New Bishop for London, The Right Reverend Sarah Mullally left tens of thousands of worshippers in her new diocese guessing about her views on gay rights a view that currently splits the Anglican Church after giving a high-profile broadcast interview.
Arguments over the status of same-sex relationships and gay clergy have left the CofE and Anglican churches around the world hopelessly split, with breakaway movements threatening schism in England and elsewhere like Scotland and the United States.
“I know that the church around the world is deeply divided on this in some places, including the Anglicans and other churches, not just us, and we are – the vast majority of the church is – deeply against gay sex,” whelby said in an interview with GQ
The Church of England’s parliament, the General Synod, has rejected compromise between liberals and conservatives who reject gay relationships.
The rifts caused by an argument that has been running for 30 years now go so deep that Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has written that only a miracle, ‘the work of the Holy Spirit’, can reconcile the warring sides.
Bishop Mullally, whose new diocese includes some of the most determined campaigners on both sides of the gay rights debate, withheld her thinking in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme in which she was repeatedly pressed for her opinion.
Asked how she would vote when the Synod next considers whether churches should offer a blessing for same-sex couples, Bishop Mullally said:
‘What we have to remember is that this is about people and the Church seeks to demonstrate love to all.’
‘This issue isn’t just an issue for London, not just the Church of England, but also the Anglican community.’
‘There is work going on and I am involved in that. It is important that we take a timely reflection while standing on the tradition of the Church of England,’ she said.
‘If we are going to take seriously the work of the two archbishops (Canterbury and York) to take a period of reflection we need to allow that process to go ahead.’
The voice of the new bishop, who will be number three in the Church’s hierarchy, is likely to count heavily in future gay rights debates both because of the status of her post and the importance of her diocese reports the Daily Mail.