Archbishop Williams says gay bishops are OK
But he blocked gay cleric Jeffrey John
Rowan Williams is inconsistent and hypocritical
London - 26 September 2010
“Rowan Williams is inconsistent. Although he says he is willing to accept a gay celibate bishop, he blocked the appointment of the celibate gay cleric, Jeffrey John, as Bishop of Reading,” said Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group OutRage!
Mr Tatchell was responding to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s interview in The Times Saturday magazine on 25 September, where he said he would accept a gay bishop but not one who was having a sexual relationship with a man.
This is what the Archbishop told The Times:
"To put it very simply, there's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe. So there's always a question about the personal life of the clergy."
Mr Tatchell responded:
“Before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan supported gay inclusion and equality. Now he victimises gay clergy like Jeffrey John and goes out of his way to retain within the Anglican Communion some of the most hateful Christian homophobes in the world.
“In his calculation, church unity is more important than the human rights of lesbian and gay people.
“His attacks on pro-gay Anglicans have been far stronger than his muted criticisms of Anglican leaders who advocate discrimination against gay people.
“An Archbishop is supposed to be a moral leader. On gay human rights, Rowan is a follower. He’s an appeaser of homophobes. He’d never make similar compromises over racism within the church. Why the double standards?
“Rowan is a deeply conflicted soul. He’s torn between his kind, liberal inner heart and a seemingly heartless collusion with Anglican advocates of anti-gay prejudice and discrimination.
“It is two-faced for him to believe one thing in private and say something different in public. He is not being true to himself.
“He’s allowed himself to become a prisoner of the conservative, homophobic Lambeth Palace mafia.
“Rowan is speaking with a forked tongue on the issue of gay clergy and equality. He looks weak and cowardly compared to the inspired moral leadership against homophobia voiced by Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” said Mr Tatchell.
The full interview
The news story
The Times leader
Ruth Gledhill’s commentary