There is the rather sad news today that the Archbishop of Canterbury has chosen not to invite all bishops to the next Lambeth conference — at least not yet.
The Anglican Communion Office is being cagey: only ‘the first’ 800 invitations have been sent; the archbishop reserves the right to withhold or withdraw an invitation to any bishop ‘whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the Communion’; and it seems there are a few invitations which may or may not be forthcoming, depending on what advice +Williams receives.
I cannot see how this helps anyone.
We say that the only way forward is to listen and respect each other as we seek a common mind, or learn to live with difference. But if the most controversial voices are silenced, there can be no honest conversation.
I do not envy any bishop who must choose whether to accept an invitation to Lambeth knowing that some of his or her colleagues have been excluded.
I do not know how we can proclaim good news to the poor, the oppressed and the marginalized if we are willing to marginalize our own.
+Williams’ task is almost impossible. There is much that I respect in him as a person, as a theologian and as an archbishop. But I think he has got this one wrong.
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(includes Anglican Communion Statements)