London Times reporting that Church of England Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth

BB UPDATE: There’s more here. The numbers seem to be growing.

Is it getting hot in here? No longer can 815 or the the gang hanging with Kenneth Kearon and Jim Rosenthall blame this all on the Global South getting upidity. Nope. My friends, we are watching division before our very eyes. Remember what the Archbishop of York said? If you don’t show up at Lamb
eth, you may be kicked out of the Communion? From the London Telegraph:

But he told them that if they “voted with their feet” they risked severing their links with the Archbishop of Canterbury and with historic Anglicanism, a breach that could take centuries to heal.

“Anglicanism has its roots through Canterbury,” he said. “If you sever that link you are severing yourself from the Communion. There is no doubt about it.”

Unless there is some sort of “racial” and “nationalistic” bigotry at play and – like the canons in the Episcopal Church – some bishops are more equal than others, we must believe that Archbishop Sentamu’s threat is open to all, not just those who live in Africa or Asia or South America. Is the Church of England prepared to see it’s own House of Bishops divide? Do we honestly think the Queen of England is going to want to go down in history as the monarch who saw her spiritual realm fall into schism – from one Elizabeth to the Other. We do continue to wonder. Closer to home, we are heartened by the courage of the Church of England bishops who take their witness seriously. In the midst of lawsuits and threats of the deposition of honest and true clergy, it is indeed encouraging to hear of this witness from abroad.

Here’s Ruth Gledhill’s article – you can read the whole thing here.

Bishops threaten to boycott Lambeth Conference

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Six out of ten senior Church of England bishops could boycott next year’s Lambeth Conference of more than 800 Anglican bishops and archbishops from around the world because of the row over gays.

Such a boycott would be unprecedented in the history of the Anglican Church and would be an indication of how deep the divisions go, in England as well as in the rest of the communion.

The fifth most senior bishop in the mother church of the Anglican Communion warns today that a majority of English diocesan bishops could consider a boycott if the US does not row back on its pro-gay agenda.

A UK boycott would confirm the gravity of the splits within even the Church of England, traditionally the model for Anglicanism’s “via media”. It would effectively spell the end of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s dream of maintaining unity.

The Bishop of Winchester, the Right Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, was speaking to tomorrow’s Church of Ireland Gazette, the journal of the Anglican Church in Ireland.

He tells the Gazette that as many as six in ten diocesan bishops, from the Church’s evangelical and Anglican-Catholic wings, would be “constrained” in their protest by their loyalty to Dr Rowan Williams. Speaking to The Times he said later, “The point I was making was that they are having to think about it”.

Dr Williams is currently on study leave but earlier this week the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, pleaded with archbishops and bishops from the Global South group of churches not to boycott the ten-yearly gathering, due to take place at Kent University next July.

Dr Williams issued his invitations to Lambeth earlier this year, leaving off eight bishops, including the openly gay Gene Robinson, whose consecration in 2003 sparked the current controversy. The Times has learned that Bishop Robinson is however to be invited as a guest in a non-voting capacity. The deadline for bishops tor respond to the invitations is the end of July, next Tuesday.

Bishop Scott-Joynt says in the Gazette that for a boycott not to take place, the bishops of The Episcopal Church must meet the demands of the recent Primates’ Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

In their communique, the Primates gave the US bishops until September 30 to agree to “make an unequivocal common covenant that the bishops will not authorise any Rite of Blessing for same-sex unions” and “confirm that… a candidate for episcopal orders living in a same-sex union shall not receive the necessary consent unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the Communion.”

The Primates warned that “if the reassurances requested of the House of Bishops cannot in good conscience be given, the relationship between The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion as a whole remains damaged at best, and this has consequences for the full participation of the Church in the life of the Communion.”

Read the whole thing here.

UPDATE: Here’s the original interview here.