in a long-term - but celibate - relationship


Senior Member
The quotation comes from CofE Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain reveals he is in gay relationship - BBC News

Quotation: Bishop Chamberlain is said to be in a long-term - but celibate - relationship.

The bishop of Grantham has become the first Church of England bishop to say that he is gay and in a relationship.

Bishop Nicholas Chamberlain, a suffragan in Lincoln diocese, was consecrated last year by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby - who has said he knew about the bishop's sexuality.

He was in a "long-term and committed" relationship, Archbishop Welby said.
Hi everyone! I'm puzzled with the bod part. What is "in a long-term - but celibate - relationship"?
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Since Roman Catholics take a dim view of homosexuals this guy is in a difficult fix. He has a boyfriend / male partner who has been with for some years (long-standing) but is claiming that they do not have sex (they are celibate).

    I fact all RC clergy are supposed to be celibate. They get used to telling lies and hiding the truth about themselves. This fellah has stepped outside the norms for his church.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    That's the current problem they have in the church: being gay is now perceived as unfortunate but acceptable, not actually sinful, but doing it is still supposed to be sinful. If someone has risen to the rank of bishop, they have had plenty of practice thinking strangely contradictory thoughts.

    You little ripper!

    Senior Member
    Australian English
    That's the current problem they have in the church: being gay is now perceived as unfortunate but acceptable, not actually sinful, but doing it is still supposed to be sinful.
    To use religious terminology, it's the practising homosexuality that is considered the sin, not the being homosexual. I wonder if you could get away with saying that you are no longer "practising" but have become an expert! :rolleyes: :D


    Senior Member
    British English
    For the sake of accuracy and clarity:

    The original question was about a Church of England (ie Anglican, protestant) bishop.

    For many years, C of E vicars and bishops have been allowed heterosexual relationships and marriage.

    In the C of E, gay people are not excluded from becoming vicars or bishops nowadays, but they need to be celibate (not engaging in sexual intercourse).

    In the Roman Catholic church, priests and vicars are normally unmarried and required to be celibate; both homosexual and heterosexual activities are forbidden.

    Exceptionally, if a married Anglican vicar converts to Catholicism and becomes a Catholic priest, he can be given a special dispensation, remain married to his wife and continue with their sexual relationship.
    Last edited:


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I see. Thanks. Hmmm... it's hard to imagine they do not have sex. :oops:
    That sort of relationship has been around for a long time, and is sometimes called platonic. (Plato and various Greek philosophers thought that the body was evil, and it was this that influenced the early church to an expectation of celibacy among priests, and this is still the case in Roman Catholicism.) As you little ripper! says, the Evangelical Christian position is that homosexual sex in sinful but not the homosexual inclination.

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hope this isn't too off-topic but isn't the Church of England a Protestant establishment?
    Sorry I missed that detail - so yes all the CofE clergy are not supposed to be celibate -that is reserved for the homosexuals, my mistake.
    < Previous | Next >