It is relief to hear that the reporter for the News Agency of Nigeria may have misquoted Bishop Orama of Nigeria, or worse deliberately done so. UPI has pulled the story pending further investigation.
In the current troubles in the Anglican Communion there is always an edge of glee in finding that someone identified with "them" has been mean of heart, cruel of mind or loose of tongue.
It was valuable to jump on this story, and Kendall Harmon did a fine job in nailing the issue: If the Bishop said those things, shame on him. If the reporter misreported, shame on him.
Sometimes the collective questioning from all sides issues in a retraction of this sort. And remember, had there not been questions raised by those who spotted this article, it would have stood and perhaps continued to stand as a hate statement, unretracted. Interestingly enough, we have seen nothing in writing from Bishop Orama or the reporter, but only from the press officer for the Province of Nigeria. And of course, the paper was read some days ago and unless retraction is published there the problem remains.
We as yet have not seen the reporter's reported retraction. We will in all likelihood never see retractions for the sorts of things the Archbishop of Nigeria has said or has been reported to have said.
Having said this, I remain hopeful that the retractions will come and a clear statement from the bishop will be published. It does none of us any good to have bishops appear as hate mongers. Most importantly, unless addressed, it remains as yet another painful reminder of the hatred against gay and lesbian persons.