the pastor defrocked because Schaefer refused to surrender his credentials:
“When asked to surrender his credentials as required by the verdict, he refused to do so. Therefore, because of his decision, the board was compelled by the jury’s decision to deem his credentials surrendered.”
Frank Schaefer is actually not the first time the Methodist Church has had a pastor defrocked. Back in 2004 Beth Stroud publicly announced he had become a lesbian so the church took action. And Stroud commented on Schaefer’s situation:
“(There’s) a lot more shock and surprise that in 2013 a mainstream church would put a pastor on trial for officiating at a same-sex wedding, particularly the wedding of his son.”
Another ex-Methodist pastor named Matt Berryman actually voluntarily turned in his credentials after embracing homosexuality. In open defiance of the Methodist leadership he and several other pastors have staged protests and even performed a gay marriage in Alabama even though that action was against state laws.
Do you agree the Methodist Church was right to have the pastor defrocked for officiating his son’s gay wedding? Or do you think the church should have worked with Frank Schaefer more?