Anglican Samizdat

November 25, 2009

ANiC loses buildings in New Westminster court battle

The judgement is here

No doubt lawyers will be dissecting the judgement over the next few weeks, but the following statement from the judgement seems fairly clear:

A parish does not have authority to unilaterally leave the Diocese, and it is consequently ultra vires for it to pass a resolution purporting to do so. Additionally, while parish corporations may hold title to real property, the effect of s. 7(4)(a) is that that property effectively remains within the Diocese unless the Executive Committee and Bishop agree to mortgage, sell or otherwise dispose of it. In using the church properties for purposes related to ANiC, the parish corporations are using them outside the jurisdiction of the Diocese, and, indeed, the ACC. In my view, this is sufficient to bring the properties within the ambit of s. 7(4)(a) such that the consent of the Executive Committee and Bishop is necessary. As that consent is obviously not forthcoming, the properties remain with the Diocese.

A not particularly surprising view by a secular judge.

Another section says:

The evidence is clear that the ACC remains in communion with the Anglican Communion: the ACC remains in Communion with the See of Canterbury; it was invited to send its bishops to the Lambeth Conference in 2008 and those who were able to attend, did; it continues to participate as a full member in the Anglican Consultative Council; and, it continues to participate in Primates’ meetings. I observe, as well, that the Archbishop of Canterbury affirmed in February 2008 that his “office and that of the Anglican Communion recognize one ecclesial body in Canada as a constitutive member of the Communion, the Anglican Church of Canada”.

Clearly Rowan Williams’ reluctance to discipline heretical Canadian and TEC dioceses has not helped ANiC’s case. It will be interesting to note how far this judgement is seen as a green light for the ACoC to chart new waters of apostasy in its General Synod of 2010.

I imagine this does not bode well for any of the ANiC parishes who are legally contending for their buildings.  But, as Primate Bob Duncan says, “And we’ll have the souls and they’ll get the stuff. We’ll get the future, they’ll get the past. I’d rather have the souls and the future.”

For my part, I think that is not such a bad deal; if – as seems not unlikely – my parish family ends up being thrown out of its building, as far as I am concerned it will be a time to stiffen the spine, be firmly united, look to the future, trust in God, and rejoice in the reality of the salvation that Jesus offers through his atoning sacrifice on the cross.

Coincidentally, this Sunday is St. Hilda’s 50th anniversary celebration; I have a feeling that it is going to be a wonderful time of worship because, regardless of the plans of man, God will be there.


November 13, 2009

Bishop Don Harvey and the “Offensive” word

Filed under: Aniglican Network in Canada — David Jenkins @ 9:48 pm

Everyone seems to be upset by this article from the Toronto Star.

ST. CATHARINES–An invitation from Rome to join the Catholic Church is “offensive in the extreme,” the head of a breakaway group of Canadian Anglicans says.

“Apart from being an intrusion at the very highest levels of one major church into the internal affairs of another, under the guise of being ecumenical, this invitation offers very little that is new,” Bishop Don Harvey, moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, told the group’s annual synod Thursday morning.

Well, it is an intrusion at the highest level and it does offer little that is new: if I had wanted to become a Roman Catholic – in the unlikely event that they would take me – I would hardly have needed to wait until this offer. I seem to recall that the operative word was actually “distressing”, not “offensive”, but I could be wrong. I don’t find the fact that Bishop Don is distressed or offended by what some see as a “generous offer” and others as opportunistic poaching particularly…. offensive. It may not be tactful or politically correct but that is entirely in its favour; which brings me to the other politically incorrect sentence in the article:

David Jenkins of Oakville said he likes the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion and homosexual rights.

Much as I like to be politically incorrect, I am not about to say something so idiotic to a newspaper reporter; what I actually said was that I liked the Catholic Church’s opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. Still, I am not offended or distressed by the misquote, although the next time I see Stuart Laidlaw we will be having a little chat.

