• The Church of England is considering taking a leaf from an old US Army policy on how to treat homosexual members of their clergy. (Getty)Source: Getty
The Church of England is considering taking a leaf from an old US Army policy on how to treat homosexual members of their clergy.
By
Shami Sivasubramanian

24 Jan 2017 - 5:16 PM  UPDATED 24 Jan 2017 - 5:16 PM

Considerations are underway within the Church of England’s House of Bishops to amend the current ban on non-celibate gay clergy.

This comes four months after a British bishop - Nicholas Chamberlain - announced he was in a same-sex relationship. He became the first Church of England bishop to make such a declaration.

When the church expanded its laws to permit gay men to be ordained to the priesthood, it was under the condition that they remain celibate.  

Reverend Dr Nicholas Chamberlain (via Twitter)

If the current ban is lifted, it will mean gay reverends and bishops can engage in same-sex relationships, since they won’t be asked about their private lives.

Under the Church of England, all reverends and bishops are permitted to have a marital life and the sexual intimacy that comes with that, but The Church of England does not support same-sex marriage.

The church does, however, allow women to be ordained.

The out and proud gay reverend Leonard Finch from '50s period drama 'Grantchester'. (via ITV)

UK MP Ben Bradshaw does not support the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as he believes it forces men of faith to lie—a sin within the Christian faith.

“It is progress for them to stop asking the celibacy question but it still leaves the Church of England policy based essentially on dishonesty and encouraging its clergy to lie,” he tells The Times.

Instead, he suggests the church profess a less homophobic view towards its priests, or that the government gets involved, as it did back when the Church refused women entry into priesthood.


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