Judicial Council will review a petition on the election of first gay bishop for The United Methodist Church when it meets in April 2017.
The petition from the denomination’s South Central Jurisdiction will be part of the council’s Spring 2017 meeting docket, its executive committee decided last week while meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, for orientation. Five new members of the nine-member Judicial Council were elected at General Conference 2016 in May.
Bishop Karen Oliveto, a married lesbian who previously was
senior pastor of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco, was elected and consecrated a United Methodist bishop in July by delegates of the Western Jurisdiction.
The United Methodist Book of Discipline forbids ordaining “practicing self-avowed homosexuals.” Oliveto has been legally married to Robin Ridenour, her long-time partner, for more than two years.
Although the Council of Bishops executive committee had asked the Judicial Council for expedited consideration of the South Central Jurisdiction petition, that request was denied. Because of “the importance of the petition,” the executive committee said, there needs to be enough time for all interested parties “to prayerfully consider” the issues involved.
On Sept. 1, Oliveto will become bishop of (Read More: Top court will take up Oliveto election in spring | The United Methodist Church)