CoE Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference


July 26, 2007

Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Up to 10 Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference of more than 800 Anglican bishops and archbishops from around the world because of the row over gays.

Such a boycott would be unprecedented in the history of the Anglican Church and would be an indication of how deep the divisions go, in England as well as in the rest of the communion.

One of the most senior bishops in the mother church of the Anglican Communion warns today that between six and ten English bishops will consider a boycott if the US does not row back on its pro-gay agenda.

A UK boycott would confirm the gravity of the splits within even the Church of England, traditionally the model for Anglicanism’s “via media”. It would effectively spell the end of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s dream of maintaing unity.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, was speaking to tomorrow’s Church of Ireland Gazette, the journal of the Anglican Church in Ireland.

He tells the Gazette that up to ten diocesan and suffragan bishops, from the Church’s evangelical and Anglican-Catholic wings, would be “constrained” in their protest only by their loyalty to Dr Rowan Williams.

Dr Williams is currently on study leave but earlier this week the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, pleaded with archbishops and bi shops from the Global South group of churches not to boycott the ten-yearly gathering, due to take place at Kent University next July.

Dr Williams issued his invitations to Lambeth earlier this year, leaving off eight bishops, including the openly gay Gene Robinson, whose consecration in 2003 sparked the current controversy. The Times has learned that Bishop Robinson is however to be invited as a guest in a non-voting capacity. The deadline for bishops tor respond to the invitations is the end of July, next Tuesday.

Bishop Scott-Joynt says in the Gazette that for a boycott not to take place, the bishops of The Episcopal Church must meet the demands of the recent Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

In their communique, the Primates gave the US bishops until September 30 to agree to “make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions” and “confirm that… a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion.”

The Primates warned that “if the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.”

Dr Williams will himself be attending the September meeting in the US as one of his first duties on returning from study leave. At an initial meeting in March, the US bishops rejected the Primates’ demands.

Bishop Scott-Joynt warns in the Gazette that if the bishops of The Episcopal Church do not meet the demands of the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Meeting by the 30 September deadline, and if the bishops of the Global South decline to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, between six and ten English bishops could stay away.

At a meeting in London last week, Global South leaders warned that they would be unable to take part in the Lambeth Conference without “discipline” and “reconciliation” in the Communion.

They said in a statement: “To be present but unable to participate in sacramental fellowship would all the more painfully demonstrate our brokenness.”

Several of the bishops who have not been invited have been consecrated by Global South leaders to serve traditionalist parishes in the US.

The Global South leaders said: “The polarization surrounding the Lambeth meeting has been exacerbated because we are also unable to take part in an event from which a number of our own bishops have been arbitrarily excluded while those whose actions have precipitated our current crisis are included.”

12 Responses. Comments closed for this entry.

  1. P. Barnes Says:

    Numbers that are posted elsewhere by the Bishop of Winchester are “ONE IN SIX,” not “one to six” but SIXTY PERCENT.  This majority of the Church of England Bishops is said to be hesitating to attend Lambeth under present circumstances.  Their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church will influence them, too, he said, but they understand the gravity of the situation.

  2. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    1 Timothy 3
    2 He setteth out Bishops, 8 and Christian deacons with their wives, 12 children and family, 15 he calleth the Church the house of God.

    1 This (1) is a true saying, (2) (*) If any man (a) (♣) desire the office of a (♠) Bishop, he desireth (♦) a worthy work.
    (1) Having dispatched the treatise, as well of doctrine and of the manner of handling of it, as also of public prayer, he now in the third place cometh to the persons themselves, speaking first of Pastors, and afterwards of Deacons, and he useth a preface, that the Church may know that these be certain and sure rulers. (2) A Bishoprick or the ministry of the word is not an idle dignity, but a work, and that an excellent work; and therefore a Bishop must be furnished with many virtues both at home and abroad. Wherefore it is requisite before he be chosen, to examine well his learning, his gifts, and ableness, and his life.
    (*) Titus 2:6 . (a) He speaketh not here of ambitious seeking, then the which there cannot be a worse fault in the Church, but generally of the mind, and disposition of man, framed and disposed to help and edify the Church of God, when and wheresoever it shall please the Lord.
    (♣) With a fervent zeal to profit the Church of God, wheresoever he shall call him.
    (♠) Whether he be Pastor or Elder.
    (♦) Both for the difficulty of the charge and also the excellency thereof and the necessity of the same.

    2 (*) A Bishop therefore must be unreproveable, the husband of (♣) one (b) wife, watching, sober, modest, harberous, apt to teach,
    (*) Titus 2:6 .
    (♣) For in those countries at that time some men had more than one, which was a sign of incontinency.
    (b) Therefore he that shutteth out married men from the office of Bishops, only because they are married, is Antichrist.

    3 Not (c) given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre, but gentle, no fighter, not covetous,
    (c) A common tippler, and one that will sit by it.

    4 One that can rule his own house honestly, having children under obedience with all (*) honesty.
    (*) Or, reverence.

    5 For if any cannot rule his own house, how shall he (*) care for the Church of God?
    (*) If it be requisite that a man should take care in governing his own house, how much more are they bound to be careful which shall govern the Church of God?

    6 He may not be a young (*) scholar, lest he being puffed up fall into the (d) (♣) condemnation of the devil.
    (*) In the doctrine of faith.
    (d) Lest by reason that he is advanced to that degree, he takes occasion to be proud, which will undo him, and so he fall into the same condemnation that the devil himself is fallen into.
    (♣) Lest being proud of his degree he be likewise condemned as the devil was for lifting up himself by pride.

    7 He must also be well reported of, even of them which are (*) without, lest he fall into (♣) rebuke, and the snare of the devil.
    (*) That is, no man may have anything justly to lay to his charge.
    (♣) As being defamed, should become impudent, and do much harm.

