In Canada, legal maneuvers over church property

The Diocese of New Westminster filed this press release yesterday. An extract:

The Diocese of New Westminster has taken steps under the its bylaws (Canon laws) to remove clergy who have left the Anglican Church of Canada rather than accepting the decisions of its local and national governing bodies (Synods).

Following the failure of the clergy in question to leave Church premises in response to a late May request to do so, and an indication that Parish Wardens supported such actions by these clergy, the Diocese has invoked a provision that returns control of the parishes to the Diocese.

On May 11, 2008, each of them declared they had voluntarily left the ordained ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada. They claimed to have come under jurisdiction of a bishop reporting to the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, which is based in six South American Countries. Such foreign jurisdiction is not recognized by the Anglican Church of Canada.

Following their decision to leave the ordained ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada, they were asked by the diocese on May 29, 2008, to cease using the property of their former parishes.

In the past few months, the Courts in both B.C. and Ontario have issued preliminary findings in similar cases upholding similar actions by two other Dioceses, one on Vancouver Island and one in the Niagara area. Attempts to appeal those rulings in both cases have been unsuccessful and costs have been awarded to the Dioceses involved.

Related post.

Thanks to Thinking Anglicans for the pointer. Check Thinking Anglicans for more about these recent developments.

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