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Gay Anglican priests can be bishops — if they're not having sex

Published June 18, 2013 10:02 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Openly gay clergy in the Anglican Church can be considered as bishop candidates, but only if they are not having sex.

"Under a new policy any priest in a civil partnership will have to convince an archbishop that they are not sexually active before their name can go forward," John Bingham writes in The Telegraph.

Bingham reports that a briefing paper drawn up by the church's legal office says that "sexual orientation should be 'irrelevant' in assessing someone's suitability to become a bishop. But it maintains the requirement for celibacy, adding that bishops' private lives must be in accordance with official church teaching and that they must set 'wholesome examples' to the 'flock of Christ.' "

Both traditionalists and liberals are deriding the stance, he writes, and wonder how the church is planning to "police it."

Some gay-rights advocates have a simple suggestion for gay clergy: lie.

Peggy Fletcher Stack