Anglican parishioners in Windsor will be hearing their church’s response to the defection of two bishops recently over the gay marriage issue, and the possible creation of a parallel church, at services next weekend.
On Thursday Malcolm Harding, the retired bishop of Brandon, Man., became the second bishop in a week to leave the Canadian Anglican Church for the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which includes most of South America.
The move, which allows Harding to remain an Anglican but shun the more liberal views of the Canadian church on the issue of same-sex marriage, came as 260 conservative Anglican clergy and lay people met in Burlington to create The Anglican Network of Canada.
The group say they can now provide a church structure for conservative Anglicans.
On Friday the Anglican Church of Canada issued a press release stating that Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the primate of the church in Canada, will be issuing a statement in the next few days that will also be read by ministers in church on Dec. 2.
Local Anglican churches contacted for comment either did not return calls or declined to comment.
Rev. Keith Nethery, the London-based spokesman for the Huron Diocese, which includes Windsor, said he is not aware of anyone from the diocese attending the meeting.
He said it should be noted that the 260 at the meeting are a tiny fraction of the 600,000 people on the parishioners’ rolls across the country.
“It’s a small group,” said Rev. Nethery.
“Everybody has a right to meet and discuss what they want.”
Last week another bishop, Donald Harvey, left the church and prompted a press release from the church.
“The Anglican Church of Canada welcomes and respects the freedom of individual conscience and the theological convictions of its diverse membership,” the statement says.
“Our general synods have consistently sought to honour every voice as we work patiently through contentious and difficult issues before our church.”
The church said that statement still stands in light of the most recent defection.
…this post forwarded by Windsor Humanist, Alexander Hodgins, after a November 23, 2007 article by Chris Thompson in The Windsor Star