The Church of Sudan has shaken things up a bit at Lambeth over the past few days with their call for Gene Robinson to resign his post as Bishop of New Hampshire.Â These statements have been reported as coming as a surprise to The delegation from The Episcopal Church because Sudan, unlike other African provinces, has maintained relationships even with more revisionist Dioceses in the US.Â I’m especially interested in this development because of the relationship the Church of Sudan has with the Diocese of Tennessee through the wonderful ministry of the Sudanese congregation at St. Bartholomew’s Church.Â In fact, I believe Archbishop Bul was in our Diocese not long ago.
As more news comes out about this, the more it seems to me to be a strong Christian stance.Â The fact that the Sudanese has continued to meet with the Americans, yet are strong in their statement, and even the wording of their admonition bespeaks Christian charity and concern.
Members of the House of Bishops of The Church of the Sudan knew that The Episcopal Church would attempt to make the exclusion of Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire an issue at the Lambeth Conference, and so they prepared the two letters released yesterday before they departed for the England.
â€œThis was our unanimous position that we agreed to,â€ said the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Mangar Mamur, Bishop of Yirol. As to the timing of their release, he said the Sudanese bishops left that decision to their primate, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams acknowledged receiving the letters before they were released, but they came as a surprise to a number of other African bishops. Bishop Mangar said the letters, especially the one on human sexuality, were not meant to be hurtful. Instead they were intended as a plea to come back to the fold from one group of Christians to another.