[The Living Church] 23 Jul 2008--The Episcopal Church of the Sudan broke ranks with bishops from other provinces at the Lambeth Conference today by issuing two statements. One statement concerned the humanitarian crisis in the Darfur region of the African country and the other statement repeated the Sudanese church’s position on human sexuality.
Rumors of such a letter from the Sudanese bishops started before the Lambeth Conference began on July 16. The two letters materialized Tuesday morning in the media room. Later in the day, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, Primate of the Church of the Sudan, came to the media room, called for The Episcopal Church in the United States to find a way for Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire to resign, and responded to questions from reporters.
All but one of Sudan’s 29 bishops are attending the conference, said Archbishop Deng, who added that the only bishop not present is very ill. Archbishop Deng said he had just come from a meeting of more than 150 Global South bishops present at the conference, and that those bishops had endorsed both of the Sudanese statements.
“The norms of the Anglican Communion have been violated,” he said. “The question is not whether [Bishop Robinson] comes to this conference or not. The question is what happens to unity.
“We have not seen the way out in the indaba groups and the main issue has not been touched yet,” he said. “Over 300 bishops have stayed away because of Gene Robinson.”
Unlike bishops from many of the other Global South provinces, Archbishop Deng said the Sudanese bishops had decided to attend the conference and to make their concerns known from within the meeting.
“I’m not talking to individual bishops [within The Episcopal Church] with whom we have relations,” he said. “What we are pressing is for the institution to find a way to let him resign.”