June 27, 2008

Shepherds, Where Are Your Sheep?

In 1968 (Resolution 24) Lambeth stated

The Conference recommends that no major issue in the life of the Church should be decided without the full participation of the laity in discussion and in decision.

In 1978 (Resolution 11) Lambeth said,

The Conference advises member Churches not to take action regarding issues which are of concern to the whole Anglican Communion without consultation with a Lambeth Conference or with the episcopate through the Primates Committee, and requests the primates to initiate a study of the nature of authority within the Anglican Communion.

Something appears to have happened to the laity between 1968 and 1978. Have they gone astray? Or have the shepherds, overly concerned with their own identity as bishops and primates, wandered off themselves? And are they continuing on that path?

Tobias Haller BSG


Bob Schneider said...

Have the Primates issued a study of the nature of authority in the WWAC?

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

I am not certain, but I think that this is what eventually emerged in the Virginia Report in 1997-98. This is where the "instruments of communion" made their first appearance. Of course, that was part of the gradual diminution of the role of the laity (and clergy) to shift towards the Bishops and Primates.

Paul Davison said...

The Virginia Report can be found at http://www.lambethconference.org/1998/documents/report-1.pdf. Looking at the membership of the group that wrote it, you see that laypersons were almost non-existent.