Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Anglican Church Continues to Struggle With Homosexuality

The latest in a seemingly never-ending series of rows within the Anglican Communion over openly gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson erupted yesterday after the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, declined to invite him to the Lambeth Conference next summer in London. The church holds the gathering every 10 years but the New York Times reported Williams wrote he reserves "the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the communion.

The Episcopal Church -- the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion -- consecrated Robinson in 2003 after his New Hampshire congregants overwhelmingly embraced him. Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola and other vocal dissenters within the communion have distanced themselves from the Episcopal Church in response to its support of the openly gay bishop. Robinson's consecration sparked a much needed conversation among the Anglican Communion and other organized religious institutions about the role LGBT can play within them. These debates are often contentious and even painful. Williams' decision to exclude Robinson, however, sends an appalling message to LGBT Anglicans they remain on the margins of the worldwide table.

No comments: