LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Conservatives in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have failed in their bid to force the denomination into an unprecedented showdown over enforcing a ban on gay clergy.
Thirteen people who had signed a petition for a historic national meeting on the issue withdrew their names, church leaders said Monday. That left conservatives short of the minimum number of signatures required under church law to call the meeting.
The special assembly would have been the first ever held by the 214-year-old denomination.
The Rev. Fahed Abu-Akel, an Atlanta minister and the denomination's moderator, or titular leader, said "there are no winners in this situation." He prayed for "unity in the midst of our diversity."