A committee of the United Church of Canada has decided that a clergywoman who came out as atheist over 15 years ago is “not suitable” to remain an ordained minister of the denomination.
The Rev. Gretta Vosper of West Hill United Church of Toronto, Ontario, was declared “not suitable” to remain a church minister, according to a report released on Wednesday from the Conference Interview Committee for the United Church’s Toronto Conference.
According to the 39-page report, which was provided to The Christian Post by the UCC Toronto Conference, the committee decided in a vote of 19 to 4 that by being an atheist, Vosper has rejected the ordination vows she took in 1993.
“In our opinion, she is not suitable to continue in ordained ministry because she does not believe in God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit,” the committee’s majority concluded.
“Although The United Church of Canada is a big tent, welcoming a diversity of theological beliefs, Ms. Vosper is so far from center of what holds us together as a united Church that we have concluded that she is not suitable to continue as an ordained minister in our Church.”
The committee majority went on to recommend that the General Council conduct a formal hearing to consider whether to put Vosper on the Discontinued Service List (disciplinary), which is tantamount to a defrocking.
“The committee is not recommending any form of remediation because Ms. Vosper has been so clear and unequivocal about her beliefs,” the committee’s majority added. “The committee concluded that remediation to enable Ms. Vosper to remain as an ordained minister in The United Church of Canada, would not be productive.”
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SOURCE: The Christian Post