The worldwide Anglican Communion has been in disarray for a long time now due to the scandalous acceptance of practicing homosexual by some Episcopal Churches, notably the American. The American branch of Anglicanism elevated Gene Robinson to be the Bishop of New Hampshire, despite the fact that he is divorced from his wife and is living in a sodomite relationship. Other Anglicans were revolted by this flagrant departure from even the appearance of Christian practice. Robinson from time to time pours oil on the flames of controversy, most recently by alleging that without its practicing homosexual clergy the Church of England cold not function. There has been almost endless talk about splits and peace plans. The Archbishop of Canterbury is rumored to be pushing a plan to allow "conservative" churches and clergy to serve under conservative bishops. This is typical of Rowan Williams-just let the wickedness continue; shuffle the personnel around a little; give the hotheaded conservatives time to cool down; continue business as usual and soon the whole controversy will have died down.
Now the controversy has taken another turn. One of the Church of England's best known evangelicals is J.I. Packer. Packer is a theologian of international reputation. Time Magazine labeled him as the "doctrinal Solomon" of evangelical thinkers and named him in the top 25 of the world's leading evangelicals. Now Dr. Packer, who is 82, is threatened with suspension from the Anglican Church of Canada as one who has abandoned his ministry. Along with a number of other clergy, packer is reported to have been involved in a series of meetings in which congregations in four parishes in the diocese have voted to join a foreign Church. On February 22, the Bishop of New Westminster, Michael Ingham, wrote to the clergy involved asking them to tell him whether they have left the ministry of the Anglican Church of Canada, and if they were seeking admission into another religious body outside Canada. According to media reports, members of the four congregations voted to ask Don Harvey, a retired bishop who resigned from the Anglican Church of Canada, to provide episcopal oversight. Harvey has declared himself to be a bishop of an Anglican Church in South America, the Province of the Southern Cone, based out of Buenos Aires, Argentina.