By Jim Naughton
The Primate of Sudan assured five Episcopal bishops today that despite his call for the resignation of Bishop Gene Robinson, he wanted to continue his relationships with dioceses and parishes in the Episcopal Church.
Archbishop Daniel Deng and several Sudanese bishops had lunch with their counterparts from the Episcopal Church to discuss the fallout from Deng's call on Tuesday for Robinson to resign. One of these bishops reported on the conversation to the Episcopal Church's bishops during the time set aside for provincial meetings in today's schedule at the Lambeth Conference.
A bishop who attended the meeting summarized the report as follows:
Deng told the American bishops that the Sudanese believed in speaking truth to their friends, and that they considered the bishops of the Episcopal Church their friends. Deng said that it was important for the Sudanese to make their position on homosexuality clear, but that he wanted to continue in relationship with the Episcopal Church.
Bishop Peter Beckwith of Springfield, Ill., who is frequently critical of his colleagues, said he felt that the bishops who gave the report had fallen down a rabbit hole.
At the meeting the Episcopal bishops also expressed misgivings about the appendix of the St. Andrew's Draft of the proposed Anglican covenant, which includes mechanisms that might lead a province to exile itself from the Communion.