Gay N.H. bishop admits alcoholism

Feb. 14, 2006 at 10:40 PM

CONCORD, N.H., Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, an openly gay man whose ordination has divided the church, has admitted he is an alcoholic.

Canon Timothy Rich Tuesday announced that Bishop V. Gene Robinson is being treated in a rehabilitation center, the Manchester Union-Leader reported. Rich would not identify the center.

In a letter to the diocese, Robinson said that for years he thought his drinking was a failure of will and that he had learned it is a treatable disease that he cannot control.

"During my first week here, I have learned so much," Robinson said. "The extraordinary experience of community here will inform my ministry for years to come. I eagerly look forward to continuing my recovery in your midst."

Rich said that the reaction to the news in New Hampshire has been supportive. The diocesan standing committee released its own statement backing the bishop's desire to get treatment.

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