For several days, an interview with the Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is available on the PM program website from BBC Radio 4. Broadcast on January 1 at 5pm UK time, the program is an hour long and the interview occurs about 45 minutes into the program.
Amongst other things, Bishop Schori declared the American church's support of gay people. She noted that the Bishop of New Hampshire is a bishop in good standing. He is not alone in being a gay bishop or a gay partnered bishop in the Anglican communion but he is the only one open in the Church. The Episcopal Church lives in a society that values transparency and brings these issues into the public sphere where we can be honest and do theology about them. Other cultures and societies operate with a more unilateral style of leadership. There's a double standard operative where other communions like the Church of England know same-sex blessings are taking place but same sex unions are not publically acknowledged.
She hopes that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion remember their roots and that worshiping together holds us together. As far as Lambeth 2008 is concerned, its program offers the chance of and plans for the possibility of letting people build relationships. Its not just about legislation. It would be too bad not to go to a dinner party just because you didn't like one person that was going. Its a long time until July and we hope that Bishop Gene Robinson will be invited.
UPDATE: Reactions to the interview (clearly taped before the New Year) are swift.
The AP reported the interview.
The Bishop of Manchester has urged the Anglican Communion to face up to the controversial issue of homosexuality in the Church at this year’s landmark Lambeth Conference. Bishop McCulloch said in his diocesan magazine, “However deep family arguments and differences are, we ought to be following the New Testament pattern of meeting together to pray, to learn, to eat and to share.
"The first Lambeth Conference was called in the wake of controversy; and it would be exceedingly odd - even irresponsible - for the bishops to avoid, and appear to sweep under the carpet, the very issues that are currently inhibiting our common witness to Christ across the world."
Here's Episcopal Cafe's Lead on the podcasts of the PB and reactions.