Church of England to allow gay bishops

2013-01-04 22:05

London - The Church of England has dropped its opposition to gay clergymen in civil partnerships becoming bishops, it confirmed on Friday.

The 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 remain 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," said the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James.

The issue has divided England's 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.

Legal rights

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 20 December 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-sex 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.

  • LERAPITLA - 2013-01-04 22:28

    Why wouldn't they be???

      gail.rieck.9 - 2013-01-05 10:25

      Because it clearly against Gods laws!

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 16:47

      Gail is right. Its right there in the same book that says women should shut-up and have babies (1 Tim 2:11-15).

  • gift.moyo.52 - 2013-01-04 22:49

    church of ENGLAND! Thats a most appropriate name!

  • fdalana - 2013-01-04 22:56

    principles should never be compromised!

      fdalana - 2013-01-04 23:27

      you just confirmed that you confuse the two.

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 06:39

      @Atheitist. Never heard of the New Covenant (New Testament)? Your selective quoting of Schripture out of context to justify your own choices is pathetic.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 08:56

      “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV) Clearly the Old Testament is to be abided by until the end of human existence itself. None other then Jesus said so. (From

      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 12:55

      So Sarcastic - at what point did the New Testament begin? At the birth of Jesus or at the Resurrection of Jesus? Now if you know the answer, you would revise your statement as it is a misrepresentation. I will give you a clue - Colossians chapter 2. For you - verses 8 and 9 For the topic : verses 13 - 15. A gay union or civil union is not a marriage in terms of the Christian term marriage. Gay / Homosexual by its very nature describes the sexual nature / persuasion of a man or woman as being out of order with the natural / God ordained use of the body and has no place in the True Church. Don't try to force the philosophy of man up against the Holiness of God. It just doesn't make the grade. The entire purpose of Christianity is to have like minded people who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord [ and Master ] and Saviour gather together to worship under the ordinances of God for man. Homosexuality is against those ordinances. So why even think that having Gay priests / pastors etc would be acceptable to man if it is not acceptable to God Almighty? If Atheists want to get around a braai and chat over a few beers, let them. If Gays want to get together to practice their version of relationships, then let them. If Christians want to get together to share common ideals based on the Bible, them let them. But why do gays and Atheists insist on trying to force something on the church that is plainly against God's Principles? A Minister wanting this is also crazy!

  • raymond.mcnelly - 2013-01-04 23:18

    Thats not Biblical. That 'church' has just become anti Christian.

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 06:48

      Ray, that church was never "Christian", but fronted to laymen into believing so. There are too many ignoramt idiots that believe anything anybodybtells them and never do some studying on a subject for themselves. Believe me, it is the bedt thing that could've happened. Its time that the sheeple and Believers be seperated. Too many people get hurt by lacklustre halfbaked preechers that do what they do for a salary instead of preaching because its a calling. (we see it in the police, teaching and nursing industry as well) Doing church breeds the Dawkinses of this world, instead of preaching the Full Gospel that Enlightens peoples' minds. My goodness, we see it back home as well. Why do you think the traditional Afrikaner, Suster Churches are about to close down, whereas the Charismatic churches are growing by the day? Same will hapen there

      tsholofelo.phato - 2013-01-05 07:48

      Raymond we are not perfect as humans we make mistakes and we tend to learn from them so let's not judge for the bible instructs us not too. I believe God is testing our faith in him

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2013-01-04 23:23

    What is this world cuming too lol

  • nicholus.nakanyane - 2013-01-04 23:30

    Gay People have been here and will after we're long gone..Get used to it..U go Gay happy for You..Few more years all chains will be off..u'l be free and Gay

      Tuyez - 2013-01-05 00:02

      You sound so gay are you also gay.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 08:58

      Does it matter, tuyez?

      gail.rieck.9 - 2013-01-05 11:21

      I've got NOTHING against gay people, but God, who should be the head of ALL churches abhores gay practises. It's not the person persay that He hates, it's the unnatural practises. So to put a person who practises gay behaviour in a high position in church is no less then blasformous (spl?) I totally agree that we are not to judge, as only God is the supreme judge of mankind. Nevertheless, God has given us rules to abide by, and whether we like it or not it's not our choice. The church belongs to God, who are WE to decided what WE want and what WE think is fair or not??

