Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth Conference invitations

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.

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Merseymike
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Merseymike

There does seem to be an inconsistency. If Bishops (NOT only in the USA as many CofE Bishops actually do support Gene Robinson and TEC in their stance) who support the progressive cause are invited, but not Gene himself, what justification can be made for this?

Perhaps the thinking is that both TEC and conservatives in the Global South will still be prepared to go should only a small number are excluded? I have my doubts, from both sides.

PseudoPiskie
Guest
PseudoPiskie

Robinson and Minns are uninvited according to AP.

Dirk C Reinken
Guest
Dirk C Reinken

I have to ask – do those mysteriouis “one or two” bishops who are still under consideration know who they are, or do all 800 bishops have to keep checking their mailboxes every day, like Charlie Brown on Valentine’s Day?

Pluralist
Guest

_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._ _…coming to the Conference does not commit you to accepting every position held by other bishops as equally legitimate or true._ These statements, of course, are to keep the Nigerians and others coming when the Episcopalians are coming; they are somewhat contradicted by not extending the invitation to Gene Robinson or, for that matter, Martyn Minns. It is an… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

“At this point, and with the recommendations of the Windsor Report particularly in mind, I have 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.”

No prizes for naming the “one or two”, I suppose. Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns not invited. Maybe the Bishop of Harare will be out too.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

The ABC says he withhold the right to withdraw invitations to Bishops “whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion.” I find this very confusing. Is the ABC saying that Robinson has been invited (the invite is in the mail), but if there is a large enough protest he will withdraw on the grounds that his appointment and manner of life have caused serious division. Otherwise, why invite him now. The division Robinson has caused is already known. Either the ABC considers it to be exceptionally serious or not. What more… Read more »

Tim
Guest

If Gene’s out, Akinola should definitely be out – it’s his despicable vitriolic hatred that causes division.

Eddo
Guest
Eddo

“…bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion.”

If this doesn’t describe my friend and yours Peter Akinola I don’t know who it does describe.

Russell S. Knight
Guest
Russell S. Knight

Most interesting! If “contradictory” is the byword for the Anglican way of doing things, then Archbishop Rowan is a master of it. He points to the historic openness of the Anglican Communion, in which we are not bound to accept others’ interpretations as binding upon ourselves; but then he offers hints and vague warnings of possible adverse consequences for improper behavior. Note with interest the short paper by J. Robert Wright on the Anglican Covenant, posted on the Anglican Centrist website, in which, once again, Archbishop Williams is quoted as offering the possibility of “non-acceptance” in the face of assertions… Read more »

John Robison
Guest
John Robison

C.B.- Bishop Robinson’s not caused division. The strains started at lambeth ’98 when the threats and anger of a few Bishops forced 1:10 on us. Then, long before +Robinson, the boundry violations began. The AMiA stupidity was BEFORE the New Hampture election, or perhaps the conservitives forget that the strains on the communion were started LONG before the events of GC 2003. The idea that all of this can be blamed on TEC or +Robinson is one of the, oft repeated, parts of the Donatist Big Lie. The fact that the Media has been complacent in it dosn’t add to… Read more »

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

Canon Kearon confirms that Bp Robinson has not been invited, nor have the AMiA bishops or CANA’s Martyn Minns, in line with Abp Carey’s refusal to recognise the AMiA consecrations seven years ago. A few other bishops, including Kunonga of Harare, have not been invited either because their standing is in question. Abp Akinola has, of course, been invited.
Consideration is being given to inviting Gene Robinson as a guest of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but this is not being extended to Bp Minns.

stephen bates
Guest
stephen bates

Canon Kearon confirms that Bp Robinson has not been invited, nor have the AMiA bishops or CANA’s Martyn Minns, in line with Abp Carey’s refusal to recognise the AMiA consecrations seven years ago. A few other bishops, including Kunonga of Harare, have not been invited either because their standing is in question. Abp Akinola has, of course, been invited.
Consideration is being given to inviting Gene Robinson as a guest of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but this is not being extended to Bp Minns.

NP
Guest
NP

Tim and Eddo – are you just attempting (and failing) to score points against ++Akinola?

Look at TWR, Dromatine and Tanzania……and see that Sept 30 is not far away and you will understand why the ABC does not have to close his position now – TEC will do that for him depending on whether the TEC HOB decides to repent or walk away.

