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Pastoral Letter from Principal Stephen Andrews
In what seems to be an epidemic of scandal in the Church, we were grieved to learn that Mark MacDonald has given up his post as National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop and has relinquished the exercise of ordained ministry on account of acknowledged sexual misconduct. Mark is a graduate of this College and a friend to many of us, and he has been a vital part of our teaching and mission. This news is shocking and heartbreaking on many levels.
In our lament, we pray for all those affected by this misconduct: for the person who brought this complaint forward, for Mark’s family, and for the Sacred Circle and Anglican Council of Indigenous Peoples. We pray for all those who feel a sense of anguish or betrayal at this news. We pray for the Church, and we pray for Mark. May we all know the Creator’s power to comfort, heal, and bring life from death.
Once again we are reminded of the frailty of the Body of Christ and the duty we owe to protect the vulnerable among us. May such ruptures in our fellowship strengthen the resolve of every Christian institution to adopt and implement effective policies, procedures, and training designed to prevent sexual misconduct. May God give us ears to hear and hearts to respond in compassion to those who carry the burden of memories of sexual misconduct, harassment, or abuse. And for the integrity of our Church and its witness in the world, let us ask God’s Spirit for courage to face our failings with honesty and transparency, and to be mutually accountable. “Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another,” counsels St James, “so that you may be healed” (5.16).
Respectfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Dr Stephen Andrews,
Principal and Helliwell Professor of Biblical Interpretation.