Local pastor heads Lutheran clergy ch...

Local pastor heads Lutheran clergy charging pastor with misconduct

There are 25 comments on the The York Daily Record story from Jun 16, 2010, titled Local pastor heads Lutheran clergy charging pastor with misconduct. In it, The York Daily Record reports that:

A local pastor is among 16 Lutheran clergy who challenged their bishop Tuesday by filing church charges against a Mechanicsburg minister accused last year of soliciting sex from a woman he was counseling.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The York Daily Record.

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the real Drew Pfafflin

Harrisburg, PA

#1 Jun 16, 2010
if these clowns aint hob-knobbin little boys, then theyre tryin to hose our women.
dont give any churches your monee.
they only tryin to getta piece of whatever ya got!
idriys

United States

#3 Jun 17, 2010
and they talk about the muslims?
girl

York, PA

#4 Jun 17, 2010
Well it is a shame but common knowledge that the ministers pocket the collection plate money. It happens when you have humans dealing with humans. Right or wrong, it happens!
Really Now

Roxbury, PA

#5 Jun 17, 2010
No wonder this has happened....
ELCA says it is okay to be a practicing homosexual as long as your are monogomus (and some think this is a sexually deviant behavior) but this man is charged with "conduct incompatible with the character of the ministerial office" after he was charged by police with "misdemeanor solicitation and prostitution charges", which some consider a sexually deviant behavior.
Send mixed messages much?
And ELCA wonders why some of their churches are trying to break from the denomination!
DoorKnob

Brogue, PA

#6 Jun 17, 2010
wonders never sease to amaze me.
YDR reader

Forest Hill, MD

#7 Jun 17, 2010
There will be bad people in any group. Yes some bad people find their way into a church. The church itself is good and has many good people and can't be judged by the few that are bad. No, the pastor doesn't "pocket" the money. The money is used to pay for heat, electric, phone, etc. and there are some staff members including the pastor who must earn a living to feed their families. There is always a finance committee managing the finances and it's done responsibly. Churches always use the offering money for outreach programs that help those in need also.
just saying

Philadelphia, PA

#8 Jun 17, 2010
good for them...seems they don't want their church tohave the same rep as the catholic church.....
mayday

United States

#9 Jun 17, 2010
When the ELCA, the central alliance of the Lutheran church, decided to ordain and condone homosexual lifestyles and practicing homosexual clergy they opened the door for all manner of sexual misconduct. There is absolutely no moral or Christian support for practicing homosexuality. Marriage is the place for sex. The society we live in has departed from this norm and the consequences are evident everywhere: broken families, out of wedlock births, disease, sexual practices outside of that which brings life. Until this Church is made aware of true Christian example and morality they will continue to find ways to condone acts that are beyond the examples of Godly conduct. When Jesus came on the woman at the well who was a prostitute he did not spurn her he forgave her and told her to go and sin no more. Sexual immorality is not part of Christian teaching. Being homosexual may be a matter of birth practicing homosexuality is a matter of choice. Christians are told to love sinners and hate sin. The ELCA has departed from Christian teaching.
Alex

