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.
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For more information, please contact: Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, firstname.lastname@example.org, OR Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); email@example.com
TORONTO (May 25) -- The Anglican diocese of the Arctic is poised to make Canadian church history next week when it meets in Iqaluit to elect a new suffragan bishop.
To date, three men have been nominated, all of them Inuk. They are Rev. Ben Arreak of Pangnirtung, Canon Abeli Napartuk of Puvirtuq and Rev. Paul Idlout of Cape Dorset. If the diocesan synod, which meets May 27, elects one of them, he will become the first Inuk bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada.
(The Anglican church has two aboriginal bishops: Bishop Charles Arthurson, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Saskatchewan and Bishop Gordon Beardy, an assistant bishop in the diocese of Keewatin. Assistant bishops usually have responsibility for a specific geographic part of their diocese.)
The Arctic election on May 27 is to select a successor to Bishop Terrence Buckle, the previous assistant or suffragan bishop of the Arctic, who was recently elected Bishop of the Yukon.
Bishop Christopher Williams of the Arctic explained that under diocesan law, it is possible for nominations to be made up to 72 hours before the electoral synod begins its meeting.
The new bishop will be consecrated at St. Jude's Cathedral in Iqaluit on Sunday June 2.
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Contact Doug Tindal, Director of Communication 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations, General Synod, 416-924-9199, ext. 256
November 19, 1993 -- The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Michael Peers, has issued the following statement in response to the episcopal election in the Diocese of Toronto.
The Diocese of Toronto, and the whole of the Anglican Church of Canada, today rejoice in the election of two fine new priests as bishops. Both Michael Bedford-Jones and Victoria Matthews offer gifts of leadership that will complement and add to those already present in others who hold episcopal office.
But in particular, I welcome with profound joy and sheer delight, the election of a woman as bishop in the Church in Canada. The ordination of women to the priesthood in our church has been part of our experience in Canada for 17 years now. During that time we have been blessed by the particular graces that they have brought to ordained ministry. I am sure that it is no accident that our Church is growing more compassionate and nurturing in its pastoral work, more thorough and inclusive in its communication, and more prophetic in its commitment to justice. Though ground-breaking in its effect, today's decision is a natural outcome of years of caring and effective leadership offered by women.
In recent weeks, I have had occasions to participate in different events with the four women who are already bishops in the Anglican Communion. I have been reminded again of the wholeness we seek in Christ's Church, -- indeed in all of society. It is a wholeness which Saint Paul envisaged when he wrote: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus". (Galations 3:28) Today the Spirit of God, through the Synod of Toronto, has helped us further that vision in our time. May it continue to be encouraged among us.
I look forward to working with Victoria and to welcoming her to he place in the national House of Bishops. I have no doubt that she will receive a glad welcome and the whole-hearted support of all her colleagues in episcopal ministry.
For further information, contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications (416) 924-9199 ext. 286 [or] (416) 335-8349 (residence)
Toronto, Feb. 12, 1994 -- The consecration of the Rev. Victoria Matthews as a suffragan bishop for the Diocese of Toronto today will "bring a certain completeness to ministry" in the Canadian Anglican Church, said the Most Rev. Percy O'Driscoll, the archbishop who will preside at the consecration. "Victoria will, I am sure, be a symbol of encouragement and strength to many women across Canada who are engaged in ministry".
Eighteen years after the first woman was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada, Ms. Matthews -- Bishop Matthews after the service -- will become the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, and only the fifth in the Anglican Communion worldwide.
Bishop Matthews will be consecrated at a 10:30 a.m. service at St. Paul's Anglican Church, 227 Bloor St. East, along with the Very Rev. Michael Bedford-Jones. Both priests were elected as suffragan bishops for the Diocese of Toronto at a synod last Novembers 19 . They will become part of a college of five bishops serving the diocese. With 219 parishes, Toronto is the most populous of the 30 Anglican dioceses in Canada.
Bishop Matthews will be assigned to the Credit Valley region of the diocese, said diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Terence Finlay. Bishop Bedford-Jones will be assigned to the York-Scarborough region. In addition to specific area responsibilities, the two new bishops will share with the larger college in overall pastoral leadership of the diocese.
"Being the first woman bishop in Canada, Victoria's ministry will probably be closely scrutinized by some," said Bishop Finlay. "She has a strong personal faith and a compassion for others that will carry her through." He added that "both bishops bring considerable gifts to their new responsibilities. With all the attention being focussed on Victoria, Michael may be forgotten. That would be unfortunate, because he brings a spirituality and a quiet sense of humour that we all need."
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For further information, please contact: John Bird, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto ON M4Y 2J6 Telephone: (416) 924-9199, ext. 256 Fax: (416) 968-7983
TORONTO, Ont. (March 10) -- For the first time in its history, the Anglican Church of Canada has elected a woman diocesan bishop.
The Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews, 43, was elected bishop of the Anglican diocese of Edmonton after five ballots on Saturday, March 8 , succeeding Bishop Ken Genge who has retired.
