04 January 2013
The Rt Revd Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, today issued the
following statement on behalf of the House of Bishops of the Church
"The House of Bishops' Pastoral Statement on Civil Partnerships
issued in 2005 did not address specifically whether clergy who
entered such partnerships should be considered for the episcopate.
What the House has now done, following the work undertaken by the
group chaired by the Bishop of Sodor and Man set up last year, is
to look at the matter again last month.
"The House has confirmed that clergy in civil partnerships, and
living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human
sexuality, can be considered as candidates for the episcopate.
There had been a moratorium on such candidates for the past year
and a half while the working party completed its task.
"The House believed it would be unjust to exclude from
consideration for the episcopate anyone seeking to live fully in
conformity with the Church's teaching on sexual ethics or other
areas of personal life and discipline. All candidates for the
episcopate undergo a searching examination of personal and family
circumstances, given the level of public scrutiny associated with
being a bishop in the Church of England. But these, along with the
candidate's suitability for any particular role for which he is
being considered, are for those responsible for the selection
process to consider in each case."
The House of Bishops issued a statement detailing the business
carried out at their meeting on 20 December 2012 which can be found
Paragraph 7 of that statement reads "The House considered an
interim report from the group chaired by Sir Joseph Pilling on the
Church of England's approach to human sexuality. Pending the
conclusion of the group's work next year the House does not intend
to issue a further pastoral statement on civil partnerships. It
confirmed that the requirements in the 2005 statement concerning
the eligibility for ordination of those in civil partnerships whose
relationships are consistent with the teaching of the Church of
England apply equally in relation to the episcopate."
The statement follows on from the House of Bishops consideration
of this matter on 1st July 2011 "Civil partnerships and same-sex
relationships: a statement by the House of Bishops of the Church of
England" which can be found here:
The 2005 statement "House of Bishops issues pastoral statement
on Civil Partnerships" can be found here: