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Bishop goes to dry out

THE BISHOP of New Hampshire, the Rt Revd Gene Robinson, has admitted to an alcohol problem and is undergoing a 28 days' treatment in a clinic.

The news broke in an open letter from the Bishop, posted on Monday on the diocesan website: "I am writing from an alcohol treatment centre, where on 1 February, with the encouragement and support of my partner, daughters, and colleagues, I checked myself in to deal with my increasing dependence on alcohol."

The Bishop, a gay man whose consecration caused a storm across the Anglican Communion, describes his alcoholism as a disease, and continues: "For years, I have thought of [it] 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."

He goes on to say that the "extraordinary experience of community" at the treatment centre will inform his ministry "for years to come".

A letter from the diocesan standing committee emphasises that the Episcopal Church "has long recognised alcoholism as a treatable human disease, not a failure of character or will".

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