Prior to her election as diocesan bishop in Edmonton, she was a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Toronto. When elected suffragan bishop in 1993, she became the first female bishop in the Canadian church and only the fifth woman bishop in the whole international Anglican communion. She was consecrated in 1994.
Bishop Matthews' election as a diocesan bishop makes her the first woman in the Anglican Communion to be elected bishop twice.
A diocesan bishop has responsibility for and oversight of an entire diocese. A suffragan bishop is usually responsible for part of a diocese and serves, in effect, as an assistant bishop.
In the diocese of Toronto, Bishop Matthews was suffragan in charge of the western Credit Valley part of the diocese.
Bishop Matthews is a member of the Anglican church's national Faith, Worship and Ministry Committee and chairs the Primate's Theological Commission. She is also the only woman on the planning group for the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The Lambeth Conference, held every 10 years, is a gathering of all Anglican bishops in the world.
Bishop Matthews was educated at the University of Toronto and Yale University.
As Bishop of Edmonton, Bishop Matthews will be spiritual leader of 13,500 Anglicans in 58 parishes and 62 congregations.
Following her election, Bishop Matthews told the electoral synod: "The Church has prayed; the Spirit has led us; the Church has called me; I accept."
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Contact: Doug Tindal, Director of Communications 416-924-9199 ext. 286; 905-335-8349 (residence) or Sam Carriere, Media Relations: 416-924-9199 ext. 256
The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada has told indigenous church members that he will do his best to see that a national native bishop is elected, if possible within a year.
Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, accompanied by six other Canadian bishops, as well as a bishop from Alaska and one from New Zealand, accepted in principle a proposal from the fifth Anglican Indigenous Sacred Circle, meeting in Pinawa, Man., that such a bishop be elected for native communities in Canada.
The Sacred Circle, held from Aug. 8 to 13 , was attended by about 150 First Nations and Metis leaders.
Native leaders were seeking the election of their own bishop as a first step in the creation of an Indigenous Anglican Church. This idea dates back to 1994 when native Anglicans and the Anglican Church of Canada signed a covenant agreeing to the eventual creation of "a new self-determining community within the Anglican Church of Canada".
Members of the Sacred Circle last week approved a declaration calling for the national bishop who would "have spiritual support from the whole church and be monetarily supported so the Indigenous Anglican Church stands strong and independent of any subordination. The provision of this bishop is a first step in a new era for the Indigenous Anglican Church".
The proposal received the unanimous support of 41 native elders who were attending the Sacred Circle.
Archbishop Hutchison and the other bishops attending agreed that it should be possible to have an indigenous bishop elected within a year who would have pastoral oversight of native communities.
A statement from the Sacred Circle said that "an indigenous bishop who welcomed aboriginal teachings and ways as a manifestation of native Anglicanism would heal wounds and open the doors of the Anglican Church to indigenous youth".
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For more information, please contact: Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; firstname.lastname@example.org OR Gloria Moses, Co-Chair of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples, 250-378-8322
London, England - Canadians are playing a prominent role in developing contemporary statements of the Anglican Communion, as bishops throughout the world gather here at the Lambeth Conference to re-assess the church's work and set new goals.
Eight bishops from Canada, including Most Rev. Howard H. Clark, Primate of the Canadian church, have been placed in critical positions on the Conference's committee to draft statements relating to doctrine, new theology, secularism, current church union schemes and the role of women in the church.
Archbishop Clark is Chairman of the commission dealing with renewal of the church's faith, the first of the three major commissions. This section is responsible for studying vital areas of concern to the church in a secular and technological society and the effects of theological debate about the existence of God.
Another key figure in the Conference is its Episcopal Secretary, Rt. Rev. Ralph S. Dean, Bishop of Cariboo, in British Columbia. Other bishops from Nova Scotia to Vancouver are among the Conference's leaders.
Rt. Rev. W.W. Davis, Bishop of Nova Scotia, is Chairman of a committee which has unanimously recommended ordination of women to the Anglican priesthood.
The Bishop of Montreal, Rt. Rev. R.K. Maguire, is vice-chairman of the committee dealing with relations with the Eastern Orthodox church. It will suggest to the Conference that Anglicans and Orthodox work more closely in social and moral issues and investigate means to strengthen worship.
Rt. Rev. E.S. Reed, Bishop of Ottawa, is Chairman of the committee on Christian appraisal of secular society. Part of the discussion deals with poverty, mass media, scientific discovery, nuclear and chemical warfare.
Rt. Rev. K.C. Evans of the Diocese of Ontario and Rt. Rev. S.C. Steer, Bishop of Saskatoon, are both Chairmen on committees discussing theological language and the debate about God.
Most Rev. G.P. Gower, Archbishop of New Westminster, is vice-chairman of the committee discussing current union schemes and intercommunion. He has been a leading figure in the protracted negotiations, looking to the union of the Anglican and United churches of Canada.
