Well it has happened at long last. Don Harvey, the “retired” bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador is taking his leave. Do I believe this is sad news for the Anglican Church of Canada? Yes I do – but not for the reasons you might think.
Mr. Harvey has long threatened that he would take his marbles and go home if he did not get his way in the Anglican church of Canada and now ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING.
Now don’t get too excited. This man has been causing trouble for the House of Bishops in Canada, since his retirement in 2004. Since that time he has not so quietly been making as much stink as possible about the church’s open dialogue about blessing same sex unions. In the three years since ‘retirement’ he has become moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada, an organization whose aim is to actively work to set up a parallel church – in other words, fracture the Anglican Communion in Canada. He has participated in irregular ordinations of bishops in The Southern Cone. He has taken his schismatic message on tour across Canada to like minded persons in any Diocese and jurisdiction that would allow him. All the while he has argues, that others (liberals) are tearing apart the church. At each and every opportunity Don Harvey has insisted that The Anglican Church of Canada is being threatened by homosexuality. He is so fixated on the matter that it makes one wonder what the trouble is really. Regardless of one’s position on the blessing of same sex unions, one thing is clear – when one pushes away from the table and says if I do not get my way there will be no more talking, the schismatic is the person who sulks out the door, and not the family left chewing on the difficult debate.
Sadly, this is the man who ordained me! I once respected this man, now he has become, to me, a big disappointment. Jorge Luis Borges wrote that “… the image of the Lord had been replaced by a mirror.” This I believe is a large part of the problem here. The arrogance of Don Harvey’s puerile position which is incapable of entertaining the notion that others, who may not agree, are condemned to heresy and categorically defined as no longer “orthodox” is frightening. That sort of imperious indignation has become characteristic of Don Harvey in the past few years and is all consistent with a man who, blinded by his own big-headedness, has lost sight of his sacred orders. This announcement yesterday is really no surprise and for some I am sure it is a relief. But do not get too comfortable too quickly – Mr. Harvey is going nowhere, least of all to the Southern Cone.
He will no doubt be found there when there is an opportunity to make a statement to the press back home in North America. [Take a look at this “Where’s Waldo” style photo found on the ANIC’s Web Page) This photo was taken at an ordination of rogue bishops to take oversight of disgrunteled Anglicans in the US.
This latest move is another opportunity for Mr. Harvey to raise his profile here in Canada and indeed in North America. Archbishop Fred Hiltz was quoted by The Anglican Journal (Read the article by clicking here) that “If he (Bishop Harvey) does anything in Canada or anywhere else in the world, or another province other than the province of the Southern Cone, that’s an extension of jurisdiction that’s not appropriate according to traditional understanding and statements as recent as Windsor and the primates’ communiqué in Dar Es Salaam,” Clearly the Primate and the Council of General Synod of The Anglican Church of Canada know what to expect next. If there is any doubt one need only read the press release on the ANIC and the ESSENTIALS web page where it states explicitly “He will now be free to offer episcopal oversight to biblically faithful Canadian Anglicans who are distressed and feel they no longer have a home in the Anglican Church of Canada.” Oddly the people over at ANIC insist that becoming a member of their "network" does no mean that you are no longer a part of the Anglican Church of Canada. What will it mean now that the Moderator of that group is denoucing his membership in the Anglcan Church of Canada?
Long ago Jesus of Nazareth warned of wolves in sheep’s clothing. Mr. Harvey has all but shed most of his wool, and now the fierceness of this philistine apologist should be evident to all. I urge the church in Canada to stand firm in its resolve to continue conversation and dialogue, to embrace tolerance and walk forward boldly to “strive for the peace and unity of all people and respect the dignity of every human being” (BAS Page 159)that is our baptism covenant. In so doing we can say to the Don Harveys of the world that priggish intolerance and self-promotion are not of God. I pray that the house of Bishops will NOT tolerate any interference from this man who has stepped away from the church. We need only remember the response of Jesus of Nazareth when he was subject to the squabbles between “the religious.”
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
We hold form to that creed of Jesus – Hopefully, Mr Harvey will follow that creed as well in his new endeavour.
PS ANOTHER BLOG WILL FOLLOW TOMORROW AN AN EXCITING WEEKNED AT ST. MARK’S – SO MUCH NEWS AND SO LITTLE BLOG TIME!