Lambeth 2020: what is the future of the Anglican Communion?

Jan 25, 2019 by

from Psephizo:

Andrew Goddard writes: With preparations for Lambeth 2020 well under way, the questions already raised about who will attend (Section A) have become even more serious following two events at the end of 2018: Archbishop Justin invited all bishops in Communion provinces to attend and one of those invited then married his same-sex partner in his diocese’s cathedral.  After setting out some basic information about the Lambeth Conference (Section B), it is shown (Section C) that Archbishop Justin’s decision marks a definite, significant and unexplained break with both the invitation policy and theological rationale of his predecessor.

The dilemma created by the Toronto bishop’s same-sex marriage is then explored (Section D) by showing the major problems that arise particularly if he is invited (Option A) but also if only he (and other bishops in a similar situation) are not invited (Option B).  Two alternative solutions are noted but rejected (Section E) before it is argued that the best way forward is not to focus on bishops in same-sex marriages but to take seriously the impairment of communion arising in relation to all bishops who have rejected Communion teaching on marriage (Section F).  This approach requires a re-visioning of the Lambeth Conference by the incorporation within it of some form of visible differentiation, as already accepted in principle by Communion Primates.  This would both recognise the reality of impaired communion and also seek to gather together as many Anglican bishops as possible.

In conclusion (Section G) it is argued that the stakes here are now very high: if the apparent current policy is maintained and the issues raised by it are not adequately addressed there is a real risk that Lambeth 2020 will be a very different gathering from what it has been in the past and that it will fail to gather Anglican bishops from across the Communion “to safeguard, and take counsel for, the well-being of the Anglican Communion”. There is therefore a real risk that these failures could mean it will mark the end of the Lambeth Conference as in any sense an effective Instrument of Communion.

Read here

See also: Taking sweet counsel together: Lambeth edition, by Stephen Noll, Contending Anglican

Does Canterbury own the Anglican Communion? By David Virtue, VirtueOnline


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