Pennsylvania Pastor Defrocked After Performing Gay Son's Wedding, Offered New Job In California
We previously reported on the woes of Reverend Frank Schaefer who, after performing his gay son's wedding ceremony in 2007, ended up receiving a thirty-day suspension for breaking Methodist Church doctrine. Now the punishment has become more severe. After meeting with church officials on Thursday, Schaefer was told that would need to follow the Book of Discipline, or resign from his position at the church. Schaefer stated that the doctrine is discriminatory, and also that he would not willfully resign, according to an AP article. As such, church officials decided to defrock him.
Rev. Schaefer has now become an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community.
NBC Philadelphia reports:
"I cannot voluntarily surrender my credentials because I am a force now for many, for tens of thousands of LGBT members in our church," said the Rev. Frank Schaefer at a news conference Monday in Philadelphia...
"I cannot uphold the United Methodist Book of Discipline in its entirety," Schaefer said.
"I just cannot. In fact, I dont' believe anyone can."
The minister says the Book of Discipline is filled with contradictory statements making it difficult for any clergymen to support all the competing ideas it describes.
For Schaefer, the Methodist church laws that affect his gay son are the most challenging.
"In particular," he said, "I cannot uphold those discriminatory laws ...that are hurtful and harmful to our homosexual brothers and sisters in the church."
Now, Schaefer has received a job offer from his United Methodist brethren on the west coast. He has been invited to join the California-Pacific Annual Conference specifically based on his anti-discriminatory stance. Rev. Schaefer has said he is considering the offer, though according to a news report from Newsy, the official responsible for the job offer would be unable to reinstate his ministerial abilities.