`Oversimplification Does a Disservice --'

Article excerpt

The following is a statement issued by Bishop Michael Ingham of New Westminster, in reponse to Archbishop Carey's presidential address.

I RECOGNIZE THE Archbishop of Canterbury's concern for the unity of the Communion. Indeed I share it, along with all other bishops. I think he sincerely believes his remarks today will further our unity. My expectation is that they will do the opposite.

Is it an appropriate use of the presidential office to comment on complex matters in individual dioceses in highly selective ways? Is it ethical to name individuals and personal situations in a primatial address of this nature? Bishop Bennison of Pennsylvania and a priest whom he has disciplined are both named today, yet neither the bishop nor the priest is here to respond, and the council itself has no access to the facts of the case.

His remarks about the diocese of New Westminster fail to honor the careful way both the synod and I have made decisions about the blessing of same-sex unions. The archbishop refers selectively only to those clergy in rebellion against their bishop and synod, and makes no mention of the pastoral provisions made by the bishop and synod for those same clergy. This oversimplification does a great disservice to truth, and to the great majority of clergy and parishes -- including the traditionalist ones -- who remain loyal to the bishop and synod.

It is not correct to say that New Westminster has acted "without regard to the rest of us." In fact, the position of the bishops at Lambeth '98 has constantly been before the diocese and its synod members. …