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Church of England to publish guidance on appointment of celibate gay bishops

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  1. Hardly a step forward …
    I appreciate that some clergy may genuinely make a choice to be celibate inside a loving monogamous civil partnership – and thats fine if that is the right choice for them and their partner to make – and obviously if they are the best candidate for a role as a bishop then they should be promoted …
    However it causes me three issues – what about those people in a loving relationship who are monogamous and have an active sex life – are they to be penalised for responding to their natural instincts or are they expected to lie?
    Why does it have to be a civil partnership – why not a marriage? I appreciate this question might be early as marriage of same sex partners is not legal in the UK as yet.
    What about those Christians who want to see gay clergy and other gay Christians being treated with equity to heterosexual christians?

    1. Galadriel1010 19 Jun 2011, 3:01pm

      Everything is a step forwards. If this means that Dr Jeffrey John becomes a bishop, as he should have long ago, that’s another person in the upper ranks of the church who’s on our side. The more doors are opened, the more people we can get inside, and the more people we have inside the more doors we can open.

      It may be a gradual change, but it’s change nonetheless

      1. Hmmmm I take your point Galadriel1010 ….
        In that sense it is progress, but its damaging at the same time in terms of the message it sends

        1. I think it is time for the Anglican church to seriously examine what their anti-gay church tradition is based upon, certainly it is not based upon Bible scripture. It is wrong to proclaim the Biblical view of homosexuality since there is none.

          1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 7:48am

            Your right Pavlos, it is a classic case of taking nothing and reading something into it to suit oneself.

        2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 7:47am

          I agree Stu it basically carry on with the Church view “your welcome as a person but not as who you are”.

          It’s an appalling discrimination and I think they don’t get what th Equality Act is.

          It certain does send a very damaging message esp when they have to “repent” themselves.

          In my eyes thats abuse.

          1. Absolutely, it is undoubtedly a sexual abuse to impose upon a persons relationship and insist upon celibacy as part of a job description but this type of abusive interference in people’s private relationships will have to be made illegal if it is to be stopped as the church has now shown it is quite incapable of taking a reasoned, grown-up approach.

            Morally it is worthless to insist that two persons who love each other and are in a committed relationship may not have a full loving relationship.

            What this caveat amounts to is a pointed denial of the worth of all homosexual relationships, it’s a twisted, sadistic and desperate.attempt to cling to the last bit of discrimination to reflect a totally phony homophobic tradition based not upon scripture but upon it’s willful misrepresentation.

            What a vindictive and spiteful lot of phoneys they all are, the gay one’s too for insisting/accepting this abusive condition and propping it up in order to further their parasitic careers.

          2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 8:57am

            I agree but I think they just don’t get how discriminating and abusive this ‘agreement’ is.

          3. It will be interesting to see how they frame this “agreement” when it is announced today. My understanding is that this is based on legal advice from the Church of England’s legal team. As I say elsewhere on this thread, that advice may be wrong (both legally and certainly ethically).
            Whilst I appreciate its not a simple issue for the church in one sense, due to history and differing views – in a very real sense it is a simple issue – you are either honest and express the Bible honestly and give a real sense of leadership which demonstrates inclusivity and equality – or you don’t.

      2. Don Harrison 20 Jun 2011, 12:21pm

        I agree just the same it it like watching paint dry

      3. The comments at the bottom of the Telegraph’s take on the story might shed some light on the the sorts of attitudes Rowan Williams is trying to appease. It’s not pretty.

        1. The comments that the state can not impose on the church are completely false. The state can and should.

          The church has had to accept the law on child protection, health and safety and a myriad of other issues. Employment law should not be exempted – the church is effectively an employer even if it perceives its employment is from God, they still do interviews, have application forms, have HR departments and policies – have duties of care to their employees etc

          Oh and doesn’t the Bible say something about honouring the lawmakers?

          1. I disagree. On balance, I think the separation of church and state has to work both ways. Just as we insist they don’t impose their ideologies on our secualr institutions, we shouldn’t interfere with what goes on in their churches–child abuse aside, of course; but raping kids was not a matter of policy (believe it or not, lol).

          2. @Flamineo

            Just to clarify, I have never suggested child abuse was a policy of the church (of whichever denomination). Clearly, the church has a responsibility to society that it forms part of (whether or not it is linked to the state) and that includes compliance with law – be that law of child abuse (which I am sure we would all agree needs to occur), or be that health and safety, on fraud, on registration of marriage, on race equality, on employment, on fear from harassment – they must comply with reasonable law.

            Absolutely, there should be give and take in framing legislation – but this should be taken into account when legislation is framed and should have an equality assessment – law should not treat someone differently merely due to their religious beliefs.

          3. No. If churches don’t want to marry same-sex couples, they can’t be forced to. If we were talking about individuals working for a public institution, paid for with public finances, then that’s a different matter. But if it is enshrined in their religious belief that they are not permitted to employ gay people, black people, women, witches, whatever within their temples/mosques/churches, then we really don’t have a right to change that, because they hold certain discriminatory attitudes as ‘sacred’. But that’s religion for you. Let’s face it, they don’t come out of this looking particularly chritable, do they?

          4. @Flamineo

            I think you misunderstand me. I agree a church can not be forced to marry people that they feel they do not wish to – and that is a conscience choice that the church should make for themselves – but they should also be prepared to defend their choice and face a response to any ignorance within the reasoning behind their choice.

            What I am saying is that in terms of general law – criminal law, health and safety, the actual registration of marriage, employment law, slander, libel, race relations, disability discrimination etc etc – the church should be treated identically to any other organisation and should have no harsher regime to comply with but no favour in law either.

          5. I do understand your view. The problem is that laws is changeable, depending on societal attitudes of the day. Religious law is designed to remain fixed and immutable. When the two are in conflict (as they currently are in matters of equality legislation) the state really should respect that religion has been around a lot longer than it has, and not use the law as a tool for bullying it into changing its attitudes. It won’t work, and will only provoke a backlash for overstepping the mark.

