The first Church of England vicar to enter into a same-sex marriage is quitting his parish, claiming "institutional homophobia" will prevent him from getting another...
The first Church of England vicar to enter into a same-sex marriage has said bishops are afraid to be openly gay because "people on the conservative wing would attack them".
Earlier this week, Andrew Foreshew-Cain, announced he would leave his post at St Mary with All Souls in Kilburn and St James in West Hampstead, North London because of "institutional homophobia".
Speaking to the Guardian, Foreshew-Cain, 53, said: "If it's truly OK to be gay and celibate in the C of E, and all these bishops are gay and celibate, why aren't they open about their lives?
"It would make a tremendous difference to the LGBT community in the C of E and beyond and would show integrity both in them as individuals and in the church."
Foreshew-Cain said that conservatives have been given "so much freedom and weight" that their influence prevented bishops from being openly gay.
He said: "The number of super-conservative puritans is relatively small but, for fear of them, they have been given a weight of influence way beyond their numbers."
The Church permits clergy to be in same-sex relationships that are celibate but forbids them from marrying people of the same sex.
Foreshew-Cain said that bishops who secretly support gay relationships hide behind a call to 'unity' within the Church but are actually collaborating with homophobia and hurt.
He said: "I have no sympathy for bishops who privately say 'Actually, I really support you and I want to see a Church in which we can celebrate gay and lesbian relationships, but I can't say that in public because I'll get attacked for it'."
Foreshew-Cain, will leave his parishes this summer to join his husband in Manchester, after nearly 30 years of working for the Church of England.
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