Bishop of New Westminster joins in petition to prevent Franklin Graham speaking in Canada

Bishop Melissa Skelton has added her voice to those attempting to stop Franklin Graham’s Vancouver crusade.

Read it all here:

I’m writing to let you know that I have signed on to a letter from a group of concerned civic leaders and clergy about the upcoming visit of Franklin Graham to Vancouver as a part of The Festival of Hope. This group, of which I am a part, sent the letter in advance to Franklin Graham. He responded in writing yesterday.  I thought you might appreciate knowing the reasons why I, along with the leaders of our group, still believe that we should release the letter linked here.

The letter contains this little gem of hypocrisy:

Such blending of politics and religion is dangerous. First, it comes close to aligning the power of the church with the power of the state. Second, it does so by seeming to develop a false religious narrative to support an exalted and troubling American nationalism. Third, it can divide Christians who do not view things the same way as Mr. Graham. Fourth, we are concerned that some of the policies of the Trump administration have introduced unprecedented structural shifts that put the most vulnerable in our world at risk of greater harm. These policies may jeopardize refugees and reinforce prejudice.

For decades the Anglican Church of Canada has been “aligning the power of the church with the power of the state”. Not that the ACoC has much power but, insofar as it has any influence, it exerts it on behalf of liberal-leftist politics. Here, for example is the letter of congratulations to Justin Trudeau on his election to Prime Minister from Bishops Fred Hiltz and Susan Johnson, awash with more breathless sycophancy than could be gushed by a couple of teenage girls over Justin Bieber’s haircut:

Dear Prime Minister:

On behalf of the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), we extend our heartfelt congratulations to you as our new Prime Minister.

You have set a bold vision for our country. The times in which we live call for visionary leadership in Canada and in the world so that we may build a truly just, healthy and peaceful world.

We welcome your approach to governance and your commitment to work closely with all levels of government on issues such as homelessness, lifting children and seniors out of poverty, improving our welcome of refugees, and refocusing development assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable. Anglicans and Lutherans from coast to coast to coast share a deep concern and profound hope for justice, peace and the well-being of creation. Your invitation to Provincial Premiers and to representatives of other political parties to participate in the Climate Change Conference in Paris is an important sign of the kind of partnership needed to address critical issues.

The Canadian blooming of Franklin Graham hysteria

The Anglican Journal, bastion of liberal thinkpol, tweets its smug approval of attempts to block Franklin Graham’s visit to Canada:

Naturally, a United Church minister must get in on the act:

“We live in a country that has free speech, but there’s a difference between free speech and hate speech” said Stevenson, who is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada.

And there is the problem in a nutshell: if, when liberal orthodoxy is challenged, what is said is automatically classified as hate speech, then in Canada we do not live in a country that has free speech, do we?

Anglicans against anti-sodomy laws

The latest from the Diocese of Niagara:

Anglicans for Decriminalization (AfD) is a group of Anglicans from across the Global Anglican Communion (GAC) which supports the decriminalization of private, consensual, adult samegender intimacy.

AfD was formed after the Primates of the GAC issued the first-ever unequivocal call for decriminalization on January 15, 2016. However, this revolutionary message was overshadowed by other events in the Communion, such as debates about same-gender marriages and the ordination of gay clergy/bishops.

Members of AfD, therefore, hope to first remind our more than 80 million GAC members that the lives of same-gender loving people across the world continue to be destroyed by British colonially imposed antisodomy laws, which initially reflected the teachings of the Church of England. Armed with this information we expect that right-thinking Anglicans will petition governments to repeal these laws.

Here is the stalwart bunch who are enthusiastically pursuing their vocation to smite anti-sodomy laws wherever they find them. In all fairness to them, I suppose it is pretty tricky to fulfil the great commission, to spread the Gospel message to every corner of the world, to make disciples of all nations without concentrating on anal sex just a little.