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-05 18:03

      Oh please, the church doen't belong to god, its a man made institution.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 13:03

      Jakes - you have never met God have you? Thought so. Talking out of your rear end does not make it so. One day you will meet with God - what will you say then? Äg sorry , but I didn't know ? Reading these posts and ongoing attempts by non -believers to trash all believers should have given you enough information to know. It is your choices with that information that will count for or against you - not me, not God not anyone else, but only your decsions. Have a Happy Valentines Day - be nice to someone just because you can.

  • sergio.o.williams - 2013-01-04 23:40

    why did the Anglican church allow this? My opinion is that this organization and all others who does not accept the supreme authority of the infallible Word of God, should simply verify their belief that the Bible is not the inspired Word of God, so that people will understand that they are a humanitarian org and not a church as described by the Bible and will not be dictated to by the Bible!!!

      roman.caesar.121 - 2013-01-05 09:37

      atheitist..WHY U SO CONCERN ABOUT CHRISTIAN LAWS if u dnt believe in a God?? its got nothing to do with u

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 12:55

      Roman, when your beliefs affects people who have other beliefs, it becomes something that has to do with them.

      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 13:08

      Rubbish - Gays can change if they choose to do so. Many have done so and that proves the point - it is a choice not a condition foisted on them medically but more like as not it is spiritual first and physical second in manifestation. Perhaps the True Church IS the place for Gays - Nothing is impossible for God. Now that could start some interesting testimonies to God's power, Grace and Love.

  • lybon1 - 2013-01-04 23:51

    Church of England????.....this jst a publicity stunt.....they are trying to attract more pro-gay members.... #i'm impressed by their courage#....but i dnt like the name church of england

  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2013-01-04 23:51

    May this remain in england and the rest of Europe not in our country yoh. I can imagine a gay bishop visiting archbishop Tutu here in SA yoh yoh yoh

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 07:07

      Ath, lol. Arch following Jesus is a bigger joke than Jesus being gay? How low can one go?

      roman.caesar.121 - 2013-01-05 09:40

      lol atheitist..if jesus was gay, he would have said a man wil leave his parents house for another he said a man wil have a woman. since u have no believes and support gays. why dnt u try some chocolate ass

  • Nyaya Pano - 2013-01-04 23:58

    thats why personaly i think religious laws are necessary political arts! look for example, Moslems accept that their Qur'an is true, but some part of it are demonstrably false, th text is a poetic truth nd mus b interpreted using philosophical reasoning! therefore our knowledge nd religion are not incompatible, this is th case if u look closely

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 09:01

      "Moslems accept that their Qur'an is true, but some part of it are demonstrably false" *cough* christianity *cough*

  • rasthami.m1 - 2013-01-05 00:15


      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 09:01


      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 13:13

      Prove it.

  • Pulverturm - 2013-01-05 00:22

    Wow, next thing you know, they will allow bishops who eat shellfish and come into contact with women during their period!

  • TaniaSandraSteyn - 2013-01-05 00:30

    Really tongue in cheek: who will be policing the Gay couples? Themselves? Aikona. I don't see this happening . How many priests remain celibate?

      Kombisa - 2013-01-05 06:32

      Hayi khona, who on earth would police them. They may as well not even bothered to have that as a requirement. I want to hide.

  • pieter.visser.9883 - 2013-01-05 02:11

    Celibate in a clergical sense means to abstain from any form of sex. This then also means you are mentally bound from thinking about, grooming or attracting possible partners for sex. So how can you be branded as hetero or homosexual? Unless you're not celibate.

