Anglican Archbishop Defends Gays at U.S. Gathering of Bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, came out in support of gays and lesbians days before a crucial vote by American bishops at a gathering in New Orleans.

Rowan_williams_2“On Tuesday, the American bishops, the majority of whom are liberals, are expected to vote to support a greater role for gays and lesbians in the Church, both with regard to the creation of new bishops and the blessing of same-sex relationships. Unless they can be persuaded otherwise, it seems certain the move will irrevocably split the Church, ending the Anglican Communion and creating an alternative alliance between Africa and conservatives in the US.”

Flying in the face of conservative African church leaders, Williams said: “I do not assume that homosexual inclination is a disease…violence against gay and lesbian people is inexcusable. Gay and lesbian people have a place in the Church as do all the baptised.”

RobinsonThe Telegraph added:

“Dr Williams also said that the American Church faces ‘no ultimatum’ to end its stance on gays, which includes the ordination of the openly homosexual Bishop of New Hampshire three years ago. His words will force the African church leaders to decide whether to leave the Anglican Church or accept that the American Church cannot be forced to stop appointing gay bishops.”

At this point, a compromise between the warring factions looks unlikely.

Though the damage may already be done, according to the AP: “If Anglicanism continues on the path of slow but steady splintering, it will effectively do as much harm as a formal schism. Anglicans in Africa, who derive much of their stature from their global ties, will become just another church. The 2.2 million-member Episcopal Church, which has played such a central role in U.S. history, will also be marginalized. ‘If that happens, people will say, ‘This wasn’t much of a church anyway,” said Ephraim Radner, an evangelical Anglican and a theology professor at Wycliffe College in Toronto. ‘The results will be the disappearance and dissolution of Anglicans as a whole in North America.'”

Archbishop prays for miracle in gay rights row [telegraph]
Homosexuality not a ‘disease’, says Archbishop [telegraph]
Analysis: Anglicans already breaking up [ap]


  1. Mike says

    Of course they’re not mentioning that the African Anglican bishopric are supporting POLYGAMY amongst their followers.

    Of course, it’s all just a huge political game for power. The churches are making the same plays for congregations that they have done for millennia – co-opt the native religious traditions with a bait and switch. Pope Evil Emperor has just come out and said that the protestant churches have no validity (because they didn’t have generations of Borgias and Nazi-appeasing pontifs to continue their sacred line) in an attempt to solidify the Catholic “brand”. It’s fascinating and sad all at the same time.

  2. Sportin' Life says

    Rowan Williams is no friend to gay people. He’s a spineless worm and bigot panderer. He should have told the bullies to mind their own business from day one. Instead, his disgraceful lack of leadership has driven the Anglicans to crisis.

  3. Carl says

    I guess I should be thankful that Rowan William’s time away this summer has allowed him to ‘soften’ his view of queer roles in the Anglican Church but I don’t feel thankful. How can those of us in the American Episcopal Church who have been following Williams’ orchestration of the dismantling of the Anglican Communion feel any joy at all?

    Last spring our American bishops set aside Williams’ unity scheme which, to the contrary, would have divided our church and placed a foreign primate (likely Peter Akinola of Nigeria, an applying man in his own right) in charge of many American communicants. As our bishops stated, Williams’ scheme would bring us full circle “to a period of colonialism from which the Episcopal Church was liberated”.

    Sadly Williams early on rendered himself Akinola’s puppet. Now William’s 11th hour change of tune may well cut the puppet strings but it will do little to save the Communion. Granted we Episcopalians are but 2.2 million among the 77 million Anglicans worldwide but make no mistake, William’s knows well that the battle which is being waged at the expense of the humanity and dignity of homosexual people is a battle for control of up to one third of the Anglican Communion’s total international budget.

  4. says

    I’m in favor of all the cults splitting into those that consider hating the ‘mos to be their top priority and those that at least pay lip service to a doctrine of love and acceptance. The question will be who gets to keep the name “Christian”?

  5. tom says

    For Gawd sakes, what is preventing the progressive branch of the Anglican communion from telling these retro-fascists to kiss off? If the majority of funds are still with the progressive congregations in North America, what is preventing them from cutting off the funds to these other congregations? I hate to say it, but has the “white man’s guilt” over the odious heritage of colonialism and slavery really forced the progressive churches now to bow down to some of these frankly hateful and close-minded groups in the developing world?

  6. Zeke says

    I would hardly consider that piss poor statement a “Defense” of gays. It’s this kind of spineless leadership that drove me from the Episcopal church to the UCC.

    By the way, it looks like the American Bishops are going to give in and throw the gays under the bus AGAIN.

    Sadly, they will once again make another compromise, and the homobigoted African Bishops will once again not compromise but it won’t be enough and the Africans will rattle their sabers again, or leave the communion, leaving the Episcopal church with a policy that insults and runs aways gays without achieving the result that sacrificing gays was supposed to accomplished.

    Lose – Lose

    Just the way the right-wing political organization Institute for Religion and Democracy, formed to destroy progressive churches, wanted it.

  7. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    The debate among the anglocatholis is a tempest in a pisspot.

    The anglocatholic cult is a branch, in all but name, of the roman catholic cult. They split because Henry the 8th was a bit of a porker. He had no doctrinal differences with Rome, except perhaps on the question of exactly how many wives it was acceptable to murder between lunch and dinner. But Henry got all bug eyed contemplating the mounds of wealth stashed away by gluttonous roman priests over the centuries. And he was king so… he snatched it. The Popes are nothing if not greedier than thou, and the Pope got really, really pissed and excommunicated him. And Lo, in godliness and majesty, the anglocatholic cult was born. Hallelujah! Etc.

    They’ve been lapdogs to their royal masters ever since. When slaves were needed they invented racism. When women became skilled midwives and a little too independent they burned them. When population declined because of war or pestilence they burned us as a gentle reminder that population growth is good for crown and country.

    Their superstitious, reactionary views are the basis for sodomy laws and other antidemocratic corruptions of the legal-political traditions of the US and other former English colonies in Africa, the Caribbean region and elsewhere. Everywhere they went the English imported racism, slavery and christian antigay bigotry at the point of a bayonet, and extracted wealth.

    Akinola and Williams are anglocatholic archbishops who believe that the Exorcist is a training film. Like all priests, mullahs, rabbis, ministers, pastors and grand gaseous gumbahs they’re in it for the money. They’re too lame and too lazy to work for a living so they flip their collar around and pass the collection plate. No one should be shocked that they’re incorrigible bigots as well.

  8. marc McCabe says

    bill perdue,
    part of me feels so angry at your comment, but your so right as far as I’m concerned,. religion is a cancer. If these institutions really gave a shit about the common man and went with the simple tenents of love thy neighbour, do unto others as you would have done unto you etc, why in the history of western government and judiciary, do we have a powerfull church, which allows such ‘inhumanity’ as heirarchy, subjugation, murder, base, piss on you, do as your told and you might get a bit of a look in. christianity is not my understanding of love and brother and sisterhood. These institutions are part of the problem. they presume to know to much. With this they earn my distrust. but we do all need something, thats evident. I feel the world is slipping into a hateful decay, I’d like to think art might help us understand and heal, but maybe we aren’t able to be collectively individual enough without destroying ourselves. ‘god’ help us all

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