Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Reactions to the Scapegoating: Something for Everyone

From Integrity:

..."Integrity calls on all the bishops and the leadership of the Episcopal Church to think long and hard about whether they are willing to participate in the continued scapegoating of the gay and lesbian faithful as the price for going to the Lambeth Conference. It is purported to be a conference representing bishops from the whole Anglican Communion. That can’t happen when Rowan Williams aligns himself with those in the Communion such as Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria who violate human rights while explicitly excluding gay and lesbian voices from their midst," Russell said. "Our bishops must ask themselves this question: 'Is complicity in discrimination a price they are willing to pay for a two-week trip to Canterbury?'"
From Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire:

...It is with great disappointment that I receive word from the Archbishop of Canterbury that I will not be included in the invitation list for the Lambeth Conference, 2008. At a time when the Anglican Communion is calling for a “listening process” on the issue of homosexuality, it makes no sense to exclude gay and lesbian people from that conversation. It is time that the Bishops of the Anglican Communion stop talking about gay and lesbian people and start talking with us...
From Bishop John Chane of Washington:

...I am deeply troubled by the decision reached by the Archbishop and believe that the real issue is not about Bishop Gene; instead this is about leadership within the Anglican Communion. 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...
From Bill:

...If I were a bishop of the Episcopal Church, I would not go, until all my brothers and sisters were invited. And I would write the people of my diocese, the Presiding Bishop, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, politely explaining my absence. I don't see it as a boycott per se, so much as a temporary suspension of any participation in the life of the Anglican Communion, which has clearly become toxic and which doesn't want the Episcopal Church to participate as we are. Katharine Grieb of Virginia Seminary suggested as much at the House of Bishops, and it is time to consider her idea carefully. I would devote myself to the human and divine relationships that form the fabric of real communion, and stop worrying about large, expensive meetings of bishops. There is no equivalence between Gene Robinson, a duly elected bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Martyn Minns, part of a schismatic attempt to break our fellowship apart and realign (i.e. destroy) Anglicanism into a fundamentalist shadow of its true self...
From Elizabeth:

...Gene can attend, but can not vote. However, the ABC also made it very clear that there will not be any "voting" - that Lambeth is not nor now nor ever has been intended to be a "legislative session."

So, in actuality, the "invited guest" does everything an "invitee" does. The status is primarily symbolic - which does not, in any way, reduce its sting.

What is confounding to me is that if this is the ABC's way of appeasing those who would object to Gene's very presence at Lambeth, it has failed miserably. If Gene chooses to accept the invitation with the status of "invited guest," he'll still be present and able to attend all sessions with the other bishops, archbishops and Primates. He'll still have the opportunity to be incarnational to those who profess never to have seen an LGBT person. He'll still have an opportunity to tell his story...
From Tobias:

...So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Martyn Minns is not regarded as a "legitimate" bishop but rather as "irregular" -- joining the ranks of Rodgers and Murphy in that select group of modern Anglicoid episcopi vagantes. +New Hampshire, on the other hand, is commended as legal but as he is seen as a source for anxiety, he is simultaneously not sent an invitation but told he might attend as a guest; and I leave it to more subtle minds than mine to tell the difference, since +Cantuar is also clear this Lambeth Conference is not to be a legislative or doctrinal assembly or synod, but rather more along the lines of what +Peter Abuja has called a "jamboree."

So it appears to me that this current action on the part of the wily Welshman is a diplomatic move that gives +Abuja every reason to refuse to remain in Communion with Canterbury. As the Church of Nigeria constitution has already been amended to pave the way, it is now a simple matter to stroll apart in a globally southern manner.
From Andrew:

...If Akinola goes to Lambeth, he will be going to a place where he and his bishops would be voices among many. He will go on Canterbury's terms.

If Akinola stays away and forms his own meeting, he frees the rest of the Communion to deal with Bishop Robinson and to take on the listening process without further delay. If he stays away he will have taken himself out of the game.

Those who would disassemble or replace the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion, and those who would turn the Communion into a confessional world body, have to realize that their dream of a grand re-alignment has suffered a significant set back.

Canon Kearnon said that Williams would invite Robinson as a special guest. If that invitation should arrive, he should go without hesitation because while the path to full inclusion is still foggy and indirect, the path towards division, exclusion and punishment has been firmly and soundly rejected.
From InclusiveChurch:

...It is our continued hope and prayer that all bishops will receive invitations to the Lambeth Conference. We especially hope that Bishop Gene Robinson will receive a full invitation, so that he can engage with the other bishops of the Communion. Should Bishop Robinson not receive a full invitation, we hope that, as the only openly gay bishop, he will be at the Conference. And we hope that the American bishops of the Episcopal Church will be there to witness to the full inclusion of all people as expressed so clearly in its understanding of the Baptismal Covenant...
No doubt by now you are aware as to which particular statements I favor. But I've said enough about that. So, here's a nice blend. Everyone should be able to find something to which they agree. Take your pick. May peace reign once again within this backwater blog!

Oh, one more that you must visit; Dave Walker's take on the situation. If we must have a scapegoat, let's blame it the wonky legs.


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