July 14, 2008

Anglican’s dismay at schism over homosexuality


by David Masters

As the Anglican church prepares for the once a decade Lambeth conference, a gathering of all the church’s bishops from across the globe, debate is hotting up around the issue of homosexual clergy and bishops.

Out of 800 bishops invited to the conference, 200 are boycotting the event, due to their perception that the Anglican communion is taking an increasingly liberal stance on the issue of homosexuality.

A notable exemption on the Lambeth invitation list is the Rt Rev Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, the world’s first openly gay Anglican bishop.

Despite not having an invitation, Bishop Robinson has decided to visit the UK anyway.

In a sermon given at St. Mary’s Church in Putney, south west London this weekend, Bishop Robinson was heckled with calls to ‘repent’ and to go back to his own church.

However, the rest of the congregation at St. Mary’s demonstrated their support of the bishop by drowning out the heckler with clapping, and then by standing up to sing ‘Thine be the glory’.

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan has sparked fury in the conservative wings of the Welsh Anglican communion, by expressing his willingness to consecrate gay bishops.

The debate will no doubt be a key point of contention at the Lambeth conference.

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