November 08, 2005

U.S. gay Episcopal bishop slams Vatican


by Ben Townley U.K.

The Anglican Communion's first gay bishop continued to cause a stir during his visit to the United Kingdom over the weekend, criticizing the Catholic Church for its stance on gay issues.

The bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson, said the Vatican's stance on gay clergy was "vile" and called for it to modernize its ideas of diversity.

His speech sparked a standing ovation among supporters at the meeting of the Changing Attitudes lesbian and gay Christian group.

He also said that the new hard-line tactics in the Catholic Church have resulted in priests switching to the Anglican Communion.

"We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the church," he told the audience during his impassioned speech. "Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church."

He singled out the Vatican's proposed attempts to bar gay men from entering seminaries, which Catholic leaders have suggested is a way of ending the ongoing child abuse scandals amongst churches in America. The proposal has been slammed by liberal religious leaders and gay activists, who have criticized the Vatican for drawing links between gay men and pedophilia.

Posted by kshaw at November 8, 2005 06:00 AM