Evangelical Coalition To Disobedient Pro-homosexuality Bishops: "We're Watching You!"
CUMA Press Release:
|THE COALITION FOR UNITED METHODIST ACCOUNTABILITY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 8, 2000
Coalition Planning Further Action
For United Methodist Accountability
DALLAS, TX -- The Coalition for United Methodist Accountability (CUMA), a group of church renewal leaders within the 8.4 million member denomination, met in Dallas September 7 & 8 to consider further actions-including the filing of complaints and/or charges-against a number of clergy and bishops for their disobedience of church law, especially regarding homosexuality.
CUMA was formed in February of this year as a coalition "of United Methodist laity and clergy who have come together to seek doctrinal, fiscal, and procedural accountability in the life of the United Methodist Church." CUMA is composed of representatives of Good News, the Confessing Movement, and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.
"We believe the witness and ministry of our church is being undermined by increasing disobedience to church doctrine and standards, neglect of due process, and unfair administration on the part of some bishops and district superintendents," the group said at its organizational meeting in Indianapolis in February. Dr. John Stumbo, CUMAs Legal Coordinator, said about the current crises in the church, "Our churchs leaders, especially our bishops, must uphold the laws of our church. They are not above the law simply because they are bishops."
The United Methodist Church, as a matter of official church policy, prohibits same-sex union ceremonies and the ordination of practicing homosexuals into the ministry. In accordance with the Scriptures and with traditional Christian teachings, the denomination cites heterosexual marriage as the proper context for sexuality. Yet a number of bishops have disagreed publicly with the policy and have been reluctant to enforce it. And hundreds of clergy have openly expressed their willingness to defy church law by conducting same-sex union ceremonies.
CUMA has been assisting and will continue to assist local clergy and laity in responding to other clergy, district superintendents and bishops who are persistently neglecting church law. Responses have included the filing of charges against church leaders, where a conviction can mean a suspension or removal from the ordained ministry. Among the situations CUMA is currently investigating are:
"It is obvious that clergy are refusing to abide by our churchs teachings, in large part because of a failure of episcopal leadership in their jurisdictions," noted Rev. Gallaway, chairman of CUMAs Steering Committee. "When church law is allowed to be openly violated, CUMA will urge and assist the church in holding those bishops responsible in all appropriate forums," he added.
For more information about the above cases and CUMAs response to them, please contact the above listed leaders at the phone numbers provided.
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