Appeal filed in Methodist Rev. Frank Schaefer case

rev frank schaefer

The fight over a pastor and his support of same-sex marriage isn’t over yet.

An appeal has been filed in the case of Methodist Rev. Frank Schaefer. The church defrocked him for performing his son’s same-sex marriage. He was recently reinstated.

Schaefer used to be a pastor at Zion Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon County, but now his case is being appealed further to the Judicial Council of the Methodist Church, which is the church’s highest judicial body.

In a statement, Schaefer said, “While I am personally disappointed to hear that my reinstatement as United Methodist Clergy is appealed, it does not come as a surprise given the fact that my case has been highly politicized within the UM Church. Should the Judicial Council decide to pursue the appeal, I sincerely hope and pray that the council members will keep our church’s diversity in mind, especially our LGBTQ community and their relatives and friends, as they deliberate. I pray for a positive outcome which would signal a change toward healing the wounds of homophobia.”

The council will meet in October.

Schaefer has already moved to California for a new job.

UPDATE

FOX43 received the following statement from Rev. Dr. Christopher L Fisher, counsel for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church:

“As Counsel for the Church of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, I have determined to appeal the June 24 Decision of the NEJ Committee on Appeals in the case of Rev. Frank Schaefer to the Judicial Council, the high court of the United Methodist Church.  After review of the Appeals Court decision, I believe it was based on several errors of Church law. The Judicial Council will be requested to correct these errors of law and to reverse the lower court’s ruling.  We are asking the Church to keep this difficult matter in prayer.”