New West situation simmers.Seven out of eight dissident parishes in New Westminster New Westminster, city (1991 pop. 43,585), SW British Columbia, Canada, on the Fraser River, part of metropolitan Vancouver. Founded in 1859 as Queensborough, it was the capital of British Columbia until Victoria was made capital after the union of British Columbia have voted overwhelmingly in favour of accepting an offer from Bishop Terrence Buckle of the Yukon to be their bishop until General Synod The General Synod is the title of the governing body of some church organizations. Church of England
In the Church of England, General Synod was instituted in 1970 and is the culmination of a process of rediscovering self-government for the Church of England that had in 2004, but the diocese calls both the bishop's offer and the parishes' votes "null and void."
The vote by the parishes spurred a letter from Bishop Michael Ingham
The Right Reverend Michael Ingham (born 1949 in Yorkshire) is a bishop and theologian. of New Westminster, who wrote 11 clergy from the seven parishes asking if they are "in" or "out" of his diocese and jurisdiction. This marks the third time he has asked since the diocese voted last June to move ahead with blessing unions of same-sex couples.
The seven parishes held special vestry meetings March 23 to vote on Bishop Buckle's offer, made in both a video and in a letter earlier that month. An eighth parish, St. Martin's St. Martin's or St. Martins may refer to:
Bishop Ingham, though, dismissed the results. In a statement on the diocesan Web site, he said, "Both the actions of the Bishop of Yukon and of these parishes are contrary to the canon law canon law, in the Roman Catholic Church, the body of law based on the legislation of the councils (both ecumenical and local) and the popes, as well as the bishops (for diocesan matters). of the Anglican Church, and are therefore null and void. They are also unnecessary because the diocese of New Westminster honours and respects diversity of opinion, and has taken no steps to force any priest or parish to act against their conscience." The bishop first wrote to the 12 priests--one has since left his post--last June asking if their walkout from the diocesan synod In the Anglican Communion, the model of government is the 'Bishop in Synod', meaning that a diocese is governed by a bishop acting with the advice and consent of representatives of the clergy and laity of the diocese. over the acceptance of same-sex blessings was an act of protest or resignation, and last July diocesan chancellor George Cadman wrote asking them to clarify if they remained under the bishop's jurisdiction. The clergy replied only that they wanted to remain as part of the diocese but did not address the bishop's questions on acceptance of his authority. The eight parishes have been campaigning for another bishop to minister to them, an arrangement called alternate episcopal oversight.
In Bishop Ingham's latest letter, dated March 24, he asked if they would act on Bishop Buckle's offer and again sought confirmation of their obedience. The bishop added that repudiation "will leave me no alternative but to act under General Synod Canon 18," which could mean the priests could have their licences revoked. Canon 18 governs discipline among clergy.
On April 1, the eleven, along with six others priests from their parishes, replied to Bishop Ingham, saying that he had "no jurisdiction to proceed" with same-sex blessings.
Mr. Cadman called the priests' letter a "non-response." However, he added, "there will be no rushing out to lock church doors and no rushing out to lift licences."
Through a spokesperson Bishop Ingham said he planned to ask each of the clergy in person to answer the question of obedience.
Meanwhile, the parishes were proceeding as though the alternate episcopal oversight were a done deal. Mr. Carter said that the seven parishes "now do everything under Bishop Terry's jurisdiction. We now look to Bishop Terry as our overseer and guardian in a pastoral sense."
When word of the parish votes became public, Mr. Cadman wrote to the senior bishop of the province of British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
, Archbishop David Crawley, asking that Bishop Buckle be disciplined under church law. Possible disciplinary measures range from admonition Any formal verbal statement made during a trial by a judge to advise and caution the jury on their duty as jurors, on the admissibility or nonadmissibility of evidence, or on the purpose for which any evidence admitted may be considered by them. (a reprimand REPRIMAND, punishment. The censure which in some cases a public office pronounces against an offender.
2. This species of punishment is used by legislative bodies to punish their members or others who have been guilty of some impropriety of conduct towards them. ) to deposition, which is tantamount to being de-frocked.
When Bishop Buckle was not able to attend the provincial house of bishops meeting in late March due to illness, Archbishop Crawley said he would discuss the matter with Bishop Buckle by telephone.
In February, Bishop Ingham barred Bishop Buckle from ministering within the diocese of New Westminster' because of his offer. The parishes had engaged in widely-publicized efforts to find themselves a visiting bishop with full episcopal authority. Bishop Ingham had offered them an 'episcopal visitor,' who could offer pastoral care but would have no jurisdiction. Attempts at reconciliation between the diocese and the parishes failed in early February.
Bishop Buckle said in an interview that he was convinced that the crisis in New Westminster "is not one that will go away on its own. I am equally convinced that we as Canadian Anglicans have the resources to address this crisis within our own church."
Mr. Cadman insisted that the situation was not a pastoral emergency as Bishop Buckle was characterizing it.