Protestant policies on sexual conduct of clergy

Posted: Friday, April 05, 2002

What some major U.S. Protestant denominations say about the sexual conduct of clergy.

--Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: Ministers must reject sexual promiscuity, manipulation and harassment. ''Single ordained ministers are expected to live a chaste life. Married ordained ministers are expected to live in fidelity to their spouses'' and homosexuals ''are expected to abstain from homosexual sexual relationships.''

--Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Biblical standards include ''the requirement to live either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness. Persons refusing to repent of any self-acknowledged practice which the confessions call sin shall not be ordained...''

--United Methodist Church: Clergy ''are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living'' and ''agree to exercise responsible self-control,'' including ''fidelity in marriage and celibacy in singleness.'' ''Self-avowed practicing homosexuals'' cannot be ordained or appointed.

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