Here is the Q and A:
Will gays and lesbians now be ordained?Sigh.
Presbyteries and sessions have been reminded of their historical responsibility to examine candidates for ordination and decide, on a case-by-case basis, about a person’s qualifications for ministry. The constitutional standard in the Book of Order (G-6.0106b) requiring “fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman” or “chastity in singleness” remains in place.
Each governing body will be required to decide if a departure from a standard of faith or practice represents a violation of an “essential” of the faith. Governing bodies have been encouraged to strive to honor one another’s ordination decisions. Still, these decisions continue to be subject to review by higher governing bodies.
What the OGA says here is absolutely true. It is important. But it is clearly an inadequate answer to the question they themselves posed.
So as a public service, let me insert a couple of new paragraphs to this answer, keeping the rest of the answer the OGA gave after that.
Will gays and lesbians now be ordained?I would be inclined to add a further sentence, though this might seem to the OGA to be overstepping its bounds:
YES. Gays and lesbians – men and women with a homosexual orientation – have always been ordained in the Presbyterian Church. That will not change under the new Authoritative Interpretation. Some ministers do engage in sexual practices, both heterosexual and homosexual, which the confessions call sin and which the Book of Order forbids as unchaste. That has always been true in the Presbyterian Church, and will likely continue. These sins are cause for repentance and seeking God's grace.
Some would-be officers of the church have declared a scruple about the constitutional requirement that all officers live in “fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman” or “chastity in singleness.” This scruple has been declared by people of all sexual orientations. It is the duty and responsibility of the ordaining and examining body to decide whether such a scruple touches an essential tenet of Reformed faith and practice. If the ordaining and examining body's decision were challenged, it would be the duty and responsibility of the higher governing bodies to review that decision to see if the lower body acted correctly. That review includes both the substance and the procedure of the lower body's decision. Whether a scruple is acceptable or not has nothing do to with the sexual orientation or practice of the would-be officer.
The words of the Book of Order in G 6.0106b are clear. It is difficult to see how an ordaining and examining body, or any higher body reviewing the decision of a lower one, could decide that rejecting G 6.0106b was a legitimate scruple.