(RNS) Anglican archbishops concluded their six-day summit in Ireland on Sunday (Jan. 30) by issuing statements on a host of international issues, including violence against women in Africa, political chaos in Egypt, and the murder of a gay rights activist in Uganda.
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was among the two dozen senior bishops, or primates, gathered in Dublin who also sought to clarify their roles in governing the increasingly fractious Anglican Communion.
Seven archbishops, mostly from Africa, boycotted the meeting to protest the Episcopal Church’s liberal stance on gay issues, particularly its consecration of openly gay and lesbian bishops. Seven additional primates did not attend the Dublin meeting for unrelated reasons.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the global Anglican fellowship, said the primates were “sometimes painfully aware of those not with us.” “But no meeting can allow itself to be shaped wholly by the people who are not there,” he said.
Episcopalians in the U.S. hailed Williams’ condemnation of the Jan. 26 murder of gay Ugandan activist David Kato. Police in Uganda have called the murder a botched robbery, though a local newspaper had called for Kato and other gay Ugandans to be killed.
“This murder illustrates the fact that words have results,” Williams said.
Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi, who has been one of the most vocal critics of the Episcopal Church, was one of the seven archbishops who boycotted the Dublin meeting.