Tuesday, 11 March 2008

The Guardian: Gay bishop criticises Williams for Lambeth snub

The gay American bishop whose ordination caused ructions in the Anglican church has criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury for his failure to unite the communion.

Gene Robinson, the Bishop of New Hampshire, made the remarks after declining to attend the Lambeth conference, the 10-yearly gathering of the world's bishops, because his invitation was was a "non-offer".

He told a spring gathering of the US Episcopal Church House of Bishops: "It has been a very difficult 48 hours sitting here and hearing your plans for Lambeth.

"In my most difficult moments it feels as if, instead of leaving the 99 sheep in search of the one, my chief pastor and shepherd, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has cut me out of the herd."

Conservatives and liberals have accused Dr Rowan Williams of being indecisive on the issue of homosexuality and the church. He has also been under fire, from both sides, about the extent of Robinson's participation at Lambeth.

Robinson acknowledged the predicament, saying he had "respect and sympathy" for Williams. "I was trying to help him, and it just didn't work."

His bid to attend Lambeth started almost a year ago, he revealed, and organisers rang him days before official invitations were sent out.

Episcopal officials were also negotiating, with Chris Smith, the chief of staff at Lambeth palace, and the Rev Canon Kenneth Kearon, from the Communion office, for Robinson to take part in worship and study groups. Read more
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