Friday, 8 August 2008

Lambeth: What happened? No one quite knows

THERE was no great jostling to be the first to comment on the Lam­beth outcome: an acknowledge­ment, perhaps, that the 42-page Reflections document needed much more than a superficial glance.

GAFCON’s response was a brief press statement that read: “The Primates’ Council of GAFCON will wish to study the outcome of the Lambeth Conference carefully and consult with those they are leading. They are meeting towards the end of August and will make their response following that meeting.”

The Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Peter Jensen, who also boycotted the Conference, was slightly more expansive. “We have been praying for the Lambeth Conference, and now that it has ended we look forward to talking with those who were there. It seems it has fulfilled the desires of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and we also look forward to hearing from him,” a statement on Monday said.

It continued: “Our absence focused minds on the problems within the Communion and spoke louder than our presence would have. However, the issues which have caused such division are still before us and require decisive action so that the mission of the Church will not be further impaired.”

The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, said that many bishops had come to the gathering “in fear and trembling, expecting either a distasteful encounter between those of vastly different opinions, or the cold shoulder from those who disagree. The overwhelming reality has been just the opposite,” she said. Read more

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