[Episcopal News Service] Some Episcopal Church bishops have responded to the May 22 announcement that a small number of bishops have not been invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a brief statement that same day calling for "a calm approach" to the announcement and noting that aspects of the matter could change in the 14 months leading up to the July 16-August 4, 2008 gathering at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. She said that "the House of Bishops' September meeting offers us a forum for further discussion." Williams and members of the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and the Anglican Consultative Council will attend that meeting.
Ohio Bishop Mark Hollingsworth wrote in a letter to the diocese on May 22 that Minns and the Bishop of Bolivia were in the Diocese of Ohio the previous week to participate in an ordination in Akron. Neither bishop had "sought or received my permission to perform episcopal acts within the ecclesiastical jurisdiction for which I am responsible," Hollingsworth added.
Robinson's presence at the Lambeth Conference "might be awkward or difficult for some of the other participants, but that is hardly uncommon in Christian community," he said. "There are plenty of bishops whose presence in the councils of the Church I find difficult, and doubtless plenty who find mine the same. However, Bishop Robinson, throughout his ministry, has been unfailingly honest and open, consistently establishing and maintaining trust within the diocese he has faithfully served and throughout the Church. Time and time again he has been an instrument of reconciliation and resolution."
Hollingsworth wrote that he concurred with both Jefferts Schori's "sense of patience and her hope for productive conversations with the Archbishop of Canterbury in New Orleans this autumn."
Hollingsworth, who became a bishop the same year as Robinson, is meeting with him and the other members of that class this week in a previously scheduled gathering.
"Of course we will consider this recent news thoughtfully and prayerfully...seeking not to be reactive, but faithfully responsive," he wrote.
The complete text of Hollingsworth's letter is available here.
Washington Bishop John Chane wrote in a May 23 letter to his diocese that he was "saddened" by the news that Robinson would not be invited to the Lambeth Conference in his status as
Bishop of New Hampshire.
Chane wrote that Williams' failure to invite Robinson "will be a high priority in our time together" when the House of Bishops meets with Williams in New Orleans in September.
Chane wrote that the "real issue" facing the Communion is leadership.
"Until we are able to separate ourselves from our fixation on human sexuality as the root of our divisions and address the dynamics of power and leadership in the Communion, we are doomed to fail in Christ's call to engage the world in the act of inclusive love and a mission-driven theology that claims justice, the rule of law and the respect for human rights as the core of our work as a Communion," Chane wrote.
The complete text of Chane's letter is available here.
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