Church of England bishops announced on
Friday they would review their policies on gay unions and openly gay
clergy, the BBC reported.
The bishops said for the time being
priests in civil partnerships (civil unions) are barred from being
appointed as bishops.
“To avoid pre-empting the outcome of
the review the House has concluded that clergy in civil partnerships
should not, at present, be nominated for episcopal appointment,”
the bishops wrote.
The review of gay clergy would be
completed next year, while a broader look at the church's stance on
homosexuality is to be completed in 2 years.
“Secondly, the House has committed
itself to a wider look at the Church of England's approach to
same-sex relationships more generally in the light of the listening
process launched by the Lambeth Conference in 1998. The Bishops will
produce a consultation document in 2013. The House's decision is
motivated by a desire to help shape the continuing debate
constructively and not by any view about what the outcome should be.”
Episcopalians created a deep divide
between the 77 million-member Anglican Communion, of which the Church
of England is the “Mother Church,” and its more liberal American
branch, the Episcopal Church, when they ordained Rev. Gene Robinson
as bishop of New Hampshire in 2003. Robinson lives in Weare with his
husband Mark Andrew. Episcopalians
are also moving toward blessing gay unions.