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International News May 24, 2022 1:41 PM EST

Black, conservative priest-in-training leaves church after white, progressive female Bishop says he doesn't know what racism is

"Calvin, as a white woman I can tell you that the Church IS institutionally racist," the Bishop of London said.

Black, conservative priest-in-training leaves church after white, progressive female Bishop says he doesn't know what racism is
Nick Monroe Cleveland, Ohio

Calvin Robinson penned an op ed in the Daily Mail expounding on an incident that left him stunned enough to leave the Church of England. He had been studying to become a priest, but that all changed when the Rt. Reverend Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of London, said "Calvin, as a white woman I can tell you that the Church IS institutionally racist."

Robinson said that this came as the two were "discussing the Church's race policy," to which he had "been vocally objecting to for some time."

Robinson said that the Bishop was perplexed by his feeling that, "as a black man," he "simply did not share her — and the Church hierarchy's — view on this contentious issue."

Mullally was not the only white leader in the church to proclaim that the institution is racist. "The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has proclaimed that the Church of England is 'deeply institutionally racist'," Robinson wrote, "and called for 'radical and decisive' action."

Robinson said as well that he was "blocked as a priest by the Church of England after the Right Rev Rob Wickham, the Bishop of Edmonton, privately warned church leaders against ordaining him," according to The Times.

Wickham had written to Mullally, saying he wanted to "bring it to your attention... Calvin Robinson is not only a political commentator, but he’s an ordinand and former teacher in this area who has just started at St Stephen's House. Calvin's comments concern me about denying institutional racism in this country."

Robinson believes that it was in this way that white leaders of the Church pushed him out of the Church, and the priesthood, because his views on race, as a black man, did not match their own, progressive, grievance-based views on the subject.

Wickham also "wrote to the Right Rev Emma Ineson, Bishop to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and also to the Bishop of London. Wickham sent them some of Robinson’s tweets, adding: 'These are clear examples as to why his ordination should be looked at very closely,'" The Times reports.

"I fundamentally disagreed with this approach, which is based on a faith in divisive Left-wing Critical Race Theory, instead of the teachings of Christ. I believe it is divisive and offensive," Robinson wrote.

Robinson spent two years already, training to be ordained at the University of Oxford and had a parish position ready for him at Holborn in London. He was also a conservative social pundit who had been a teacher and worked in the Department of Education before undertaking the calling to train for the priesthood in October 2020.

It was in February that Robinson was told that "his ordination was likely to be problematic," and he "applied under the Data Protection Act to see the information the church had on him" and discovered Wickham's letters against him.

"I haven’t seen any evidence to suggest the Church of England is racist, and that is my belief. That I would need to see evidence before I believe it," he recently told GB News.

"It was no secret that senior figures in the Church disliked me. I am after all a traditionalist – which means I do not believe in the ordination of women – and I have never been afraid to voice my criticism of the Church’s drift away from what I, and many of its parishioners, think are its core values," Robinson admits.

Additional emails Robinson obtained showed the Bishop of Fulham saying "His political agenda is I guess what you would call libertarian – anti-woke, anti-identity politics, Covid-sceptical," and "His tweets get him into trouble sometimes and there have been complaints to the Bishop of London that he shouldn’t be ordained."

"Calvin's comments concern me about denying institutional racism in this country," wrote the Bishop of Edmonton.

Previously, Calvin Robinson opened up about his clash with the Church of England in mid-April. He said the institution looked down on people who voted for Brexit, and that he personally was ostracized for being conservative.

"There is only one Bishop who openly supported Brexit and he was sent off to the far end of the country in penance. In contrast, over two thirds of Anglican worshippers voted for Brexit," Robinson said.

He said the focus towards politics deviated too far from the word of God. Robinson says other members of the clergy have since reached out to him, following sharing his own story, to corroborate how they too have been "silenced by the Church for holding conservative views."

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