Methodist Minister Who Officiated At Gay Wedding Is Defrocked | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Methodist Minister Who Officiated At Gay Wedding Is Defrocked

Leaders of the United Methodist Church have defrocked a Pennsylvania minister who officiated at the wedding of his son to another man, NPR's John Burnett tells our Newscast Desk.

John reports that:

"Rev. Frank Schaefer had been suspended for 30 days by Methodist officials for marrying his son six years ago in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal. But the denomination's Book of Discipline is clear that same-sex marriage is 'incompatible with Christian teaching,' though gays are welcome to attend worship.

"Schaefer refused to give up his pulpit in central Pennsylvania as a show of his support for gay parishioners, and of his desire that Methodist doctrine be updated. And so Thursday morning, at a short meeting with Methodist officials at a retreat center outside of Philadelphia, the pastor was stripped of his ecclesiastical duties."

Though the wedding was in 2007, it wasn't until this year that Schaefer's congregation in Lebanon, Pa., learned of it, according to the Lebanon Daily News. Church member Jon Boger filed a complaint with Methodist officials. He said last month that Schaefer had "openly rebuked the United Methodist Church and its policies."

Boger's complaint led to Thursday's decision by the United Methodists' Board of Ordained Ministry.

For his part, Schaefer said this week that "I cannot uphold the Book of Discipline in its entirety. In fact, I don't believe anybody can." He declined a request that he voluntarily resign.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

A Historic Backdrop Frames Forbidden Love In 'The Paying Guests'

Sarah Waters' latest novel, set in 1920s London, examines the moral consequences of passion. Though slightly too long, this book brings the past to life with exquisite clarity.
NPR

Before You Take A Bite Of That Mushroom, Consider This

Guess what scientists found lurking inside a common-looking packet of supermarket porcini? Three entirely new species of fungi. That's what happens when you DNA sequence your dinner.
NPR

Move To Curb U.S. Corporate Tax Dodges Could Delay Reform

Business and consumer groups say Congress needs to reform taxes, but few expect change soon. In fact, Treasury's tweaks to tax law may diminish the political will to address broader tax reform.
WAMU 88.5

Montgomery County's Drones Are Ready, But Policy Isn't

The county government has purchased four drones for use by its fire department and innovation office, but bureaucracy is keeping them grounded for now.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.