Church of England to review homosexuality policy: reports

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The Church of England is to review its approach to same-sex relationships, newspapers reported Saturday -- an issue which has threatened to tear the global Anglican communion apart.

The Bishop of Norwich in eastern England, the Right Reverend Graham James, has said bishops now accept they have a responsibility to look at the issue and clarify the position on gay partnerships.

The review would be completed next year and then followed by a year-long consultation, The Times newspaper said.

"The House of Bishops has spent very little time in recent years discussing homosexuality. The time has come to commission two new pieces of work," The Guardian newspaper quoted James as saying.

All the church's diocesan bishops are members of the body.

The Guardian said the Church of England would review its approach to gay relationships and whether gay priests in civil partnerships should be allowed to become bishops.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Church of England leader and the head of the Anglican church worldwide, has struggled to maintain unity in the communion amid disagreements over the ordination of female bishops in Britain, and of openly gay bishops in the United States.

© 2011 AFP

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