London, Sept 26 (ANI): Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has said that he has 'no problem' with gay people being bishops as long as they remain celibate.
Dr Rowan signalled his personal support for the consecration of gay bishops in the Church of England.
However, he said he would never endorse bishops in active homosexual relationships because of tradition and historical 'standards' that require gay clergy to remain celibate.
"To put it very simply, there's no problem about a gay person who's a bishop. It's about the fact that there are traditionally, historically, standards that the clergy are expected to observe. So there's always a question about the personal life of the clergy'" the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
His comments made in an interview with The Times, sparked accusations from equality campaigners that he was putting Church unity above the rights of gay and lesbian people.
He also risks deepening divisions within the Church of England and the wider Anglican Communion.
Liberals are likely to be angered by the Archbishop's insistence that celibacy must be compulsory for homosexual clergy but not for heterosexuals.
Conservatives would argue his stance puts him at odds with church teaching.
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell told the newspaper that the Archbishop was being inconsistent.
"Yet again, Rowan is sitting on the fence regarding gay clergy...I don't know how Rowan sleeps at night.
"Before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, he supported gay inclusion and equality. Now he victimises gay clergy like Jeffrey John and goes out of his way to accommodate some of the most hateful Christian homophobes in the world.
"In his eyes, Church unity is more important than the human rights of lesbian and gay people," Peter said. (ANI)