5 Reactions to the United Methodist Church's Ruling Against Lesbian Bishop

1. Council of Bishops president
Karen Oliveto
Karen Oliveto, the first openly gay bishop in the history of the United Methodist Church, at her consecration service July 16, 2016, at Paradise Valley United Methodist Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. |

Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Church's Council of Bishops, said in a statement released Friday evening that he commended the Judicial Council for its "careful and deliberate consideration of this matter."

"We implore all within the United Methodist structure and family to honor the Judicial Council ruling," stated Ough.

"We recognize and respect the Judicial Council as the body responsible for deciding complex questions of Church law, including the right to declare jurisdiction."

Ough went on to promote the Commission for a Way Forward, a theologically-diverse entity created last year to examine the official positions of the Church regarding LGBT issues.

"I am encouraged by the relationships that are developing within the commission. The distinct and diverse opinions among its members reflect the richness and vitality of The United Methodist Church," continued Ough.

"The commission is committed to its task. I believe that their work will bear fruit as we meet for a Special Session of the General Conference in February 2019."

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