Thursday, 22 May 2008

Kenya Daily Nation: Failing to attend the Lambeth Conference is cowardly

MEMBERS OF THE ANGLICAN Church in Kenya would like to know why our bishops are not attending the Lambeth 2008 Conference.

Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi is reported as reasoning thus: “Lambeth 2008 should have been about a return to God in view of these realities, yet it’s obvious that won’t be the case. Canterbury has sanctioned homosexuality. We cannot be going there to keep up with its theological gymnastics.”

Is this not missing the point of Lambeth? Isn’t this cowardly?

This conference is central in our church tradition as one of the four instruments of the Anglican Communion.

It is intended to, under the presidency of the Archbishop of Canterbury, express episcopal collegiality worldwide, and gather bishops for common counsel, consultation and encouragement, and serve as an instrument for guarding the faith and unity of the communion.

It is here that the bishops should stand to differ with their own peers on issues they feel are pertinent to the communion in terms of doctrine and spirituality, which is why they are bishops.

THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY’S emphasis in his Advent Letter (December 12, 2007) was that ‘‘acceptance of the invitation (to Lambeth Conference, 2008) must be taken as implying a willingness to work with those aspects of the Conference’s agenda that relate to implementing the recommendations of Windsor, including the development of a covenant”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s call has been taken positively by a number of those who had intended to boycott Lambeth, among them Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburg Diocese in the US, who said he believes it is important that the diocese be represented throughout the Lambeth Conference, if for no other reason than to provide an alternative perspective on the situation in the Episcopal Church.

“Those who accuse us of abandoning the Anglican Communion will certainly be present and vocal. It is important for us to be able to respond directly to their claims about the situation in the Episcopal Church and our place in the Communion,” he added. Read more
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