Thinking Anglicans

Canadians respond to Bishop Harvey's departure

The Canadian Council of General Synod is meeting this weekend. It has issued this statement:

A Statement to the Church From the Council of General Synod

November 16, 2007

The Council of General Synod, meeting in Mississauga, Ontario, from November 16th – 18th 2007, has received with concern the news that Bishop Donald Harvey has voluntarily relinquished, effective immediately, the exercise of ordained ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, and intends to be received into the Province of the Southern Cone (in South America). Bishop Harvey, retired bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, has been a valued member of our church, and his decision is a source of sadness.

The Anglican Church of Canada welcomes and respects freedom of individual conscience and the theological convictions of its diverse membership. Our General Synods have consistently sought to honour every voice as we work patiently through contentious and difficult issues before our church. Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all Canadian Anglicans. We value and respect the diversity of the worldwide Anglican Communion and have expressed our commitment to its ongoing life, even as we also ask for respect and understanding of our own.

To this end we wish to make clear that interventions in the life of our church, such as ordinations or other episcopal acts by any other jurisdictions, are inappropriate and unwelcome. In particular, we cannot recognize the legitimacy of recent actions by the Province of the Southern Cone in purporting to extend its jurisdiction beyond its own borders. We call upon the Archbishop of Canterbury to make clear that such actions are not a valid expression of Anglicanism and are in contravention of the ancient and continuing traditions of the Church. They aggravate the current tensions in the Anglican Communion.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news for the world, and our primary task as Christians is to make this Gospel known through action and word. We strongly support our Primate’s view that the Church in Canada and throughout the world should make Christ and His mission its central focus. We therefore call upon all our members, lay and ordained, to commit themselves to this priority, and to respect the structures and authority of the Church.

We ask your prayers for our continued fellowship in the Spirit and our unity in the bond of peace.

The Anglican Journal has a report, Bishop leaves Canadian church for South American province:

The retired bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, Don Harvey, has left the Anglican Church of Canada to become a bishop in the South American province of the Southern Cone, a decision that the primate of the Canadian church acknowledged would pose “complications” for the already fragile unity within the local church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Bishop Harvey, who has been outspoken in his opposition to what he considers the Canadian Anglican church’s liberal stance on homosexuality, particularly the blessing of same-gender unions, announced his departure more than a week before he was to lead a meeting in Burlington, Ont. to discuss the future of conservative Anglicans in the church…

The Anglican Network in Canada had this description of the event: Anglican Network in Canada bishop received into Southern Cone.

The Anglican Journal has a further report, Council expresses sadness over bishop’s departure.

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EPfizH
EPfizH
13 years ago

“Bishop Venables, who was unanimously re-elected as Primate at the Synod meeting, confirmed that he had had a one-to-one meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury before taking the decision. ‘We would not have moved if I had not had that conversation with him,’ he said.” The quote from +Venables is an interesting one, but it can be interpreted in multiple ways. He will retire soon, presumably he will leave the “southern” cone to a group overwhelmingly populated by North Americans. As +Harvey is the Network coordinator for Canada, one wonders who the new “primate” will be, which one of the… Read more »

C.B.
C.B.
13 years ago

These neo conservatives really know how to overplay their hand. So, it doesn’t matter after all what course of action a Province might take (or have taken) to deal with human sexuality. Canada has been the model of appeasement – just like Rowan asked – but NO! that changes nothing. Perhaps, Rowan (and the rest of the Primates) will see clearly that this is not about listening or polity – or taking first things first. This is about grabbing power and scapegoating to get it. Well done neo conservatives!!! No subtlety here – only raw overreaching and England is next!

MJ
MJ
13 years ago

Well, looks like it’s official. Every province is now fair game! Who’s next on the ‘Global South’ hit list? I hope the majority of the Primates are paying close attention – you could be next. (Except they won’t have the b*lls to try anything in England. If they do, +Williams will declare them ‘out of communion’ with him and, therefore, instantly out of the Anglican Communion.

John B. Chilton
13 years ago

Is this plea from a member of the Commonwealth more likely to be heard than one from TEC?

Marshall Scott
13 years ago

Sad, but from what I understand not a shock.

However, it is the first step in those who wish to separate visiting upon Canada the nibbling that has been visited upon the United States. I appreciate the call of the Council to Canterbury to express a firm opinion on this. In light of the rumor (assertions of a “dependable source” notwithstanding) that Canterbury thinks this is “a way forward,” I hope Archbishop Williams will listen – at least better than he listend to bishops in the Episcopal Church.

