July 17, 2008

Lambeth conference begins despite boycott

by David Masters

Anglican bishops from around the world are gathering in Canterbury this week for the Lambeth conference.

The once a decade conference, to which all Anglican bishops are invited, is being boycotted by around one quarter of senior clergy who are dismayed by what they see as the church’s increasingly liberal stance on homosexuality and women bishops.

230 bishops from Africa, Australia, the UK, and the US are boycotting the event to protest the notion that the church could even consider appointing gay bishops.

However, Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Church, Rowan Williams, has now spoken out against the boycotters, saying that their refusal to engage in fellowship with other bishops threatens to ‘weaken the body of Christ’.

Delegates at the conference will discuss issues as wide ranging as evangelism, the environment, social justice, and violence against women.

The Anglican church, however, is bracing itself for the controversy over homosexuality to continue to dominate newspaper headlines.

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