An Earth Day message from Primate Fred Hiltz

Having Easter with its embarrassingly fundamentalist insistence that Jesus rose bodily from the dead safely behind us, Primate Fred Hiltz has moved on to events of more cosmic significance. Easter is, after all, but a pale foreshadowing of – wait for it – Earth Day.

This year’s observance of Earth Day follows immediately on the events of Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  In them we see movements from enmity to reconciliation, suffering to hope, and death to new life. They speak not only to humanity but also to the interconnectedness of all of creation.

The Scriptures tell us that our first vocation as human beings is to tend God’s creation.  An honest assessment of our diligence in that call inevitably leads us to confess “our waste and pollution of creation and our lack of concern for those who come after us.” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy)

Hiltz draws his inspiration from the IPCC, a fitting source since the IPCC is as lacking in credibility on climate science as the ACoC is on its corresponding neurosis, human sexuality.

Reports on the state of the environment as documented by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are increasingly alarming.

Hiltz wishes to learn from “global partners” – except, that is, the Global South whose views on human sexuality he studiously ignores.

We learn from global partners.  A call from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network to a deeper commitment to the fifth Mark of Mission shared by Anglicans worldwide influenced the Anglican church’s recent decision to have candidates for baptism make an additional vow “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and respect, sustain, and renew the life of the earth.” (An Act of General Synod, 2013).

Emissions must be reduced:

Our churches commend the UN effort to reach a global treaty in 2015 to secure a global agreement on a net zero emissions goal. Canada, with the second highest greenhouse gas emissions intensity per capita of the G8 countries, is expected to announce an emission-reduction target for 2030 that would be significantly lower than 2020 levels. While progress is being made, without new measures, absolute emissions in 2030 would be projected to reach 815 megatonnes — 81 megatonnes more than projected for 2020.

China, one the largest consumers of fossil fuels, will ignore any global emissions treaty; ironically, it is also one of the places where Christianity is flourishing most vigorously: 10,000 people per day are being saved – from hell, not pollution.

It’s just as well that no-one has bothered to tell Chinese Christians that their first vocation is not “make[ing] disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”, but – gardening:

On this Earth Day, our hope is that we will rise up more conscious than ever of our first vocation as human beings caring for the Earth with the utmost respect for the Creator and the utmost regard for the generations of all those who come after us.

Married lesbian threesome

Apparently, there is a word for this: throuple.

When asked what the benefits are to having three people in a marriage, one of the ladies notes that chores are much easier when distributed between three people; good point. She went on to say: “poly-fidelity is not something seedy…. it can be a perfectly acceptable choice of life and love.”

The obvious question for the Western Anglican Church is, since blessing same sex married couples is now de rigueur, what possible reason could our trendy bishops have for not blessing – for excluding – committed poly-monogamous throuples? After all, Jesus said absolutely nothing about poly-fidelity.

happy throupleFrom here:

Doll, Kitten and Brynn, from Massachusetts, were joined together in a marriage-style ceremony last August and are expecting a daughter in July.

Kitten, 27, is pregnant after undergoing IVF treatment using an anonymous sperm donor, and the trio eventually plan to have three children – one for each of them.

[…..]

The so-called ‘throuple’ worked with a specialist family lawyer who drew up the paperwork and drafted the ceremony so that all three of them were obligated and bound to each other .

While Brynn and Kitten are legally married, Doll is handfasted to both so the threesome are as equally married to each other as legally possible.

Justin Welby vacillates about gay marriage

From here:

“We are struggling with the reality that there are different groups around the place that the Church can do — or has done — great harm to,” the Archbishop says. “You look at some of the gay, lesbian, LGBT groups in this country and around the world — Africa included, actually — and their experience of abuse, hatred, all kinds of things.” But he says: “We must both respond to what we’ve done in the past and listen to those voices extremely carefully. Listen with love and compassion and sorrow. And do what is possible to be done, which is not always a huge amount.”

The Archbishop adds: “At the same time there are other groups in many parts of the world who are the victims of oppression and poverty, who we also have to listen to, and who find that issue an almost impossible one to deal with.

“How do you hold those two things [in balance] and do what is right and just by all? And not only by one group that you prefer and that is easier to deal with? That’s not acceptable.”

The most senior bishop – the first among equals – in the Anglican Communion can’t make up his mind whether or not the church has, for the last 2000 years, mistakenly taught that homosexual activity is wrong.

The problem appears to be that rather than do what the church has done for centuries – take its moral cues straightforwardly from the Bible – Welby is “struggling” with the fact that different groups of people have different opinions on the issue. This astonishing development has completely flummoxed him.