November 11, 2009

ANiC Synod 2009 Photos. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, including the consecration of 3 new ANiC bishops

Filed under: Aniglican Network in Canada — David Jenkins @ 7:13 pm





November 10, 2009

At the ANiC Synod

Filed under: Aniglican Network in Canada — David Jenkins @ 6:47 pm

I’ll be at the ANiC Synod for the next 3 days; check the AEC blog for posts and photos.

June 12, 2009

Telling moments in the ANiC vs New Westminster trial

In the final argument, the diocesan lawyer said this:

If the Solemn Declaration sets up a trust so defined, “Churches would be forced into rigorous conservatism,” Macintosh said. “Adapting their doctrines and practices to changing social realities would bring the risk of schism and dissolution. They would be forced to stick with old practices and old understandings.”

The unstated assumption on the part of the diocese is that adapting church doctrine to contemporary cultural mores is what God calls the church to do. This is at the heart of the disagreement: the diocese believes that culture contributes to the determination of doctrine, whereas ANiC believes doctrine has been revealed by God through the Incarnation and propositionally in the bible; it is not subject to the vagaries of shifting temporal conditions. Orthodox Christians view culture in the light of Scripture, revisionists view Scripture in the light of the contemporary culture.

The day before, the diocesan lawyer had this to say:

Different theological positions within a “big tent” denomination like Anglicans are “hardly surprising,” Macintosh argued. But most Canadian Anglicans—including many conservatives opposed to the blessing of same sex unions—feel they can remain in the Anglican Church of Canada.

The account of the trial on the New Westminster site repeatedly refers to ANiC members as dissidents, a euphemism for troublemakers, one assumes. The diocese contrasts this with conservatives who feel they can remain in the Anglican Church of Canada, a number of whom were named. What we see here is a distasteful parading of tame evangelicals to press home the diocesan attempt to squash orthodox Christians in ANiC.

I know there are faithful and well-meaning Christians who believe they are called to remain in the ACoC and I am not in a position to question what they consider to be their calling. But the fact that they do remain is being used by the ACoC to further its revisionist agenda.

June 5, 2009

Crisis in the Anglican Church of Canada? I think not!

On February 26th, 2008, the Right Rev. Colin R. Johnson, Bishop of Toronto had this to say:

Anglican Church is doing just fine
Crisis in the Anglican Church of Canada? I think not! While it is always a matter of great regret when anyone chooses to leave, surely recent reports of schism in Canada need some context. Of the approximately 2,300 parishes in Canada, about 15 have voted to “walk apart.”

Well, Colin, ANiC now has 3 bishops, 68 priests, 12 deacons, and 30 parishes with average Sunday attendance of around 3500  –  larger than 13 ACoC dioceses.

The Diocese of new Westminster is 2 weeks into the trial that will determine ownership of ANiC parish buildings, the Diocese of Niagara has been awarded $95,000 costs even though they were seeking $320,000, leaving them $225,000 in the hole – a deficit that is conspicuously absent from their published financial statements.

Crisis? What crisis?

April 30, 2009

The Anglican Church of Canada’s Vision 2019

Filed under: Aniglican Network in Canada — David Jenkins @ 6:10 pm

There are some more interesting comments on the ACoC site. Since I appear to be persona non gratis and can’t leave comments there, here are some observations on recent entries:

Frank Wirrell says:

April 6, 2009 at 11:25 pm

The comments with respect to justice sound good but to thank the Primate is definitely stretching the truth. The lack of any justice toward orthodox parishes and Anglicans can only be described as the work of Satan. The writer should carefully examine his statement that we should get past the same-sex issues. That issue is simply the tip of the iceberg and demonstrates a complete rejection of God’s word. So-called bishops, including the Primate, that are prepared to claim they can bless same-sex unions are not only deceiving themselves but are deceiving and misleading those involved. Each of us has a tendency to sin in one area or another and that includes being involved in homosexual activity or adultery. Rather than endorsing any sin we need to honestly repent and not be led down the garden path by political expediency. If the Primate were honestly interested in justice he would order that all actions against orthodox parishes cease and that apostate bishops resign their positions.

