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In his wrap-up press conference regarding Lambeth, Archbishop Carey
stressed: "[W]e specifically included the commitment to continue to
listen to the experience of gay and lesbian Christians."
As I have already noted, he cannot continue what he what he has never
really begun. The Lambeth Conference uninvited ordained lesbigays whom
they had invited to speak to them. The Archbishop has never met with
leaders of lesbigay Anglicans, except for a photo opportunity at a
cocktail party during the conference.
In his final remarks, the Archbishop stressed that listening should imply
no agreement. Of course not. Who would be so foolish as to assume that?
Lesbigay Anglicans have faithfully listened to his every word about us for
his entire tenure, and no one is so foolish as to think that by listening
to him we agree to what he says about us. Is the Archbishop expressing
some irrational fear of associating with us even before he has done so?
>Carey likened Anglican dialogue with homosexual Christians to
>interfaith conversations with Islam. "I'm fully committed to the
>uniqueness of the Christian revelation, but I can debate with
>Muslims and others on that basis because we know there are firm
>views on either side. That's also my basis for discussing
>homosexuality," he said.
Not so, at least if the Lambeth Conference is the measure. It uninvited
lesbigays but on the first Monday of the Conference:
>[T]he bishops heard two hours of talks about
>Christian-Muslim relations. Despite the hellish scheduling of
>this session, which began at 3:30 p.m., the bishops listened to
>several passionate and diverse testimonies."
And at the conclusion of the conference it suggested how inter-faith
dialogue ought to occur:
>The Lambeth Conference has set up a check-list to guide Anglicans
>who are living and working alongside members of other faiths.
>The resolution approved by Wednesday's business session (IV.1)
>suggests the approach of Christians to people of other faiths
>should be marked by "co-operation ... in working for justice,
>peace and reconciliation" together with a "frank and honest
>exploration of both the common ground and differences between the
>There should also be a commitment to loving relationships, "even
>in situations where co-existence seems impossible," the
>Dialogue needed on grass-roots level
> "Dialogue is not just for academics, it's not even just for
>religious leaders," Bishop Nazir-Ali said. It should be "between
>neighbours, between colleagues at work."
>Mission is impossible without dialogue, he said.
Clearly bishops know how to listen when they really mean what they say. I
rejoice that the bishops are specific in talking about how the Communion
will have dialogue with Islam, even at the grass-roots level. I rejoice
at their commitments to justice even when faith issues will keep them at
I deplore the hypocrisy of claiming to have had dialogue when they did not
have with lesbigay Christians. I deplore the shoddiness of promising
dialogue with us without any plan for doing so. I note with sadness no
commitment to "justice, peace, and reconciliation" for lesbigays.
Lutibelle of the Lambeth Lepers Belles/Louie, Secretary
The Standing Commission on Anglican and International Peace with Justice