A Robinson invite?

Chuck Blanchard points us to Ruth Gledhill’s report that it looks like Bishop Gene Robinson may well get an invite to Lambeth after all, albeit as a nonvoting member. She also asserts that Bishop Martyn Minns will not.

Gledhill was sent, apparently by a third party, a letter said to have been written by Canon Flora Winfield to those inquiring about Robinson’s status. It reads:

‘The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked me to thank you for your letter of 22 May 2007 regarding his invitation to bishops of the Anglican Communion to next year’s Lambeth Conference. The Archbishop is taking a period of study leave this summer and he has therefore asked me to respond to your letter on his behalf.

Prior to his departure, Archbishop Rowan noted carefully the level of disappointment expressed by correspondents, following his decision not to extend an invitation to Bishop Gene Robinson to attend the Lambeth Conference along with the other bishops. He stressed in his letter to the bishops that he did not take this decision lightly, but that he regarded it as appropriate in the light of the recommendations set out in the Windsor Report.

The Windsor Report counselled that in the future proper regard should be taken to the bounds of affection and interdependence between member Churches when considering the acceptability of a candidate for Episcopal appointment. While is it recognised that Bishop Robinson was duly elected and consecrated according to the canons of The Episcopal Church in view of the widespread objections to Bishop Robinson’s ministry in other Provinces of the Communion, the Windsor Report further recommend that the Archbishop ‘ exercise very considerable caution in inviting him to the councils of the Communion.

From the time of the election of Bishop Gene Robinson to See of New Hampshire, both the representatives of many Anglican Provinces and the Instruments of Communion made it clear that full recognition by the Communion could not be given to a bishop whose chosen lifestyle would, in most Provinces of the Communion, give rise to canonical impediment to his consecration as a bishop. The Archbishop has to be loyal to that widespread concern as well as bearing in mind the position of Bishop Robinson within The Episcopal Church. The Archbishop is therefore exploring inviting Bishop Robinson to the conference in another status.

Thank you once again for writing.’

Chuck excerpts the parts about Robinson and provides his own brief commentary here. You can also read the entire Gledhill column here.

UPDATE: Commenter Ginny Gibbs writes “Actually, the text appears identical to that of a letter I saw just last night at a parish meeting. It was written in response to a form letter a friend who’s a member of Integrity had sent.”

UPDATE, 29 June: The Times publishes a brief column by Gledhill making the assertion “Bishop Gene will be able to attend meetings as an official guest but will not have the right to vote on motions at the conference.”

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