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Anglican leader blasts "breakaway" groups over same-sex "blessings"

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Toronto Star

Anglican leader blasts breakaway groups

Nov 30, 2007

Stuart Laidlaw
Faith and Ethics Reporter

The Anglican Church of Canada is striking back at its orthodox critics.

In a statement to be read out in Anglican churches across the country on Sunday, Primate Fred Hiltz condemns the actions of breakaway members as "inappropriate, unwelcome and invalid" and "deplores" efforts by a South American archbishop to extend his influence into Canada.

"We deplore recent actions on the part of the primate and general synod of the Province of the Southern Cone to extend its jurisdiction into Canada," says the pastoral statement, also signed by four regional archbishops.

Last week, Archbishop Gregory Venables extended an invitation to conservative Canadian Anglicans to switch their allegiance from the Anglican Church of Canada to his 27,000-member church representing Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

The church has been pushed to the brink of schism over the issues of same-sex marriage blessings and gay clergy. Conservative Anglicans in Canada and the U.S. hope to set up a parallel church in North America along theological lines, saying they no longer feel welcome in the liberal national churches.

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