Red Lion, PA

#10 Jun 17, 2010
Where to begin...
#1. I am on the synod council, and we discussed this issue regarding this pastor. It is sad and very disappointing that one of our own would abuse his position as the pastor of his church. He did go through rehabilitation and complied with everything that the Bishop and the law requires. Therefore, the Bishop is allowing him to remain on the roster and participate in some pastoral duties because the Bishop can keep an eye on him. As the article states, if we removed him from the roster, the Bishop would have no control and no say in what Wenrich does.
#2. How did pocketing money get into this discussion? I'm sure that it probably happens in some places, but that is in a very very small percentage of churches. Plus, in many churches, the pastors never even touch the money. The offering ushers collect the money, then immediately count it and give it to the treasurer. So if a pastor was stealing from the offering plate, it would have to be after it was collected and counted, so it wouldn't be difficult to catch. Yes, all pastors indirectly get some of the offering money because their salaries are paid with that money. I am deeply saddened by the comments about this. It shows how one incident is made to seem like a common occurrence, which is completely unfair to the rest of the church.
#3 This has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. It is irrelevant. I personally have a problem with denying someone their calling because of race, gender, or sexuality. You may believe that it is immoral, but not everyone believes this. This is what is causing churches to leave. It is because there is a difference in beliefs, and some people cannot stay in a church that they disagree with. But that is a minority. One church has had both votes to leave the synod. One or two other churches have had their first vote. That really is a low percentage of congregations. We have 260 congregations in the synod. Again, your comments make it seem like everyone is jumping to leave the ELCA, when that is not the case.
#4 Regarding the Muslim comment… Yet again it is irrelevant. And most of us in the Lutheran Church don’t have issues with the Islamic faith. I feel that the Muslim community has been treated horribly by Christians over the years. Again, some people label the Muslims because of a few incidents carried out by an extremist sect of Islam. It is completely unfair and wrong to label any group of people by anything that is carried out by extremists. I am certainly not condoning the acts of terrorism that have been carried out by these extremists, but I am saying that it is horrible to condemn all Muslims because of the acts of the few extremists.
Alex

Red Lion, PA

#11 Jun 17, 2010
Again regarding the Homosexuality debate, it is irrelevant. This incident occured before the Churchwide Assembly voted on the Sexuality statement at the 2009 Churchwide Assembly. Therefore this should not even be part of the discussion...
His actions are his doing; do not put the blame on the church itself.
Band Wagon

Elkridge, MD

#12 Jun 17, 2010
If we dig deep enough, there will be more like this guy (unfortunately)...but don't blame the church as a whole for his wrong doing. That's like labeling evry school teacher a pervert because of the few teachers that have been sick enough to sexually exploit children, it's the same as labeling all volunteer youth organizations as thieves because of the few people that have stolen cash from their organizations, and the list goes on and go. We as society are so quick to "label" and "cast stones." If only we took time to reflect on ourselves, take a good long hard look in the mirror, I doubt that many of us would have much criticism to offer (myself included) of anyone. I have found over the years that those that are most critical do it to make themselves feel good, because of their insecurities and own moral issues. Point is, don't blame an entire group for what a few troubled people do....plain and simple - it's unfair to do so.
mayday

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#13 Jun 17, 2010
When the troubled people are clergy it is painfully clear that they need to be removed from their roles as shepherds. This man is a fox in the chicken house and needs to be redirected to work outside ministry for his sake and the sake of innocent people who might seek guidance from him. Forgive him, of course. Continuing to provide a setting where temptations have already proved to be too much for him is nuts. Homosexuality IS part of the picture because if you fail to teach the example Christian's seek to exhibit and to live you fail to explain that Christ like living is based on chaste behavior offered in service to God and others. Such living excludes promoting standards of secular society which the ELCA has chosen to promote approving extra marital sexual activity of same sex and/or opposite sex individuals. Marriage is for procreation and any sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is offensive to the will of God. Get real. The ELCAs decision to abandon Christian morality will lead to more of these dilemmas and the kind of behavior that at some point will lead these misguided ELCA folk to assert that pastors are "helping" their people by providing sex for them.
PAVenturer

York, PA

#14 Jun 17, 2010
@Mayday - really??

Homosexuality has absolutely zero to do with this issue. A Pastor was charged, never tried, never convicted. He was punished and the Bishop chose to partially reinstate him. The debate is whether that was the correct thing for him to do. The Christ that I am familiar with teaches forgiveness. I don't believe that if this person were deemed to be a threat to anyone he would be reinstated at all. Synod Council and those who know the whole story know the answer to that much better than I. But the issue has NOTHING to do with homosexuality.

How you took this issue and decided that it means that the ELCA now approves of "extra marital sexual activity" is a pretty far leap.

If all churches permanently barred all pastors who had engaged in any immoral behavior in their past we might find ourselves short a few pastors.

