Ottawa Update

My shadow waves 'hello' as I head for the Adoration Chapel.

The group that wanted to disaffiliate our parish from the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada and seek new episcopal oversight was unsuccessful after a long and sometimes contentious meeting today.  I was glad that I got a chance to slip into the little Adoration Chapel at a nearby Catholic church before heading to our cathedral this morning and the impending fireworks.

The Cathedral of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ottawa.

One of our priests has decided to leave to minister to the group of 22 or so who voted to leave the ACCC. He's a good priest. It's sad to see him or any of the others go. I'm too tired to say much.

I hope there is a chance for all of us to stay as amicable as possible as the others choose their course of action now.

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers, kind words here and in private emails.  It helped a lot to know people around the world were holding us up to the Lord.

Author: Deborah Gyapong

Deborah Gyapong is a member of the Sodality of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary ( in Ottawa, a former parish of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) whose members were received individually and corporately into the Roman Catholic Church on April 15, 2012 by Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast at St. Patrick’s Basilica. Under the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, the community will celebrate an approved Anglican Use liturgy and hopes to soon join with other sodalities across Canada to form the Canadian Deanery of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter under Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary. As we wait for our priest(s) to be ordained as Catholic priests, God willing, Archbishop Prendergast will provide priests to celebrate our Sunday Eucharist according to the Anglican Use. Deborah is a journalist who covers religion and politics in Canada’s national capital, writing primarily for Roman Catholic newspapers since 2004. Her novel The Defilers, published in 2006, was not a best seller, alas. She spent 17 years at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in news and current affairs, including 12 years as a television producer.

16 thoughts on “Ottawa Update”

  1. Sad News from Ottawa
    Good News from Birmingham
    Ottawa Update

    Deborah, how do you keep up with this emotional roller coaster?
    I know.

    Good Friday
    Holy Saturday
    Easter Sunday

  2. I praise God for the positive outcome of the meeting in Ottawa! However, I am having problems with the identification of one who is disobedient to the will of the Church – Jesus Christ – to whom he made promises, and attempting to move God's people farther away from communion with Mother Church as "a good priest." He may be a lovely man, but…

    It is also telling that Deborah received spiritual succour at an Adoration Chapel in a Catholic Church. Mother is opening her stores!


    1. "And as Jesus reclined at table in his (a Pharisee's) house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?" And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those how are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." (Mark 2:15-17).

      Doc, your comments show that you have absolutely no grasp or understanding of our local situation. From your vantage point, it may all seem so clear cut; black and white, but it is not. There are many prominent figures in history who were deemed to be 'disobedient to the will of the church' when they were simply attempting to be faithful to the Gospel. This particular priest is not attempting to move people further away from the church; rather, he is providing pastoral care and comfort to them where none is being offered or provided.

      As for his promises, that is for God alone to judge. We as priests understand that we will be required to give special account of our lives at the last day. Were we faithful? Were we working in the vineyard and telling others of God's love for them? Were we sharing the Gospel and sacrificing for the sake of the Kingdom and God's glory? Were we desiring to associate, eat, pray, and serve the outcasts and sinners? Or were we looking to our own ministry desires? These types of questions and more will be asked of us and we will have to give an account. We all have enough on our own plates to worry about without identifying with someone else's burden for the sake of the Gospel.

      In the passage above, Jesus gets to the 'heart' of the matter and basically tells those who question his motives and actions that since they are so sure of themselves and 'righteous' they have nothing to worry about – they will have their own righteousness to stand on at the last day, while the tax collectors and sinners will have Him. A fine warning to all of us on all sides of the fence to ensure our hearts and minds are dwelling in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son, Jesus Christ.

      Let us all work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) and keep comments like these (unhelpful as they are) off the blogsphere, please?

      What transpired in our parish church this morning/afternoon was grievous and tragic in scope, to be sure, and we will all need some time to heal our wounds using this time to pray for one another, seek the Lord's will for our lives, and ensure that each thought of every moment we have is spent ruminating about Him and desiring to please Him above all things.

      And, so everyone will know for sure, this priest is a lovely man, and a faithful servant.

