The Anglican Church is set to approve guidelines that will allow homosexual clergy to become bishops, as long as they are celibate.
The Church is expected to update its rules and thereby move in line with the Equality Act with the publishing of a paper Monday, AFP reports.
The paper, “Choosing Bishops – The Equality Act 2010,” decrees that homosexuality is not a barrier for a clergy to be promoted.
“A person’s sexual orientation is in itself irrelevant to their suitability for episcopal office or indeed ordained ministry,” the paper states.
However, a candidate can be blocked if “the appointment of the candidate would cause division and disunity within the diocese in question.”
Furthermore, the candidates should not have been sexually active while in the priesthood, the Guardian reports.
“It is clearly the case that a significant number of Anglicans… believe that a Christian leader should not enter into a civil partnership, even if celibate, because it involves forming an exclusive, lifelong bond with someone of the same sex, creates family ties and is generally viewed in wider society as akin to same-sex marriage,” the document reads.
“It is equally clear that many other Anglicans believe that it is appropriate that clergy who are gay by orientation enter into civil partnerships, even though the discipline of the church requires them to remain sexually abstinent.”
The guidance will be presented to the General Synod in York in July.
The Anglican Church has 77 million followers around the world.