Reform calls for legal advice on Bishops’ Appointments to be withdrawn


June 2011

From Reform

The legal advice from Church House on whether clergy in civil partnerships can be appointed as bishops should never have been published and should now be withdrawn. This is the view of General Synod member and chairman of Reform, the Revd Rod Thomas.

Commenting on the advice that has now been circulated to General Synod members, Mr Thomas said:“this gives the impression that the Church of England has decided that it is acceptable for candidates for the episcopacy to be in civil partnerships. However, no such decision has been taken by the Church and as a matter of law it is within its rights to prevent such a thing happening.”

The legal advice states that it is up to those involved in individual appointment processes to decide whether or not they want to take into account a candidate’s civil partnership. It also implies that it is similarly up to them to decide whether or not any expression of repentance for past same-sex activity is needed.

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