Tutu Slams Sexuality 'Obsessed' Church

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has strongly criticized the Anglican Communion for its stance on homosexuals.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4, the 76-year-old archbishop accused the worldwide church body of being "obsessed" with the issue of gay priests, while ignoring pressing global needs such as poverty and HIV.

"Our world is facing problems – poverty, HIV and AIDS – a devastating pandemic, and conflict," said Tutu.

"God must be weeping looking at some of the atrocities that we commit against one another," he added.

"In the face of all of that, our Church, especially the Anglican Church, at this time is almost obsessed with questions of human sexuality."

Tutu went on to criticize the spiritual leader of the 70-million member Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, for overlooking God's "welcoming" nature.

"Why doesn't he demonstrate a particular attribute of God's which is that God is a welcoming God?" he posed to the BBC.

The Anglican Communion has been in turmoil over homosexuality since The Episcopal Church in the United States elected the openly gay Gene Robinson to serve as the bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

According to the BBC, Tutu said he had felt "saddened" and "ashamed" of his church body at the time of Robinson's consecration and that the Anglican Communion had responded in an "extraordinarily homophobic" manner.

When asked during the interview if he still felt ashamed, he replied: "If we are going to not welcome or invite people because of sexual orientation, yes."

"If God, as they say, is homophobic, I wouldn't worship that God," he added.

In North America, particularly, conservative Anglicans are taking measures to separate themselves from more liberal churches and to find new approaches that would allow them to live according to Scripture.

Last month, an orthodox group in Ottawa, Canada, proposed the formation of a new branch of the Anglican Church of Canada that is more "biblically faithful" than the current national church body after the Ottawa and Montreal dioceses approved resolutions in October urging their respective bishops to allow clergy to bless same-sex unions.

The outspoken Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola and prominent traditionalist Gregory Venables in Argentina meanwhile have said they will continue to offer a home for parishes and dioceses who want to leave the liberal-leaning U.S. Episcopal Church.

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