Anglican Bishops struggle with dissent

Canadian Anglican bishops have voted to strike a task force to study what the church should do to provide spiritual care for members who dissent from church policies.

The bishops spent a good part of their four-day meeting discussing the situation in the diocese of New Westminster which has authorized the blessing of same-sex unions.  A group of Anglicans in the diocese have declared that they cannot accept this and have asked another bishop to assume “Episcopal oversight” of their parishes.

Despite a prohibition by New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham, Terry Buckle, Bishop of the Yukon, has offered the dissenting parishes this oversight. As a result, Archbishop David Crawley, Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon, has begun disciplinary proceedings against Bishop Buckle.

Following is the text of two motions adopted by the House of Bishops meeting in Mississauga, Ont., last week.

First Motion:

“That in response to the ‘Statement by the Primates of the Anglican Communion’ (October 16, 2003) the Primate be asked to establish a task force of the House of Bishops to draw up terms and conditions for ‘adequate provision for Episcopal oversight of dissenting minorities’ in the Anglican Church of Canada, to consult through the Primate ‘with the Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of the Primates’, and to report to the April 2004 meeting of the House of Bishops.”

Second Motion:

That this House, to enable the work of the Task Force on Episcopal Oversight for Dissenting Minorities,

  1. Request that the Bishop of Yukon refrain from exercising Episcopal ministry in the Diocese of New Westminster;
  2. Request that the Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon stay proceedings against the Bishop of Yukon;
  3. Request that the Bishop of New Westminster seek a stay of proceedings against the priests of his diocese against whom such proceedings have been initiated;
  4. That a mediator be appointed by the Task Force to negotiate an interim role for the person exercising Episcopal oversight mutually acceptable to the diocesan Bishop and the dissenting parishes.

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For more information, please contact:  Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, 416-924-9199 ext. 277, [email protected], OR Vianney (Sam) Carriere, Director of Communications, 416-924-9199 ext. 306; 416-540-3653 (Cell); [email protected]

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