USA: Blogging for Anglican Inclusion of LGTB Priests and Bishops

Canterbury CathedralIn mid-July, the historic Canterbury Cathedral, in the United Kingdom, hosted the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade assembly that brings together around 650 bishops and archbishops, leaders of an estimated 80 million Anglicans Christians worldwide.

At least seven lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Anglican (mostly American) organizations attended the meeting in support of “full inclusion of LGBT people in the life and ministry of the churches of the Anglican Communion”. Conservative bishops strongly disapprove of the movement and have even threatened to divide the church. According to the Economist, bishops from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda with more traditionalist parishes refused to attend the meeting in protest.

One of the most controversial liberal figures is Bishop Gene Robinson, an openly gay, non-celibate, 61-year-old Episcopalian bishop of New Hampshire, USA. He was not permitted to enter the meeting, but he opened a video blog devoted to the Lambeth event, called The Gene Pool, where he offered almost daily video commentaries.

In one video, he addresses the LGBT Episcopalian community with words of hope and strength.

Gene Robinson Video

The bishop's video-posts are paired with a flow of comments, always engaging even when expressing different views.

One commenter, Una, says:

Thank you Gene. I am a straight believer in God's love for ALL people, irrespective of race, religion, sex, gender. I too pray that those of us who live in countries where hush-hush is the order of the day can stand with you in open honesty about who we are as Christians in our own cultures. Like you, I continue to hope, though I am not an optimist in regard to the Lambeth outcome.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has done his best to keep the church together, and not made outspoken statements in support of LGBT rights, in spite of being known to hold more liberal views. Bishop Gene Robinson takes aim at Rowan Williams’ “centrist stance” in a post on his other blog Canterbury Tales from the Fringe:

The morning we left Edinburgh, the headlines in the London Times announced the publication of letters sent by +Rowan Williams several years ago, in response to a conservative evangelical, in which he says that after many years of study and prayer, he has concluded that faithful, life-long-intentioned, monogamous love between two people of the same sex is NOT prohibited by scripture — and that scripture simply does not address this new phenomenon. Precisely what I and others have been saying all along.

(…) he has steadfastly done what he has said he would do: set his own personal understandings aside and take a centrist stance “for the good of the whole Church.” This is not news, folks! But it is indeed sad.

There were many other blogs created by liberal participants at the Lambeth meeting, including the Lambeth Conference LGBT Anglican Portal, Walking with Integrity, and the Lambeth News Blog.

In a final official release about the Conference, Episcopal Life Online quotes the Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity USA, and a parish priest based in Los Angeles:

“…in spite of extraordinary pressure to do otherwise, the Archbishop of Canterbury has managed to achieve his stated goal of a Lambeth Conference of reflection rather than resolutions.

“The long predicted coup d'état that was going to emerge from this Lambeth Conference and vote the Americans and Canadians out of the Anglican Communion failed to materialize. There is much to be grateful for in that.”

Susan Russel also created this interesting photo album showing a great deal of grassroots activism in the Communication Centre, along with other lively behind-the-scene snapshots, during the Conference.

Susan Russell's Lambeth Conference Photo Blog
Photo republished from Susan Russell's Lambeth Conference Photo Blog

Acting as “a faithful witness of God's inclusive love to the Episcopal Church and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community”, Integrity USA also made effective use of citizen media in The Lambeth Witness, a daily publication from and about the Canterbury event managed by the coalition Inclusive Church Network.

Photo at top is of Caterbury Cathedral, by Sarah Hecht, republished under Creative Commons license.


  • AMPisAnglican

    Mr. Robinson cannot be a Bishop. Firstly, he divorced his wife, even though she had not committed adultery. This one sin alone disqualifies Mr. Robinson from being a Priest, let alone a Bishop. Secondly, he lived in a sexual active relationship outside of marriage for years. This second sin also disqualifies Mr. Robinson from being a Priest, let alone a Bishop. (Please note that there is no homophobia in any of this, yet)
    Mr. Robinson would have you believe that God’s inclusive love for all people somehow equates to God accepting sinful behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. What was once a sin is still a sin, and will always be a sin. God has done miraculous things to reach out to us so that we would repent, give up our sinful ways, and come back into God’s Grace. (Still no homophobia, yet)
    The important thing to be mindful of is that the onus is upon us to change, so that we will better suit God. God has not, and will not, change to better suit us.
    Mr. Robinson completely ignores many passages of God’s Holy Scriptures that contradict his personal, secular agenda. These passages speak directly to sexual behavior and marriage, they are exceedingly clear, and impossible to misinterpret. That Mr. Robinson teaches lessons that are in direct contradiction to God’s Holy Scriptures means that Mr. Robinson is a “false prophet”. No other topic is spoken of so often within the Holy Bible. Christians (and Jews as well, as false prophets are also warned of in the Old Testament) are to have nothing to do with false prophets! Anyone who follows Mr. Robinson is placing their immortal soul at risk of eternal damnation.

  • Pier

    -World notice – Is necessary to prepare a great world (global) holiday (party) to celebrate the day that G. W. Bush after-taste of being A President of U.S.A.

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