The chief prosecutor in Peter Leithart’s recently concluded heresy trial stunned many by converting to Roman Catholicism shortly after bringing his prosecution. Now some are citing his conversion as reason to declare a mistrial:
Three Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) recently approved an overture requesting the General Assembly to assume original jurisdiction over TE Peter Leithart, a teaching elder member of Pacific Northwest Presbytery.
Calvary Presbytery approved the overture at its April 25, 2013 meeting, and Gulf Coast and Mississippi Valley Presbyteries approved the overture at their respective meetings on May 7, 2013. The vote at all of the meetings was unanimous or at least without audible dissent. . . .
In June 2011, Pacific Northwest Presbytery held a trial, and the Presbytery found TE Leithart not guilty of the five charges. In November 2011, one month after the Presbytery met and adopted the judgments on the five charges, a complaint was filed against the actions of Pacific Northwest Presbytery. In April, 2012 the Presbytery denied the complaint at which point the complaint was carried to the SJC. . . .
The three Presbyteries voted to approve the overture asking the PCA General Assembly to, “Assume original jurisdiction and direct the Standing Judicial Commission to hear ‘Pacific Northwest Presbytery vs. Peter Leithart,’ because PNWP has ‘refused to act’ per the provision found in BCO 34-1, by not declaring a mistrial in this case because of its chief prosecutor’s conflict of interest, stemming from his transition into membership of the Roman Catholic church.”
The controversy centers on Leithart’s views on baptism, which he recently restated here.