Bishop of Buckingham: One in ten Church of England bishops are in the closet

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The Bishop of Buckingham has estimated that around one in ten Church of England Bishops are living in the closet.

The Rt Rev Dr Alan Wilson – the only Church of England bishop to back same-sex marriage – attacked the ““duplicity and hypocrisy” of many for turning a blind eye to their gay colleagues while opposing gay rights.

He made the comments in his new book ‘More Perfect Union? Understanding Same-sex Marriage’, which is released on Tuesday.

According to the Telegraph, he claimed the church had adopted an “eyes wide shut” approach to homosexuality among bishops, and said a “tiny clique of reactionary activists” were responsible for the Church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

Of gay bishops, he added: “By definition, these men are outstanding priests who have managed to navigate the complexities of a structurally homophobic institution well enough to become its iconic representatives.

“They may well have a bigger investment than others in keeping the closet door tightly shut. They have more on the line than some others.

“They also have greater status and security, but some of them may end up among the last people able to understand the need for change and bring it about.

“This can be expected to be the case especially for gay evangelical bishops, with their historically less well developed networks and support systems.”

The Church of England held ‘shared conversations’ in a bid to find a compromise on same-sex marriage last week, but a leading gay vicar branded the conversations “pointless”.