25% of World’s Anglican Bishops boycott Lambeth Conference

The Lambeth Conference happens just once every decade, and one quarter of the world’s Anglican bishops (many from African nations) are boycotting the conference, exposing the rift caused by the Episcopal Church’s ordination of Gene Robinson five years ago, Reuters reports:

Robinson“Church officials said that 230 of the 880 bishops in the Anglican worldwide communion were staying away from the Lambeth conference being staged in the English cathedral city of Canterbury, spiritual home of the deeply divided church. Bishops from Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, who boast some of the fastest-expanding congregations in the Anglican church, were among those who pledged to snub the conference. “Liberal and conservative clergy have been brought to the brink of schism over the ordination in 2003 of Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, the first openly gay bishop in the church’s 450-year history.

Robinson, of course, was snubbed by the conference, but still plans to hold events in Canterbury, England, where the conference is held. Said Robinson of the boycott: “With young men knifing each other in the streets of London and a billion or more people going through life on less than a dollar a day, what a shame , what a waste it is for the Anglican communion to be tearing itself apart over two men or two women who want to make a Christian family together.”

While giving a sermon at a service on Sunday, Robinson was confronted by a protestor who branded him a “heretic” and demanded Robinson repent.

Quarter of world’s Anglicans boycott conference [washington post]

Archbishop of Wales Says He Would Consecrate a Gay Bishop [tr]
Heckler Calls Gay Bishop Robinson a ‘Heretic’ at Sermon in the UK [tr]


  1. Rafael says

    How sad this is in deed. What separates Bishop Robinson from the rest of the clergymen is that he is out, that he is honest about who he is and his commitment to God. Gays and faith are not mutually exclusive, and the notion of its conflicted principles are merely man-made.

  2. Nonplussed says

    …so start your own gay church Gene.
    If they will not agree to embrace your personal morality then cede from the greater church and create one that will sanction your personal choice of bedfellow, it’s how the whole Anglican communion was born in the first place, you’re the new Henry VIII, maintain the tradition. Show us the way to the promised land.
    I mean really, with a billion or more people going through life on less than a dollar a day, what a shame, what a waste it is for the Anglican communion to be torn apart by the egotism and arrogance of one man.

  3. JJ says

    God truly bless the righteous and good leadership of the Anglican communion that is patiently waiting for all of God’s children, Africans included, to accept all of God’s children, gays included, into the church. The right thing to do is sometimes the hard thing to do.

  4. Michael Bedwell says

    FUCK YOU, Nonplussed! And not in the good way! It is a negative testament [pun intended] of how PSYCHOTIC “religious” bigots are that they even slither onto Towleroad to ooze their poison about Bishop Robinson. The same kind who tried to block his election as Bishop at the last minute by forcing the church to investigate two lies about him; one claiming that he had “inappropriately touched” a male parishioner on two occasions, and that his Website was “linked by one click to 5,000 pornographic Websites.” Both proved false.

    Some of this, and much of Robinson’s fascinating origins in a dirt poor, conservative Kentucky non-Episcopal family, along with other moving stories of the struggle of others to reconcile their orientation with their faith is beautifully documented in “For the Bible Tells Me So” which I recommend to anyone with a loved one still on that journey.

    As for the morons tried to extort the larger church into supporting their homohatred: let ’em walk, let ’em walk! Particularly those from Nigeria which gay black civil rights icon Bayard Rustin worked very hard to help liberate, along with Ghana and South Africa.

  5. says

    I disagree with Nonplussed… being honest and forthright about yourself is hardly egotism and arrogance. Further, if one gay man’s honesty can destroy the Anglican communion, then it really wasn’t much of a communion in the first place now was it? Robinson doesn’t need to start his own gay church. It wasn’t a gay church that elected him… it was the Episcopal Church in America, a decidedly straight oriented institution.

    The issue here is that, by and large, the church in North America is more progressive on social issues than is the church in Africa. (The church in England has been moribund for many years now.) Is this such a huge shock? If the African bishops are that disgusted by Robinson and those who support him, then perhaps it is THEY who need to leave and form their own organization. Of course, they’ll have to give up the assets and salaries that they receive from the Anglicans/Episcopals… but if they truly believe in their convictions, they won’t mind that… right?

