By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
November 23, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Retired Anglican Bishop Malcolm Harding of Manitoba became the second bishop in a week to align himself with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which takes in most of South America.
“My heart yearns for revival in Canada and in Anglicanism but I have lost hope for reformation within the Anglican Church of Canada. I now realize that we cannot have unity at the expense of truth. I cannot in conscience travel the path that the Anglican Church of Canada is
traveling, away from historic Christian teaching and established Anglican practice.” Bishop Harding said in a statement.
The move by Bishop Harding follows closely on that of retired Bishop Donald Harvey of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador, who announced last Friday he would come out of retirement to offer pastoral guidance to conservative Canadian Anglicans under Gregory Venables, archbishop of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas.
The realignment is in reaction to the loss of moral authority of the Anglican Church in Canada which now endorses homosexuality and the blessing of same sex marriages.
The announcement was made in Burlington yesterday at a meeting, attended by 260 clergy and lay people, of the Anglican Network of Canada which is comprised of sixteen parishes and is now in position to provide an alternative to Canadians who want to leave the Anglican Church of Canada but remain Anglicans.
There was also discussion of the formation of a new North American Anglican province that would be faithful to the heritage and traditional teachings of Anglicanism.
Cheryl Chang, a board member of the Anglican Network said in a National Post report, “We don’t call it separation but realignment. We are not leaving anything. It’s actually the Anglican Church of Canada that is leaving Anglicanism. On that basis, should parishes choose to join a new structure under the Southern Cone, we will not see that as a leaving, but as a staying, and we intend to defend that position.”
The National Post report also quoted James I. Packer, Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and widely regarded as one of the most important Protestant theologians today, who said the Anglican Church of Canada has been “poisoned” by a
liberal theology that “knows nothing of a God who uses [the Bible] to tell us things and knows nothing of sin in the heart and in the head.” He said the Church is being ruined by its attempts to “play catch-up with the culture” by adopting whatever “is the in-thing.”