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Daniel Herrick/Diocese of Lincoln/PA Wire
UK News

Anglican Communion rejects criticism over appointment of gay bishop

by Antony Bushfield

Bishop of Grantham Nicholas Chamberlain revealed his sexuality in a newspaper on Friday after being threatened with an expose piece.

He said he was in a celibate relationship with a man and both the Church and the Archbishop of Canterbury had always been aware of his situation.

The revelations prompted Conservative Anglican group GAFCON to accuse the Church of England of a "major error" and "yet more evidence that the clear biblical teaching...is being eroded".

Anglican Communion
Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon

But in a statement the secretary general of the Anglican Communion, Dr Josiah Idowu-Fearon, known for his conservative views on homosexuality, rejected the suggestion.

"It is clear that Bishop Nicholas has abided by the guidelines set down by the Church. In fact, his lifestyle would make him acceptable to serve the church at any time in its history," he said.

"I do recognise that this is a sensitive area for many people whatever their convictions. It is also a difficult time for Bishop Nicholas with revelations about his private life being made public in such a dramatic way, against his will, by anonymous sources that seem to be out to make trouble."

He moved to reassure conservative Anglicans that the coming out of the Bishop of Grantham would not change Church teaching: "Human sexuality finds it full expression in marriage between a man and woman. But all baptised, faithful and believing people are loved by God and full members of the body of Christ regardless of their sexual orientation.

"The Anglican Communion has never made sexual orientation a condition of eligibility to hold office within the church and I reject the suggestion that it has."

Bishop Nick said: "It was not my decision to make a big thing about coming out.

"People know I'm gay, but it's not the first thing I'd say to anyone. Sexuality is part of who I am, but it's my ministry that I want to focus on."

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