The Church of England is considering an openly gay man to be bishop.

The “Mother Church” of the worldwide Anglican Communion has been critical of U.S. Episcopalians for ordaining two openly gay bishops.

Dr. Jeffrey John, the Dean of St. Albans, is among a number of clergy nominated for Bishop of Southwark to replace the Rev. Dr. Tom Butler, who retired earlier this year, the BBC reported.

The Queen will eventually decide the nominee from two choices submitted by Prime Minister David Cameron.

John entered a civil partnership in 2006. But in 2003, his consideration for Bishop of Reading was reeled back after conservatives railed against his nomination.

Rowan Williams, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion and the head of the Church of England, has failed to mollify either conservatives or liberals on the issue of gay bishops.

The 2003 ordination of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire created a deep divide between the 77 million-member Anglican Communion and its more liberal American branch, the Episcopal Church, and led to a self-imposed moratorium on the election of gay bishops.

Robinson, 63, lives in Weare with his husband Mark Andrew.

Episcopalians shocked conservatives when they decided to reverse the moratorium and elected a second openly gay bishop.

In May, a crowd of over 3,000 lined into the Long Beach Arena to witness the consecration of the Rev. Mary D. Glasspool, of Baltimore, as suffragan (assistant) bishop of the Los Angeles diocese during a three-hour service.

Glasspool, 55, whose nomination was approved by the majority of the church's bishops and standing committees in March, has been in a committed relationship with Becki Sanders for over 22 years.

Conservatives opposed to openly gay clergy reacted with the formation of a rival church, the Anglican Church in North America. UK conservatives have warned of a similar split for the Church of England, if John is made bishop.

Speaking on the BBC Radio 4, Canon Chris Sugden blasted John's candidacy.

“It is breaking the law of the Church in the sense of Christian teaching … the teaching still is that active homosexual practice is not compatible with the teaching of scripture,” he said.

But supporters say John is well suited to head the liberal diocese, which ministers heavily to gay and lesbian followers.