LAMBETH: Archbishop of Sudan to TEC Bishop Gene Robinson - "Resign"
By Hans Zeiger with David W. Virtue
July 22, 2008
CANTERBURY-The Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan today declared that Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, "should resign for the sake of the church." In a press conference at the decennial Lambeth Conference, the Most Rev. Dr. Daniel Deng Bul said that homosexual ordination "is not what is found in the Bible" and that it is "not the norm of the Anglican world."
Archbishop Bul, who serves as Bishop of Juba as well as primate of the church in Sudan, represents some of the most persecuted Christian minorities in the world. The Episcopal Church of Sudan has grown from eleven dioceses, fifteen years ago, to twenty-four dioceses today. Dr. Bul rose to the archbishopric at the end of 2007.
Archbishop Bul decided to attend the Lambeth Conference because he says that he is unwilling to give up on the Anglican Communion just yet, hoping that the Episcopal Church in the U.S. will still reverse its present course. Thus far at Lambeth, Bul has not seen indications of genuine willingness to confront the troubles coming from North America. Referring to "indaba" discussion sessions among bishops, Archbishop Bul says "we have not seen a way out" of the church's divisions over sexuality.
The Archbishop expects not only discussion, but resolution. "We are not to run away. We are to face the reality," he said. "Listening" is a poor strategy when the Bible is clear about issues of human sexuality. "Listening should be on the periphery, not on the table whereby you make a decision extraordinarily from the Bible."
Archbishop Bul indicated that there is no room for dialogue within the church over sexual morality. "The Bible is not to be changed by the culture. The culture is to be changed by the Bible," he said. If the Anglican Communion were to affirm the ordination of homosexual church leaders, "We are saying that God is wrong."
In a separate written statement to his fellow Lambeth attendees, the Archbishop wrote, "We reject homosexual practice as contrary to biblical teaching and can accept no place for it within ECS. We strongly oppose developments within the Anglican Church in USA and Canada in consecrating a practicing homosexual as bishop and in approving a rite for the blessing of same-sex relationships. This has not only caused deep divisions within the Anglican Communion but it has seriously harmed the Church's witness in Africa and elsewhere [sic], opening the church to ridicule and damaging its credibility in a multi-religious environment."
Virtue Online asked Archbishop Bul about the relationship of Anglicans in Africa to Muslims on account of sexual politics. The Archbishop replied, "That's why I'm here, because we are called infidels when they hear the Christian world" affirming homosexuality, adding, "It will give them an upper hand to kill our people."
The Rev. Dr. Charles Robinson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, entered the Anglican Communion press room, following Archbishop Bul's press conference and uttered a few sentences about the Episcopal Church's historical friendship with the Episcopal Church of the Sudan. "We want to remain committed to the mission and ministry of the church," he said, before refusing to answer any questions from the press.
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