Fred Hiltz meets the Pope

Along with Justin Welby, Fred Hiltz met the Pope recently to discuss unity between Anglicans and Catholics. It’s odd that Hiltz felt he needed to travel 7000kms to talk about a “united witness to the gospel” when he could have taken the GO train 30kms to talk about the same thing with Anglican Network in Canada leaders.

From here:

hiltz-popeBut there is a growing desire in both churches to see unity as more than an end in itself, said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, reflecting on his recent trip to Rome.

“The unity of the church is not for the church itself, and if it is, we might as well stop talking,” Hiltz said in an interview. “The unity of the church has to be in the interest of a common and faithful and united witness to the gospel, and the gospel is clearly for the world.”

For further confirmation that the whole exercise was little more than a posturing sham, we need look no further than the fact that the latest divisive antics of the ACoC were not even discussed:

For example, the Anglican Church of Canada’s move toward solemnizing the marriages of same-sex couples puts it at odds with Roman Catholic teachings on marriage. However, Hiltz said it was not an issue that came up for him or for any of the leaders of provinces that have made similar decisions.

“There was no kind of public calling into question the integrity of the Canadian church, or The Episcopal Church, or the Scottish Episcopal Church,” he said. “The focus was elsewhere.”

Clergy protest election of homosexual bishop in Toronto

A number of clergy have written to Justin Welby and the Ontario College of Bishops to protest the election of Rev. Canon Kevin Robertson to the position of suffragan bishop. Robertson is married to a man and sees his election as another step towards, in his words, “the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of our church”.

The protest is a valiant if futile effort to stem the tide of the inevitable. The protesters in the letters below have been saying much the same thing for at least 10 years, probably longer. At each stage, from same-sex blessings to homosexual clergy to homosexual activity not being contrary to the church’s core doctrine – what’s left of it – to, finally, same-sex marriage and homosexual bishops, the protests were as heartfelt as they were impotent. The steady drip, drip of liberal heresy has been accumulating volume and momentum for decades; there will be no stopping it.

The small satisfaction one might take from all this is that the most severe judgement God visits on his people is to remove the restraints that contain the evil in our midst and let us have what we think we want. The Anglican Church of Canada is getting what it wants and therein lies its doom.

I think the signatories below should have extracted themselves from the ACoC years ago. It still isn’t too late – but it may be soon.

From VOL:

The Most Reverend and Right Honourable the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury

Lambeth Palace, London


Your Grace,

On September 17, 2016, the Diocese of Toronto voted on a slate of episcopal candidates that included a candidate in an active same-sex relationship.

We write to protest the election itself and to dissent publicly from the diocesan and provincial concurrence with its results.

We hold that the election is out of order insofar as its slate included a candidate whose lifestyle is contrary to the teaching of the historic and universal church on chastity and marriage, and contrary to the present doctrine and discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada. According to the Constitution and Canons governing episcopal elections this candidate is, therefore, not duly qualified for the office of bishop and the election as a whole was irregular.

We protested in writing to the Nominations Committee, Chancellor and Archbishop of Toronto before the electoral Synod. We protested publicly on the floor of Synod before the election began. We protested again after the Synod, asking the House of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario to withhold concurrence (letter attached). In every case the explanation offered was inadequate and the protest was dismissed.

We note that the Marriage Canon of the Anglican Church of Canada, which understands Christian marriage to be between one man and one woman, still stands. We wish to uphold it in our lives, in our teaching and in our churches. These developments create an unconscionable situation for many of the clergy and people.

Therefore we register our dissent and ask for your intervention. We ask for your prayers and the prayers of the wider Communion as we seek to move forward faithfully.

Yours, in Christ,

The Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Henderson

The Rev. Canon Dr. Dean Mercer

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton


September 22, 2016

To the College of Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ontario

We write in protest against the electoral Synod held this past Saturday, September 17, in the Diocese of Toronto. We charge that the three episcopal elections were out of order and we request the Ontario College of Bishops to withhold their concurrence of all three elections.

