Bishop criticises religious conference

Publish Date: 04/01/2008

Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said that it would be 'exceedingly odd' and even 'irresponsible' for the event called the Lambeth Conference which is planned for July to sweep the controversy 'under the carpet'.

There are currently no plans for a public religious debate on the issue of gay clergy and much of the conference will take place behind closed doors - open to only bishops so they can meet for worship, study and conversation.

Many bishops, including moderates, fear that divisions will deepen unless the issue of homosexuality is confronted.

McCulloch wrote in Crux, his diocesan magazine: "However deep family arguments and differences are, we ought to be following the New Testament pattern of meeting together to pray, to learn, to eat and to share.

"The first Lambeth Conference was called in the wake of controversy; and it would be exceedingly odd - even irresponsible - for the bishops to avoid, and appear to sweep under the carpet, the very issues that are currently inhibiting our common witness to Christ across the world."