Tuesday, June 10, 2008

New Westminster: Schismatics Are Trespassers

The Lead points us to some interesting developments in the Anglican Church of Canada. From the Anglican Journal:
Bishop Michael Ingham, of the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster, has written to five members of the clergy who resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada that they may not exercise ministry at their churches, are considered to be trespassing if they are on the property and may not remove anything, including books...

...Bishop Ingham told synod that “we do not seek litigation, but if all appeals to reason and responsibility fail, we may need to seek relief from the civil courts in order to re-build and restore these parishes after the departure of their leaders and some members of their congregations.”

He said the diocese intends to “act legally to retain all property and assets belonging to these parishes and to the diocese” since schism, which is the “setting up of unlawful authority” cannot be allowed to stand...
From the Diocese of New Westminster:
Bishop Michael Ingham told Diocesan Synod that as bishop he has a responsibility to ensure that schism does not become normal or accepted in the Anglican Church of Canada.

In a report on May 30 to about 300 synod members, about a third clergy and the rest lay, the bishop insisted that the decision of four congregations to join the South American Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, was not simply “divorce” but “schism…the setting up of a unlawful authority” to challenge the rightful authority, which is Diocesan Synod.

“I am fully aware that nobody wishes to see the church diverted from its mission by the prospect of civil litigation over property,” he said.

“But schism cannot stand, for if it were allowed to stand it would undermine the mission of the church across this country.”

Chancellor George Cadman, the synod’s chief legal officer, reported that the clergy remaining in four parishes—St. John’s Shaughnessy, St. Matthew Abbotsford, and Good Shepherd and St. Matthias/St. Luke of Vancouver—have relinquished and abandoned ordained ministry within the Anglican Church of Canada, and by remaining in parish buildings they are now trespassing...
It is about time someone started clearly stating what is going on. If someone is aligned with the Network, or one of the foreign bishops plundering parishes in North America, that person is a schismatic. Their claim to any property is based on setting up an "unlawful authority." To remain in those buildings is to face the charge of trespassing, and may lead to their arrest.

Trespassing is a minor charge, in comparison to possible future charges of grand theft, but perhaps if some of these renegade priests and bishops had to spend a few hours behind bars, they might rethink some of their lofty plans.

If you want to set up your own denomination, go with God. But, if you try to build that new entity with the assets given to be used to the glory of God through the Episcopal Church by generations of faithful members, there will be consequences for those actions.


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