Bishop Catherine Roskam of the Episcopal Diocese of NY has checked in from the Lambeth Conference with her first blog.
She writes about visiting Canterbury Cathedral and roaming the grounds: “Having been at Lambeth in 1998 I had been to the Cathedral several times in the past, but still inadvertently gasped when we rounded the wall and saw the Cathedral standing there in all its ancient majesty.”
It’s no surprise that there is a lot of security compared to the last Lambeth, in 1998. It sounds like journalists are being kept in check, as well:
The feel of this Lambeth so far is entirely different from that of 1998. I know that snide comments will surely be made about our meeting in what looks like a circus tent this time, but the real circus was ten years ago. At that time the campus was open and overrun with press and different lobbying groups. It sometimes felt as though we bishops were under siege. This time our part of the campus is fenced off and there is very tight security, which makes for a much more peaceful atmosphere and more focused engagement with the program and each other. Media interviews take place by appointment, usually in a particular building on campus. This is a far cry from having a micropone stuck in front of your face while you are on your way to breakfast!
Bishop Roskam is a very direct and honest person, as anyone who has met her would attest. She’s measured and respectful, but let’s you know where she’s coming from.
So, she writes of missing Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, the openly gay man whose consecration as bishop in 2003 has reverberated through the Anglican Communion ever since:
As for what is to come, the Archbishop has been very clear that there is no expectation that all the problems of the Anglican Communion are going to be solved in two weeks. Rather the goal is, led by the Spirit, to grow prayerfully in understanding, relationship and respect for one another. I think we made a good beginning today. But I also think the whole body is diminished by the absence of Gene Robinson, a duly elected and consecrated member of our House of Bishops, our colleague and friend. It seems like a missed opportunity. Nevertheless we will continue to build relationships and help to build bridges of understanding, as both Gene and the Archbishop would like us to do.