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LAMBETH: Egyptian President Bishop Sees No Hope of Solution from Conference

LAMBETH: Egyptian President Bishop Sees No Hope of Solution from Lambeth Conference

by Mouneer Anis
26 July 2008

My Dear Brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your prayers. God hears our prayers and in His time, answers them.

The Lambeth Conference has been a time of great fellowship and strength; it has also been a time of disunity and conflict. Everything is going fairly well, but I do not believe that there is hope of a solution from this Lambeth conference. However I hope that we would be able to come up with a road map for a final solution of the current crisis.

On Tuesday 22 July, approximately 200 bishops and several primates gathered to discuss our hopes from this conference (the covenant and the Windsor continuation process). We also discussed issues which concern the Global South and other parts of the world, especially that of the faithful Anglicans in the United States. We were joined by bishops from UK, USA, NZ, Canada and Australia. We launched our new global South Anglican Catechism, thanks to Archbishop John Chew and Prof. Michael Poon who worked very hard to produce this book. We were all encouraged by the words and the presence of our ecumenical partners from the Oriental Orthodox churches. The meeting ended by singing "He is Lord." We hope to meet again soon.

There have been many benefits to the Lambeth Conference. One of the great strengths of the Lambeth Conference has been the statement from Archbishop Deng of Sudan calling for The Episcopal Church in the USA to repent and have Gene Robinson, the active homosexual bishop, resign for the sake of the Communion. This statement has shaken the foundation of Lambeth Conference.

On another positive note, Nancy and I were one of five couples who were invited to meet with Queen Elizabeth II during the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. we had five minutes to speak with Her Majesty. We spoke about Her Majesty's visit to our Anglican Church in Algiers in 1980. She was interested to know how we find Lambeth conference. She also spoke about the Middle East and asked about Iran and our churches there. We told her that we enjoy her Christmas and Easter messages to the Church. It was a very good time.

Our daily Bible study time in small groups have included good opportunities to meet and share our thoughts, bringing tough issues to the surface and talking about them. I was encouraged by several American Bishops who thanked me for my words to the TEC House of Bishops in New Orleans.

One of them said "we needed to hear your words because our knowledge of the communion is limited." I do not believe that The Episcopal Church is going to change its direction. It is not all about sexuality but about biblical interpretation, Ecclesiology and Christology.

This reminds me with the position of US administration before and during the war in Iraq. They refused to listen to millions of voices that cried against the war. The North American churches believe that the truth was revealed to them and that the other churches in the Communion need to follow them.

Another highlight was the words given by our ecumenical partners, from Metropolitan Bishoy and Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church and that of two Cardinals from the Roman Catholic. Cardinal Ivan challenged the Anglican Communion to evangelize the culture not to allow the opposite. Failing to do this, the church will suffer from spiritual Alzheimer's; if the church follows the culture and each church acts independently of the other, then the church will suffer from ecclesial Parkinsonism. The Anglican Communion was also reminded that what it does affects the greater Christian Church.

Please pray for me because on Monday 28 July we will have another debate. Last Wednesday the TEC bishops were well prepared and spoke very bluntly, making it clear that there is no turning back. I will present my thoughts to them on Monday. I pray to God for strength and direction, that He may direct my thoughts and words.

Please pray for me and all of the bishops as we determine a way ahead from this crisis, as we determine where do we want to go from here.

May the Lord bless you!

Yours in Christ,

+Mouneer Egypt

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer H. Anis Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Church in Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa President Bishop of the Episcopal/Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East Posted by Bishop Mouneer H. Anis

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