Bishop denies allegation

Published April 1, 2000

In a commentary written for his on-line service, conservative writer David Virtue has accused the bishop of New Westminster of wrongly suggesting African bishops were ?bought off? to vote against homosexuality at Lambeth.

Bishop Ingham ?has, once again, raised the ?chicken dinner? issue where, he alleges, African bishops were bought off to vote against homosexuality at Lambeth by a group of well-orchestrated, well-heeled American evangelical Episcopal bishops,? Mr. Virtue wrote.

Mr. Virtue was apparently referring to an article in a daily newspaper in which the words ?Canadian bishop says overseas clergy are being bought? was used in a sub-headline. He never alleged bribery, Bishop Ingham said in an interview.

?It?s a complete misrepresentation of my comments and an attempt to deflect the issue of the politicization of the anti-gay agenda in the church by accusing me of racism. There were no racial comments that I made at all to the reporter, either overt or implied.? Bishop Ingham said he made his comments in the context of referring to an Anglican Journal article about Lambeth in which it was suggested a group of wealthy conservatives were lobbying church leaders in Africa and Asia.

?The African bishops (excluding South Africa) are, to a man, orthodox and evangelical and they never had any intention of voting in favor of homosexual behaviour, not then, not now, not ever,? Mr. Virtue wrote.

?It is the crassest theological idiocy to believe that Africans, most of whom have received their undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate theological training in the West would ever succumb to a theological change of heart for a few lousy chicken dinners and alleged payoffs by certain American evangelical bishops.?

?I never said anybody was being bought,? Bishop Ingham returned. ?I said meetings were being paid for. That?s quite a different statement.?


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