Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth invitations: Church Times comment

The Church Times has this news report: Robinson, Kunonga, and Minns left off Lambeth Conference invitation list.

In addition the Church Times has a leader about it: Who can come to the party. This starts out:

THE AMERICANS are coming. Invitations to the 2008 Lambeth Conference went out to 800 bishops on Tuesday, scotching rumours that those in the Episcopal Church in the United States and the Church of Canada would not be welcomed without further concessions over Gene Robinson (and no further initiatives on gay partnerships).

The September deadline set by the Primates for the US bishops to agree an alternative structure for their conservatives still stands, but attendance at the Lambeth Conference will not hang on it. Threats might still be made, and attempts to persuade Dr Williams to invoke his right (which his letter carefully reserves) to withhold or withdraw invitations.

But Dr Williams is unlikely to act so unwisely. For all their talk of alternative gatherings, the conservatives will not want to walk away when they feel in possession of the centre ground, especially given their numerical confidence…

Read the whole article.

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badman
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badman

Theo Hobson has a piece defending the disinvitation of Gene Robinson from a liberal perspective at http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/theo_hobson/2007/05/dear_gene.html

Deacon Charlie Perrin
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Deacon Charlie Perrin

I find it interesting that the article makes no mention of ++Akinola’s threat of a Nigerian boycott because of the ABC’s refusal to invite +Minns.

Lister Tonge
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Lister Tonge

‘The Americans are coming’ is not a headline likely to endear us to the Episcopal Church. How may we assume that they will want to come, in the circumstances? One of their duly elected bishops has not been invited and several of them have previously said that there is no going back on the matter of excluding gays at any level of the Church. This will surely include, for at least some of them, the Lambeth Conference. Some here might like to think of it as bloody-mindedness if they decline. Others of us will see it as a principled stance… Read more »

bls
Guest

The Hobson thing isn’t a defense. It’s a parody.

*Christopher
Guest

I must say, for those who didn’t get the parody, as bls pointed out, quite sad. The danger of “Catholic” ecclesiologies is exactly that they tend toward conflation of the Kingdom and the Church or in Pauline terms that somehow it is assumed that the Church on earth is operating entirely out of the New Adam when in fact we’re still “betwixt and between” the Old Adam and the New, often falling, often our relating is not what God desires. The result is a tendency to say too much about the Church and therefore fail to be honest that the… Read more »

Richard
Guest
Richard

As an Episcopalian and a supporter of full inclusion in the church of ALL of God’s children, regardless of their sexual orientation, I think Dr. William’s shunning of +Gene Robinson is a shame. I wonder what he thinks it will accomplish as it’s just more of the same homophobic attitude so pervasive in so many religions. If he doesn’t find the backbone to change his mind about +Gene Robinson I hope all or most all of our bishops will decline their invitations and the American Church decline to pay for any of the costs associated with the gathering. I’d rather… Read more »

Tobias Haller
Guest

We tend to forget that Bishop Robinson, back in 2004, offered to attend Lambeth in a diminished capacity if that was felt to be a way forward in keeping the peace. Martyn Minns, on the other hand, appears to expect to attend as of right. The difference in their attitudes is telling.

NP
Guest
NP

I agree with Deacon Charlie above – the article does not show awareness of what ++Akinola AND other Archbishops did in Tanzania and what ++Akinola has said about these infamous invitations from the ABC…….depending on what TEC does up to Sept 30th, if the ABC thinks the GS is willing to pretend there is AC unity and waste 3 weeks in Canterbury doing that, he is sadly mistaken.

