Church of England bishop candidates to be quizzed on sex lives

July 8, 2013 at 10:51 PM

LONDON, July 8 (UPI) -- Church of England priests will have to divulge details of their sex lives before being promoted to bishop, a church leader says.

The personal queries are to avoid "the appearance of discrimination" against gay priests, who must state they are celibate if they are in civil partnerships, William Fittall, secretary-general to the General Synod, said in response to a question posed by the Rev. Canon Giles Goddard of St. John's Church in central London.

Goddard asked why such "assurances" are sought only from clerics in civil partnerships or who are divorced, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

The church only sanctions sex between a husband and wife. It forbids homosexual sex, extramarital affairs or premarital sex.

Fittall said the questions for divorced prices were are "to determine that there are no issues from the breakdown of the previous marriage that might constitute an obstacle to episcopal appointment."

"In relation to civil partnership the test is of a different character namely whether someone's conduct is and will remain consistent with the teaching of the Church of England," he said.

"To avoid the appearance of discrimination that assurance is in fact now sought in relation to all candidates for episcopal appointment."

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