Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our Bishop Ackerman on International Stage

There is nothing in the Lutheran church quite like the Lambeth Conference, that once-a-decade gathering of all the Bishops in the entire Anglican Communion. Actually, to follow the news of what has been happening in the Anglican Communion (that TitusOneNine link in my Blogs for Faithful Churchmen is one good place to do that), it looks like there isn't anything quite like the Lambeth Conference in the Anglican Communion, either, as a goodly number chose not to attend as part of the continuing protest over Gene Robinson being Bishop of the New Hampshire Diocese.

For a local angle on this international stage, catch this section of a report from the BBC:
After the service as hundreds of bishops milled around in the cathedral close, I spoke to two.

Keith Ackerman, bishop of Quincy, Illinois, came because, as he put it: "An empty chair can't speak": he thought it important that the conservative view was represented.

He voiced the unease of many traditionalists when he accused liberals, in effect, of trying to rewrite the Bible.

"Why is it that people are determined to change the faith delivered to the saints?"

The conservatives feel the ground shifting beneath them and they find it deeply unsettling.

"The faithful of yesterday have become the dissidents of today," in the words of Archbishop Greg Venables.

He was one of the 200 Anglican bishops and primates who met in Jerusalem a few weeks ago and founded what is, in effect, a breakaway organisation - the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans.

Though he came to Canterbury and participated in the service, he was one of several bishops who did not take communion, arguing that he is no longer in communion with many of his colleagues.


Two hours later on the outskirts of Canterbury, the man whose ordination as bishop of New Hampshire helped create the present crisis was at a picnic and open-air service organised by gay and lesbian activists in the Church.

Gene Robinson has explicitly not been invited to the conference itself for fear that his presence would be divisive.

But he was here on the conference fringe, accompanied in a show of solidarity, by many of his fellow North American bishops.

The priest who presided over the service, Colin Coward, was unambiguous in his response when I put to him the traditionalist argument that the Bible explicitly condemns homosexuality as a sin, and that an avowed sinner should not, could not, be a bishop.

"I just don't believe it; we are all men and women, straight or gay, created by God."
Read it all here. Thanks to TitusOneNine for bringing this to my attention.

No comments: