Bishop Sisk takes Archbishop Akinola to task

This excellent letter by Bishop Mark Sisk of New York appears in today’s New York Times. It comes in response to an early Times’ editorial.

Re “Denying Rights in Nigeria” (editorial, March 8):

I am embarrassed to learn that an archbishop of the Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola, is a major supporter of the odious Nigerian legislation designed to deny basic human rights to gay and lesbian people.

What deeply saddens me is that he is a well-regarded leader to many of the most conservative Episcopalians in this country. But what puzzles me is the apparent willingness of the archbishop of Canterbury and other primates of the Anglican Communion to appease him in his insistence that the Episcopal Church’s welcome of gay and lesbian people is somehow un-Christian.

As your editorial rightly concludes, this proposed legislation, and his support of it, are a chilling reminder of the profound dangers to which bigotry can open us.

Supine complicity with such a view, as you rightly stated, “sets a treacherous example for the region and the world.”

(Rt. Rev.) Mark S. Sisk

New York, March 9, 2007

The writer is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.

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