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Loop Hole Widens: UM High Court Says, Openly Gay Pastors Can Stay! (if the bishops say, "yea")

Excepts taken from: Yahoo! News - Methodist Court Overturns Decision

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A United Methodist court Thursday overturned its earlier decision that made church bishops suspend pastors who are under disciplinary review.

The ruling involved an openly gay pastor in Seattle, whose supervising bishop sought the Judicial Council's guidance last fall. The court said Thursday that only the bishop had the authority to impose suspensions.

Bishop Elias Galvan of Seattle said Thursday he would not suspend the Rev. Mark Edward Williams. The pastor still could lose his appointment at Woodland Park United Methodist Church as a result of disciplinary proceedings.

Under the book's guidelines, pastors should be suspended when their conduct affects the life of the congregation, the pastor's own life, or the lives of those around him, Galvan said in Seattle.

"I don't see at the present time that any of those situations have happened," he said.

He disclosed his sexual orientation last June at the Methodists' Pacific Northwest Annual Conference.

The United Methodist's Book of Discipline forbids the ordination of openly gay pastors!


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