Rob Hall
Guest
Rob Hall

To quote from a 3 March 2006 Stephen Bates article posted at http://www.thinkinganglicans.org.uk/archives/001585.html “if Rowan Williams bans the bishop of New Hampshire but extends invitations to men such as Akinola, Malango and Kunonga, Anglicanism will have ceased to be a communion worthy of the name. It will be, to coin a phrase, spiritually dead.” It’s worth reading the article in full. A final thought. We – rightly in my view – did not break communion with the Episcopal Church of Rwanda over the terrible Rwandan genocide, despite the involvement of Anglicans in those crimes. Nor did anyone talk of barring… Read more »

Charity
Guest
Charity

I’m saddened. Gene Robinson is being sacrificed on the altar of unity in exactly the same way as Jeffrey John. Bishop Robinson is a properly elected diocesan bishop, but in his case politics trumps both polity and politeness. It’s in marked contrast to the way Katharine Jefferts Schori was affirmed by the ABC as having a seat in the Primate’s Meeting by right, despite the objections of those who disagree with her theology. I half hope other TEC bishops will respond that as one of their number is being unfairly excluded they too will be unable to attend in solidarity… Read more »

Mary Clara
Guest
Mary Clara

This is pathetic, a crashing failure of leadership. As I see it, Bishop Gene is being excluded because the ABC assumes he can be. As he belongs to a marginal class of people (gays), it will be acceptable to sacrifice him for the sake of pacifying those who have made him the occasion for their schismatic, imperial, and/or curial projects. (Gays are to remember that if they are here at all, it is always on sufferance and not by right.) Bishop Martyn is then crossed off the list in an attempt to appear even-handed. It doesn’t work; the books don’t… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Pluralist pens, quoting +++Rowan: “_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._ _…coming to the Conference does not commit you to accepting every position held by other bishops as equally legitimate or true._ These statements, of course, are to keep the Nigerians and others coming when the Episcopalians are coming; they are somewhat contradicted by not extending the invitation to Gene Robinson or, for that matter, Martyn… Read more »

Ann
Guest
Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

Sayeth badman: “No prizes for naming the “one or two”, I suppose. Gene Robinson and Martyn Minns not invited. Maybe the Bishop of Harare will be out too.” If -Kunonga gets invited but +Robinson isn’t, it will only demonstrate the sale of the Communion — and of the ABC — to the very same pharisaical principles that Our Lord railed against. Moneychangers in the Temple was bad enough; now we are to have a whore of Mugabe there, one who blesses the destruction of shantytowns and the driving out of their residents into homelessness, one who blesses stealing the property… Read more »

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

The “Washington Post”, among other newspapers, gives more detail: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/22/AR2007052200411.html Of particular interest is a reported statement of Kenneth Kearon, secretary-general of the Anglican Communion: “Robinson may be invited to attend the Lambeth Conference as a guest, but Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is not contemplating inviting Minns, Kearon said”. The article continues “The question of Gene Robinson … I think has exercised the archbishop of Canterbury’s mind for quite some time,” he [Kearon] said, and there was no question that Robinson was duly elected and consecrated a bishop according to the rules of the Episcopal Church. “However, for the… Read more »

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

The Bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson, took the moral high road in his response to +Rowan’s non-invitation: “While I appreciate the acknowledgement that I am a duly elected and consecrated Bishop of the Church, the refusal to include me among all the other duly elected and consecrated Bishops of the Church is an affront to the entire Episcopal Church. This is not about Gene Robinson, nor the Diocese of New Hampshire. It is about the American Church. It is for The Episcopal Church to respond to this divide-and-conquer challenge to our polity, and in due time, I assume… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

viriato says WWJD?

Well, he would say something like “go an sin no more” to us all……not “your sin is fine, keep on going” – he would have the same message for us all (repentance in reponse to his grace)

JBE
Guest
JBE

NP – Where does Jesus say homosexuality is a sin?

Canon Gary Waddingham
Guest
Canon Gary Waddingham

One cannot help but be struck by the courage of the Church of England when it helped end slavery. This was a major miracle of Christian leadership. One wonders whether Williams is even capable of minor miracles of leadership.

matthew hunt
Guest
matthew hunt

If all are not invited, then this is no Church of Christ. The invite is unconditional. Come to love and be loved. Believing is the work, loving is the striving, fear is the war.

BobinWashPA
Guest
BobinWashPA

I”m not sure we’re going to change a lot of minds by going to Lambeth but I think it is important that we stay in the conversation. For TEC bishops to excuse themselves from Lambeth isn’t turning the other cheek, but giving Akinola and company what they want.

WWJD? I think Jesus would go and take Akinola and company to task. Jesus wouldn’t avoid but confront. How we do that is to keep pushing and questioning.

