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Canadian Anglicans must choose between being a member of the global Anglican Communion or becoming a stand alone church, says Primate from the Anglican Communion.

by Cheryl Change
For the Anglican Network in Canada

VANCOUVER (3/4/2005)--One of the Anglican world's most senior archbishops told a large Vancouver audience that the Anglican Church of Canada must either stick to the majority Anglican teaching on human sexuality, or cease to belong to the Anglican Communion.

The Most Rev'd Gregory Venables, Primate (senior archbishop) of the Southern Cone (South America), made his remarks only days after he and thirty-four other Primates issued a joint statement asking the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the United States to withdraw from a key Anglican body until 2008.

Speaking to an audience of 500 Anglicans at St. John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church, Archbishop Venables called the Primates' joint statement "significant". Archbishop Venables was here at the invitation of the Anglican Network in Canada (the Network), a group representing Canadian orthodox Anglicans who wish to remain an integral part of the global Anglican Communion. The Archbishop has supported the Network internationally since August 2004.

The 2002 decision in the Diocese of New Westminster to sanction the blessing of same sex unions, along with the November 2003 decision in the United States to consecrate as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire a homosexual man living in a same sex relationship, sparked unprecedented division throughout the 77-million-member communion.

"What we have said as Primates is that Anglican teaching on human sexuality has not changed" says Archbishop Venables, based in Argentina. "Those (churches) teaching something different are not teaching Anglican doctrine. If they continue to do this, they must consider their future in the Anglican Communion."

The Primates unanimously requested that the Anglican Church of Canada and the Episcopal Church in the United States of America withdraw their representatives from the Anglican Consultative Council until the 2008 Lambeth Conference. The Anglican Consultative Council is the international body that governs the work of the Communion in between the decennial Lambeth conferences. Archbishop Venables said this request is a most significant step.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has also been asked "as a matter of urgency" to set up a, "panel of reference" to oversee the "adequacy" of alternate pastoral care being extended to groups or parishes which desire to remain within the Anglican Communion and are in serious theological dispute with their local diocesan bishops or Province. The Network invited Archbishop Venables to speak and provide clarification of the Primates' communiqué and to ask how orthodox Canadian Anglicans should apply to this Panel of Reference for the protection described in paragraph 15 of the communiqué.

During this past week, the Network and Essentials Council met to discuss the implications of the clear choice which has been put before the Canadian church and how they might assist orthodox Canadian Anglicans in light of the seriousness of the Primates' communiqué.

Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Network, said the Anglican Network in Canada will assist orthodox Anglicans in Canada with their application to the Panel of Reference and he expressed gratitude for Archbishop Venables' visit. He felt Archbishop Venables clarified the Primates' statement and explained clearly what orthodox Canadian Anglicans must do if they wish to apply to the Panel for the protection of their "integrity and legitimate needs" in Canada.

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1 posted on 03/05/2005 4:38:37 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 03/05/2005 4:39:29 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || Iran Azadi || Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?)
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