The Times has published a piece by the Archbishop of Uganda explaining Uganda’s absence from Lambeth. It would be safe to say it has shaken Lambeth up a bit.
What stands out is ++Orombi’s critique of the Archbishop of Canterbury:
. . . when the Archbishop of Canterbury invited these American bishops to participate in the Lambeth Conference, against the recommendations of the Windsor Report and the Primates' Meeting, and in the face of the unrelenting commitment of the American Church to bless sinful behaviour, we were stunned. Further betrayal.
And betrayal is exactly the right word. Rowan Williams strung along the orthodox with the Windsor Report, Primates Meetings, the Panel of Reference, etc. et al. It was all a deception. When he finally had to make a decision, he in effect declared the Episcopal Church in compliance with Windsor and with the decisions of the Primates even though it was obvious TEC was not. I’m tempted to say he lied, but lying is intentional; and he so strenuously wanted to keep the Anglican Communion together, it may have effected his judgement. In any case, although the Episcopal Church didn’t even allow a vote on Windsor compliance at their last General Convention, Rowan sided with the apostates and against the orthodox and against the clear decisions of the Primates. The last straw in that regard were his invitations to Lambeth. The apostate North American bishops, save one, were invited. Orthodox bishops appointed to relieve distressed North American orthodox Anglicans, such as the CANA bishops, were not. Yes, Rowan Williams indeed betrayed the orthodox majority of the Anglican Communion.
It was clear to me and to our House of Bishops that the Instruments of Communion had utterly failed us.
Anglicans may say there are four “Instruments of Communion,” (the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Lambeth Conference; the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates' Meeting). But de facto, there is only one - the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Again, correct. The Primates Meetings mandated discipline of the Episcopal Church. Rowan vetoed that.
Which begs the question – why go to Lambeth, when, if it takes real action to discipline apostates, Holy Rowan will veto that, too? What’s the point of councils when one man has demonstrated he can and will thwart them?
The peculiar thing is that this one man, who is at the centre of the communion's structures, is not even elected by his peers. Even the Pope is elected by his peers, but what Anglicans have is a man appointed by a secular government. Over the past five years, we have come to see this as a remnant of British colonialism, and it is not serving us well. The spiritual leadership of a global communion of independent and autonomous provinces should not be reduced to one man appointed by a secular government.
There ++Orombi boldly nails the long-term problem. The government-appointed Archbishop of Canterbury should not be the leader of the Anglican Communion any longer. A Primates Council or some other form of conciliar government of the Communion would be much better. The past few years have proven that. The Primates Meetings led in the right direction of church discipline. The Archbishop of Canterbury led in the completely different direction of enabling apostasy. And ++Canterbury got his way.
++Orombi is right to refuse to play that game any longer.