Lambeth: ecclesial or ecclesiastical?
I read an interesting post from Bishop Allan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham,
In very nice style, his comment could be read by all bishops around the world that are going to the Conference. No one needs to be armed and worried about who will seat in front of or side by side during the meeting.
If each bishop is carrying the diversity of the diocesan church, every one needs to think that - despite theological conflicts within the Communion - all are invited to close their mouths and hear the God’s voice.
Really, Lambeth could be an opportunity to confess and prayer on intolerance as the debate was managed until now. The criterion to be adopted is that every Christian – not only bishops – needs to re-evaluate how is exercising their baptismal vows.
I just came from a meeting with priests, deacons and lay ministers from some dioceses in my Province. There we discussed profoundly the nature and responsibility of ministry. We spent some private time to read the ordinal. And after this very reflexive moment, all of us shared a celebration and a personal witness. The most frequent feeling in the common sharing was: we didn’t realize all vows and we need the continuous love and God’ care to stay stand and do what is required from us.
Power, proud, selfishness, intolerance, ..etc are very hard obstacles to be overcame. We need to hear more our people and their authentic needs. They are searching for care and love and not for pharisaic ethics.
I pray for each bishop that is going to Lambeth to spent time asking to themselves: where my weakness lives? How can I look for help from my fellows to overcome it? Where my strength lives? How I’m ready to help my fellows to find in it a way to overcome their weakness?
I think that if the spirit of Lambeth is strength all bishops to exercise in a most visible way their oversight ministry, the best way to find this aim is arriving there not as powerful ecclesiastical representatives but as humble God’s children. As an ecclesial journey and not an eclesiatical meeting.