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

Whooie. Canada is a good image of the real stumbling blocks to totalistic conservative realignment. How does a religious community embody welcome while simultaneously pitting people against each other in worldwide Anglican Communion life in as pitched and loaded a manner as possible? Achieving a seeming common mind and heart and faith all seems to so easy, so foregone to so many realignment leaders and believers – so long as we are mainly trash talking queer folks. Who cannot mumble something nasty and demeaning about queer folks, almost in their sleepy orthodox sleep? Our legacy of trash talk – called… Read more »

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

Why am I not surprised that it is a RETIRED bishop? Don’t these people know how to play nicely in their old age? Or do they want to bring back the “good” old days when men were allowed to be men, and women had to smile nicely and say “yes dear” no matter how rude or aggressive they were. drdanfee’s Ba’al reference was actually quite biblical. Romans 11:2-6 God’s reply to us would be similar to that made to Elijah “I have reserved for myself those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. So too, at the present time… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

Not only not a surprise, but a bit of a yawn. Descriptions of him in this his old diocese often make reference to his having been “Harvey contra mundum”. While it goes back before OOW, he was this diocese’s ringleader against OOW. I remember the day he stood in the pulpit of our parish church, HIS parish, and announced he had changed his mind. Now our parish is no hotbed of liberalism, still hasn’t had a woman celebrate, cripes female SERVERS caused quite a snit in the early 80s! It was a testament to the esteem in which he was… Read more »

Neil
Neil
13 years ago

I am uncomfortable with the tone of the comments here trying to rubbish this retired bishop. Many may disagree with his analysis, but I think it is dangerous and just too easy to write off what must surely be a sincere (even if misguided from some viewpoints) position. Having said this, I am alarmed that the so-called moderate evangelicals and catholics within the CofE seem to have decided some time ago that what happened with +Gene Robinson was so beyond the pale that no amount of appeasement ‘post’ his consecration will be enough to heal the tearing apart of the… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
13 years ago

There will be no mass departures in Canada as Canadians are more indifferent towards Religion.

Ren Aguila
Ren Aguila
13 years ago

Maybe it’s beating a little dead horse here, but I think the Anglican Church in Canada really lost a huge symbolic opportunity to send a message by not electing former bishop Victoria Matthews to the primacy. While she is a woman and therefore anathema to many elements within the Global South, her willingness to enforce a moratorium within her diocese, however ill-willed it may have been, would have been welcome news to more moderate GS elements. At the same time, I think that after the Niagara vote, the challenge may well be that Anglicans in Canada would now have to… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Well, if they think so it’s their problem, don’t you think?

Cheryl Va. Clough
13 years ago

When Klu Klux Klan lynchings were going on, it would have been appropriate to denounce those who were participating in such gangs, even if you did not personally know who was a member. When Nazism was being formed, it would have been appropriate to voice concerns and denounce the violence justifications. Those who are attempting to “tear apart” the communion by guerilla warfare (their own term) claim that we have no biblical basis for refusing to deny GLBTs dignity and a place a the communion table. They are prepared to sacrifice their souls and their wellbeing. That is not the… Read more »

revkarenm
revkarenm
13 years ago

So, my question is where is RW in all of this? You know, the ABC. When will he speak to restrain the Primate of the Southern Cone and those bishops, with and without jurisdiction, who are seeking “refuge”, especially those claiming to transfer their entire dioceses to that jurisdiction? If RW cannot take a firm stand for Anglican order, at this critical time, then he will have failed his office, and failed the Communion in a most grevious way. Does no sane and practical person have RW’s ear? Will his advisors be too timid to speak truth to power here… Read more »

NP
NP
13 years ago

revkarenm – the ABC and all the Primates aknowledged in Tanzania that primatial care for orthodox Anglicans in revisionist provinces will continue until such time as there is some resolution in the AC to the tear in the fabric of the communion made by TECUSA in 2003…….now, the ABC has wasted 4 years not making decisions (in order not to declare TECUSA way out of step with most of the AC) but maybe now we see an acceleration of action from the US and Canada and the prospect of most of the AC not coming to Lambeth……he may make some… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“rubbish this retired bishop’ When I found my parish on first moving to St. John’s 25 years ago now, Don Harvey was the rector, and a well respected one, as I said. I have lived in this city since. He was the bishop of this diocese. Even those friends he has left in the parish were disturbed yesterday morning when the news was announced from the pulpit. Truth to tell, most of the diocese would probably oppose SSBs if it ever came to a vote in synod. Yet Harvey is not popular here because of his behaviour around this issue,… Read more »

