Friday, July 27, 2007

Interview With Gene Robinson

From Ruth Gledhill via the Episcopal Café"

CofE 'would shut down' without its gay clergy, says +Gene.

Andrew Collier, a freelance journalist based in Scotland, has just interviewed Bishop Gene Robinson in London. We have reported in online. This is the bit I liked best: 'I think the thing that is the most mystifying to me and the most troubling about the Church of England is its refusal to be honest about just how many gay clergy it has – many of them partnered and many of them living in rectories. I have met so many gay partnered clergy here and it is so troubling to hear them tell me that their bishop comes to their house for dinner, knows fully about their relationship, is wonderfully supportive but has also said if this ever becomes public then I’m your worst enemy. It’s a terrible way to live your life and I think it’s a terrible way to be a church. I think integrity is so important. What does it mean for a clergy person to be in a pulpit calling the parishioners to a life of integrity when they can’t even live a life of integrity with their own bishop and their own church? So I would feel better about the Church of England’s stance, its reluctance to support the Episcopal Church in what it has done if it would at least admit that this not an American problem and just an American challenge. If all the gay people stayed away from church on a given Sunday the Church of England would be close to shut down between its organists, its clergy, its just seems less than humble not to admit that.'

The hypocrisy is bad enough, but pointing fingers at another church within the Anglican Communion, while at the same time covering up similar behavior in your own church, makes it all the worse.

The greater part of Gledhill's post is devoted to the interview by Andrew Collier with Gene Robinson. I was intrigued by Bishop Robinson's personal story, especially in light of my informal "survey" here.

Robinson: 'I think most gay people sense early on that they are different even if they are not exactly sure how they are different. That was certainly true for me by age 11 or 12. You have to remember that when I was that age, gay was not a word that was being used to describe homosexual people. There was very little discussion of it. There were certainly no role models like we have today of successful and productive people who were gay, so it was not something easily admitted to oneself, never mind the world.

The personal story continues at length, too long for me to quote, but it's quite good. I urge you to read the rest at Ruth Gledhill's site.


  1. Thanks for picking this one up. I've been rather snippy about Ruth Gledhill over at Thinking Anglicans in the past, and I've come to regret it. She mentioned, when she interviewed Archbishop Akinola a few weeks back and caught more than a little flack about it, that she would also like to interview Robinson & Schori but was having no luck. This interview is at one remove, but it's good that she gave it the prominence she did and it brings balance to her blog. Maybe an interview with the Presiding Bishop will follow.

  2. Guess MP's going to ban me for that one?

  3. Lapin. can MP ban you from my blog? I know he's a big gun and all, but I don't think he has that much power.

  4. You know as well as I what the clergy are like as follie de grandeur progresses - think they can ban you from any and everywhere

  5. I saw this earlier via the Episcopal Café. Ruth is... well, an odd duck, but I'm thankful to her for giving us easy access to the entire interview, not just snippets.

    I was reading the interview just before I left for soccer tonight. There's nothing much new in it, though the comments about the CofE are lovely because they speak the truth both plainly and gently. Every time I read anything he's said or written, I am struck by what an extraordinary person he is. There is a kind of holiness about him.

    And with all the talk of love and marriage today, hearing his story once again at length made me want to smile and weep at the same time. The whole is well worth reading.

  6. Bishop Robinson is truly an extraordinary man and a shining light in the Episcopal Church.

  7. When +Gene’s statements and interviews and juxtaposed with those of those who are so vocally opposed to him and to women’s ordination and anything else that is progressive in the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, I am always struck with just how obvious it is who it is that is filled with God’s love and heavenly light. It simply flows out of him and reminds us to always love everyone, even those who wish us harm, and to pray for them daily. Even when it is difficult, following the example of our Lord, we must endeavor to try to do just that.

  8. Boocat, exactly. His words radiate love.

  9. You know, Mimi,

    As far as I'm concerned any bishop making this hypocritical statement to partnered gay clergy is not spiritually fit to be a leader in the house of God.

    And, aren't the bishops of the church supposed to be spiritual leaders, pastors for their clergy. God have mercy!

    Lord, send renewal and help to your church!!


  10. Grace, there's very little that surprises me any longer about what bishops do - or what human beings do.

    I see why Jesus was so very angry with hypocrites.


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