Letter: Dissenting bishops

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Letter: Dissenting bishops

Sir: In your report on the Lambeth vote on homosexuality ("Hardline bishops ban gay priests", 6 August), you suggest that the Lambeth conference "is seen as a powerful influence of opinion on the Church". I doubt this will influence the belief or practice of those liberal bishops who disagreed with the result of the motion.

Do you think Spong and Holloway will now be constrained to act differently or, if the vote went the other way, that Forward in Faith and the various evangelical traditionalists would alter their position one theological iota?

Cardinal Edward Cassidy's plea for a more centralised Anglican authority is unlikely to happen, not least since Dr Carey has praised "dispersed rather than centralised authority".

Each Anglican province is jealous of its autonomy and makes decisions regardless of the "common mind" of any Lambeth conference.

The Eames report of a decade previous, allowing the integrity of those who cannot accept the ordination of women to the priesthood, is largely ignored.

It is time for the Lambeth conference to end and for each province to meet to debate common themes prepared by the Anglican Consultative Council, and after diocesan and provincial synods have debated the issues, for the Anglican Primates with elected lay officials to meet and see whether there can be any consensus.

This would be less expensive than the Lambeth conference and equally effective or ineffective. I hope that audited accounts of the present Lambeth conference will be sent to every diocese in the Anglican Federation - it can hardly be called a Communion.

THE REV ERIC LINDSAY

Kilmacolm, Scotland

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