Exodus fear from church

The Sun (England), Aug. 7, 2003

The Anglican Church was tearing itself apart last night over the appointment of its first openly homosexual bishop.

Canon Gene Robinson — a divorced father-of-two who lives with a man he wants to “marry” — is set to take up his post in America.

The move has already split the Church of England — and may lead to millions of Anglicans breaking away from the mother church.

The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams — world head of the church — found himself at the centre of the storm.

There were pleas for him to urgently intervene and stop Robinson’s appointment. But he only warned against rash moves — and asked for calm.

Bishops in India, Australia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Maylasia all furiously criticised the move to appoint Robinson.

And the Rev David Phillips, general secretary of the Church Society in Britain, urged a split with their American brethren. He said that if the Church of England was to survive it had to stand by what was in the Bible.

The row centres on whether Christians should stick to the scriptureswhich quotes God telling Moses: “there are around 70million church members across the globe. England has 26million and Nigeria 17million.

Last month a row was averted in Britain after gay clergyman Jeffrey John withdrew as new Bishop of Reading after meeting Dr Williams.

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