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."