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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 September, 2003, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Gay clergy - church to debate
Canon Geoffrey John
Canon Geoffrey John withdrew as Bishop of Reading
The Church in Wales has said it will openly debate the issue of sexuality - an issue which has caused rifts in England.

At a meeting in west Wales on Thursday, its governing body passed a motion enabling the bishops to "debate all the issues involved in the matter of human sexuality' sometime in the near future.

The row over gay clergy erupted back in June after Canon Jeffrey John, who is originally from Tonyrefail, was nominated for the bishop's post in Reading.

After weeks of bitter argument within the Anglican Church, he decided not to accept it.

Welsh clergymen also made reference to the "difficulties experienced by the worldwide Anglican Communion" - namely the election of Canon Gene Robinson to be Bishop of New Hampshire in the USA.

The motion, which was passed in Lampeter, goes on to say: "There is a need for the Church in Wales to respond constructively to the issues which have arisen out of these events."

Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams has said he will hold a summit to discuss the issue of gay priests in October.

Dr Williams, who is the former Archbishop of Wales, will meet with 38 leading bishops from across the world.

He called the conference after the election of Canon Gene Robinson and, has said the Church had reached the point where it needed to sit down and discuss the consequences of recent events.

"I hope that in our deliberations we will find that there are ways forward in this situation which can preserve our respect for one another and for the bonds that unite us.

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