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Canadian Bishops block consecration of diocesan Bishop over his views

Posted on: May 16, 2017 12:14 PM
Photo Credit: Contributed
Related Categories: Canada

[Anglican Church of Canada] A Canadian Bishop elect will not now be consecrated after a ruling by the House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of British Columbia and Yukon. The Bishops registered their objection to the election of the Revd Jacob Worley under Canon 4 (b) vi “That he or she teaches or holds or within five years previously taught or held anything contrary to the Doctrine or Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

“The Bishops met several times as a Provincial House of Bishops since the ecclesiastic election in the Diocese of Caledonia, reviewed the materials before them, and met the Revd. Jacob Worley,” said the Most Revd. John Privett, Archbishop and Metropolitan for the Province of BC & Yukon. In coming to this conclusion, the bishops reviewed the Revd Worley’s past actions, what he has written directly to the House, and what he said when meeting with the Provincial House of Bishops.

“After many open and prayerful conversations, the majority of the House concluded that within the past five years the Revd. Worley has held – and continues to hold – views contrary to the Discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada,” said Archbishop Privett. “The view he held and holds is that it is acceptable and permissible for a priest of one church of the Anglican Communion to exercise priestly ministry in the geographical jurisdiction of a second church of the Anglican Communion without the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority of that second church”.

The question of his views arose from a review of his exercise of priestly ministry when he served in the Anglican Mission in America under license from the Province of Rwanda in the geographical jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church without permission of The Episcopal Church.

As the Provincial House has registered its objection, the Revd. Worley will not be consecrated bishop in the Diocese of Caledonia in the Anglican Church of Canada. As outlined in Canon 4 of the constitution and canons of the Province of BC & Yukon, “the decision of the [Provincial] House of Bishops shall be final” in these matters. The Diocese of Caledonia will now begin the process to hold a new electoral synod according to its canons.

“The Provincial House of Bishops of BC & Yukon ask for your prayers during this extraordinary time,” said Archbishop Privett, “especially for the Worley family, for the Diocese of Caledonia and all those who worship and minister there.”

Revd Worley, an Alabama-born priest, is currently  the  rector of the parish of Bulkley Valley, which includes three congregations in northern British Columbia.  He was ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2005 and in 2007, founded a new church in New Mexico as a missionary for the Anglican province of Rwanda. The church would later join the Anglican Church in North America, a grouping of conservative congregations that left TEC in 2009. In the meantime, Worley had left. After an interim term as rector at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in Fort St. John, British Columbia in 2013, then a year priesting for the Church of Ireland, he returned with his family to British Columbia.