Tuesday, July 22, 2008


CANTERBURY (Reuters) - Sudan's Anglican church leader called for the resignation of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson on Tuesday to save Anglicanism from schism.

"He should resign for the sake of the church," Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul told reporters at a once-in-a-decade summit of Anglican leaders.

"God is not making a mistake creating Adam and Eve. He would have created two Adams if he wanted," he said.

A quarter of the world's Anglican bishops have boycotted the Lambeth Conference in an angry war of words between conservatives and liberals over the ordination of Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the 450-year-old church's history.

"We are for the Anglican world and we want the Anglican world to remain united," the Sudanese archbishop said.

"Over 300 bishops have stayed away from this conference because of Gene Robinson," he added. "The norms of the Anglican communion have been violated."

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's 77 million Anglicans, decided not to invite Robinson to the Lmabeth Conference -- but he still came to the cathedral city on Monday to meet supporters on the fringes of the summit.

In a joint statement, Sudanese bishops accused North American church leaders of ridiculing Anglicanism and destroying its credibility by ordaining gay American clergy and blessing same-sex unions in Canada.

"We appeal to this Lambeth Conference to rescue the Anglican Communion from being divided," they said.

Williams launched the conference on Monday by dismissing talk of schism and urging dissident conservatives to remain within the fold.

"We are sorry you are not here," he said of the conservatives who staged their own conference last month and decided to set up their own council of bishops to provide an alternative to churches preaching what they called a "false gospel" of sexual immorality.

But Williams did not see the end in sight for the 450-year-old church that boasts almost 80 million followers.

"Are we heading for schism? Well let's see. If this is the end of the Anglican Communion, I don't think anyone has told most of the people here," he said.

But there are clearly huge obstacles to be overcome.

A group of bishops appointed by Williams to try and find a solution to the crisis concluded in a presentation to the conference "We are at an impasse."

"There has been active fear-mongering, deliberate distortion and demonizing. Politicization has overtaken Christian discernment."

(Editing by Ralph Boulton)

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