Ordination of Homosexual Bishop Stirs Anglican Fears

Archbishop of Canterbury Sees Threat to Unity

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LONDON, NOV. 3, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Canterbury acknowledged that the ordination of an openly homosexual bishop in the United States will have "serious consequences for the cohesion of the Anglican Communion."



Rowan Williams' statement was published today following Sunday's consecration of Gene Robinson, 56, as coadjutor bishop in New Hampshire for the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism.

Robinson, divorced and the father of two, has been living with his male companion for 13 years. He was ordained in a ceremony which took place in the ice-hockey stadium of the University of New Hampshire, and attended by several thousand people.

In an official statement issued by Lambeth Palace, Williams said that it "was recognized fully at last month's meeting of Anglican leaders that the consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire would have very serious consequences for the cohesion of the Anglican Communion."

"That meeting requested the setting up of a commission which would examine these consequences in depth," the statement said. "The meeting also encouraged me to be in discussion with the leaders of the provinces concerned about provisions made for those alienated by decisions which appear to go against Catholic order or biblical teaching. Such discussion has already begun."

Before that meeting took place, Dr. Williams met with John Paul II on Oct. 4. The Pope and Holy See representatives regarded the possibility of Robinson's episcopal ordination as a new "difficulty" for the unity of Anglicans and Catholics.