If I were a bishop of the Episcopal Church, I would not go, until all my brothers and sisters were invited. And I would write the people of my diocese, the Presiding Bishop, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, politely explaining my absence. I don’t see it as a boycott per se, so much as a temporary suspension of any participation in the life of the Anglican Communion, which has clearly become toxic and which doesn’t want the Episcopal Church to participate as we are. Katharine Grieb of Virginia Seminary suggested as much at the House of Bishops, and it is time to consider her idea carefully. I would devote myself to the human and divine relationships that form the fabric of real communion, and stop worrying about large, expensive meetings of bishops. There is no equivalence between Gene Robinson, a duly elected bishop of the Episcopal Church, and Martyn Minns, part of a schismatic attempt to break our fellowship apart and realign (i.e. destroy) Anglicanism into a fundamentalist shadow of its true self.
My own bishops may choose otherwise, as is their right. They have a duty to interpret the vows they took, including their vow to “be merciful to all, show compassion on the poor and strangers, and defend those who have no helper.” (BCP, p. 518) But going to Lambeth, unlike going to General Convention, is a purely optional act. The only reason to go is to advance the mission of the Church, and I don’t see any way that it could advance the mission, if our bishops go to discuss Bishop Gene and the fallout over his consecration IN HIS ABSENCE. It is a pity that a meeting that is meant to be a Godly convocation to discuss matters of mutual concern has to be turned into an occasion for making symbolic statements, throwing the homophobes a little red meat of exclusion. And it is pity that the Archbishop of Canterbury fails to show ANY leadership. If this is really what his office requires of him, he should abandon it, and the office itself should be abolished. I think the non-violent option is to refuse to play these games and to refuse to lend Lambeth any legitimacy by the presence of our bishops.