No votes, no resolutions — a typical Anglican fudge?

July 21, 2008

Archbidhop of Canterbury Rowan Williams with African clergy at Lambeth Conference, 16 July 2008/Ho NewThe Lambeth Conference, the once-in-a-decade gathering of Anglican bishops from around the globe, has come up with what it hopes will be the perfect solution for avoiding any mud-slinging.

No news could be said to be good news for the beleaguered church right now and the organisers of the Anglican summit in the English cathedral city of Canterbury may well have the Zulus to thank for that.

Anglicanism has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons as conservatives and liberals lock horns in an increasingly bitter war of words over the ordination of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions. Up to a quarter of the bishops have stayed away from Lambeth in protest, a move that has shaken the Anglican Communion but, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Willliams says, will not lead to a schism.

Lambeth organisers have come up with a solution to keep the angry rhetoric to a minimum, hoping that their gathering will be given much more anodyne coverage.

The bishops are being split up into “Indaba” groups of about 40. Indaba is a Zulu word for “a gathering for purposeful discussion.”

But the organisers, explaining the concept, warned that even after two weeks of the bishops putting their heads together on every subject from evangelism to transforming society, “Indaba is not shaped for producing a communique, an encycical letter or a text.”

“Indaba is open-ended conversation,” they explained. Open-ended, but not open to the media — we can’t attend the sessions and report on how they actually work.

As the procedure was explained to us, each Indaba group, after much soul-searching together, appoints a “listener” who will help to put together a final “reflective document.” So there will be no messy fights over resolutions like the debate over homosexuality that dominated the 1998 Lambeth Conference.

Little wonder then that Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop in the 450-year history of the Anglican church, does not expect any fireworks at the conference — to which he has not been invited.

Bishop Gene Robinson surveys liturgal vestments on sale at Lambeth Conference, 21 July 2008/Andrew WinningIn an interview with Reuters before Lambeth, Robinson forecast that the Anglican summit “will drive the press crazy. There will be be no resolutions, no proclamations, no lines drawn in the sand, no up or down votes to report the count.”

“This is the place where the Archbishop got it exactly right. What we need at the moment is deepening conversation,” he said.

The Anglican Communion website has its own Lambeth Daily with news from the Conference, including soundbites and cartoons.

6 comments

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What is wrong is wrong, no matter what name you give to it. Gayism is simply a sin, now if someone call it human freedom, i can only feel sorry for the person.

Posted by Bobby | Report as abusive

To base morality on a 200 year old work of near fiction is idiocy, and I can only feel sorry for the person that does

Posted by steve bowen | Report as abusive

meant 2000 obviously

Posted by steve bowen | Report as abusive

It’s sad to me that the morality of the Anglican church (and others) is lagging so far behind modern society’s enlightened nondiscriminatory policies. The church should realize that gays and women are just as entitled to church leadership positions as anyone else. Discrimination against these groups simply reaffirms the church’s increasing irrelevance in the world today.

Posted by Keith Harrison | Report as abusive

To the Archbishop of Sudan…

Once more the Archbishop of Sudan exhibits a wanton anti-Christian ethos by calling all gay and lesbian people ‘evil’, etc., and failing extravagantly to grasp even the basic tenets of the doctrine of Jesus Christ.

If this deluded man thinks he is even remotely representing brotherly love and the non-judgmental inclusiveness that Jesus Christ’s time on earth and his subsequent doctrine embodies, then he needs a rude reality check: read this entry Archbishop and see the light!

It is pitiful, obscene and outrageous that people like him are trying to enshrine homophobia and persecution as being part of Christ’s spirituality, et al. This is an appalling slur on Jesus Christ and what he stands for.

If any spiteful, malicious and hostile individual thinks they can wear the badge of Christianity in order to have some kind of licence to condemn and victimise homosexuals, then they need to think again.

We will not tolerate the corrupting of the doctrine of Jesus Christ so that certain morally vagabond factions can persecute, codemn and generally turn Christianity on its head.

It has to stop and the Archbishop of the Sudan should know better than to vent his hatred in such a visceral fashion.

Shame on him!

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive

Society today is “enlightened” and “non-discriminatory”? I’ve got to laugh!!

What’s enlightened about eugenics, broken families, mass consumerism, ASBO kids and the complete collapse of British family through divorce and gay marriage?

What’s non-discriminatory about designer’s babies, mass abortion, secularism, PC, “gay power”?

What’s enlightened and non-discriminatory when vivsection gets more headline attention than terminally ill NHS cancer patients? Liberal do-gooders really live in their own world.

Posted by Craig Baxter | Report as abusive