      1. The same thing happended within my former parish when our priests petitioned Rome for the Pastoral Provsion. Our parish building was not owned by the TEC diocese and when we left we set up a separate pro diocese while waiting to hear from Rome. Although the Pastoral Provision was implemented, the Cardinal and others in the Church, not Rome, denied us an Anglican Use parish even though our parishes were the ones who actually helped to create this great movement.

        Then there was a vote by the vestry and by one vote it was decided not to join the provision, although I guess God knew that we would be denied anyway.

        We had to leave our building and friends, but in the end the Lord took us each by the hand and the priests became Catholic priests and the laity became Catholic. Now those who have been attending the Latin Rite parishes will have more of an opportunity to perhaps have an Anglican Use parish to join.

        What is funny is now my former parish is going to vote again on whether to join the Ordinariate, they belong to TAC/ACA. If they decide to, it shows that all things are in God's timing not ours. Hopefully you all can stay brothers and sisters in Christ and no one knows if the ones who chose a different path will someday also be united with you again.

      2. Thank you, Fr. Eric.

        It is really best on this blog and elsewhere that we do speculate about personal situations and motives.

        Most of us have enough trouble discerning our own true motives and ensuring we ourselves are not being rebellious, or stubborn or becoming bitter.


      3. Fr. Melby,

        Your contention that I am unaware of your local situation is wrong. Our Dioces is experiencing the same situation in more than a couple parishes, e.g., priests acting unilaterally against their bishop, portions of congregations "strong-arming" their priests, etc. I am more than well aware of the hurtful nature of these actions and the consequent casualties. Empathizing with these matters, I will judge. It is a fallacious, and un-Scriptural argument to suggest we negate our duty as watchmen on Zion's walls, using our judgment to discern the dangers to Christ's flock.


  3. The priest in question may well be a good, caring man in human terms. He may truly be acting in accord with what he believes to be the dictates of his conscience and, if so, while I profoundly disagree with his course and will pray that his conscience may, in time, be more correctly formed, I will not criticize him. If, however, he is one of those – and I believe that such are out there – who claims he would enter the Ordinariate but for his supposed pastoral duty to those of his flock who are not ready, then I utterly reject the legitimacy of his action. Our first duty is always to God and the salvation of our own souls. We cannot possibly give honest and efficacious pastoral care if we are living a lie spiritually; if we imagine otherwise, we deceive both ourselves and others. We must each go where the Spirit directs and we must leave the cure of those souls who have chosen a different path to prayer, to the ministrations of others, and, ultimately, to the Grace of God.

  4. Deborah and Fr. Eric:

    Help me out with this. Why did the Ottawa Twenty-Two and a priest wish to withdraw? What of (1) Catholic dogmatic theology do they reject? Or (2) moral theology? Or (3) do they reject a spelled-out theology whatsoever? Or (4) is it just cultural tradition weighing in ("We're Anglophiles, and that history means no Catholicism")? Or (5) just fear of the Great Unknown? Or (6) something else?

    I've met Anglicans who reject The Catholic Church for one of these reasons. Here in my neck of the woods (North Carolina), I know a number of Episcopalians (US) who insist they are "Catholic", yet affirm homosexuality and women clergy — along with rejecting the First Vatican Council. Yet if I read aright, the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada accepts the teaching of the Catholic Catechism on these matters. So, please inform me as to the 22's reasons.

  5. I really object to a blogger with the nom de plume..little black sambo.. it is deeply offensive and racist.

    Robert Ian Willliams

  6. I, for one, cannot understand why people such as the Ottawa dissidents waited so long. The petition to Rome was sent THREE YEARS ago. Were they sleeping or couldn't they read, or what? And the Apostolic Constitution has been out for a year. I suspect dissimulation on their part. Why would they wait till now, the Synod in July voted overwhelmingly (90+%) to support the bishops in seeking to set up an Ordinariate. In short, there were ample earlier opportunities to voice objections and to withdraw from the majority if need be. So why didn't these people take those opportunities?

    1. Neither of our synod delegates voted in favour of the Ordinariate, and the parish has been divided about this for a long time. Those who called the meeting believed that the majority of the parish was opposed to the Apostolic Constitution, and that there was only a small group supporting the bishops. But there was also some influence from outside the parish. Since Synod, some of those clergy who have left the ACCC (none of whom was actually at the Synod) have been encouraging other clergy and parishes to pull out.

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