Malcolm+
Malcolm+
13 years ago

Seems to me that if Don formerly ENL&L or Jack soon-to-be-formerly FW or Bob soo-to-be-formerly Pittsburgh become Presiding Bishop of the Southern Cone then the real losers will be Anglicans in the Southern Cone of America who will have a Presiding Bishop who views them as mere props in a quixotic crusade.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

revkarenm, You really expect R Williams to wade in and put all the GS bishops in their place? Have I got this right, the concerns of those who hold to historic Christian teaching – still the teaching of the wider AC in its councils and documents – do not matter? That is the way of worldly power and ideology. You speak of truth but appeal to “truth” itself it seems in your view is part of the ideology now to be enforced. Bishop Spence shows what this means, “there are a lot of people out there who think we should… Read more »

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“I don’t think that homosexuality is a human rights issue and one of justice.” Well and good. So seeking to be able legally to refuse us services is not a human rights issue? Seeking to jail not only us, but those who support us, including councillors who suggest that self acceptance is better than suicide isn’t a human rights issue? What would Lord Carey define as a human rights issue then? And the last sentence in that paragraph sounds a lot like he’s saying our relationships are NOT about faithfulness and friendship. So much for listening. “accuses liberals in the… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, Maybe we can agree: “I don’t think that homosexuality is a human rights issue and one of justice.” The point as I understand him is precisely to affirm these rights, they must not be denied to them. Services, counselling, citizen rights, medical care etc are there for them – part of their human rights. He is concerned with the issue within the framework of Christian faith and morality (I think he could have said some things differently or better!). There are various relationships, there are wonderful relationships of friendship, mutual support etc. There are also relationships with some history… Read more »

JPM
JPM
13 years ago

“accuses liberals in the Church who support a homosexual lifestyle of undermining marriage.”

I would suggest that the casual attitude toward divorce to which Carey himself subscribes has done far more damage to the institution of marriage than for same sex couples to be faithful to one another.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“part of their human rights.” What this suggests to me is that you are accustomed to talking of gay people as an abstraction. “They” want this and that. Well, I am one of “they”. I am not an abstraction. I am an active member of my parish, who is silly enough to believe that, despite everything he has said on this site, he is not out to his fellow congregants, none of them are stupid people, BTW, and must have noticed after all these years there is no woman in my life. Many of them have computers, and have probably… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford,

I thought you were but did want simply to presume. Furthermore, I was trying to interpret ab Carey withour specific reference to you.

I have noted here before that interpretation of the scriptures is a challenge – it is at least as complex as human life – it means taking it seriously! So on different matters we read do not read it not simply on the flat but in terms of where it’s going in the fulfillment represented by Jesus Christ.

Peace,

Ben W

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford,

Trying to dash off a note to you and missed a key word. The first sentence should read,”I thought you were but did not want simply to presume.”

Ben W

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“So on different matters we read do not read it not simply on the flat but in terms of where it’s going in the fulfillment represented by Jesus Christ.”

I take this to mean that you, like me, believe that a proper approach to Scripture involves seeking to understand the mind of Scripture, to live “by the spirit of the Law” rather than the literalism usually used against gay people, the “find me a verse and I’ll agreee with you” approach?

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Surely you mean “find me a verse and I’ll dis-agree with you”, Ford?

Ford ELms
Ford ELms
13 years ago

Goran,
Or find me a verse and I’ll hit you over the head with it! The so called “Steel Plated Bible” style of religious debate.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, If you mean taking into account the context or the line of thought of scripture on a matter we are in agreement on this point. On sexuality I look at the line of thought as it begins with God’s intention in creation, how other texts referring to it line up (they may affirm what is there or they may negate departures from it), what is affirmed by Jesus, and how the NT affirms or fills this out. It cannot be a matter of just taking one text, this then to be used as a weapon against someone, but really… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Ben W,

You have no idea of “God’s intention in creation”.

None of us do.

It’s Blasphemy.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Goran,

I won’t say anything about this response except a question: It is interesting – we have no idea of “God’s intention in creation” but we know it’s blaphemy!?

Ben W

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Now Ben W, t h a t was “intentional”…

But I’m sure it was not God’s intention.

For you or for anybody else.

