Canadian Anglican bishops have voted to strike a task force to study what the church should do to provide spiritual care for members who dissent from church policies.
The bishops spent a good part of their four-day meeting discussing the situation in the diocese of New Westminster which has authorized the blessing of same-sex unions. A group of Anglicans in the diocese have declared that they cannot accept this and have asked another bishop to assume "Episcopal oversight" of their parishes.
Despite a prohibition by New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham, Terry Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon, has offered the dissenting parishes this oversight. As a result, Archbishop David Crawley, Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon, has begun disciplinary proceedings against Bishop Buckle.
Following is the text of two motions adopted by the House of Bishops meeting in Mississauga, Ont., last week.
"That in response to the 'Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion' (October 16, 2003) the Primate be asked to establish a task force of the House of Bishops to draw up terms and conditions for 'adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities' in the Anglican Church of Canada, to consult through the Primate 'with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates', and to report to the April 2004 meeting of the House of Bishops."
That this House, to enable the work of the Task Force on Episcopal Oversight for Dissenting Minorities,
1. Request that the Bishop of Yukon refrain from exercising Episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster;
2. Request that the Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon stay proceedings against the Bishop of Yukon;
3. Request that the Bishop of New Westminster seek a stay of proceedings against the priests of his diocese against whom such proceedings have been initiated;
4. That a mediator be appointed by the Task Force to negotiate an interim role for the person exercising Episcopal oversight mutually acceptable to the diocesan Bishop and the dissenting parishes.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact: Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, email@example.com, OR Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
"Foreword by: Most Rev. Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, Archbishop of Kaduna, Nigeria, and member of the Eames Commission [and] Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham, Bishop of New Westminster, Canada".
"This book is written both as a submission to the Eames Commission [Lambeth Commission], and as a contribution to the subsequent discussion. At the time of writing it contains, to my knowledge, the only detailed plan for resolving the crisis (pp. 19-20)." The thrust of this book "is that the Anglican Church can and should remain intact, but should have in some provinces a parallel episcopal structure similar to that instituted in England when the decision was made to ordain women to the priesthood; and I have used the image of a `quilt' to
describe this. Having completed this second draft, I have convinced myself that a quilt is far preferable to schism, and that becoming a quilt is the only realistic way of avoiding schism. I hope I can convince you (p. 21)". -- Intro.
"This book offers a detailed plan for resolving the present crisis over homosexuality in the Anglican Church, prompted by the appointment of openly gay bishops in the USA and England, and the blessing of a gay partnership in Canada. Tracing the roots of the crisis back to the foundation of Anglicanism over four centuries ago, Robert Van de Weyer shows why ancient divisions have grown wider in recent decades. He argues that the two side [which he calls Evangelicals (or Orthodox) and Incarnationals] now need separate episcopal arrangements -- yet both sides have much to gain by remaining together in a single body". -- back cover.
Contents: Endorsements -- Forewords / Josiah Idowu-Fearon [dated 28 January 2004] and Michael Ingham [dated 4 February 2004] -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction --Proposals for the Whole Anglican Communion -- Theology -- Morality -- Ecclesiology -- Proposals for the Church of England -- Afterword.
Author is a priest of the Church of England.
Colophon: Printed by Tien Wah Press (Pte) Ltd, Singapore.
"The Archbishop of Canterbury is fighting to hold the Church of England together. At the General Synod in York, he won a battle, but the row goes on". The author considers the facts of the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John, and his subsequent resignation, as Suffragan Bishop of Reading. He refers to the larger question of homosexuality within the Communion, mentioning the blessing of same sex unions in the diocese of New Westminster and the election of Canon Gene Robinson in New Hampshire. "In all this, the question of why is is homosexuality that should rack the Church is intriguing. It is the issue on which the evangelicals have rallied to their standard in a way they did not on any of the previously abandoned heights of orthodoxy, from slavery to borrowing money at interest to divorce. The answer seems to be that the issue is an easily explicable one to their followers, who are convinced of the scriptural and theological objections to homosexuality, and one which can therefore by guaranteed to secure a majority on one side of the argument. It is, in other words, an atavistic political tool". "The tactics in the row are interesting too. They are ones of threat: alternative oversight, withholding funding, schism. Some the Church of England has brought upon itself: alternative episcopal oversight was introduced a decade back to help reconcile churches which could not accept women's ordination without, perhaps, recognising that the principal of episcopal authority had thereby been comprehensively breached". "This is a Church where unity is currently prized more than integrity. Can it hold together a worldwide Communion -- more a confederation -- of 70 million people, some of whom believe that polygamy is acceptable but homosexuality is beyond the pale, and some of whom believe the reverse ? Should it even try to do so ?" "This is not a happy Church. And Catholic observers should not feel smug. It is a debate that is coming to the Catholic Church too".
See also "Anglican Tug-O--War" on p. 3.
See also "Dr. Williams seeks to hold his fractured Church together", pp. 28-29.
The Most Rev. Peter Carnley, Archbishop of Perth and Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, has accepted the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to serve as chair of the Panel of Reference created by Archbishop Williams in response to the February 2005 Primates' Meeting. The Panel will be an advisory and consultative body that, at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, will "enquire into, consider and report on situations drawn to my attention where there is a serious dispute concerning the adequacy of schemes of delegated or extended episcopal oversight or other extraordinary arrangements which may be needed to provide for parishes which find it impossible in all conscience to accept the direct ministry of their own diocesan bishop or for dioceses in dispute with their provincial authorities".
The author met with Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton, Canada, when she was in Australia in September 2001. Includes biographical information and discussion of her vocation, election as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, and relations with clergy who do not recognize the ordination of women. "`He and I exchange the peace very publicly at every time there is a diocesan service. He doesn't receive from me, but he does come, and he has been my chaplain on a number of occasions. We make sure that we share the responsibility and pain of our impaired communion. We made an absolute agreement that we would make this work.' That was what was at the heart of the Lambeth resolution about respecting differences, Bishop Victoria believes. 'We can hold the body together with respect, but I don't think that includes protocols that limit women bishops', she says. 'What you do is say that there is always going to be someone in the Diocese who needs the ministry of someone else, but that it is the responsibility of the Diocesan to call that person in, and not to have a separate parallel protocol'."
"That in light of the Primates' Statement of October 16, 2003, we ask all parties involved in, or seeking, extra-territorial Episcopal oversight to stand down, and that legal proceedings against the bishop and clergy involved be stayed, for an initial period of three months to allow for the ministry of adequate alternative episcopal oversight to be put in place at the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates."
Archbishop Hutchison gave notice that he and Archbishop Clarke had prepared a motion, which might be helpful for the conversation. Copies of it were distributed.
Moved by: Archbishop Clarke
Seconded by: Archbishop Hutchison
"That in response to the `Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion' (October 16, 2003) the Primate be asked to establish a task force of the House of Bishops
- to draw up terms and conditions for `adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities' in the Anglican Church of Canada,
- to consult through the Primate `with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates',
- and to report to the April 2004 meeting of the House of Bishops." (Note: see p. 24, when motion was put to a vote.)
That the motion be considered in a committee of the whole. CARRIED #HB-03-10-02
The discussion (about Bishop Burton's and Bishop Bruce's proposed motion) continued. Copies of a motion prepared by Archbishop Hutchison and Archbishop Finlay were distributed.
Moved by: Archbishop Hutchison
Seconded by: Archbishop Finlay
"That this House, to enable the work of the Task Force on Episcopal Oversight for Dissenting Minorities,
1. Request that the Bishop of Yukon refrain from exercising episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster.
2. Request that the Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon stay disciplinary proceedings against the Bishop of Yukon.
3. Request that the Bishop of New Westminster seek a stay of disciplinary proceedings against the priests of his diocese
4. Commend the disaffected parishes to the ministry of Bishop William Hockin as Episcopal Visitor."
Moved by: Archbishop Crawley
Seconded by: Bishop Lawrence
"That the House of Bishops rise from the committee of the whole." CARRIED Res. #HB-03-10-03
"[A] response from Anglican Mainstream--UK and The Church of England Evangelical Council". -- t.-p.
"Acknowledgements. We are deeply grateful for the work of Drs Andrew Goddard, Christopher Sugden and Peter Walker whom we commissioned to provide the initial draft of this booklet. They have given unstintingly of their time and effort as it passed through successive versions. Responsibility for the final text lies, of course, with Anglican Mainstream UK and CEEC [Church of England Evangelical Council]". -- verso of t.-p.
"First impression November 2004". -- verso of t.-p.
Includes bibliographical references.
Contents: Foreword dated Adent 2004 / Drexel Bahamas i.e. Drexel Gomez, Archbishop of the Bahamas -- Executive Summary -- Introduction -- A: Communion: In Sickness and in Health -- B: Building Blocks for Life in Communion -- C: Re-Forming the Structures -- D: Picking Up the Pieces -- Conclusion -- Appendix: Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight -- Website resources -- Anglican Mainstream -- Church of England Evangelical Council (CEEC).
Contents of Appendix: A: Perspective on DEPO [Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight] from the Anglican Network in Canada -- B: Reaction to DEPO from the United States -- C: Harassment of a Bishop by a Province [Recife: Trial Charges Drawn Up: 22nd October 2004].
Author writes that "the real source of disunity is our territorial understanding of the episcopate, and its flawed concept of monarch-bishops, not the issues under debate between our warring factions".