NP- those without sin can cast the first stone.
I presume that leaves you and me out?

stjohns
Guest
stjohns

I’m saddened both on behalf of the AC and TEC by the ABC’s non-invitation of duly elected Gene Robinson. After Williams’ statement re the inclusion of those who differ from one another at Lambeth, this rejection hurts all of us, not least those who have found a home in TEC where they hoped for full acceptance of themselves and their households. We’ll see what kind of inclusive courage the HOB and the Presiding Bishop exhibit in response to this non-invite. Let’s pray, and write and talk to our bishops in TEC, before the HOB meeting, and to ++Katharine as well.

Pluralist
Guest

The TEC bishops ought to meet and decide to send a small number, say six (is there a symbolic number?) of bishops to take full part, but the rest stay away as a gesture of solidarity. Cold shoulder it but be there, sort of thing. We don’t know yet what Akinola thinks of his invasion underling being excluded. After all, they are full of plans (or publicity) to meet in the south anyway. As I suggest, reply slips might be in a bit late. Good point implied above by Viriato da Silva – that if the meeting is without prior… Read more »

Eddo
Guest
Eddo

NP: “Tim and Eddo – are you just attempting (and failing) to score points against ++Akinola?” NP, no attempt to score any points, just pointing out that while some read “bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal” and think “Robinson”, I, and apparently others, read those same words and think “Akinola.” Some are going to read those words and rejoice, saying, “The ABC has finally come to his senses and come October 1 is going to set TEC straight.” (couldn’t resist) Others will rejoice with “Thank goodness Canterbury’s finally taking a closer… Read more »

David H.
Guest

As Charity has pointed out, Cantuar has a sad history of sacrificing people on his altar of “unity.” (Note: that’s sacrificing *others*, no self-sacrifice involved – easier that way, don’t you know ?)

I’m rather warming to the plan Pluralist describes. Send a few Episcopal Church bishops, but the rest stay home in solidarity. But I’d add one thing…

Have ++KJS bring +Robinson as her personal chaplain!

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Whoever eventually goes to Lambeth will be hugely symbolic for worldwide Anglicanism. Under the spotlight of the media for the next fifteen months or so, the chasm that has opened up between the Church of England’s official attitude to gays, and society’s, will be highlighted time and time again. The UK’s outlawing of discrimination of gays in employment and in the provision of goods and services, and the introduction and increasing acceptance of Civil Partnerships, will throw into sharp relief the C of E’s exemption from this important development in human rights. Gene Robinson’s exclusion will flush out English bishops… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

“The division Robinson has caused is already known. Either the ABC considers it to be exceptionally serious or not. What more does he need to know? Who else does he need to hear from on this matter?” Maybe that an invite will be issued, if +GR kicks Mark Andrew out of their home, and lifts the episcopal purple to reveal his new titanium chastity-belt? {snark/OFF} Excellent suggestion, David H (+GR as Chaplain not to just ++KJS, but the entire USA contingent). At any rate, ALL of TEC’s bishops should definitely plan on attending: +Gene Robinson at the front of the… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“Gene Robinson’s exclusion will flush out English bishops and those elsewhere in the Communion who affirm the ministry of lesbian and gay Christians. Hopefully, they will show solidarity with Gene and Katherine, and somehow people will keep talking, even if around separate tables.” Yes! And now is the moment for not just TEC bishops, but bishops worldwide (and *especially* in the UK, to drive the point literally *home* to the ABC as to the potential breadth of the global schism he has been aiding and abetting), to stand up and speak out for +Gene’s inclusion. Spirit-filled bishops of the world,… Read more »

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“viriato says WWJD? Well, he would say something like “go an sin no more” to us all……not “your sin is fine, keep on going” – he would have the same message for us all (repentance in reponse to his grace)” NP, Jesus spoke out on divorce and remarriage, but divorced-and-remarried bishops will be there. He never specifically addressed homosexuality, and it has been rehashed a zillion times already on these blogs what we are to interpret from that silence. Your whole argument is predicated on +Gene’s monogamous and faithful relationship being sin in God’s eyes, but we reject your presupposition.… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

It would be a terrible tactical error for the American bishops to refuse the invitations.

I understand the rationale. I understand the desire many will have to stand in solidarity with their brother bishop.

But, as was clear when the Americans and Canadians acceded to the bullies and declined full participation in the ACC meetings, this hands control over to those who would destroy the Anglican Communion and replace it with governance by foreign prelates.

Audrey
Guest

It would be very difficult for Archbishop Rowan to invite Gene Robinson, given the cintroversy in the Anglican Communion at present. I think caution is the best way forward in these troubled days.

Viriato da Silva
Guest
Viriato da Silva

“It would be very difficult for Archbishop Rowan to invite Gene Robinson, given the cintroversy in the Anglican Communion at present. I think caution is the best way forward in these troubled days.”

Jesus and the prophets all having stressed prioritizing caution over justice, of course.