;=)

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Good Faith – Bad faith – Evil faith.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“sexuality I look at the line of thought as it begins with God’s intention in creation” Jesus says that “in the Kingdom, they neither marry nor are given in marriage”. Paul clearly sees marriage as a sop to those heterosexuals who are unable to control themselves. St. Photini was sent by Jesus to tell the Good News to her people, despite the fact that she had had several husbands and was living with a man to whom she was not married, a far more profound scandal then than now. To me, this says that God doesn’t really have all that… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Ford, You will note that in context Jesus is talking about the final stage after the resurrection when people “niether marry nor are given in marriage.” With creation already after humans as “male and female,” the relation is affirmed as “very good.” Jesus affirms that and so does Paul, though recognizing that there are circumstances and individual callings in which the better way can be singleness (cf. 1 Cor 6 and 7). Close reading confirms that the Corinthians are part of a confused culture on sex – some think to be really spiriual you keep yourself from material things as… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben

I think we’re getting a bit confused here.
Noone doubts that marriage is the best place for expressing sexuality.
The question is whether the state of marriage can be open to same sex couples too.

For a biblical analysis of this read Tobias Haller’s “lawfully joined”

http://home.earthlink.net/~bsg/lj.htm

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ford,
sorry, I hope my last comment didn’t sound like a plea for SSBs. It wasn’t meant to be. I do believe that ANY stable, faithful and monogamous relationship fulfills biblical criteria for “marriage”, whether the couple in question is gay or straight. It’s the commitment that matters not the legal form.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“You will note that in context Jesus is talking about the final stage after the resurrection when people “niether marry nor are given in marriage.”” Sorry, Ben, this is a reasonable discussion, so I don’t want to sound here like I do when I’m all fussed up and nasty with NP, but this sounds to me like so much fudge, meant to give status to something that really doesn’t deserve it. Aren’t we already living, in some sense, in the Kingdom? Creation is awaiting its perfection, but aren’t we supposed to live in ways that work towards that goal? I… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Erika,

If you can only see your own point should it be a surprise that you keep missing the points others make? In response to Ford the question was about how Paul thought of sexuality, my reference to Genesis and the creation of “male and female” as the “very good” creation of God is there to affirm that (no more – it was not about your concern).

Ben W

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben, please don’t be patronising. Your whole conversation with Ford was about the place of homosexual relationships in the spectrum of Christian relationships. In particular you said “There are various relationships, there are wonderful relationships of friendship, mutual support etc. There are also relationships with some history that come close in some ways to the character or structure of what marriage has been, like one man married to a plural number of wives. There are people agitating for this as proper marriage. Do we say OK, ignore history and the evidence we have for the meaning of marriage in scripture… Read more »

TJ Ollerhead
TJ Ollerhead
13 years ago

Any church in which Bishop Harvey preaches should have its tax-exempt status revoked: Should Canadians give tax advantages to FOREIGN churches?

Good riddance to this most preposterous, vain, self-righteous bigot.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
13 years ago

“this most preposterous, vain, self-righteous bigot.” You know, I’ve said the same kind of thing about bishops I do not agree with. I was once a parishioner of his and had lots of respect for him. I have lost that respect because of his actions. For all this diocese is quite conservative, his behaviour has turned a lot of his former supporters against him, not for what he thinks about gay people, I think a good chunk agree with him on that, but they way he is going about this is just nasty, and shows a deep lack of Christian… Read more »

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Erika,

I was speaking with reference to the message just exchanged with Ford. If you go back over the week and pick things who knows where conversation might go! Bye.

Ben W

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben My my my, I have clearly rattled your cage. Apologies! But having read the whole thread again I still don’t see why my post should have been dismissed so rudely. It started out as a conversation about homosexuality, the opposition to which you base on your way of reading the bible. Ford and you then talked about approaches to reading the bible with regard to what it says about sexuality. You said that sexuality begins with God’s intention in creation, Ford asked you what you see as God’s intention for sexuality to which you replied that God created them… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
13 years ago

Come, come Erica. You’re being too hard on him. Throwing stones to cover his retreat was the only thing he could do – short of giving up his Sect.

Ben W
Ben W
13 years ago

Erika,

You easily presume (on all counts in this post). I am not upset nor am I trying to be rude, I think we have gone over these points and just want to conclude.

Peace,

Ben W

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
13 years ago

Ben
The only people who can close a thread are the owners of this forum.
The customary way to close a conversation is to stop posting not to tell the other person to stop talking.
All posts are intended for the person they’re addressed to but they are also public so others can join in at any time.

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