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UM Bishop's Two Gay Sons Die Of AIDS, Laments Church's Rejection Of Homosexuality As Christian Lifestyle


From the August 31, 2001 edition of Newscope


UM Bishop, Wife Experience Love and Rejection Following Sons' Disclosures of Sexual Orientation and Death

Bishop Fritz Mutti (Kansas) and his wife, Etta Mae, experienced compassion from church members and frustration with church policies following the disclosure that two of their three sons were gay. Writing in Dancing in a Wheelchair (Abingdon Press, 2001), the couple also tell of their anguish and faith as both sons contracted AIDS and later died.

Tim, one of the couple's sons, was forced to resign from a church he served while in seminary when his senior pastor learned he was gay. General Conference also enacted legislation forbidding the ordination of "self-avowed, practicing homosexuals."

"Tim felt that the church had slammed the door in his face," writes Bishop Mutti. "His commitment to follow Christ's call into ministry was thwarted by the church he wanted to serve. He was considered 'incompatible' and unwanted as a leader in the church. His bitterness (and mine) was never resolved."

The bishop notes that Kinko's and Banker's Trust, employing agencies of Tim and his brother, Fred, were quite willing to have them there, whereas "the church had basically thrown Tim out. Just where do we find Christianity?" he asks.

On the other hand, the Muttis also share many instances in which UM clergy and laypersons embraced and supported them through the disclosures of their sons' sexual orientation, long and painful illnesses, and death.

The couple urges congregations to form AIDS support teams to raise funds for emergency needs and to provide information, emotional support, and prayer.

Newscope (c) 2001 by The United Methodist Publishing House.
Electronic mail: umnewscope@umpublishing.org. Web page: http://www.umph.com.


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