A gay bishop for the Church of England?
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 23:39
London: The Church of England may be on the verge of promoting a gay priest to bishop, a step that would widen the split over sexuality in the global Anglican Communion.

If that happens, it would appear to be a significant turnaround for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the Church of England and the world's Anglicans, who recently imposed sanctions on the US Episcopal Church for electing a lesbian bishop.

According to newspaper reports, Williams is prepared to back the elevation of the Very Rev Jeffrey John, who withdrew seven years ago from an appointment as a suffragan (assistant) bishop in the face of a heated controversy about his homosexuality. Williams' office will not comment.

"I think the strength of the opposition is much weaker this time," Rev Canon Giles Goddard, the chairman of Inclusive Church, said today. His group was founded by people disappointed by John's failure to become a bishop in 2003.

- John, who is now dean of St Albans Cathedral, might be seen as a more acceptable candidate than the US bishop because he has declared he is celibate, and therefore not in violation of church teaching.


First Published: Tuesday, July 06, 2010, 23:39

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