Bishop of Buckingham Alan Wilson writes in the Telegraph:
The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham, accused the current episcopate of preaching a 1950s “Janet and John” image of human relationships while adopting an “eyes wide shut” approach to homosexuality in its own ranks and the wider church.
His remarks come in a new book published next week setting out what he sees as the theological case for a major reassessment of the Church’s stance on sexuality.
In comments bound to infuriate traditionalists he rejects outright the idea that the Bible forbids gay marriage insisting that the Church’s official teaching is largely based on “our grandparents’ cultural dictates” rather than the teaching of Jesus.
Dr Wilson also dismisses a recent order banning Anglican clergy from marrying their same-sex partners as unlawful despite what he calls as its “blustering menacing tone”.
And he hits out at a “tiny clique of reactionary activists” who he says have effectively determined the Church’s position on the issue for decades and left it, in his opinion, out of touch with ordinary people:
“To most English people under 40 a discussion of gay bishops or same-sex marriage feels as relevant and inviting as one about women being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia,” he jokes.
The Church of England bans its clergy from taking part in same-sex marriage but permits them to be in civil partnerships – although they must claim to be celibate if they wish to become bishops.
But Dr Wilson effectively accuses the episcopate of applying double standards.
The book entitled “More Perfect Union?” is the first to commit to print rumours that a significant number of the Church’s serving bishops are themselves in gay relationships.
“Many who have publicly resisted same-sex marriage also have a dog in the fight arising from personal experience.
“This can arise from ambivalence or guilt about ways they have handled family members who have come out as gay, as well as their own sexualities.”
For the whole article please visit the Telegraph here.