By Solange De Santis
[Episcopal News Service, Canterbury] He might be the most prominent
uninvited guest at the 2008 Lambeth Conference, but Diocese of New Hampshire
Bishop Gene Robinson's presence at the every-decade gathering was,
nonetheless, a compelling factor.
Robinson, whose long-term same-gender relationship is a source of
controversy in the Anglican world, said he was in Canterbury not to protest
his exclusion from the decennial gathering of Anglican bishops. He was
there, rather, "to witness to the joy I know in my life because I know God
and be a constant reminder to the conference that there are gay and lesbian
people sitting in their pews in every country in every congregation around
The meeting, which runs from July 16 to August 3, was in one sense defined
by absence, as about 210 of the global Anglican Communion's 880 bishops
voluntarily stayed away, many to protest the U.S. and Canada's openly
liberal stance toward homosexuality.