A Pastoral Statement from the Primate and Metropolitans of the Anglican Church of Canada

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are not necessary. Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all members of the Anglican Church of Canada, including those who find themselves in conscientious disagreement with the view of their bishop and synod over the blessing of same-sex unions. These provisions, contained in the document known as Shared Episcopal Ministry, were adopted by the House of Bishops and commended by the panel of reference appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are also inappropriate. They contravene ancient canons of the Church going as far back as the 4th century, as well as statements of the Lambeth Conference, the Windsor report and the Communiqué from the Primates' Meeting earlier this year. Furthermore these actions violate Canon XVII of the Anglican Church of Canada which states that “No Bishop priest or deacon shall exercise ordained ministry in a diocese without the license or temporary permission of the Diocesan Bishop.”

Any ministry exercised in Canada by those received into the Province of the Southern Cone after voluntarily relinquishing the exercise of their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada is inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid. We are aware that some bishops have, or will be making statements to that effect in their own dioceses.

In the meantime we rejoice in this season of Advent in which we once again begin that great journey of tracing the steps of our Lord's most holy life through the liturgy of a new year.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of CanadaCono Sur [formerly Southern Cone]

25 Comments
Posted November 29, 2007 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Tar Heel wrote:

Obviously our neighbors to the North have consulted 815 on how to wage reconciliation.

November 29, 2:08 pm | [comment link]
2. Steven in Falls Church wrote:

In other words, “Take off, hoser!”

November 29, 2:16 pm | [comment link]
3. Paula Loughlin wrote:

We cats are very perturbed that the mice are not happy with the snakes sent to protect them.  What a bunch of ingrates. We made sure the snakes will only gently squeeze them.

November 29, 2:18 pm | [comment link]
4. VaAnglican wrote:

This is a very defensive statement, and the tone suggests a level of fear even surpassing that of 815 (which seems usually either to not care if all the orthodox leave, or not have any sense of the long-term effects of their scortched-earth reconciliation campaign).  Any idea why they should be so scared?  Is it possible that they feel like they’re on their own, without support from the ABC (whose silence remains very interesting)?  Thoughts, anyone?

November 29, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
5. wildfire wrote:

Any ministry exercised in Canada by those received into the Province of the Southern Cone after voluntarily relinquishing the exercise of their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada is inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid.

I gather they don’t approve.  Whatever else it may or may not be, it most certainly is not invalid.

November 29, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
6. Philip Snyder wrote:

If you desire Nicean ecclesiology, then you should work for Nicean faith and practice.  By eschewing the Nicean faith, you eschew any call to Nicean ecclesiology.

If you want the normal protections and courtesies of the Anglican Communion then do not break the bonds of affection that keep the Anglican Communion together.  The actions of Southern Cone are in response to ACiC and TECUSA’s breaking the bonds of affection. If you want the “incursions” to cease, the restore those bonds by going back to the status-quo ante - no blessing of same sex unions and no ordaining practicing homosexuals as bishops (nor, ideally, as priests).

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

November 29, 2:21 pm | [comment link]
7. Randy Muller wrote:

The report of the Primate’s Theological Commission commonly known as the St. Michael Report has described this issue as matter of doctrine but not core doctrine. General Synod concurred with this opinion last June. The St. Michael Report also declared that the matter need not be a Communion-breaking issue.

Maybe the report is wrong.  Voting that it is right does nothing to make it right.  All the voting does is marginalize those who think the report is wrong.

It would seem that the ACoC has learned nothing from ECUSA.

November 29, 2:29 pm | [comment link]
8. gppp wrote:

Terry Buckle, who offered oversight to the faithful NewWest parishes who bucked Mikey Ingham’s innovations, signed this letter?  How hard was him arm twisted?

November 29, 2:30 pm | [comment link]
9. DonGander wrote:

God is giving the gift of clarity.

Be thankful. Give praise.

