A statement to the Church from the Council of General Synod

The Council of General Synod approved the following statement unanimously.

The Council of General Synod, meeting in Mississauga, Ont., from Nov. 16 to 18 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.

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