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Bishop: I tried hard to avoid trial for Pa. pastor

November 21, 2013
Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A United Methodist official in Pennsylvania says she didn't want to put a pastor on trial for officiating at his gay son's wedding.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ( ) reports Bishop Peggy Johnson says she tried "very, very, very hard to avoid this trial." But she says she had to follow the Methodist Book of Discipline.

Johnson's remarks came Thursday after about two dozen people delivered a petition to church offices in Norristown.

The petition with 25,000 signatures asks Johnson to stop holding religious trials for ministers who perform gay weddings.

On Tuesday, a church jury suspended the Rev. Frank Schaefer for officiating at the marriage of his gay son.

The Methodist church accepts gay and lesbian members, but it rejects the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching."


Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer,



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