November 29, 2:35 pm | [comment link]
10. Scotsreb wrote:

When +Fred stated: “The The report of the Primate’s Theological Commission commonly known as the St. Michael Report has described this issue as matter of doctrine but not core doctrine. General Synod concurred with this opinion last June. The St. Michael Report also declared that the matter need not be a Communion-breaking issue” .... he is stating a wish, not supported by facts.

The matter has proven indeed, to be a communion breaking issue.

What further data does +Fred require, in order to see that his opinion is no being borne out by facts?  How many ACoC parishes need to bolt, in order for him to realize that the critical mass of communion breaking, has been reached?

However, it seems obvious that for the moment, he will carry on down the same trail that TEC has already blazed.  It seems that he will be absolutely: 1) unable to see the facts before him, 2) Unable to hear, listen to and consider what is being said around and to him, 3) Unable to think a second time and conclude that his feeling that SSB etc. are not communion breaking matters, is wrong.

How he can still hold to this position, when the province he leads is breaking up in front of him, is puzzling.  I can only ascribe this stubborn cleaving to a destructive philosophy is the act of a true believer, caught up in the fervour of his position. 

Like in the immediate aftermath of Sarajevo in 1914, positions are now becoming so hardened that both sides mobilizing, digging trenches and the opening shots have been fired.

Even if he personally feels that SSB are not communion breaking, any form of honest intellectual thought MUST tell him that to the majority of the AC worldwide, it is.

November 29, 2:40 pm | [comment link]
11. Bill McGovern wrote:

VaAnglican, I don’t think the Anglican Church in Canada has the financial resources to combat these departures like TEC. Wasn’t the Church hit with huge monetary damages arising out of the widespread abuse of Inuit children?

November 29, 2:44 pm | [comment link]
12. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

By this

Any ministry exercised in Canada by those received into the Province of the Southern Cone after voluntarily relinquishing the exercise of their ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada is inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid. 

and this

  This action breaks fellowship within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion

the Anglican Church of Canada has announced that it is breaking communion with another province: the Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de las Americas.

November 29, 2:48 pm | [comment link]
13. John B. Chilton wrote:

Take note: the conservative +Clarke and +Buckle have signed this pastoral statement.

November 29, 2:53 pm | [comment link]
14. TonyinCNY wrote:

Phil (#6), very well stated.

Isn’t it amazing how the perpertrators (sp.?) can characterize their attempts as adequate and appropriate?  As Paula colorfully says (#3), note to metropolitans, the departing parishes don’t agree that what you have provided is adequate, whether or not you believe it is appropriate.

November 29, 3:26 pm | [comment link]
15. justice1 wrote:

As a priest in Canada, I am still waiting for some sort of response from Council of General Synod, thr Primate, or SOMEBODY calling + Michael Ingham to account for his heavy-handedness in his diocese towards parishes and clergy who have exercised their freedom of conscience and disagreed with his heresy.

Further, where is the pastoral statement from COGS and the Primate to the diocese of Niagra, Ottawa, and Montreal who have gone against our most recent synod, the house of bishops, and the worldwide communion, and allowed motions to be passed on the blessing of same sex unions?

These activites contravene ancient church EVERYTHING going back to the time of Jesus and before by centuries, if not millenia, as well as Lambeth 1:10, etc. ad nauseum!!!  If the ACC wants churches and people to hear such statements, why don’t they start leading by example.

November 29, 3:44 pm | [comment link]
16. seitz wrote:

#13—It would indeed be important to determine the judgement of +Clarke and +Buckle in this matter. It would also be important to understand the actual scale of what is being referred to as ‘Network’, and on occasion as ‘Essentials’, sometimes interchangeably. One report spoke of ‘260 leaders of congregations,’ but in actual fact, how many congregations in the Anglican Church of Canada are a part of this, or are likely to opt to ‘leave’ as encouraged to do, in reports on line? A different set of problems of clarity dogged references to ‘Network’ in the US zone, in the aftermath of the formation of Common Cause and in the light of the present legal undertakings. I speak with Newspaper reporters from time to time, who ask for clarity on this issue, and I must confess the details are not easy to come by.

