Mumbai, India., Nov. 15 - The consecration of openly gay Canon Gene Robinson as bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese by the Episcopal Church in the United States yesterday has left the world’s 70 million Anglicans deeply divided into liberal and conservative camps.
Canon Gene Robinson becomes the first openly gay man to reach that level in the church hierarchy.
Christian Today spoke to a few bishops in Mumbai to find out what the Indian Christian community thought of the entire controversy. Reactions from the close-knit community showed a strong disfavour.
“Homosexuality is not a natural way of life and Indian Christians will never accept gay leadership. Gay leadership will spell a decline of morality in society,” declared Bishop Thomas Dabre of the Vasai diocese. He said he completely opposed a homosexual leader because people would never be comfortable under his leadership. Besides, Bishop Dabre said, it violated the basic tenets of Christian teaching.
“In India, acceptability for such a leadership would be doubtful,” said Bishop Agnelo Gracias of the Bombay Archdiocese. “Our value system and upbringing would not allow us to accept homosexuality as natural. It could be a genetically unnatural condition but then one would have to work towards rectifying it,” he added. When asked whether a gay individual would be stopped from preaching in the city, he said preventing someone from preaching was not possible but certain parameters needed to be reckoned with.
“The Church’s stand on this kind of leadership is very clear — it will never support a homosexual leader,” said Dolphy D’Souza, vice-president of Bombay Catholic Sabha. “Even under the current scenario, homosexual leadership would be unacceptable because in future it could lead to gay movements in the country,” he added.