Presbyterian Leaders Resist Meeting on Gays
The two top leaders of the Presbyterian Church (USA) said they oppose a proposal pushed by members of an Orange County church to convene a special nationwide church meeting to discipline churches and pastors who have ordained gays and lesbians.
Presbyterian church law bans the ordination of noncelibate gays and lesbians, but some churches have sidestepped the rule.
Two members of a Presbyterian church in Newport Beach, have circulated a petition to force a special assembly to deal with the issue.
One of them, Alex Metherell, said church leaders have left the denomination in a “constitutional crisis” by ignoring violations of church law.
In a letter to regional church leaders, the Presbyterian’s Stated Clerk, Clifton Kirkpatrick, opposed the move, saying “there is no constitutional crisis,” and intervention by an assembly into the church’s 190 courts “would create just such a crisis.”
In a separate letter, the denomination’s Moderator, Fahed Abu-Akel, said a special assembly would drain money from the cash-strapped church and upset its judicial processes.
“The time, energy and money that we would spend on a special meeting need to be spent in mission in the name of Christ,” Abu-Akel said in his letter.