November 29, 3:47 pm | [comment link]
17. Paul PA wrote:

An observation and a question - the writers refer to the Primate of the Southern Cone - but never mention His actual name - obviously they know it. This is strange - normally this would convey that the position conveyed the authority to take an action which one disagreed with but that one didn’t want to personalize the disagreement- which is exactly the opposite of their point. Question - The “Primate of the Southern Cone” expressed that his actions had been discussed with/approved by The Archbishop of Canterbury. Is their any indication that their displeasure with his actions has also been discussed directly with Canterbury? The closest they seen to come is by referring to the panel of reference. The Archbishop of Canterbury’s silence is (quite obviously) deafening?????

November 29, 5:19 pm | [comment link]
18. Toral1 wrote:

One report spoke of ‘260 leaders of congregations,’ but in actual fact, how many congregations in the Anglican Church of Canada are a part of this, or are likely to opt to ‘leave’ as encouraged to do, in reports on line?

16 parishes have joined ANiC :http://www.anglicannetwork.ca/member_parish.htm Not all of these may vote to affiliate with Southern Cone. My understanding is that there may be about the same number in addition that might be characterized as ‘very interested in what Network is doing’. I expect some very strong actions to be taken in the very near future to scare off these ‘interested parishes’, and would guess that this is the ACC’s most pressing immediate goal.

The ANiC also has an unknown number of individual members.

November 29, 6:50 pm | [comment link]
19. Newbie Anglican wrote:

I’m beginning to think liberals don’t release they look either 1. hilariously stupid and/or 2. brazenly hypocritical when they cite “ancient canons” of the church.

November 29, 7:07 pm | [comment link]
20. robroy wrote:

The report of the Primate’s Theological Commission commonly known as the St. Michael Report has described this issue as matter of doctrine but not core doctrine. General Synod concurred with this opinion last June. The St. Michael Report also declared that the matter need not be a Communion-breaking issue.

Of course, they quickly forget the parenthetical: not core doctrine (as in the sense of credal). Who would have predicted that the “sense of credal” would be so quickly forgotten? Answer: everyone predicted that. No, the sinfulness of homosexuality is not in the Nicene creed.

Isn’t it nice that the St. Michaels report tells us that the blessing of SSU’s is not communion breaking. I feel so much better now. I was getting worried. The report says it, so the ACoC can’t be falling apart and falling out of communion with the rest of the AC.

November 29, 8:52 pm | [comment link]
21. Terwilliger+ wrote:

I am writing to weigh in on Archbishop Terry Buckle’s signing of the Pastoral Statement. 
First, let me say, +Terry Buckle needs no defending on his record for where he stands on the Gospel and the mission of the Church.  +Buckle is, and has been, a warrior for the Faith once delivered to the saints and he IS working to the ends that the Anglican Church of Canada would be a place build upon Scriptural faithfulness.
I am less than thrilled about this Statement.  However, I was first given it yesterday via email by Archbishop Buckle - with an explanation - sent to all his clergy acknowledging its “one-sidedness” in the issues before the Anglican Church of Canada.  +Terry explained to all of us that the letter was not intended to address the wider scope of the controversies in Canada (i.e., The demure of the Synods of Montreal, Ottawa, Niagara from the motion passed at General Synod last summer denying local option).  +Buckle stated that it is his conviction that other statements must be forthcoming that address the other side of these controversial issues that have led others to search for safe harbor in other jurisdictions and is currently causing confusion and uncertainty.
He is am immensely humble man and servant; I admire him greatly.  I am, though, thankful that he has expressed his belief that the Pastoral Statement is one-sided and that there is much more work to be done and that part of that has yet to be stated in the same manner.
Thanks for allowing me to respond.
God Bless,
The Revd David Terwilliger
(Diocese of Yukon)

November 30, 10:43 am | [comment link]
22. felix hominum wrote:

#20 (robroy) - I’m glad you noticed as well the shift in language which has occured after GS.  I too have noticed hoiw quickly the parenthetical (in the sense of being credal) has been dropped, both in casual and in official communication.  There is also an interesting shift in the re-telling of the St Michael Report.  The initial report said “the Commission does not believe that this should be a communion-breaking issue.”  This has now been upgraded to: the Commission “declared” that it “need not be” a communion breaking issue.  Minor, perhaps, but a carelessness around language is unhelpful.  It appears to move from the presentation of an opinion to the assertion of a fact.

