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Wednesday, September 1, 1999 Published at 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK

UK: Scotland

Boycott threat by archbishop

Bishop Richard Holloway says he hopes Dr Tay will reconsider

A leading Anglican archbishop has warned he will boycott an international conference because a controversial Scottish churchman is hosting the event.

The Most Reverend Moses Tay, Archbishop of South East Asia, said he will not attend the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Dundee if the Right Rev Richard Holloway attends.

The Bishop of Edinburgh has been the centre of media attention for his views on a number of issues including homosexuality and drugs.

[ image: Bishops worldwide will attend the conference]
Bishops worldwide will attend the conference
He recently demanded a debate about drug taking in Britain and called for cannabis to be decriminalised.

The bishop, who has been criticised in the past for supporting the homosexual rights lobby, is now being condemned by Dr Tay.

In a letter to Dr George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Tay described Bishop Holloway_s views as "horrendous and heretical".

The clergyman from Singapore said he will boycott the meeting being hosted by Bishop Holloway, who is Primus of Scotland.

Last year's Lambeth Conference - the 10-yearly meeting of bishops and archbishops of the Anglican Church - took a traditionalist, biblical line on homosexuality and the September meeting is expected to reiterate those views.

Leaders of evangelical provinces such as Dr Tay's believe that countries in the west - including Scotland and the United States - are guilty of taking an increasingly liberal line on sexuality and other issues such as drugs.

'Celebrate difference'

Bishop Holloway has defended the Scottish Episcopal Church's right to "tolerate and celebrate difference".

He said: "It was with great sadness I heard of the decision by Archbishop Tay to boycott the meeting.

"The Scottish Episcopal Church was looking forward to welcoming him and other friends from the Anglican world.

"We are a warm and affectionate Church, and we contain among ourselves the complete range of views that characterise the Anglican family.

"Inclusivity and the ability, not only to tolerate, but to celebrate difference and disagreement, are important values for us," he said.

"We regret the fact that Archbishop Tay will not be with us to make his distinctive contribution to our deliberations, and we hope that he will reconsider his position."

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