Williams Opposes Shortlist of Gay Candidates for Next Bishop of California

|TOP|The Diocese of California has opened the way for the appointment of a homosexual bishop in the future, after shortlisting an openly gay man and lesbian woman to be its next bishop.

The move is likely to reignite the controversy over homosexuality in the Anglican Communion and has prompted the opposition of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who expressed his ‘deep unease’ over the announcement, said the Church of England Newspaper.

The inclusion of the Very Rev Robert Taylor, the openly gay Dean of Seattle, and the lesbian Rev. Bonnie Perry, Rector of All Saints’ Church in Chicago, on the list of nominees up for election in May breaches the recommendations of the Windsor Report, which called for a moratorium on the appointment of gay bishops in the Anglican Communion.

The shortlist of the two homosexual candidates was welcomed by the gay church pressure group, Integrity, which said that, “Whether or not Robert or Bonnie is elected by the Diocese of California, it is inevitable that another gay or lesbian person will eventually be elected, confirmed, and consecrated,” to the episcopate in America.

|AD|It acknowledged, however, that, “Some of our brothers and sisters in other provinces of the Anglican Communion will be dismayed” by their inclusion and view it as “deliberate disregard for the Windsor Report”.

Integrity also argued that these objections were not enough to obstruct the election of a homosexual bishop in California as “it must be remembered that the Windsor Report is a set of recommendations what no binding authority”.

Dr Williams, however, has stressed his opposition to the move, reported the Church of England Newspaper.

“If there is ever to be a change on the discipline and teaching of the Anglican Communion [on homosexuality] it should not be the decision of one Church alone.

“The Church must have the highest degree of consensus for such a radical change,” he argued..

Dr Williams added that he was also very uneasy about the way in which the church in America has pushed ahead with change over this issue.

The election of the new bishop must be affirmed by the Church’s General Convention in June, with many warning that the approval of the Convention of a homosexual bishop may be enough to bring about a schism in the Anglican Communion and a fracture within the Church.