Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: who is coming?

Ruth Gledhill reports in As Lambeth beckons, Anglican rebels don’t know if they are coming or going that:

A Nigerian bishop has broken ranks to fly to Britain to attend next week’s Lambeth conference. More than a dozen other Nigerian bishops have telephoned the organisers privately to say that they wish they could come but dare not disobey their archbishop, who has ordered all his 100 bishops to stay away in protest at the liberalisation of the Western Church.

The Right Rev Cyril Okorocha, the Bishop of Owerri, will defy Dr Peter Akinola, the Nigerian primate, when he arrives at his host parish in Oxshott, Surrey, this weekend. He will be the only Nigerian bishop at the Lambeth conference when it opens on Wednesday.

A source close to the bishop, who used to be on the staff at Lambeth Palace, where he looked after mission, said that he was coming because he believed strongly in the unity of the Anglican Communion.

Martin Beckford writes in the Telegraph: Anglican Communion: More than one in four bishops to boycott Lambeth Conference, and says this about English bishops:

As The Sunday Telegraph disclosed last month, the Bishops of Rochester, Lewes and Willesden are boycotting Lambeth because pro-gay bishops will be there.

But following the controversial decision of the Church of England’s ruling body this week to ordain women as bishops without compromise measures, several Anglo-Catholic bishops may also stay away.

The Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who is likely to become the first English bishop to convert to the Roman Catholic church over female bishops, has said he is unlikely to attend while the Bishop of Richborough is still considering whether he can go.

The Bishop of Europe, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, said he would attend but could not take part in a Eucharist service held by the female head of the Episcopal Church of the USA, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori.

He added that he was “astonished” that so little information about events at Lambeth had been given out so far.

“We know the themes for each day and that we shall be in study groups of eight, but not much else.”

The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, added: “I too am very surprised that we have had little more than a sketchy outline. I’ve never been to a conference before where we have had such little information.”

The Times also has a series of comments from individual bishops printed under the headline In search of the wisdom between the extremes.

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Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

“The Bishop of Europe, the Rt Rev Geoffrey Rowell, said he would attend but could not take part in a Eucharist service held by the female head of the Episcopal Church of the USA, the Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori.”

So, is Bishop Rowell tacitly saying he is not in communion with Jefferts Schori because of her gender and her episcopacy? Is he then not in communion with any other woman bishop, say, in Canada? Is he also not in communion with the whole of TEC?

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

“He added that he was “astonished” that so little information about events at Lambeth had been given out so far. “We know the themes for each day and that we shall be in study groups of eight, but not much else.”” “I’ve never been to a conference before where we have had such little information.”

Isn’t that the point? That THIS Lambeth *isn’t* to be an over-programmed News&Scandal du Jour, but a time apart for prayer and conversation for the bishops?

Lord, bring the bishops (and the rest of us) More Light!

David Malloch
David Malloch
13 years ago

“So, is Bishop Rowell tacitly saying he is not in communion with Jefferts Schori because of her gender and her episcopacy? Is he then not in communion with any other woman bishop, say, in Canada? Is he also not in communion with the whole of TEC?” Wow, the penny’s dropped!! Yes, of course that is the situation. The bishops of the communion are not in communion and as of last monday the bishops of the mother church are not in communion. So guess what? The communion is not in communion! Which to my logic is about as bizarre as the… Read more »

Fr Mark
Fr Mark
13 years ago

Pat: more than that, Bishop Rowell would not grant permission to Bishop Jefferts Schori to celebrate Mass in the Anglican Church at Nice when she visits this Autumn.

Ann
Ann
13 years ago

Maybe if these uninformed bishops would go to the Lambeth website they might learn something about what they are doing.

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

Did you notice how GAFCON did not issue a list of the biahops attending , so as not to focus on a fact 37 per cent were non-Anglican, like BishmInns and the Cof E in S A.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“a fact 37 per cent were non-Anglican, like BishmInns and the Cof E in S A.”

Oh, but they are, you know. They are all very orthodox, so much so, in fact, that they cannot unite into one “continuing Anglican” group. They are reminiscent of the monk on Athos whose Orthodoxy was so pure, he was only in communion with 12 other people. When this is all over, we’ll see how orthodox Anglican they really are. I predict they will splinter into ever smaller groups in their fervour to prove their orthodoxy.

ettu
ettu
13 years ago

Should the headline read “1 in 4 Bishops not attending” or “3 out of 4 Bishops attending”?????

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“Should the headline read “1 in 4 Bishops not attending” or “3 out of 4 Bishops attending”

Rather like the cartoon of nine Roman soldiers standing looking at a dead Roman soldier saying “You know, this decimation thing isn’t all that bad!”

Neil
Neil
13 years ago

Pat O N. The bishop of Europe isn’t tacitly saying what you think he is saying. It has been his public position since his consecration – that he cannot accept women’s ordination as valid. I am reminded of a story from the last Lambeth when the then Bishop od Edmonton asked how he got on with his namesake from Canada…’I was polite and kind…as I try to be to all the laity’.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

‘I was polite and kind…as I try to be to all the laity’. Typically Anglican humour, and I hope Bp. Matthews laughed if she heard it. All the same, she deserves a great deal of respect. She is actually a theological conservative, well spoken and very intelligent. Frankly, she’s a darned sight better than many of those men who would disparage her, humourously or otherwise. After years of feeling that the leadership of the Anglican Church of Canada just didn’t get it and was unable to make any kind of theological argumant about anything, listening to her changed my mind.… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
Pat O'Neill
13 years ago

Neil:

Then he wasn’t tacitly saying it; he was blatantly saying it. He is not in communion with TEC, which ordains and consecrates women, which has as its primate a woman.

As I’ve said before, Gene Robinson’s consecration did not break the communion, it has been effectively broken for three decades.

Neil
Neil
13 years ago

Many thanks Ford. I have no doubt that you are right and Brian Masters as you say was dealing with his theological problems as lightly as he could. And there is no denying that there are many more able women waiting in the wings than presently occupy the cathedras of our various dioceses…IF ability was all that the debate was about. At least the quality should be on the ‘up’ when judges in purely wordly terms.

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