The Archbishop of Canterbury has sent out the ‘first’ invitations to next year’s Lambeth Conference.
The invitations have gone out to over 800 bishops from around the Communion, but the Archbishop notes that he has to:
reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion. Indeed there are currently one or two cases on which I am seeking further advice. I do not say this lightly, but I believe that we need to know as we meet that each participant recognises and honours the task set before us and that there is an adequate level of mutual trust between us about this. Such trust is a great deal harder to sustain if there are some involved who are generally seen as fundamentally compromising the efforts towards a credible and cohesive resolution.
He also writes, in an extraordinary plea to all those invited to actually participate, that:
An invitation to participate in the Conference has not in the past been a certificate of doctrinal orthodoxy. Coming to the Lambeth Conference does not commit you to accepting the position of others as necessarily a legitimate expression of Anglican doctrine and discipline, or to any action that would compromise your conscience or the integrity of your local church.
Further invitations will be sent later to ecumenical representatives and other guests, and Mrs Williams will send out invitations to a parallel spouses’ conference.