Monday, October 31, 2005

Lesbian Minister Defrocked by Church Court

(Link) Despite an earlier reversal, Rev Beth Stroud's rollercoaster ride comes to an end when the United Methodist Church Judicial Council decides her life is "incompatible with Christian teachings."

1 comment:

LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The highest court within the United Methodist Church defrocked a lesbian minister Monday for violating the denomination's ban on "self-avowed, practicing homosexual" clergy.

The nine-member Judicial Council — seven of whom heard the case Friday in Houston — issued a ruling from its offices in Nashville.

A church panel ruled in December that the Rev. Irene "Beth" Stroud, 35, engaged in practices that the United Methodist Church has declared incompatible with Christian teachings. That decision was overturned by the Northeast Jurisdiction Committee on Appeals, but the Judicial Council on Monday backed the original ruling.

The Judicial Council ruled Monday that the appeals committee "erred in reversing and setting aside the verdict and penalty from Rev. Stroud's trial."

Stroud, who became an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church of Germantown, Pa., in 1999, has said she never revealed her sexual orientation in documents related to her ordination, but didn't keep it a secret.

She said she decided to come out in 2003 because she felt she was being held back in her faith by not sharing the complete truth about her life. A complaint was filed against her last year.

Stroud and her representatives couldn't be reached for immediate comment on the Judicial Council decision.