In fact, this is what comes to mind to be a more accurate representation of what the Bishop of New Westminster brought back with him from Canterbury. Nothing like a party before taking your ship to the bottom of the sea:
He finds his way back to Canada and exerts the sort of behavior that our ancestors in Virginia made sure would not be exhibited in this Commonwealth by Anglican bishops (or Anglican Kings for that matter) following the American Revolution. The Bishop of Virginia does not have the power to do what Bishop Ingham is threatening to do and with reason - we have long memories in Virginia. Let's just recall that little document that came out of Philadelphia that started it all - including vast reforms in the polity and philosophy of governance that was embraced by the founders of the Diocese of Virginia, including in ecclesiastical structures "before the dark times, before the empire," to quote Obi Wan.
When does the word "despot" start to make sense?
Read this memo to the clergy of the Diocese of New Westminster and decide for yourself:
Memorandum to Diocesan ClergyWhy would anyone, anyone, willingly join an organization that operates in the manner described in this memo? I don't even think they notice how authoritarian they are.
From Dean Peter Elliott, Commissary
for Bishop Michael Ingham
Regarding Canon 15
at St. Matthew’s Abbotsford & St Matthias and St. Luke Vancouver
August 26, 2008
On Monday August 25, 2008, with the authorization of Diocesan Council, and in consultation with the Executive Officers of the Diocese, the Chancellor has written to the former clergy and wardens of the parishes of St. Matthews Abbotsford and St. Matthias and St. Luke Vancouver informing them that Canon 15 has been imposed and that new clergy and wardens have been appointed. I have attached a public notice of this action which has been released to the press today August 26, 2008.
This action comes, with regret, after many years of dispute with the clergy and lay leadership of these two parishes. The clergy in both parishes have relinquished their licenses as priests of the Diocese and their orders within the Anglican Church of Canada. In our polity, a parish is a creation of the diocese. Parish properties are entrusted to clergy, licensed by the diocesan bishop, to offer the ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada. Loyalty to the Bishop is a key part of the oaths that clergy make at ordinations and inductions. Since the clergy no longer hold the bishop’s license, the diocese is legally required to ensure that the authorized ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada continues in those places. Canon 15 has therefore been invoked for these two parishes. Implementing this Canon is a time consuming process; hence at this time we are only proceeding with the parishes of St. Matthew’s Abbotsford and St. Matthias and St. Luke Vancouver.
What the diocese seeks now, as it has in similar cases in the past, is for a mutually agreeable date to be set for the clergy and members of the congregations who choose to affiliate with them, to vacate the properties. In anticipation of this move, the diocese is conducting an inventory to ensure that all properties of the parish are maintained in the parish buildings. After the former clergy have left the properties, the diocese is prepared to have new clergy and wardens establish a renewed presence of the Anglican Church of Canada.
Two requests come with this memo:
1. Should the media contact you for comment on this action, please refer them to Neale Adams at the Synod Office. Given that these matters may find their way into courts in the future it is important that only diocesan officials make public statements about them.
2. Please keep Bishop Michael and the Executive Officers of the diocese in your prayers as we move through this difficult period. Also, keep in your prayers those with whom we are currently in dispute.
I am proud of the life and witness of our diocese: the direction of the strategic plan endorsed by the 2008 Diocesan Synod affirms that we are committed to engaging in God’s mission in the places where we serve. We are not a congregational church — we are a diocesan church under the leadership of our bishop. We respect the diversity of views in a variety of issues within our diocese and it is important that our ministries be centered in Jesus Christ, faithful to the tradition of the Anglican Church of Canada and united under the leadership of our bishop. Thank you for your part in furthering God’s work in our diocese.
Yours in Christ,
The Very Reverend Peter G. Elliott
Dean and Commissary.
Tip of the Tinfoil to StandFirm here.