The Rev. Daniel Graves says:

April 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I find it disheartening that in an exercise that is intended for the building up of the kingdom of God, we continue to see our bishops characterized in such derisive terms. The primate (and our other bishops) are not “so-called” bishops, they are bishops in the Church of God. Similarly, to toss around a term like apostasy is very unhelpful. The elevation of abusive language in these debates is not at all edifying. In my experience, our Primate has never been anything but gracious. His invitation into this discussion and his willingness to listen to all voices has been most gracious. I hope that we as Canadian Anglicans would reciprocate with a similar graciousness that would be characterized in the tone of our language.

Frank Wirrell, Abbotsford, B.C. says:

April 29, 2009 at 4:17 pm

I have noted the response of Fr. Dan Graves and would ask what he finds offensive in my remarks. Clearly the time has come to call a spade a spade. Bishops, clergy and laity that deny the authority of Scripture and attempt to make such authority subject to a majority vote are apostates – politely but mistakenly called liberals. The Primate might well be gracious under some circumstances but his lack of action to deal with apostasy cannot be and should not be overlooked. Certainly he has not been gracious to orthodox Anglicans. To be a true Anglican one must first be a Christian and when you have so-called bishops proclaiming that all religions lead to the same place, action is mandatory to have them repent or remove them from office.

You cannot build a church on sand but only on the Solid Rock. The Anglican Church of Canada is quickly losing its “right” to be called a church of God and needs to repent and turn back from the sin of political expediency.

One of the significant things about this exchange is the fact that the ACoC’s defender is basing his defence on the use of language, rather than truth. The redoubtable Frank is intent upon calling “a spade a spade” and this is what seems to upset Rev. Daniel.

After all, we are Canadian: what matters is being nice to each other, not the truth.

And to set the record straight, the primate, Fred Hiltz is not as gracious as Rev. Daniel would like us to believe: he is supporting dioceses that are suing the pants off people who disagree with them.

August 29, 2008

The children are not returning to their wicked step-parents

From the Telegraph.

Clergy who have defected from their liberal national churches to join traditionalist provinces overseas said the scheme to put them in a “holding bay” before returning them home was “demeaning and unacceptable”.

Meanwhile orthodox Anglican leaders have pledged to press ahead with the creation of their rival movement, claiming that it is an “illusion” to believe that the damage caused by the election of an openly gay bishop can be undone.

It comes just days after Dr Rowan Williams said that the Lambeth Conference gathering of Anglican bishops last month had exceeded expectations and showed that most wanted the 80 million-strong worldwide Communion to stay together despite deep divisions over sexuality.

A letter written by five bishops who have defected from the ultra-liberal Episcopal Church of the USA to conservative churches in Africa and South America was highly critical of the plan announced at Lambeth to create a “pastoral forum”, headed by Dr Williams, that would try to resolve new crises in the Communion and act as a “holding bay” for parishes that have left their home countries.

It said: “We note that the pastoral forum proposal has been developed without any consultation with those most directly affected in North America. This had led to a number of serious misunderstandings with regard to the situation at the local level and the relationship between the bishops, clergy and congregations and their sponsoring provinces.

“We would also observe that the various analogies offered, for example, that we are disaffected children being reunited with our parents or that we are being placed in a holding bay before being restored to our proper province are both demeaning and unacceptable.”

The Communiqué is here.

Poor old Rowan still has his head in the clouds – perhaps he is suffering from the delusion that he never left Swansea. How could be possibly think that the parishes in North America who have risked losing everything but their integrity, would be willing to sit in a ‘holding bay’ until they were ready to return – suitably chastened – to the dioceses who abused them. The same dioceses that turfed them out of their buildings, froze their bank accounts, fired their priests, took them to court and have repeatedly refused to talk – in spite of being pathologically addicted to ‘conversation’ with everyone else about anything at all.

It is about as likely as Rowan saying something clear and straightforward.

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