October 20, 2003
LONDON — The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who is head of the
Anglican church, said Friday he was opposed to the controversial
consecration of a practising gay bishop in the United States, an
issue which threatens to split the church.
Asked whether he felt Gene Robinson, who has said he is not
celibate, should become bishop of the US state of New Hampshire,
Williams told BBC radio: "No I don't".
Williams, enthroned in February this year at the head of more
than 70 million Anglicans worldwide, is known for his liberal views
and his support in principle for the appointment of gay clergy.
"I believe that on a major issue of this kind the church has to
make a decision together," Williams said.
After two days of crisis talks Anglican leaders agreed a
statement Thursday saying that Robinson's appointment in August
threatened to split the church and calling for a commission to look
into the divisive issue of homosexuality.
Shortly after discussions ended Thursday, the diocese of New
Hampshire insisted that Robinson would be consecrated as planned on
November 2, despite objections by Anglican world leaders.
"Undoubtedly there is a huge crisis looming," Williams said.
"I think what we have achieved this week, though, is at least to
find some way of talking through the crisis without instantly
jumping into what appear to be quick solutions," Williams said.
A commission on the divisive issue of homosexuality and the
Anglican church has been asked to report back within a year. –Sapa-AP /fws
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