Anglican Church relying on Canadian government for financial survival

Posted: Friday, May 19, 2000

FREDERICTON, New Brunswick (AP) -- The Anglican Church of Canada, the nation's third largest religious body, hopes to avoid bankruptcy through help from the federal government.

The national executive board met to discuss the denomination's declining finances and lawsuits alleging abuse at church residential schools.

''Without federal assistance our resources will soon be exhausted, leading to bankruptcy. This would massively disrupt our ability to participate in healing and reconciliation,'' said a church statement.

Church legal costs over the abuse claims reached 1.5 million Canadian dollars in 1999 and another $112,000 in the first three months of 2000. The church says about 1,600 suits against the national denomination and dioceses are asking total damages of more than $2 billion.

Because the Anglican Church and federal government are both named in many of the lawsuits, general secretary Jim Boyles said Anglicans hope the government will help the church.

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