Gene Robinson Requests Reduced Status at Lambeth Conference 2008

In a written statement to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, has offered to attend the 2008 Lambeth Conference as an ‘observer’ to avoid controversy.

According to the Church of England Newspaper, the bishop revealed that he had entered correspondence with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Therefore, any speculation that the practicing homosexual bishop was intending to go to the conference whether invited or not, has been made void.

After the release of the Windsor Report, Bishop Robinson wrote to Dr Williams offering to attend the Lambeth Conference not as a bishop, but as an observer or a non-voting member in a ‘diminished’ capacity.

The Windsor Report had recommended that Dr Williams be prudent with his 2008 guest list "in view of the widespread unacceptability of [Bishop Robinson’s] ministry in other provinces of the Communion," and that he "exercise very considerable caution in inviting or admitting him to the councils of the Communion."

In an interview with the New York Times in October, "Bishop Robinson said he had expected such a recommendation" and had asked if he could attend Lambeth 2008 in a "diminished capacity".

"Bishop Robinson's position has not changed and his offer to the Archbishop of Canterbury to attend the conference by invitation in a ‘diminished capacity’ remains on the table".

Meanwhile, the Anglican Communion looks towards the decision with great anxiety, and the tension continues to build for the decision that could once again re-ignite the debate of homosexuality within the Church.

Jenny Lee
Ecumenical Press