Conservative Anglicans pull out of Canadian church

Prompted by move to bless gay marriages



Ottawa Citizen

Tuesday November 20, 2007


A group of conservative Anglicans has started pulling out of the Canadian organization and putting themselves under the authority of the main Anglican branch in South America, as more sections of the Anglican Church of Canada move toward blessing gay marriages.

The first move happened on Friday when retired Bishop Donald Harvey left the Anglican Church of Canada and became a full-time bishop of the more conservative Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas.

On Thursday, he will outline plans to enable conservative Anglican congregations in Canada to join the Southern Cone under his episcopal oversight.

“Because of the unabated theological decay in the Anglican Church of Canada, many long-time Anglicans have already left their church and left Anglicanism,” Bishop Harvey said in a statement.

“We want to provide a fully Anglican option — a safety net — for others who feel their church has abandoned them and who are contemplating taking the same action.”

The move prompted sharp protests from the Anglican Church of Canada against what it regards as unwelcome intrusions onto North American territory.

“We cannot recognize the legitimacy of recent actions by the (Anglican) Province of the Southern Cone in purporting to extend its jurisdiction beyond its own borders,” the Anglican Church of Canada said in a swift reaction over the weekend.

“We call upon the archbishop of Canterbury (the head of the Church of England) to make clear that such actions are not a valid expression of Anglicanism.”

Bishop Harvey said yesterday that 18 to 20 Canadian congregations were considering joining the Southern Cone.