Thinking Anglicans

Lambeth: critical paper issued to bishops

Ruth Gledhill reports in The Times Bishops ‘weakening body of Christ’ in row over gays and women, and there is more detail on her blog Lambeth Diary: Welcome to the Circus.

Conservative bishops have been accused of breaching their duties and damaging the welfare of Christians as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, fights back against his critics.

Anglican bishops arriving for the Lambeth Conference yesterday were told to stop their backstabbing and in-fighting if they were not to “weaken the body of Christ”.

A background paper distributed to 650 bishops and archbishops attending the ten-yearly conference in Canterbury told them to remember that their relationships with each other were “fragile and tainted by sin”.

Anglican rows over ordaining gay priests and women bishops were damaging for “all the baptised”, it said. But the most stinging criticism was for conservative bishops, of whom 230, mainly from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, are boycotting Lambeth.

The paper, commissioned by Dr Williams, made clear that bishops who had transgressed diocesan and provincial boundaries in search of “orthodox” primacy were considered guilty of undermining collegiality. An even worse sin, it suggested, was boycotting the conference…

As Episcopal Café has noted, this paper sounds quite similar to an earlier report of the IATDC.

IATDC? That would be the Inter Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission.

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Ruth Gledhill
15 years ago

You and Episcopal Cafe are right, it is a revised version of the earlier paper, commissioned by Rowan specially for LamCon or so it says in the intro. I keep being told that the Lambeth Reader will go online soon. It is published by SPCK and apparently not even all the bishops have one as not enough were printed. They must have been expecting a bigger boycott! It has many other interesting papers in it, some old and some new and including an in-depth survey of the worldwide church. We have a work experience person joining us here soon and… Read more »

15 years ago

The (lightly) revised Oct 2007 version is found as an appendix to the IATDC final report – “Communion, Conflict and Hope” – available as a pdf on their site.

Andrew Innes
Andrew Innes
15 years ago

Hi Simon:

This article from Kenya shows that views from “Gafcon
Africa” are not completely monochromatic.


15 years ago

More on the mysterious ‘Kenyan 10’. Are they there or aren’t they…? “About 10 Anglican Church of Kenya bishops are in England, raising fears that they will attend the Lambeth Conference that kicks off today, the Nation can reveal. The Kenyan church alongside other conservative provinces, have decided to boycott the conference, protesting the laid back handling of gay clergy in the Anglican Communion. Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi has said that he is aware of the collaboration programmes of the bishops with other churches in Europe and expressed confidence that none of them will attend the conference. However, he said that… Read more »

15 years ago

“Archbishop Nzimbi said that all Orthodox Anglicans were not attending the conference since they could not preach wine and drink something else.”

Lost in translation???

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