Thinking Anglicans

Invitations to bishops: Lambeth 2020 and Kigali

Here’s a roundup of developments on the issuing of invitations to bishops and spouses.

There have been at least two articles responding to the reports of claims made at the ACC-17 meeting that the matter. of the invitations to Lambeth could not be part of the formal agenda for that meeting:

Andrew Goddard has written a lengthy essay analysing the options open to the archbishop: Ethics and policy for invitations to Lambeth 2020.

The Ontario House of Bishops has released this statement of support for their colleague.

GAFCON has issued A Communiqué from the Gafcon Primates Council.
Concerning Lambeth 2020, it says this:

We were reminded of the words of Jeremiah 6:14, “They have healed the wound of my people lightly, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace.” Last year in Jerusalem our delegates urged us not to attend Lambeth 2020 if godly order in the Communion had not been restored.  They respectfully called upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to effect the necessary changes that fell within his power and responsibility.

We have not yet received a response from the Archbishop of Canterbury.  We note that, as it currently stands, the conference is to include provinces who continue to violate Lambeth Resolution I.10 thereby putting the conference itself in violation of its own resolution: failing to uphold faithfulness in marriage and legitimising practices incompatible with Scripture. This incoherence further tears the fabric of the Anglican Communion and undermines the foundations for reconciliation.

It also announces an alternative event for those disinclined to come to Canterbury:

Gafcon Bishops Conference 2020

On the one hand, we have no interest in attempting to rival Lambeth 2020.  On the other hand, we do not want our bishops to be deprived of faithful fellowship while we wait for order in the Communion to be restored. Therefore, we have decided to call together a meeting of bishops of the Anglican Communion in June of 2020. The conference will be primarily designed for those who will not be attending Lambeth, but all bishops of the Anglican Communion who subscribe to the Jerusalem Declaration and Lambeth Resolution I.10 are invited to join in this time of teaching, worship, and fellowship. We shall meet June 8-14 in Kigali, Rwanda, and be hosted by Archbishop Laurent Mbanda and the Anglican Church of Rwanda.

Apparently without spouses.

There are also several paragraphs describing GAFCON’s view of the currrent situation in various regions of the world.

Lest it be thought that GAFCON is concerned only about sexuality, the following item confirms this is not the case:

Women in the Episcopate

The Primates received the Interim Report of the Task Force on Women in the Episcopate, the result of a four-year comprehensive study, and affirmed its recommendation that “the provinces of Gafcon should retain the historic practice of consecration only of men as bishops until and unless a strong consensus to change emerges after prayer, consultation and continued study of Scripture among the Gafcon fellowship.” We authorised the Task Force to continue this consultation.

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Cynthia KatsarelisSusannah ClarkCRSJeremyPat O'Neill Recent comment authors
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Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

GAFCON may not be “concerned only about sexuality,” but its position on women in the episcopate places its worldview firmly in the first three-quarters of the 20th Century, and not in the second decade of the 21st. Next thing you know, they’ll be making statements about whether women should wear trousers.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“Next thing you know, they’ll be making statements about whether women should wear trousers. Connoisseurs of the crazier end of things will have in the past followed the blog of “Bishop” Richard Williamson, a stalwart of SSPX who was excommunicated by John Paul II, but then invited back into the Catholic Church by Benedict, not withstanding his virulent and absurd holocaust denial (“I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers.”), then excommunicated again when the stench grew too strong. Pope Benedict claimed not to recognise holocaust denial when he… Read more »

Peter S
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Peter S

The visual contrast between Lambeth 2020 – with 80-90 women present as bishops – and GAFCON – probably with 0 – will say it all.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

“The visual contrast between Lambeth 2020 – with 80-90 women present as bishops – and GAFCON – probably with 0”

it is left as an exercise for the reader to determine which of those two statistics, and indeed which of those two gatherings, is more to the theological taste of the current Archbishops of York and Canterbury.