          6. @Flamineo

            So which laws do we let the church ignore … incest, murder, slavery …?

            These are all laws religious bodies have felt ought not apply to them in the past.

            The only fair, honest and impartial approach is that when law is framed it considers special interests of all groups be they LGBT, church, golf club, environmental or whatever and frame it in the fairest and most transparent way possible. Once framed, it applies equally and transparently to all.

          7. I can’t believe I’m arguing in support of the Church; I don’t even believe it myself. But nobody’s agitating to introduce incest, murder or slavery, so I find that argument a little dishonest. (Like when religious people claim that opening the door to gay marriage will mean opening the door to polygamy, or marrying animals. It’s argument based on exaggerating the possible outcomes, rather than taking things on a case-by-case basis).

            If we were talking about human rights abuses like the ones you described (child abuse, slavery, murder, etc) then that is inexcusable and must be fought tooth and nail. No religion has any right to impose their dogma on anyone that doesn’t choose to walk through its doors. But these priests are choosing to buy into a philosophical system which clearly objects to their intrinsic nature. Which I find truly baffling.

          8. @Flamineo

            I thought we were talking about the church being equally accountable under state law.

            If so, then they should not be able to pick and choose which laws they subscribe to and which ones they do not.

            Legislators also need to consider what could happen and put protective legislation in place – thats why much of our criminal law exists (although a lot of it has been reactive to tragedies). If we look at Waco (a religious organisation where the leaders felt incest, rape, poisoning etc was appropriate) then we can see that religious organisations can view themselves to be above any law. Now I appreciate that the Church of England is not clamouring for such bizarre rights – but no religious organisation should be able to choose which laws are appropriate to them and which are not.

          9. So they must be forced, by civil law, to abandon what they believe is God’s word…? I admire your dedication to the fight for equality, and I know your heart’s in the right place. But I think you underestimate the depth of feeling that people have for their religious beliefs, however outrageous and unfair they appear to us as outsiders. I maintain that equal rights legislation is a great tool for combatting prejudice and discrimination in the public sphere, but by encroaching on their ‘holy’ territory with legislation that directly contradicts (arguably) one of its fundamental philosophical tenets, it is a step too far and breaks the mutual commitment that church and state have to remain separate. I predict that the consequences for us will be dire.

          10. @Flamineo

            Its less the likes of the Church of England and other established denominations that I particularly would want to protect us from in terms of law. Although by having a measured and equal approach to ensuring that the law applies equally to all then it would have the benefit of ensuring compliance with equality law in itself.

            I am more concerned that if we say religions can pick and choose the laws they accept and adhere to then we leave ourselves open to some people like those in Waco or other bizarre organisations who may feel they can not comply with more concerning issues.

            To enforce that we need to demonstrate equity – otherwise who decides which laws will be enforced and which ones won’t?

        2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 12:57pm

          This is when those Christians who really don’t support this need to be speaking out loud so we can see them.

        3. There has been some comment on Facebook – but I agree there needs to be more visibility

      4. It’s not a step forward. He (or any other gay bishop) would have to publically ‘repent’ their gay sex. The only gay bishop that can therefore get into post is either a self-hating one, or a hypocrite.

      5. No, actually it’s not even slightly progress. Any bishop would have to say that they ‘repented any past gay activity’. So the only appointable bishop under the current system would be a self-hating one or a liar.

        (By the way have you seen the one about the Archbishop of Canterbury’s lesbian wife and five gay children? Eye popping stuff!)

      6. but it is a damning condemnation of all gay people: your love is evil, you shoulod be ashamend, you are guilty. This is a disgusting message.

        The facts about sexual orientation are accessible to all and have been answered decades ago. The church should realise this.

      7. billy wingartenson 29 Feb 2012, 11:35pm

        So what is Williams going to do – put low light cameras under the covers of his gay bishops?

        Seriously though, if he wants to be considered as not being full of it, he needs at the same time to immediately appoint a gay bishop in a civil partnership.

        then we can give him a modicom of trust.

  2. Jock S. Trap 19 Jun 2011, 2:34pm

    If this wasn’t so damn discriminating I’d laugh.
    Oh what the heck I gotta laugh.

    Where does he get off demanding those even in relationships should be celibate.

    They should be celebrating commitment not punishing it but they this is the Church of England.

    Disgusting but not surprising.

    1. Meanwhile Anglican penile-vagina’mite Bishops like Rowan Williams can carry on regardless having “sexual intercourse”.

      Piety by proxy, devising and making crosses for other people’s backs and demanding they amend/repent their behaviour is always an easier route to piety than the route that requires one to amend/repent one’s own behaviour, isn’t that right Rowan?

      1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 9:00am

        It’s unfair to impose something they wouldn’t do themselves.

        It’s the fact they still, in their eyes, think they are doing the right thing by discriminating others.

        Nothing changes.

  3. Dan Filson 19 Jun 2011, 2:37pm

    What a tortuous mess the C of E does get itself into – so the Rt Rev X and Mr Y, civil partners now for several years, are allowed to share a double-bed (I assume that is permitted), read PD James by the bedlight, and roll over and have a cuddle (I assume cuddling is permitted), but nothing more is permitted. How do you police a promise to remain celibate – are you not inducing a lie? At the age most people might be bishops I suspect it is companionship and the like that drives the relationship, but to preclude – on an oath-made basis – a little more seems perverse.

    1. I think they might be allowed to do the Guardian crossword and share a cup of tea/sherry together too.

      Bizarrely on issues such as use of drugs and prior convictions the church is forgiving and seeks to understand and support – in issues of human sexuality it ties itself up in knots.

    2. Galadriel1010 19 Jun 2011, 3:03pm

      No sex please, we’re British.

