Gay British clergyman earns controversial promotion
April 19, 2004
LONDON — An openly homosexual British Anglican clergyman who angered conservative evangelicals last year when he accepted a bishopric has been offered another promotion, The Times in London said Saturday.
Canon Jeffrey John
Canon Jeffrey John � who has had a male partner for 27 years, but says it is now a celibate relationship �- is to be the next Dean of the Saint Albans diocese, north of London, the newspaper said.
John was forced to withdraw his acceptance of the post of Bishop of Reading, west of London, last July after howls of protest from as far afield as Australia and Nigeria.
The Anglican church is already badly divided over the ordination of a gay US bishop, Gene Robinson � who is not celibate � and the authorisation of same-sex blessings in Canada.
John's appointment could further drive a wedge between liberals and conservatives at a time when the Anglican leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, had pleaded for calm until a report on the issue is published at the end of the year.
"The appointment will further convince African church leaders that the 'mother' Church in England is committed in its heart to the liberal agenda already embraced by dioceses in the America and Canada," said The Times. – Sapa-AFP
UK Anglicans debate homosexuality [12/02/2004]