Black and Asian clergy members are unlikely to reach high office in the Church of England and minorities are sometimes marginalized in parish churches, an internal review will show, a newspaper reported June 17.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the report says little has been doneto confront « institutional racism. » The report was commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, and completed ahead of the church’s General Synod next month.

« Parish clergy are part of the problem, » the newspaper quoted the Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the chair of the committee that produced the report, as saying. « Whether consciously or unconsciously, they are not encouraging black people who are in their churches to come forward.

« Our report shows there are some who are aware of the issue and acting to improve the situation, but the church is still a long way from reaching an acceptable level of equality. »

A spokesman for the Church of England said no official comment could be made on the report’s contents until it is released.

But the report « acknowledges that while much progress has been made, there is still some way to go before the Church represents the model of equality which it believes Christ’s Gospel calls for, » the spokesman said, on condition of anonymity in line with church policy.

Source: The Associated Press (AP)Jennifer Quinn