Canadian woman tipped to be bishop in New Zealand

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A controversial Canadian woman is tipped to be Christchurch's next Anglican bishop.

Church sources confirmed to The Press yesterday that Bishop Victoria Matthews was two-thirds of the way through the ratification process.

The paper said the former bishop of Edmonton, Canada, had signalled support for blessing gay marriages, but was not expected to break with tradition.

News of her election was leaked by London's The Guardian newspaper on Friday.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

18 Comments
Posted February 24, 2008 at 6:55 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Randy Muller wrote:

signalled support for blessing gay marriages, but was not expected to break with tradition.

Who believes this?

Signalling support for blessing gay marriages *is* breaking with tradition.

February 24, 8:02 pm | [comment link]
2. Toral1 wrote:

Congratulations to +Victoria for extricating herself from the very sick Anglican Church of Canada. If only it was so easy for laymen.

February 24, 8:17 pm | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

She hit the glass ceiling in Canada. Resigned as bishop and transferred to New Zealand in less than 6 months. She clearly wants to be an archbishop.

February 24, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
4. SaintCyprian wrote:

It’s weird when clergy are so clearly career-driven.

February 24, 8:41 pm | [comment link]
5. Toral1 wrote:

I wouldn’t assume that +Victoria left because she wants to be Primate of New Zealand some day. I see the desire to depart as more likely to have been occasioned by the way the St. Michael’s report, by the Primate’s Theological Commission, chaired by her, was treated last year.
The report stated that approval of same-sex blessings was a matter of doctrine, which would require a two-thirds vote of each of the 3 houses of General Synod, bishops, priests, and laity, in two consecutive general synods. Although the commission included theological liberals, the report was unanimous.
First the Committee of General Synod, a between-synods bureaucratic body, at the suggestion of the (now past) Primate ++Hutchinson, recommended instead a political compromise whereby such a change would require a 60% vote at one synod. +Victoria publicly objected that this was a totally unprincipled decision and that the reasoning of the report had not even been addressed by CoGS.
At GS, the St. Michael’s Report was accepted. And then the report’s finding as to the threshold needed for a change in doctrine was gutted by procedural maneuvering —a ruling by the chair, ++Hutchinson, that any holding that a motion at GS needed more than 50% approval was, via some obscure canon, not approvable accept by a motion itself requiring a two-thirds vote of General Synod. Trying not to be harsh, it was a maneuver more appropriate for Chicago City Council under Mayor Richard Daley Sr than for a Christian church.
It is hardly any surprise that +Victoria would find further participation in the Canadian “polity” a squandering of the prodigious talents God gave her.

February 24, 9:01 pm | [comment link]
6. jamesw wrote:

Please stop speculating about Matthews’ being career driven here.  We don’t know nor should we presume anything in that regard.  I am curious as to why she abruptly resigned from the Diocese of Edmonton and is now resurfacing in New Zealand, especially when there seems to be no previous connection.  Toral1 - while I agree that the ACCanada is sick, I am not sure that New Zealand is all that much more healthy.

February 24, 9:01 pm | [comment link]
7. Toral1 wrote:

jamesw:
I believe we cross-posted.
Why she resigned?  See above.  She announced her resignation not long after GS 2007.

February 24, 9:06 pm | [comment link]
8. Wilfred wrote:

How can a female bishop not be “expected to break with tradition”?  Her very existence is a break with tradition, and doctrine.

But as for her reason for going to New Zealand, that remains Victoria’s secret.

February 24, 9:21 pm | [comment link]
9. jamesw wrote:

Toral1 - thanks for the important briefing.  I realized that there was political maneuvering going on, but I hadn’t realized that it was such a sharp slap in the face to Matthews.  Yet, I don’t recall her making any major objections at GS, did she?

February 24, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
10. Toral1 wrote:

jamesw:
The subterfuge was accomplished by a point of order and ruling by the Chair—which cannot be debated.
+Matthews could I suppose have raised a phony point of order in order to get the floor and then used her time at the microphone to denounce the ACoC as a corrupt organization which should be investigated under the Canadian equivalent of RICO, but that is not her style.

February 24, 10:28 pm | [comment link]
11. MargaretG wrote:

There is a bit more about it here:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/4414086a6479.html

It looks like she got the nod ahead of Colin Slee—- A close shave!

Note the comment about the Polynesian tikanga—I don’t know if the Maori one has voted yet as well.

February 25, 1:29 am | [comment link]
12. MargaretG wrote:

PS - I doubt there are many for whom her sex will be an issue really.

February 25, 1:29 am | [comment link]
13. azusa wrote:

Dean Colin Slee is on record for calling evangelicals ‘the Taliban’. This is how he declared his ‘orthodoxy’ in a speech a few years ago (courtesy of his friend the journalist Stephen Bates, to whom he gave the news):

“We need to relearn the vocabulary. I give you an example: I insist the cathedral clergy wear black shirts, because it is a statement of history and origin, a uniform deeply rooted in tradition and monastic antecedents; none of those sky-coloured shades indicative of a deep Mariological tendency which would shock their habitual wearers; nor the floral extravaganzas more symptomatic of a photo-collage of the Chelsea flower show than the hard work of saving souls - and black shoes and socks; and be at the daily offices.”

Evidently a deep thinker. How could New Zealand pass up such a devoted believer in the All Blacks?

February 25, 2:37 am | [comment link]
14. azusa wrote:

#6: “Toral1 - while I agree that the ACCanada is sick, I am not sure that New Zealand is all that much more healthy.”
It’s in serious decline in a country where half the population put down ‘no religion’ on the census and where the younger, more vigorous Christians are more inclined to be found in independent charismatic churches. Still, I understand the Anglican diocese of Christchurch has a number of strong evangelical parishes (even some dreaded Sydney influence!) with lively youth work, a research center called ‘Latimer House’, and a new evangelical seminary has opened in the country, as a counterpoise to the liberal seminary in Auckland led by Jenny Te Paa. So the fault lines of the North can be found there as well.

February 25, 2:50 am | [comment link]
15. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

Re: #12,

Well, when yesterday’s revisionism counts as today’s “orthodoxy” in the face of today’s revisionists (who are merely extending and consolidating yesterday’s revisionism), it rather proves the point, doesn’t it?

Game, set and match to Wilfred (#8).

February 25, 10:09 am | [comment link]
16. robroy wrote:

I defer to the expertise of Toral1. It did look to me as career driven. I am glad that +Victoria Matthews is going to counter balance the ludicrous Jenny Te Paa. (Not that the leftist loonies of the ACoC don’t need counter balancing, too!)

February 25, 11:12 am | [comment link]
17. azusa wrote:

#16: .... still, I don’t really understand how a woman bishop could be an ‘Anglo-Catholic’. WWKS - what would Keble say? Where is the ‘Catholic order’ in this? ... only askin’...

February 25, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
18. rugbyplayingpriest wrote:

~17 spot on Gordian!
Catholocism only makes sense coupled with beleif in the ontological piresthood and in the traditional understanding of holy orders.

Given that both Rome and Constantinople bar women’s ordination- as does the main body of Anglo-catholcism- just how does she make the definition?

I like wearing vestments- or smoke turns me on

Sorry but engaging in ritualistic worship does not make one catholic any more than standing in a garage makes me a car.

February 25, 3:17 pm | [comment link]
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