Louisville, KY: Episcopal Rector Forced to Resign because He Would Not Perform Gay Weddings

The Rev. Jonathan Erdman, rector of Calvary Church in Louisville, KY, resigned because he could not in good conscience perform gay weddings.

A member of the church told VOL that the inaction and complicity of Bishop White leading to the resignation of Fr. Erdman was a betrayal of trust of the Episcopal Church. The Church seemed to foster an atmosphere of theological diversity, but only if members went in the direction Bishop White wanted to go. The source said the bishop’s actions constitute potential fraud by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church by espousing an interest in “theological diversity” in order to achieve the Church’s agenda to approve gay marriage.

 

The Rev. Jonathan Erdman, rector of Calvary Church in Louisville, KY, is resigning because he could not in good conscience perform gay weddings. He will leave his church Jan. 10, 2016.

The vestry of his parish had been trying to force him out since the Episcopal Church authorized priests to perform gay weddings, and Fr. Jonathan, a high churchman, said he would not do that. The vestry has the support of Kentucky Episcopal Bishop Terry Allen White, who was complicit in the forced resignation of Erdman from his position as rector of the Church. At last summer’s General Convention, The Episcopal Church adopted a resolution allowing gay marriage but also stipulating that it would honor theological diversity and specifically, “That no bishop, priest, deacon or lay person should be coerced or penalized in any manner, nor suffer any canonical disabilities, as a result of his or her theological objection to or support for the 78th General Convention’s action contained in this resolution.”

It was left to the bishops to enforce this resolution in their respective dioceses. Bishop White not only did not enforce this resolution, he was complicit in forcing the resignation of Fr. Erdman from his position as rector of Calvary Church.

His action flies in the face of General Convention resolutions on gay marriage and represents similar bullying tactics by revisionist bishops over the ordination of women, which moved from a conscience issue for orthodox bishops to a mandatory order.

A member of the church told VOL that the inaction and complicity of Bishop White leading to the resignation of Fr. Erdman was a betrayal of trust of the Episcopal Church. The Church seemed to foster an atmosphere of theological diversity, but only if members went in the direction Bishop White wanted to go. The source said the bishop’s actions constitute potential fraud by the General Convention of the Episcopal Church by espousing an interest in “theological diversity” in order to achieve the Church’s agenda to approve gay marriage.

In a letter to the parish, Fr. Erdman said he was resigning “with a heavy heart after the 11 a.m. service on January 10.”

Erdman cited Martin Luther, who said, “My conscience is captive to the Word of God,” and “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” Erdman added, “I have never asked, nor should any be asked, to go against personal conscience or integrity. After prayer and study of scripture, I am not able to approve same-sex marriage as rector of Calvary. In order that all have the care they seek, I have provided for same-sex marriages at our cathedral.”

“The vestry opposes my position, and the bishop does not support me in holding it. Therefore, I have no choice but to resign, or contradict my conscience. The love of Christ will always bind us together, but with the current leadership, I cannot stay.”

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