Having built up the story that Jeffrey John was likely to be the next bishop of Southwark, Jonathan Wynne-Jones of The Telegraph is now saying he won't be:
I can reveal that Dr Jeffrey John, the openly gay but celibate Dean of St Albans, has been blocked from becoming a bishop once again. He has not been chosen as the next Bishop of Southwark. Liberals will be dismayed that the Church has lost its nerve – but there is no reason for evangelicals to celebrate, either. This is bad news whichever way you look at it:Emphasis added.
1) The Church has missed an opportunity to show that it is inclusive of homosexuals.
2) Jeffrey John has gained a reputation as a gifted preacher and effective pastor at St Albans cathedral and would have been a popular bishop.
3) It indicates that the Crown Nominations Commission is afraid of appointing any bishops who might bring a bit of colour.
4) A dignified and talented cleric has been embarrassed again.
5) The row over homosexual clergy could have been brought to a head, but will now fester until a gay priest is finally made a bishop.
It is also bad news for Rowan Williams. Although he is only one of 14 members of the Commission, liberals will be perplexed as to why he allowed John’s name to be included on the shortlist if it was only to be rejected at the last minute. To be fair, he didn’t know that this fact would be leaked to me, and he is said to have been livid with the Commission that it was.
We'll stay on top of developments, hence our question mark.
Churchmouse calls it a "classic media cockup."
@twitter: "RuthieGledhill Rowan lost rag at meeting of CNC and Jeffrey John has not been chosen for Southwark. What a crazy, crazy Church."
"Lost rag" is an ecclesial term: to suddenly become very angry and start shouting. He said one too many stupid things and I just lost my rag. It was the only time I've ever lost my rag with someone in an office situation. After the attack Cranston dialled 999 to call an ambulance and confessed his crime, saying he had 'lost his rag', Reading Crown Court heard.