Gay clergy option backed by ELCA council, professors

Some not pleased by middle-ground proposal
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s high-ranking church council has prepared a proposal to the churchwide assembly in August that would give bishops the final authority to let congregations ordain gay and lesbian clergy who are in committed same-sex relationships.

The 37-member church council essentially followed a task force’s January recommendation that some exceptions be made for otherwise qualified homosexual ministers who were being sought as pastors by congregations.

Prior to the council’s April 9-11 meeting in Chicago, a large group of Lutheran theologians went public with a statement also endorsing the task force recommendations. The signers took issue with 17 other theologians who earlier had said that permitting a local option on gay ordinations would cause “intense division” and play havoc with church structures.


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