Magazine article Anglican Journal

Bishops Delay Oversight Decision: Will Revisit Report in Fall

Magazine article Anglican Journal

Bishops Delay Oversight Decision: Will Revisit Report in Fall

Article excerpt

Regina

Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, at their regular spring meeting, shelved the concept of alternate episcopal oversight (AEO), deferring further discussion until their fall meeting. In several divided votes, the bishops demonstrated deep unease with the concept, which would allow individual parishes unhappy with church decisions to seek an alternative to their diocesan bishops.

One of the authors of the report expressed disappointment with the decision.

"Two things happened. (One,) we have chosen not to have a safety net in place as we go into the debate (on blessing same-sex relationships) and voting at General Synod. Two, everyone (among the bishops) was so concerned about their own needs, there was an inability to look at the larger picture," said Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton, chair of the task force that produced the report. The report was released last March at the meeting of the Council of General Synod.

Bishop Michael Ingham, of the troubled diocese of New Westminster which permits same-sex blessings, spoke against AEO. "If the jurisdiction of bishops can be divided up along theological lines, we are no longer shepherds of the flock but leaders of theological parties," said Bishop Ingham, who said there was a feeling in his diocese that the task force listened only to conservative parishes in New Westminster and ignored the majority who were not calling for change.

Bishop Ingham also suggested that a decision on AEO now could be premature before General Synod debates same-sex blessings. …

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