    8 (3) Likewise must (e) Deacons be (*) grave, not double tongued, not given unto much wine, neither to filthy lucre,
    (3) Likewise the Deacons must first be proved that there may be a good trial of their honesty, truth, sobriety, mind, void of covetousness, that they are well instructed in the doctrine of faith, and to be short, of their good conscience and integrity. (e) These are they that had to see to he poor.
    t(*) Or, honest, dignified, honorable.

    9 (*) (♣) Having the (f) mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    (*) 1 Timothy 1:19 .
    (♣) Having the true doctrine of the Gospel, and the fear of God.
    (f) The doctrine of the Gospel, which is a mystery indeed; for flesh and blood do not reveal it.

    10 And let them first be proved; then let them minister, if they be found blameless.

    11 (4) Likewise their (*) wives must be honest, not evil speakers, but sober, and faithful in all things.
    (4) Regard must be had also to te Pastor’s and Deacon’s wives.
    h(*) Or the Bishops and Deacons.

    A Bishop must be the husband of “one wife”, not the husband or partner of one man. A man must not lieth with man as he lieth with a woman; it is abomination.

    One that can rule his own house honestly, “having children”-how can two men have children.

    Likewise their (*) wives must be honest—Bishops “wives”, it doesn’t say men or partners.

    This clearly shows that Bishops must be men, and that these men must have wives-not homosexual relationships.

    Gay Bishop Gene Robinson and Female Bishop Kathrine Jefferts Schori are oxymorons, walking abominations in the sight of God.

    If these two individuals are at the Lambeth, and if Any Bishop meets with these individuals-you would have approved of these consecrations in the sight of God. You will be judge by God on your day of reckoning.

  3. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    The Marketing of Evil: How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised As Freedom:

  4. Robert Thomas Says:

    I only know that while not a math major, one in six is not sixty percent.  It is somewhere between 15 and 20 percent.

  5. Father Ron Smith Says:

    “Blessed are you when men shall revile you and speak all manner of calumny against you, for my sake AND THE SAKE OF THE GOSPEL” These words of Jesus reveal the mistakeness of people like Mr Gary Morrow, whose vehemence in argument against Bishops Gene and Katherine serve to demonstrate their basic ignorance of the meaning of the word ‘Gospel’, which means Good News - to all.

    Jesus was crucified for his friendship with prostitutes, publicans and known sinners. Indeed, he professed to have ‘come into this world, not to condemn the world, but to redeem it’. This is directly contrary to the punitive and sterile dogmatism of the bibilical fundamentalists, whose primary motivation, it seems - especially in Morrow’s case - to be to condemn to hell the very people Jesus came to redeem. “Judge not, that you be not judged” is still a fundamental requirement of the Christian Gospel, and those who would subvert that avenue of redemption are negating the whole purpose of Christ’s coming.

    Salvation lies in Christ alone, and it is the task of the Church to declare that grace-laden truth, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners - and that’s all of us, clergy and laity - no matter what our race, religious affiliation, geographical location, or sexual orientation.

    The task of the Church is to lead people to salvation (in, by and through Christ) and not to condemn them to hell! God preserve us from the self-appointed purifiers, and help us all.

  6. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    Well, looks like TEC may have a new sexual orientation to join it Church-Vegansexuals are people who do not eat any meat or animal products, and who choose not to be sexually intimate with non-vegan partners whose bodies, they say, are made up of dead animals:

    The freaks just keep evolving. Maybe Darwin was right.

    Hey Father/Mother/Peace/Love/Rocking Roll 60’s Ron Smith-maybe they can join your Unitarian Church.

  7. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    Is love for sodomy ‘God-given’?
    Exclusive: Les Kinsolving rips Baltimore Sun for story about new archbishop:

  8. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    Is love for sodomy ‘God-given’?
    Exclusive: Les Kinsolving rips Baltimore Sun for story about new archbishop:

  9. Gary Morrow, Dahlonega, Georgia. USA Says:

    The Book Ron Smith does not want you to read:

    Remember, Ron Smith is the definition of tolerance.

    The World is awakening, and the internet has freed “the people” of the World from Socialist News print-Socialist indoctrination

  10. M. Barnes Says:

    Concerning my post above, it is “SIX IN TEN” or 60 PERCENT of English Bishops that the Bishop of Winchester says are hesitant about Lambeth.  I may have an error in my post, but the staggering percent IS what is being publicized.  You should check the other newspapers on this; sixty percent is also the number given on TitusOneNine and other such sites.

  11. Bob Carlsen Says:

    Taking into consideration the concerns of several Orthodox primates who are asking those other orthodox Primates who intend to boycott Lambeth not to do so, or the consequences would be that the heretical primates would pass resolutions that take the Anglican Communion further away from orthodoxy, I suggest that at least the Primates represent their provinces with proxies from their bishops.  Given the American democratic principle of “one person, one vote” which surely the TEC can’t object to (even though voting in the TEC violates this principle), I suggest that the orthodox provinces appoint additional bishops until they have the same proportion of bishops to members as the TEC, in which case Nigeria would have over 900 bishops, and Uganda a similarly higher figure.  I would appreciate seeing a couple primates in attendance representing hundreds of bishops from the orthodox provinces being able to cast the majority vote.

  12. Jeff Smith Says:

    How the mighty have fallen!  To think that the proud Anglican church would ever take orders from well-described Nigerian “primates” is so dismaying.  How strange that your cherry-picking from the Bible is so skewed that you abominate Gay people but not people who work on the Sabbath, or menstruating women, or all the other supposedly “unclean” people who are said to be cast into darkness.

    Maybe the smart people out there can start something called GlobalNorthAnglican and bring back thinking people to the church.