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Church Of England Will Let Partnered, Celibate Gay Men Be Bishops

WestminsterThe Anglican Church of England last night announced that after years of international debate, they will now allow gay men to become bishops. These gay men, however, must be in a civil partnership and also celibate.

"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," the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James, said in a statement.

"The House believed it would be unjust to exclude from consideration for the episcopate anyone seeking to live fully in conformity with the Church's teaching on sexual ethics or other areas of personal life and discipline."

The New York Times offers more details:

The new policy was introduced in December, when the House of Bishops, a body within the church, published a list of recent decisions. One of those was to lift the ban on clergymen in civil partnerships becoming bishops. In 2005, the church ruled that people in civil partnerships could become clergy members, but the ruling did not apply to bishops.

The decision does not affect women in the church, who are not allowed to become bishops at all.

Baby steps?

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  1. You have to be joking, this is like saying a married man can be a Bishop as long as he stays away from his wife. Is it any wonder the people are leaving the Church. This rules in line with Biblical teaching now lets see, is that the one where a marriage is between one man and one women? Or is that the one where it say a Bishop must have just one "wife"? I don't think so.

    Posted by: Dennis McLeod | Jan 5, 2013 4:32:33 PM

  2. Hey, now there's some consolation in your sexless marriage - career advancement!

    Sorry, ladies, even a sexless marriage can't buy you a bishopric.

    Posted by: Glenn I | Jan 5, 2013 8:43:16 PM

  3. Reminds me of when The Smiths hit it big and Morrissey was gay but celibate, didn't make sense then either.

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Jan 6, 2013 6:29:40 AM

  4. "Baby steps?" Hardly. Weren't you paying attention, Andy? This is the same crap they through out there 10 years ago when all the controversy surrounding Gene Robinson hit. The conservatives said he could only be ordained a bishop if he remained celibate, which came after they realized their threats of schism weren't working to block it. In the end, Robinson was elected to the office by a 20 vote lead and no mention of him remaining celibate.

    Posted by: Mommie Dammit | Jan 6, 2013 6:43:11 AM

  5. For the CofE this really is baby steps. They also just allowed divorced priests to become bishops. They also just defeated the possibility of women bishops. The Archbishop of Canterbury is trying to maintain the Anglican Communion as best he can. I hardly envy the position and the ridiculousness of the positions he has adopted. This is from a member of The Episcopal Church.

    @Charles Sublett: The possibility of women bishops in The Episcopal Church has existed since the ordination of women in 1976. The current US primate, the Presiding Bishop, is a woman - much to the annoyance of much of the Anglican Communion. OTOH - in practice an openly gay cleric of any level must be preferably celibate or in a partnered relationship.

    @Mommine Dammit: Each branch of the Anglican Communion has a certain amount of autonomy from the rest. That's why the US church is so far ahead of the rest of the world and the Ugandan church is so far behind. The threat of schism has manifested itself in various ways. Certain national churches flat out have said that they are out of communion with the US. There is also a complicated relationship between certain national churches outside the US and dissident parishes and dioceses physically located in the US. This latter also meant that +Gene Robinson wasn't the only bishop excluded from Lambeth.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Jan 6, 2013 8:20:36 AM

  6. How do you spell 'delusional'?

    Posted by: billmiller | Jan 6, 2013 9:00:25 AM

  7. The Anglican Communion has traditionally expected gay clergy to be "celibate" by marriages of convenience;-)

    One of the popular arguments in the US about consenting to +Gene Robinson's election was to stop being delusional about gays and forcing them to lie by being married to an opposite-sex spouse. It's a pity most of the rest of the world isn't there yet.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Jan 6, 2013 1:30:19 PM

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