Thinking Anglicans

ACC: Canadian statement

A statement on the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council from Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, Primate

Two recent Globe and Mail reports relating to this:
Same-sex marriage creates rift for Anglicans
Gays seen as part of Anglican power struggle

Part of the text of the second article follows.

Senior Canadian Anglicans present for the council see homosexuality as a proxy issue in a power struggle for control of the Anglican Communion by evangelical global South Anglican leaders well financed by conservative Anglicans in the U.S. In other words, homosexuality itself isn’t the issue on which the communion may fracture: it is homosexuality plus the ordination of women priests and appointments of women bishops, plus modernization of the liturgy, plus a raft of other changes such as allowing children to take communion.
Senior Canadian Anglicans think Archbishop Hutchison may have made a mistake in agreeing that the Canadian church — along with the U.S. church — would voluntarily withdraw from last week’s council meeting.
The council dismissed the presentations without discussion, and an attempt was made to bar the Canadian and U.S. churches from participation in all international church bodies. That failed, but, by a slim margin, the council voted to exclude the North Americans from participating in two committees they don’t now belong to.
“If we hadn’t agreed to voluntarily withdraw and had turned up [in Nottingham] as full participants, it would have provoked a crisis and maybe the Nigerians [Nigerian primate Peter Akinola is the most vociferous opponent of including active homosexuals in church life] would have walked out,” said a top Canadian Anglican official who agreed to speak only for background.
“Then we would have seen how much strength is behind the Nigerians.”
The Canadians believe the infrastructure of the Anglican Communion will collapse if the Canadian and American churches are barred from participating in the international church. The two North American churches provide most of the money for the world-church machinery.
The Canadians also believe that the next campaign by evangelical Anglicans will be to get liberal bishops of the two churches excluded from Lambeth 2008.
Finally, the Canadians believe conservative Anglican organizations in Canada and the U.S. are waiting in the wings for their official churches to be barred from the communion, when they will rush in and proclaim themselves true Anglicans.

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18 years ago

Very encouraging to read what they have to say – and now full gay marriage is legal in Canada, I am sure that couples will take advantage of it with the blessing of the church, in time.

John Henry
John Henry
18 years ago

It is good to read first-hand what the Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada really said rather than hear it from the re-asserters who call him a “spin meister” and a cleric who plays fast and loose with the truth, however the re-asserters define the truth from their own idiosyncratic reading of the scriptures.

Kendall Harmon
18 years ago

“The day after our presentation, however, a motion was brought, without notice, requesting the Anglican Consultative Council to affirm the Primates’ request that we voluntarily withdraw from the meeting…”

I do not know why this statement is included, as there was plenty of notice. The resolution debated on Wednesday of week one of the ACC was submitted much earlier in the week; indeed the original text as divided into 5 partitions by the resolutions committee as part of the process the ACC uses (it was amended in debate in the closed session).

18 years ago

In many ways, Abp. Hutchinson has shown a more forthright courage during this whole, sorry mess than, God bless him, our own Presiding Bishop here in the U.S.

But then again, I’ve been increasingly impressed with the Canadians in general with respect to their stands on issues of justice. They just seem a bit more civilized and “sane” than their neighbors directly to the South 😉

Simon Sarmiento
18 years ago

In response to Kendall: It seems to me that it is quite possible that the Canadian presenters on Tuesday did not know what had happened on Monday, since they were not present on site then, and were travelling after that. It is also possible that, as the Canadian observers (different people) were excluded from the Monday morning executive session (as well as the Wednesday afternoon one), they were not aware of the resolution’s progress on Monday. The press were certainly not informed about this prior to Wednesday morning. I would therefore be inclined to give Abp Hutchison the benefit of… Read more »

Aaron Orear
18 years ago

Re: Globe and Mail article about “walking away.”

I was at that Trinity Divinity Associates conference, and at no time did I hear a threat or even suggestion that the Canadian church “walk away” from communion. On the contrary, the group approved a statement which included a clear call to remain in the discussion even if our partners in the global south choose to leave the table, as they did at Dromantine.

18 years ago

If ECUSA and the Anglican Church of Canada are not invited to Lambeth 08, does that mean that there will very likely be NO women bishops there? I know there was a woman bishop in New Zealand but I believe she has retired. Are there any other consecrated women in the communion? I can’t seem to find any.

(I do think there will be gay bishops at Lambeth ’08 whether or not Bp Robinson is there.)

Aaron Orear
18 years ago

My article on the Ties That Bind conference, which has a link to the conference statement.

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