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

I find myself agreeing with NP, for perhaps the first time since I’ve been reading Thinking Anglicans. The Communion nearly lost the American Church as a result of the demands in the Primates’ Tanzanian Communique. I don’t think most in Great Britain quite realize that these demands amounted to a dismemberment of the American Church and were therefore quite rightly rejected. At the moment, most in the American Church see prudential reasons for swallowing the insult offered us by +Gene Robinson’s dis-invitation to Lambeth. However, additional high-handed actions by the Primates and/or spineless responses by Archbishop Williams after September 30th… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

Parodies have some truth in them, and I think ABC is smarter than most people think. He is still hoping for a middle ground, and measuring each move as if in a serious chess game. Those who believe that they alone fully know what God intends, such as the Akinolites, may destroy the Communion, but Cantuar is doing everything he can to foil their plots. He may succeed and I pray that he does. But in the end I do not believe that +++Rowen will ever remove the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada (or Scotland or South… Read more »

JCF
Guest
JCF

Minor point, but what’s w/ the photo choice in the CT news story (“Robinson, Kunonga, and Minns left off Lambeth Conference invitation list”)? In real life, +Gene is anything BUT a Big Mouth, and I object to a photo which seems designed to suggest otherwise. :-/ ***** In the (U.S.) Black Church tradition, the “interactive sermon” has a number of wonderful responses. Best known is “A-men!” (at moments of emphatic agreement), but probably my favorite is “Wellll…” When the preacher says something from which a *deduction* is obvious, then that is likely to prompt a congregational “Wellll…” From the CT… Read more »

J. Michael Povey
Guest
J. Michael Povey

Thus, in not inviting the Bishop of New Hampshire to the next Lambeth
Conference, + Rowan has declared himself to be C.E.O of a multi-national
Protestant Church, and not Primus inter pares in the Catholic Church.

I prefer the Catholicity of ECUSA to the sectarianism of Canterbury.

(The Revd) J. Michael Povey
3901 Glen Oaks Drive East
Sarasota FL 34232

john
Guest
john

For Catholic and apostolic Christians, Jesus Christ is not an idea but a living body. He calls us to defend his body, Gene. Perhaps it currently feels as if you are the waste matter excluded from the body – but is this not a crucial part of bodily health? When it comes to “this very natural process, the dichotomy of inclusion/exclusion is transcended. You are part of the body that excludes you. May God grant you the wisdom to see this. Yours, Rowan.” Ha Ha! really quite funny. I laughed when I got to this part of Mr. Theo Hobson’s… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

While I understand the inclination to boycott Lambeth due to the treatment of the duly elected, confirmed, consecrated and installed Bishop of New Hampshire, I can only reiterate that it woulod be an enormous tactical error – on par with the misguided choice to give way to the bullies at the last meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council. Given the determination of the Prince Bishop of Abuja to recreate Anglicanism in his own intolerant image, the presence of American, Canadian, Scottish, South African etc. Bishops at the party is essential – even were it to turn out a losing cause.… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Don’t know, Malcolm French+. I agree, it’s better to be in communion than not, but given the present way the Anglican Communion operates — its vulnerability to a power grab by one faction of the Primates, in particular — isn’t it better to let the thing fall to pieces now, in order to form a more perfect Communion after the dust has settled?

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

Rowan Williams exercises the art of governance by such gossamer gestures as issuing or not issuing invitations. He keeps all parties murmuring, reconsidering, repositioning, etc. and the entire long-drawn-out process has a deflationary effect. The hotheads and secessionists tire and the controversies lose steam, and in the end the church keeps on calmly as before. Indeed, the vast majority of worshippers possibly never even noticed the controversies in the first place.

ettu
Guest
ettu

I suppose some know history better than I but Rowan Williams’actions/inactions/plotting/failure to communicate seems similar to Charles I and we all know what Parliament did to him now, don’t we?

harvard man
Guest
harvard man

Let’s accept that the ABC has an extremely difficult job here. I believe he is trying to be faithful to his calling. Even when I don’t agree with some of his actions.

ECUSA was well aware that the VGR consecration was not supported by much of the Communion, and proceeding would do damage to relationships and ‘bonds of affection’. ECUSA proceeded, and now we see yet another visible result. VGR said he’d participate in a reduced capacity, so why is he now making such emotional statements of outrage?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I didn’t think Gene Robinson had made emotional statements of “outrage”, but of being disappointed.

