C of E gay bishops ruling opens the way for Jeffrey John to replace Justin Welby
FOLLOWING the news this week that the Church of England has approved the appointment of gay bishops in civil partnerships, provided they remain sexually abstinent comes a report that Britain’s most senior openly gay cleric could be the next Bishop of Durham.
Jeffrey John was appointed Bishop of Reading in 2003, but was forced to step down amid protests over his homosexuality. He was also rejected as the candidate for the Bishop of Southwark in 2010.
But the new rules mean his name has now been put forward as a possible replacement for Justin Welby, soon to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury.
Worshippers at Durham Cathedral today were split when told of the news.
Sharon Keedy, 47, from South Shields, said:
It goes against all of my traditional values. I would not oppose it, but I do not think it is quite right.
Bill Lumsden, 59, from Hawthorn, County Durham, added:
It is private and why should it matter as long as he can do the job right?
Sam Armstrong, 20, from Sunderland, said:
In today’s society this sort of thing should not have an impact on whether someone can do a job, whether they are a doctor, lawyer or bishop. I don’t care.
John has been with his partner, a Church of England hospital chaplain, for nearly 40 years. They became civil partners in 2006, but he has always maintained that he is celibate.
Welby’s replacement is not expected to be announced until summer at the earliest. A spokesman for the Diocese of Durham said:
Justin is still Bishop of Durham until the legal process of his election to Archbishop of Canterbury is confirmed in early February.
The process for the nomination of a new Bishop of Durham is called the ‘vacancy in see’ and starts in the diocese and requires The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) to meet on two occasions per Vacancy in See to nominate candidates for diocesan bishoprics to the Crown. We are only at the very start of that process, and any decision is a way off yet.
Meanwhile, the Independent has gotten its hands on a leaked C or E memo, setting out the following guidelines for gay bishops:
• Gay Bishops and their partners are allowed to hold hands on the sofa when watching Downton Abbey but snuggling on the sofa is forbidden.
• When greeting their partner, gay Bishops may only kiss them once on the cheek. To kiss them twice on the cheek is too European and therefore too gay.
• Holding hands across the table in restaurants is forbidden. Footsies under the table is permitted.
• Thick cotton flannel pyjamas must be worn in bed at all times during winter. In summer, only the top half can be removed and they must then face away from each other in bed.
• When sharing a milkshake or a Pepsi, gay Bishops and their partners must use two straws.
• The phrases “I love you”, “you are my one and only”, “you complete me” and “you look nice today, have you done something to your hair?” are all banned.
• Gay Bishops and their partners must immediately dispose of all Erasure and Pet Shop Boys CDs and replace them with Katherine Jenkins and Michael Buble.
• When tempted to make love to each other, it is advised that both parties close their eyes and think of God weeping at their lack of self control.
• Gay Bishops and their partners are banned from eating pork sausages as they may encourage sniggering at the breakfast table, but are permitted to eat Quorn and Linda McCartney sausages.
• Gay Bishops and their partners are now banned from watching Pillow Talk staring Doris Day and Rock Hudson for obvious reasons.
• Gay Bishops are allowed to talk to actresses, so long as the actresses are not left wing liberal lesbians who may encourage them to disregard the above rules.
Hat tip: Daz