Chichester bishop condemns diocese representative’s homophobic comments

Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner
Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner

COMMENTS made by a Chichester diocese representative on homosexuality were ‘offensive’ and ‘unacceptable’, according to the Bishop of Chichester.

On a visit to Jamaica earlier this month, Andrea Minichiello Williams urged the government to retain the law which criminalises same-sex intercourse and even linked homosexuality to paedophilia.

Mrs Williams is one of the Chichester diocese’s elected lay representatives to the General Synod – the national church legislator.

Bishop Martin Warner spoke out about her comments, and ‘rejected’ them, saying the comments made by Mrs Williams were not the views of the diocese.

“The comments by Andrea Minichiello Williams about the decriminalisation of same sex intercourse in Jamaica have no sanction in the Church of England or the diocese of Chichester,” he said.

“Insofar as such comments incite homophobia, they should be rejected as offensive and unacceptable.

“The Christian church is widely perceived as homophobic and intolerant of those for whom same sex attraction is the foundation of their emotional lives.

“As a matter of urgency, therefore, Christians must find legitimate ways to affirm and demonstrate the conviction that God loves every human being, that the mercy of God embraces us indiscriminately and the glory of God can be found in each one of us.”