PHILADELPHIA — A complaint has been filed against 36 United Methodist ministers who blessed a same-sex wedding in defiance of church law.
The pastors blessed the Nov. 9 ceremony at Philadelphia’s Arch Street United Methodist Church to show support for a colleague who faced church discipline for presiding over his gay son’s wedding. The Rev. Frank Schaefer was defrocked following a church trial, but his ordination was reinstated by an appeals panel last month.
Bishop Peggy Johnson of the church’s eastern Pennsylvania conference said in a statement that she is following the church’s disciplinary process.
“We are … prayerful that a just resolution can be achieved. As United Methodists we are committed to seeking peace and reconciliation as a model for society. May it be so,” Johnson said.
About 50 church members from the Philadelphia area, most of them clergy, were behind the complaint, said John Lomperis, director of the United Methodist Action Program at The Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative think tank. He said he had discussions with some of them as they planned it, but he was not directly involved.