BpKarenIliveto.UM.CO.WY.MT.UT.DavidZalubowskiAP

A United Methodist ecclesiastical court in New Jersey heard arguments this week on removing Bishop Karen Iliveto because she’s a Lesbian. Iliveto was elected to the church’s 4-state Western Conference knowing she is openly Gay – she formerly was a pastor at famed Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, which is as rainbow as you can get – but an Oklahoma layperson complained that this violated church law, so she’s seeking to invalidate the election; the bishop’s position is that under church law, one conference (equivalent to a diocese) may not overturn another conference’s election. The court promised a judgment in a few days – while other authorities have announced they will call a special meeting of the worldwide General Conference in 2019 to try to avert a schism. If Anglican Wars have been hard, this may be much worse; Methodism doesn’t recognize national churches, but throws representatives from all nations into one big General Synod. Now please re-read St. John’s remarks about schism, above and below this photo. (David Zalubowski/Assocated Press)

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