      1. Galadriel1010 – “no sex please, we’re British”. That’s a bit harsh. Sex is allowed. But only in the missionary position, for the sole purpose of creating babies, with the lights off. Oh – and you have to make sure you don’t enjoy it. :-)

        1. @David G

          You also forgot the time limit – mustnt be more than 20 seconds and no foreplay

        2. Galadriel1010 19 Jun 2011, 3:43pm

          But don’t the staff bring the babies? Le gasp, I need to go and have a lie down in a darkened room.

        3. Don Harrison 20 Jun 2011, 12:23pm

          I wonder who will watch then to make sure that they remain celibate?

      2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 9:01am

        Think it’s more like:-
        More sex please We’re British and have a lot to catch up on.

    3. Interpretation is everything,perhaps like Clinton when he said, “I did not have sexs with that woman” and the many religious teens who get round the abstinence before marriage vows they make by having manual, oral and anal sex thus technically remaining virgins. Maybe celibacy strictly applied relates to not having penile-vaginal sexual intercourse.
      These Anglican clerics are so deeply weird that anything is possible but it will be left unstated.

  4. Why doesn’t Williams just call it a day and have the C of E defect entirely to Rome? Does Williams really believe an Anglican priest in a sexually active civil partnership is going to live a life of celibacy? Denying physical love to the one you love is not love at all.

    To answer your question Stu, a priest in an monogamous, sexually active relationship would be expected to renounce all physical contact with his partner. Williams’ demands are absurd, ridiculous and cruel. He’s totally out of touch and needs to go, taking his supporters with him. He’s almost as bad as the Pope. I think the British public should have a serious discussion about disestablishing state religion altogether. Its a waste of our taxes and the majority of people aren’t believers or worship regularly. I don’t care what people believe in or not, just don’t force it on the rest of us. Its a personal choice. Nobody comes into this world religious either. Its a lifestyle even.

    1. Jock S. Trap 19 Jun 2011, 2:46pm

      I wish he would.
      Nothing personal but I can’t stand to look at the man he just reminds me of a dirty old tramp for some reason.
      Like I said nothing personal…

    2. @Jock S Trap

      You may have just spoiled my perception of you – I imagined you with facial hair … hey ho


      I do entirely agree that Williams demands are unreasonable and unrealistic. I also think his theology on the issue is wrong and his management of the issue has been shoddy.

      Taxes in the church …. now this is from genuine ignorance … where?

      I am all for separating church and state entirely – I actually think it would benefit both state and church for many reasons.

      Religious belief, political views, phillosophy are all choices – they may be environmentally influenced by those we are raised by, live around and encounter etc but they are choices

      1. Jock S. Trap 19 Jun 2011, 4:20pm

        Gud grief no, either shaved or stubble with no1 crop.
        Muscles with long hair and beard, never suited me.

        1. Very similar here no 1 crop and shaved or stubble …

          I get this bizarre character trait from my mother that I imagine what people look like that I talk to on phone, internet etc … or just talk about …

          1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 7:52am

            Got no hair at the mo, cheap on razors mind… LOL

            Anyway nothing bizarre about that trait Mr.

            I love sitting in Cafe’s windows or outside and people watch, great past time.

    3. Galadriel1010 19 Jun 2011, 3:05pm

      The CoE is slowly slowly leaning back towards the Celtic church’s teachings. Every step forwards shakes off more of the traditionalists. I just wish he’d shake a bit harder and get rid of them faster, then the church could progress in tolerance and love.

  5. I’m truly sick of the hypocritical Archbishop. He was chosen by Blair because he was a friend of the gays but as soon as he was installed he became our enemy. I rather have the previous incumbent – the homophobic Carey. At least with him he didn’t say one thing and do another!

    1. de Villiers 19 Jun 2011, 6:35pm

      > He was chosen by Blair because he was a friend of the gays
      Is that right? Was the leader of the English church chosen for his views on gay rights?

      1. If this is a friend …..

      2. Blair was a closet arch-Roman Catholic, appointing others like him to crucial positions and introducing pro-Roman Catholic policies (as opposed to equality policies, wherever possible, and definitely not a friend to sexual minorities. More he followed the Vatican as far as he could. Thus, when other countries were making marriage equal, and the discrimination of civil partnerships was very much obvious in the US – so much so that right-wingers there were advocating domestic partnerships as the acceptable alternative – Blair, with several RC ministers in the key offices, opted against equality The same with trans rights, where he followed Vatican policy and implemented a denial of there being a change of sex, contravening the the European Court of Human Rights judgement he was supposed to be implementing. The archbishop was probably appointed on the condition that he go against his previous, seeming liberal stance, which made him seem an acceptable, hopeful, appointment.

  6. Dan Filson 19 Jun 2011, 3:01pm

    Listed, I note, under UK and Religion but not The World. The Anglican Communion is world-wide – is this not applicable outside the UK? And therefore the first steps in a schism?

    1. Indeed it should be relevant to the worldwide community in that respect

    2. if the C of E had any morals it would accept gay clergy on truly equal terms (not this appalling OK so long as they’re celibate nonsense) and BE in schism. The fact that it does not shows that it values its relationship with foreign bigots above the people in England (it’s called the C of E: the clue is in the name) whom it is proposed to serve.

      1. There already is schism when you look at the entrenched views of some of the African Anglican churches compared to some of the American Anglican churches, which even more demonstrates why the C of E could make an individual stance on this issue whether or not other Anglican churches follow its lead.

  7. Paddyswurds 19 Jun 2011, 3:06pm

    This whole sorry mess just goes further towards proving what i’ve bee saying since I was 15….it’s a cruel hoax and joke on those who are still naieve enough to believe in the rubbish these charlatans peddle, and the taxpayers of the UK are paying for it , even those who know its a hoax. How is this even legal; there are hoaxers on the interweb who at least send you a dodgy pen or memory stick when they rip you off.WTF???