Peter S
Guest
Peter S

I think + Cantuar consecrating four women to the episcopate on a single day makes things abundantly and joyously clear.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

No it doesn’t. One of his tasks as Abp was to break the women-bishops logjam. Because MPs were communicating serious frustration, behind closed doors.
But I’ve never been convinced that he thinks that ordaining women bishops is theologically right.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

Expressing violent hatred towards black people, while wearing white robes: very bad.

Expressing violent hatred towards gay people, while wearing brightly coloured robes: completely acceptable.

Jo B
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Jo B

Does anyone seriously believe the GAFCON primates are themselves acting in accordance with Lambeth 1.10 vis-à-vis homophobia?

Janet Fife
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Janet Fife

The Task Force recommended that “the provinces of Gafcon should retain the historic practice of consecration only of men as bishops until and unless a strong consensus to change emerges after prayer, consultation and continued study of Scripture among the Gafcon fellowship.”
This was done in various provinces for decades before the decision was made to consecrate women as bishops. Why does Gafcon have do do it again?
And why does the name Gafcon remind me of an antacid?

Richard Ashby
Guest
Richard Ashby

Excuse me, but why is no one concerned about the issue of divorced and remarried bishops and their spouses? Just asking.

Helen King
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Helen King

You’re not the only one wondering how they square divorced and remarried bishops with the rest of their principles, Richard…

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

You’ve missed the whole point, 😉 THEIR sins don’t matter, regardless of Scripture. It’s those OTHER people whose “sins” matter. Just because.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Goddard pretends to have presented the moral environment but misses the most important point: what of LGBTI people in Uganda, in Kenya, in Jamaica, in Iran…? Characterising this as about 3 excluded spouses allows it to be presented as a storm in a teacup. That’s Justin’s approach. But it isn’t. This is a decennial opportunity to positively influence the plight of LGBTI people in some countries by showing that Christ’s Church fully embraces LGBTI people and recognises and endorses same sex marriage. That is the opportunity the ACC has failed to grasp. That is the opportunity Archbishop Justin has deliberately… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Concern for LGBTQ+ people in places where we’re criminalized is precisely why I appreciate the Bishop of Oklahoma and the recent work at ACC17 to affirm human dignity and ask for an accounting on the human rights of LGBTQ+ people. Essentially, it is about pursuing the neglected portion of Lambeth 1.10. Welby has not shown any interest in the human rights of LGBTQ+ people; indeed, he’s shown a willingness to sacrifice LGBTQ+ well-being for political purposes (that appeases some of the people who support those human rights violations). It’s as Rowan did before Welby. So I wouldn’t expect him to… Read more »

CRS
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CRS

No commentary on the idea of English law as determinative for communion instruments?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

If an instrument is to have limited liability, then it must be organised in, and subject to the law of, some jurisdiction or other.
English law is sophisticated and transparent. Which alternative would you propose?

CRS
Guest
CRS

I am confused. Are you saying that the Anglican Communion needs to be subject to the law of England?

(Which, fortunately to boot, is also “sophisticated and transparent” and apparently better than alternatives.)

This is a mindset that I wager very few in the vast global communion, apart from the small context of England, shares or understands. The Lambeth Conference of Bishops globally, subject to law of England? The Primates of 40 Provinces subject to the same?

Is this what you have in view?

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

I believe that Jeremy’s point is that if the ACC and the Lambeth Conference are to be covered by insurance for the usual purposes…such as liability for injury, as an example…they need to be organized under the law of some jurisdiction. The UK seems to make sense in this instance. Do you see another alternative?

Jeremy
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Jeremy

You’re pretty good at reacting to what someone didn’t say. Though I will now say that most major transactions worldwide are governed by UK or US law. And multinational entities have to be based somewhere. Again: what alternative would you propose? The law of Nigeria? Uganda? Kenya? China? And why? The Lambeth Conference, in addition to being a gathering of bishops, who obviously are subject to the laws of their respective home jurisdictions, also has a limited-liability entity, which actually runs the conference—contracts with the University of Kent for the space, etc. That entity needs to be registered somewhere, and… Read more »

