Friday, June 27, 2008

Scruples Matter: On How I Can Be a Pastor and Gay in the PCUSA

There's this news from the GA gathering in San Jose on the AP wire line:

"Of equal importance to advocates on both side of the debate, the assembly also voted to allow gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object to the existing standard. Local presbyteries and church councils that approve ordinations would consider such requests on a case-by-case basis.

That vote was an "an authoritative interpretation" of the church constitution rather than a change to it, so it goes into effect immediately. The interpretation supersedes a ruling from the church's high court, issued in February, that said there were no exceptions to the so-called "fidelity and chastity" requirement."

Here's the language:

The assembly also adopted an authoritative interpretation proposed by John Knox Presbytery on G-6.0108 to ensure proper application of ordination standards by a vote of 375-325. It reads:

"The 218th General Assembly (2008) affirms the authoritative interpretation of G-6.0108 approved by the 217th General Assembly (2006). Further, the 218th General Assembly (2008), pursuant to G-13.0112, interprets the requirements of G-6.0108 to apply equally to all ordination standards of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Section G-6.0108 requires examining bodies to give prayerful and careful consideration, on an individual, case-by-case basis, to any departure from an ordination standard in matters of belief or practice that a candidate may declare during examination. However, the examining body is not required to accept a departure from standards, and cannot excuse a candidate's inability to perform the constitutional functions unique to his or her office (such as administration of the sacraments)."
In other words, if I have a difference with a part of the Constitution of the Church, I can, on the basis of "scruples" or "qualm," disagree with the Church conscientiously. On the issue of being gay AND opposing the ordination standards, e.g., fidelity and chastity, I can openly disagree with it AND still be ordained.

Click here for more.

I think I have a scruple!



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