Of course you can offer a sacrifice but still be disappointed when your friends actually call on you to make it.

Whatever you think of the man, a little understanding of his feelings and a little Christian charity wouldn’t go amiss.

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

I think Gene Robinson’s “emotional statements of outrage” are to be read as an expression of hurt on behalf of gay Christians and those in his diocese and General Convention who elected, confirmed, consecrated and installed him. This overrides his own personal disappointment.

He just wanted to get on with the task of serving the diocese of New Hampshire. The fact that he has come to represent gay Christians must be a tremendous burden, but is a consequence of the overblown reaction to his consecration from some quarters.

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

“I agree, it’s better to be in communion than not, but given the present way the Anglican Communion operates — its vulnerability to a power grab by one faction of the Primates, in particular — isn’t it better to let the thing fall to pieces now, in order to form a more perfect Communion after the dust has settled? ” – Charlotte Unlike Charlotte, I feel that any failure, whether by TEC or Canada or Scotland or Wales or or Ireland or South Africa or others, to offer to fully participate at this time would simply benefit the fundamentalists. Those… Read more »

GoSane
Guest
GoSane

As I reflect on +++Rowan’s latest decision to exclude +Robinson,et al., I am reminded of something I heard once: “If you try to be all things to all people you can’t be anything special to anyone in particular.” +++Williams’ problem, among others, is similar to that of President George Bush: When it becomes apparent that he is headed in the wrong direction, he redoubles his effort in that direction.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

I find the idea that we could attempt to “form a more perfect Communion” troubling.

Neil
Guest
Neil

If Rowan is playing a subtle game (pace Fr J o L) I’m afraid the ‘collateral damage’ and fallout needs to be factored in and he cannot be let off the hook as easily (and commendably loyally) as Fr. Joe does. Throughout his recent ministry Rowan has been too timid. It is not just this issue. Pre the invasion of Iraq it was quite clearly an unjust and immoral war and though Rowan did not support it he did not condemn the evil in the way it should have been. Passionately. Unequivocally. Not weighing up the effect on relationships with… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

Gosane

“When it becomes apparent that he is headed in the wrong direction, he redoubles his effort in that direction.”

LOL

Thanks for the rope to justify brining in this ditty.

A friend of mine shared this website with me which has a series of George W. Bush quotes http://www.banterrific.co.uk/articles.php?var=16

I’ve paraphrased one of them for the Anglican Communion

“‘Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country (Communion) and our people, and neither do we.'”

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

Erika Baker, I’ll try to clarify. I was punning on the Preamble to the United States Constitution. The Constitution was our second try at a governmental structure after independence from Great Britain. The first, the Articles of Confederation, didn’t work well, so we tried again. The Constitutional Convention recognized that the first structure wasn’t working, and tried to make a better one, a “more perfect union.” I think the Anglican Communion is in a similar situation right now; hence the calls for a Covenant. So far, we have a draft of a Covenant that would only make things worse, a… Read more »

