Anglican reaction to U.S and Cuba diplomatic ties

From here:

Upon hearing the news that the U.S. and Cuba would re-establish diplomatic ties, Bishop Michael Bird of the diocese of Niagara said in a statement that the diocese “rejoices at the transformational opportunities that this announcement holds for the Cuban people and the ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Cuba.” The diocese of Niagara and the Episcopal diocese of Cuba maintain a companion relationship.

When asked how changes in diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba might affect the position of the ECC, Archdeacon Michael Thompson, general secretary of the Anglican Church of Canada, stressed that there is still much that is unknown.

Does anyone believe that the thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba will result in transformational opportunities? Will Cuba cease to be a totalitarian state where political dissent is brutally suppressed, or will there be relief for the grinding poverty in which most Cubans live, including those working at luxury resorts that cater to vacationing Canadians – and soon Americans?

Cuba is insisting that the U.S. “respect Cuba’s communist rule“, a demand that will not perturb Western Anglican bishops one iota:

Cuban President Raul Castro on Saturday demanded that the United States respect Cuba’s communist rule as the two countries work toward normalizing diplomatic ties.

The main transformation may be that Obama will be able to obtain Cuban cigars legally.

Anglican Standing Commission urges the Anglican Church of Canada not to amend the marriage canon

From here:

The Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO) has urged the Anglican Church of Canada not to amend its marriage canon (church law) to allow the marriage of same-sex couples, saying such a move would “cause great distress for the Communion as a whole, and for its ecumenical relationships.”

The IASCUFO’s statement came in response to a request from the Canadian church’s Commission on the Marriage Canon for an opinion about proposed changes to Canon 21 that would allow for same-sex marriages. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, decided IASCUFO would be the “most appropriate” body within the Communion to deal with such a question.

The Anglican Church of Canada has the prerogative “to address issues appropriate to its context,” the IASCUFO said, but it noted the ramifications of “a change of this magnitude” for the Communion and its ecumenical partners. In a letter addressed to Canon Robert Falby, chair of the marriage canon commission, IASCUFO members said they were unanimous “in urging you not to move beyond your present policy of ‘local option,’ ” which allows dioceses to choose whether or not they will offer same-sex blessings. They noted that the absence of a General Synod decision about the blessing of same-sex unions or same-sex marriages “has given space for the rebuilding of fragile relationships across the Communion.”

When deciding whether to allow the blessing of same-sex civil marriages, the ACoC delegated downwards: the ever slippery national church has made no statement that unequivocally gives its approval for same-sex blessings, yet it doesn’t censure individual dioceses that do. In this way, the ACoC nurtures the hope that it will not be held accountable for the chaos created by its sexual agenda.

I’ll be interested to see how the ACoC attempts to wriggle out of accepting responsibility for continuing with the marriage canon discussions; there aren’t enough conservatives left in the dwindling denomination to prevent the almost inevitable marriage canon change, yet there can’t be a local option marriage canon.

Perhaps the church will abdicate its responsibility by exiting the marriage business altogether.

Living Reconciliation in the Anglican Church of Canada

The ACoC is going return the church buildings it acquired through the legal system from ANiC parishes; Bishop Malcolm Harding’s portrait will be restored to its rightful place in the Diocese of Brandon; James Packer will be invited to preach at St. John’s Shaughnessy; a certain bishop and a certain blogger who were entangled in a defamation lawsuit will tearily kiss and make up; Anglican Church of Canada bishops will call ANiC the “Anglican Network” not the “Network”. Projectile pigs with “Indaba” tattooed on their porcine posteriors will float gracelessly skyward during the Marriage Canon debate at the 2016 General Synod.

From here:

It is a fractious time in the life of the Anglican church, both in Canada and in the world, but even as the Communion struggles to overcome pernicious divisions over issues such as human sexuality or the ordination of women, it is also turning to the tradition of the scriptures and the indigenous wisdom of its diverse membership to find potential ways forward.

