Honest, we're not picking on the Charlotte Observer. Just because this is the third GetReligion piece on that paper's coverage in less than a week and a half, and the other two were blunt criticisms, doesn't mean …
No, this post is mostly praise for the Observer's follow-up on United Methodist clergy who performed a gay wedding in violation of church rules. It's a thorough report, but I do have a few qualifications.
The long-stewing controversy began in April, when the Rev. Val Rosenquist, along with a retired United Methodist Church bishop, married two men at First United Methodist in Charlotte. That brought several formal complaints that she had gone against the Book of Discipline, the denomination's main lawbook.
That's a serious charge in the last mainline denomination that rules out homosexual acts as "incompatible with Christian teaching." As tmatt has noted, the crucial issue is whether these clergy are acting in violation of their ordination vows to accept the denomination's "order, liturgy, doctrine, and discipline, defending it against all doctrines contrary to God's Holy Word. ..."
As the story notes: "Clergy who violate it can lose their jobs, face a church trial, even lose their clergy credentials."
This week, the Observer announced the resolution. Actually, no, it didn’t -- because the Western North Carolina Conference didn’t tell anyone: