House questions council on national native bishop

Published June 1, 2006

Niagara Falls, Ont.
The house of bishops of the Anglican church, at their regular spring meeting here, grappled with the impending reality of a new national aboriginal bishop – particularly the financial implications and the canonical, or legal, changes that it will bring about. Native ministry was the subject of a presentation from the co-chairs of the Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples (ACIP) on the move to create the new position of national indigenous bishop, now called the Anglican indigenous bishop since an earlier acronym had created confusion with another native group’s acronym.Archdeacon Sidney Black, of the diocese of Calgary and a co-chair of ACIP, distributed a video of the native Sacred Circle meeting last August that issued the call for a national native bishop as a symbol of healing and a major step toward self-determination for native Anglicans.”We have struck a selection committee … and the time frame we are looking at is June for the selection of the Anglican indigenous bishop,” he said, adding that the committee is considering candidates from Canada and the United States. It also wants to begin the process of changing the canons, or laws, of the church so as to give the new bishop full authority and jurisdiction across diocesan lines. Since a vote of two triennial General Synods is needed to change canons, the earliest this could happen would be 2013, as Archbishop Hutchison has pointed out.The bishops expressed some confusion over the mandate, financing and terms of the new position, while adding their general support for the concept. “There is a high level of anxiety around this … it is so different, so new and untried. It is something we desire to support and we’re not sure how to do it,” said Bishop Gordon Light of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (of British Columbia). Mr. Black said many questions will begin to be addressed once the bishop is appointed.Archbishop Hutchison said that he believes “ACIP has gone too far” in immediately beginning the process of seeking full authority and jurisdiction for the Anglican indigenous bishop. “The Sacred Circle talked about an initial appointment of a national indigenous bishop … this is an interim appointment … we just had the beginning of a conversation that has a way to go,” he said.


  • Solange DeSantis

    Solange De Santis was a reporter for the Anglican Journal from 2000 to 2008.

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