By: Ed Beavan
CAMPAIGN groups have criticised the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision not to invite an openly homosexual Bishop to the Lambeth Conference next year as 'intolerable' sending a 'damaging signal to faithful and honest lesbian and gay Christians worldwide'.
Responding to Dr Rowan Williams' exclusion of the Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Bishop in the Anglican Communion, the Affirming Catholicism Group said this undermines the integrity of the whole conference.
Meanwhile Changing Attitude England, a group which campaigns for the rights of gay and lesbian Christians, described the move as a 'cruel exclusion'.
The Rev Canon Nerissa Jones, Chair of Trustees for Affirming Catholicism, said the Lambeth Conference should reflect the diversity and range of theological opinions contained in the Anglican Communion, and called for Bishop Robinson to be included.
She said: "Although Bishop Robinson is only one bishop, his being excluded because of his openness about his sexuality sends a damaging signal to faithful and honest lesbian and gay Christians world-wide, and undermines the integrity of the conference."
Meanwhile the Rev Colin Coward, Director of Changing Attitude England, said he regretted the decision as Bishop Robinson 'represents tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Anglicans. We have longed to see ourselves visibly represented at the next Lambeth Conference by a bishop who is an openly gay, faithfully partnered man'.
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