Magazine article The Christian Century

Gay Priest in Britain Named Diocesan Dean

Magazine article The Christian Century

Gay Priest in Britain Named Diocesan Dean

Article excerpt

The issue of homosexuality has come back to haunt the Church of England with the appointment of avowedly gay Canon Jeffrey John as dean of the diocese of St. Albans--the same priest who was forced to withdraw last year from an appointment as a bishop.

John had been appointed a year ago as bishop of Beading, a suffragan see of the diocese of Oxford, but was forced to quit the post barely seven weeks later because of the furor his nomination had aroused both inside the Church of England and within the worldwide Anglican Communion. Opposition arose both because of his advocacy of greater respect for homosexuals by the church and because of his longstanding relationship with another man, even though the relationship has been celibate for a considerable time.

While a dean is not a bishop, John's appointment to the prestigious St. Albans post has met with opposition from those within the Church of England, large]y evangelicals, who oppose gays. Rod Thomas, spokesman for Reform, an evangelical network within the church, said the appointment is "very disturbing" because he feels what John teaches is clearly in contradiction both to the New Testament and to the stance adopted by' the Church of England's bishops. …

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