01 December 2007

A question of authority

The new Primate of the Anglican Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, has ordered this pastoral letter to be read in all ACC parishes tomorrow. This is in response to efforts of conservative Anglicans to set up a parallel jurisdiction under the Province of the Southern Cone. Thus saith the epistle:

The actions by the Primate of the Southern Cone are also inappropriate. They contravene ancient canons of the Church going as far back as the 4th century, as well as statements of the Lambeth Conference, the Windsor report and the Communiqué from the Primates' Meeting earlier this year. Furthermore these actions violate Canon XVII of the Anglican Church of Canada which states that “No Bishop priest or deacon shall exercise ordained ministry in a diocese without the license or temporary permission of the Diocesan Bishop.”

However, as this National Post article reports, the Canadian bishops are appealing to the canons selectively, choosing to ignore their own deliberate defiance of sections 143-144 of the Windsor Report and thus the rest of the Anglican Communion. As Mark Larratt-Smith wrote nearly two years ago, "Something is terribly wrong in a church where all that our bishops seem to be able to do is mutter about insubordination to their episcopal authority — at the same time as they themselves are rejecting the authority and witness of the worldwide Anglican church."

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