    1. Can someone show me how UK taxpayers are paying for the church – because I can’t see it …

      1. Galadriel1010 19 Jun 2011, 3:44pm

        The church can claim back gift aid on donations because it’s a charity.

        1. I struggle with that one because I can see arguments on both sides of gift aid – in a pure sense it should not support religion particularly evangelism etc – but in terms of community work, international aid etc it may have a place – the solution – create a separate organisation which can do this work which is divorced from the religious aspect of the church?

  8. The Church of England is a joke. As plenty of people have already pointed out, the COE only exists because a medieval king wanted to get rid of his wife and marry his mistress. The next head of this church will be a guy who married someone he didn’t love. He then drove her to the point of mental breakdown before divorcing her and marrying the woman he’d been carrying on whilst she (Camilla) was still someone else’s wife. From which particular moral pinnacle does this “church” think it is qualified to advise the rest of us on how to live our lives?
    They have obviously realised just how far out of step they are with the rest of society. So they’ve presented another set of ridiculous made up rules to go alongside the old set of ridiculous made up rules.
    Hopefully this is just another step towards these snake oil salesmen being out of a job for good.

    1. @David

      If we follow one facet of your argument logically it applies more credence to the Catholic church – which I personally perceive as more homophobic (generally)

  9. Stu, the C of E receives a 100% VAT refund for any repairs or restoration of their buildings, tax payers’ money. Repairs and restoration are constantly ongoing and so are our tax pounds funding them, plus they get tax breaks on their investments, land and real estate etc. at tax payers’ expense. About time it ended especially since the majority of the public don’t attend services.

    1. @Robert
      I could understand (purely on the VAT refund) if it was proportionate if the building had a dual non-religious community based use e.g. youth club, use by CAB, use for surgery by local councillors/MPs etc etc but not for building solely used for worship or evangelism or purely faith based.
      Certainly don’t agree on tax breaks for investments etc
      If they are reviewed and adjusted then it has to be across the board to all religious and quasi religious bodies

    2. This shows the funding of the CofE

      but I really consider the local church as part of the community, the heritage building, it should surely be owned ultimely by the local people and they should have a say in how its run….It’s like saying the Queen is one of the richest woman in the world when in fact what she is sitting on is part of the UK heritage which has just gone to her over centuries…would the CofE or Queen have anything to invest if hadn’t been with them for centuries..

    3. Martin Lawrence 20 Jun 2011, 5:18pm

      Steady on, Robert. The VAT laws are mad. It’s not the Church’s fault that the VAT regime doesn’t automatically give rebates to all Church buildings: it applies to listed buildings for certain types of work only. In many parts of the country these buildings are paid for by the giving of the, frequently poor, regular churchgoers. The rich expect them to be there when they want to use them for hatch, match, and despatch. And, yes, match for us gays won’t be all that far away.
      That said, the idea of prying into a person’s sex life as a requirement before ordination is just so ludicrous, and I would have though illegal, that only people living on another planet could have come up with it.
      And I write this as a C of E priest, so I’ve got a fair idea what I’m talking about.

  10. David G, excellent point. The C of E is an hypocritical institution when it remains silent about adulterers Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles and officiating at their wedding. Its as bad as the roman cult, morally bankrupt and in no position to make moral judgments about gay couples either.

    1. The unfortunate message they are presently promoting is that it is somehow meaningful to distnguish between sexual orientation and sexual practice.
      It’s the annoyingly childish “love the sinner hate the sin” slogan put into practice here, how pathetic.
      The church is using it’s, imo wrongful, exemption from equality laws that everyone else must observe.
      As the new guidelines distinguish between sexual orientation and sexual practice they would not legally comply with the Equality Act.

      1. @Pavlos

        If only the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach was just childish and annoying – it clearly discriminates on a person by treating them differently on the basis on who they are … thats prejudice and wrong … Where those who make such judgements claim that they are done in “love” they mislead themselves and are blind to their own bigotry. In a significant proportion they are offended when you suggest they are bigoted, but there demeanour and attitude to homosexuality is clear. Obviously there are tolerant and accepting Christians – and some in the Church of England who speak out courageously. Its disappointing that the church fails to take its responsibility to lead and demonstrate equality.

  11. Utter and total bollocks..the straights clergy can indulge in sex, but not the gays.
    How can this be possibly allowed?

    1. Stevieeeeeeee 19 Jun 2011, 7:31pm

      because they are christians and as such are above the law. [/sarcasm]

      1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 7:55am

        I have to say that is the message being sent out here, I agree.

    2. Rowan Williams indulges in heterosexual practice, he is a practicing heterosexual, Rowan is a practicing penile-vagina’mite.

      1. Why can I not stop having images of vegemite when you use that phrase? Not nauseous now and not complaining but I keep seeing vegemite in my head!

        1. I don’t know, maybe you need to eat some Vegemite on toast, you may be lacking in “B” vitamins and this is your body’s way of telling you. You previously said you imagined what people looked like to J.S.T. so I guess it’s just you being you.
          I would like “penile-vagina’mite” to catch on as a comeback to those heterosexual bigots who, imo, wrongly and maliciously use the term sodomite to describe homosexuals.
          I must point out that I have nothing against well adjusted heterosexuals, most of my best friends are straight, it’s true, I’m not being flippant.

          1. Lol …

            Maybe it is just my view of the world that makes me have such views …

            Not had vegemite in ages …

            I can see your approach, and it has both serious and flippant connotations. Not sure it has the ring of an advertising tagline etc but it might catch on.

        2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 12:34pm

          I won’t be buying Vegemite from now on.
          Somethings put me off…

          1. Vaginamite on toast for breakfast…not!

          2. Presumably granary toast ….

  12. Stu, they shouldn’t have any concessions that we don’t get to enjoy. If they want their buildings restored, mostly churches and cathedrals for their own use, then they shouldn’t receive any refunds using tax payers’ money. The VAT refunds and other tax breaks they get also go towards clergy salaries. Its wrong.

