New West bishop warns off interlopers (Canada)
- CALLED OUT
From ACC-News Canada
New West bishop warns off interlopers
Accuses Yukon bishop of issuing 'ultimatums and threats'
STAFF WRITER, ANGLICAN JOURNAL
The Bishop of New Westminster is trying to head off efforts of
diocesan dissidents to find themselves a new bishop and has asked
other bishops in Canada - and one in particular - to keep their noses
out of the fray.
In separate moves, Bishop Ingham made efforts to assert his authority
as diocesan bishop and stave off the arrival of an outside, or
"flying bishop," to administer to eight unhappy parishes.
Bishop Ingham wrote last week to Bishop Terry Buckle of the Yukon,
advising that he was barred from ministering within the diocese of
New Westminster. A copy of the letter was also released to all clergy
in the diocese.
In the letter, dated Feb. 24, Bishop Ingham accuses Bishop Buckle of
issuing "ultimatums and threats against the bishop and the synod of
the diocese of New Westminster." Bishop Ingham's letter said he was
imposing inhibition against Bishop Buckle, thereby preventing him
from exercising any ministry within the boundaries of the diocese of
Bishop Ingham referred to two letters written by Bishop Buckle, one
of them co-signed by Bishop William Anderson, of the diocese of
Caledonia, and addressed to the metropolitan (senior bishop) of the
church province of British Columbia, Archbishop David Crawley, on
Feb. 11 and on Feb. 17.
"Taken together, it is clear from both these letters that you intend
to commit an ecclesiastical offence by asserting 'pastoral
responsibility' and 'episcopal jurisdiction' with the diocese of New
Westminster without my permission and contrary to the Canons of
General Synod, the province of British Columbia and Yukon, and the
diocese of New Westminster," Bishop Ingham wrote.
Failure to abide by the inhibition of ministry, the letter added,
would result in referral of the matter to Archbishop Crawley for
Bishop Buckle could not be reached for comment.
Members of the parishes, which call themselves the Anglican Communion
in New Westminster, were until recently engaged in reconciliation
talks with Bishop Ingham and diocesan representatives. They have made
very public their ongoing efforts to find themselves another bishop
either from within the Canadian house of bishops or from outside the
The ACiNW formed over its disagreement with the June 2002, diocesan
synod's decision to allow same-sex blessings. Members of the eight
churches walked out of the synod and the ensuing months have seen
bitter fighting and a failed attempt to reconcile, led by an outside
facilitator. Reconciliation talks broke off in early February.
Bishop Ingham spoke out at a clergy meeting Feb. 20 at St. Mary's,
Kerrisdale, and at the same time wrote a letter to Canada's 40
Anglican bishops, said Neale Adams, communications officer for the
The bishop told clergy that he had heard that some priests and lay
people were trying to find a bishop "who will agree to take them
under his or her wing - while still remaining geographically in this
diocese," the release stated.
The bishop warned them not to get involved, "or face the prospect of
disciplinary measures," the release said. The most severe penalty
would be for the bishop to pull the priests' licenses. Bishop Ingham
cautioned that an unauthorized "flying bishop" would change the way
the church has operated for centuries.
He said that such an arrangement would violate canon (church) law at
both a national and diocesan level, "as well as the ancient
traditions of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
"No bishop may exercise, or be invited to exercise, any ministry in
the diocese of New Westminster without my express permission," he
Even before the diocese voted in favour of same-sex blessings, Bishop
Ingham maintained that clergy would not be obligated to bless
homosexual couples; he has also offered an "episcopal visitor" - or a
visiting bishop without authority - to provide pastoral care to
clergy and parishes which do not support the blessings.
Announcing the break-off of talks earlier this month, Bishop Ingham
said the ACiNW representatives only wanted to talk about separation,
which the ACiNW later denied, saying members wanted more time. The
bishop maintained that he was still willing to talk to anyone who
wanted to come to the table.
However, Rev. Paul Carter, executive director of the ACiNW said
"we're very clear that the simple reconciliation the bishop has been
talking about is not enough for us," and the group had fulfilled its
obligation to the house of bishops to attempt a reconciliation.
To date there have been no blessings of homosexual couples in the
diocese, although several priests and parishes have asked the bishop
for permission to perform such a ceremony.
Bishop Ingham has also written to all of the Anglican Church of
Canada's 40 bishops asking them not to interfere in the diocese'
attempts to bring about reconciliation within the diocese, according
to a press release issued Feb. 26.
The release also said that Bishop Ingham had held discussions with a
Canadian bishop "prior to formally asking that bishop to come into
the diocese. This invited bishop would provide pastoral support to
parishes and people within the diocese who request it." Bishop Ingham
would retain episcopal authority.
Mr. Adams said that Bishop Ingham was not prepared to release the
name of the bishop he had talk to, but "it would be someone with
New West talks in limbo
-- Feb. 19 'Extra' Anglican Journal news story
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