Skip to comments.Traditional, pro-family Anglicans lose churches in Canada (over homosexuality)
Posted on 06/25/2011 1:49:42 PM PDT by NYer
VANCOUVER, June 20, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The Supreme Court of Canada said last Thursday that it will not hear an appeal by a group of traditional Anglican parishes in British Columbia that had been threatened with the loss of their churches after they broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada (ACoC) due to its endorsement of homosexuality.
In November 2009, Mr. Justice Stephen Kelleher of the British Columbia Supreme Court issued a decision saying that the four parishes in the Vancouver area may not keep their buildings if they remove themselves from the jurisdiction of the ACoC.
The four parishes in question, including historic St. John’s in the upscale neighborhood of Shaughnessy in Vancouver, had voted in 2008 to disassociate from the Anglican Church of Canada and join the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC), a recognized separate diocese in the Worldwide Anglican Communion affiliated with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
The parishes had been in conflict with the Diocese of New Westminster since 2002, when Anglican bishop Michael Ingham decreed that all parishes must begin “blessing” ceremonies for homosexual couples, a move that was contrary to international agreements made by the ACoC at the time. Ingham’s decision was blasted by then-Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, who called it, a “departure from the main thrust of Anglican moral tradition.”
The parishes went to court in 2008 asking for clarification of the trustees’ responsibilities in light of what they called the hostile action taken by the Diocese of New Westminster. Bishop Ingham threatened to fire and replace the trustees and take control of the churches’ properties and bank accounts.
The bishop issued a statement at the time of the 2009 court ruling saying that he would remove the clergy of the four parishes and replace them with others who would cooperate with him.
“I intend to invite these congregations to remain in the buildings where they worship and to move forward together with us in the Diocese as one people under God,” he said. “I intend to appoint new clergy who will respect and continue the worshipping style of the congregations, who will also work cooperatively with me and the Diocese.”
However, Justice Kelleher also ruled in 2009 that the bishop of New Westminster did not have the right under civil or canon law to terminate and replace the trustees of the parishes; but did say that the trustees must exercise their authority “in relation to the parish properties in accordance with the Act, as well as the constitution, canons, rules and regulations of the diocese.”
In a statement following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling last week, Bishop Ingham said, “No member of any congregation in this Diocese need leave the buildings in which they worship. However, the clergy who have left the Anglican Church of Canada must now leave their pulpits. I will work with these congregations to find suitable and mutually acceptable leaders, so that the mission of the Church may continue in these places.”
The ANiC and other conservative Anglican groups, which have refused to follow the movement of the mainstream of Anglicanism to acceptance of homosexuality and the rejection of biblical authority, have been labeled as “dissident Anglicans” and “fringe groups” by the secular press.
However, numerous parishes and even whole dioceses have left the Anglican jurisdictions of their local areas and sought affiliation with the conservative Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, led by Archbishop Gregory Venables, which encompasses most of the world’s Anglicans in the southern hemisphere.
In the United States, the entire Diocese of San Joaquin in California voted in December, 2007, to leave the U.S. Anglican Communion. That split included 47 churches and 8,300 people, all of whom put themselves under the authority of Archbishop Venables.
“We saw that the [Church] leadership was moving in a direction that was very different than classical Christianity,” said Rev. Van McCalister, a spokesman for the Diocese of San Joaquin. “They are redefining who Christ is and what it means to be a Christian. And so we really thought it was important that we be aligned with the majority of the Anglican Communion that still had an orthodox view of Christ and Christianity.”
A spokesman for the ANiC said the Supreme Court of Canada’s refusal to hear the appeal meant that any theological change of direction by a Christian denomination would automatically marginalize those parishes that disagreed with the changes.
Cheryl Chang, legal advisor to the ANiC, said, “We’ve always said from the get-go that we might have to choose between our faith and our buildings, and we chose our faith. Part of being Christian is to sacrifice. In the Third World people are tortured and killed for their faith. Here they take away your churches.”
We have lost two Anglicans who maintained their ping list. If someone is picking up Sionnsar’s list, please ping it and copy me. Thank you.
so does this big beautiful church become a social club for gays and lesbians?
And is there no appeal from this court?
Sad. I’m not of this religious denomination but I know that evangelical Christians see this and are shocked that alleged spiritual leaders in a church calling itself Christian effectively approve of and even endorse homosexual behavior. Worse yet, bishops punishing priests that reject the demand they acquiesce to this fundamental change that is in direct opposition to scripture. This is what happens when you structure a church with authority figures (such as bishops) that can decree the removal of priests, control church funds (supplied by congregants) and property and do within ‘church law’, making the church more like a kingdom ruled by royalty which is far from the original Christian church structure of the First century. I respect the Anglican priests and the many church members that have rightly abandoned the church in favor of affiliation with Anglican groups that have not rejected scripture to curry the approval of the secular world.
“so does this big beautiful church BUILDING become a social club for gays and lesbians?
Looks like it.
On judgment day, this “bishop” will wish he had never been born.
Once a Church endorses the homos they are no longer a Christian Church
They won't ever house robust Anglican churches again. "Bishop" Ingham has seen to that.
i agree this is sad. and certainly the true Christians shouldn’t lose their church, because the leadership becomes godless.
(and even worse than this, is Warren and other Ministers, supporting Chrislam. Islam IS the religion of satan,
and a much greater threat to the world, than gays.)
but, i must disagree with:
“This is what happens when you structure a church with authority figures”
there are many many Christian churches WITHOUT bishops, who’s leaders now condone homosexuality, in defiance of holy scripture.
big churches, small churches.
and there are several very large churches, WITH bishops,
(including Russian Orthodox),
who still CLEARLY condemn homosexual acts as sinful.
(and like the “flak over target” saying, the one church that is most persecuted, is the one Satan probably hates the most. i know which Church that is.)
and rather than poke at others, i would rather look for unity with Christians who sincerely try to follow scripture, and proclaim “Jesus is Lord”.
The leadership in an Apostolic Church is Jesus Christ Himself. The hierarchy may be corrupt at times, but the church is always brought back or cleansed by the Lord. This only happens in His One Apostolic Church in orthodoxy (small ‘o’) hence we see that despite the persecutions right up to 1991 (communism being the latest), orthodoxy survives and resurges.
There are some on the Lutheran Ping list who are also on the Traditional Anglican list, irrespective, the struggle is very similar to that experienced by many seeking to depart from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:
C S*A) Ping!
* as of August 19, AD 2009, a liberal protestant SECT, not part of the holy, catholic and apostolic CHURCH.
Glory to the Holy Trinity!
There is only one Church and it is not a building or denomination.
In the new future, I think we’ll be seeing many church buildings—here as well as in Canada—turned into gay bars.
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