[Catholic Insight] 8 Apr 2008--The largest Anglican congregation in Canada, St. John’s parish of more than 2,000 members in an affluent Vancouver neighbourhood, has voted overwhelmingly to leave the Canadian Anglican Church and put itself under the authority of a parallel conservative Anglican structure. St. John’s Newfoundland Bishop Donald Harvey is the moderator of the recently formed conservative Anglican Network in Canada, an umbrella group for the now 17 breakaway parishes.
It is expected that legal actions will ensue over which group owns the church lands that continue to be occupied by the conservative parishioners. The disputes, which involve canon law, property law, corporate law and trust law, could get tangled up in the courts for years, and even end up in the Supreme Court of Canada.
Meanwhile, Toronto Anglican Bishop Colin Johnson does not think the split is very serious: “Crisis in the Anglican Church of Canada? I think not” (Globe and Mail, 27 Feb. 08)! He derisively referred to the “ mere 17 parishes” (out of 2,300 Anglican parishes in Canada) that have voted to break away from the Anglican Church of Canada. Another spokesman for the Canadian Anglican community exclaimed: “There is no reason for anyone to leave … At some point we can’t be all things to all people.”