The Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Anglican Church, has proposed banning any more gay bishops, until the row over homosexuality in the clergy is settled.
The issue has threatened to split the Church, which counts nearly 80 million followers around the world.
“One complication in discussing all this is the assumption, readily made, that the blessing of a same-sex union, and/or the ordination of someone in the act of a same-sex relationship, is simply a matter of human rights. I am not saying that is claimed by people in the Church, but you hear that from time to time, you hear that in the secular press, and that is an assumption I cannot accept.”
The split among Anglicans surfaced in 2003, when the openly-gay bishop Gene Robinson was ordained in New Hampshire.
Robinson denounced banning homosexual priests, describing it as bullying. He said the anti-gay movement would accept nothing less than total victory.
Traditionalist Anglicans believe the Bible clearly outlaws homosexuality. Liberals say the Bible’s general message is that the Church should welcome everyone.