As many of you know, I have been quite insistent in my own Presbyterian denomination that otherwise-qualified gays and lesbians should be eligible to be ordained as ministers of word and sacrament and as elders and deacons.
My reading of the Bible on this matter leads me to conclude that there are no scriptural prohibitions that would preclude such persons from ordination. This conclusion is in conflict with official church position, but it's a position we've been fighting over for a long time. And the battle will continue.
As no doubt many of you also know, this same struggle is going on in many denominations and even in other religions.
As an example of that, today I want to point you to an essay by a gay Catholic priest, written as an open letter to the new pope, Benedict XVI.
Among other things, this priest, who writes under a pseudonym, says if gays were banned from the priesthood, the church would lose many good and holy men at a time when there's already a tremendous shortage of priests.
There is both hope and frustration in the letter, and it represents similar hope and frustration among homosexual clergy and clergy hopefuls in many denominations. I believe the church eventually will get this matter right and will become open and affirming and inclusive and loving.
But right now, nearly all denominations are on the wrong side of the issue.
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