Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boycott of Lambeth 2008 is “most serious challenge yet”

From George Conger writing in the Church of England Newspaper [boldface mine]:

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision to invite the American, Canadian and Central American bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson to Lambeth led to 214 bishops boycotting the conference, a study by The Church of England Newspaper has found.

A review of registration data and attendance figures gathered during the conference finds that 206 diocesan and 8 suffragan bishops declined to attend the July 16 to Aug 3 conference. While boycotts affected the 1998, 1868 and 1888 conferences—the 2008 boycott was the most serious challenge to the integrity of the meeting.

The Anglican Communion comprises 729 dioceses, missionary districts, and ecclesial entities divided into 38 provinces and six extra-provincial jurisdictions. Approximately 260 dioceses and jurisdictions within the Communion were not represented by their diocesan bishops at Lambeth. Not all absences were the result of a conscious decision not to accept Dr. Rowan Williams’ invitation to Lambeth.

A number of sees are vacant, while exigent circumstances prevented some bishops from attending. . .

Of those identified as absent by CEN, 214 bishops from 10 provinces made an affirmative decision not to accept Dr. Williams’ invitation due to reasons of conscience: Australia 7; Southern Cone 1; Episcopal Church 1; Church of England 3; Uganda 30; Nigeria 137; Kenya 25; Rwanda 8; South East Asia 1; and Jerusalem and the Middle East 1.

From Africa’s 324 dioceses, 200 diocesan bishops (61 percent) were identified as having refused Dr. Williams’ invitation. . .

Read it all.

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