Jury defrocks openly gay Methodist pastor

Irene "Beth" Stroud
After one of his pastors lost her ministerial license because she is openly gay, the United Methodist bishop of Philadelphia said it was time for the church to “move on in our ministry.”

Bishop Marcus Matthews urged fellow Methodists to accept the guilty verdict against Irene “Beth” Stroud, the second United Methodist clergywoman in 17 years to be defrocked for violating a church ban on “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy.

“No matter what our individual views are on the issue of homosexuality, we owe the members of the trial court our word of thanks,” Matthews said in a statement December 3. “Theirs was a difficult task where answers do not always appear clearly or quickly.”


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