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Lapping the Field [Anglican Essentials & CAN GS2007 speculation]
Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 12/07/2005 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 12/07/2005 4:37:25 PM PST by sionnsar

Judging from a recent meeting of the Anglican Church of Canada's House of Bishops, Anglican Essentials Canada is running away with the 2005 Scariest Orthodox Anglicans competition.  Leading off is Brandon's James Njegovan:

James Njegovan, Bishop of Brandon, began by asking, “How are other bishops dealing with Essentials in their dioceses?”. He said Essentials Manitoba “is not something that I can support. It saddens me that anyone in the Diocese would feel the need for such a group…. Sadly there are those working to undermine the Church family … sowing seeds of discord, distrust and disdain within the Church.”

Apostasy upsets people, Jimmy.

Claiming Essentials supporters have no respect for “those in authority over them”, Njegovan has banned the distribution of Essentials materials in his churches, along with the independent [NAME REMOVED BECAUSE IT IS TOO TERRIFYING] newspaper, even though it is not an Essentials publication. Essentials is made up of both a Federation and a Network. Jim Cowan, Bishop of British Columbia [Vancouver Island] was particularly concerned about the Network.

Nobody, said British Columbia's Jim Cowan, expects the Canadian Inquistion:

“It is setting up structures to form a lifeboat if and when the Anglican Church of Canada is removed from the Communion or removes itself from the Communion, then the Network structures would be in place to be the Canadian contingent in the Anglican Communion. That’s not on. If I find that any member of the clergy in the Diocese of BC is involved in the promotion and association with the Network, after due investigation, I’ll take canonical process against them. That’s on the website of the Diocese. The Federation is fine but the Network is setting up to establish schism.”

Look in the mirror when you use that word, said Algoma's Ron Ferris.

Ron Ferris, Bishop of Algoma, defended the Network as a lifeboat some Anglicans, in good conscience, might need to consider if they want to remain within the teachings of the global Communion and the Anglican Church of Canada goes a different direction.

Besides, do we really want to start down that road?

“We don’t want surely to confine people in our expression of the Anglican family by any kind of coercion, or any kind of depreciation of their human rights, of their freedom to assemble, their freedom to have a conscience.” He continued, “As bishops we want to be particularly careful that we don’t appear to be controlling conversations. Anyone in our church is allowed to talk with anyone else, to freely express their wide diversity of opinions, to talk about their conscientious options, if this should happen or that should happen, and I think we want to maintain that climate of freedom.”

Yeah, actually, replied Toronto's Colin Johnson.

Colin Johnson, Bishop of Toronto, disagreed in part. “There is a limitation on the freedom of people who are under orders [clergy] to express in public what they can express in private …. ordained people can, potentially anyway, be subject to discipline.”

While Spong Canada brought up the Anglican left's favorite boogieman.

Michael Ingham of New Westminster complained that retired bishop, Don Harvey, had recently entered his diocese to attend three Essentials functions without informing him or asking his permission. (It was learned later that Harvey had informed him in the past but had never heard back from Ingham, so he didn’t bother this time.)

Don't start quoting rules here, Mikey, replied Caledonia's Bill Anderson.

Without naming Ingham, Bill Anderson said his diocese of Caledonia had been hurt “very deeply” both financially and numerically, by “the actions of a bishop in a diocese that is contrary to what the bishops of the Church at Lambeth have said, contrary to the distinct policy of the Church. If you want to play the game of telling people to play by the rules, then everybody should be playing by the same rules. There has not been a common standard of discipline that has applied to all bishops in the Church.”

He recalled Ralph Spence, Bishop of Niagara, saying, “If we don’t get this right on the great issue that is threatening the Church, we’re toast,” then added, ‘Well, I smell the toast burning!”.

Because, like their American counterparts, liberal Canadian bishops hear only what they want to hear.

“The issue of supporting same-sex blessings has been pushed very aggressively within this Church. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know this represents a major change in doctrine. When the Windsor Report came out to support the idea that this was a matter of doctrine the general tone of this House was, “‘Well, they’re wrong and we’re going to continue doing what we’re doing.’”

And when the St. Michael Report also found it to be a matter of doctrine he claimed to hear the same kind of response among the House: “They’re wrong and we’re going to keep on doing what we’re doing” even though General Synod has not authorized the performance of same-sex blessings.

And it's an incredible stretch to claim that living up to one's ordination vows is schismatic.

Anderson warned, “If you want to take a shot at Essentials … then prepare to aim the guns both ways. Be prepared to call the dioceses to account who are currently acting without the permission of General Synod to innovate on doctrine and liturgy but don’t protect one side of the issue and then say we have to be regulatorily pure on going after Essentials on technical matters. I’m not altogether sure you can make it stick that they are in fact guilty of schismatic behaviour since they are trying to adhere to what in my diocese’s constitution is a requirement to stand for the faith received and our relationship to the Anglican Communion. That’s not schismatic behaviour. That’s what we vowed to do when we took our ordination vows.”

This fascinating exchange suggests that Canada's next General Synod in 2007 may turn out to be just as much of a firestorm as ECUSA's GenCon 2006.  Stay tuned.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 12/07/2005 4:37:26 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 12/07/2005 4:38:19 PM PST by sionnsar (†† || To Libs: You are failing to celebrate MY diversity! || Iran Azadi)
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