Friday, June 22, 2007

Bp. Fred Hiltz Elected Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

Elected on the fifth ballot:

Fred Hiltz - 60 clergy / 81 lay
Victoria Matthews - 56 clergy /56 lay

A bit of suspense was involved with this. By the third ballot, they were down to two candidates, who appeared to be deadlocked. If the deadlock had lasted for three ballots, the election would have been returned to the House of Bishops.

Here is how "Trinity Matthew" described Bishop Hiltz:

...Fred Hiltz would be deemed the most liberal choice and many will rally around him, in part because he is not from Ontario and because he will be seen to stand in the tradition of the last three Primates who have been progressive: Ted Scott, Michael Peers, Andrew Hutchison. That said, Hiltz would not be considered the most liberal diocesan bishop in Canada by any means. Michael Ingham, New Westminster; Ralph Spence, Niagara; Colin Johnson, Toronto; Bruce Stavert, Quebec, are all probably more liberal. I suspect, though I don’t know for certain, that Hiltz would be sympathetic to efforts to approve same-sex blessings, at least on a diocese by diocese basis. He disappointed many when he declined to stand for the primatial election in 2004, largely due to family concerns. These concerns resolved and progress in his diocese allow him to be nominated this year. With Matthews, Hiltz would have been a strong favorite in 2004. The same is true today. I suspect that ultimately it will be a contest between Hiltz and Matthews. Both are the same age at 53 and could serve until 70, making for long primacies of up to 17 years...
The official press release can be found here.


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