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Sydney’s Lambeth Delay: CEN 8.10.07 p 7. August 9, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church of England Newspaper, Lambeth 2008.

The Diocese of Sydney’s six bishops will not respond to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s invitation to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference, until they know the course of action taken by the American bishops to the demands made by the Primates in their February Dar es Salaam communiqué.

In a letter dated July 30 addressed to Archbishop Rowan Williams, Archbishop Peter Jensen and his five suffragans thanked Dr. Williams for their invitation to Lambeth, saying it had “been received with pleasure and it would give us a great deal of joy to be able to join you” in Canterbury for the gathering of the Communion’s bishops.

They regretted, however, that they could not give Dr. Williams their answer at this time. “Unfortunately the timing of the invitation has proved difficult,” they explained as they were first “looking for the response” of the American House of Bishops to the Primates’ February communiqué before they could give him their final answer.

Sydney indicated it would follow the lead of the African churches and decline to attend the conference should the bishops who consecrated Gene Robinson or who have authorized local rites for the blessing of same sex unions be invited to attend.

“In view of the real hesitations that we experience in joining with those who have consecrated Bishop Gene Robinson, and with others who have allowed for the blessing of same-sex unions, and given the significance of these events, we feel that we cannot give an answer to your kind invitation until later in the year,” they stated.

A spokesman for the Anglican Consultative Council, whose general secretary Canon Kenneth Kearon serves as the Conference secretary told The Church of England Newspaper the invitations to Lambeth had been “coming in, in their hundreds.”

The Rev. Canon James Rosenthal stated the Conference organizes did not have an exact count as of yet as to who would attend the meeting, and noted the July 31 deadline to respond had been extended, as some overseas bishops “have stated they had not received their invitations yet.”

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