Archbishop is Prisoner of Lambeth Palace Mafia
No Anglican collusion with racists; only with homophobes.
Gay split is re-run of row over evolution and votes for women.
Edinburgh - 7 August 2008
"The Archbishop of Canterbury is willing to include and embrace homophobes within the Anglican Communion, but we all know that that he would never seek a similar accommodation with racists and anti-Semites. Why the double standards?" queried human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell made these comments during an "in conversation" event with the openly gay US Bishop, Gene Robinson, at the Festival of Spirituality at St John's Church in Edinburgh yesterday (6 August 2008). The discussion was chaired by Dr Christian Lange, Lecturer in Islamic Studies at the School of Divinity, Edinburgh University.
"The Anglican Church's current divisions over homosexuality are a re-run of its previous divisions over evolution and votes for women. Now, as then, truth and justice will triumph, despite the contrary efforts of the church leadership," added Mr Tatchell.
"Since becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has become a prisoner of the Lambeth Palace mafia. They have jailed his heart and soul. He now puts preservation of the institution of the church before love of his fellow gay Christians and before the dignity of lesbian and gay people. Church unity is more important to him than gay equality.
"Archbishop Williams welcomed hardline homophobic Bishops to the Lambeth Conference but not Bishop Gene Robinson. He won't reply to Bishop Robinson's letters. Yet he readily meets anti-gay Bishops. He has taken a partisan stance against the defenders of gay equality and in collusion with the persecutors of gay people, like Archbishops Akinola and Orombi.
"By his attempts to accommodate homophobic Bishops, Dr Williams brings shame and dishonour to the office of Archbishop of Canterbury. He has betrayed his own conscience; turning back on his years of courageous, compassionate support for gay inclusion and equality. His failure to stand up to anti-gay bullies within the church is a failure of moral and ethical leadership," said Mr Tatchell.
Bishop Gene Robinson said he felt personally "disrespected" by the way the Archbishop of Canterbury ignored his letters and banished him from the Lambeth Conference.
"He is no longer the Rowan we once knew. I don't know how he sleeps at night," said Bishop Robinson.
Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria has backed legislation to outlaw gay churches, gay organisations, gay HIV prevention programmes and gay human rights advocacy.
Henry Orombi, the Archbishop of Uganda, excommunicated heterosexual bishop, Christopher Senyonjo, after he spoke out against the persecution of lesbian and gay Ugandans.
The anti-gay diatribes of both men help fuel of the atmosphere of homophobic hatred, discrimination and violence that exists in their countries.
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