Gay Bishop for the Church of England?

July 6, 2010 /LGBT News/ The Church of England is on the point of promoting an openly gay priest to bishop, a step that would widen the split over sexuality in the global Anglican Communion.

Names of candidates have not been disclosed, but news reports say that one of them is Jeffrey John, who was nominated for a bishop's post in 2003 but withdrew in the face of controversy.

John, who is now the dean of St. Alban's Cathedral, has a long-term male partner but says he is celibate in conformance with the church's teaching.

Conservative clerics have told the BBC the appointment would split the church, arguing that although John has been celibate for many years, he has never said publicly that gay sex is wrong.

A Crown Nominations Commission, composed of 14 Church of England representatives, including the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, met in secret Monday and Tuesday to choose two nominees to become bishop of Southwark diocese, the half of London that lies south of the River Thames.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who has spoken strongly in favor of equal rights for gays, will have the final decision about whom to recommend to Queen Elizabeth II, who will make the formal appointment. Southwark diocese says a decision may not be announced before October.

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