GAFCON (the Global Anglican Future Conference) has banned the following from their meeting at the Renaissance Hotel in West Jerusalem: Bishop Robert O'Neill, Davis Maclyalla, Colin Coward, Louie Crew, Susan Russell, Scott Gunn and Deborah and Robert Edmunds. Ruth Gledhill reported this banning on her Times blog. She does not say if all the members of this august group are actually in Jerusalem.
I have met all the illustrious folk on this list, the most recent being the Rev. Robert Edmunds and Deborah Edmunds. They were part of the Episcopal Church outgoing missionary conference the beginning of June on Staten Island. They are to be honored by being banned and I am honored to know them.
GAFCON was clear from the outset that no one was allowed to participate who was not vetted. But it would appear that only some people could come to observe, watch, report on, or otherwise be in the presence of the proceedings of GAFCON. There are such observers, watchers, reporters, etc. So it is something about these eight that is part of their very being that makes them dangerous or infectious to the GAFCON crowd.
What is it? They are all a source of infection... that is, they all spread the infection of doubt, doubt in the absolute certainty that GAFCON's take on homosexuality is right, and doubt of the propriety of meeting in Jerusalem against the expressed desire of the Diocese of Jerusalem. And now, with the disastrous press briefing of yesterday, in which Archbishops Akinola and Orombi had to be rescued from silence on questions of the treatment of homosexuals in their countries by Peter Jensen of Australia, there are new doubts concerning the moral stance of some GAFCON leaders.
So these eight are sources of infectious doubt. Next think you know, there may even be doubt that GAFCON can make it to the end of its meeting without stumbling down the hole into a place of confusion and really bad manners...a kind of Anglican hell.