Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lambeth 2008 Invitations In the Mail

Today's announcement from Canterbury that the Bishop of New Hampshire will not be included in the list of invitees to the 2008 Lambeth Conference will be dissected, examined, exegeted, parsed, blogged, and much commented upon in the days and weeks to come.

My initial reaction?

"Today's announcement exhibits a shocking abdication of leadership on the part of the Archbishop of Canterbury who has allowed himself to be blackmailed by those insisting on the exlusion the gay and lesbian faithful as the criterion for their inclusion at the table."

My official reaction? Here's the official Integrity Press Statement:

"Integrity is outraged and appalled," said Integrity President Susan Russell. "This is not only a snub of Bishop Gene Robinson but an affront to the entire U.S. Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury has allowed himself to be blackmailed by forces promoting bigotry and exclusion in the Anglican Communion. This action shows a disgraceful lack of leadership on Williams’ part."

"Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. It is purported to be a conference representing bishops from the whole Anglican Communion. That can’t happen when Rowan Williams aligns himself with those in the Communion such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria who violate human rights while explicitly excluding gay and lesbian voices from their midst," Russell said. "Our bishops must ask themselves this question: 'Is complicity in discrimination a price they are willing to pay for a two-week trip to Canterbury?'"

Integrity is currently contacting the leadership of the Episcopal Church and consulting with our progressive allies about this situation. We expect to make an additional statement in the near future.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

"When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another . . . ."

Anonymous said...

"Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. YOU DON"T CALL THIS A THREAT OR BLACKMAIL!!!!!!

Lauren Gough said...

Seem as if +Akinola has decided that if +Mimms can't go, he will not go. Now what?

Ann said...

Monday morning sunshine obscured by rain clouds from the east?

David Charles Walker said...

Thanks for that, Susan. I have written to +Jon to register my thoughts. I suspect that all bishops in the church are going to be inundated with opinions in the months to come. And we need to keep the discussion alive and to the point. I thought this comment by Dennis Roberts at one of Jake's posts is right on target, and I forwarded it to our bishop.

"I was raised as a child in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 70s. I have seen what segregation looks like, up close and in person. This is segregation. This is an attempt to run a council without the corrupting minority present. And I want to say very clearly that a segregated church council has nothing of God about it. For the sake of the gospel our bishops should, no, must, not go.

Unlike so many others here, I think a boycott is right, moral and Christian.

I would be horrified if bishops ate at a lunch counter reserved for whites or straights or men only. I would argue that no bishop should be a member of a country club which set up these things. And in the same way, to the same degree, I expect our bishops to not attend and not finance a convention that excludes gay and lesbian Christians.

If the Episcopal Church attends a conference where a gay bishop is either excluded OR reduced to an observer (i.e. second class citizen) then they are not attending a CHRISTIAN event. It may be a church event. But it will have nothing of the risen Lord present, any more than the apartheid churches were places where Christ could be found. And if someone tells me that they would have worshiped in or tried to find Jesus in an apartheid church I worry for their soul. Attending a segregated Lambeth is immoral. And we need to say that. And for anyone who tries the "don't we need to go slow?" "let's play nice" or "take what they give us" line, please go and read Dr Martin Luther King's Letter from the Birmingham Jail. Please, go read it.

No bishops at segregated church councils. None. And no money to support segregation.

Desegregate Lambeth before our bishops go."

Robert McLean MD PhD said...

ABp Akinola wrote: "However, the withholding of invitation to a Nigerian bishop, elected and consecrated by other Nigerian bishops will be viewed as withholding invitation to the entire House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria." I wonder if KJS will tell the rest of the bishops of the TEC to stay home. I wonder if Bp Duncan, Iker, Schofield would heed. Lots up in the air.

The Ranter said...

It appears that you and +Quackinola have something in common-- both of you seem to be asserting "If one of my people cannot go, then nobody can." And I think you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Rowan The Dog said...

"Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference."

I think we already have the answer to this. It's called B033.

Lindy

Anonymous said...

Oh I think all the bishops have to go. Otherwise they are the ones who will be accused of walking away. THey just have to take Robinson with them. And since he's invited in some capacity, they will.

Maybe they could all wear rainbows or something. As could supportive bishops from other provinces, too.

obviously everyone is disappointed, but better to have a temperate, thoughtful, and sorrowful response than one in the heat of anger that can be thrown back against you later. Let the other side do that!

Is it wrong? Well of course it is, wrong, and rude to boot, but part of your brief as Christians is to come back and back and back again even when wronged. And politically, the last thing you want is for only the wishy washy and conservative bishops from the US to go!

IT

Jon said...

A boycot may be moral and Christian, but it's also political suicide for TEC in the Communion. How is it right for TEC to abandon her allies to Akinola's not so tender mercies over this snub?

Jon