”˜Gracious Restraint’ Bishops of Canada

We are pleased to announce the establishment of an association of bishops in the Anglican Church of Canada who are committed to a policy of ”˜gracious restraint’, embodied in observing the three-fold moratoria as enjoined by the Windsor Report (1). Between ourselves we agree to observe the discipline of the Windsor moratoria until such time as there is clarity in the Communion about the final status of the Anglican Covenant and our mutual obligations.

The purposes of the association will be:

1. To provide fellowship, support and accountability for those who are committed to remaining within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Communion;

2. To encourage some of our episcopal colleagues who are themselves in dioceses deeply conflicted on matters dividing the Church;

3. To preserve and promote the conditions for constructive discussion of the nature of Communion and the place of the Covenant, particularly in light of General Synod’s express will that we study the Anglican Covenant;

4. To respond to a call issuing from across the Church for greater episcopal leadership regarding matters threatening our fellowship; and

5. To issue a message to the wider Communion that there is an association of Canadian bishops who greatly value the efforts being made to strengthen our common life through the Covenant.

The association is open to any others who share in these commitments and purposes.

+Stephen Andrews (Algoma) +Fraser Lawton (Athabasca)
+William Anderson (Caledonia) +Andrew Atagotaaluk (Arctic)
+Michael Hawkins (Saskatchewan) +Larry Robertson (Yukon)

April 2011

(1)”˜Gracious restraint’ was urged on the Communion by the Primates’ (”˜A Letter from Alexandria to the Churches of the Anglican Communion’ (2009), para 12) and was a factor in developing the Anglican Covenant (see report of the Covenant Design Group, April 2009 (The Ridley Cambridge Report of the Covenant Design Group), para 3.2.5). The three-fold moratoria include: 1. consecration of clergy to the office of Bishop who are living in a same gender relationship, 2. the authorization of public rites of blessing for same gender unions, and 3. interventions by Bishops into ecclesiastical provinces other than their own. These were affirmed at ACC14 in Jamaica 2009.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

6 comments on “”˜Gracious Restraint’ Bishops of Canada

  1. Londoner says:

    But they are also willing to be in communion with people who go against scripture in Canada and elsewhere? Seems so…. and seems like they want the rest of the Communion to do the same….. not what the bible teaches us re how to deal with false teaching.

  2. Ian+ says:

    They’re committed to working within the ACofC, much like Bp Lawrence of South Carolina. And that, as Martha says, “is a good thing!”

  3. Londoner says:

    why is it a good thing? because some good people do it? that is not a scriptural basis for action….. it might be political, it might be patient….. but it is not scriptural given the bible is quite clear re how to deal with leaders/teachers who go against scripture….. it does not suggest fake indabas or years of endless conversations because revisionists cannot persuade many but will not accept the view of the majority and cannot leave because there are so few of them….. so, while patience and perseverance can be Christian virtues, where in the bible are we taught to show those attributes when dealing with false teaching in the church? institutional unity is not my idol

  4. Ian+ says:

    It is a good thing because these men are showing signs of hope that all is not yet lost in the Canadian church. In the past two years several very solid bishops were consecrated, suggesting that some synods believe it’s time to think carefully about whom we choose to shepherd us. I can vouch for two of those signatories because they are my friends, and they and the other four are known and respected for their personal and theological integrity. In Canada, unlike the unwieldy TEC HoB, we only have 29 bishops, so those six represent one fifth of the house. Does the old religion in TEC have that much representation? And that proportion has grown rather quickly. Also notable is that our primate, himself a revisionist, is nonetheless charitable toward them. So rather than complain about how we should be separating the wheat from the tares, maybe we should pray, watch and see what may happen in Canada in the next little while.

  5. MichaelA says:

    Thanks for that info, Ian+

  6. Londoner says:

    Ian – that all sounds very good but what does the bible say about false teaching and what to do when it is in the church, eg in Corinthians? It doesn’t say that if a revisionist is nice to you and if you have a fifth of seats, that is just fine…. it does teach that we should not accept or endorse the ministry or false teachers and we should not be in fellowship with them…. what in the bible justifies the stance you have taken above re staying in communion with false teachers? Lots of people were hopeful in TEC in the last 30 yrs…. it ain’t got them any good results….. but it’s been useful for revisionists as they have continued to put facts on the ground and could say, ‘Look, we are ever so inclusive of ‘traditionalists'” Think we should look at what scritpure says re how to deal with false teaching and teachers….. very interested to see what you say from scripture backs the tolerant and cooperative stance you advocate above. Don’t get me wrong, I respect those guys in Canada and TEC who persevere….but I fear they are displaying institutional or personal loyalty and are not actually acting in line with scritpure with regard to false teaching….. given accomodation with it is never supported in scripture.