Ren Aguila
Guest
Ren Aguila

Pluralist suggested six bishops from ECUSA. That’s appropriate. It’s one short of seven (a symbolic number of wholeness). Another number is eleven, to symbolize that one among the apostles has betrayed them… and this time, no one is taking that place.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Bishops who support Gene and Katherine could decline the invitation to the main conference and invite themselves as special guests of Williams along with Gene. After meeting Williams, they would then facilitate their own fringe conference in Canterbury, representing the world’s marginalised. This would attract more media interest than the main event and be seen to be more in keeping with the Christian ethos. Invite other bishops to break off from the main conference for a while to form small groups to engage in a Listening Process and to discuss MDGs. After the Lambeth 1:10 debate in 1998, “Peter Selby,… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

viriato – no, I would not have divorced and remarrieds there either…..I am not inconsistent and making up the rules as I go along.

“silence” on the issue is a very weak argument….I hope you realise that?
(he said nothing about the environment either – so you think we should pollute as much as we like??)

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

The Bible was written by men of another age and limited knowledge. Some of think that we should acknowledge progress made since, not wallow in premodern mistakes.

John Spong talks more sense about the Bible than the entirety of the so-called Global South put ogether. They may wish to keep a religion suited for a premodern, superstitious society – but they are welcome to it.

Roll on the split and make it soon!

NP
Guest
NP

you said it, Merseymike – the AC will be so much healthier and less distracted without those who hardly believe anything in the creeds or Bible………but liberals have always been too scared to go it alone.

Watch now as the TEC HOB comes to Lambeth without VGR …… Rowan is flying in for the September meeting to get their compliance with Tanzania in the bag because he does not want to be the ABC who too the ABC from 77m to 7m and shrinking

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

What would Jesus do, we are asked … Well Jesus would sit down with the pharisees and hypocrites, the prostitutes and sinners – there is a story about him sitting down with one lot and one of the others invading the space … and there are lots of indications about some people thinking they are better than others. And maybe Jesus would just find a way of telling one of those stories (remember the ‘good samaritan’) which challenged people to examine themselves before judging others. There’s a rather good one about a wedding feast and the people who were invited… Read more »

David H.
Guest

NP wildly speculated, “Rowan is flying in for the September meeting to get their compliance with Tanzania in the bag.”

As much as your fantasies may feature “compliance with Tanzania” and other such arrogant & extravagant imaginings, it ain’t gonna happen. To do so would fly in the face of TEC constitution and canons, and the HoB CAN’T change that. Only General Convention can.

Truly, if you believe this, I’ve got some swamp land for sale in Florida I’d like to talk with you about… ;->

NP
Guest
NP

Mark Bennet – you have made up your own idol who never talks about sin, judgment and the holiness the Lord requires….what right have you to misrepesent him who said to sinners “I do not condemn you, go and sin no more”?? David H – it is not wild speculation…don’t you know about how the ABC pushed KJS to get resolutions through GC2006 which he thought might help him make an Anglican fudge? Anyway, I hope you are right and the TEC HOB does stick with VGR and walk away, stop disrupting the AC and flagrantly disobeying the biblical teaching… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

NP dear,

It’s the other 14 resolutions that are Biblical.

;=)

Mark Bennet
Guest
Mark Bennet

NP – what an extraordinary thing to say on the basis of the limited amount I post on the various blogs to which I occasionally contribute. Of course John 8 which you quote is there (though one of the most heavily contested inclusions in the Gospels), but if that is all there is to say, why did John write a whole Gospel? In particular John 4, in which Jesus speaks to another woman, and does not say to her ‘go and sin no more’ – but she goes and tells lots of people about him. My whole point was that… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

But Mark – your post above stressed acceptance and not judging and contained nothing on repentance, holiness etc so it was half the story and so seems like a misrepresentation of what the Lord said and did… With the AC’s stresses and distractions since 2003, we are talking about ordained people – and some who claim that it is good and “holy” for leaders to flagrantly go against what the bible teaches (let along the teaching of their own church eg Lambeth 1.10). It is a misapplication of scripture to say we should not judge such people’s actions and in… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

But NP, you are constantly promoting unbiblical ideas – like the idea that schism is a good thing to be encouraged.

NP
Guest
NP

Malcolm says “But NP, you are constantly promoting unbiblical ideas – like the idea that schism is a good thing to be encouraged.” Really? If you actually read your bible rather than claiming it says what you want it to say, you will find many passages which warn that there will be false teaching in the church and always says have nothing to do with it…. Schism amongst believers is not a good thing but when a church has to deal with false teaching, we are not talking about schism but something else….something that has to be done and is… Read more »