Anglican bishops gather in Britain

July 16, 2008 at 8:38 AM

CANTERBURY, England, July 16 (UPI) -- Anglican bishops from around the world gathered Wednesday in Britain against a backdrop of controversy over the acceptance of homosexuals in church leadership.

The 650 bishops from more than 150 countries, led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, met at the University of Kent in Canterbury to discuss the Anglican Covenant document, which seeks to prevent a split in the church on the issue of consecrating openly homosexual bishops, the BBC reported.

The disagreement within the church leadership ranks have prompted 250 Anglican bishops to boycott the meeting. Those bishops, from Nigeria, Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda and a group of countries in southern South America, say the Bible bans gay relationships.

The controversy broke out in reaction to the consecration of the openly gay bishop of New Hampshire in the United States, Rev. Gene Robinson, who wasn't invited by Williams to attend the conference, the BBC said.

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