Archbishop of Canterbury Has ‘No Problem’ With Gay Bishops

In an interview with The Times, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has stated that he has "no problem" with gay bishops.

Williams "I think if I were to say my job was not to be true to myself that might suggest that my job required me to be dishonest and if that were the case then I'd be really worried. I'm not elected on a manifesto to further this agenda or that. I have to be someone who holds the reins for the whole debate. To put it very simply, there's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe. So there's always a question about the personal life of the clergy."

But Williams has one caveat. He has no problem with it, so long as they're celibate. Heterosexual clergy are not required to be celibate.

In the interview, Williams also confessed that one of the biggest mistakes made during his stint as Archbishop involved openly gay and celibate cleric Jeffrey John, who was forced to remove himself from the running as a potential bishop in 2003.

Reports the AFP:

"John is openly gay and entered a civil partnership in 2006 but lives a celibate life. He withdrew his candidacy in 2003 to avert a rift between conservative and liberal factions within the Church of England and was instead appointed Dean of St Albans. Earlier this year a selection committee that included the Archbishop of Canterbury rejected John's ordination to become Bishop of Southwark. The Archbishop's latest comments provoked a stern response from human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell on Saturday."

"'Rowan is not being consistent,'" Tatchell told The Times. 'On the one hand he says that he doesn't have a problem with gay bishops and on the other hand he blocked the appointment of celibate Jeffrey John.'"

Williams' initial reaction to the election of openly gay Mary Glasspool as bishop last year: "(The election) raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole." Glasspool was ordained in May.

Read the entire interview on The Times Website (subscription required).


  1. says

    So… he personally doesn’t have a beef with gay people, but his job is to keep this false construct of the Anglican communion from breaking apart, so he’s willing to sacrifice his self-respect and the dignity of his colleagues to appease homophobic bigots. Right.

    I say let the American Episcopal church break away too. The Anglicans were formed as an English national church. Maybe they should return to that.

  2. dizzy spins says

    In a sense the Anglican position is worse than the Catholic Church’s. At least the church is consistent in saying homosexuality is some kind of disorder that can’t be tolerated. The Anglican church says “there’s nothing wrong with you, we’d love to have to minister to our community–just please put your libido in a safety-deposit box.”

  3. borisg says

    Asking religious leaders to comment on the obvious universal equality of mankind is like asking an astrologer to chart the course of a space mission. Archaic viewpoints do not further progress or understanding.

  4. Bart says

    trim your eyebrows, comb your hair, cut your beard, and quit talking out of both sides of your mouth — or quite honestly out of your ass and enter the 21st century. Religion is supposed to enlighten not make you more stupid.

  5. TANK says

    Fuck him and his ridiculous beliefs. Don’t expect much of anything from religionists. However, there are many gays who are more than happy to not only regulate their lives with nonsense such as this, but are content to be viewed and treated as less than. Church fags abound.

  6. Matt26 says

    I see him as a hypocrist as well. He says he has nothing against gays as bishops. But they need to live in celibate, straight bishops don’t have to. What? Nothing against?

  7. Joel says

    This guy is one of those daft Englishmen who still crop up every now and then.

    The position on gay clergy having to be celibate is just an example of one of his daft ideas.

    Not too long ago, he sympathized with the Muslims in England because they could not practice Sharia law. He said that perhaps there should be little areas of England where there would be Sharia law. Something like on this block you get to stone people for adultery, but not on the next block?

    Daft is the word.

  8. Phil Ince says

    Rowan Williams is a decent, thoughtful man. I think he’s wrong and believe I can conceive a more tolerant God and certainly a less medievally-minded clergy than he can, but he’s sincere. The abuse here is unnecessary.

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