Diocese of Niagara deconsecrates another church

This time it is the turn of St. James in Merritton, St Catharines.

From here:

“This church building has been a home, a refuge and a place filled with great joy in the midst of countless celebrations,” said Bishop Michael Bird during the final service at St. James Merritton (St Catharines). “It has also been for us a sanctuary in the face of so many difficult and painful moments and tragedies.”

The building was deconsecrated—returned to common use—at a special afternoon service on Sunday, January 22.

Ironically, it was nine years ago today that diocesan officials marched into St. Hilda’s, and shortly after into Good Shepherd in St. Catharines, to demand the building keys because they wanted to use the churches to continue diocesan services after their congregations had voted to join the Southern Cone and later ANiC.

When the buildings were finally in the hands of the Diocese of Niagara, Bishop Michael Bird noted:

”I am very pleased with this outcome,” said Bishop Michael Bird.  “It affirms that these churches belong to all the generations that built them up and not just a particular group of individuals.”

Of the churches that “belong to all the generations that built them up”, Good Shepherd in St. Catharine’s now stands empty, cold and desolate and St. Hilda’s, in 2013, was torn down:

In 2017, the lot still stands empty:

As a fitting finale to the comedic irony, the Diocese of Niagara, having also acquired St. Hilda’s rectory, sold it to Daniel Freedman, owner of, so I am told, the largest sex toy company in Canada, PinkCherry Sex Toys. You may not want to click on that link.

Vancouver church leaders oppose Franklin Graham crusade

A number of church leaders are opposing a crusade in Vancouver by Franklin Graham because, supposedly, he “regularly denigrates Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists”. Predictably, Anglicans opposed to the visit are represented by Peter Elliot, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.

The fact that Graham is coming not to talk about Islam, homosexuals, the Democratic party or atheists but to preach the Gospel with the intent of saving souls is beside the point: he must be stopped because liberal inclusion simply isn’t inclusive enough to cope with a different point of view – diversity be damned.

Other prominent Christian leaders unwelcome in Vancouver churches include a chap with no surname calling himself Jesus, who alienated ecclesiastical panjandrums by calling them snakes and Saul of Tarsus who demonstrated a worrying, dehumanising insensitivity when he invited his opponents to remove their own testicles.

Thanks to the vigilance of Vancouver’s church leaders the city will remain a Christian free zone, a safe space for Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists.

If Franklin Graham is not allowed into immigration friendly Canada, he will have the singular honour of being just about the only foreign national prevented from entering our borders.

From here:

A growing number of Christians in Metro Vancouver want to stop controversial U.S. evangelist Franklin Graham from leading a major crusade next month in the city.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson recently met with evangelical, Catholic and mainline Protestant leaders to discuss concerns about the visit of Graham, who regularly denigrates Islam, homosexuals, Democratic party politicians, and atheists.

Provocative statements by Graham have become increasingly worrying to many Metro Vancouver Christians since the evangelist presided at the January inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, who criticizes Muslim immigrants, and after a lone gunman was charged last month with murdering six Muslims in Quebec.

Ex Dean of the Diocese of Montreal gives the Church of England the benefit of his insight

In 2011 Paul Kennington was installed as Dean of Christ Church Cathedral in the Diocese of Montreal. Kennington is in a same-sex civil partnership with Jonathan Bailey, so he would have had little difficulty blending in with the prevailing ethos of the diocese – he was imported from the UK since, presumably, there were no qualified gay Canadian applicants for the job.

Kennington has now returned to the UK, is a priest in “an inclusive” church in the Diocese of Chelmsford and is continuing what he sees as his calling to straighten – unstraighten, really – the church of England out on its antediluvian view of sex.

He does get one thing right. He says: “The bishops … really need to catch up with what the clergy are doing in the church”. There are many actively homosexual clergy in the Church of England. It’s time for the bishops to acknowledge the fact and either take disciplinary measures or admit that homosexual sex is permissible and ratify the pronouncement by approving same-sex marriages, giving the Church of England a head start in jostling with North American Anglicans for the first to be sucked into the vortex of extinction.

