As I suspected, the article on David Virtue's site about Bishop Wilkinson excommunicating the former rector was full of inaccuracies, some of which have been corrected. Here's a link to the somewhat corrected version, which adds what seems to be the letter from Bishop Wilkinson to the former rector, with brackets that I assume are Fr. Stanley Sinclair's "fisking" of the Bishop's letter. You can see the graciousness of Bishop Wilkinson in the letter. It puts to shame the vitriolic reaction in the comments section over at Virtueonline.org.
Read the article and the letter (or part of it) below the break.
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Exclusives : Deep Divisions in Traditional Anglican Communion Erupt over Pope's Unity Offer
Posted by David Virtue on 2010/6/24 8:30:00 (2023 reads)
Deep Divisions in Traditional Anglican Communion Erupt over Pope's offer of Unity
Victoria, BC Cathedral Rector Dismissed by ACCC Archbishop
By David W. Virtue
June 25, 2010
The former Rector of St. John the Evangelist, Canon Stanley Sinclair, has been expelled from the cathedral and excommunicated from his parish and the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada based in Victoria, BC because he refuses to accept the Pope's offer of unity being promoted by the Traditional Anglican Communion.
Canon Sinclair was summarily dismissed from his post by The The Very Rev. Shane B. Janzen, who accused Canon Sinclair of "sowing discord", and "going behind my back to spread false information, fear and disunity."
In a letter to Sinclair, which VOL has obtained, Shane described himself as "appalled" and said Sinclair was "duplicitous" and accused him of "shredding his ministry, breaking friendship" and that "a clergyman of your years and maturity should have acted differently. I hope the ends justify the means," he said in a final blast at the priest.
In his response to Janzen, Sinclair said the church he has known has been taken from him and wrote, "It seems best to me that in the light of the excommunication, I should resign accordingly from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, and express to you, to the Dean and Chapter and the membership of the parish the love and regard we have for all of you."
Janzen said he had contacted Archbishop James Eugene Provence (APCK) over the Ordinariate who said it was personal. "I faced the prospect of having no church connection, because of the terms of the Ordinariate, I also called an old friend, APCK Archbishop Robert Morse. Like all those clergy who have left the Anglican (Episcopal) Church, a period of discernment and consideration of the options preceded any notification of the diocesan, pending a decision.
"I have not urged anyone to leave St. John's, nor do I have any plans whatsoever. I had every intention of informing you well in advance of any decision on my part."
Janzen said the stress he and many have felt since the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus has been profound. "In our estimation, and that of many others, our Church as we know it is being taken away from us, though for the noblest motives. We may be mistaken, but this is our earnest conviction."
"I never intended the hurt of anyone, and I still regard the publication of the Pro/Con as a necessary independent act. I am sorry that this was perceived as a personal attack or act of treachery."
Reaction to the Dean's sacking of Sinclair was swift and condemnatory. One parishioner wrote, "I did not join Saint John's to be a Roman Catholic."
"The meeting after Church was akin to union meetings I have experienced in logging camps; intimidation ruled, stand up and vote; it was not right. After reading the documents, especially the one dated March 12, 2010 to [Cardinal] Joseph Levada; I read what I sensed at the meeting, I am dealing with a stacked deck, this deal was done long before any lay people could vote. Synod in July will be no different.
"I am much troubled how a man of God could write a letter like you wrote to Father Stan. The man you first served under and then excommunicated, that is not the wisdom of God at work. Father Stan was thrown under the bus; did he not help build this Church?
"The Anglican Ordinariate will be a shadow of its former self. I believe the shepherds to be thinking not of the flock but of themselves. I believe our shepherd has misled us and God only knows why."
The parishioner concluded his blast saying that it made no sense why the powers that be at Saint John's would do this to what was started with five members in the congregation. [Is this about progress? power? acknowledgment? career decision? money?]
"It is with a very heavy heart that my family and I bid you and the Church goodbye; we can no longer attend Saint John's."
Prominent Lay Reader, Dr. Geoffrey D. T. Shaw summarized events leading to the parish schism.
"Several years ago our House of Bishops signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church committing us to uphold the doctrines and dogma of the RC Church – without consultation with the clergy or laity. That was a breach of the various constitutions to which we belong.
"The Primate Archbishop Hepworth visited the church to answer questions of concern to members of the parish. The answers to these questions were not satisfactory and later were found to be misleading. The Dean announced from the pulpit that a vote would take place by the parish. Prior to the Synod of the Traditional Anglican Communion where our delegates would be sent to take part in a vote on acceptance of the terms of the Apostolic Constitution.
"A petition was drafted in strict accordance with the Societies Act, B.C. The parish council was asked to arrange a Special General meeting at which two motions would be tabled for a vote. 13 signatories of members of the parish were obtained.
"The petition was handed to the Dean Rev. Shane Janzen at a coffee break of parish members following Mass several weeks ago. The Dean approached some of the elderly Signatories and chastised them for adding their signatures. This intimidating tactic resulted in them saying they did not understand what they were signing.
