The Archbishop of Canterbury is preparing to target individual bishops whose pro-gay policies threaten to derail his efforts to avert schism, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.I am so tempted to return to the call for a boycott. One of our bishops has already been excluded. How many more must be singled out by Canterbury as sacrifices to the extremists before the entire House of Bishops decide to stand in solidarity with them?
In a high-risk strategy, Dr Rowan Williams may even snub them by withdrawing their invitations to next year's Lambeth Conference.
He has told friends he will challenge any bishop he believes is coming to the conference with an agenda "very much at odds" with his attempts to maintain unity in the worldwide Church...
...Dr Williams has been under great pressure from conservatives to punish the entire American Episcopal Church for bringing the worldwide Church to the brink of schism.
But aides to the Archbishop hope his new strategy of focusing on individuals rather than national Churches may appease conservatives who are threatening a damaging boycott of the conference.
Insiders point out, however, that Dr Williams could also target hardliners if he believes they are breaching guidelines against bishops intervening in foreign dioceses, as some Africans have done.
If he decides to take the drastic step of withdrawing the invitation to bishops on either the liberal or conservative wing, he will risk a barrage of criticism and could provoke further damaging boycotts.
But the Archbishop can remind Church leaders that he allowed for the eventuality when he issued the invitations, making clear in an accompanying letter that he was reserving the right to withdraw them in extraordinary circumstances.
With B033 and the latest bishops' statement, we have gone further than many think we should have to appease those who desire to rid the Church of those who hold different opinions from themselves. Clearly our bishops have made statements that would never have been agreed to by our senior house.
It is getting to the point that I wonder if any price is too high for us to be expected to pay in order to send our bishops to a tea party with Dr. Williams.
If one of our dioceses is not represented at Lambeth, none of them should be, it seems to me.