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Catholic no comment on Anglican gay bishop consecration


The consecration of openly gay Episcopalian Rev Gene Robinson in the US early yesterday Australian time has provoked widespread condemnation from from Anglican Communion churches, but so far no comment from within the Catholic Church in Australia or overseas.

Pressed by the local newspaper, Ballarat Catholic Bishop Peter Connors said it was an issue for the Anglican Church and declined to make any further comment.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that 44 Episcopal bishops laid their hands on his head and proclaimed him a successor to Jesus's apostles during an elaborate three-hour consecration ceremony which took place under heavy security. The ceremony was accompanied by protests from conservative Episcopalians in the US and leaders of affiliated Anglican provinces in the developing world, who called the consecration of a gay bishop unbiblical and warned that it could trigger a schism in the 70-million-strong Anglican communion.

In the US, a statement from the National Clergy Council expressing "deep sadness" over the "break with universal Christian moral teaching" included Catholic representation.

After the announcement of Bishop Robinson's appointment in August, a spokesman for the US Catholic bishops has said that the appointment of an openly gay Anglican bishop will cause "new ecumenical challenges".

US Bishops' Ecumenical Secretariat Chairman Bishop Stephen Blaire said that the decision by the Episcopal Church was "a departure from the common understanding of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality, and the morality of homosexual activity as founded in Sacred Scripture and the Christian tradition."

He concluded that the appointment would have "serious implications" for continuing talks between Catholic and Anglican officials, but said the Catholic Church would "remain committed to prayerful and honest dialogue, however difficult," with Episcopalian officials.

SOURCE
Ovation, cheers and jeers greet gay bishop (Sydney Morning Herald)
National Clergy Council Statement on 'Gay' Bishop Robinson (U.S. Newswire)
Ordination brings dismay (Ballarat Courier)
US Bishops official says Anglican gay bishop appointment a setback for ecumenism (13/8/03)

LINKS
Mixed feelings as first openly gay Anglican bishop is consecrated (Anglican Communion News Service)
George Weigel: What Gene Robinson means (The Tidings 5/9/03)
Anglican Archbishop says church no longer the same (ABC TV Lateline)
First openly gay bishop consecrated (ABC Radio The World Today)
Peter Jensen refuses to recognise gay bishop (ABC Radio The World Today)
Mixed feelings as first openly gay Anglican bishop is consecrated (Anglican Communion News Service)
Communion Impaired, Not Broken, Say Conservative Anglican Primates (Christianity Today)
Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement (Associated Press/The Guardian)
US Bishops official says Anglican gay bishop appointment a setback for ecumenism (13/8/03)
Catholic bishop calls gay decisions in Episcopal Church a problem (Catholic News Service)
US Church approves gay bishop (BBC)
US Conference of Catholic Bishops | Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Diocese of New Hampshire: The Rev Canon V Gene Robinson


4 Nov 2003