One of Canada's most liberal Anglican bishops has blocked the planned visit to British Columbia of a prominent Asian archbishop who opposes homosexual rights and believes that totem poles contain evil spirits.

Conservative Anglicans, angry at Bishop Michael Ingham's ban on a visit by Moses Tay, Archbishop of Singapore and Primate of the Anglican Province of South East Asia, have accused him of censorship. But Bishop Ingham of New Westminster said he had barred the visit because he feared Archbishop Tay's presence would disrupt sensitive discussions within the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster over blessing same-sex unions and the handling of the delicate issue of abuse at church-run native residential schools.

St Matthew's Church in Abbotsford, British Columbia, had invited Archbishop Tay to a celebration to be held October 28, 2000.

The Canadian church's national newspaper, Anglican Journal, reported that parishioners felt "pain and anger" that the speaker had been banned.

Bishop Ingham declined to give an interview to Ecumenical News International (ENI), and his staff said he did not wish to speak to the media any further about the matter. But in a letter to Trevor Walters, rector of St Matthews, Bishop Ingham said he did not want "to see any episcopal ministry exercised here which might disturb my efforts to create a climate of dialogue and mutual listening among members of the diocese."

The banning of Archbishop Tay was, he added, "really a question of a particular person at a particular time whose actions would be considered more inappropriate than helpful."

Bishop Ingham has described Archbishop Tay as "aggressively anti-homosexual." The bishop said the archbishop "has been very aggressive in his anti-homosexual ...

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