Living Reconciliation, a new book published jointly by SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge) in the U.K. and Forward Movement in North America, tries to use the resources that exist within the church to explore more peaceful ways of handling disagreement.

The authors, the Rev. Canon Phil Groves, director of Continuing Indaba for the Anglican Communion, and Angharad Jones, former communications and resource manager for Continuing Indaba, understand reconciliation to be one of the foundational principles of Christian doctrine. The Christian story, they suggest, is fundamentally about how God reconciles his people to himself through Christ, which means that a faithful response to this story must be one that places reconciliation at the heart of Christian ministry.

Huron College professor denounced for being insufficiently anti-homophobic

Gary Badcock is a theology professor at Huron University College; his crime was to state in a keynote address that homosexuality is a first world problem. That seems to me to be a self-evident truism: when civilizations descend into affluent decadence as the West has, sexual mores crumble and homosexual activity increases. Unfortunately for professor Badcock, a lesbian heard his address and is castigating the professor for hate mongering.

It doesn’t help that Professor Badcock is a member of ANiC, an organisation which is, apparently, ultra conservative, an archetypal infamy against which all other infamies beg to be measured; I am so pleased to be a part of it.

From here:

The principal of a liberal arts college in London, Ontario — which is affiliated with the publicly funded Western University — says that his school does not condone discrimination in any shape or form, as one of the school’s professors denies homophobia allegations.

A Canadian teacher alleges that Gary Badcock, a professor at Huron University College, made homophobic comments while giving a keynote speech on Nov 8 at St Philip’s Theological College in Kongwa, Tanzania.

[…..]

In a letter sent to Huron University College principal Stephen McClatchie, the teacher alleges that Badcock described homophobia as a first-world problem, because people in Tanzania have to have children for economic needs and therefore can’t be gay.

Anglican priest washes lesbian’s feet, forgets the bit about go and sin no more

Rev. Sean Major-Campbell was not just washing a woman’s feet, of course, he was making a point: the washing was part of a service in celebration of human rights. Redemption from sin through Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross had no place in the service; nor, it goes without saying, did repentance.

It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the foot washing Rev. that without the forgiveness gained through Jesus’ costly sacrifice, we have no rights before God at all; even with forgiveness, everything we have is a gift rather than a right. Had Jesus’ ministry been one of celebrating our rights rather than freeing us from our sin, Christianity would not have endured its early persecution, let alone manage to form a church that would survive long enough to sink into the decadent self-destructiveness of paying the ilk of Major-Campbell to distort its central message.

From here:

An Anglican priest this morning washed the feet of a Jamaican lesbian as part of a service calling for the Church to be more forthright in its demand for the recognition and respect of human rights for all. ‎

Reverend Father Sean Major-Campbell conducted the ritual at the Christ Church in Vineyard Town, where he is also the Rector.

The service, dubbed ‘In celebration of human rights’, was attended by several of Jamaica’s leading human rights groups and advocates.

Canon Andrew White in Burlington

Canon Andrew White was at St. George’s, ANiC, this evening to baptise his grandson.

Bishop Charlie Masters was there:

_29U5130Along with Andrew White:
_29U5139 _29U5146 _29U5148 _29U5149-2 _29U5151 _29U5154 _29U5155Canon Andrew spoke about the situation in Iraq which has gone, he said, from very bad to very, very bad. He takes courage from the Christian children. As recently as a couple of weeks ago, ISIS demanded that a group of children convert to Islam and follow Mohammed. They all held hands and said: “no, we love Jesus”. One by one, they were shot in the head.

The Canon asks us to pray and pay. We can pray anywhere and pay here.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life in the Diocese of New Westminster

To celebrate its 125th anniversary, Christ Church Cathedral hosted an evening of musical entertainment.

