June 10, 2003
A statement from the Bishop of Fort Worth
on the election of a gay bishop
in the Diocese of New Hampshire
unity and mission of the Episcopal Church and of the worldwide Anglican
Communion have been dealt a crushing blow by Saturday's election
of the Rev. Canon Gene Robinson to become the next Bishop of the
Diocese of New Hampshire. It is a flagrant violation of the teaching
of the Church on matters of human sexuality and is in direct contradiction
to the expressed mind of the Bishops of the Anglican Communion that
homosexual practice is incompatible with Scripture.
Bishop is elected on behalf of the whole Church, not just one particular
Diocese. Whether or not Canon Robinson's election receives the consent
of the next General Convention, there is no way that he is capable
of serving as a Bishop for the whole Church. His ministry as a Bishop
would be a focus of disunity and division, not a sign of unity.
His example of living in a sexual relationship with another man
is not faithful to the received teaching of the Church, but is a
radical departure from it. His election has brought pain and embarrassment
to the Episcopal Church.
I am grieved that the Diocese of New Hampshire has "thumbed its
nose" at the rest of the Church. His election will not receive the
consent of the Diocese of Fort Worth. If he is successful in seeking
to be consecrated, he will not be permitted to exercise any ministry
in this Diocese.
Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth