Bob Byrns, the RBTE show’s organizer, said in a letter that the trade show was organized “simply for the purpose of bringing liturgical book and gift sellers and their vendors together under one roof to educate ourselves about our industry, and to offer a venue in which products would be displayed and purchased, while at the same time offering additional opportunities for networking, entertainment, and worship.”What does Robinson have to do with liturgy? And why do we need to be edumacated by him? Now if the booksellers are getting together for entertainment, well, Mama Mia, what a carnival! The guy's not welcome by his "communion" leader, Archbishop of Canterbury to their big once-a-decade shinding, but hey, let's go to a Catholic booksellers show and hawk "Charting the Course"...because we all know what choppy waters the little Anglican barque is navigating these days...a leaky barque at that...and too many commodores wrestling with the steering wheel.
Byrns said the show’s speakers and musical artists were recommended by the publishers and retailers.
“We attempt to balance the program to meet the needs of both our Catholic and Episcopal attendees, as well as folks from other denominations,” Byrns said.
Church Publishing Incorporated, the publishing arm of the Episcopal Church, had suggested that Bishop Robinson be invited to speak at an RBTE lunch.
“We told them that would not be possible,” Byrns said. When the organization asked if Bishop Robinson could speak at the Episcopal Booksellers Association (EBA) dinner on Wednesday evening, Byrns said, “We told them that we would need to seek the approval of the EBA membership.”
According to Byrns, the EBA membership “overwhelmingly wished to extend an invitation to the Bishop, and so it happened.”
Bishop Robinson’s talk, titled “Charting the Course of the Anglican Communion,” is announced on the trade show’s web site in the RBTE schedule, which says that the talk is sponsored by Church Publishing Incorporated. The bishop’s talk is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28.
Why exactly are other denominations invited to this big event?