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Canadian anger at move: CEN 12.07.07 p 7. December 10, 2007

Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Canada, Church of England Newspaper, La Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America.

The Primate and Metropolitans of the Anglican Church of Canada have released a pastoral letter rejecting the South American church’s oversight of Canadian traditionalists, and have appealed to the Archbishop of Canterbury for assistance.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz and the church’s four metropolitan archbishops said they “deplore recent actions on the part of the primate and General Synod of the Province of the Southern Cone to extend its jurisdiction in Canada through the Essentials Network Conference.”

South America’s reception of breakaway congregations and its licensing of two retired Canadian bishops to exercise episcopal ministry on behalf of South American primate Gregory Venables “breaks fellowship within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion,” they argued and was unnecessary.

“Our bishops have made adequate and appropriate provision for the pastoral care and episcopal support of all members … including those who find themselves in conscientious disagreement with the view of their bishop and synod over the blessing of same-sex unions,” they wrote on Nov 29, urging Dr. Rowan Williams to condemn the South American putsch.

Bishop Venables told Canada’s Anglican Journal his church would not back down from its support of embattled traditionalists.

The Canadian archbishops were guilty of “either denial or hypocrisy” by appealing to the ancient customs of the church, he said.  “They have broken historic agreements – the Lambeth Conference agreement and the Windsor Report – to go ahead with blessing same-sex relationships. To use that argument against us is a bit odd, to say the least.”

Nor was the claim of an adequate provision for pastoral oversight for traditionalists plausible, he said, as it was not created in full consultation with conservatives, he noted.

The issues at stake were greater than a dispute over homosexuality, Bishop Venables said.  “The sexuality issue is the presenting issue, but there are things about Scripture, about who Jesus is. The creeds have seen Jesus Christ as the son of the God and the one way to God the father.”

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