Bishop’s Pastoral Letter to be read in all churches on March 26th or April 2nd, 2000
March 23, 2000
My Dear Friends in Christ:
I am writing to inform you that we will be going to court once again on March 27th. There are eight plaintiffs in this case, one of whom is claiming directly against our diocese along with Derek Clark, the defendant who has been imprisoned, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Crown. The other seven plaintiffs are not claiming directly against the Anglican Church. The Government of Canada is the only party claiming against the Church in seven out of the eight suits before the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The purpose of this case is to determine what the damages will be.
Through our lawyers, I have informed the lawyers for the plaintiff and the Department of Justice that the Diocese of Cariboo does not have resources currently available to permit us to contribute in any meaningful way to any settlement at this time. I informed them that we are reviewing what diocesan assets are available which would allow us to contribute to a fair resolution of the claims that are before us.
We continue to do a rigorous examination to determine exactly what are parish assets and what are diocesan assets. It is our hope that this task will be completed over the next two months. It is our desire that we will be able to do all of this in such a way that all parties are treated fairly.
As you might remember from my last letter, our diocese, along with the National Church, are appealing the matter of liability which resulted from our last case. The date for the appeal has not yet been set.
I would like you to know how proud I am to be a part of the Cariboo Diocesan family. As I travel around the diocese, I see such vital Christian communities. There are so many signs that our life in Christ is being enriched and deepened. Even though our future as a diocese is uncertain, it is clear that we have the spiritual resources to face whatever lies ahead.
May your Lent be Holy and may it prepare us for the great feast of Easter.
The Rt. Rev. James D. Cruickshan
Bishop of Cariboo