Anglican leaders denounce church official's remarks on the Archbishop of Canterbury

The leader of Australia's Anglican church on Thursday condemned remarks attributed to a prominent Sydney church official denouncing the Archbishop of Canterbury as a theological prostitute who should resign over his views on homosexuality.

Speaking in England on Wednesday, Anglican Dean of Sydney Phillip Jensen also described Britain's Prince Charles as a "public adulterer," according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

He reportedly denounced Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams _ the 77 million-member church's spiritual leader _ for his liberal views on homosexuality, even though Williams has publicly opposed gay marriage and ordination of gay priests.

"That's no good. That's total prostitution of the Christian ministry," Jensen told the evangelical Reform Conference in Derbyshire, The Sydney Morning Herald reported in its Thursday edition.

"He should resign. That's theological and intellectual prostitution," Jensen, who is the brother of Sydney's conservative Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, told the group.

In a statement on its Web site, Sydney's Anglican Church said it could not immediately confirm the comments.

But the church's leader, Primate Peter Carnley, denounced the remarks as extreme and "bordering on defamatory."

"It's not appropriate for Australian Anglicans to be going to England to lecture the leaders of the Church of England on how they should be ministering," he said Thursday.

"He was speaking at a gathering of a group called Reform which is notoriously right wing and fundamentalist," Carnley said.

In a letter to British newspaper The Guardian, which also reported his comments, Jensen said he had been "grossly misrepresented" and said he regretted that "my rhetorically forceful language was able to be misrepresented as such a personal attack on Dr. Williams." The letter was posted on the Sydney Anglican Church's Web site.

Williams has acknowledged ordaining a priest that he knew to be gay when he was a Welsh bishop, but as Archbishop of Canterbury has criticized the U.S. wing of the Anglican Church for its consecration of a gay bishop without agreement within the communion.

Jensen also reportedly described Prince Charles as "a public adulterer." The context of that comment was not immediately clear, but it appeared to have been a reference to his relationship with longtime companion Camilla Parker Bowles.