I am not going to side with Bishop Hoover or Pr. Polanzke. I don't know the entire story. I know both of these people and I am confident that neither one would ever want to put the public at risk. I do tend to trust that the Synod Council had a serious discussion about this with all the facts in front of them. And I trust that they reached a fair and justifiable decision.
Really Now

Roxbury, PA

#15 Jun 17, 2010
Homosexuality has EVERYTHING to do with this...how can you condone one sin and then turn and condemn another? Both the Old and New Testament speak to the sin of homosexuality. Look it up.
PAVenturer

Red Lion, PA

#16 Jun 17, 2010
@ Really - No REALLY...this has zero to do with sexual preference. But I'll play along. You apparently believe that either a) a person who sins cannot be a pastor since this would "condone" sin, or b) there is a line on the list of sins whereby if a person crosses over it, they cannot be ordained. Homosexuality is apparently over the line. Soliciting prostitution is likewise over that "no forgiveness beyond this point" line. So sexual sins must cross over the line. A speeding ticket is probably on the forgivable side. What about say, gluttony? That's one of the "seven deadly sins" of the RC faith. I know a lot of overweight pastors. They should probably be booted out.

I invite you to read

http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibc1.h...

This refers to one of the NT passages most often used to show the evils of homosexuality. As you will see there are many interpretations of this passage.

If you choose to cite old testament laws then you will be opening a can of worms that is probably best left alone. Unless you also believe that we should avoid shellfish and rock badgers.

This article is about a group of pastors that disagree with a decision made by Bishop Hoover regarding the service of one man. There are no hidden agendas. From the information in this article you can choose to agree or disagree with the bishop but don't try to connect two dots that aren't even on the same page.
colorado chick

Colorado Springs, CO

#17 Jun 17, 2010
WHY OH WHY is the question of the ages,that baffles me. WHY is it that the priests cannot marry? Very selfish and controlling act on behalf of the church fathers.To disallow a human being from the most precious gift,God has given,LOVE. To not just enrich his life,but his neighbor's as well.With a family of his own,to spread the word.PONDER
Mohammad el Weirdo

York, PA

#18 Jun 17, 2010
idriys wrote:
and they talk about the muslims?
As previously mentioned, there are bad apples in any group. But I don't remember, RECENTLY,(recently - very important point), of THAT MANY ministers/priests advocating (actually) killing those who oppose their churches religious views. Other than possibly Father Pfleger or "God Damn America" THE Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Not even the Reverend's (????????? Jesse and Al advocate such carryins on!
PAVenturer

York, PA

#19 Jun 18, 2010
colorado chick wrote:
WHY OH WHY is the question of the ages,that baffles me. WHY is it that the priests cannot marry? Very selfish and controlling act on behalf of the church fathers.To disallow a human being from the most precious gift,God has given,LOVE. To not just enrich his life,but his neighbor's as well.With a family of his own,to spread the word.PONDER
The ELCA has no such restrictions. Most pastors I know are happily married. The ELCA ordains men and women alike. For more information on ordination requirements check out the ELCA website: http://www.elca.org/Growing-In-Faith/Vocation...
Frank Stanton

Saratoga Springs, NY

#20 Jun 18, 2010
colorado chick wrote:
WHY OH WHY is the question of the ages,that baffles me. WHY is it that the priests cannot marry? Very selfish and controlling act on behalf of the church fathers.To disallow a human being from the most precious gift,God has given,LOVE. To not just enrich his life,but his neighbor's as well.With a family of his own,to spread the word.PONDER
The Roman Catholics ban MOST (NOT ALL) priests from being married.

This is the Lutheran forum. Lutherans are PROTESTANT, NOT Catholics.

I think you need a little education in religion.
cammy

Lenhartsville, PA

#21 Jun 21, 2010
Alex wrote:
Where to begin...
........
#4 Regarding the Muslim comment… Yet again it is irrelevant. And most of us in the Lutheran Church don’t have issues with the Islamic faith. I feel that the Muslim community has been treated horribly by Christians over the years. Again, some people label the Muslims because of a few incidents carried out by an extremist sect of Islam. It is completely unfair and wrong to label any group of people by anything that is carried out by extremists. I am certainly not condoning the acts of terrorism that have been carried out by these extremists, but I am saying that it is horrible to condemn all Muslims because of the acts of the few extremists.
I am sure that the 3,000 people that died by the hands of muslims would be happy to know that was just an incident.

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