Sunday, January 13, 2008

La Terreur

My father prefaced a link to this that he sent me the other day, with this:
All good revolutions/coups d'état are followed by 'terrors' or purges, and it appears that the New Anglicanism is at least 'orthodox' in that sense.
It certainly is hard to interpret recent events otherwise.
[Cyrus Pitman,] Anglican bishop for Labrador and eastern Newfoundland has called on his priests to disclose any involvement with a breakaway organization led by his predecessor, and do the right thing by resigning, giving up their licences to serve as ministers.

In a letter to parish priests in the diocese last month, Bishop Cyrus Pitman wrote that all ordination licences would be reissued with a mandatory renewing of vows in St. John’s Jan. 21.
The Bishop's predecessor, one Donald Harvey, is indeed the leader of "a breakaway organization"--called the Anglican Network of Canada--currently working in Canada under the authority of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. However, to call it a breakaway organization is, really, to mislead. The Anglican Church of Canada, being one of a loose-ish association of national churches aligned with the Church of England, does have its own authority and, strictly speaking, is not accountable to the Anglican Churches of other regions. But to the extent that it remains in communion with those other churches, one can no more call them "breakaway organizations" than one can call the governments of countries allied to ours "breakaway governments."

Now, why Bishop Harvey should feel the need to seek the authority of a national church outside of the one under which he lives, no doubt, complicates things. We get an indicator of the reason why here:

Pitman is not doing interviews about his letter, although a senior official in the Newfoundland and Labrador church indicated that support for Harvey's views is small.

"It needs to be noted that there is not a single priest that has left our church. Not a single congregation, not a single parish," said Geoff Peddle, executive archdeacon of the Anglican Church in eastern Newfoundland.

"There has been not a single departure from our community," Peddle said Friday.

Peddle said Harvey's decision to break with the church has had no immediate effect on other clergy.

"At a personal level, it's rather hurtful, and I'm not the only priest who feels somewhat hurt [and] a little confused by [Harvey's] actions," Peddle said. "But life goes on."


Peddle, though, said Harvey is dramatically overestimating how interested ordinary Anglicans are in the same-sex ordination controversy.

"This issue just doesn't seem to have legs in this diocese," Peddle said. "We are not hearing an outpouring of concern around this issue."

Well, no, you wouldn't, would you. Not when Anglicans who practice the historic faith are being asked to leave if they do.