The gay American bishop whose consecration last year plunged the worldwide Anglican Church into turmoil expressed regret yesterday for the "difficulty, disruption and pain" it had caused.
But Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire said that he was not sorry he had accepted the post, and suggested he was a scapegoat for American foreign policy.
Despite the conciliatory line taken by Monday's report on sexuality and the Anglican &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/society/2002/08/01/33660.html ' target=_blank>Church, both liberals and conservatives were taking to the trenches yesterday.
Africa's most important Anglican leader, Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola, attacked the report as patronising and unbalanced, reports The Age.
The report criticized the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Church of Canada, where a diocese had begun blessing &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/399/12940_.html ' target=_blank>same-sex marriages, for failing to consult with their international brethren. It also rapped international bishops who branded the American actions as a "satanic attack" on the faith.
The commission that authored the report was made up of 17 leaders of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican Communion. It told the U.S. and Canadian churches to hold off electing or ordaining any more openly gay bishops. They said the action had wounded the communion by failing "to offer an explanation to, or consult meaningfully with, the communion as a whole about the significant development of theology."
Robinson also said Wednesday that the "big news" in the report is that it "opens the door to worldwide discussion" about the roles of gays and lesbians in the church.