Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Thirteen Anglican Bishops Respond to the Motion of the Diocese of New Westminster in Vancouver to Bless Same-Sex Unions

June 17, 2002

We regret the decision of the Diocese of New Westminster to move independently toward the blessing of same-sex unions.

We believe the decision of the Diocese of New Westminster to be in conflict with the moral teaching of Holy Scripture and the tradition of the universal Church. We uphold the 1997 statement of the Canadian House of Bishops to be a balanced position which allows for the widest possible pastoral latitude in ministry to gay and lesbian people. It is consistent with the global position of the Lambeth Conference 1998, representing an overwhelming consensus of all Anglican Bishops, meeting from every diocese in the world.

Matters of moral teaching and Church order and discipline are beyond the jurisdiction of a single diocese acting alone. Against the New Westminster decision, the discipline and teaching of the rest of the Anglican Church, nationally and globally remain unchanged.

It can only cause confusion for a local expression of the Church to purport to bless that which Anglicans globally and nationally have decided they cannot bless.

We call on the Diocese of New Westminster to withhold implementation.

We call on all Anglicans to be loyal to Scripture, and to work patiently for reconciliation, and the due order and discipline of the Church.

List of signatories: (Office telephone numbers will be included for press contact and confirmation purposes.)

The Rt. Rev. William Anderson, Bishop of Caledonia, 250-624-6013
The Rt. Rev. Charles Arthurson, Suffragan Bishop of Saskatchewan
The Rt. Rev. Andrew Atagotaaluk, Co-Adjutor Bishop of Arctic, 819-255-8106
The Rt. Rev. Terrence Buckle, Bishop of Yukon
The Rt. Rev. Anthony Burton, Bishop of Saskatchewan, 306-763-2455
The Rt. Rev. John Clarke, Bishop of Athabasca, 780-624-2767
The Rt. Rev. Ronald Ferris, Bishop of Algoma, 705-256-5061
The Rt. Rev. Donald Harvey, Bishop of Eastern Newfoundland & Labrador, 709-576-6697
The Rt. Rev. William Hockin, Bishop of Fredericton, 506-460-0525
The Rt. Rev. Paul Idlout, Regional Bishop of Nunavut
The Rt. Rev. Larry Robertson, Regional Bishop of Mackenzie & Kitikmeot, 867-777-2229
The Rt. Rev. Leonard Whitten, Bishop of Western Newfoundland, 709-639-8712
The Rt. Rev. Christopher Williams, Bishop of Arctic

(Comment -- virtually all these Bishops have allowed the sexual revolution of divorce and remarriage in church to occur in their dioceses and voice no major public protest against it; this lessens the moral power of this protest, I fear.!)

The Rev'd Dr. Peter Toon
Minister of Christ Church, Biddulph Moor,
England & Vice-President and Emissary-at-Large
of The Prayer Book Society of America

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