    I continue to believe that the church in North America (and, by extension, England) will be just fine without the African bishops, thank you.

  6. Rafael says

    To add to Mr. Bedwell’s statement. This is not about the “egotism” nor the “arrogance” of one man(the one who represent us all). The Anglican church is also troubled on whether to allow women to become bishops, The church clergy have held private, secrete meetings with delegates from Rome. They have been plotting to abandon the Anglican church, to move to Rome so that they don’t have to adapt to a changing world. To me all this sounds rather cowardly and against their primary mission wish is to spread the word of God.

    I must also say, that I understand why gay men feel a certain apathy towards institutionalized religion(hence the lack of interest in this post), but to abandon ones faith, is to give in, and subject to the these agents of intolerance, but more importantly, it is to abandon ones spirit.

  7. JORDY says

    Agreed, Milkman. As an Episcopalian and a seminary student, I have come to believe that the only just solution at this point is for the American Church to say, “We will stand for equal rights, and if that means the rest of the ‘Communion’ abandons us, then so be it.” I’m sick and tired of even progressive bishops capitulating in the face of threats from parts of the world where basic human rights–not to mention gay rights–are often ignored, if not outright violated. The American Church is more progressive, and we should be proud of it. It’s time to move forward…

  8. BobC562 says

    As a (gay) cradle Episcopalian (albeit a bit lapsed during the teens and twenties), I’m amazed at the gutless response of general Anglican Communion, and the ABC himself. We’ve lost three parishes, so far, in the diocese of Los Angeles, and after meeting some of them, I can only say their views do not reflect the majority of Episcopalians I know. The Anglican Church was based on questioning the single interpretation of all things liturgical (i.e. the Pope) (well, o.k., Henry the VIII wanted a divorce, but it was really Elizabeth that allowed the church to bloom). We’re not built on dogma, we’re not required to accept every word of the Nicene or Apostle’s Creed, but can question issues of faith. Unfortunately, fundamental evangelicals have slithered their way into the Church and expect her to succumb to their every whim without question. I’d be very happy for the EPCUSA to simply say to the greater Communion, Via con Dios, either you accept us or not, but we’re no longer going to attempt to placate your bigoted views. When the American money tap no longer gushes into Africa, we’ll see how committed those African bishops are to their homophobic views, and the mangled twisting of God’s Word. So there!

  9. BobC562 says

    On an happier note… I attended a forum with Bishop Robinson at All Saint’s in Pasadena a few weeks ago. When, at mass, he placed the break in my hand there truly was the real presence, it was an amaasing experience.

  10. Nonplussed says

    A “psychotic religious bigot” Bedwell, why? Because I disagree with your perpetual hagiography of this man? Your default stance is personal attack when people don’t agree with you.
    I have never been part of any religious institution, I was not raised, nor do I believe, in any religion at all and I assure you my mental health is not in question nor, and this may be where we differ, is my education.
    I’m an adult gay man with a mind of my own and opinions which do not rely on a single documentary (you do keep recommending it, were you involved in its making?)
    Questioning whether the Bishop’s actions are appropriate to his position within an institution he chose to sign up to, or simple selfishness does not make me a “pysychotic religious bigot”.
    What is apparent is that you clearly have unfinished business with your church and will tolerate no dissent from your own views. I think you may be projecting your own neuroses onto me. You really are a witless dolt, act now to avoid being an idiot your whole lifetime.
    I repeat; you join a club you know the rules of, accept and embrace and pursue the authority of that club (whether it be a church and its dogma or the straight world and marriage and kids), and then assume it yourself, it may ill-become you to then fight a cause you failed to further on the way up, when it was less convenient for your career.
    The Anglicans have always had very stong links with Rome, it’s where they get their authority to appoint legitimate Bishops from.
    Schism persisted between the Eastern and Western Church for almost a thousand years, Schism separates Rome and the protestant religions, schism had divided the Anglican Church before but I would suggest that the greater schism to come is that between North and South and, as we know, schism is not easily healed.
    Whatever happens, the Episcopalian church is very very small in numbers when it comes to the greater communion and should have picked its battles more wisely.
    By the way? What’s wrong with a gay church?
    No salvation without representation!

Leave A Reply