#21 Terwilliger+:  Thanks for the explanatory notes from Bishop Buckle.

blessings,
felix hominum

November 30, 1:23 pm | [comment link]
23. farstrider+ wrote:

# 21 Terwilliger. Thanks for weighing in. I and many others within our diocese (New Westminster) have appreciated +Terry’s willingness to go to bat for us over the course of the past few years—even at legal risk to himself, and I don’t want to take away from that. However two points need to be made:

1) Goodwill alone doesn’t feed the hungry or clothe the poor. While a few of the remaining godly bishops have, in the past, expressed their “togetherness” with the orthodox, none of this togetherness has actually materialised in alternative oversight. Congregations have been driven out of their churches and orthodox ministers summarily fired. Orthodox ordinands have no hope of being licensed in this diocese so ministers who might otherwise have retired have to stay on, knowing that they will likely be replaced with wolves instead of shepherds. There is a theological and pastoral crisis and +Terry knows this.

2) You wrote:

+Buckle stated that it is his conviction that other statements must be forthcoming that address the other side of these controversial issues that have led others to search for safe harbor in other jurisdictions and is currently causing confusion and uncertainty.

Yes, well we would all agree that such statements should be forthcoming, but they haven’t been. And is there anyone left left who actually believes that they will be forthcoming? The Anglican Church of Canada has, by and large, abandoned Communion with the Anglican Church throughout the world to set out on its own post-Christian path. There are exceptions (+Terry Buckle being just one of them), and I bless them and those who have the privilege of ministering under their oversight. Most of us have not been so blessed and, whatever +Terry’s motivations may have been in signing the letter in question, you will perhaps understand if we don’t agree that this was a good and faithful thing that he did.

November 30, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
24. Terwilliger+ wrote:

Farstrider,
I won’t presume to answer for +Buckle as to his “motivations” in signing the letter in question.  It appears that you have a strong enough sense about +Buckle’s orthodoxy to count those who minister under him a blessed so I know that I don’t need to defend his ministry and integrity.  +Terry Buckle is a godly man and, I believe by nature, an irenic spirit in the midst of the mess we have (that in itself is refreshing to me from my previous experiences).  However, in turning to the Statement itself, I suspect - reading it at face value - that it is meant to convey ONLY (and not more) than what it explicitly says.  Whatever forthcoming statements may come to balance the admitted “one-sidedness” of this one, I am sure that +Terry will have his hand in stating what we (orthodox) believe must be said.  I trust him for this much because of what I know and understand about his record in advocating in various venues the thoughts and desires of the Biblically faithful.
Having been a priest in The Episcopal Church before becoming Canadian, I have seen certain events in TEC from the ground level such that you are painfully familiar with in New Westminster.  What it has taught me is that the kinds of “changes” that are necessary to realign North American Anglicanism appear glacial in slowness at times; at other times they happen with a swiftness that many unfortunates get loss in the processes of.  I believe that +Buckle is painfully aware of the dangers that always lay near at hand in swift and massive shifts and his heart is truly with those who get caught up in the confusion and quandary and then left behind wounded in it all. 
It is my prayer - as +Terry has shared he is praying for you all as well - that those Bishops, parishes and ministers who are leaving for “other shores” will continue to rely upon God’s grace, seek His leading in this time of uncertainty, and walk faithfully with Christ.  I bid you God’s peace, Farstrider.

December 1, 12:35 am | [comment link]
25. farstrider+ wrote:

And you Terwilliger. My prayers remain with you all. Those who have realligned themselves under the Southern Cone (and those who are considering reallignment) are doing so very much hoping that, one day, the two streams may flow together as one again. To some extent that will be up to the Anglican Church of Canada, but we will also be praying to that end. As it stands we have work to do—finally we are free to do it!

Blessings,
fs

December 1, 4:02 am | [comment link]
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