U.S. Presbyterians Appearing to Uphold Ordination Standards

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky, FEB. 14, 2002 (Zenit.org).- The Presbyterian Church (USA) once again appears headed toward rejecting the ordination of homosexuals.

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If 10 more presbyteries vote «no,» the latest battle over whether to ordain homosexuals in the Presbyterian Church (USA) will be settled — for now.

The latest tally in the national referendum is 78-35 against Amendment 01-A; 88 are needed to defeat it.

That means 69% of the voting presbyteries, so far, have affirmed the constitutional ordination standard known as the «fidelity/chastity» clause in the Book of Order.

«That affirmation is the strongest yet,» according to The Layman Online.

In 1996-97, the Layman reports, 57% of the presbyteries voted in favor of the «fidelity/chastity» clause. In 1997-98, that figure rose to 66%. A two-year moratorium on the issue was then declared.

«The voting trend against changing the standard — and against invalidating the denomination´s official declaration that homosexual activity is sinful — has been uniform throughout this current referendum,» says the Layman Online.

Even most of the presbyteries that continue to support the ordination of homosexuals are doing so by closer margins than in 1996-97 and 1997-98.

Fourteen presbyteries that voted against the ordination standard in 1996-97 have affirmed that standard during the current referendum. Only one presbytery has switched in the other direction.

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