The Anglican archbishop of Cape Town has spoken out in support of the appointment of gay bishop V. Gene Robinson, amid threats from other African congregations to split from the US Episcopal (Anglican) Church. It is very arrogant to assume that the people in America do not know what they are doing. We have got to respect their decision, Archbishop Winston Njongonkulu Ndungane told The Guardian. There is an attempt to divert us from the major life-and-death issues in the world. There is a woman waiting to be stoned to death for adultery in Nigeria and yet we are not hearing any fuss from the leadership of the church about that, Ndungane said. The archbishop’s comments appear to be a response to outbursts from the archbishop of Nigeria Peter Akinola, who has called for a split from American and Canadian Episcopal churches and has said homosexuals are lower than beasts. Ndungane told The Guardian the Anglican church should learn to live as a diverse community and to respect the integrity of our provinces as autonomous entities. Further, I am very concerned about this current debate, because it seems to me that some kind of hypocrisy is going on in the church -¦ It is no secret that there are gay clergy and there are gay bishops, and the institutional church seems to be turning a blind eye when we should be encouraging honesty. An emergency meeting of church primates called by the archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams will be held in London next month to discuss the issue.

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