Date registered: Mar 2005
Location: In Virtual Reality
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Thou shalt not......!
Protest disrupts bishop's sermon
The man standing up and heckling the bishop
Openly gay US bishop Gene Robinson was forced to halt a sermon at a west London church after being heckled.
As Bishop Robinson began his sermon a member of the congregation repeatedly called him a "heretic" and said "repent, repent, repent".
He began his sermon by saying how sad it was that the Anglican Communion was tearing itself apart.
But he was stopped when the man in the congregation shouted that the schism was the bishop's fault.
The man's protest was followed by slow hand-clapping by members of the congregation, and Bishop Robinson halted his sermon while a hymn was sung and the protester was escorted from the church in Putney, south west London.
You know, whatever you think makes you unworthy, I don't think God wants to hear it any more
Bishop Gene Robinson
He resumed speaking shortly afterwards, asking church members to "pray for that man".
Bishop Robinson went on to say: "This discussion of homosexuality we are having in the Church is not so significant because of what it says about homosexuality, but of what it says about God.
"When someone stands up and says homosexuality is an abomination, does that make you want to get to know God?"
Bishop Robinson emphasised that the congregation should reject fear.
He said: "I think God wants us to be bold, I think God wants us to take risks, I don't think God wants us to be afraid.
"You know, whatever you think makes you unworthy, I don't think God wants to hear it any more."
"All you have to do is turn up and open up your heart."
Mr Robinson's sermon comes as the Anglican Communion gather for their 10-yearly Lambeth Conference in London.
He has been excluded from the conference amid deep Anglican divisions over the issues of women bishops and homosexuality in the Church.
No matter what he does he makes someone mad
Bishop Gene Robinson on
the Archbishop of Canterbury
Earlier, he said "a mistake was made" in not inviting him to the conference, but he would do whatever he could to raise the issue of gay rights "from the fringe".
He said he would not stage any kind of protest, but would simply "preach the word of God".
Bishop Robinson also said the Archbishop of Canterbury was in an "almost untenable" position as he tries to retain unity in the Church.
He said that despite Dr Rowan Williams's attempts to overcome deep divisions over the ordination of women and gay people, "no matter what he does he makes someone mad."