The task force mandated by the house of bishops to consider alternate episcopal oversight for those who strongly object to church decisions has wrapped up the consultations and is now preparing its official report.
The task force, headed by Bishop Victoria Matthews of Edmonton, was scheduled to meet Feb. 17-19 to “incorporate all the information they have gathered into a proposal,” said Rev. Michael Thompson, principal secretary to the primate.
The task force will submit its final report to the house of bishops during its meeting on April 15-19. It had been mandated to consult with bishops, clergy and lay leaders to “identify the range of possible circumstances in which alternative/alternate episcopal oversight might be called for.”
The group began its work by visiting the Vancouver-based diocese of New Westminster, where parishes that objected to a diocesan synod resolution allowing the blessing of same-sex unions have disassociated themselves from the diocese. Task force members decided to conduct the consultations individually — dividing the 30 dioceses into four — due to time constraints.
Bishop Matthews was unavailable for comment. However, in a pastoral letter she issued in her diocese for Ash Wednesday, she called on the faithful to focus on “repentance, reflection and study,” saying “this year the Anglican Church of Canada has plenty to reflect upon, and to repent of, as we think about our differences and conflicts.”