Episcopal Ordination denied to Canadian priest

Canadian Bishops block consecration of diocesan Bishop over his views

Posted on: May 16, 2017 12:14 PM

Photo Credit: Contributed
Related Categories: Canada

[Anglican Church of Canada] A Canadian Bishop elect will not now be consecrated after a ruling by the House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon. The Bishops registered their objection to the election of the Revd Jacob Worley under Canon 4 (b) vi “That he or she teaches or holds or within five years previously taught or held anything contrary to the Doctrine or Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

“The Bishops met several times as a Provincial House of Bishops since the ecclesiastic election in the Diocese of Caledonia, reviewed the materials before them, and met the Revd. Jacob Worley,” said the Most Revd. John Privett, Archbishop and Metropolitan for the Province of BC & Yukon. In coming to this conclusion, the bishops reviewed the Revd Worley’s past actions, what he has written directly to the House, and what he said when meeting with the Provincial House of Bishops.

“After many open and prayerful conversations, the majority of the House concluded that within the past five years the Revd. Worley has held – and continues to hold – views contrary to the Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada,” said Archbishop Privett. “The view he held and holds is that it is acceptable and permissible for a priest of one church of the Anglican Communion to exercise priestly ministry in the geographical jurisdiction of a second church of the Anglican Communion without the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority of that second church”.

The question of his views arose from a review of his exercise of priestly ministry when he served in the Anglican Mission in America under license from the Province of Rwanda in the geographical jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church without permission of The Episcopal Church.

As the Provincial House has registered its objection, the Revd. Worley will not be consecrated bishop in the Diocese of Caledonia in the Anglican Church of Canada. As outlined in Canon 4 of the constitution and canons of the Province of BC & Yukon, “the decision of the [Provincial] House of Bishops shall be final” in these matters. The Diocese of Caledonia will now begin the process to hold a new electoral synod according to its canons.

“The Provincial House of Bishops of BC & Yukon ask for your prayers during this extraordinary time,” said Archbishop Privett, “especially for the Worley family, for the Diocese of Caledonia and all those who worship and minister there.”

Revd Worley, an Alabama-born priest, is currently the  rector of the parish of Bulkley Valley, which includes three congregations in northern British Columbia.  He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2005 and in 2007, founded a new church in New Mexico as a missionary for the Anglican province of Rwanda. The church would later join the Anglican Church in North America, a grouping of conservative congregations that left TEC in 2009. In the meantime, Worley had left. After an interim term as rector at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in Fort St. John, British Columbia in 2013, then a year priesting for the Church of Ireland, he returned with his family to British Columbia.

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The paragraphs which I have highlighted in the above Report from today’s Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), gives evidence of the willingness of the Anglican Church of Canada to apply appropriate discipline to its clergy who fail to keep up with the current climate of openness to change in its attitude towards the LGBTI members of that Church.

The Revd. Jacob Worley, ordained in the Episcopal Church in the U.S., founded a new church in New Mexico under the Auspices of AMiA – an illicit outreach under the authority of the Anglican Church of Ruanda – which church has now become part of ACNA, a schismatic, GAFCON-approved, faux-Anglican Church operating in the U.S.A and Canada.

Worley’s  nomination to become Bishop of the Anglican Church of Canada’s Diocese of Caledonia has now been rescinded by the Provincial Bishops of British Columbia and The Yukon, on account of his opposition to the A.C.C.’s policy on human sexuality.

This seems a most appropriate decision on the part of the Anglican Church of Canada, and in direct contrast with the recent inaction in the Church of England at the news of the illicit episcopal ordination of one of its clergy – Jonathan Pryke – within its borders, by a GAFCON-approved schismatic Bishop of the REACH faux-Anglican Church in South Africa.

Both the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC (The Episcopal Church of the United States of America) have been kept at arm’s length by the Church of England because of their positive action towards the ordination of gays, and the Blessing of same-sex relationships. So it does seem quite fitting that the C. of E. should still kowtow to the GAFCON Con/Evos – ignoring the border-crossing within its own territory – while the Anglican Churches in North America seek to uphold the Inclusive nature of the Gospel to protect its LGBTI members.

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

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About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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