Updated again Thursday morning
Riazat Butt in the Guardian reports that Bishop of Liverpool apologises for opposing gay cleric:
One of the country’s most senior bishops has argued that the Bible sanctions same-sex relationships, using the bonds between Jesus and John the disciple, and David and Jonathan as examples.
The Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Rev James Jones, a conservative evangelical, expressed the views in a book, A Fallible Church, in which he apologised for objecting to the appointment of the gay cleric Dr Jeffrey John as Bishop of Reading. He was one of nine bishops to sign a public letter criticising the proposed consecration.
The bishop also apologised for his conduct and its effect on John, who eventually withdrew his acceptance of the post after bowing to pressure…
Update The Bishop of Liverpool’s chapter in the book is now online at the Liverpool diocesan website: Making Space for Truth and Grace
Further press reports:
Liverpool Daily Post Bishop’s rethink over gay relations
Liverpool Echo Bishop is sorry for gay cleric objection
Ekklesia has by far the best report so far on this matter: Leading Evangelical bishop calls for fresh approach to sexuality row:
The Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Rev James Jones, has called for a change of heart among Evangelicals and others in the often bitter argument about sexuality, Scripture and authority.
But Bishop Jones has not, as reports in The Guardian and the Daily Mail newspapers have suggested, directly sanctioned same-sex relationships. In a lecture delivered at the end of 2007 and published in a new book designed to build-bridges in the run-up to the Lambeth Conference, he nevertheless points out that it is possible on the basis of the Bible to recognise that people of the same gender can have deeply involved emotional and physical friendships.
The bishop, who is a senior figure on the Evangelical wing of the Church, also forthrightly apologises for the form of action he took in opposing the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John, who declared himself to be in a non-sexual gay partnership, as Bishop of Reading. He expresses sorrow and regret over its hurtful impact, but he does not state that his reasons for doing so at the time were wrong…