Monday, July 28, 2008

Lambeth Stalemate Over Gene Robinson

Episcopal Church Bishop Catherine Roskam of New York stated today that, “We agree on so much. Let what we agree on develop a covenant, not just the problems we don’t agree on. In ’98 at Lambeth, we invited the Communion to take seriously the Christianity of gay and lesbian people. This Lambeth has welcomed the LGTB (Lesbian, Gay Transgendered and bi-sexual) people.”

Reflecting on that statement, Cherie Wetzel wrote at her Lambeth blog, "I have to question the word welcomed. Indeed, 1/3 of the booths at the marketplace are rented to and staffed by LGBT groups. Probably 1/3 of the self-select lectures have gay subjects or speakers. They are here in record numbers. But, Gene Robinson was not seated. After several protests from TEC, that has not changed."

Gene was not seated, because if he had been, there would not have been sufficient numbers of Anglican bishops to hold a Lambeth Conference. Bishop Bahati of Congo recently said, "In my opinion, so many bishops are not here because of Gene Robinson. It would have been good to be forthright and also for Gene Robinson to resign. Most bishops are not happy with him continuing to be bishop in a church and he should have stepped down. That is my own opinion."

Undeterred by the opposition to his theology and gay activism, Robinson is working hard to keep himself in the limelight while in the UK. He is speaking wherever invited about how he is persecuted by homophobic fundamentalists who are so fanatical that they might resort to violence against him. That's why he reportedly wears a bullet-proof vest.

Meanwhile, the Anglican Bishop of Aberdeen sent this letter to the Scottish Press, the Church Times and the Church of England Newspaper after learning of Gene Robinson's intention to preach and preside at Glasgow Cathedral on Sunday.


The Anglican Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, the Rt Revd Robert Gillies, has disassociated himself from the forthcoming visit to the UK and Scotland of the actively gay Bishop of New Hampshire, in the USA.

Dr Gillies says: "Gene Robinson will be in the UK both before, and in Scotland during and after, the Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops. Both because of who he is, and what he stands for, his visits are likely to attract media attention. It will be sad if this detracts from much of the good work that Bishops of the Anglican Church from around the world will be seeking to achieve with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Lambeth Conference."

Dr Gillies continues, "One historic and continuing function of a Bishop is to maintain the unity of the Church. Sadly Gene’s consecration as a Bishop, and what has followed as a consequence of it, has proven to be deeply divisive."

He adds, "I am saddened Gene feels the need to have accepted invitations to come to the UK risking as he does so, further division in the Church. Because I fundamentally disagree with his position as a Bishop, I am left with little option other than to dissociate myself formally from his visit and to express my extreme sadness at the upset his visit will cause across all Christian traditions."

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