Mormon Church Excommunicates Clergy Oversight General Authority, Doesn’t Tell Why

Anders Hagstrom | Justice Reporter

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) excommunicated General Authority James J. Hamula Tuesday, the first excommunication of a high official in more than 28 years.

The 59-year-old had overseen church priests as the general authority of the Correlation Department for nine years. While LDS clarified that Hamula wasn’t excommunicated for “disillusionment or apostasy,” it did not announce specifically why it removed him, Deseret News, owned by the LDS, reported Tuesday.

“This morning, James J. Hamula was released as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, following church disciplinary action by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” church spokesman Eric Hawkins said in a Tuesday statement.

LDS has roughly 100 general authorities, and Hamula was called to the position in 2008 after serving as the missions president in Washington, D.C.

“My heart is with Elder Hamula and his family because it’s just so humiliating to not only have all the allegations but speculations spread across the world about what may or may not be the cause of the excommunication,” Mormon Stories podcast host John Dehlin told FOX 13.

Elder M. Russell Ballard said the punishment is not final, however, and Hamula could be accepted back into the church in the future, according to Deseret.

“The desired result is that the person will make whatever changes are necessary to return fully and completely to be able to receive the marvelous blessings of the church,” Ballard said.

The last LDS general authority to be excommunicated was George Lee in 1989 for “apostasy and other conduct unbecoming of a member of the church.”

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