From the Anglican Journal
Conservative Anglicans determined to stay within church
About 50 conservative Anglican leaders, including eight young theological students, gathered in Toronto for a one-day consultation on Nov. 25 and emerged with a determination to remain within the Anglican Church of Canada. They came from 16 dioceses across the country.
Rev. Brett Cane of St. Aidan’s Anglican Church in Winnipeg is chair of Anglican Essentials Federation who was quick to point out that the organization is going through a name change. He said that the “Essentials” label has negative connotations in some parts of the country. He said that the federation is loosening its connection to the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). “We will still maintain links of fellowship with the network but we will not be organizationally tied together.”
The “Essentials” moniker does indeed have a bad reputation – amongst heretics posing as believers in the ACoC. One can only assume from this that Brett feels more at home with the heretics, so long as they are part of the Canadian Anglican establishment. But to soften the blow for those in ANiC with fragile sensibilities he says this:
Mr. Cane said that the federation will continue to meet together with those involved in ANiC, “being together in preaching, youth work and mission.” “We are all still brothers and sisters in Christ; we need to recognize their pain because it isn’t easy to leave the denomination you love.”
He said that the one day consultation dealt with “reformulating our vision” rather than issues around structure. He said he saw this conservative federation as more of a movement within the Anglican Church of Canada than an organization.
Looking forward to seeing the “reformulated vision”, Brett; although I do wonder how one can reformulate something that was never there in the first place. And I can’t help feeling that calling the Federation a “movement” is akin to calling a tortoise a Ferrari.
The concerns of conservative Anglicans reach beyond the blessing of same-sex unions, he said. There is a need for theological reflection on the uniqueness of Jesus, biblical interpretation, marriage, and the rights of children. Mr. Cane says the federation – whatever its new name – will be encouraging theological students to become engaged in these conversations.
We’re on the right track, then: more reflection and conversations; oh joy.
He said there are five key areas on which the federation will focus: giving voice to the issues at various meetings of dioceses and synods, continuing to network with other conservative organizations and denominations in Canada, international representation (Mr. Cane says he will attend the Common Cause Partnership meeting in December as an observer), encouraging conservative theologians to meet and work on the issues, and working with theological students and others under age 40 to “help the rest of the church affirm authentic Anglicanism.”
Yes, but what are you actually going to do?
Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, sent a lengthy pastoral letter to the consultation in which he acknowledged differences in biblical interpretation and expressed appreciation for the fellowship’s determination to work within the Anglican Church of Canada.
Only on Anglicans would the irony of having to have determination to stay within one’s own denomination be lost.
In his letter, the primate said that “the St. Michael Report itself acknowledges that ‘the interpretation of scripture is a central and complex matter’ and that, at times in the church’s history, ‘faithful readings have led to mutually contradictory understandings, requiring on-going dialogue and prayer toward discernment of the one voice of the gospel.’
Another example of foggy Fred’s fuzzy logic. A “faithful reading” must surely be an accurate one; so how can two faithful readings of scripture be contradictory? They can’t except in Fred’s miasma clouded little dream-world.
Mr. Hiltz said he was “deeply mindful of your conscientious struggle over this matter. I acknowledge with deep gratitude your faithfulness to Christ. I recognize your commitment to remain within the fellowship of the Anglican Church of Canada, to support its witness to the gospel and to take your place in its councils. I assure you that there continues to be a place for your voice at the table. That assurance is in keeping with an abiding conviction that as Anglicans we value the comprehensiveness so long a characteristic of our history and tradition as a church.”
To translate: we have no interest in your opinion but we’re glad you’re staying because we need your money. You’re welcome to sit in at our synods, but we will ignore you because you’re a bunch of antediluvian fundamentalist throwbacks.