Archbishop of Canterbury writes the bishops of the communion

From the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury:

Archbishop’s Pastoral Letter to Bishops of the Anglican Communion

Tuesday 26 August 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has today sent a letter to the bishops of the Anglican Communion, setting out his personal reflections on the Lambeth Conference. The full text of the letter can be found below:

The final document of Conference Reflections is not a ‘Report’ in the style of earlier Conferences, but an attempt to present an honest account of what was discussed and expressed in the ‘indaba’ groups which formed the main communal work of the Conference by the Reflections Group. But although this document is not a formal Report, it has a number of pointers as to where the common goals and assumptions are in the Communion. Let me mention some of these.

First, there was an overwhelming unity around the need for the Church to play its full part in the worldwide struggle against poverty ignorance and disease. …

Second, on the controversial issue of the day regarding human sexuality, there was a very widely-held conviction that premature or unilateral local change was risky and divisive, in spite of the diversity of opinion expressed on specific questions. …

Third, there was a general desire to find better ways of managing our business as a Communion. Many participants believed that the indaba method, while not designed to achieve final decisions, was such a necessary aspect of understanding what the questions might be that they expressed the desire to see the method used more widely – and to continue among themselves the conversations begun in Canterbury. This is an important steer for the meetings of the Primates and the ACC which will be taking place in the first half of next year, and I shall be seeking to identify the resources we shall need in order to take forward some of the proposals about our structures and methods.

Read it all.

Category : The Lead

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3 Comments
  1. John B. Chilton

    I look forward to all primates participating in indaba as a “necessary aspect” to deliberations.

  2. Donald Schell

    Rowan says,

    “…on the controversial issue of the day regarding human sexuality, there was a very widely-held conviction that premature or unilateral local change was risky and divisive, in spite of the diversity of opinion expressed on specific questions. …”

    but at this point, local change at least in the US, Canada, and UK would mean suspending ordination of LGBT clergy. It’s what we’re doing. As I heard it here and in blogs the “bishop question” finally began to ‘out’ itself at Lambeth and the conservative voice started to say it wanted ordination of LGBT clergy to stop. The change that people are frightened of is not a change in practice, but truth-telling about what we’ve been doing for a long time. In places in the communion where there’s no ordination of out LGBT clergy, of course, it’s still happening. The question is who is asked to keep quiet, the hierarchy and the priest, the hierarchy, or the priest.

    Indaba seems to have been a process of people telling the truth to one another. Let’s do no less as a communion.

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