This article from the BBC features details and a video clip from a sermon preached by Anglican Bishop V. Gene Robinson at a west London church Sunday, June 13, 2008. If you’ve paid attention to the news, Bishop Robinson’s name is usually preceded by the words, “openly gay.” During the sermon a protester stood and called Robinson a “heretic,” crying out, “repent, repent, repent.” Robinson was blamed by the man for the split in the Anglican church. The man was drowned out by the slow clapping of members of the congregation, and then escorted from the church by a group of men in the congregation.
Robinson was the only bishop who did not receive an invitation to the Anglican Communion’s Lambeth Conference, which is held once every 10 years. Bishop Robinson’s ordination has been at the center of controversy in the Anglican Communion. It is likely that Rowan Williams chose not to invite Robinson to the Lambeth Conference as a political appeal to more conservative African bishops, who had threatened to protest the conference because of Robinson. The Conference is being held this year in London.
The Anglicans don’t seem to be showing many signs that their fragmentation is slowing, which is unfortunate. From the Telegraph (linked above), I found this bit of commentary interesting:
Given that [Robinson] is not about to change his view, Anglicanism faces an uncertain future, I suggest. “I believe,” he says, giving every indication of meaning it, “that in the end the communion will win out and we will hang together. God calls all of his children to the table. We can disagree and even say a lot of hateful things, but what we can’t do in good conscience is leave the table. Or demand that someone else not be at the table.”
Which seems to be exactly what some of his fellow bishops are demanding of him. “They are,” he confirms, “and that is the worst sin. But by virtue of our baptism, Peter Akinola and I are brothers in Christ and one day we are going to be in heaven together, so we might as well learn to get along here because we will have to get along there. God won’t have it any other way.”
It may be such that God wants us to get along here, but I believe the Anglicans will have a difficult time holding together on this issue.