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San Francisco Presbyterians Bend Ordination Standards

San Francisco Presbyterians Bend Ordination Standards

"We do not wink at sexual morality being cast aside. We care enough to uphold God's good and beneficial will for all our lives." -- Director of Presbyterian Action, James D. Berkley
WASHINGTON, Jan. 18 /Christian Newswire/ -- On January 15, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Presbytery of San Francisco narrowly approved Lisa Larges as a certified candidate ready to receive a call to ministry. Larges, a self-acknowledged lesbian, is Regional Partnership Coordinator for the advocacy group That All May Freely Serve. She has stated her unwillingness to abide by the constitutional requirement that PCUSA officers "live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."

In approving a candidate who does not meet PCUSA ordination requirements, San Francisco Presbytery became the first regional governing body to test the limits of an ambiguous ordination policy adopted by the denomination's General Assembly in June 2006. Larges's ordination has been on hold for more than 20 years. An appeal within the PCUSA disciplinary system will most likely delay her ordination for many months and could reverse the San Francisco decision.

James D. Berkley, Director of IRD's Presbyterian Action Committee, commented:

"A requirement should be required. A standard ought to be standard across the denomination. San Francisco Presbytery has capitulated to the spirit of the age, ignoring the clear and consistent witness of the Bible, our Presbyterian creeds and constitution, and repeated, overwhelming decisions by the church here, abroad, and across the ages.

"It is time for Presbyterians to be clear and compassionate: Clear that we do not wink at sexual morality being cast aside, and compassionate in caring enough to hold pastors and churches accountable for upholding God's good and beneficial will for all our lives."

The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.

www.ird-renew.org

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21.1.08 15:36

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