Loading
Episcopal bishop Robinson to resign, citing strain on 'husband' and faithful
Episcopal Bishop Gene V. Robinson, Photo Credit: Forester Photography, Concord NH
Episcopal Bishop Gene V. Robinson, Photo Credit: Forester Photography, Concord NH
By Benjamin Mann, Staff Writer
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Citing the toll that worldwide publicity has taken on his “marriage” and on New Hampshire Episcopalians, Gene Robinson – the first openly homosexual man to become a bishop of the Episcopal Church – announced on Nov. 6 that he will begin a two-year process of resigning from his diocese.

Robinson, 63, received approval from the Episcopal Church's General Convention to become a bishop in 2003, after the faithful and clergy of the New Hampshire diocese selected him for the position. His appointment sparked outrage among traditional Anglicans, many of whom considered it an official affront to Biblical standards of sexual conduct on the part of the Episcopal Church.

“The fact is,” he wrote in a letter to Episcopalians in his diocese, “the last seven years have taken their toll on me, my family, and you.” Robinson has two children from his marriage to a woman during the 1970s and 80s. He entered into a civil union with his current partner, Mark Andrew, in 2008.

“Death threats, and the now-worldwide controversy surrounding your election of me as Bishop, have been a constant strain,” he continued, “not just on me, but on my beloved husband, Mark … and in some ways, (upon) you.”

The controversial bishop has become one of the global Anglican communion's most prominent American representatives, a fact he noted in the letter, stating that he “(gets) to talk to probably more unchurched people than any other Bishop in The Episcopal Church,” telling them “a different story” that rejects the idea of “a judgmental God.”

“This is evangelism for me, pure and simple,” he said,  noting that he intends to continue publicizing his message, “both within and beyond the diocese.”

Robinson's most prominent revisions of Christian doctrine concerned sexual issues, and were not as radical across the board as some other Episcopal leaders such as John Shelby Spong. The retired Episcopal bishop publicly rejected the possibility of Jesus' being born of a virgin or rising from the dead. Robinson stated in 2008 that critics of his ministry were “arguing about a non-essential thing.”

Nevertheless, the de facto endorsement of the bishop's lifestyle, and his own insistence that some Biblical precepts are outdated or wrong, embarrassed many traditionalists, and caused some to wonder whether Anglicanism provides adequate authority for preserving Christian doctrines.

Some opponents formed the separate Anglican Church in North America in 2009. Other traditional Anglicans have opted to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, particularly through the provisions outlined in Pope Benedict XVI's 2009 Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum Coetibus.”

Two days after Robinson announced his plans to retire, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales announced that five Anglican bishops would be departing the Church of England, to seek full communion with the Catholic Church through the structures Pope Benedict XVI has established.

Robinson thanked the Episcopalians of New Hampshire for their support, and said he felt excitement for his successor: “He or she has no idea what a joy and what a privilege it will be to serve you.”

Globally, many Anglicans are also divided over the issue of women bishops, with traditionalists in the Church of England particularly concerned over their church's direction on this subject. In America, the openly lesbian woman Mary Glasspool recently became a bishop of the Episcopal Church's Los Angeles diocese.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
Oct
25

Liturgical Calendar

October 25, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 4: 7-16
Gospel:: Lk 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/25/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 13:1-9

Homily
Date
10/25/14
10/24/14
10/23/14