on Friday, 22 June 2007 at 6.48 am by Simon Sarmiento
categorised as Anglican Communion
Stephen Bates of the Guardian has this report in the paper this morning:
Canadian votes could prompt Anglican split but there is also an earlier and slightly longer version on the website here.
Anglican Journal has International observers urge Canadians to consider value of Anglican Communion and Anglicans and Lutherans celebrate six years of Full Communion.
Today, a new primate will be elected by the clergy and lay members of the synod: see The election of an Anglican Primate and also Electing the Primate: the process for how it is done.
Other press reports:
Associated Press Canadian Anglicans to vote on blessing gay couples; church to choose new national leader
Vancouver Sun Canada’s Anglicans won’t be sanctioned for same-sex vote
Episcopal News Service Bonnie Anderson discusses Episcopal Church’s response to Windsor Report with Canadian General Synod
The Kearon statement is extremely interesting. Was the statement made to the Vancouver Sun? The three sites reporting the interview that I have checked (TA, T19, StandFirm) all cite the Sun. Surely impossible that the statement could have been issued without some level of approval from Williams?
Stephen Bates is perhaps ceding to the decisions of the Canadian General Synod much greater effect than is likely. Canadians are a careful and caring people and the Synod is likely [IMO] to bring a deliberately measured response to the questions of same-sex blessings. The House of Bishops has already shown the way by suggesting responses that fall within current and accepted values.
In fact, I think it may also be signalling that, should the Synod pass the resolutions, the HoB would be prepared to vote non-concurrence since the effect would seriously strain the Communion.
If this happens, the Canadian church will then be in the identical position to that of +Michael: New Westminster who twice vetoed his Diocesan synod when it passed the Church-leading measures that have upset much of the Communion. This will buy time and probably keep the GS hounds at bay for a while.
But I fear it will be costly for the Canadian church because it means that the conversation must stay open whereas the majority of Canadian parishioners, both gay and not, are approaching anger and or weariness; they fear they don’t have the energy for further exhausting debate [particularly since the civil society has already resolved it, anyway].
However, don’t look for the end of the Anglican Communion to come from Canada.
As Canada and the UK think over where things sit… On March 3 2004 Alison Barfoot wrote a now infamous memo to the Ekklesia Society of Pimates and Bishops dtailing the strategy for taking over the Episcopal Church using “Alternative Episcopal Oversight” She stated:
“After several conversations with Bill Atwood of Ekklesia, John Guernsey and Martyn Minns, and some clergy seeking ‘offshore’ AEO, this propossal is being submitted as a draft for consideration of a process and protocol for establishing AEO as an interim stage on the way towards the realignment of Anglicanism in North America and the re-establishment of biblically orthodox faith as normative in North American Anglicanism”
In the last two weeks Atwood and Guernsey reaped their reward. They joined Minns receiving miters from “off-shore” jurisdictions. No North American congregations got to vote on their new bishops who will have oversight over them. To my knowledge, clergy were invited to choose? All three got their payoff without any input from those whom they will “serve”. Minns and Guernsey are both from Virginia.
As Canada reflects this week on where it wants to go, please recall that the Barfoot Memo is not restricted to the US. The plans, and they have been absolutely consistent from the Chapman Memo onward are for all of us the “Anglicans” who share this continent.
Fred Hiltz, Bishop of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, has been elected Primate of All Canada.
I don’t see results for the final ballot, but Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Edmonton, led overall on the first two ballots. She carried the clergy on the second, third and fourth ballots. On the third and fourth ballots, Bishop Hiltz carried the laity. On the third ballot, thay actually had the same aggregate number of votes.
We now have a primate — Bp Fred Hiltz was elected on the fifth ballot this afternoon in Winnipeg. On that ballot he received 60 votes from the clergy and 81 from the laity. Runner-up was Bp Victoria Matthews, who finished the fifth ballot with 56 votes from the clergy and 56 from the laity. See for official results — the previous ballots are also available from http://www.anglican.ca
After 5 ballots Bishop Fred Hiltz was elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.
It appeared that the vote might be deadlocked the Laity favouring Bishop Hiltz (probably the most liberal of the four candidates) and the clergy favouring Bishop Victoria Matthews (the most conservative of the candidates).
After two deadlocked ballots the clergy decided to go with the Laity’s choise and narrowly elected Bishop Hiltz. (If the 3rd ballot had been deadlocked the rules would have passed the decision back to the House of Bishops to choose, and it appears that the clergy did not want that to happen)
As a Lay delegate it was quite exciting to be part of this historic occasion
The Canadian General Synod has elected Bishop Fred Hiltz as Primate today. Details at http://www.anglicanjournal.com/canada/gs2007/003/article/hiltz-elected-primate-on-fifth-ballot/
Stephen Ripley has been quoted in a couple of Canadian online newspapers advocating that the Canadians should consider their conscience and why they have been leaders in other reforms http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Features/2007/06/22/4282271-sun.html and http://winnipegsun.com/News/Columnists/Ripley_Stephen/2007/06/22/4281092-sun.html
Ripley comments “Canadian Anglicans have been at the forefront of social change within the worldwide church, taking the lead in ordaining women priests and bishops over the past 30 years. If they vote to create a group of second-class citizens within their church, they’ll be turning their back on that tradition.”
The Canadian compassion also explains why they have managed to maintain full communion with the Lutherans for the last six years http://www.episcopal-life.org/81808_87146_ENG_HTM.htm Something that is sentimentally appealing as I was baptised as a Lutheran when I was a baby.
I also like their awareness of the small voice of conscience. When Moses sought out God, he did not find him in the fire or the storm or in the miracles made manifest, but in the small quiet voice that came when all was still.
Mind you, as Sentamu has pointed out, it is okay to give warning hisses to protect yourself or your children. Something the Aussies found out in Iraq in December 2004 where they used a defensive tactics and colourful language to make clear that they were not going to be made hostages or puppets http://news.google.com.au/nwshp?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&tab=wn&ncl=1117480857
I wouldn’t necessarily dispute the description of +Victoria as being the most conservative of the candidates. But it should be stated that she is no Akinolist seeking the rending of the Church in twain.
As chair of the Primate’s Theological Commission, she led the process that determined that same sex blessings are a matter of doctrine, but not a matter of core doctrine. And she has publicly stated that she believes that the strength and charism of Anglicanism is that it is not afraid to discuss issues. Certainly as an ordained woman, she has little sympathy for the idea that certain topics are beyond debate.
A conservative, certainly – but in the best sense of what that word used to mean, before it was hijacked to describe knee-jerk reactionaries and scheming egomaniacs.
“Surely impossible that the statement could have been issued without some level of approval from Williams?”
Not at all impossible. Williams is on holiday/sabbatical/whatever. The reason you have a press secretary is so that when things get said that you later need to backtrack from, you can just fire him and disconnect yourself from the statement.
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