Defrocked pastor who performed gay son’s wedding begins appeal
A pastor who was defrocked by his church for officiating at his gay son’s wedding begins an appeal to get his job back today.
After gaining international attention for his campaign to keep his job as a United Methodist Church Minister, Frank Schaefer, 52, has already said he would like to work as a minister again for the church.
He begins an appeal on Friday in Baltimore, and said he was nervous to go before the panel.
Schaefer said: “It’s been a long, long journey… I’ve seen the ugly side of the church. I’ve seen the reconciling side of the church, the beautiful church.”
Speaking earlier this week, he said: “We felt very strongly that the penalty—my defrocking—was really not in line with the church’s law,” he said on Wednesday.
“What they based the defrocking on was a promise to not perform another gay marriage. You can’t punish someone based on something they haven’t done yet. You can’t defrock on a promise.”
He said: “I thought I had lost everything… There was a moment of pain and depression and the next thing I knew I was catapulted. I have more opportunities now that I ever did.”
He continued: “I would like to get my credentials back… I’m hoping for a `re-frocking.’”
Schaefer will appear before a church panel in Baltimore, in order to argue that his defrocking was illegal under church law.
Despite that the United Methodist Church accepts gay and lesbian members into its congregations, its rule book deems homosexuality “incompatible with Christian teaching”.