The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, met the American gay Bishop, Gene Robinson, in London yesterday.

The Archbishop’s spokesman described the meeting as “friendly but candid”.

The spokesman added, “The encounter came as part of the Archbishop’s commitment to listening to the voices of all concerned in the current challenges facing the Anglican Communion.”

Last month, the gay Bishop caused controversy when he claimed that homosexuality might split the Anglican Communion.

Bishop Robinson is in Britain to speak at the Oxford Union and attend a number of events in London to mark the 10th anniversary of Changing Attitude, the gay Christian pressure group.

The Rev Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, said that the Bishop ” believes, as do the majority of the Episcopal Church in the US, that after a 30-year period of exploring the place of lesbian and gay people in the church, the church made a corporate decision and believes it to be absolutely right.

“He believes that he received a call from God to be ordained as a priest and then as a bishop and nothing has changed his belief in the call since then.

“We in Changing Attitude are glad he is coming because it presents into our midst a partnered gay bishop who is legally and properly ordained by his church and makes visible and present what is already a reality.

“Here we have partnered gay bishops in England but they remain hidden to the wider church.”

However, not everyone is happy to see the Bishop being welcomed to a meeting with the spiritual head of the Church. Rev George Curry, chairman of the evangelical Church Society criticised Bishop Robinson. “He has adopted and maintains a lifestyle that is totally contrary to the will of God as declared in the written word of God. The real question is what are we doing about the people within the Church of England and within Anglicanism who are adopting views with regards to matters sexual which are contrary to the plain teaching of the word of God.

Last week, PinkNews.co.uk reported how the Bishop of London refused to bow into pressure to ban Bishop Robinson from church services in the capital.

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