Anglicans sign open letter urging Church of England’s gay bishops to come out

LONDON — More than 300 Anglican priests, parishioners and other Christians have signed an open “love letter” to bishops in the Church of England who are secretly gay urging them to “come out” about their sexual orientation.

The Telegraph of London reports that, in one of the most unusual petitions ever addressed to Church leadership, they have issued a direct plea to members of the episcopate who are gay or bisexual to have the “courage and conviction” to acknowledge it publicly.

The signatories include at least 160 priests and several members of the Church’s governing body, who pledge to “welcome and embrace” those bishops who decide to go public.

“We write to assure those bishops who may choose to openly acknowledge their sexual orientation as gay or bisexual that you will receive our support, prayer, and encouragement,” the signatories pledge.

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The Church of England officially teaches that any sexual relationship outside of traditional heterosexual marriage is “less than God’s ideal” – an Anglican euphemism for “sin.”

The letter follows the publication of a new book by the serving Bishop of Buckingham, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Alan Wilson, last week which said that around one in 10 of his colleagues could be gay but are unwilling to speak publicly.

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