The Church will publish legal advice on Monday that says that homosexual clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops - as long as they remain celibate. The legal guidance makes clear that it would be wrong for a cleric's sexual orientation to be taken into account when considering their suitability as a bishop. However, the guidance will say that homosexual clergy should be made to clarify that they are not in an active sexual relationship - effectively make a promise that they are and will remain celibate. It would also mean candidates for a bishopric being questioned over their previous sex life and asked whether they repent having gay sex.

COMMENT: It's Monty Python's Flying Circus.



  1. Ah yes, tis better to marry than to burn! Although in this case tis better to marry and… then continue to burn.

    Not that we’ll marry them of course. We’ll ask the state to do that (or maybe the Uniting Church). But they must be married!

    Oh how the fundies agonise over the so called, “new definition” of marriage.

    “Marriage is about a man and a woman!”

    No it isn’t. Marriage is about sex. So here we have the great irony. We’ll allow people to be gay. And we’ll allow them to be a couple (nay, demand it). But then, we’ll make sure they don’t have sex.

    Are you havin’ a laugh??

  2. I asked if there will be advice on the 2010 Equality act published, but the answer was an unequivocal NO.

    They did publish guidance on the 2006 Act, but not on the current one since it was enacted.

  3. You know, I’ve really got to stop coming over here first thing in the morning. Stuff like this just messes with my mind and that’s a bother when I’m not really awake enough to process it.


  4. Do you know William Empson’s poem, ‘Missing Dates’?

    It summarises my feelings about the Church of England’s mealy-mouthed, un-Christian attitude. I feel I have gone through anger and come out into despair on the other side:

    ‘Slowly the poison the whole blood stream fills.
    It is not the effort nor the failure tires.
    The waste remains, the waste remains and kills.’

    The waste of human talent! The waste of human spirituality! The waste of the Holy Spirit!

  5. MP, are you absolutely sure you don’t want to swim the Atlantic and become an Episcopalian (or even the Humber for that matter)? On the other hand, CofE clearly needs all the help it can get.
    Just by the way, have you considered being a dj? With your knowledge, taste and access, you would be a sensation!

  6. advice on the 2010 Equality act

    The exemption was negotiated in the committee stages of the bill, the church is exempted from it’s provisions in respect of appointments.

  7. I think that Laura has expressed her views very well, I can only say that I agree with everything she wrote.

    What is the church thinking? Not logically that’s for sure.

  8. Well sir, does that mean that heterosexuals must also be celibate while they are bishops? Also, does that mean those who may be married and enjoying some “extracurricular activites” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) must also confess and repent prior to being consecrated?
    When I come back in my next life I want to come back as the person that makes the rules. On a bad day I can figure out the illogic of all this crap.

  9. I don’t think I could do it live, F. Harry. I realise this will sound improbable considering how garrulous I am on the Internet but I freeze up if I’m required to say things off the top of my head. For example, I dread being asked to say grace when I turn up at a function. The only way I manage to compile the podcasts is by scripting them beforehand. I think I would produce radio shows better than could present them.

    However, I have promoted concerts and discos in the past and may get involved in that again after we have moved.

  10. “No (honest) sex, please, we’re the CofE.”

    Do they have ANY idea how ***ridiculous*** this looks to anyone

    1) Under 40

    2) Not ConEv

    3) Not already a CofE bishop


    Oy vey.

  11. @Fred Schwartz:

    Do heterosexuals have to be celibate while they are bishop?

    If they aren’t married, yes.

    Must those who are married by engaging in “extracurricular activities” also confess and repent before they are consecrated?

    They definitely need to repent (i.e. turn away) from these activities. For their own spiritual health, they should also confess, but whether they make their confession to God, to a priest, to their spouse, or to the public at large is best left to their individual consciences.

  12. They are committed to becoming an irrelevancy, aren’t they?

    GAY BISHOPS COME OUT. I’m sure some of them are in active partnerships, know wot I mean, wink wink nudge nudge?

  13. Perhaps some type of appliance could be worn that would prevent any acts of non-celibacy, if you take my meaning. I can’t believe no one has ever thought of that before.

  14. There are two institutions in Europe beyond parody: the government of Italy and the church of England.

  15. Perhaps some type of appliance could be worn that would prevent any acts of non-celibacy….

    A loud buzzer or alarm that would sound at Canterbury? A dye for the skin of the forehead in the form of the letters NC to mark them?

  16. Oh, for goodness sake, troll, you’ve used that particular witticism at least half a dozen times before. If you are not up to the task of heckling with at least some degree of imagination then bugger off and annoy the Muslims or just stick your head down the toilet. I will not put up with inferior quality schizos hanging around my blog.