Minnesota Presbyterians have voted to restore the ordination of an openly gay man who has refused to pledge celibacy, the latest test of revamped pastoral guidelines in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Paul Capetz, a seminary professor, asked to be removed from ministry in 2000 after the PCUSA voted to require that ministers be married to a member of the opposite sex or remain celibate.
But changes made in 2006 to the Presbyterians’ Book of Order allow candidates for ordination to declare a conscientious objection to church rules. Local presbyteries, or governing bodies, then must decide whether the objection “constitutes a failure to adhere to the essentials of Reformed faith and polity.”
On Saturday, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities voted that Capetz’ objection, or “scruple,” did not violate the “essentials” and restored his ordination as a minister of word and sacrament.