This cyber-forum began its life in concern about the inclusion of GLBT persons in the life of the church. In recent weeks the discussion here has been ranging widely, which I much appreciate, since my concern is that we are a space where a voice may be heard about many aspects of an interpretation of the faith which is progressive and able to communicate with the real world in which we live. We who live at this end of the Christian spectrum are generally not well represented in the media, and our ideas need to be heard.
However, a news item of the past week forces me to return to our starting point. We heard that the Archbishop of Canterbury had invited the Bishops of the Anglican Communion to Lambeth in 2008, but had not invited Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
The clergy associated with Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal have sent a letter to Archbishop Rowan Williams. This morning (Sunday), many of the lay members and worshippers at the Cathedral signed another similar letter which will soon be on its way.
Here is the text of the clergy letter:
The Most Rev’d and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
It was with dismay and outrage that we received the news of your refusal to invite Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to the Lambeth Conference as a participant on an equal footing with his brother and sister bishops of the Communion.
While disappointed at your refusal, we cannot say that we were surprised, as this action represents what seems to us further evidence of a grave lack of leadership in our Communion at a time when its commitment to the liberating and restorative gospel of Jesus Christ is obscured.
Over 400 persons were present at a Eucharist celebrated in our cathedral last July 27 when Bishop Robinson preached. This celebration brought together a congregation comprising the diversity of the Anglican theological spectrum. In this context, Bishop Robinson exercised a truly apostolic ministry of unity and hope. It is beyond credulity to imagine that a bishop of such integrity and humility could be excluded from the councils of the Anglican Communion.
The Clericus of the Archdeaconry of Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal