By Michael Gryboski
Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed disappointment over a bishop’s refusal to punish a clergyman who violated church rules by officiating his son’s gay wedding.
The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ogletree, former dean of Yale Divinity School, officiated at the same-sex wedding of his son in 2012. A complaint was filed against him and a church trial was originally scheduled for March.
Bishop Martin D. McLee of the UMC New York Conference reached an “Agreement for a Just Resolution” where no trial will be held. Further, McLee called on a cessation of all church trials for UMC clergy who had presided over gay unions.
Some Methodists, including the Rev. Tom Lambrecht of Good News Magazine, have expressed their disapproval at the resolution.
“We are deeply disappointed in the decision to negotiate a settlement that contains no consequences for Dr. Ogletree’s disobedience,” Lambrecht told The Christian Post. “Such a decision puts the will of individuals above the requirements of our church covenant and nullifies the will of the General Conference, which has been prayerfully and democratically arrived at and sustained for over 40 years.”
Lambrecht also told CP that Bishop McLee’s decision to halt church trials for UMC clergy who perform gay weddings “is a green light for clergy to disregard our church covenant and Discipline.”