July 4, 2010 § 4 Comments
Story in the Sunday Telegraph today about Jeffrey John, the Dean of St Albans. He’s in a Civil Partnership, and fulfils, it is said, all the criteria of ministry in the C of E while having a homosexual orientation – ie he’s celibate. He was fanously deprived of the Bishopric of Reading in 2003.
The STel says that he’s top of the shortlist to be Bishop of Southwark. The Crown Nominations Commission meets this week to finalise it, and then sends a name to the Prime Minister who sends it to the Queen.The STel is clear that this is a done deal, and that the Archbishops, who could have, have not blocked his name thus far.
Well…if you can put someone in charge of a Cathedral you can put them in charge of a Diocese, as long as their gifts match up. JJ was in Southwark before, and in my fleeting experience he was much liked and respected across the theological spectrum. So no problem there, apart from those who’ll oppose him whatever. Southwark has some seriously vocal conservative evangelicals.
What interests me is where Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the STel is getting his inofrmation from, and why. Clearly there’s a mole in the CNC. I know from close acquaintance that the permanent members of the CNC are scrupuloulsy tight-lipped. So is the mole one of the diocesan representatives? And are they leaking it to ensure that JJ gets in (the CNC would now look bigotted if they nominated someone else)…or to ensure that he does not get in (the outcry being so great that the CNC learn the error of their ways)?
All very interesting – unless you are JJ (yet more media intrusion into the life of a respected and faithful priest), or unless you are a member of the CNC. The meeting may be very politely conducted, but they will all know that someone around the table has leaked something.
Pity the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will leave the CNC meeting knowing his next biggie is Women Bishops at the General Synod. What a life.