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Bishop of
California pledges solidarity with Robinson

Bishop of
California pledges solidarity with Robinson

Although gay bishop Gene Robinson will not be allowed to attend an important conference of Anglican bishops next year, the Episcopal bishop of California, Marc Andrus, has pledged to support his fellow clergyman.

"I will be seeking to learn how I can best be in solidarity with Bishop Robinson through prayerful action," explained Bishop Andrus to Oasis, a Bay Area ministry for LGBT Episcopalians. "The tactic of isolation and exile being employed against Bishop Robinson is retrogressive behavior that moves us toward a past from which Christ is always seeking to redeem us."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, hosts the Lambeth Conference, a meeting of all Anglican and Episcopal bishops, once every 10 years. While conceding that Bishop Robinson is an elected and consecrated bishop in the Anglican Communion, Archbishop Williams chose not to extend him an invitation because of conservatives' opposition to his consecration. Peter Akinola, archbishop of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, is one of Robinson's most vocal opponents. Akinola supports legislation proposed in Nigeria that would criminalize homosexuality there.

On Sunday, June 24, Bishop Andrus will be joined by Nigerian human rights activist Davis Mac-Illya to march in the San Francisco gay pride parade. "We must always be seeking this oneness that honors both our interconnectedness, our individuality, and that includes all," Andrus preached to Oasis, explaining his decision to join the festivities.

"This is a defining moment for the Episcopal Church," the Reverend John Kirkley, president of the California dioceses' LGBT ministry, said to Oasis. "Our bishops must refuse to capitulate to those for whom the exclusion of gay and lesbian people is the criteria for membership in the Anglican Communion. My hope is that they will find a creative way to respond to Archbishop Williams that actually honors our church's commitment to listen to the voices of lesbian and gay people around the world, including those of Bishop Robinson and Davis Mac-Illya." (The Advocate)

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