Minnesota Presbyterians Strguggle over Non-Celibate Same Sex Partnered Clergy

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Minnesota Presbyterians have voted to restore the ordination of an openly gay man who has refused to pledge celibacy, the latest test of revamped pastoral guidelines in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Paul Capetz, a seminary professor, asked to be removed from ministry in 2000 after the PCUSA voted to require that ministers be married to a member of the opposite sex or remain celibate.

But changes made in 2006 to the Presbyterians' Book of Order allow candidates for ordination to declare a conscientious objection to church rules. Local presbyteries, or governing bodies, then must decide whether the objection "constitutes a failure to adhere to the essentials of Reformed faith and polity."

On Saturday, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities voted that Capetz' objection, or "scruple," did not violate the "essentials" and restored his ordination as a minister of word and sacrament.

Read it all.



Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesPresbyterian

13 Comments
Posted January 31, 2008 at 5:11 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

So, are we each entitled to our own theology?

January 31, 6:29 pm | [comment link]
2. the roman wrote:

“essentially allows the will of the (presbytery) to supersede the constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA).”

Hmmmmm..sounds familiar for some reason.

January 31, 6:36 pm | [comment link]
3. KevinBabb wrote:

Sounds like great news for the PCA—better start the building expansion projects now.

Meanwhile, if you want to pick up a PCUSA former church building in Minnesota cheap…just wait a couple of years.

January 31, 6:39 pm | [comment link]
4. GrandpaDino wrote:

Minnesota Presbyterians Struggle over Non-Celibate Same Sex Partnered Clergy

Where is the struggle?  Even though same-sex activity is inappropriate, over 71% of the folks voting appeared to have no problem in ignoring this.

January 31, 7:18 pm | [comment link]
5. Choir Stall wrote:

Hate to say it, but here goes:
The governing bodies of many mainline churches are usually dominated by guilty-feeling people who want to assuage their affluent guilt by handing out goodies to the world and passing resolutions with little effect. That’s why GC 2009 will be a disaster for this Church. Like the PCUSA, TEC is dominated by people who are more progressively liberal than the people back home who will be forced to back their lofty delegations. I’ve noted that in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia that the same ethnic minority has been voted as a GC delegate since 1789. He is notoriously liberal and glad of it. Everyone else’s affluent guilt keeps re-electing him. People with differing opinions don’t have the stomach to sit through deanery banter and have better things to do than to waste a Sunday afternoon watching liberals posture. That, too, is a problem.

January 31, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
6. Charley wrote:

So what, the Presbyterians are on their way down the tubes too.

January 31, 8:44 pm | [comment link]
7. archangelica wrote:

#3 Conservative PCUSA people are not joining the PCA, mostly because Conservative PCUSA folk almost All affirm and support the ordination of women which PCA does not allow. (sigh…same song different tune) They are choosing to go here instead:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evangelical_Presbyterian_Church_(United_States)

January 31, 11:25 pm | [comment link]
8. Brian from T19 wrote:

So, are we each entitled to our own theology?

Finally!  Someone who gets it!

February 1, 1:11 am | [comment link]
9. Br. Michael wrote:

In other words Bryan, everyone is their own moral center.

February 1, 8:14 am | [comment link]
10. drummie wrote:

If “conservative” PCUSA members support women’s ordination, then they are not conservative.  It seems that they want to follow TE*.  How can a candidate for ordination conscientuously object to canons?  Ordination is not a right, you have to be called first, then go through postulancy. If you are found not to be genuinely called, you are not ordained.  How can you be genuinely called and object to the rules?

February 1, 9:35 am | [comment link]
11. David Fischler wrote:

Hey, at least in the PCUSA, they say they object to the rules ahead of time. In the Episcopal Church, they agree to the rules and then ignore them.  grin

February 1, 9:43 am | [comment link]
12. archangelica wrote:

#10 A woman or anyone else can be called, go through discernment, have they call verified and recognized by others and come up against man made rules/canons. Canons are fallible and can be changed as they always have been. All churches, including Rome, change, update and alter their canons through the years to reflect new understandings or concensus. The Reformation and the Counter Reformation both are historical examples of the church needing to rethink some of her rules/ideas/canons.

February 1, 9:43 am | [comment link]
13. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Sadly, the night of decadence and immorality continues to fall on the once strongly moral churches of the Protestant Reformation.

February 1, 8:19 pm | [comment link]
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