Malcolm French+
Guest
Malcolm French+

Jerry has done a good job in responding to the question directed to me by Charlotte. I’d add one further point. Despite the noise and rage of the Prince Bishop of Abuja and his fellow travellers, we really don’t have a clear sense of the mind of the rest of the Communion. It is worth noting that the “conservatives” failed to get certain resolutions passed at the last Anglican Consultative Council meeting despite the voluntary abstention of the American and Canadian delegates. Akinola speaks for an extremist minority within the Communion, and not even for many who might actually agree… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Thank you for that, Charlotte, I had indeed missed the allusion to the political structures in the US.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Neil’s assessment of Fr Joe’s analysis has something to say. Apart from the fact that Fr Joe is an eminent Roman Catholic theologian with a deep perception of Anglicanism’s current struggle and hence owes no “loyalty” to Rowan. But we are seeing amongst some of the smaller bit players in this drama a sudden lurch to “loyalty” in the light of the invitations to Lambeth. These invitations are being perceived as a return to the pre-Dar es Salaam Communiqué position, a minimalist exclusion attempting to isolate those on the very extreme while consolidating the centre. This is undoubtedly helped by… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Perceptive analysis as usual from Martin Reynolds. Many thanks. I guessed Fr. J o L is not an Anglican but was using the notion of loyalty in a wider sense. The ABC has an impossible job, and MR as his friend, and all other natural allies would wish him success. But that is why the Iraq comparison is pertinent, because we should all have been literally bashing doors down to prevent it. And we should all also shiver at some of the Vichy language Martin has heard from liberals recently.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“Liberals are telling each other that “for the sake of inclusivity” we must rollover now on all the “collateral damage”, bite the pillow and accept that this is the best deal for all. I must say some of their language takes my breath away.” You can say that again! Look, I don’t know if language like the above constitutes an anti-gay smear, or a camp gay *reclaiming* of an anti-gay smear, but between this “rollover and bite the pillow”, and the typical ConEv “gay agenda shoved down our…”, can everybody please just DROP all the forceful (non-consensual?) sexual allusions?? Their… Read more »

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

“The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us.” – Primates (Feb 2005)

Except when it occurs in the Anglican Communion, it seems.

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Neil, membership organisations such as LGCM have a clear mandate to work towards achieving our goals and not betraying the principles that constitute our articles of association. We cannot settle for less than the best or for a compromise that leaves our members vulnerable, second class Christians. We are also unusual in that we are trans-denominational constituted into several caucuses with the work of just one – Anglican Matters – involved here. Savi Hensman does a first class job of heading up that caucus and as her writings tell, she has her finger on the Anglican pulse. Many of the… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
Guest

Hugh of Lincoln captures perfectly what we said in LGCM’s last commentary. Hugh, this dissonance reaches back to Lambeth 1998 when the travesty that emerged (1.10) called on Anglicans to listen to their lesbian and gay brothers and sisters after the Lambeth Fathers had themselves refused to listen to those very voices that had been specifically gathered there for them to hear! The words of the Dromantine Communiqué you quote ring as hollow now in the light of Gene’s rejection. When I was a young man (and a RC) our local priest would say from his permanent seat in the… Read more »

Neil
Guest
Neil

Martin – Rowan was leading the march in memoriam anti salvery. Was he to be seen on any anti war march?

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

I see from today’s “Telegraph” that Gregg Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone, misleadingly described as “a senior Anglican conservative”, has put in his two-cents-worth on the Lambeth invitations, stating “unless there is a major shift there are going to be significant absences from Lambeth”. Please, can someone give me any idea of membership of the Southern Cone? Is it, as I sneakingly suspect, like ACI, “three guys and a website”, or is it of a size to justify the grandeur of bishop Venables’ pronouncements? The only thing I remember about the Anglican Church in Argentina is the fast footwork… Read more »

Malcolm French
Guest
Malcolm French

The Anglican Communion website has the following, which isn’t much:

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/tour/province.cfm?ID=S5

The Province does not seem to have a website, though all of the dioceses seem to.

While there does not appear to be a large Anglican population to the province, and while a quick tour of the diocesan sites suggests to me a little too much focus on chaplaincy to expatriate Englishmen (Diocese of Peru’s website is in English, not Spanish) it really isn’t fair to compare them to that bit of inflated irrelevance the Anglican Communion Institute.

