Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, has returned to work after spending time at an alcohol-dependency treatment centre. In a letter to churches in New Hampshire, where he serves as bishop, Bishop Robinson said he had entered a treatment centre on Feb. 1, where he would spend the rest of the month.
a?”Over the 28 days I will be here, I will be dealing with the disease of alcoholism a?- which, for years, I have thought of as a failure of will or discipline on my part, rather than a disease over which my particular body simply has no control, except to stop drinking altogether,a?” wrote Bishop Robinson.
His election in 2003 angered many in the worldwide Anglican Communion opposed to the ordination of homosexuals. Some within the U.S. denomination have threatened to leave and the controversy is being touted to take centre stage when the churcha?’s General Convention meets later this year.