Over time there has been debates on the Endorsement of
homosexuals to take major roles in churches in England
The latest announcement by the church’s House of
Bishops would allow a homosexual clergyman in a civil
partnership to become a bishop as long as he promised to
“The House has confirmed that clergy in civil partnerships,
and living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on
human sexuality, can be considered as candidates for the
episcopate,” said the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James.
The case of homosexuals has been dividing England State
Church since 2003, when gay priest Jeffrey John was named
bishop of Reading, in southeast England.
The move outraged conservatives within England’s state
church, and John was forced to resign. He was also a
candidate for bishop of Southwark in London in 2010, but
traditionalists again blocked his appointment.
All clergywomen, regardless of their sexuality, remain
banned from becoming bishops in the Church of England after
its governing body, the General Synod, failed to vote through
the change in November.
Gay men and women who are in civil partnerships — legal
unions giving them similar rights to those of married couples
— have been allowed to join the clergy since 2005 so long as
they vow to remain celibate.
The church has spent the past 18 months determining
whether the conditions should also apply to gay clergymen
who wish to become bishops.
The House of Bishops announced the change on December 20
but it was brought to light by the Church Times, an Anglican
newspaper, on Friday.
Gay couples have had the right to enter into a civil
partnership in Britain since 2005, offering them the same
legal rights as married heterosexual couples on a range of
issues such as inheritance, pensions and immigration.
The British government proposed last month to allow same-
s*x marriages in religious institutions that wish to provide
them, but the established Churches of England and Wales
would be exempt from the plans.
Married heterosexual clergy in the Church of England are not
expected to remain celibate. Justin Welby, the incoming
Archbishop of Canterbury who takes charge of the church in
March, is married with five children
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