Monday, July 21, 2008

Canterbury: This [Lambeth] stands at a crossroads in the Communion

A Lambeth report from Cherie Wetzel covering a press conference with +++Rowan Williams:

Today, after the first press briefing yesterday, we had 20 minutes with Rowan. I am not being disrespectful in calling him that. Today, there were no fancy vestments and no lofty processions. Just a man in a black shirt and black suit given a job to do. He came to the pressroom, filled to overflowing with scribbling people and flashing cameras, and after a short introduction, explained to us what his purposes and intentions were in the design of this conference. I felt he was more candid than he was in New Orleans last September at the House of Bishops’ meeting. Granted, the situation is much more perilous today than it was then for the Communion and individual provinces within the Communion. He spoke simply and distinctly. He didn’t dodge any of the questions asked him. Today, I had an opportunity to appreciate the intellect and the character of the university professor, the man who took this job after begging not to be given it. . .

q Did GAFCON make the covenant more imperative? No. We will argue and continue to make our case with the Gafcon people after the conference ends.

q Your statement of government of the Communion by covenant and council. What does that entail? Cleaning house for serious debate. Not every province will desire to be bound by a covenant. . .

q What in human sexuality do you believe is wrong in terms of sexual behavior? Any relationship outside a public covenant of mutual love, in the presence of God is outside my belief. I believe that sex outside of marriage is not part of God’s plan. The Anglican Communion has spoken adequately on the issue of homosexuality and I will adhere to those policies and decisions. . .

q Follow up question: CAPA bishops said they would not come if the consecrators were invited and their voices represent the majority of Anglicans in the Communion. How did you make that decision? I told each of them that their voice matters and we need to hear from them. I can’t invite the bishops of 70 million and not invite the bishops of 2 million. We don’t have that kind of parity or power politics in the Communion. Every voice counts.

q Does their absence devalue the statement that will be produced? There is a grave disquiet about their absence and a serious criticism that must be addressed. We will do so in the next 12 days. . .

Read it all.

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