From the Integrator:
In late May, the first invitations to the 2008 Lambeth Conference were issued. Gene Robinson, the openly gay and partnered bishop of New Hampshire, was pointedly not invited. That snub is shameful. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the person making the invitations, is clearly willing to sacrifice gay and lesbian people to appease the most strident conservative voices. The Lambeth Conference will certainly be talking about gay people in the church, and yet the Archbishop is deliberately excluding the openly gay voice. Once again, leaders in the church talking about gays and lesbians, not with us.
From the other direction, the bishops of Nigeria and Uganda have said that they will not attend if some are not invited too, or if other unacceptable-to-them bishops are at Lambeth.
If there is a silver lining to be found in the cloud, it is that the invitations come before the June meeting of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada at which resolutions about homosexuality will be discussed.
“This certainly takes some of the pressure off the Canadian Church,” said Steve Schuh, president of Integrity Vancouver. “We’ve been threatened for years with the possibility that Canadian bishops might not receive invitations to Lambeth if the Canadian Church failed to uphold the traditional discrimination against gay and lesbian people. The invitation announcement suggests that supporting same-sex unions – as has been done in Vancouver and many dioceses in the USA – is no bar to making the Lambeth Conference guest list.”
General Synod delegates will still need to stand up against other bullying tactics and calls for delay if they want to allow parishes to bless covenanted same-sex unions, but now they can discuss same-sex unions and vote their conscience without the threat of exclusion from Lambeth hanging over their heads.
The Winnipeg Synod will have significant impact – no matter what it decides – on the lives of LGBT Anglicans in their church. Please keep the synod, and the Integrity representatives there, in your prayers.