News for Week Ending 6/20/2011
Departed New Westminster congregations denied final appealAccording to Anglican Journal, the Supreme Court of Canada, on June 16, 2011, denied four congregations that left the Anglican Church of Canada for the Anglican Network in Canada permission to appeal the decision that awarded the parish property to the Diocese of New Westminster. (See previous Pittsburgh Update story here.) It is estimated that the congregations will have to pay legal costs of as much as $175,000. With this decision by the Supreme Court, there is no pending property legislation involving the Canadian church. Thinking Anglicans has links to a good deal of material related to the latest court decision.
Canada issues report on Covenant; Episcopal Church doesn’tOn June 17, 2011, the Anglican Church of Canada announced the publication of a report by the Governance Working Group (GWG) on the legal and constitution issues related to the adoption of the Anglican Covenant. Both the report and a brief executive summary are available on-line. While taking no position on whether the church should adopt the Covenant, the report criticized the Covenant for both vagueness and unfairness. The GWG found the constitutional issues unclear but potentially serious, while suggesting that the consequences of rejecting the Covenant might be minor. A report from the Faith, Worship, and Ministry Committee of the Canadian church on theological and ecclesiological matters related to the Covenant is expected to be released later.
The same day the Canadian report was released, Episcopal News Service issued a story on the discussions of The Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, which met in Maryland June 14–17. The story noted that a report on the legal implications to The Episcopal Church of Covenant adoption had been received by the Council’s Anglican Covenant Task Force. The report was prepared by the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons. The ENS story offered this explanation from Task Force chair Rosalie Ballentine as to why the report is not being released now:
“We’re reluctant to have it out there” because some people may assume that decisions have already been made, she said. The report will eventually be appended to the task force report to General Convention. Council will receive a draft of the Blue Book report in October, according to Ballentine.The Lead is demanding that the report be released immediately.