An Anglican diocese in Kenya was has announced its intention to sever ties with an American diocese that ordained a practicing homosexual as a bishop. The Kenyan diocese is among several in Africa expressing dismay at the ordination.
The head of the diocese of Eldoret, Bishop Thomas Kogo, says his diocese cannot be connected to the diocese of New Hampshire, where Gene Robinson was consecrated as bishop on Sunday.
Bishop Kogo said the practice of homosexuality is a sin, and Bishop Robinson's consecration goes against the 1998 Lambeth Conference, at which the worldwide Anglican Church declared the practice of homosexuality "incompatible with scripture." "And now they have gone [and are] just consecrating a bishop, which is wrong. We have not gone back to Lambeth to sit down and see, which way we are going," he said.
Bishop Kogo warned the consecration has the potential to break up the Anglican Church. "It's going to bring a lot of problems, because there is no understanding now," he said.
As Bishop Kogo was making his announcement, reports of disapproval began to pour in from other Anglican churches in Africa.
The head of the Kenyan Anglican Church, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, was quoted as saying the Kenyan Anglican Church would cut relations with the New Hampshire diocese.
A spokesperson for the Anglican Church of Uganda also said the Ugandan Church is cutting its ties with New Hampshire.
In a statement released Sunday, the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion denounced Bishop Robinson's consecration. It said the Nigerian Church would not recognize Mr. Robinson as bishop, but stopped short of severing ties with his diocese.
A spokesman with the Nairobi-based ecumenical group, All Africa Conference of Churches, Mitch Odero, said the church should not allow Bishop Robinson's consecration to make it stray from other issues. "This issue must not cloud the focus on deeper concerns confronting the people of Africa, such as the crisis of poverty, civil war and AIDS," he said.
He also added the consecration should not split the Anglican Church.