Archbishop: Gay priests are not on my agenda

By Ashley Broadley
Monday 23 December 2002 01:00

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday the issue of having gay priests in the Church was not on his agenda.

Dr Rowan Williams, who has publicly supported homosexuals in the Church and admitted ordaining a practising homosexual to the Anglican priesthood, distanced himself from his previous liberal views on the topic.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs, the married 52-year-old was asked if gay rights should be acknowledged by the Church.

Dr Williams said: "It's certainly no part of my programme to change this or even to push it as a matter of discussion but there it is on the table, we have to think about it. My hope is simply that we think about it without too much rancour, too much prejudice or too much fear."

Dr Williams said many Anglicans were opposed to gays because of what was written in the Bible. "It comes to be an issue about the significance of the Bible and the authority of the Bible. And it's not for many people primarily about sex, it's about what you think of the authority of the Bible," he said.

Dr Williams' choices to take on a desert island included work by Bach, Mozart, Vaughan Williams and the Incredible String Band.

Podium, page 9

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