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Methodists compromise on gay ministers

Fri 17 Sep 2004 In: New Zealand Daily News

Gay and lesbian people can be ordained in the church, but gay ministers may still be kept out of parishes where they are not welcome, the Methodist Church of New Zealand has decided. While gay people can continue to be ordained, the church will decide if it is appropriate to send them to certain parishes, said Methodist Church president Lynne Frith. Dr Frith said a church committee carefully "matched" parishes and ministers. The Church sees the measure as a compromise which will upset some at both ends of the spectrum, although Dr Frith says response to the memorandum has been mostly positive. However, the Fijian Methodist Church has already rejected a request from its New Zealand counterpart to allow the ordinations of gays and lesbians as preachers. The principal of the Methodist Church's Davuilevu Theological College, Rev Tuikilakila Waqairatu, says the church could not agree with the proposal because it contradicts Christian teaching, and fears that if gays and lesbians are ordained, the congregation could also start following the lifestyles of their preachers.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Friday, 17th September 2004 - 12:00pm

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