Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boycotting Lambeth

Boycotting Lambeth would be ‘missing the point’, Bishop says! ,

Thursday, 29th November 2007. 2:54pm

By: Ed Beavan.

THE Bishop of Ripon and Leeds has joined the growing chorus of prelates urging their Episcopal colleagues not to boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference.Speaking during his annual Advent Address at Ripon Cathedral today, the Rt Rev John Packer said bishops threatening to withdraw from the ten-yearly gathering on issues of principle were ‘misguided and missing the point’. He said the whole point of the conference was for Anglican bishops to discuss divisions and differences, since its inception in 1867 by one of his predecessors, Charles Longley, the first Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

Prelates including the Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, and the Archbishop of Nigeria, the Most Rev Peter Akinola, may boycott the conference over the gay row which is plaguing the worldwide Communion.Bishop Packer gave his unequivocal support to the Conference and said both he and his suffragan, the Bishop of Knaresborough, the Rt Rev James Bell, would be in attendance.

He said: “There could not be a greater contrast between the attitude of the bishops at Lambeth in 1867 and those who appear unwilling to attend in 2008 who I believe to be misguided and missing the point.“[In 1867] there was no sense of a need to achieve unity before meeting, or refusal to attend on the grounds of the deep divisions which then split Anglicans from each other. “Indeed the fact of such divisions was the chief incentive to meet.” Bishop Packer urged bishops to avoid trying to create the ‘perfect Church’ and said controversy could not be avoided. He concluded his Address by calling for all bishops to attend despite their differences.
“We shall only grow in Christ if we are prepared to listen to one another and learn from one another,” he said. “For the bishops they can only hear one another if we go in our disunity to Lambeth as bishops have done every decade since 1867. “To argue for unity before we can pray or talk together would mean that we shall never, ever be enabled to grow in Christ through his ministry and through each one of us.”

Bishop Packer’s comments follow recent calls by the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, and Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Rev Tom Butler, for prelates to support the Archbishop of Canterbury and not boycott Lambeth.

Thats pretty good bishop! I wholeheartedly agree!


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