With regret and sorrow, the Church announces receipt of allegations of sexual misconduct concerning Archbishop Mark MacDonald, who has resigned as National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop in the Anglican Church of Canada, and formally relinquished the exercise of the ordained ministry pursuant to Canon XIX, effective April 20, 2022.
In keeping with A Call to Human Dignity, the Council of General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada expressed the Church’s commitment to ensure that:
- All our workplaces are free from violence, coercion, discrimination, and sexual harassment.
- No one is subjected to sexual misconduct of any kind.
- We deal promptly, seriously and systematically with all complaints of sexual misconduct.
- Those who hold positions of trust or power in the church do not take advantage of, or abuse that trust.
We also remain committed to the Safe Church Charter of the Anglican Communion (adopted by General Synod in 2019) and to the need to continually review and improve our policies, training and practices. At General Synod we are currently reviewing our sexual harassment policy with respect to training and procedures to ensure that our policy is effective and appropriate.
We extend, with sorrow, our prayers for healing to all those involved as we deal with the consequences of this situation. We continue to work for respect and dignity in all our relationships.
PASTORAL LETTER TO THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF CANADA
April 20, 2022
Dear friends in Christ,
As you will see in the attached announcement Archbishop Mark MacDonald has resigned as National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop and has relinquished the exercise of ministry due to acknowledged sexual misconduct, effective April 20, 2022.
This is devastating news. The sense of betrayal is deep and profound when leaders fail to live up to the standards we expect and the boundaries we set. Our hearts hold compassion for human frailty and space for repentance while we also ache with the pain that such betrayal causes first to the complainant; then to so many others and to the life of our Church.
First and most importantly our prayers must be for the complainant whose life has been affected by Mark’s actions. The betrayal of trust by someone in such a prominent role of leadership will require a long road of healing and our constant prayers.
Also remember Mark and his family in prayer as they face the consequences of his actions that will affect every member.
The ripple effects of this misconduct will be felt throughout the Church both in Canada and internationally, but most especially within the Sacred Circle and Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. We mourn with them.
I trust that the good work that the Sacred Circle has initiated will continue to deepen and grow. On an interim basis I have asked Bishop Sidney Black to serve as Interim National Indigenous Bishop to give counsel and oversight to the work of Indigenous ministries. Bishop Sidney and the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples will need the prayers of the whole Church as they discern the next steps in confirming the Covenant and Our Way of Life documents.
We have just lived another Holy Week in which the pain and brokenness of the world was taken up on the cross. Today we hold the broken lives and wounds of our Church before that cross and wait in longing for the healing and new life that God promises through Jesus Christ by faith.
We pray for God’s grace for healing and comfort for all.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop & Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
Resources to help
At this time, we are here to work towards safer and healthier workplaces and communities. We wish to provide opportunities for support. If/when support is needed, please reach out to those that you trust; journal, go into nature, work out, access your ceremonies and traditions, hydrate and eat well, spend time with your families.
For Residential School Survivors:
Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419
Indian Residential Schools Resolution Health Support Program
Indian Residential Schools Survivors Society: 1-800-721-0066
Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .