Primate alters sabbatical plans in wake of lawsuits

Published December 1, 1999

The Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada will spend his sabbatical next year wrestling with how the church should remake itself to cope with life under a cloud of lawsuits.

Archbishop Michael Peers told a national meeting of bishops in late October he was changing the focus of his four-month sabbatical that begins in January. He wants to deal with the major issues the first successful lawsuit against the church has engendered.

He told the bishops he planned to consider what kinds of ethical patterns and structures the church might adopt for its survival, which would not involve hiding its assets. He plans to reflect on how the church can combine its goals towards Natives of healing and reconciliation, while surviving to fulfill those goals and to carry out other things integral to its mission.

In a later interview, Archbishop Peers said he had planned several projects for his sabbatical, including writing an introduction to Volume 4 of the Anglican Episcopate of Canada.”Then the Lytton judgment came and the clear picture of what is ? the absolutely inevitable prospect of major change in the church. There seemed to be a need to change the focus of the sabbatical to indicate a reflection of what of General Synod’s life and achievements and learnings over the last century or so are really crucial in the life of the church. For example, if we say we can’t do everything, what are we going to do which, if we don’t do it, doesn’t get done?”

Archbishop Peers said he plans to consult with people throughout his research. No one else at the national level has the time to deal with the big picture since they’re all dealing with immediate issues, he said.”I have the time and because I’ve been around forever, I have something of the perspective that could be helpful in that,” Archbishop Peers said.The Primate said the work won’t provide a complete answer but he will offer “glimpses of what the church might look like.”Nor is any reworking of the church up to him, he emphasized. The Council of General Synod in 2000 and then General Synod in 2001 will make the decisions.


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