From here (page 13):

Of course when one is inside an Anglican Church and two or three or more are gathered there is always bound to be some congregational singing and Jubilation was no exception. At the halfway point the four soloists led the audience in an enthusiastic rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from Spamalot.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is a Monty Python song that had its origins not in Spamalot, but in the film Life of Brian. In spite of Monty Python’s denial that the film mocked Christ and his crucifixion, it seems to me pretty obvious that it did. While I don’t think such mockery should be banned, I do think it is an odd choice of song to be sung in a supposedly Christian cathedral – even in a Diocese of New Westminster cathedral.

Judge for yourselves:

Standing Committee has developed a Bible toolkit.

From here:

Stephen Lyon began the day by sharing with the Standing Committee that the Bible in the Life of the Church’s project stage will come to an end in 2016. He hoped the project would leave the Communion a legacy of “a toolkit to do the Bible better”.

An anonymous source has informed AS that the primary “do the Bible better” item in the toolkit will be a pair of TEC supplied and paid for rainbow tinted glasses.

Archdeacon Bruce Myers thinks ACNA should repent

From here (page 5):

The Anglican Church of Canada has a number of ecumenical partners. One, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, has become a full communion partner with which we enjoy a full and mutual recognition of ministry and sacraments. With others, like the Roman Catholic Church and the United Church of Canada, we’re still on that journey—an admittedly longer one.

To be an ecumenical partner means to repent of our divisions and to understand them as a scandalous contradiction of the will of Christ. It means to fervently desire reconciliation with the churches from which we are separated, and to manifest this desire in prayer, dialogue and action.

To be an ecumenical partner also means recognizing that the other with whom you are seeking to reconcile demonstrates signs of the Holy Spirit at work, even if you are in disagreement about some significant issues.

It’s far from clear that ACNA yet manifests these qualities of an ecumenical partner. Its repentance is, according to its constitution, limited to “things done and left undone that have contributed to or tolerated the rise of false teaching” in the Anglican churches from which it has chosen to walk apart.

It’s still in a legal fight over property with two dioceses in the United States. It seeks recognition as a new North American province of the Anglican Communion without desiring reconciliation with those already existing.

I suspect what is really troubling Bruce Myers is not so much the division in North American Anglicanism but the fact that ANCA has made it so conspicuous. The division existed for decades before the final split occurred; while it was hidden, conservatives could be safely ignored. By making the split so blatant, ACNA has clearly said in action and word that the Anglican Church of Canada and TEC are guilty of “false teaching”; their religion does not meet the standards needed to be called Christian. It is, at best, sub-Christian.

A liberal like Myers is tolerant of just about anything other than being firmly told he is wrong. The desire for reconciliation is little more than carefully disguised insecurity.

To illustrate the point: a number of years ago when a vote for same sex-blessings passed in the Diocese of Niagara, a number of clergy voiced their opposition and walked out. A liberal priest rose to his feet and spluttered indignantly that those walking out were declaring by their action that he was not a Christian. That wasn’t the intention, but the question is: why was he so desperate for the approval of those whose theology he had spent years despising? There is no insecurity quite as profound as liberal insecurity.

Myers wants affirmation not reconciliation.

Merry Christmas, Archdeacon.

Bishops worldwide pray and fast for the climate

Just as shamans used to prance around to induce rain, so the modern equivalent – Anglican Bishops – are fasting to induce cooling. Even granting the truth of anthropogenic global warming, since China’s production of one new coal-fired power plant per week is unlikely to be slowed by a few fasting bishops – many of whom are secret admirers of the socialist paradise – I am confident that the new shamans will be as effective as their progenitors.

From here:

The Bishop of Salisbury is praying and fasting today, and on the first day of every month, for a meaningful and fair agreement at next year’s UN climate talks.

[….]

“Christians in this country have been encouraged to join in by Operation Noah. At this time next year, negotiators from around the world will gather for another round of UN climate talks in Paris, at which it is vital to make progress. That’s why I’m asking people to join in praying and fasting about climate change.”