A bishop’s forecast of number of English bishops attending Lambeth

The Church of Ireland Gazette reports:

Following the debate on the Anglican covenant process at the meeting of the Church of England General Synod earlier this month in York, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, told the Gazette that if the bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States do not meet the demands of the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Meeting required by next September’s deadline, and if the bishops of the Global South decline to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, as many as six in ten Church of England bishops could be considering their own positions about attending the ten-yearly episcopal gathering.

However, Bishop Scott-Joynt added that such bishops would feel “constrained” by their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who personally invites the bishops.

Here’s a much earlier forecast by the conservative bishop, equating Windsor-compliant bishops to bishops seeking alternative oversight.

Read the Gazette’s story here.

Ruth Gledhill of The Times reports on the Gazette story in rather sensationalized terms under the headline “Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference“. Gledhill, of course, should admonish the headline writer. There is a difference between “bishops threatening to boycott” and “one bishop making a forecast on the number that might be thinking about not attending were it not for their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury”. But she writes the following, which you will not find in the Gazette:

Bishop Scott-Joynt says in the Gazette that for a boycott not to take place, the bishops of The Episcopal Church must meet the demands of the recent Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

There of course are fissures in communion, and saber rattling all around. Among the latest to make an assessment of the strength of the opposing sides is Matt Kennedy. See his analysis here.

The Church of Ireland Gazette article also observes:

The debate [over an Anglican covenant] was preceded by a special address to the General Synod by the Archbishop of the West Indies, the Most Revd Drexel Gomez, who is the Chair of the Covenant Design Group, of which the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill, is a member.

Referring to the current inter-Anglican crisis, Archbishop Gomez said that “scaremongering is commonplace”. He said that there was a need “to identify the fundamentals that we share in common, and to state the common basis on which our mutual trust can be rebuilt”.

While Archbishop Gomez is a member of the Global South Steering Committee he was one of several primates who did not attend its recent meeting. At that meeting the committee issued a statement which “consists of 12 points, many of which speak to the concerns of the Steering Committee vis-a-viz the response of the Episcopal Church to the Dar es Salaam Communiqué issued by the most recent Primate’s meeting.”

The Archbishop of Ireland recently stated in a sermon:

In breaking with me you will have cut yourself off from any gift of God that I might otherwise have had the chance to share with you. It is not then the case that unity is maintained at the expense of truth, but rather that disunity guarantees that access to a fuller knowledge of the truth is consciously inhibited.

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