Mr Freeman is not being offered another post, despite his willingness to make the required Declaration of Assent, and he has been refused a Permission to Officiate in that diocese.
The bishop's action reverses a long Church of England tradition that tolerates and values a wide range of views. It poses a danger to freedom of expression within the Anglican ministry. There has been no opportunity for the Church of England to debate the issues raised by it.
We believe this case is highly significant; it is the first this century in which a parish priest has been dismissed for publishing his theological views. For those who value breadth and openness, whatever their individual theological outlook, 31 July is a day of sorrow.
RONALD PEARSE, DON CUPITT, HUGH DAWES, DAVID HART, J. L. HOULDEN, PAUL OESTREICHER, GEORGE PATTISON, FRANCES WARD, KEITH WARD, ALAN WEBSTER
and 55 more Church of England priests
22 JulyReuse content