Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gay US bishop attacks treatment of gay and lesbian clergy by Church of England

From the London Guardian-

The first openly gay bishop in the Anglican communion has launched an outspoken attack on the Church of England and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.

In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Gene Robinson, the Episcopalian bishop of New Hampshire, criticised the policy of the Church of England towards gay and lesbian clergy. Alluding to the significant number of clergy who are gay, he said: "I think gay clergy in the Church of England are thought of as a problem to be solved or at least lived with, rather than a gift from God."

Robinson, who is in Britain to speak at the Greenbelt festival at Cheltenham Racecourse this weekend, added that he could not accept the archbishop's recent comments that if the Episcopal church refused to uphold the current moratorium on consecrating actively gay bishops or blessing civil unions, the communion might have to be reorganised into a two-tier, or "two-track" model. "I can't imagine anything that would be more abhorrent to Jesus than a two-tier church," he said. "Either we are children of God and brothers and sisters in Christ, or we aren't. There are not preferred children and second-class children. There are just children of God."

Asked whether Williams's softly, softly approach might in the end be more successful in persuading the communion than unilateral action by one church, he pointed out that the very nature of the communion — a loose agglomeration of equals — meant that national churches were always acting autonomously. Furthermore, someone had to make the first move.

"We [Episcopalians] virtually led the way in terms of the ordination of women. And I believe had we not done that the ordination of women in the Church of England perhaps would not have occurred when it did. And the discussion around the ordination of women bishops would not be occurring."

More here-

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