The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds has criticised Anglican bishops who are threatening to withdraw from next year’s Lambeth Conference on issues of principle as “misguided and missing the point”, saying that the purpose of the ten yearly gathering of Anglican bishops from around the world has always been to discuss divisions and differences since it was begun by his predecessor, 140 years ago.
Read the full press release about his Advent Address.
…Speaking of his predecessor, the first Bishop of Ripon, Charles Longley, Bishop Packer said, “The act for which he is remembered in history is that calling of the (Lambeth) Conference in 1867 in which bishops were invited to express their differences in the context of their unity in Christ… There was strong disagreement over the necessity for Christians to believe in the reality of eternal punishment following the publication of ‘Essays and Reviews’.
“There could not be a greater contrast between the attitude of the bishops at Lambeth in 1867 and those who appear unwilling to attend in 2008 who I believe to be misguided and missing the point….. (In 1867) there was no sense of a need to achieve unity before meeting, or refusal to attend on the grounds of the deep divisions which then split Anglicans from each other. Indeed the fact of such divisions was the chief incentive to meet…”
The full text of his address is available as a PDF file here.