Skip to comments.CANADIAN ANGLICANS CHOOSE MONTREAL ARCHBISHOP TO LEAD THEM
Posted on 05/31/2004 6:48:21 PM PDT by ahadams2
CANADIAN ANGLICANS CHOOSE MONTREAL ARCHBISHOP TO LEAD THEM
By David W. Virtue
ST. CATHERINES, ONT (5/31/2004)--Canadian Anglicans known more for their passivity and less for their sanguinity chose, on the fourth ballot, a bi-lingual liberal from the Diocese of Montreal, Archbishop Andrew S. Hutchison, 65, who failed to win a clear majority on the first three ballots.
He won decisively on the fourth ballot, defeating the Evangelical Ronald C. Ferris, 58, Bishop of Algoma.
144 lay members and 117 clergy members voted. A majority in both houses was needed to declare a winner.
On the fourth ballot Hutchison got 68 clergy votes and 97 laity. Ferris got 44 clergy votes and 41 laity.
Ferris ran second in the voting, on all four ballots. A flip of eight votes would have had Ferris as the winner by clergy order. He could not summon the laity vote.
The voting patterns followed much the same as in the American Episcopal Church.
"They wanted a middle way to the right of Hutchison but couldn't find it", said a knowledgeable watcher. What it does say is that Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Edmonton would have won had she been available. She is in hospital facing surgery for breast cancer.
Hoping to break the log jam after four ballots, the two houses moved quickly to choose Hutchison.
On the first ballot Hutchison got 48 clergy and 72 laity with Ferris obtaining 24 clergy and 38 laity. Caleb Lawrence, 63, Bishop of Moosonee, got 25 clergy and 38 laity.
On the second ballot Hutchison got 55 clergy and 78 laity, (a majority of laity but not clergy). Ferris got 39 clergy and 34 laity. Caleb got 20 and laity 28. The Bishop of Moosonee was forced out of the race following the second ballot.
With no clear winner the chairman called for new nominees. Ninety minutes later in the Sean O'Sullivan theatre, Bishop D. Ralph Spence, 62, Diocese of Niagara was nominated. His resume, when publicly read prompted laughter when it was announced that he had one of the largest flag collections in Canada and is involved in a museum of flags. He was elected coadjutor bishop in 1997.
The failure of Hutchison to win clearly and decisively was a set back; albeit temporary, for the more revisionist element in the church, and another gob smack at Michael Ingham the pro-gay Bishop of New Westminster, who saw in Hutchison a sleeper candidate for his views. It was a desperate maneuver to stop liberalism in its track and oust Hutchison.
Clearly the synod was looking for a Victoria Matthews type to hold it together; someone less ideological than Hutchison. In Ralph Spence, the portly, moderately liberal Bishop of Niagara, the hope was that he would provide it.
On the third ballot, Ferris got 38 clergy votes and 33 laity. Hutchison got 53 clergy and 70 laity votes, Spence got 25 clergy 40 laity. Spence was gone.
A fourth ballot was called which saw Hutchison and Ferris duking it out for the top slot.
Two moves from the floor for more nominations were quickly squelched.
The stop Hutchison movement was running out of steam. When the fourth vote came in Hutchison was the clear winner.
It was a vote for a continuation of, if not an acceleration of, the policies of former Primate Michael Peers.
An insider with knowledge of the history of Canadian Anglicanism believes that within a few days Hutchison will reach out to the orthodox of the church in a gesture of good will. It will inevitably be seen as too little late.
Few doubt that the new Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will continue the liberal tradition of his predecessor Michael Peers, who resigned as Primate prior to General Synod. Mandatory retirement for a Primate is 70.
In his acceptance speech, Hutchison said that he, as the Primate elect, accepted the job with a profound sense of accountability recognizing the complexity of Anglicanism from coast to coast with its multiplicity of cultures.
With a nod to the orthodox in the church, Hutchison said he would strive for unity, citing our Lord's words that we all may be one so that the world may believe. "More energy needs to be directed but we must ask what our purpose is? I shall use my every ounce of energy to increase and build the unity of this church so that the world may believe, so that people across this land look to us and see how these Christians love one another."
Chris Hawley a spokesman for the orthodox movement Essentials Canada said he was disappointed by the result, but said that he believed that the job of the Primate is to bring both sides together.
"We want to give him the opportunity to connect with orthodox people. The onus is on him to do so. We can't prejudge anyone, he needs a chance. The orthodox want to be heard in the councils of the church."
Hawley said Hutchison would be seen as liberal. "It matters more that a Primate represents both sides of the church. The orthodox view is significant in the pews but less significant in the leadership. Essentials would have preferred to see Ferris win."
Prior to the election, Acting Primate David Crawley said, "We stubbornly gather in General Synod believing that the Spirit will guide us."
The days ahead will prove whether or not that is true.
Well, it looks like the Anglican Church in Canada will suffer the same fate as ECUSA.
The liberal majority chose someone appropriate to lead the Anglican Church of Canada over the nearest cliff (or maybe ironically over Niagara Falls near where this Synod is being held).
" Complexity" and "multiplicity of cultures". Hutchinson must come from the same "pluriform" school of speech as ECUSA's Griswold.
"The liberal majority chose someone appropriate to lead the Anglican Church of Canada over the nearest cliff (or maybe ironically over Niagara Falls near where this Synod is being held)."
With the Eastern Synod of the sister Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada not far behind -- their farce... I mean meeting ... is in St. Catherines this month.
Reading between the lines, this would appear to have the same flavor as Griswold's "more that unites us than divides us" statement a few weeks back.
The real test will, of course, be to see what he does with regard to Michael Ingham -- which he's probably got to do before the Lambeth Commission puts out its report.