Thursday, February 01, 2007

Episcopal Diocese Threatens to Defrock Priests Who Follow Biblical Teaching Regarding Homosexuality

A bishop in the Episcopal diocese of Virginia is threatening to defrock priests who follow biblical teaching on homosexuality.

Virginia Bishop Peter Lee this week officially warned clergy who disagree with the guidelines that they have six months to change. Twenty-one clergymen have left the diocese over the denomination's stand on the issue.

Patrick Getlein, a diocese spokesman, was reticent to talk about the spiritual implications.

“I’m not really in a position to talk about the theology of this," he told Family News in Focus. "I’m happy to talk about the nuts and bolts of this going on, but if you want that kind of interview, I’d be happy to set you up with someone.”

The Rev. Todd Wetzel of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Cedar Hill, Texas, former director of Episcopalians United, said he’s seen the fallout coming.

“The issue is really on the authority of Scripture and the departures of the Episcopal Church consistently over the last 40 years,” he said. “The Episcopal Church is stepping further down the path of apostasy.”

Bishop Martyn Minns, who will lead the clergy members who have objected, agreed that changing views on moral issues have contributed to the problem, but he said the church should not accommodate the culture.

“I’m more than willing to say that we all fall short and we all need God’s healing and transforming grace," he said. "But when we start saying that God’s intention as is shown in Scripture has now been changed, then we’re really in trouble.

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