UPDATE: NOMINATION BLOCKED
Jeffery John, the openly gay Dean of St Albans Cathedral has been blocked from becoming a bishop for the second time.
John’s candidacy had been leaked earlier this week but a selection committee which included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, seems to have changed its mind in the face of a backlash by conservative Anglican forces.
John, who is in a celibate relationship, is a personal friend of the Archbishop, and most commentators believed that Williams would not reject his candidacy a second time.
The Anglican Church in England has moved to nominate an openly gay man in a committed relationship to be the Bishop of Southwark.
Jeffery John, currently Dean of St Albans Cathedral, became the first openly gay man to be nominated to become a Bishop in 2003 but stood down before taking office at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, to placate conservatives within the Anglican Global Communion.
Now John has been nominated again by a meeting chaired by Archbishop Williams — meaning it is unlikely Williams will back down again.
As the Church of England is a state religion, the nomination must now be approved by British Prime Minister David Cameron, and then Queen Elizabeth II.
Cameron is unlikely to oppose the nomination, however, commentators are less sure of the Queen’s likely reaction.
The move is likely to further enrage conservative Anglicans who were already reeling from the appointment of an out lesbian, Mary Douglas Glasspool, as the second openly same-sex attracted bishop of the United State’s Episcopal branch of Anglicanism.
Some conservative Anglicans have gone as far as threatening to rejoin the Catholic Church if the progressives continue to ordain women and clergy in same-sex relationships.
However, if they were to do so, all assets would remain in the hands of the Anglican Church.