Sydney archboshop brands gay US church leader a 'disgusting bishop'
November 3, 2003
SYDNEY — The conservative Anglican archbishop of Sydney on Monday branded
an openly gay U.S. church leader a "bishop of disunity" and said
his consecration had split the global Anglican communion.
Archbishop Peter Jensen was commenting on the consecration by
the Episcopal Church of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New
At a ceremony Sunday, New Hampshire's retiring Bishop Douglas
Theuner said Robinson "will stand as a symbol of the unity of the
church in a way none of the rest of us can" because he will "bring
into our fellowship an entire group of Christians hitherto
unacknowledged in the church."
Jensen dismissed that view.
"Of course the exact reverse is the truth," he said in a
telephone interview with The Associated Press. "He is a disuniting
bishop and he has been put forward in the face of an immense amount
Jensen said he was saddened by the appointment "because the word
of God teaches us clearly what the standards are for Christian
behavior in leaders and Canon Robinson does not fulfill those
He said Robinson's consecration had riven the Anglican
Communion, that numbers 77 million members. Many church leaders in
Africa are angry at the appointment.
"This creates a split for the first time in a particular area
and that's a tragedy but it's necessary if the truth is to be
preserved," Jensen said. "Today I was speaking to an African bishop
who told me that in his area of the world he is simply embarrassed
to be called an Anglican, that everyone is very scornful of
Anglicans because this has happened and he's receiving a great deal
"Now apparently the American church doesn't worry about that."
Jensen also was critical of the stance taken by the church's
spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who in a
statement from London said: "The divisions that are arising are a
matter of deep regret; they will be all too visible in the fact
that it will not be possible for Gene Robinson's ministry as a
bishop to be accepted in every province in the communion."
Jensen said: "I myself would have preferred if the archbishop
had spoken more clearly however about the fact that this is against
the Bible and should not have gone ahead because it is against
In New Zealand, the Anglican Bishop of Wellington told
parishioners he regrets Robinson's ordination.
The Right Rev. Thomas Brown has written to parishes in his
charge saying that Anglicans regard homosexual practice as
"incompatible with scripture" and that same sex marriages should
not be blessed.
But he urged the Church not to dwell on its divisions.
"The Church is not so much a place to stand and divide as it is
a place to love and unite," Brown said. þSapa-AP
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