Ruling to remove gay pastor may rekindle Lutheran debate

Committee removes him while calling for reinstatement
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America may be asked to change a ban on practicing gay and lesbian clergy after a disciplinary committee voted to remove an openly gay pastor but suggested that the church find a way to reinstate him.

The ruling called for Bradley Schmeling, a gay pastor in a committed relationship, to be removed from his pulpit at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta by August 15. The committee said that it reached the decision reluctantly and suggested that the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly, which meets August 6-11, should “reconsider and revise” guidelines prohibiting gay clergy who are not celibate.


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