  • tommo.too - 2013-01-05 03:42

    Ill promise to be celibate if you promise to be celibate :)))))

  • collen.seoka - 2013-01-05 04:15

    God created man and woman for a reason, the gay community are defying God's purpose. They should never be allowed to lead christian communities!

      ian.robertreid - 2013-01-05 05:46

      I agree with u 100%

      Kombisa - 2013-01-05 06:26

      You seem to be sharing a the last name with the Bishop that was involved in the Marikana negotiations, he probably would also agree with you. Point is humankind in they wisdom came up with the notion of democracy and the constitutional framework which many a times contradicts the Holy Bible. Without commenting further I fully agree God created man and a woman for a reason and many animals with opposite gender.

      odirile.seemise - 2013-01-05 07:47

      And who created the gay community? only a demented, greedy idiot will want to lead you Christians. Your religion is covered in hate and blood of innocents

      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 13:21

      And yours Odirile ? Since God first chose certain peoples to be his Chosen ones, violence has been done to these people ever since. if you don't believe something that another person holds dear, is that a permission to perpetrate violence against them? The Christian Church holds to the belief that Gay unions are not marriage. Why this effort to change that? The State has afforded a route for legal rights to flow from a Gay union so get those rights from the appointed courts. The Church solemnizes a marriage before God to present Holy Matrimony to God. A Gay union is an unholy Matrimony and is abhorrent before God. Why try to achieve the unachievable - thats just plain insane!

  • Phillip du Plessis - 2013-01-05 05:21

    Well... a church would not see me again. We have much more love, friendship and fellowship in the gay community than I've felt in church. No offence intended.

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:26

      @ nketso.kgwadi - yeah, you would rather rape a girl neh.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-05 18:07


      saintbruce.bruce - 2013-02-14 13:30

      No Offence taken. Remember the Church effects the Word of God on earth. If you don't agree [ submit to] with that, then you are free to go your own way. A Christian is submitted to the Word of God and is bound to promote and observe the terms of the Covenant they have. That Covenant excludes homosexuality. Is this so hard for people to grasp ? What I find astonishing is that a large Church body like the Church of England [ an old offshoot of Catholicism ] can even entertain a notion that would set them clearly off the path that they claim to be on. Maybe they were not even on that path in the first place? Where I fellowship, the love of God is so tangible we get soaked in His divine presence. All are welcome to let His love do what it does best - change you and bring you closer to Him [ Jesus Christ ].

  • may.bee.988 - 2013-01-05 06:08

    Just another business!! I am sure if there is a God he would not approve of this!!! Sad to say the more I see and read the less I believe in God!!

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 07:03

      may, did you know that China also have a state orientsted church? But the charismatic church in china have more than 30million members. The Church of England is a state funded and run mouthpiece for the govetnment. It's got very little to do with the Gospel. They are being exposed for the fraudstets of who they really are. Don't be dissapointed in the real church because fraudsters dissapointed you Same happened in SA where some churches today that had the same "state mouthpiece role", have lost its relevance. Base important decisions on some self study

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:26

      @ hein.huyser - well, 30 million followers in China is a drop in the bucket, since they have 1.3 billion people. All churches in the world are in a way "state funded", since none of them have to pay tax!

  • chumachienda - 2013-01-05 06:31

    God,wat hope do we have?

  • hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 06:34

    At last. Now the "fronting" of the Church of England can stop and millions can see them for who and what they actually are. A lame mouthpiece for the government. We saw the same happening hete in SA where the churches were used to spread a certain doctrine, or at least, not speak out against a certain doctrine. This will be hreat for the serious believers seeing that those hanging onto the doctrines of these churches and clergymen will be seperated from those who do not believe the same. The Charismatic churches will have a huge influx of people, same as what we saw in SA. Long overdue.

      jakes.trahms - 2013-01-05 18:12

      Evangelical church numbers are currently dropping in America and other western countries. The same will happen is SA eventually, once people realise its just another religion that fails to deliver on its promises.

