Gay bishop causes stir by criticizing pope

Robinson says frustrated Catholics can find home in Episcopal Church
An openly gay Episcopal bishop has caused a stir among Catholics for criticizing Pope Benedict XVI and suggesting that frustrated Catholics could find a new home in the badly divided Episcopal Church.

Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, whose election in 2003 threatens to split the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion, denied accusations that he was trying to lure Catholics out of their churches.

“We are seeing so many Roman Catholics joining the [Episcopal] Church,” Robinson said November 6 at London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square. “Pope Ratzinger may be the best thing that ever happened to the Episcopal Church.”

In an interview, Robinson said many Catholics who could no longer “hang in there” joined the Episcopal Church after they “threw up their hands” when the conservative new pope was elected last spring.


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