    We should adopt the German system, allowing citizens to decline any of their taxes going to religious denominations to prop up their chosen lifestyle.

    1. @Robert
      I’m not endorsing refunds of VAT for salaries – I am very clear in limiting what is appropriate.
      I would see that where the building is used for non-religious community beneficial purposes that this would be no different to businesses claiming tax benefit on charitable work.

  13. jamestoronto 19 Jun 2011, 5:24pm

    This makes as much sense as the Anglicans allowing Blacks to being elevated in the Church, as long as they promise to white.
    What a crock!
    Doesn’t this come close to the creation of two CLASSES of married couples within the Anglican communion?
    Separate but equal. Does anyone out there remember what happened to destroy that notion?

    1. It certainly appears to be two classes of couple. Of course, in the UK the gay couples could not be married – so whilst statutory law discriminates and fails to afford equality – the church then make this lack of equity and fairness worse by requiring further unreasonable and unrealistic responses from those involved. Its preposterous.

  14. Rich (original) 19 Jun 2011, 5:37pm

    I suspect that he (Dr Williams) is a paederast….

    1. Strange that you know such words that are of little use in modern day English. You seem to struggle with the language on other occasions – but know all the terms for various perceived deviancies – makes one wonder where exactly your mind is … in the gutter clearly

    2. @Rich (orginal), so were you saying that Mohammed was not a pederast?

    3. Rowan Williams is a penile-vagina’mite, something that you aspire to in your wilder dreams Rich.

  15. Is this a bad joke? what utter nonsense, why not put in the proviso that they are castrated as well…the only good thing about this statement is that it may wind up a few clergy and bishops…here’s hoping they get their knickers in a twist..

  16. Ugh, it is things like this that make me ashamed to be Anglican, I’m pleased that progress is being made, but this whole celibacy thing is so ridiculous and discriminatory, the C of E has quite a way to go before I would consider it’s policies true to the wishes of God, but i guess I’ll have to wait for a while for a church i can be truly proud of

    1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 8:00am

      Prehaps the C of E will accept marriage Equality only if those of the same sex remain celibate?

      I wonder how a straight couple would react to that kind of comment, you can be together but you must be celibate?
      Bet I can guess the second word would be off.

  17. What is this fixation of Christian religion with men sleeping with men? They have been doing it since God created gays men and straight men. God want them to love one another. It is written. We need to get the Christian religion out of the sex lives of everybody in the west and tell them to leave them people alone. Really start a war to get Christians out of our bed room once and for all, they have no business being in our bed rooms and our private lives. God made us gay and straight and gave us parts to have sex, case closed. Get the GD Christians out of our sex lives now! Do what ever you have to do to get them out.

  18. Mumbo Jumbo 19 Jun 2011, 5:55pm

    This guidance is based on a legal opinion that the Church sought in order to clarify to them where they stood in respect of the Equality Act when it came to appointing LGBT people.

    It is therefore disturbing to note that the creepy and deeply discriminatory principle of “love the sinner, hate the sin” would appear to be enshrined in English law.

    And English equality law at that.

    1. Legal opinion can always be wrong and disproved in court

      1. Mumbo Jumbo 19 Jun 2011, 6:23pm

        That is why I said “appear”. Of course, the law should not allow any exemption whatsoever for religious groups. The law should apply equally to all. The fact that religious groups do have such unjustifiable exemptions and can therefore put forward such grotesque arguments is simply wrong.

        1. Even where the current law does permit discrimination on religious grounds it does not permit questioning on sexual behaviour prior to appointment … I would suspect even if just this aspect – if tested in court the church would be found wanting.

    2. Unfair exemptions acknowledged, while the church continues to nonsensically distinguish between sexual orientation and sexual practice it does not and cannot legally comply with the Equality Act.

  19. So it makes no logical sense for the ABC to respond negatively to the consultation on the registration of CPs in CofE Churches due on the 23/6, if they appoint gay bishops , ones in CPs and they approve of CPs then for heavens sake why can’t the buggers do the secular registration of the damn thing in church…..are they going to allow celiabte gay bishops etc to do their CP in the churches? They really are getting themselves in a mess……on the one hand they are going to approve of gay bishops and CPs but on the other hand they respond negatively to doing them on their premises…after all I can get married in church and promise to be faithful on that day but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be, so I could quite equally promise to be celibate and do a CP in church ,and honestly try, the fact that I may not succeed is not relevant…

  20. George Broadhead 19 Jun 2011, 6:34pm

    In addition to the points others have made, the C of E runs many so-called faith schools which are funded by the tax-payer including ardent atheistic Humanists like me.

    1. @George

      Again I will restate my position that there should be a separation between church and state including there being no religious schools.

      However, I do think its incorrect to argue that school funding is church funding. Knowing how tight school budgets are – none of this is going to be circumvented anywhere other than into education.

      If justifiably faith schools are withdrawn at some point in the future then similar tax revenue will be required for state or free schools to ensure the places provided by current faith schools are available to children requiring them.

      1. Clergy have control over faith schools, although the state pays for them. Clergy are also exempt from paying Council Tax, a not insignificant tax break if you think how much you’d save if you didn’t have to pay it.

        1. With regards the council tax exemption – unless they are entitled to an exemption for other reasons – then I think that should also be withdrawn.

          As for clergy having control over schools – not entirely … There are boards of governors which include parents, LEA and local authority representation as well as church representatives – and often the church representatives are not clergy but lay people.
          There are also LEA inspections and OfSted inspections to ensure compliance with equality etc. Now, I don’t think faith schools are a sensible thing but making a blanket comment that clergy control them is not accurate.

  21. More christian homophobia.

    1. I agree.

      But bizarrely part of the subject matter demonstrates some lack of homophobia in some areas of the church – given that they are considering gay clergy becoming bishops.

