Via Religion News Service: The business of online ordination is seeing an increasingly diverse customer base – no longer just people wishing to officiate weddings without going through a few years of seminary. Organizations such as Spiritual Humanism, Universal Life Church and the United National Church are bestowing titles ranging from pastor to wizard on applicants seeking ordination for a variety of reasons.
“Although ULC doesn’t explicitly list practices that are prohibited with the quickie ordinations, [Jake] Wible, [the ‘innovatory control manager’ at Universal Life Church Monastery] said the church does not recommend performing exorcisms. He suggests seeking a trained professional in the Roman Catholic Church.
“Other online ordination sites have an official list of credentialed ceremonies and other rites that are prohibited. ‘You are prohibited from performing ceremonies that involve exorcism, circumcision and animal sacrifice,’ says Spiritual Humanism’s website.
“United National Church, on the other hand, allows those it ordains to perform exorcisms but prohibits them from performing same-sex marriages.
“Wible said the growth of civil same-sex marriage has led to an increase in demand for ULC ordinations because gay and lesbian couples still can’t get married in many churches.”
Kevin Emmons, president of the Maine Pagan Clergy Association, voices skepticism about online ordination. His association will only ordain clergy who can prove they have had seminary training, and the ordination ritual is performed in person, not over the internet.
Posted by Cara Modisett