First gay bishop creates church schisms

Nov. 3, 2003 at 1:23 PM

DURHAM, N.H., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- The elevation of an openly gay Episcopalian priest to bishop has sparked protests from within the Anglican Communion, reports said Monday.

In a 3-hour ceremony in Durham, N.H., 44 Episcopal bishops laid their hands on the head of Gene Robinson Sunday and proclaimed him a successor to Jesus' apostles, the Boston Globe reported.

But Monday, Archbishop Peter Akinola, leader of the Nigerian Church, said the consecration meant a "state of impaired communion" now divided the church worldwide, the BBC said.

"We deplore the act of those bishops who have taken part in the consecration," he said in a statement on behalf of the Primates of the Global South, said to represent over 50 million Anglicans.

The bishop of Sydney, Australia, Peter Jensen, criticized the appointment, saying his diocese could not recognize Robinson as fulfilling the criteria laid down in the Bible for a bishop.

The leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, issued a statement immediately following Robinson's consecration, saying, "The divisions that are arising are a matter of deep regret."

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Johnny Depp feeds baby bat in video
Jennifer Lopez celebrates 46th birthday in sheer dress
Blake Shelton cuts post-divorce concert short due to lightning
End of an era: 'General Hospital' bids farewell to Anthony Geary's iconic Luke Spencer
Ice-T, wife Coco reportedly expecting first child together