      Its far from perfect and is horrifically homophobic but ridiculing the entire organisation with one label is still simplistic.

  22. Christine Beckett 19 Jun 2011, 8:06pm

    I don’t think Williams is out of touch.

    It’s just that he’s just a moral coward who will not stand up to the bigots in his own church and tell them to go to hell.

    or Rome, whichever is more likely.

    He pretends he is trying to keep the Anglican communion together, but he’s not even fooling himself…


  23. Can anyone tell me how far along Islam has come with their gay leaders? I mean, the Christians aren’t setting me on fire, hanging me, or chopping off my head for being gay.

    1. On the other hand, Christians are maintaining a culture of revulsion towards gays that forms the zeitgeist upon which violent homophobic attacks are escalating. Maybe worth taking a look at one of the stories of Muslim homophobia to complain about Muslim homophobia, eh?

    2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 3:55pm

      Not sure what your point is as this is seen as a Christian country not a Muslim one.

      Are you saying we should be greatful for this Arch-bishop’s homophobia?

  24. Commander Thor 19 Jun 2011, 9:06pm

    “The aim of the Party was not merely to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control. Its real, undeclared purpose was to remove all pleasure from the sexual act. Not love so much as eroticism was the enemy, inside marriage as well as outside it. All marriages between Party members had to be approved by a committee appointed for the purpose, and — though the principle was never clearly stated — permission was always refused if the couple concerned gave the impression of being physically attracted to one another. The only recognized purpose of marriage was to beget children for the service of the Party.”

  25. douglas in canada 19 Jun 2011, 11:29pm

    So, if the church is that concerned with what people do in their bedrooms, do they check in with the straight clergy to see who ties up his wife [with her consent] before having a little fun? Or the priest who likes to put on a little bit of lace and silk, while his wife dons a leather harness and a strap-on dildo and grabs a whip to make her hubby happy?

    If the sex lives of straight clergy are not proscribed, why is the church meddling in the lives of its gay clergy?

    Perhaps it’s just jealousy. They know we’re having too much fun, and they’re not… Rather than attempt to improve their own sex lives, they trounce on the options and opportunities of their gay fellow-clergy.


    1. This disgusting enforced celibacy is a sadistic sexual kink in itself and a from of sexual torture on the part of those who claim it’s required. It is as risible as physically requiring gay Bishops to wear bright pink chastity cages on their private parts at all times.
      How do these homophobes get away with it? I don’t think we should let them get away with it. Homophobes need saving from themselves and from the sin of homophobia and judging others.

      1. I meant “form”

  26. The reports say this is is to comply with the Equality Act, but that is a total falsehood, never mind hypocrisy. Matters of church doctrine affecting those who promote that doctrine are exempt from the Equality Act.

    If they were obeying the Equality Act they couldn’t impose a requirement of celibacy on lesbian and gay clergy whilst not doing for heterosexual clergy, of any level.

    And if they were obeying the spirit of the Equality Act there would be women bishops.

    Doesn’t their agonising over lesbian and gay celibacy, and still not allowing women bishops, just so show how it is all about misogyny though? Preserving the supremacy of the masculine.

    They are just so out of touch.

    1. I think they do have to comply to the Act but the doc say “As a matter of law, however, the Act allows Churches and religious organisations toimpose a requirement that someone should not be in a civil partnership or impose a
      requirement related to sexual orientation where‘because of the nature or context ofthe [office], the requirement is applied so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly
      held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers’. …..and then it goes on to say things like In particular, the House of Bishops’ statement of 2005 did not address this question.It noted that the House saw ‘nothing incompatible between Holy Orders and enteringinto a civil partnership, where the person concerned is willing to give assurances to his or her bishop that the relationship is consistent with the standards for the clergy set out in Issues in Human Sexuality.’ etc…..

    2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 8:02am

      Maybe the answer would be if they stopped obsessing about sex and actually saw a human being instead.

  27. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 6:29am

    It’s the fact they are being forced to repent too.

    So they have to ashamed of who they are and repent it even if they are in a committed relationship.

    Totally disgusting.
    Think they’ve mistaken what the Equality Bill means.

  28. An unjust law is a code that a majority inflicts on a minority that is not binding on itself.
    Martin Luther King.

    Frankly I’d say that about covers it..

  29. The Church of England – a worthless, bigotted cult for people who like other people to think on their behalf..

    I want this moronic bigotted cult removed from its position as ‘official’ church in England.

    It is grossly offensive that homophobic bigots like Rowan Williams has any influence over politics.

    1. To put a bit of perspective in there – he clearly should have the same influence on politics that you or I have as a member of the electorate, and being able to comment in the media by writing letters to The Times etc. Whether he should have a seat in the House of Lords – well, thats something I think is not appropriate.

    2. Don Harrison 20 Jun 2011, 2:59pm

      David you sound so bitter. What is the reason?
      Last year I attended Spring Harvest where the was a discussion called “Homosexuality and the Bible” Andrew Marin (a straight man) from Chicago spoke to explain how he lived in the gay quarter with is wife and child where he has been working with gay people and the church to bring them together. Last year there were a total of five and he was at them all. In Skegness where he spoke the hall was full, some like me who was also gay, others were supports and others were family of gay people. He told us of one of the books which he had written called “Love is an orientation” The second session was a discussion which again was full which was chaired by a London C of E Bishop, a London Baptist Minister and Rev Steve Chalke from Oasis.. The whole event was very successful.

      1. Staircase2 20 Jun 2011, 9:14pm

        The best thing that could happen now is that every single gay priest and supporting str8 priests should publicly stand up and condemn this as un-christian.
        I would imagine that the numbers of people within the Church of England who believe this is wrong would be very sizeable indeed.
        Its time they stopped being scared of schism and instead focussed on the fundamental inhumanity of the CHASM they are creating.
        Instead of tossing gay clergy into the abyss, the Church would gain far more benefit by tossing in their collective fear, hatred and bigotry.