St. Paul's Anglican Church, 227 Bloor St. E (at Jarvis), Toronto
The Rev. Victoria Matthews will be consecrated as the first woman bishop in the Anglican Church of Canada on February 12, 1994. The two-hour service will begin at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul's Anglican Church (Bloor and Jarvis), Toronto, with the Most Rev. Percy O'Driscoll, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario presiding.
Ms. Matthews and the Very Rev. Michael Bedford-Jones were elected as suffragan bishops for the Anglican Diocese of Toronto on November 19, 1993. Both persons will be consecrated at the service. They will become part of a college of five bishops serving the Toronto diocese, the most populous Anglican diocese in Canada.
Ms. Matthews will become the fifth woman in the Anglican Church worldwide. There are currently three women bishops in the United States, one in New Zealand.
Please note the following points
- Space has been reserved for the media in the gallery of the church; this provides the best overview of the event. A video monitor will also be available in the gallery to provide close-up sound and visuals.
- Because of the liturgical nature of this occasion, video cameras will be restricted to the back of the church and the gallery. We have arranged to bring in an air-pack crew with four Betacam video cameras to provide both audio and video feed in the gallery for the electronic media.
-- video feed will be provided through a video distribution amplifier with BNC spigots.
-- audio feed will be provided through a balanced audio split box equipped with both XLR and quarter-inch adapters.
Please bring the appropriate connectors if you wish to access either of the above feeds.
- Press photographers will also be somewhat restricted in their movements; details available on request.
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For further information or media accreditation, please contact:
John Bird, 600 Jarvis Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 2J6 Telephone: (416) 924-9199, ext. 256 Fax: (416) 968-7983
Canada's four Anglican archbishops say they will not support any segment of their church which organizes to oppose union with the United Church of Canada, the Canadian Churchman states in an article this month.
The Anglican Church's national newspaper says the four metropolitans have bluntly rejected any move to create what one called a "schismatic program" within the church.
The article says a loosely-formed group known as "Canadian Confirmed Anglicans" will seek support from Anglicans to oppose implementation of the Principles of Union drafted by the two churches.
It had been reported in a Winnipeg-based independent church paper that Anglicans will soon be asked to "sign a declaration of loyalty to the vows we have made in the faith." The church paper, The Communicator, edited by Rev. Maurice Hardman, states Canadian Confirmed Anglicans are persons "persuaded in the Catholic and Apostolic faith" who are determined to stand fast in loyalty to their ordination and confirmation vows in spite of any bureau-cratic, economic...or private pressures designed to coerce compromise."
The Communicator had suggested that some bishops, including one archbishop, were having "second thoughts" about the direction union has been taking.
Most Rev. H.H. Clark of Winnipeg, primate of the Anglican Church, said that since there were only four archbishops, there was a 25% chance he was the one to which reference was made. Archbishop Clark described an organization to oppose union, if it is formed, as "schismatic in spirit and schismatic in program."
"I still believe that our church is right to seek union with the United Church and that the Principles of Union are a right basis for working out definite plans for this union."
"If I have any second thoughts, they are about the difficulties we shall encounter in this adventure."
Most Rev. A.H. O'Neil of Fredericton, said he supported the Principles of Union when they were passed by the Anglican Church in Vancouver in 1965.
Most Rev. W.L. Wright of Sault Ste. Marie, said he is a strong advocate of Christian unity movement which, he said, will eventually triumph.
Most Rev. H.E. Sexton of Victoria, B.C., said Anglicans know there are problems to be faced in union but that an effort must be made to work them out.
"We are not in favour here (of the views) of The Communicator because we feel it is not in accord with the spirit of the day."
London, Ontario - The Very Reverend K.B. Keefe, Dean of Huron, has indicated that the Installation Service for the Right Reverend Carman J. Queen as seventh Bishop of Huron will reflect the pastoral nature of the Bishop's relationship with his diocese. Over the past few weeks a new service has been evolved by the Cathedral Chapter which serves as the Diocesan Task Force on Worship.
The Installation of Bishop Queen will take place on Monday, November 30, at St. Paul Cathedral, at 7:00pm.
The installation of a bishop is the formal ceremony in which a diocese recognizes and accepts its new Diocesan Bishop, hears from him his promises of faithfulness and gives to him its loyalty and support.
The chief ministrant is the Dean supported by his Chapter of Canons. The Dean is the representative of the people of the Diocese and he receives and installs the Bishop into the "Cathedra" (Bishop's throne) symbolizing the episcopal seat of authority.
The Bishop is presented with the Pastoral Staff of the Diocese as a symbol of his office as Chief Shepherd. On this occasion, and for the first time, a prominent lay member of the Diocese (Dr. Douglas Broadwell of Windsor) will make the presentation.
During the service the Bishop will receive and acknowledge fraternal greetings from other Christian bodies. It is expected that the Roman Catholic Bishop of London, The Most Reverend G. Emmett Carter, will convey greetings on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Reverend Canon D.T. Jones, Canon Precentor of the Diocese, commented that this is a change from the old idea of an enthronement which was a monarchical concept of a Bishop and this service stresses that the Bishop is more of a servant and "Father in God" than a "Prince of the Church."