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Retired Bishop of Caledonia Leaves ACoC and Joins ANiC

Retired Bishop of Caledonia Leaves ACoC and Joins ANiC
Rt. Rev. William Anderson blasts treatment of Rev. Jake Worley by Archbishop John Privett as "dishonest and deceitful"

By David W. Virtue, DD
Nov. 24, 2017

The retired Bishop of Caledonia, the Rt. Rev. William Anderson has relinquished his orders and the exercise of his ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, and joined the Anglican Network in Canada, citing the treatment of the Rev. Jake Worley by Archbishop John Privett, Metropolitan of British Columbia and Yukon.

In a letter, Anderson blasted Privett over his withholding consent of the Rev. Jake Worley, a one-time candidate for Bishop of Caledonia because of his former ties to the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA).

He said the process was "shameful beyond words" and "dishonest and deceitful."

"As I reviewed the letter to Jake and the subsequent press release that you issued, I could not help but be so deeply disappointed in both the process and the way this matter came to a close."

Anderson said Jake was subjected to a series of questions crafted by two chancellors of the church working behind the scenes, and said the bishops had made little direct contribution to the conversation.

"It became clear that both the questions and Jake's responses were being analyzed by the chancellors, and the national chancellor in particular. At no point was it suggested that Jake might avail himself of legal counsel.

"The fact that the PHOB met and voted on May 12th, and waited until Monday the 15th to advise Jake by mail and a press release is shameful beyond words. It speaks to a process that was clearly politicized and crafted to place both he and the diocese at a disadvantage."

Anderson ripped the reasoning outlined in the press release as dishonest, and deceitful, alleging a position in which Jake was not directly and specifically asked. "It also mischaracterized his affirmation of the oaths of our Church which he not only took, but clearly articulated his intention to honour."

Anderson was immediately welcomed into the ANiC by Bishop Charlie Masters. "We are delighted to welcome such a godly orthodox bishop into our midst. His partnership in the Gospel, his supportive friendship, and his many years of experience in Christian service, will be a blessing to the future of the Anglican Network," said Bishop Masters. As a retired bishop in ANiC, he will be given a General Permission from Bishop Charlie to exercise all the priestly functions such as preaching, teaching, and celebrating communion.

Anglican blogger David of Samizdat said the actions of Privett was, "another fine example of the all-inclusive Anglican Church of Canada hard at work driving out the last few real Christians from its midst."

"I am saddened beyond words, and my trust in the honor and spiritual integrity of the PHOB is irrevocably broken."

According to an Anglican Planet story dated November 11, Worley and his family had 10 days to leave the country after his last day of employment.

Privett also said he was writing "with great sadness" to let members of the diocese know he had received a letter from Anderson relinquishing the exercise of his ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada. "With many of you, I feel a great loss, but respect his decision," he said. Anderson told him, Privett said, that he would be holding a service for ANiC in the next few weeks.

Privett noted that although ANiC uses the name "Anglican," "it is not a church with which we [the Anglican Church of Canada] is in communion nor is it part of the worldwide Anglican Communion." But, he said, "we seek to have positive ecumenical relationships with them as brothers and sisters in Christ."

Anderson said he joined ANiC despite the fact that the network has no parish in Terrace, B.C., where he lives.

"I don't know what the future will look like, but I need to belong somewhere, and that's important to me," he said. "I look at the work that ANiC is doing, and ACNA is doing in the United States, and it lines up very much with what I was taught Anglicanism was about when I converted to the Anglican church back in the 1960s in terms of adherence to the classic principles of Anglicanism."

For now at least, Anderson said, he was not recruiting for or working in any other capacity for ANiC, and was looking forward to a period of reflection following his retirement and the controversy surrounding Worley.

"When I retired, one of the things I said to people was, 'I'm not going to be answering any requests to do anything for anybody for at least a year,' " he said. "I still haven't had a chance to do that because of this business, and so I need to have that time. What I'm going to do in the months and years to come, I haven't sorted that out yet."

Established in 2005, ANiC became a diocese in the Anglican Church in North America, a grouping of theologically conservative Anglican churches in the United States and Canada, in 2009. According to its website, ANiC has more than 70 parishes, church plants and "forming congregations."

Anderson becomes the fourth former bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada to have joined ANiC; Ronald Ferris, retired bishop of Algoma, joined in 2009; Malcolm Harding, former bishop of Brandon, and Donald Harvey, retired bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, both left the Anglican Church of Canada in 2007 to eventually join ANiC.

Anderson and his wife will continue to reside in Terrace, in Northern British Columbia.

Anglican blogger David of Samizdat contributed to this story.


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