Nigerian Anglican bishops have condemned the Church of England decision to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, threatening further action. The statement highlighted ambiguous attitudes to the Bible among Church of Nigeria leaders.
Archbishop Stanley Ntagali of Uganda has condemned the decision by Church of England bishops to allow celibate clergy in civil partnerships to be bishops, claiming this violated biblical faith and Anglican agreements.
Clergy in civil partnerships can become bishops provided they are celibate, the Church of England House of Bishops agreed. Though this falls far short of full equality, some have labelled it a major shift in church policy.
The Church of England has announced that people in same-sex relationships can become bishops if they do not have sex. It is tempting to see this as a sign of progress, but for many gay and bisexual people it will be the latest message telling them that they are not welcome as equals in the Christian Church.
While Christians should indeed examine social and cultural changes critically, the fearfulness of the Pope about shifting attitudes to gender and sexual orientation seems excessive, says Savitri Hensman. Christmas should be a time of celebration in response to God’s generous love, through which barriers are broken down and humanity’s potential fulfilled.