April 29th, 2008 08:15 EST
United Methodists Elect New Judicial Council
On Monday the General Conference of the United Methodist Church elected five of the nine members of the Judicial Council, the church's highest court. The Judicial Council is charged with interpreting the church's Book of Discipline and frequently rules on controversial matters, such as enforcing the church's teachings on human sexuality or clergy conduct.
A slate of candidates backed by liberal caucus groups was elected. Some of these new council members are openly opposed to the church's teachings on homosexuality. Seemingly only one of the five would be regarded as a supporter of the church's stance.
UM Action Executive Director Mark Tooley commented,
"Revealingly, no members of this slate and now no members of the overall judicial council are from Africa, where 30 percent of United Methodism now lives.
"Once again, the Africans have been excluded from the leadership councils of our church even though they are the only significantly growing part of United Methodism. We declare with confidence that the days of exclusion for the Africans will soon come to a close.
"We pray that these new Judicial Council members will faithfully interpret the Discipline as it is intended, putting aside personal views."