Bishop to restore defrocked pastor’s credentials
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A United Methodist bishop says she will abide by the decision of a church appeals panel to restore the credentials of a pastor who had been defrocked for performing his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony.
Bishop Peggy Johnson of the church’s eastern Pennsylvania conference said Tuesday she will return the Rev. Frank Schaefer to active service.
A jury of his fellow pastors suspended Schaefer, of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, last year for officiating his son’s 2007 wedding, then defrocked him when he refused to promise he wouldn’t preside over another gay marriage. The appeals panel on Tuesday overturned the jury’s decision. Johnson says the church’s lawyer will decide whether to appeal to the Methodist church’s highest court.