18 July 2008

And they're off!

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev’d. Dr. Rowan Williams has opened the Lambeth Conference. I am sorry to day I was unimpressed by the ABC’s opening speech.

He told the assembled bishopric of the Anglican World “There are no magic words to heal the wounded body of the Anglican Communion.”

According to Church Times writer, Pat Ashworth,

Williams’ own prayer for the conference was “not that after two weeks we will find a solution to all our problems but we shall, as I have written more than once, in some sense find the trust in God and one another that will give us the energy to change in the way God wants us to change.”

Williams continued that he wishes the conference to be a place where every voice can be heard. Noble words from the man who ensured the one voice that needs to be heard is silent. The Rt. Rev’d. Gene Robinson is not there, Archbishop, how, exactly, will every voice be heard?

Dr Williams described as “a great grief” the absence of the bishops who had chosen to stay away – “because we need their voice and they need ours in learning Christ together.”

How, exactly, will you be learning from the single legitimate Ordinary (with recognized jurisdiction) you told to stay away?

Williams did say that he hopes that in these weeks we shall daily be remembering those who are not with us, upholding them in our prayers, in our respect and in our love.

The problem with that statement is that he is talking about those who boycotted the conference. He was not talking about Bishop Robinson. He continued:

I don’t imagine that simply building relationships solves our problems but the nature of our calling as Christians is such that we dare not – and I say very strongly, dare not – pretend that we can meet and discuss without attention to this quality of relation with each other, even if we disagree or find ourselves going in different directions.

The Lord of the Church commands that we must love one another in the process and there is no alternative to that. I trust you are here in that confidence, in that willingness to love one another.”

He urged the bishops, in retreat until Sunday morning, to “be there and let God come to you.”

It is just carefully chosen words with no substance. If Rowan truly wanted this conference to be what he just said he wants it to be, he’d have walked out in the square, found +Robinson and said, “hey, Gene, take your place with your fellow bishops. We are waiting for you.”

Now for a little leaven in the midst of our daily lives, take a minute to visit the Anglican Centrist (which is quickly becoming a favourite blog) and read Toby’s Tale. It will put a smile on your face.