Bishop Gene Robinson, the gay man at the centre of the Anglican schism, has said that an ultimatum issued by church leaders should be rejected.

In a written statement, Robinson, who was the first openly gay man to be consecrated as a Bishop in the Anglican Church, said,” Doesn’t Jesus challenge the greater whole to sacrifice itself for those on the margins? …Now is the time for courage, not fear.”

This is the first time that he has commented on the decisive issue of gays in the church which is threatening to split Anglicans. The crisis began when Robinson was made Bishop of New Hampshire in the US in 2003. The North American Episcopal Church has also been allowing an increasingly visible leadership role for women.

Led by conservative branches of the church, 38 primates from around the world issued an ultimatum that the American Episcopal arm of the Anglican Church must commit to not consecrate other gays by the end of September. The decision was taken at an conference in Tanzania after some branches threatened to split from the church over the issue.

There is anger that liberal leaders who supported the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the church compromised their stance at the meeting in order to keep Anglicans together.

“How will we explain this ‘forbearance’ to all those gay and lesbian Christians who have come to the Episcopal Church because, for the first time ever, they have believed that there is a place for them at God’s table, not simply beneath it, hoping for fallen scraps?” said Robinson in his statement.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has blasted the conservative elements of the Anglican Church over their homophobic stance towards gay clergy saying recently that, “For one to penalise someone for their sexual orientation is the same as penalising someone for something they can do nothing about, like ethnicity or race. I cannot imagine persecuting a minority group which is already being persecuted.”

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend