Skip to comments.Williams won't allow Robinson to function as priest in England
Posted on 04/30/2008 9:19:08 AM PDT by Huber
Citing fears of creating a controversy, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury has refused to grant Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the right to preach or preside at the eucharist in England. Robinson received the news in an email yesterday morning.
Sources familiar with the email say Williams cites the Windsor Report and recent statements from the Primates Meeting in refusing to grant Robinson permission to exercise his priestly functions during his current trip to England, or during the trip he plans during the Lambeth Conference in July and August.
The Windsor Report does not discuss the ordination of a candidate in a gay relationship to the priesthood, and it is priestly, rather than episcopal functions that Robinson had sought permission to perform. The primates' statements, similarly, have objected to Robinson's episcopacy, not his priesthood.
Several provinces in the Communion ordain gay and lesbian candidates without requiring a vow of celibacy. It is unclear whether the Church of England forbids these priests from exercising their functions within its jurisdiction as a matter of policy, or whether Williams' ban extends only to Robinson. Many gay English priests live with their partners, but are expected to remain celibate.
The email, which came to Robinson through a Lambeth official, says Williams believes that giving Robinson permission to preach and preside at the Eucharist would be construed as an acceptance of the ministry of a controversial figure within the Communion.
Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, who gave his support to a failed legislative attempt to limit the rights of Nigerian gays and their supporters to speak, assemble and worship God collectively. Akinola has yet to respond to an Atlantic magazine article which suggests he may have had prior knowledge of plans for retributive violence against Muslims in his country that resulted in the massacre of more than 650 people in Yelwa, Nigeria.
Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Bernard Malango, the retired primate of Central Africa and one of the authors of the Windsor Report. Malango dismissed without reason the ecclesiastical court convened to try pro-Mugabe Bishop Nolbert Kunonga for incitement to murder and other charges.
Williams has not denied permission to preach and preside to Bishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Southern Cone, who has now claimed as his own, churches in three others provinces in the Anglican Communion (Brazil, Canada and the United States). Nor has he denined permission to preach and preside to Archbishops Henry Orombi of Uganda, Emanuel Kolini of Rwanda, or Benjamin Nzimbi of Kenya, all of whom have ignored the Windsor Report's plea not to claim churches within other provinces of the Communion.
Sources who have read the email say Williams expresses sorrow for the way the ban on Robinson must appear to the bishop and his supporters, but says he is acting for the good of the Church and the Communion.
At Church Times Blog, Dave Walker advances the story in the legal direction:
Questions are being asked as to whether Lambeth Palace has the authority to stop Gene Robinson from preaching if he is invited to do so by the incumbent of a parish. Legal minds have been perusing the Canons of the Church of England and it appears that he would have a strong case for being able to preach if invited.
However, Gene Robinson has ruled out preaching without the permission of the Archbishop. From the Hardtalk [TV] interview (only available for a week) on the BBC [Robinson said]: "In the past he has... declined to give me permission to preach and to celebrate the Holy Communion and I would never do so without his permission."
Read Walker's post here.
Earlier in the day Bishop Robinson had said on BBC Radio that God was "very disappointed" in Williams for his failure to confront Akinola over his treatment of gays. Read here. Listen here.
I’ve met Vickie Imogene” (HIS REAL NAME!!!) and his “friend”. They are as flaming a pair as you could find. Robinson was vacationing on St. Barths at the time, and was serving as a volunteer priest at the Anglican church on the island. When the Bishop on Antigua found out that the two of them were staying in the church rectory... Things got heated, ad he was asked to leave, never to return in an official capacity.
But coming in 5, 4, 3, 2....
I’m thinking that Gene and Jeremiah could do a road show together...
We used to spend a lot of time on St. Barths!
Sorry to hear that the bishop of new hampster and his 'friend' polluted the locale by their presence. Couldn't have made the locals very happy.
I know that in TEC you need the permission of a Diocese’s ordinary (i.e., the Bishop in charge - a Diocese can have more than one Bishop, but only one is the Bishop in charge) to preach in that Diocese. We don’t have Archbishops, so I don’t know how that works in England.
I get down ther once every couple of years or so. The locals really don’t have very much to do with the Anglican Church. They’re mostly Catholic. The real supporters of the Anglican Church are the Americans who own houses.
When were you last on the island? Things have changed a great deal in the past 2-3 years.
Do you remember the French doctor who was killed in a plane crash? He and his wife were great friends of my parents.
There are also radio amateurs on the island, and we keep in touch with several of them by radio.
What all has been going on the last 2-3 years?