Saturday, 12 July 2008

Church of England should appoint Britain's first gay bishop, says Archbishop of Wales

A senior church leader says he would be willing to consecrate Britain’s first openly gay bishop, despite fears that such a move would further split the Anglican communion.

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, told The Sunday Telegraph that practising homosexuals should not be barred from becoming bishops.

He accused conservative Anglicans of being “exclusive” and narrow-minded in their opposition to gay clerics.

His comments, which come on the eve of the Lambeth Conference - the Anglican communion’s ten-yearly gathering of bishops - are set to inflame the bitter controversy over homosexuality.

Dr Morgan said that he was in agreement with the decision of the American church five years ago to consecrate the homosexual cleric Gene Robinson as a bishop - the move which has pushed the Anglican church to the brink of schism.

He said that if his fellow bishops in the church in Wales voted for a practising homosexual priest to be consecrated, he would back their decision and approve it.

“If there was a candidate who was in a homosexual relationship that would be discussed,” he said.

“It would be my job to say 'you have to vote according to your conscience, but I’m duty bound to tell you that it will have repercussions as far as the wider Anglican communion is concerned’.

“If they said they want to do that well so be it. If a priest had a partner and someone nominated them that wouldn’t be a bar to them becoming a bishop,” he said. Read more

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  1. The Archbishop of Wales' statements are not surprising. Those who support the "full inclusion" of lesbians, gays, transsexual, and bisexual persons in the Anglican Church, here in the United States, in the United Kingdom and in other Anglican provinces are going to exploit the 2008 Lambeth Conference to promote their cause. I would not at all be surprised if the "indaba process" produces a "reflection statement" that calls for The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Church of England, and other Anglican provinces where liberals have a hegemony, to be allowed space to make their own decisions on LGTB issues. Integrity is providing all 136 American Episcopal bishops with British mobile phones with the phone numbers of all the other Episcopal bishops already programmed into the address book of the phone. The use of these phones is supposed to "make the ability to communicate news and information across the campus of the University of Kent in Canterbury, England much more efficient." How many other bishops, particularly from the global South, will be so equipped.To my mind it appears to be a blatant attempt to manipulate the "indaba process," allowing American Episcopal bishops in different small groups to consult with each other.

  2. Here in Wales, +Barry has a reputation for being desperate for the Church in Wales to get something first. If Women Bishops had got through earlier this year, with three sees needing to be filled in the next three months, it would have been certain that one would have been by a lady.

    As he didn't want any provision, those plans fell through, so a partnered gay bishop is the next opportunity for him- I think the rest of the CinW is too old fashioned (there's a distinction between that and traditionalist) for one mind, particularly in the more rural areas of north and west Wales.

    As a friend of mine said "All Barry wants now is a Woman Bishop and a Gay Bishop, and he can sing 'Nunc Dimittis'..."