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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