  • Jimmy - 2013-01-05 06:48

    Church will be in the hands of satan.

      hein.huyser - 2013-01-05 07:13

      Jimmy, "church" in the srnse of "Church of England" etc have always been in the hands of Satan. The do church and religion in those buildings and orginisations. That has always been with us. True Church is the True Gospel believers and having a Relationship with God the Creator. We are happy that this has happened in England. Now a seperation between believers and the state ideoligy movement will bring along a more pure church

  • theko.moya - 2013-01-05 07:25

    Thanx God um nt d member of dt church

  • JohncarlosBiza - 2013-01-05 07:32

    If they are celibate, it shouldn't make a difference.

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:24

      They are not celibate. The Roman Catholics are celibate. Anglican priests can marry.

  • fidelity.mcoshi - 2013-01-05 07:41

    England is ripe for an Islamic takeover!

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:24

      Oh bugger off! Exchaning one conservative hypocritical system for a system full of hate and oppression?! No thanks, as an atheist and a woman, I'd rather have the christians in power than the islamists.

      fidelity.mcoshi - 2013-01-05 08:31

      Tongue in cheek!

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 09:00

      Ah ok, sorry! lol

  • aleck.wellay - 2013-01-05 07:49

    ''You shall see them by their works. Come out of it my people,'' said Jesus.

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-01-05 07:52

    A rather queer decission by the church of England!

  • ianthe.exall - 2013-01-05 08:13

    But not women? Time to scrap religion.

      Pulverturm - 2013-01-05 09:29

      Church of England does allow female clergy.... They were ripped apart for it back then aswell!

  • bill.mckimm.9 - 2013-01-05 08:20

    There is something truly sick in the Anglican church when it enables gay bishops but denies women the smae rights, more so when its titular head is a woman. This is not a rant against gay rights but an absolute disbief that woman are band from holding high office! But I suppose we can expect nothing less from the church that gave us that rabid racist Tutu.

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:22

      Yah, that is the biggest joke of all! The head of the Anglican church has been a woman for decades, i.e. the Queen of England. Yet they deny women the right to become bishops? And then award that right to gays? What absolute hypocrisy! Yet again, they are a bunch of old men who fear and hate women. Plain and simple. Hmm, don't fully agree on your Tutu comment. He is just a man that speak out against anything he perceives as wrong, including our current "government".

  • LanfearM - 2013-01-05 08:20

    Oh dear, you can be a gay bishop just so long as you are not a woman? Now really, I actually defended their decision to exclude women from becoming bishops, because unfortunately it IS in line with their bible and the tennets of the christian faith. However, allowing gay bishops is NOT in line with the bible and the tennets of their faith, so how do they justify this? They are hypocrites, plain and simple! But why should that be a surprise when it comes to the religiots of this world.

  • abner.mophethe - 2013-01-05 08:34

    what difference does it make if one is married or in a civil patnership,after all legally,they both have the same consequences and im sure the level of intimacy is the same,so how do you separate them by just a mere piece of paper that says 'married'???????

  • Jimmy - 2013-01-05 08:50

    If you are born with a defect or become a funny this is not from GOD. All this comes from the devil.

      LanfearM - 2013-01-05 09:02

      Yah right, and who created the devil according to your scripture.

      phoenix.px.5 - 2013-01-05 09:34

      Is that your excuse Jimmy? You don't have to apologise - no-ones perfect.

  • magret.chipangula - 2013-01-05 11:46

    Why compromise on the word of God this is disgusting lm so dissapointed in this church

  • jakes.trahms - 2013-01-05 18:23

    I cant wait for the day when religion gets banned.

      SarcasticAgnostic - 2013-01-05 22:57

      I dont know about you, but I can live with religion, as long as they keep it to themselves, and it does no harm to their fellow man.

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