Skip to comments.This Just In (Panel of Reference a sham)
Posted on 03/08/2006 6:39:22 PM PST by sionnsar
Panel of Reference found to be complete sham:
Hopes that the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference can find a way through the fractious dispute over homosexuality are fading.
Assuming anyone had any to begin with.
Canadian traditionalists this week accused the Panels staff of bias and bureaucratic delay. Cheryl Chang, Executive Director of the Anglican Network in Canada [ANiC] told The Church of England Newspaper that the failure to provide safeguards for petitioners seeking alternative episcopal oversight, is discouraging to parishes who are trying to work in the process called for by the Primates and established by Archbishop Rowan Williams.
The Panel was created by Dr Williams after the February 2005 Primates Meeting in Northern Ireland to offer mediation and guidance to certain parishes that have been unwilling to accept the direct oversight of their diocesan bishops for reasons of conscience. However, the Panel process has already drawn criticism from the Primates of the Anglican Communion for its dilatory pace.
Participants in the Panel process now tell The Church of England Newspaper that the structure of the process is flawed and have alleged bias by the Panel staff.
Mike Ingham seems to have figured out how to play the game.
In early October 2005, ANiC filed a petition on behalf of 11 New Westminster parishes seeking alternative oversight. But Dr Brian Hanson, who staffs the panel, told the ANiC that it could not be a plaintiff and asked for the names of clergy and congregations that sought oversight.
The group responded that they were unwilling to list names for fear of retribution. Their fears, it seems, were well founded when on October 11, New Westminsters diocesan council passed a resolution defining ANiC as a group outside the structures of the Church that sought to promote an alternate Anglican structure in Canada. Bishop Michael Ingham subsequently fired one priest for joining the ANiC, Ms Chang claimed, and the Panel can provide no protection from punitive actions from the diocese.
And if you think the Panel will ever lay down the law to Mikey, I've got a Cathedral of St. John the Divine I can let you have cheap.
Hanson told Ms Chang that fear of retaliation was not an acceptable excuse. ANiC offered to amend its petition, listing Ms Chang and retired Bishop Don Harvey as petitioners. Panel Chairman, Archbishop Peter Carnley rejected this compromise and Ms Chang was told on March 6 that unless the petition was amended, We wont allow it to go forward. Ms Chang said that four parish councils have agreed to stand behind the complaint and will submit their names as plaintiffs. However, the true plaintiff is the Network, she argued.
The Panel itself doesn't look like it wants to rock the boat at all. Ever.
Ms Chang also claimed that the Panel was biased. She said that Dr Hansons distillation of the 66-page submission to a single page was something that could have been written by the New Westminster diocesan staff.
The quasi-legal language used by the Panel was also discouraging, Ms Chang said. This is not a trial, she said. We are not accusing anyone or seeking guilt or innocence, she explained, we are seeking alternate oversight.
Big surprise. The idea that the Anglican Communion takes the concerns of orthodox Anglicans seriously is too ridiculous to contemplate. The only thing that can preserve the orthodox Anglican tradition is this: after it does what everyone expects it to do at GenCon 2006, the Anglican world is going to have to be presented with an ultimatum. Either ECUSA and Canada repent of their actions over the last three years or the orthodox will walk away until such time as they do, whether my gracious lord of Canterbury comes with them or not.
And "repentance" must not mean that the US and Canada are allowed to get away with saying, "We're sorry we hurt your feelings." Both churches must publicly declare that their actions were wrong, they shouldn't have been done and they will not be done in the future. If neither are willing to declare that, the orthodox Anglicans must end this charade. The time for rhetoric, commissions and other forms of stalling is long over.
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