Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lambeth invitations free Synod delegates to vote their conscience

May 23, 2007

Although disappointed that the Archbishop of Canterbury has decided to withhold an invitation to the 2008 Lambeth Conference of Bishops from the only openly gay bishop in the Anglican Communion, members of Integrity Canada are relieved the invitations come before the June meeting of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at which resolutions about homosexuality will be discussed.

"This certainly takes some of the pressure off the Canadian Church," said Steve Schuh, president of Integrity Vancouver. "We've been threatened for years with the possibility that Canadian bishops might not receive invitations to Lambeth if the Canadian Church failed to uphold the traditional discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The invitation announcement suggests that supporting same-sex unions – as has been done in Vancouver and many dioceses in the U.S. – is no bar to making the Lambeth Conference guest list."

"Delegates will still need to stand up against other bullying tactics and calls for delay if they want to allow parishes to bless covenanted same-sex unions," Schuh added, "but now General Synod delegates can discuss same-sex unions and vote their conscience without the threat of exclusion from Lambeth hanging over their heads."

Chris Ambidge, convener of Integrity Toronto, commented on the Archbishop of Canterbury's snub of Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Bishop of New Hampshire, saying, "It's shameful that an Anglican leader is willing to sacrifice gay and lesbian people to appease the most strident conservative voices. The Lambeth Conference will certainly be talking about gay people in the church, and yet the Archbishop is deliberately excluding the only gay voice."

"Again, they're talking about us, not with us," he said. "Canadian Anglicans must oppose this."

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