Communion `stronger' for for Lambeth experience
by Jan Nunley
Calling the Anglican Communion ``significantly stronger'' because bishops from around the world have shared stories and worship together at Lambeth 98, the Archbishop of Canterbury met the press yesterday morning to offer his reflections as the Conference winds to a close.
Bishop Dinis Sengulane (Lemombo, Mozambique) added that churches in developing countries must also press their governments to engage in moral decision-making about debt. Bishop Sengulane said that what developing countries need is ``not just cancellation of debt but a monitoring group'' to keep a close watch on the debt issue. ``The Church has an important role to play to avoid corruption,not just on one side but on all sides,'' Sengulane said.
``On human sexuality, we have been quite open about acknowledging our differences,'' Dr Carey stated, praising the resolution adopted by the Conference. ``We specifically included the commitment to continue to listen to the experience of gay and lesbian Christians. I am sad that our resolution has caused them such pain. I can only try to assure them of my commitment to continue to listen, to try to understand more of their experience of the Church, and I invite them to continue the journey with us, however painful, and I ask them to listen to the voice of the Church as much as the rest of us must listen to them.''
Asked to sum up their experience of the Conference, a team of Primates and bishops who have served as the Conference's ``episcopal communicators'' led by Ireland's Archbishop Robin Eames offered a variety of responses. ``I've been stretched by the profound differences in worldview and culture,'' remarked Presiding Bishop Griswold.
Archbishop Harry Goodhew of Sydney (Australia) said he is ``humbled by the faithfulness'' of persecuted Christians and encouraged by the ``reassertion of biblical foundations'' in the vote on human sexuality. ``I've met the suffering'' known in many places of the world, Bishop Victoria Matthews (Edmonton, Canada) said. The resolution affirming those opposed to women's ordination as loyal Anglicans was applauded by Bishop Paul Richardson (Newcastle, England) as ``putting bitterness and discord behind us.'' Bishop Nigel McCullough (Wakefield, England) says he is generally ``renewed and encouraged.'' ``God is smiling,'' Bishop Sengulane said,``as he looks at the Lambeth Conference.''