The case for the defence
Sir, Kenneth Kearon suggests (CEN May 25) that the decision not to invite AMiA bishops, or the recently consecrated CANA Bishop, to the Lambeth Conference relates to a precedent I set in 2000. This set my mind flashing back to the circumstances of that period. My opposition to the consecration of the two AMiA Bishops related to the setting up of Episcopal activity in the United States which I regarded as unconstitutional and unnecessary (at least at that period). Although I regarded these bishops (both honourable and good men) as ”˜irregularly’ consecrated, there was no question about the validity of their consecrations.
This, of course, was before 2003 when the Episcopal Church clearly signalled its abandonment of Communion norms, in spite of warnings from the Primates that the consecration of a practising homosexual bishop would ”˜tear the fabric of the Communion’. It is not too much to say that everything has changed in the Anglican Communion as a result of the consecration of Gene Robinson. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s prerogative to invite bishops to the Conference is a lonely, personal and important task. Before each Conference a number of careful decisions have to be taken, with the focus being on the well-being of the Communion. The circumstances facing each Archbishop of Canterbury will vary according to the needs of the hour. For these reasons, I believe, that Dr Rowan Williams should not regard the advice he has evidently received that this matter is ”˜fixed’ as necessarily binding on him in the very different circumstances of 2007. He and all his colleagues will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Lord Carey of Clifton
–This letter appears in the Church of England Newspaper, June 1, 2007 edition, on page 10