The openly gay bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, has robustly defended his position.
At a public meeting in Washington DC Bishop Robinson claimed that of the nearly 8000 parishes in the American Episcopal Church, only 47 have sought guidance from outside bishops after his ordination.
“If you want to know my homosexual agenda, it’s Jesus,” Bishop Robinson said, according to crosswalk.com
“I feel that this is a real extension of what I’ve been called to do in the gospels.
“And I would propose to you that peoples’ coming out – gay and lesbian folk being honest about who they are, what their lives are, what their families are like, their desire to contribute to this culture, to serve in the military, to take their place as full citizens of this country – is God at work,” he added.
His remarks are bound to cause more controversy among the Anglican church.
The worldwide Anglican communion has been split on how to deal with the Americans, who caused further controversy by formally blessing same-sex unions in church.
A meeting of church leaders from around the world last month told the American to stop blessing gay partnerships and not to appoint any more gay bishops.
The primates meeting in Tanzania was a tense affair. At one point conservative Archbishops and bishops refused to take communion with the leader of the American church.
Rev. Canon David Anderson, president of the American Anglican Council, told Cybercast News Service:
“Bishop Robinson has garnered a place in history as the defiant homosexual cleric who preferred to force his sexuality on the larger church at any cost, rather than weigh the costs of what his actions would take on the entire Anglican Communion.
“His name will become synonymous with schism.”
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is attempting to stop any split in the church’s worldwide communion.
However, last month he admitted that the united Anglican Church may be ripped asunder.
Dr. Williams fears that the liberal and conservative branches of the church may not be able to reach agreement over gay and lesbian Christians, which could lead to the fragmentation of the Anglican communion.
“Why should we be mortgaged to other people’s prejudices, if we’re liberal, or other people’s irresponsibility, if we’re traditionalist?” Dr. Williams told the Daily Mail.
“Isn’t what matters the life and vigour, and indeed the integrity, of the Church on our doorstep?”
He compared the possible disintegration of the Anglican church to that of a marriage, saying:
“In some people’s eyes keeping the Anglican Communion together as a worldwide institution looks like prolonging the life of a dysfunctional or abusive marriage – isn’t it more honest and humane to head for the divorce courts?”
Furthermore, Dr. Williams said “the possibility of detailed and patient scrutiny of the underlying question about sexual ethics had been derailed by a feeling that the outcome had been decided in advance by one group.”