A pastor is defrocked after officiating the wedding for his gay son, which violated doctrine, and he's called on the carpet to surrender his credentials. The bizarre piece to this story is that the wedding was seven years ago. According to ABC News on Dec. 19, the minister is shocked and upset as this was an “act of love” that the church has set out to punish him for.
Frank Schaefer refused to hand over his credentials when asked, so the board “deemed his credentials surrendered.” Schaefer was met by members of the board who didn’t want to do this. He said he got handshakes and hugs along with tearful apologies from the people who sit on the board that voted to defrock this man of the cloth. The board members declined making comments to the media.
For more than a decade Schaefer has led a congregation in the town of Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Back in 2007, Schaefer officiated the wedding of his gay son in Massachusetts, where same-sex unions are legal and a parishioner filed a complaint about this earlier this year.
While the Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian church members it is clear where it stands on the subject of homosexuality. It “rejects the practice of homosexuality as incompatible with Christian teaching.” The church bars their clergy from officiating same-sex unions.
A church jury suspended Schaefer for 30-days last month and suggested he use the time to decide whether or not he would be able to uphold the Book of Discipline created by the church. He was told he would need to resign if his answer was “no.” The date his decision needed to be made by was yesterday, Dec. 19.
Schaefer’s answer was “no,” that he could not follow a book that’s biased against people who are gay and a book that is contradictory. On Thursday morning Schaefer thought for sure the board wouldn’t take his credentials, he really thought they’d have a change of heart, but he was wrong. The pastor has appealed this decision.