not all welcome

There is the rather sad news today that the Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen not to invite all bishops to the next Lambeth conference — at least not yet.

The Anglican Communion Office is being cagey: only ‘the first’ 800 invitations have been sent; the archbishop reserves the right to withhold or withdraw an invitation to any bishop ‘whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion’; and it seems there are a few invitations which may or may not be forthcoming, depending on what advice +Williams receives.

I cannot see how this helps anyone.

We say that the only way forward is to listen and respect each other as we seek a common mind, or learn to live with difference. But if the most controversial voices are silenced, there can be no honest conversation.

I do not envy any bishop who must choose whether to accept an invitation to Lambeth knowing that some of his or her colleagues have been excluded.

I do not know how we can proclaim good news to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized if we are willing to marginalize our own.

+Williams’ task is almost impossible. There is much that I respect in him as a person, as a theologian and as an archbishop. But I think he has got this one wrong.

New York Times article

A Statement from Gene Robinson

Comments from The Living Church on Martin Minns

Thinking Anglicans Links
(includes Anglican Communion Statements)

2 thoughts on “not all welcome

  1. I’d like to see our own bishops decline the invitation to Lambeth en bloc – unless *all* their fellow-bishops were being invited. That would seem to me to be a great statement.

  2. It seems strange that 48 hours after this announcement, no-one apart from Chris has commented on the wide-reaching implications of the withholding of +Gene’s invitation to Lambeth. If this decision is allowed to stand, it will authorise all kinds of discrimination. It sits rather ill with ++Rowan’s statement that the Conference is not a Synod or a legislative body, and that the adoption of a prior orthodoxy is not a condition for attendance. This in turn stands in contradiction to Resolution 1.10 of 1998, which has assumed the status of a rule set in stone. Not to mention the way in which an ad hoc consultative body like the Primates’ meeting has surreptitiously evolved into a decision-making body for member-churches of the Communion, notably the Episcopal Church in the US.
    Like Kimberly, I don’t envy a bishop having to take the decision whether to attend, and I would sympathise with anyone who feels compelled to boycott the whole event. But as a pragmatist, I think there would be something to be said for bishops attending and registering their protest against any unjustified exclusions, if only to prevent the conference being taken over by the hard right.

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