Overnight reactions to Lambeth invitations

Not much new to report this morning about the announcement yesterday that the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued the invitations for the 2008 Lambeth Conference. But the working press have started to issue their stories reporting on the news and each version has a slightly different emphasis.

The New York Times has a good general information article about what is presently known:

The archbishop of Canterbury sent out more than 800 invitations yesterday to a once-a-decade global gathering of Anglican bishops. But he did not invite the openly gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire and the bishop in Virginia who heads a conservative cluster of disaffected American churches affiliated with the archbishop of Nigeria.

The exclusions offended liberals and conservatives in the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has been threatened by schism since the election in 2003 of the bishop of New Hampshire, V. Gene Robinson, who lives with his gay partner.

The Washington Times has Julia Dunn’s version of the same story. The article points out:

In his invitation letter, Williams reasserted his leadership role,[…]

“I have to reserve the right to withhold or withdraw invitations from bishops whose appointment, actions or manner of life have caused exceptionally serious division or scandal within the communion,” he wrote.

At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, the bishops passed a resolution “rejecting homosexual practice as incompatible with Scripture” and spoke against blessing same-sex unions.

The Christian Post’s article focuses on Martyn Minns’ exclusion from the Lambeth Conference and the difficulties that raises for his allies. The article also points out the in addition to the AMIA bishops, the bishops of the Reformed Episcopal Church (one of the common cause partners working with the Anglican Communion Network and others) did not receive invitations either.

The Anglican Communion Institute issued a response that notes:

It has been the consistent position of ACI, going back to ‘To Mend the Net,’ that the specific authority given to the Archbishop of Canterbury is that of gathering and inviting. And the place where that authority is his alone is the Lambeth Conference invitations.

But there is no evidence whatsoever that in making invitations for the 2008 Conference, +Canterbury has set aside or ignored the authority of the other Instruments.

If you’re still looking for more reading material, Ruth Gledhill has an exhaustive post with the reactions from around the Anglican Church.

And finally, as we all have come to expect, Dave Walker puts the whole tempest into a properly british perspective.

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