  30. Says he in a bright pink dress, bedecked in jewellery. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so infuriating.

    You can join our right-handed group if you’re left handed, but you must promise never to hold anything in your left hand. That way, we discriminate against what you do, not what you are. What rubbish. The two are the same thing; preventing someone from doing what is natural to them when someone else is not prevented from doing what is natural to them is indirect discrimination.

    1. @Sven

      It’s purple – no magenta … but it certainly is quite a Priscilla – esque colour …

      1. Cerise maybe!

        1. Actually I’d say it’s the red of a beetroot and quite appropriate in the circumstances

          1. I’ll go with beetroot

          2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 3:57pm

            It was probably originally white but he put it in with the red wash.

    2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jun 2011, 1:01pm

      Bet he wears stockings and suspenders underneath!!

  31. It’s sad he’s allowed himself to become a mouthpiece for homophobia, when his writings show he was not a homophobe. It shows a lack of courage and leadership.

  32. I fear I shall get a hard ride for saying this, but actually I think Dr Williams is making quite a good job of a very bad situation. Let me try to explain. It seems clear to me that his first priority is to preserve the unity of the Church of England, and second to that is to liberalise on the issues of women and gay priests and bishops.

    If he pushes too hard on these issues, the evangelical wing will rebel en masse, and either force a high-profile back-down or split away to form a separate church. Neither of these are in our interests. The liberal and high-church factions are already on side on the issue of gay rights; it is only the outspoken parts of the evangelical community that are not. While the church remains united, Dr Williams, and through him, the more liberal parts of the church, have influence over the evangelicals. Williams seems to be using that as much as he dares without the risk of losing that influence: hence his irritatingly approach to liberalisation.

    1. At the same time, we mustn’t overlook the fact that the high-church community in the Church of England are behaving completely unreasonably on the subject of women priests. The high-church community is solidly on side when it comes to gay priests. Broadly speaking the evangelicals hate gay priests and the high church lot hate women priests. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that the majority of high church priests are gay: certainly a great many are. But while they’re going out of their way to be awkward on the subject of women priests, for example by refusing the authority of a bishop who has ordained women, is it any wonder that they’re not making progress with gay priests either?

    2. @Rich

      I take your points and I can see Williams has a difficult path to tread.

      I do also perceive that a significant number of high church clergy are gay (whether thats a majority I would not like to presume).

      I do think that Williams has been consistent in his management style – but not in his message. If he had congratulated the high church for their stance on gay clergy, congratulated the liberal church for their stance on women clergy and criticized all for their lack of honesty, integrity and equality and then said what was going to happen – i.e. a movement towards full equality with a map as to how that would happen – maybe I would have more confidence in him.

  33. Get rid of established religion and the anachronistic House of Lords, both undemocratic, the latter having power for the most part to get laws passed.

    The Episcopalian branch in North America should sever all ties with Canterbury. The wealthy progressive Episcoplians provide the bulk of the funding for Anglican missions in Africa and elsewhere and as for Wiliams’ disgusting treatment and ostracisation of openly gay bishop Gene Robinson of Vermont from attending the Lambeth conference, it should cut off all of its financial contributions to the C of E’s missions and we might see its hastened demise, influence and power. A schism is inevitable, long overdue. Williams bends over backwards to acccommodate bigots such as that infamous anti-gay bish Akinola of Nigeria. Enough!

  34. What about the bit where they have to repent of any gay sex they have already had?

  35. That is the stupidist thing I have heard in a long time.

  36. Woteva!

  37. We have no problem with practising heterosexual Bishops so long as they agree to wear yesterdays underpants on their heads whenever they are in public.

    1. I mean isn’t this condition of celibacy intended to be humiliating for gay bishops?
      Isn’t it all about an overt expression of institutional animosity to homosexuals and to homosexuality.

  38. It’s the same ruling the roman cult uses before it will “accept” gay people and respect them as human beings, as long as all gay men and women remain celibate whether we’re in relationships or not. That means no masturbation either because it doesn’t lead to procreation. Beyond offencive!

    1. billy wingartenson 29 Feb 2012, 11:37pm

      yeh no masterbation. Except of the wee wee of litle children.

      all sing sieg heil to the pope who in 2009 UNexcommunciated Bishop Williamson, a holocaust denier

      BTW AH, who ran Germany from 1933 to 1945, also opposed birth control and abortion.

      more soldier for the wehrmacht……

  39. Repent of love.I think not.Can’t quite see Jesus saying that. Just typical of the Arch Cant though.

  40. Simply NOT good enough! Does the Cult of England also expect it’s heterosexual bishops to abstain from sexual intimacy?! No,of course it doesn’t,nor would it,because quite simply this particular cult is the same as all the others in that homosexuality’s to be kept in secret at best & wholly ignored at worst. BIG FAIL,C of E.

  41. i have been a priest for almost 25 yrs and have always been open about my sexuality and it has never been a problem up until now. I am no longer in the full-time ministry, but help out in a busy parish in the London diocese on a voluntary basis in my own time. s a However I have now been informed that I will no longer be able to do so as the area bishop asked me to assure him that my 16yr relationship is celibate, I refused to lie to him and find that my honesty means I can no longer pratice as a priest in his area of the diocese, much to the indignation of the parish who have been loving and supportive to me and my partner. Certain elements of the CofE see this as the defining issue for its mission and this makes me sad. I know that I will find another place to serve, but effectively schism now exists within the London diocese where in some areas gay priests can be licenced to serve but are prevented from doing so in one area unless they are prepared to lie to their bishop.

    1. Try Buddhism.

    2. @Gaypriest

      That is really sad – I am pleased you had the courage to be honest and have integrity, but disappointed at the arrogance and lack of empathy you have been shown.

