Gay Anglican Bishop Attacks Catholic StandMonday, July 26 2010
Bishops Speech Caused Controversy in Anglican Church
The first openly gay Anglican Bishop, Gene Robinson, has called for the Roman Catholic Church's attitude to homosexuals to be confronted. The Bishop of New Hampshire described the Vatican's ban on ordaining gay men as "vile."
He received a standing ovation after his speech, in which he spoke of how he had faced prejudice in his role.
I am not here to grind any axes, I am here to do the thing that Christians do, that is to witness to the good of God
Bishop Robinson said: "We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the [Anglican] Church.
"Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church.I find it so vile that they think they are going to end the child abuse scandal by throwing out homosexuals from seminaries. It is an act of violence that needs to be confronted."
His speech at St-Martin-in-the-Fields, in Trafalgar Square, was part of the 10th anniversary of the gay rights group Changing Attitude.
Changing Attitude is an organization which calls for the Anglican Church to "fully accept, welcome and offer equality of opportunity to lesbian, gay and bisexual people."
He had been asked not wear his full vestments or take part in the religious service before addressing the audience from a lectern rather than the pulpit.
The London Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, which includes senior lay and clergy members, had urged the Archbishop of Canterbury to move the Bishop's talk to a secular venue to prevent "damaged relations" between sections of the Church.
The Bishop said his home state in the US was "the one place in the world where I am not the gay bishop - I'm just the bishop... it is a wonderful feeling."
He said homosexuals would eventually be fully welcomed in the Church but warned that it may take some time.
On Thursday the New Hampshire bishop met Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and said he wanted to help heal the rift caused by his consecration, but would not give up his post.
BBC News 06/Nov/05