"As Allan Singleton-Wood was the person who delivered the petition to him, he sent a letter to him with a copy to all signatories and members of the parish council accusing Singleton-Wood of telling untruths and falsifying information on the document. He resigned as a lay reader.
"It became increasingly apparent through conflicting statements by the Dean that we were not receiving an accurate picture of the bishops' plan for our church. Because of the absence of proper information, Canon Sinclair drafted a document of "Pros and Cons" of the offer by Rome and sent this to all members of the congregation. It was a very balanced document.
"At Mass the following week Canon Sinclair suffered the humiliation of a strong rebuke from the pulpit for producing a document from which the Dean dissociated himself.
"Canon Sinclair had a telephone discussion with Archbishop Provence, an old friend from a US Anglican Catholic Diocese. The Archbishop reassured him that if members of the church were left with "nowhere to go" he would help in any way he can with pastoral care.
"Singleton-Wood resigned from the parish. He explained to the Dean that he wished to remain an Anglican Catholic and does not intend to become a Roman Catholic. The Dean's letter of response informed him that he would also be removed as a member of the Anglican Church of Canada and the Traditional Anglican Communion (this despite the fact that the Synod of the TAC has not yet had its meeting on whether or not to "go to Rome."
In a Parish Newsletter, The Dean accused Canon Sinclair of lies and duplicity and distributing false information.
The Bishop invited him to lunch and made an offer to rescind the excommunication and reinstate his license on the condition that he withheld any further discussions with other churches until after the Synod.
Canon Sinclair refused and sent a letter to the Bishop accepting the excommunication. The Dean announced a formal meeting of the Parish to take place yesterday, 20th June.
At that meeting it was announced, despite Canon Sinclair's refusal to concede to the Bishop's request, that a reconciliation had taken place and that Canon Sinclair's license had been restored.
"When the bishops signed the Catechism of the Catholic Church they agreed to teach us the RC Catechism, its doctrines and dogma commencing immediately. It also bound us all to uphold RC Canon Law (even though we were already bound by TAC Canon Law. The bishops were at that time bound by the constitutions of the TAC, ACCC and the constitution of the Parish of St John's. Those constitutions were seriously breached by this agreement and were further breached by making these decisions without consultation with the clergy and laity. The Apostolic Constitution will logically make those constitutions obsolete."
In the US, at least one ACA/TAC diocese has said it would not accept Rome's offer setting the stage for schism within the Continuing Anglican church body throughout North America.
FOOTNOTE: TAC History in Roman Catholic Dialogue
In October 2007 the bishops of TAC formally expressed the desire to enter into full unity with the See of Rome and declared their adherence to the doctrines expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. In a statement authorised by Archbishop Hepworth on 16 October 2007: In adhering to those doctrines (which include all the dogma) they undertook to teach them to members of the TAC thus seriously breeching the constitutions of the TAC, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, the parish constitutions and the Affirmation of St. Louis. Indeed they all became basically redundant at that time.
That was the start of the process of converting the priests and faithful to Roman Catholicism.
The Primate of the TAC, John Hepworth, insists that acceptance of the Pope's offer does not mean conversion to Roman Catholicism for Anglican Catholics.
Who is he kidding? The Ordinariate is a Roman Catholic Body reporting to Rome. It is bound by RC Canon Law.
The priests must be re-ordained as Roman Catholic priests. He says they must be – in order to perform Mass in RC churches if required.(the real reason is that they cannot administer the sacraments unless they are Roman Catholics).
They must agree to teach the Roman Catholic Catechism with all its dogmas and doctrines, including infallibility of the Pope and to be bound by Roman Catholic Canon Law
despite the claim by the Primate that the move of a parish into an Ordinariate is "corporate" and not "individual" the laity must apply in writing to join (an individual membership)
TAC members WILL become Roman Catholics. Why the TAC Bishops are not being honest about this defies all logic.
The PROs and CONs of the Personal Ordinariate written by Fr. Sinclair can be found at this link:
A letter from Bishop Peter Wilkinson
Dear Father Stan:
I can hardly believe that I have to write this letter to you whom I brought to Victoria and St John's [correction, it was Bishop Crawley, but of course Fr Peter concurred], a beloved friend for over twenty years. But your actions in regard to me have made it necessary.
As you know, at my consecration I was admonished to 'Protect the Bride of Christ, his holy Church.' That is why I wear a wedding ring. At my enthronement you and the clergy recognized me as your 'chief pastor and Father in God' [Yes, in fact I withdrew from consideration for the office of bishop in his favour] and pledged to me your 'true service and loyalty.'
However, your invitation to a foreign bishop to come and discuss options for providing Episcopal oversight in my diocese without my prior knowledge and consent is an act of disloyalty, and I must now inhibit you from the ministry of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, and confirm the excommunication.