    3. Staircase2 20 Jun 2011, 9:03pm

      Bless you – “forgive them – they know not what they do”
      (and more importantly, unfortunately, “they do not what they know”!)
      It beggars belief that such a highly educated group of people could behave like such backward idiots in matters of politically led philosophy.
      To have had their mission hijacked and been held to ransom by the African Churches’ American led kneejerkism is simply ridiculous. Especially as Gaypriest says, they are now effectively asking for happily out gay priests to lie about their sexual practices in order to appease them.
      Not a spiritual backbone in the lot of them!

    4. You should have told him it was none of his business and refused to either confirm or deny, did you ask him if he is having sexual intercourse with his wife? Fight back you ninny! don’t lety them walk over yoiu.

      1. Really Pavlos, thanks for your kind words – I am very sure that many are doing just as you suggest, I however, I chose a different path based on my belief that my relationship is a gift from God and that if I am prepared to show people like the bishop this, then maybe he would come to a more open understanding of how gay priests currently contribute to the church, with the support of the congregations they serve. Maybe I am naive (altough I think not). Do you really think that telling him to mind his own business will ever lead to change? I took the decision I did, because gay clergy, in many cases the backbone of many inner city parishes are asked to disemble to their bishops to slave the said bishops conscience at great personal cost to their own integrity and sense of worth, and are also under threat of exposure because of it. In the long term honesty is the best policy on this one, for me and for all of us

        1. I guess you meant “salve” there.

          Will you not challenge the basis of the churches anti-gay tradition then, you must be aware that there is no biblical view of homosexuality and that while scripture describes other behaviours, that no longer exist today and never did describe homosexuality nor homosexuals, still you find Bibles that anachronistically and wrongly employ the word Homosexual to describe condemned practices that are something quite other than homosexuality.

          1. I think being open and being moved is a form of challenge as it shows the injustice and unsustainability of their position. In the end common sense and justice will have to triumph. “By their fruits ye shall know them” might be apposite here, if all of us who are Gay priests can demonstrate the good we do and the injustice of the marginalisation and discrimination we face then perhaps in the end change will happen. and yes I did mean salve.

  42. Rich (original) 20 Jun 2011, 7:22pm

    Dr Williams – political whore.

    1. Boring … not interested

    2. @Rich (original) – takes one to know one!!!

    3. Pretty in beetroot red though, that colour might suit you too Rich.

      1. Jock S. Trap 21 Jun 2011, 11:31am

        I’d imagine he carry’s a red hanky around most of the time.

  43. Staircase2 20 Jun 2011, 8:55pm

    Bloody idiots
    …The Anglican ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’…..
    At least they’ll shut up the African churches with that though – by reminding them that even the though the historical Bible interpretation is flawed and misdirected, it does say its about what you DO which counts not what you ARE.
    Mind you, its another modern case of an organisation forcing people into a situation where the organisation would rather they lie than tell the truth (which is never a good thing for a Religion to be advocating in the first place!)
    Such a shame they don’t have an ounce of testicles between them though….

    1. Staircase2 20 Jun 2011, 9:26pm

      On point of interest: Leviticus Chapter 20 verse 13 (as opposed to verse 10.)
      Verse 13 is the one TINY sentence talking about homosexuality whereas 10 is about adultery with another man’s wife.
      The first is roundly escalated as the most pressing sin of the modern age(!) whilst the latter is treated with forgiveness.
      I would be interested to know whether Clergy wear any mixed fibres in their clothing….(FAR more detail given over to these in Leviticus) along with whether they eat pork or shellfish or accept disabled people to receive sacrament.
      The very fact that the Church(es) are STILL talking about homosexuality and not those many many many other things reeks more of hypocrisy than it does ‘Religiosity’

      1. Nobody k nows what the verse in Leviticus is ciondemning, there is no obvioujs modern interpretation of “lay layings of a woman” which ois what a male Levite with another male may not do. it is anachronistic and erroneous to use the 19th Century word “homosexual” when translating and interpreting ancient text.

  44. This upholds the long tradition of the Church of England – spawned from politicis, rather than genuine theological differences. “Civil unionized but celibate?”

    What an ASININE notion. Bogus and cosmetic. Will the Welsh Wizard be peeping into bedrooms to monitor proper adherence to his bizarre strictures?

    Small wonder that the leaders in establishing the first same-sex marriages in the modern era were Lutheran countries.

  45. Sorry but I think this is a horrible move. It just reinforces the view that God somehow hates gays and that our only redemption is celibacy. I once met a celibate gay minister – recovering from his second nervous breakdown – he was a sad, lonely man whose life was ruined by the bigotry of his evangelical church. He died a relatively young man. Enforced celibacy is an evil thing and this move only encourages the bigots.

    1. I agree Peter, I also think the anti-gay bigotry has become almost like a sport for many of the church bigots who have become obssessive after playing their favourite sport for so long, they get a thrill from harassing gays akin to the thrill some people get from hunting down animals and the way some people seem to find enjoyiment simply being cruel to animals.

    2. Jock S. Trap 21 Jun 2011, 3:05pm

      “It just reinforces the view that God…”

      Actually it reinforces over inflated male egos and what gets me is they just don’t get how damaging they are and the consequences, more importantly, of those like the account you spoke of there.

  46. Alf N. Spit 24 Jun 2011, 2:13am

    To be fair, heterosexual bishops who marry should also remain celibate. Or at least Rowan Williams. It’s not really much of a sacrifice at that age.

  47. Paul Williams 29 Feb 2012, 1:19pm

    Why should Gays in their clergy be expected to be celibate when their heterosexual counterparts can dick who they want as long as it is the opposite sex and in secret probably not always the opposite sex. I think the Anglican church has a good ole boy club going on. Wake up and smell the coffee or tea before the hems of your lovely crimson robes catch fire from you know where.

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