NP
Guest
NP

careful Lapin – TEC ain’t the biggest province so criticising the Southern Cone for its size may not be the best issues to bring up in order to attack an evangelical Primate

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Malcolm – I’d already checked the Communion website, to no avail, which is why I posted my inquiry. I do appreciate your looking. NP – I’m very much on to the Radical Right tactic of re-framing a question or completely changing the subject whenever an awkward topic is raised. In no small way, I owe my heightened awareness on this approach to your own efforts on TA, though Ms. Hayes over at StandFirm is in a class of her own on this one. My question relates to numerical membership of the province of the Southern Cone, which is strangely opaque,… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Come on, Lapin – stay on topic here……so, Lambeth invitations – the question is whether the AC is going to have its agenda set by a small liberal part of it and pay the price of Nigeria+Uganda+ the beautiful Southern Cone and others leave…..I do not believe that Rowan’s track record (J John, TWR, Tanzania) should give you much comfort as to which way he will, in the end, go.

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

I’m on topic NP. G. Venables, with the seven dioceses that make up the quaintly-named “Southern Cone”, is trying to come on like a major player in the lead-up to Lambeth. Which makes it fair to inquire how senior this “senior Anglican conservative” actually is. I’m also, having seen it three times thus far, on to the fact that your tactic of the day is to keep parroting that TEC is “small”. There are smaller provinces, NP. Let’s move on, shall we?

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

The Province of the Southern Cone is geographically vast, stretching from Peru to Tierra del Fuego, yet with a flock no larger than your average English deanery.

No wonder Venables has so much time on his hands to lecture the rest of the Communion.

(A point made by Stephen Bates in ‘A Church at War’ p. 163)

Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Hugo Lindum said of the Southern Cone
a flock no larger than your average English deanery.
No wonder Venables has so much time on his hands to lecture the rest of the Communion.

I believe the good English Phrase ‘a dunghill cock’ might be the one we’re looking for here?

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

It’s quite difficult to find much that’s concrete on the Southern Cone. There’s a brief biographical page for the presiding bishop on the Communion web site, which lists his consecutive postings and indicates that his university education consists of a 1974 CertEd from London University. Fr. Jake posted some informative stuff last December:

http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com/2006/12/is-there-plan.html

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

In citing Fr. Jake in my last post, I should have noted his observation that “the Southern Cone has about 20,000 communicants”. 20,000 communicants. Some province! “Senior Anglican conservative” my eye!

NP
Guest
NP

So, Lapin – you want to judge who is a “Senior Anglican” by the numbers the represent???

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

You have no sense of shame, do you, NP? Size was a big enough issue in these parts around 7:30, two mornings back: “counterlight – the majority you speak of in TEC is a tiny minority in the AC – you do realise that??” NP, Wednesday, 30 May 2007; 7:45am BST. “TEC ain’t the biggest province so criticising the Southern Cone for its size may not be the best issues to bring up in order to attack an evangelical Primate.” NP, Wednesday, 30 May 2007; 7:33am BST Yes, NP, I’ll factor in the numbers that he represents when attempting to… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin – you are misunderstanding me twice – 1) I was pointing out that you should not start to bring nos into the argument because the nos in the AC are vastly against TEC’s position; 2)the whole point is that nobody is asking me (or +Duncan or ++Akinola) to repent and come into line with biblical or AC teaching…because we have not departed from it – TWR and Tanzania were not directed at ++Akionla (although you may bring up the never-ending “listening” process as if the issue has not been considered for decades already in the AC) (I know you… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

NP – previewing for sense before hitting the “post” button can be a good idea. I have read and re-read your May 30th post to Erika Baker, and if you tell me that this is the meaning of what you wrote, I believe you. It is less than clear from the wording. Abp Williams’ response to just about everything is “muted” – witness the Lambeth invites and the status of the bp of New Hampshire. He can fairly be described as a Fat Lady who has yet to sing – let alone to indicate the aria and the key.

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“the never-ending “listening” process as if the issue has not been considered for decades already in the AC” I’ve asked before, I’ll ask again, “Mr. Obey Lambeth as though it were one of the Seven Councils”, what form did the listening process take in your parish? Since you are sick and tired of listening, I assume it was pretty exhaustive, and you are now well aware, though you show no evidence for it, how it is not your message that must change, but they way you preach it. So go ahead, describe all the listening your good Christian parish did… Read more »