Monday, May 28, 2007

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Accuses Anglican Church of Gay Obsession

Gay exclusion within the worldwide Anglican Communion remains a serious problem as Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams' decision earlier this month to not invite openly gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson to next summer's Lambeth Convention illustrates. Robinson's consecration, blessings for same-sex couples and other issues continue to divide many church leaders. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola remains one of the Communion's most vocal anti-gay leaders but his colleague, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said many of his African counterparts remain obsessed with these issues at the expense of other much more pressing problems.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner accused his colleagues of negligence in their apparent failure to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's continued oppression against his own people, the Darfurian genocide and general corruption on the continent. One can argue African Anglican leaders' apparent obsession with homosexuality continues to distract attention away from their own failure to tackle these issues. Gays and lesbians remain all too convenient scapegoats as Tutu's comments suggests. Hypocrisy in organized religion seem to go hand in hand in terms of attitudes towards homosexuality. Tutu continues to show courage as he challenges his colleagues to offer a seat at the table to every Anglican. The Anglican Communion in Africa should follow his example.

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