From here:

AN OPENLY gay priest has praised The Church of England’s clergy for throwing out a report that refuses to recognise same-sex marriages.

Father Paul Kennington, parish priest of St Andrew’s Church in Leytonstone, said the House of Clergy were “brave” to reject the report put together by the House of Bishops.

The church’s synod voted against the report that upholds marriage as a lifelong union between a man and a woman, at a general assembly on Wednesday, February 15.

Fr Kennington said: “As a gay man seeing your church talk about you as if you are an issue doesn’t feel good and I was delighted the report wasn’t taken note of.

[…..]

The Anglican Church of Canada recognises same-sex marriage while the Anglican Church of England does not. It recognises same-sex relationships and civil partnerships.

Fr Kennington said: “I have been open about my relationship with Jonathan for 22 years while I was working in four parishes. This is not something new.

“The bishops have this idea that they are holding the church together but they really need to catch up with what the clergy are doing in the church.”

The role of priests in a declining church

Archdeacon Bill Harrison, director for mission and ministry in the Diocese of Huron, explored the role of priests in a declining church at a recent conference in Niagara Falls. As a Huron priest, his credentials as an expert in church decline are impeccable since his diocese is at the forefront – is pushing the boundaries, even –  of denominational disintegration.

His solutions for the problem include giving the priests less to do so they have more time to “make disciples”. Disciples of what, though? Disciples of the zeitgeist, of the latest in social justice fashions, of same-sex marriage crusades, of leftist political agitation dressed up in pseudo-theology, of Gaia? All the aforementioned, I expect; the problem is and has always been trying anything and everything except actual Christianity.

From here:

As the number of Anglicans in Canada decreases and churches close, the parish model—in which every church has a priest and every priest is full-time—is rapidly becoming a relic of the past. How can the Anglican Church of Canada train priests to serve in this new, more uncertain reality?

This was the question posed to a group of 70 priests, educators, bishops, diocesan and theological college support staff at the beginning of the conference on theological education and the training of priests held Feb. 14.

In a wide-ranging address, Archdeacon Bill Harrison, director for mission and ministry in the diocese of Huron, said that meeting the challenge of this question requires the church to see the role of the priest as one that has evolved throughout Christian history.

Peter Jensen and Peter J Akinola in Burlington March 2nd

And in Vancouver March 7th.

Register here:

We have the privilege of hearing from the Most Rev Dr Peter Jensen, General Secretary of GAFCON and Retired Archbishop of Sydney, Australia; and the Most Rev Peter J Akinola, founding father of GAFCON and former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

When I attended the last talk Peter Jensen gave in Burlington, I discovered to my delight, that he likes to insult people and even entire nations – he informed me the Welsh are no good at rugby, for example – although he insists that for Australians, insults are an expression of endearment. In case anyone is wondering, I’m not Australian.

Justin Welby denounces Donald Trump’s politics as fascist

Justin Welby is struggling with abuse scandals in his church, a Communion that is fracturing and a denomination which, according to Rev Dr Gavin Ashenden, is dying.

What is to be done? Launch a diversionary offensive, of course. Accusing someone of being a fascist throws anyone who is listening – admittedly, not many – into paroxysms of righteous indignation or outrage, depending on one’s political bias. The main thing is, it helps people forget about the things the Church of England’s commander-in-chief has left undone.

An added benefit is that, as George Orwell noted, “the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless” making its use consistent with most other pronouncements any self-respecting Anglican Archbishop might make.

From here:

Donald Trump is part of the same “fascist tradition of politics” as far-right European politicians such as Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested last night.

In his most outspoken comments since the American president’s ban on travellers from some Muslim-majority countries was announced, the Most Rev Justin Welby accused Mr Trump of being part of a group of leaders from a “nationalist, populist, or even fascist tradition of politics”.