Clearly what is needed is a series of facilitated conversions on the next problem that will face the first among equals: if, for fear of upsetting one side or other, the Archbishop of Canterbury is unwilling to take a side on the issue that is tearing his church apart, why bother to say anything about anything; no-one is going to listen – not even if it’s facilitated.

Fred Hiltz’s Easter message misses the mark

Primate Fred Hiltz delivered his Easter message on video. You can watch it all here (I’m sure he would be grateful: it only has 52 hits thus far). Most of it is maudlin Residential School hand-wringing delivered in a lugubrious monotone. This next clip I found interesting, though:

Holy Week is “all about reconciliation”, of course but not primarily reconciliation with one another: it is firstly and most importantly about reconciliation with God under whose wrath we justly find ourselves until delivered by the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

In the Anglican All You Need is Love Church of Canada, God’s wrath, our sin, our deserving of punishment, our inability to “do good works pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us” have all been buried in the bog of sentimental liberal theological mush that has been oozing into the denomination for decades.

St. Aidan’s Windsor: Supreme Court denies Leave to Appeal

St. Aidan’s Windsor has been in a dispute with the Diocese of Huron over the ownership of the church building and a bequeathment.  On 4 September 2013, the Court of Appeal, upheld the conclusions of the trial court judge, Justice Little. In addition, the Diocese of Huron was awarded partial costs of $100,000.

St. Aidan’s applied for Leave to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada and, as I suspected would happen, it has been denied.

From the ANiC newsletter:

 St Aidan’s rector, Canon Tom Carman writes, “Yes, sadly the Supreme Court has decided not to grant us leave to appeal.  It’s not really surprising – not from a human standpoint - but we were hoping for a miracle.  Sometimes, though, God simply calls us to bear reproach for his name’s sake.  And we know that in the end our reward is with Him and in Him.  He will see us through this. Please do continue to keep us in your prayers.”

Welby and Hiltz discuss sexuality and reconciliation

Read it all here:

When Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby met with the primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, he was “very interested” in the work of the Anglican Church of Canada’s commission on the marriage canon because of the reality that the Church of England will have to wrestle with the issue of same-sex marriage following its legislation in the U.K.

“Notwithstanding the declared position of the Church of England at this moment, he [Welby] is very conscious, of course, that there’s going to be a fair amount of pressure from within the Church of England to at least have some discussion around that [same-sex marriage],” said Hiltz in an interview with the Anglican Journal. “He hoped that we would stay in touch over the work of the commission, [because] inside the Church of England, they will need to have the same conversation.”

Here we have a rare example of a clear statement by an Archbishop of Canterbury. The Church of England will be following in the Anglican Church of Canada’s footsteps: conversations about same-sex blessings; decline in attendance; dioceses performing same-sex blessings; further decline in attendance; conversations about same-sex marriage; full steam ahead to extinction:

During their two-hour meeting April 8, Hiltz said Welby was interested in how the church has dealt with the conflict over human sexuality, in particular, how the 2010 General Synod in Halifax dealt with the issue in a non-parliamentary manner and how there has been “continuing conversation” about the matter. Hiltz quoted Welby as having said, “You’re actually on the frontline of where we’re going to be eventually. You’ve been on a journey; it hasn’t been an easy [one]— it has been conflicted at times, but you stuck with it.”

The Anglican Church of Canada has indeed been on the frontline of dealing with “the conflict over human sexuality”: it sues those who refuse to go along with it. I suppose this is “interesting”; the fact that Welby believes that that is where the CofE is “going to be eventually” should make orthodox CofE clergy very nervous.

Hiltz said he informed Welby about the Canadian church’s long history of “bending over backwards to hold people in dialogue, to create provisions for everybody to stay in the fold…”

Considering the number of defections from the ACoC to ANiC, these provisions have been spectacularly ineffective.

Overall, Hiltz described Welby’s visit as “good,” saying that he thought it provided the Archbishop of Canterbury “a sense of the commitment of the Canadian church to the Communion.”

Not sufficiently committed to pay any attention whatsoever to Provinces that are opposed to same-sex blessings.

Hiltz said that the dinner he hosted for Welby was an opportunity for him to meet “a host of people from Canada who are so deeply committed to the various works of the Anglican Communion…to get a sense [that they] have a broad, global view of the church.”

To invite ANiC church leaders would have been a diversity too far, of course.

 “One of the blessings of the visit is that he has heard things about all of us and says we’re very diverse, even within our church…,” said Hiltz. “He was leaving us knowing of our deep commitment to preserving the unity of the church as best we can, being prophetic as best we can, being committed to the life and witness of the Communion.”

To put it more plainly: the Anglican Church of Canada continues on a course of theological liberalism; it has no inclination to change direction but is willing to offer the  concession of a dense smoke screen designed to lure the unwary into believing that it cares about what those who disagree think.