Archbishop Protests Interference of Foreign Primates: Offer of Episcopal Oversight Called 'Unfortunate'

Article excerpt

Archbishop David Crawley, the acting primate, has written formal letters of protest to the primates of Central Africa, Congo, Rwanda and Southeast Asia saying their offer of "temporary adequate episcopal oversight" to New Westminster parishes opposed to same-sex blessings constitutes interference in the affairs of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Four out of 11 churches that do not recognize the authority of Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster and formed the Anglican Communion in New Westminster (ACiNW) have accepted the offer.

"I regret that these four primates have chosen to interfere in the life of the Canadian church, especially since a task force has been set up by the house of bishops to develop and provide guidelines for episcopal oversight and it his not completed its work," said Archbishop Crawley, who is metropolitan of the church province of British Columbia and Yukon, in an interview. "It was made clear over 100 years ago and restated in the 1998 Lambeth Conference, in a motion made by two Canadian bishops, that primates should not interfere in each other's affairs."

Bishop Victoria Matthews, chair of the task force created by the house of bishops to look into the issue of adequate episcopal oversight for dissenters, said the offer was "unfortunate." (See related story on the task force's findings, p. 1)

One of the primates who made the offer, Archbishop Bernard Malango of Central Africa, is a member of the Lambeth Commission created to find ways of preserving the Anglican Communion. The Church of England Newspaper said there was an unconfirmed report that members of the commission had "chastised" Archbishop Malango for his action. …