A leading voice in the evangelical wing of the Church of England, Bishop James Jones, speaking to his diocesan synod in Liverpool today says the battle of sexuality in the Church needs to end.
He argues that sexual orientation is a biological given, which represents a departure from the majority of evangelical voices. And he uses the lessons learned from the "Just War" controversy to point a way forward for the Anglican Communion.
Ruth Gledhill writes in the The Times:
"His speech is significant because it comes just weeks before the vote to confirm the lesbian Mary Glasspool as a bishop in the Los Angeles diocese in the US. Canon Glasspool is expected to be consecrated early this summer, a development likely to accentuate the splits in the Anglican Communion unless conservatives can be persuaded to agree to live with difference.
The address also signals a significant shift at the evangelical grass roots of the Church of England towards a more liberal stance on sexuality. It shows the message is at last getting through to Church leaders that the traditionalist stance on homosexuality is out-of-step with secular society to the point where it is seriously damaging the Church’s witness to the wider world.
Bishop James, himself from the evangelical wing of the Church and a one-time favourite to become Archbishop of Canterbury, says, ‘On a number of major moral issues the church allows a large space for a variety of nuances, interpretations, applications and disagreements.’"
Read Gledhill's article here.
According the report, Anglican Mainstream has already dismissed the remarks by Bishop James by saying that his is voice is not considered significant anymore.