Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Methodist Appeals Commitment Reinstates Ministerial Cedentials to Defrocked Pastor Who'd Officiated at his Son's Wedding

Remember Rev. Frank Schaefer? He was recently defrocked from the United Methodist Church after he got in trouble for officiating at his gay son's wedding six years ago (read here, here, and here for background). Rev. Schaefer eventually appealed this decision -- and a UMC appeals committee ended up overturning his conviction and punishment!:
A United Methodist Church appeals committee — a nine-member panel made up of laypeople and clergy — said Tuesday that it had decided to overturn the punishment of Frank Schaefer, who with three gay children and a determination to celebrate their relationships has become an unexpected champion of gays and lesbians in church life. The panel deemed the punishment too harsh...

The appeals panel did not question Mr. Schaefer’s guilt but significantly altered his punishment. It changed his penalty to a 30-day suspension, which it deemed to have already taken place...

The decision by the appeals panel can be appealed to the church’s Judicial Council; it was not immediately clear whether church officials would choose to pursue that course.
Schaeffer's credentials are to be restored immediately and he is to be compensated for all lost salary and benefits from the date that he had lost his credentials back in December 2013.

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