CREDIT: Matt Rourke/AP Images
Last month, the United Methodist Church held a trial and convicted Rev. Frank Schaefer of breaking his pastoral vows for officiating a same-sex wedding and “showing disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” The Pennsylvania-based pastor was suspended and given 30 days to renounce his support for marriage equality, including the marriage of his son that he officiated as well as the potential marriage his other gay children might someday pursue. Thursday marked the end of that 30 days, and the AP reports that Schaefer has now officially been defrocked.
Schaefer was adamant upon his conviction that he would not give up on advocating for LGBT equality. He held a press conference earlier this week announcing his plans to continue defying the Methodist Book of Discipline and not voluntarily quit the ministry:
SCHAEFER: My honest answer has to be: No, I cannot uphold the Book of Discipline in its entirety. In fact, I don’t believe anybody can…because it is filled with competing and contradictory statements. [...]
I have received hundreds of petitions from LGBT members, colleagues, and even three bishops, not to surrender my credentials. By surrendering my credentials, I feel as though I would abandon those under my spiritual care and especially those I feel called to advocate for.
Schaefer had no immediate comment Thursday after his short meeting with church officials.