St. George’s, Windsor to be demolished

The Diocese of Huron is demolishing St. George’s in Windsor because the congregation has withered and the diocese doesn’t need the building. Of course, when St. Aidan’s congregation – also in Windsor – joined ANiC, the diocese took them to court because they really needed the property – rather like my dog: if I pick up a stick, he must have it, only to lose interest when I drop it.

From here:

Historic St. George’s Church and Hall, facing likely demolition, will be put up for sale in a last-ditch effort to save it.

But officials at the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Huron — which owns the Walkerville property, with an asking price of $250,000 — aren’t holding their breath.

“We’re going to proceed with demolition but because the city really would like to see if we can sell it first, we’re going to test it on the market for a couple of months,” Paul Rathbone, secretary-treasurer for the Diocese of Huron, said Wednesday. “But we’re not going to hold it on the market long at all.

The flawed Marriage Canon Report

It was never a secret that the purpose of the marriage canon report was to find a way – any way – to justify the marriage of same-sex couples. It was an exercise in using theology to disguise what the Bible clearly teaches; it was a rationalisation:

In psychology and logic, rationalization or rationalisation (also known as making excuses) is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable – or even admirable and superior – by plausible means. It is also an informal fallacy of reasoning.

As Ephraim Radner puts it:

“It was not a theological report. It was a report that used some theology, but for a non-theological purpose,” says the Rev. Ephraim Radner, a professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College in the diocese of Toronto who has frequently spoken out in opposition to same-sex marriage.

For Radner, the report was compromised from the very beginning due to its starting assumption that committed, adult same-sex relationships are acceptable expressions of human sexuality.

But Radner’s frustration also stems from the fact that the commission’s mandate was not to look into the theological possibility of same-sex marriage, but to provide an argument for why Canon XXI, which governs marriage, could be changed to include same-sex couples.

“I don’t think it was set up in order to be methodologically sound with respect to the issue at hand,” he says. “It wasn’t actually asked to think through an issue in some kind of steady state, even-handed, neutral manner in the Christian tradition.”


“What’s missing is concern about the survival of Anglicanism in Canada,” he says, citing dwindling attendance and sales of property. “I think moving ahead on this very controversial issue is just hammering another nail into the coffin.”

Fred Hiltz to protest climate change

By burning jet fuel.

From here:

The United Nations climate change conference – Cop21 – begins next week in Paris, and there will be a large Anglican and ecumenical presence at the two-week event to lobby for a fair deal for the world’s poorest people – those most affected by catastrophic changes in the world’s climate……..

The Anglican presence will be headed by two primates: Archbishop Thabo Makgoba from the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; and Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.

A global warming Advent

For those who think that Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Jesus, the Canadian Council of Churches has news for you: the real Advent is all about global warming.

The CCC has even prepared a climate change sermon for Advent 1.

Read it all here:

A Sermon for Preachers Preparing for the First Sunday of Advent
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Luke 21.25-26)

This prophecy could easily be a description of our times.

You see there was once a time when we had to argue about the reality of climate change.

There was once a time when the interesting debate to be had was whether our actions as human beings could have an impact on the climate.

However, I think, as a global culture, that time has passed.

Climate change is a reality.

In fact it’s so dominant a reality that even the world’s central banks, global investment funds, and military powers are making plans on how to adapt to it.

In other words, we have moved from the place of trying to understand what is happening in the world, to the stage of “fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world”.

Gay Syrian men to be given preference for settling in Canada

From here:

The federal government will include gay men among the Syrian refugees it brings into Canada as part of a plan that puts the focus on accepting women, children and families.

Now we know why the Anglican Church of Canada has been campaigning for more refugees to be admitted: an influx of potential ACoC priests.

Same-sex marriage vote

From here:

It’s not a foregone conclusion.

As much as some quarters would have everyone believe, there’s no telling how the 2016 General Synod will act on a motion to change the church’s law so that clergy can marry same-sex couples.

The answer will come in about nine months, when the church’s governing body gathers for its triennial meeting in Toronto. But right now, there’s work to be done, if the church hopes to arrive at a faithful and principled decision about this weighty matter.

In 2013, General Synod passed Resolution C003, which asked Council of General Synod (CoGS) to draft a motion “to change Canon XXI on marriage to allow the marriage of same-sex couples in the same way as opposite-sex couples.” It also asked for supporting documentation that:  demonstrates broad consultation about the motion; explains how this motion does not contravene the Solemn Declaration; confirms immunity under civil law and the Human Rights Code for bishops, dioceses and priests who refuse to participate or authorize the marriage of same-sex couples on the basis on conscience; and provides a biblical and theological rationale for this change in teaching on the nature of Christian marriage.

Considering the report is focussed almost exclusively on legitimising same-sex marriage no matter what 2000 years of Biblical understanding and tradition have to say on the matter, and considering that most conservatives have already abandoned the Anglican Church of Canada, I should think passing the motion is a forgone conclusion. We shall see.

Any ACoC priest planning on exercising the conscience clause who takes comfort in the report’s claim that he would be immune from civil prosecution is living in a fantasy world.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, acknowledged that it would be a challenge to ensure that when they arrive at General Synod, delegates would have read the report so that they can join discussions in an informed and meaningful way. And, one might add, so they can vote confidently and independently.
I expect Hiltz is right: delegates won’t read the report – why bother to wade through the mire when the results are a forgone conclusion.

