After swimming in the Anglican Continuum shark tank for thirty-seven years I had hoped to escape without attack. It was not to be. There are two causes of the recent little disturbance at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist in Victoria, BC.
First was the unrelenting attack against the Apostolic Constitution and Norms by a former Rector and a few friends. Last Sunday at a duly called meeting to discuss one Resolution — to seek full communion with the See of Peter according to the Apostolic Constitution and Norms, and to support the Bishops of the ACCC in requesting the formation of a Personal Ordinariate in Canada — the Cathedral parish gave it an overwhelming Yes. Those who wrote the Letter to Virtue were obviously disappointed.
Second, and connected with it, was the invitation by the same former Rector to invite an American bishop of the Continuum to come to Victoria (while all of us were at Synod in Vancouver) to discuss alternative oversight for those who could not accept the Ordinariate thus breaking his oath of obedience to the Ordinary. After meeting with him last Saturday, he and I were completely reconciled and the excommuncation lifted.
Then later the same day, after writing to the local clergy to apologize for what he had done and the distress he had caused his fellow priests, he wrote me to say that he now chose to remain excommunicated and resign from the ACCC. He wrote a gracious letter to me. To the Dean, Chapter and Members of the Cathedral Parish of Saint John the Evangelist he wrote:
Dear Friends in Christ:
Bishop Peter, in his usual gracious manner, has offered terms of reconciliation. I love all of you and do not wish to be on anything less than terms of Christian friendship with you. But after thought and prayer, I have decided to accept excommunication, knowing that we still remain united in the faith of Christ, which is our true basis of unity….
In this charitable fashion the matter should have ended. Unhappily it was not permitted to.
+Peter Wilkinson OSG