by Ed Vitagliano
| American Family News Editor
In the battle over orthodoxy, liberal leaders
in some of the mainline Protestant denominations continue to push
for the normalization of homosexuality. For the time being, they
have failed to win the day in the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA).
At its 216th General Assembly in late June,
the PCUSAs national assembly voted down an attempt to undercut
the denominations ban on "gay" clergy.
That attempt came in the form of a committee
recommendation that would have allowed sessions (local church leaders)
or presbyteries (regional ledership bodies) to decide for themselves
whether or not to ordain homosexuals to the ministry.
Earlier in the week, however, the national legislative
assembly elected Rick Ufford-Chase to be the PCUSAs moderator
for the next two years. Ufford-Chase supports the ordination of
homosexuals as clergy, but said he would uphold the decision of
Nevertheless, following his election he told
the media: "I look forward to the time when this denomination
can delete [the section banning homosexual clergy] from the Book
According to the Associated Press, it was the
third time in the last seven years that pro-homosexual forces have
attempted to have the ban on "gay" clergy removed from
the PCUSAs constitution.
Despite another failure, activists promised
to continue the fight.
The battle with liberalism may be costing the
PCUSA members in the pews. According to The Layman, a conservative
Presbyterian publication, the denomination lost almost 47,000 members
during 2003 alone the highest percentage loss in more than
25 years. The Layman, said the PCUSA and its predecessor
denominations have lost 1.85 million members since 1965.
The Laymans John Adams said, "The
2003 loss of 46,658 members is the equivalent of dissolving three
300-member congregations every week for an entire year."
Episcopal, UMC battles continue
in defiance of conservatives in the U.S. and throughout the worldwide
Anglican community, the Episcopal bishop of Washington, D.C., Right
Rev. John B. Chane, perfomed a same-sex "blessing" ceremony
on June 12 Gay Pride Day in the nations capital. Held
at an Episcopal church in Maryland, Chane joined together Episcopal
priest Michael Hopkins and his homosexual partner.
At last summers general convention, a
majority of Episcopal Church bishops set the stage for a split between
conservatives and liberals. The bishops not only elected a self-avowed
and practicing homosexual man as bishop for the diocese of New Hampshire,
but also refused to forbid bishops from blessing same-sex couples.
Also demonstrating the growing apostasy among
some of the Anglican denominations in the West, the Anglican Church
of Canada affirmed same-sex relationships, although it stopped short
of approving the official blessing of those unions.
At its June convention, the General Synod, which
is the highest governing body of the Anglican Church of Canada,
approved a resolution that endorsed "the integrity and sanctity
of committed adult same-sex relationships."
Elsewhere, in the United Methodist Churchs
(UMC) liberal Pacific Northwest Conference, yet another homosexual
minister has been appointed to a church, despite that denominations
clear church laws against such action.
According to The Seattle Times, Rev. Katie Ladd,
a lesbian, was appointed to the pastorate of a Seattle-area United
The appointment by Bishop Elias Galvan follows
the turmoil created when a church trial failed in March to find
lesbian minister Karen Dammann guilty of breaking church law after
she openly admitted to being in a same-sex relationship.
6/11/04; Washington Post, 6/7/04; Planet Out Network, 6/3/04; www.wnd.com,
6/24/04; www.pcusa.org, 6/26/04, 6/27/04; AP, 6/27/04, 6/29/04;
www.layman.org, 6/7/04; The Seattle Times, 6/9/04