CRS
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CRS

I suspect not having any direct experience of the separation of church and state, you struggle to comprehend models of law different to your own, in respect of church affairs. In TEC, dioceses are legal entities, with boards, trustees, chancellors. No bishop going to Lambeth is subject to English law in the capacity of being a Bishop. Ditto, Primates at Primates Meetings. If the English ecclesial situation were to begin dictating terms like this, the Communion would shift into a different polity altogether. Waving these ideas around in the air does put people on notice. I will give you that.… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“No bishop going to Lambeth is subject to English law in the capacity of being a Bishop.” I guess that depends on what you mean by “in the capacity of being a Bishop.” Bishops going to Lambeth will obviously be subject to the English law of murder, the English traffic laws, UK immigration law, and even the ecclesiastical law on whether they may exercise episcopal functions in England. (For which, see the Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori mitre episode.) Indeed, one might think that all non-CofE bishops visiting Lambeth will leave their “capacity of being a Bishop” behind them in their… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

What is your actual point about law in England applying to Anglican Communion folk and instruments? Why did you raise the matter?

“What alternative would you propose?” None. There is no need as laws already exist everywhere in the world…

How is the question relevant — that is what is unclear.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

It’s quite clear who raised the matter of English law applying to Communion instruments.
You did.

CRS
Guest
CRS

“Now, any visitor to the U.K., bishop or no, should also consider that he or she is subject to the law of the U.K. while in the U.K.”

“Bishop X from country Y, your views on LGBT marriage are illegal in England, and there is no CofE exemption for you. You are subject to the law of the U.K. in these matters.”

See how long that will work.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

“[Y]our views on LGBT marriage are illegal in England.”
Now you truly have descended to scare tactics.
It is _not_ the case that _any_ “view on LGBT marriage” is “illegal in England.”
Stop trying to frighten people without any basis.

CRS
Guest
CRS

Hey, the matter seemed to be dear to your heart. You raised it.

It is far from my own I can assure you.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Baroness Stowell of Beeston, the Government
spokesman on equalities in the House of Lords, said “a belief that marriage
should be between a man and a woman is undoubtedly worthy of respect in a
democratic society”.

Pat O'Neill
Guest
Pat O'Neill

As long as Bishop X from country Y does not act upon his views I fail to see how he is in anyway in violation of the law of the U.K.–unless you are suggesting that the law prevents him from speaking his mind. And I have lived under the separation of church and state my entire life, as you know…and I understand the issue here quite well. In order to operate as an entity making contracts (such as a contract to rent meeting space), the Lambeth Conference must be organized under the law of some governmental jurisdiction and thus subject… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Here is your statement about instruments needing coverage and England being very sophisticated in this domain.

It is not mine.

As to your question the answer is None, as none is needed. To repeat.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

GAFCON still shows its disregard (contempt?) for Lambeth 2020 – by organising its own Gafcon 2020 – and yet has the temerity to state that GAFCON has no intention of instituting a rival meeting to LAMBETH 2020? This just evidences the forked tongue of the Gafcon Primates who all along have been plotting the overthrow of the traditional Anglican Communion ethos of ‘Unity in Diversity’. When will the ABC begin to understand the dispruptive agenda of Gafcon to destabilise the ACO and the Lambeth and Canterbury Foundations of our Church? Thank God for the outlying Provinces of the Anglican Communion… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Reading Ian Paul’s blog one realises his deep connection with the “80% of Anglicans” he claims to be ‘conservative on matters of human sexuality’. This, of course, divides the Anglican Community into those who have retained the outmoded attitudes of homophobia and those of us who believe that every human being (including LGBTQI people) has been made in the Divine Image and Likeness. What Ian Paul and his fellow correspondentsl describe as ‘revisionist’ seems, to the rest of us, to be preferable to the ethic of unreformed exclusion and isolationism, which applies to those in the Communion who still cling… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

Given that most of the GAFCON provinces are authoritarian with little lay influence, I think GAFCON is a couple of dozen men.

Susannah Clark
Guest
Susannah Clark

An astute observation, Cynthia. GAFCON has a top-down, male-dominated, leadership.

That in itself is a problem.