More self-induced Anglican turmoil


It may be because I’m sick, but I find myself much less patient with the current turmoil in the Anglican communion, and indeed, in darker moments I wonder at the wisdom of remaining in the church (indeed, if I was not sure that it was the place God wanted me to be for reasons best known to God, I’d be somewhere else, which is what I’d currently far prefer).

The man pictured above is the Bishop of New Hampshire (a diocese in the US Episcopal Church), the Rt Rev’d Gene Robinson. Bishop Robinson is a gay man in an open relationship with another man. The diocesan electors of the Diocese of New Hampshire knew this when they elected him – he was canonically elected. The Diocese of New Hampshire is canonically part of the Episcopal Church, which is in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury. His election was confirmed by the synodical processes of the Episcopal Church – though not without controversy. He was canonically confirmed. He was consecrated in accordance with the requisite canons of the Episcopal Church (though, again, not without controversy). He is thus, according to the standards used in the Anglican Communion, a diocesan bishop, and would normally receive an invitation to attend the Lambeth Conference of bishops of the Anglican Communion. However, it appears that the convenor of the Lambeth Conference, the Most Rev’d Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has decided not to invite him to the Conference, because to do so would “ignore the very substantial and very widespread objections in many parts of the communion to his consecration and to his ministry.”

My understanding of this action, which I find pretty hurtful, given the avowed (but ultimately and in reality fictional) commitment of the Communion to listen to the experience of gay people, is that it was undertaken to make it possible for other bishops to attend – bishops who would boycott the Conference if Robinson attended. Well, we know who the real people are, don’t we!

I continue to pray for a way through this mess. God’s love isn’t being allowed to shine through in the situation, and the murky and unworthy political games are obscuring both it and Christian charity.


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