Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, held a “secret” eucharist for gay and lesbian clergy yesterday, according to the Times. The service focused on “present realities and future possibilities for lesbians and gay men in the Church,” inspiring sharp remarks from the conservative branch of a church divided over homosexuality.
The Times reports: “Dr Williams was criticised by evangelicals, who believe that his actions will be interpreted as an endorsement of the Church’s liberal wing. The Rev David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society, said: ‘This is not something that should be happening. There is serious doubt in our mind about some of the people present and their standing because of being in homosexual relationships. We came to the conclusion a long time ago that [Dr Williams] was not really fit to be Archbishop.'”
They report that “secrecy was so tight that a list of names attending was sent to Lambeth Palace with orders that it be shredded as soon as Dr Williams had read it.”
Earlier this month, Archbishop Desmond Tutu slammed the church, calling it “extraordinarily homophobic” and criticized Williams for failing to demonstrate that the Anglican church’s God is one who is all-loving.
Said Tutu: “If God as they say is homophobic I wouldn’t worship that God…It is a perversion if you say to me that a person chooses to be homosexual. You must be crazy to choose a way of life that exposes you to a kind of hatred. It’s like saying you choose to be black in a race infected society. Why doesn’t [Williams] demonstrate a particular attribute of God’s which is that God is a welcoming God.”