New Hampshire Episcopalians elect gay bishop
Episcopalians in the Diocese of New Hampshire overwhelmingly elected V. Gene Robinson to be their next bishop Saturday, marking the first time that an Anglican diocese has picked an openly noncelibate gay man for the post. In 1990, Robinson announced that he was gay, and left his wife and two daughters (the daughters attended yesterday's vote).
"We will show the world how to be a Christian community," Robinson promised. "I plan to be a good bishop, not a gay bishop."
"This is a breakthrough for which we've been waiting," Charles Bennison, bishop of Pennsylvania, told The Philadelphia Inquirer.
But conservatives in the Episcopal Church U.S.A., and in the larger Anglican Communion to which it belongs, are decrying the election as another step away from biblical mandates.
"Reaction is already coming in by e-mail, and it is mixed," ECUSA press officer James Solheim told The New York Times. "Some people are already announcing that this is the last straw, they're leaving the Episcopal Church."
Bishops in Pittsburgh and South Carolina have already opposed the election.
Robert Duncan, the bishop of Pittsburgh, called Robinson's election "a grevious wound" to the Episcopal Church, the worldwide Anglican Communion, and Christians everywhere. "Whether this election will prove a mortal wound to the Episcopal Church is a determination that cannot now be made, but this revolutionary decision most assuredly has that possibility," he said. "For Episcopalians and Anglicans this is a time for sustained fasting and prayer. For all Christians, of their charity, it is a time to ask the Lord's mercy, guidance, provision and deliverance."
"The Anglican Communion now faces one of its greatest crises ever over the question of whether or not same-sex relationships are sinful or to be blessed by the church," Bishop of South Carolina Edward L. Salmon Jr. and his assistant, Bishop Suffragan William J. Skilton, said in a joint statement. "This election causes us the gravest possible concern, for if the church ratifies it, we would clearly be approving of the relationship in which Gene Robinson is involved. This is not about a person or a diocesan election process; it is about a radical change in church doctrine."
Likewise, Anglican groups that are working to reform the ECUSA, or have already distanced themselves from it over homosexuality and other issues expressed their sadness at the news.
For ongoing coverage from an orthodox perspective, be sure to check out Classical Anglican Net News.
More coverage includes:
- Dancing in the aisles and lover's kiss greet election of gay bishop (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- L.B. church leaders say gay bishop okay (Long Beach Press Telegram, California)
- Gay man is elected bishop in N.H. | Rift likely to widen in Episcopal Church (The Boston Globe)
- U.S. church elects gay bishop (BBC)
- Anglican turmoil over gay U.S. bishop (The Age, Melbourne, Australia)
- Anglicans elect first gay bishop (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Episcopal Church in U.S. elects first gay bishop (Reuters)
- Gay cleric is elected Episcopalian bishop in U.S. (The Independent, London)
Is Eric Rudolph a "Christian terrorist"?
- Religion & terror | Eric Rudolph faces many trials for his alleged crimes, but The Washington Post seems to think Christianity might need legal or PR representation as well (Marvin Olasky, World)
- Christian's arrest twists argument | Is Eric Rudolph a Christian terrorist? If Osama bin Laden is a Muslim terrorist, then isn't the unavoidable answer yes? (Leonard Pitts Jr, The Miami Herald)
- Captured fugitive proves hate, bigotry still thrive | By all rights, Rudolph should be called a Christian terrorist, but that would just be unwise, meaningless name-calling (Jan Jarboe Russell, San Antonio Express-News)
- The capture of Osama bin Rudolph | Rudolph's actions were just as "Christian" as Osama bin Laden's actions were "Muslim." (Arsalan tariq Iftikhar, The Oregonian)
- Terror outrage lacking in Rudolph case | If Rudolph isn't a Christian terrorist, Osama bin Laden isn't an Islamic terrorist (Diane Carman, The Denver Post)
- Debate rises on radical Christianity | Rudolph motivated by beliefs, some say (The Charlotte Observer/Boston Globe)
Time Europeon continental Christianity and other faiths:
- O Father where art thou? | Christianity is becoming a minority faith in Europe, as church attendance falls, the clergy ages, and scandals and harsh doctrine drive people away. But the faith is reappearing—and thriving—in all sorts of unexpected places. A search for God in Europe, 2003 (Time Europe)
- Saving the prodigal parent | Religion is coming home (Time Europe)
- Piercing an ancient tale | Solving the mystery of a Christian relic (Time Europe)
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