UPDATE: Friday, Aug. 1, 9:30 a.m. BST
Here's the link to the op-ed published in The Times of London
Here's the sound bite:
"St Francis of Assisi said: "Preach the gospel at all times; when necessary use words." We believe that our absence at this Lambeth Conference is the only way that our voice will be heard. For more than ten years we have been speaking and have not been heard. So maybe our absence will speak louder than our words."
* * *
Thursday, July 31, 2008, 4:30 pm BST
HENRY LUKE OROMBI, Archbishop and primate of Uganda, will have a commentary piece published in The Times of London, which will post online at 9 p.m. BST (British Summer Time).
Times religion correspondent Ruth Gledhill leaked word of this piece on her blog this afternoon. Here's what she wrote:
...in tomorrow's Times, the Archbishop of Uganda, Henry Orombi, will accuse the Arcbishop of Canterbury of a betrayal at the very deepest level. He will argue that even the Pope is elected by his peers, but Dr Williams in his office is little better than a remnant of colonialism. 'The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous Provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government,' he says. Nor is the absence of Uganda, Nigeria and other Global South churches a sign that they want to leave the Communion. Far from it. It is a sign of how much they care that it endures. Read it all from when it goes online at 2100 BST and in the paper tomorrow, it is strong stuff!
This op-ed, if it holds up to be as strongly worded as Ruth suggests, opens up an additional set of questions, beyond biblical authority, human sexuality, or border crossings:
Should England retain the Church of England as its established church? Could the Anglican Communion itself play a deciding role in selecting the archbishop of Canterbury, who serves as 'first among equals' in the communion?
Lambeth is about to enter its Final Three days and events here on the grounds of the University of Kent and events off-campus seem to be spinning beyond the control of any one person or committee.
As expected, the Lambeth Reflections document has begun to take shape. And, now in its third draft, it is already huge. 18 pages. And, drafters have yet to address these areas:
* Gender and power
* The Scriptures
* Sexuality and Listening
* The Convenant
* The Windsor Process
* Leading in God's mission
Just this afternoon, there were three press conferences nearly back to back, including one by Quincy Bishop Keith Ackerman. See below for additional updates:
In the last three days, Lambeth has seen several important developments. Here are some of the more important ones:
Wednesday, July 30, unofficial press conference with Bishop Peter Beckwith from Springfield, IL, a well-known conservative.
Several comments about Bishop Beckwith's remarks:
1. CT asked, "Who speaks for conservatives here at Lambeth?" This seems like a crucial issue since Lambeth has evangelicals like the measles. They are everywhere, but don't seem to be making much strategic difference. Granted much of Lambeth is as clear as mud, so time may prove me wrong.
Whatever one thinks of GAFCON it has added another layer of complexity on conservatives, who are already working their way through women's ordination and related historical difference between evangelicals and Anglo-catholics.
2. Beckwith's comments at times were deeply personal. He admitted that around the time of General Convention 2003 he was convicted that he had put the Episcopal Church ahead of his commitment to Jesus Christ; he confessed this as "idolatrous" and has since then worked to overcome that.
Thursday, July 31.
On Wednesday, the theme of the day at Lambeth was: Power and Abuse. New York suffragan Bishop Catherine Roskam dropped quite a bombshell with these words:
"We have 700 men here [at Lambeth]. Do you think any of them beat their wives? Chances are they do. The most devout Christians beat their wives... many of our bishops come from places where it is culturally acceptable to beat your wife. In that regard, it makes the conversation quite difficult."
These comments were published in Lambeth Witness, a publication associated with the Inclusive Church Network, GLBT advocacy group. It is published daily and available in print on campus.
As news of this near libelous accusation filtered across the Lambeth conference, John Sentamu, archbishop of York, today (Thurs.) issued a public demand for Bishop Roskam to produce evidence proving her point.
This has set the news media here on a great quest. In the past 12 hours, I have lost track of the number of Lambeth bishops who have been asked by a journo: "Do you beat your wife?"
It was only a matter of time. Here's a parody interview with an anonymous wife-beating bishop.
I include one choice question + answer:
Q: Does it trouble you at all that wife-beating is contrary to the tradition of Christian faith and order, the teaching and practice of centuries of Anglicanism, the explicit statements of previous Lambeth meetings, and the consensus of the majority of the Anglican Communion?
A: Not at all. The spirit is clearly doing a "new thing" in helping us value and celebrate wife-beating. The Church has always been called to push the boundaries... so we need to leave behind the comfortable but dated assumptions and practices of the benightened pre-modern past in order to explore the new places to which God is calling us today. Our church is, in that tradition of radical liminality, encountering God by blazing a new way for others in the Communion to follow.