Lambeth: ecclesial or ecclesiastical?

I read an interesting post from Bishop Allan Wilson, bishop of Buckingham, Oxford commenting on his intent to go to Lambeth.

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.


Unknown disse…
Thanks for your thoughtful message! For a hundred years, bishops of widely diverse opinions met peacefully at Lambeth in a spirit of mutual respect. The last two or three Conferences have been marked by intolerance, arrogance and an unwillingness to listen to each other. What happened?
xicoassis disse…
Dear John
I think that some bishops lost the focus in what we need to put our hope: in Christ and not in power!
Francisco, Thank you very much for your kind comments, and for this intelligent and piritual post. It reminds me of the discussion in II Corinthians 10-13 about what is weakness, what is strength? It reminded me of 2 quotes I have found helpful in my journey:

(1) C. G. Jung — "Where love rules, there is no will to power, and where power predominates, love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other."

(2) Thomas Merton — "The union that binds the members of Christ together is not the union of proud confidence in the power of an organisation. The church is united by the humility as well as by the charity of her members"

Thanks for reminding me about these key principles, and God bless.

xicoassis disse…
Dear bishop Allan

Thank you for your kind words related to my comment and for remember me on this very enlightening quotes.
God bless you!

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