Anglican Church of Canada to use indaba groups for same-sex blessing vote

The whole idea of the indaba groups is to create a climate of respect during which delegates put on a display of hugging, crying and earnest pondering while, in the background, there are secret machinations to pass the same-sex marriage motion and once again bamboozle the few remaining hapless conservatives still clinging to risible notion that the ACoC bears a passing resemblance to a Christian church.

From here:

Council of General Synod (CoGS) has stressed that delegates to the 2016 General Synod need space, time, and appropriate preparation in order to keep discussions around same-sex marriage from becoming antagonistic.

“The use of an indaba process or a Sacred Circle type of process is going to create a climate of respect,” said Don Wilson, of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia. “There is a view of some that the revisionists are heretical and the traditionalists are stuck in the past, and if we can get beyond that and into a kind of respect, it could smooth things out.” (Indaba is a Zulu word for decision-making by consensus. The Indigenous Sacred Circle often involves the process of talking circles.)

Though the resolution that brought the issue before General Synod ultimately requires delegates to give either a “yes” or a “no,” CoGS has vowed to make the conversation leading up to that vote as non-adversarial as possible.

Stop offering insincere prayers for Paris

If a person prays for the victims of an atrocity yet continues to act in a way that is likely to cause a repeat of the atrocity, then the prayer is a lie and God is being treated as a fool.

Here is Canada’s effort:

In Canada, the Council of the General Synod paused its Friday evening meeting as news of the attacks filtered through. Archbishop Fred Hiltz led prayers for those affected by the tragedy.

Yet, the ACoC and Hiltz are delighted with the election of a new Liberal government, a government whose campaign platform included withdrawing from the fight against ISIS and the accepting of 25,000 Syrian migrants into Canada by Christmas – a volume that would make adequate security screening impossible.

So, Canadian bishops: either shut up with the hypocritical prayers or stop your support for a government and policies that will inevitably result in yet more victims, more bishops babbling like pagans and more vain, empty, repetitious prattling disguised as prayer.

Dean Peter Wall makes Joke of the Week

He reckons that TEC envies the Anglican Church of Canada its ability to bring churches together. This is after the ACoC was instrumental in causing a rift in the Anglican Communion that will probably be permanent and after driving dozens of ANiC parishes first out of the ACoC and then out of their buildings.


Of course, TEC has lost some of its lawsuits with dissenting parishes, whereas the ACoC has won all of its lawsuits. Perhaps that is the nimbleness that is really the object of TEC’s envy.

Fred Hiltz: Surprised by Hope

As I was reading the article below, I had one eye and ear trained on CNN, listening to the unfolding terror crisis in Paris. In a juxtaposition that strains the boundaries of opposites, while France has just closed its borders, has imposed the first curfew since 1944 and has declared a state of emergency, Fred Hiltz, because a liberal government that plans to absorb 25,000 Middle-Eastern migrants by Christmas – sorry, Holiday Season – has been elected, is overcome with hope for the future.

From here:

While seeming to disavow any political partisanship, Hiltz said the new federal government also gave him much hope for the future.

“I’m not a politician—you all know that—but I tell you, this is a time of hope for this country,” he said. The Liberal government, he said, appears to have social priorities much in line with those of the church, as even some new departmental names seem to suggest—the former Department of Immigration and Citizenship will now be known as the Department of Citizenship, Refugees and Immigration. He applauded, too, the naming of an Aboriginal woman, Jody Wilson-Raybould, as the country’s new justice minister and attorney general.

“If that’s not hope, I don’t know what is,” Hiltz said of Wilson-Raybould’s appointment.

“I’m not wearing red today, but I think there is in this country a hopefulness that we’ve not seen for some time,” he said. The new cabinet seemed to collectively include a great deal of “respect, and proven expertise, and experience and abiding passion for community development, foreign aid and global concerns,” he added. “We actually as a country have some recovering to do with respect to our place among the nations, and I think there’s a time of hope that is before us.”

Apparently, there is “synergy” between the Liberals and the Anglican Church of Canada; who would have guessed that?

While Hiltz and Johnson, like many other church leaders, remained non-partisan throughout the long campaign—focusing instead on the issues they would like to see dealt with, such as poverty, reconciliation and environmental stewardship—the Anglican church’s special advisor for government relations, the Rev. Laurette Glasgow, noted that there is “a greater synergy between the priorities of our church and those of the incoming government” than there has been in recent years.

“Synergy”, as I am sure you know, means:

the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects

In this context, synergy is a good thing: the combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects means that the ACoC and Liberal Party will be mutually hastening each other into oblivion more quickly than each could alone. That’s the optimist in me speaking: try as I might, I don’t really suppose the ACoC has the wherewithal to pull the Liberal Party down the Ecclesiastical toilet after it.

Hiltz goes on to note that:

despite the considerable sensitivity of the issue and the difficulty the church has had in the past coming to decisions around sexuality, he was optimistic about the discussions around the marriage canon expected at the General Synod next summer……

“I am uneasy with the rhetoric in the Communion that talks about how fragile the Communion is, or how broken it is—that’s not my read.”

At least Hiltz is consistent in his misreading of reality.