Did Rowan Williams just undermine Lambeth ’98 1:10?
In amongst the report from Ruth G of the launch for this summer’s Lambeth Conference was this little line:
It became clear that the Windsor Report is standard, but that Lambeth will be a consultation and communication exercise of such a standing that it won’t really affect anything if a quarter of the Church’s bishops do not show up. As the conference is not a legislative or quorate body, he said, if a sbustantial number of people are absent ‘it is not the end of the world.’ No schism, he said. ‘Sorry!’
Call me naivé, but if Lambeth isn’t in any sense a legislative body then what force does ’98 1:10 have? Has Rowan Williams just inadvertently signalled that ’98 1:10 has no grounds to be used as a ground to discipline TEC (and others)?
Answers on a postcard to "Confused of East Herts…"
As an occasional contributer to your blog, I have to say that I am heartened that 65-70% of the bishops are attending the Lambeth conference.
It might be possible with this level of support to maintain Anglican comprehensiveness in the face of those who polity looks increasingly atypical of the majority of the episcopate throughout the communion. Clearly, the election of an openly gay man as a bishop, the blessing of same sex relationships in many parts of the communion, the acceptance of civil partnerships in the UK, and the existence of thousands of gay Anglicans throughout the world is not enough to deter attendance for the majority at the conference.
It is also heartening that the conference will only focus on sexuality for one day, and it is unlikely that any resolution will be passed. At last, this will leave space for the bishops to focus on the important issues facing the world in the twenty-first century.
Winston, If what the Church thinks of God’s Word isn’t important in the 21st century what is?
I agree so let’s focus on the most important bits.
Read the Windsor report – it’s very clear and pretty tough and more people should read it, especially anyone who means to discuss our present issues within the Anglican communion.
There is not and never had been any mechanism whatsoever for discipline of one province by another. A resolution of the Lambeth conference is just that, and not applicable to discipline within any province, unless that province choses to make it so. The only thing open in terms of finding common ground between autonomous parties is dialogue. If one party doesn’t like what others are doings all that is open is deciding who to invite (or not) to what (GAFCON, Lambeth), and ultimately individual provinces declaring who they are or are not in communion with.
The mooted ‘Anglican covenant’ would be something that provinces would (voluntarily) sign up to, that would then a possible basis for establishing what were the bounds of normative Anglican belief and practice.
The important bit is what we think of scripture – what place we afford to it in our communion – what we recognise it to be. We have to discern how God wants us to live our lives. If we disregard clear teaching of scripture what are we left with?