Wednesday, July 8, 2020


News broke today that the Archbishop of Canterbury has announced that the Lambeth Conference will be postponed, again, until "the British summer of 2022." Originally, the conference had been set to meet in the summer of 2020. Then, a few months ago, as the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the world, the archbishop announced the meeting would be postponed until the summer of 2021. Now, as the plague is worsening, with no vaccine and no end in sight, the archbishop thought it prudent to move the gathering back yet another year. Several thousand people are likely to assemble for the conference in Canterbury. 

Find the official announcement here . This article contains a seven-minute video explanation by Archbishop Welby. Episcopal Cafe has an article about the postponement here .

This news will not be of much interest to the folks over in the new "Anglican Diocese of South Carolina" which was created in 2012 at the moment of its schism against the Episcopal Church. Even the federal court has recognized this. The ADSC is not in the Anglican Communion and its "bishop" would not be invited to the Lambeth Conference anyway. In fact, the Archbishop of Canterbury has declared more than once that ADSC's parent, the "Anglican Church in North America," is not part of the Anglican Communion. That means its "bishops" will not be invited to attend the Lambeth Conference whenever it occurs. To be sure, the ACNA has been "recognized" by GAFCON and Global South, but these are self-made, unofficial associations of socially exclusivist Anglicans and their actions are beyond the official structure of the Anglican Communion. The people in the ACNA may call themselves "Anglicans" all they wish. That does not make them Anglicans. The Episcopal Church is the only legitimate branch of the Anglican Communion in the United States. Episcopal bishops are invited to the Lambeth Conference.

Certainly everyone would agree the church should take a position of moral leadership in this moment of pandemic crisis, particularly considering the vacancy of our political leadership in this dark hour. The archbishop is right to put the welfare of human beings first, even at cost to the church.

Unfortunately, there are too many religious leaders who do not agree with the cautious approach of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Indeed, a major cause of the spread of the virus in the United States has been injudicious church gatherings. See this article about the devastating effects of the reopening of some churches around the country. Thus, it behooves church officials to approach re-opening very carefully, if they choose to re-open at all.