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If Jefferts Schori is at meeting, I won’t come, says Primate

by a staff reporter

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Co-operating: Archbishop Ernest with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Jane Williams at the launch of the Lambeth Conference in 2008 LAMBETH PALACE

Co-operating: Archbishop Ernest with the Archbishop of Canterbury and Jane Williams at the launch of the Lambeth Conference in 2008 LAMBETH PALACE

PRIMATES from the Global South are contemplating a boycott of the next Primates’ Meeting because the US Presiding Bishop, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be present.

The Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, the Most Revd Ian Ernest, has confirmed that he will not attend the meeting, due to take place in Dublin, 25-31 January.

Archbishop Ernest said last week that he had written to the Archbishop of Canterbury in the summer to convey his distress at the election in the United States of the Rt Revd Mary Glasspool, a partnered lesbian, as Bishop of Los Angeles. He had urged Dr Williams to exclude Dr Jefferts Schori from future Primates’ Meet­ings.

“There were conditions attached in that letter,” he said last week, “and I can confirm I will not attend if those conditions are not fulfilled.”

Dr Jefferts Schori has already con­firmed that she will attend the meeting.

Primates of the Global South are expected to meet this month to discuss whether they will refuse en masse to attend.

They are being encouraged to attend by, among others, the presid­ent of the American Anglican Coun­cil, the Rt Revd David Anderson, a suffragan bishop within the Con­vocation of Anglicans in North America, who has posted a letter on a website urging traditionalist bishops to go to the meeting.

In a bizarre suggestion, he advises that Dr Jefferts Schori be shut out of the room, or removed “by force of numbers” if she attends. If Dr Williams objects to this, the meeting could go ahead in a separate room without him.

He writes: “Dr Williams is being advised that numerous provinces won’t attend the Primates’ Meeting if Jefferts Schori attends. Having booked the venue, he might as well have the meeting since he is com­mitted to paying for it, but without the orthodox Primates in attendance it could be a dangerous meeting, giv­ing opinion and credence to teachings and beliefs that are not representative of orthodox Anglicanism.

“If asked my opinion, I would strongly advise the orthodox Prim­ates to: 1) organise before the Prim­ates’ Meeting; and 2) attend and remove by force of numbers the Pre­sid­ing Bishop of the American Epis­copal Church (not physically, but by either voting her off the ‘island’, or reces­sing to another room and not letting her in).

“The meeting is a place to gather and potentially to settle some of the issues that are pulling the Anglican Communion apart, and to begin to restore health to a most wonderful communion.

“In the above case, if Dr Williams did not go along with Jefferts Schori’s exclusion, then I would suggest having the next-door meeting with­out him. I just don’t believe staying home from the field of battle helps win a war over the truth and nature of Christianity within Anglicanism.”

Lambeth Palace declined to com­ment.

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