Indian Catholic News

Gay ordination splits Presbyterians

The Presbyterian Church of Mizoram is the largest denomination in the Christian-dominated state.

 
Aizawl: 

One of the leading constituent bodies of the Presbyterian Church of India last week decreed to break apart from the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America over the issue of homosexuality.

The Presbyterian Church of Mizoram is the largest denomination in the Christian-dominated state.

A Synod Executive Committee (SEC) meeting made the decision Friday after the Presbyterian Church of USA allowed ordination of gays as priests.

The debate over gay clergy and marriage originated last May after the US Church removed the constitutional requirement for clergy to live "in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness".

Several churches are leaving the mainline denomination for disagreement over theological issues, especially with the move to ordain open homosexual ministers.

D P Biakkhuma, SEC secretary, said “we cannot accept ordination of homosexual people as pastors and regard homosexuality as against the teachings of the Bible and Christianity."

"We have maintained cordial relations for over a decade but are now compelled to sever ties.”

He said that they would withdraw priest and other church employees posted in New Delhi to maintain links with the US chapter.

Meanwhile, the SEC also issued a creed that homosexual relationship is against Christianity and the beliefs of the Church as also having sex before marriage and extramarital sex.

Amending the creed on punishment for homosexuality, the Church now excommunicates people with the same sex living together as long as they live together.

The SEC also clarified that sex, in accordance with the will of God and the teachings of Christianity, must only be between man and woman after marriage.

The Mizoram Synod began its partnership with the USA Church - the leading Protestant Christian denomination with over 2.3 million members - in 1999.

The Presbyterian Church of the USA is the latest of several denominations after the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church, to drop the ban on gay clergy.

Source: Times of India

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