The Lead reports that Archbishop Rowan Williams has barred Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire from preaching or presiding while in England. Bishop Robinson has agreed to comply, although he submits to a moral travesty that should be an embarrassment to every Anglican.
Meanwhile, no similar measure has been taken against Archbishop Akinola or Presiding Bishop Venables, both of whom (amongst others) continue to actively violate provincial boundaries, snapping up clergy, parishes, and dioceses outside of their jurisdiction. All this continues despite protest from their peers. All this continues even though it flouts the Windsor Report, which was reportedly cited as another reason to bar Bishop Robinson from simply preaching and presiding. Yet, by all accounts, Akinola and Venables and their cohorts are still invited to Lambeth while Bishop Robinson is not.
The justification used to bar Bishop Robinson appears to me to be the moral ecclesiastical equivalent of "driving while black" -- preaching or presiding while gay. Truly, it smacks of Donatism. How can the greater world not draw the conclusion that his preaching or presiding is somehow perceived as diminished or less Spirit-filled -- less fruitful for the Church, in England at least -- simply because he is gay?
The primary reason Archbishop Williams appears to have given for this decision is to forestall further controversy in the Communion. I submit that this is a futile effort, exhibits no substantive leadership, and only further victimizes our gay and lesbian sisters and brothers. In the end, it constitutes only a demonstration of raw heterosexism: a prejudice against gays combined with an exercise in clerical power.
This marks another sad day in Anglican history and will do nothing to resolve the ongoing crisis.
Update: Tobias Haller has some graceful perspective on this day, and on Bishop Robinson's response, which is more graceful than many of our own.