We do so for two reasons.

First, a candidate in an active same-sex relationship contradicts, by word and example, the doctrine and discipline of the Church.

According to the constitution and canons governing nominations, this candidate was not “duly qualified” to stand for the office of bishop and ought not to have been approved by the Nominations Committee. The slate put forward by the Nominations Committee was therefore out of order.

A protest was made on the floor of Synod against the Nominations Committee’s approval of a slate of candidates that included a candidate whose lifestyle is contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Anglican Church of Canada. We made a similar protest in writing on July 6, and again on September 8 and September 14, to the Nominations Committee, the Chancellor and the Archbishop.

The reasons eventually offered by the Archbishop in explanation of the slate thus constituted are tendentious and contested. We note further that this explanation came a full two months after our initial letter and just days before the electoral synod.

The Archbishop’s explanation was threefold. The Anglican Church of Canada had recognized the “sanctity and integrity” of same-sex relations at General Synod, 2004. No mention was made that this motion was passed by a show of hands, and was explicitly declared to be non-doctrinal and pastoral the day after a decision on the blessing of same-sex unions had been deferred for another three years.

Secondly, the Archbishop stated that in his judgement and the judgement of the Chancellor of the Anglican Church of Canada, the Marriage Canon was underdetermined and therefore did not rule out same sex marriage. We replied that it was an astonishing claim that there is no settled definition of marriage in the church and further astonishing that this tendentious and undemonstrated claim should serve as the basis for proceeding without any chance for a critical response.

Thirdly, the Archbishop pointed to the first-reading approval of a change to the doctrine of marriage at General Synod. We noted that this had no bearing on the vetting of a candidate in June. Further, until the second reading the existing Canon stands.

The explanation offered–belatedly–for the Nominations Committee’s approval of a slate of candidates including a candidate in a same sex relationship is in every point unconvincing.

Secondly, in addition to the reasons for which we object to the action, in fairness to the Synod of the Diocese of Toronto the exceptional circumstances of the candidate ought to have been publicly noted. There is no way to measure the degree to which voting was skewed across the three elections by his presence or the degree to which delegates were aware of the significance of their voting. In fairness, the explanation we received in the last few days before the election ought to have been made public well before the election was called and open to review and response.

We protest the timing of the response (a two-month delay, with the Archbishop’s final response arriving the evening before the opening of the synod). We protest the failure of the Bishops to make any public explanation available to the people of the diocese. And we repeat our objection to the slate. We hold it to be invalid and the elections to be out of order. We ask the House of Bishops of the Province of Ontario to withhold concurrence.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Murray Henderson

The Rev. Canon Dr. Dean Mercer

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Sider-Hamilton

The right to commit suicide

I suppose it is one of the many indicators of the corruption of Christianity in mainline denominations  that, where in prior centuries they pondered their God-given duties, we now catalogue lists of our God-given rights. We have degenerated from God making demands of us to our making demands of him.

One of our latest rights, apparently, is the right to die when we want to and Desmond Tutu, naturally, plans to demand it.

From here:

Throughout my life, I have been fortunate to have spent my time working for dignity for the living. I have campaigned passionately for people in my country and the world over to have their God-given rights.

Now, as I turn 85 Friday, with my life closer to its end than its beginning, I wish to help give people dignity in dying. Just as I have argued firmly for compassion and fairness in life, I believe that terminally ill people should be treated with the same compassion and fairness when it comes to their deaths. Dying people should have the right to choose how and when they leave Mother Earth. I believe that, alongside the wonderful palliative care that exists, their choices should include a dignified assisted death.

A message to orthodox Anglicans from Bishop Charlie Masters

ANiC reaches out to orthodox Anglicans in the Anglican Church of Canada who may be less than sanguine about the ACoC’s pushing ahead with same-sex marriage.

Bishop Charlie writes orthodox Anglicans

My dear fellow orthodox Anglican friends,

I am writing to you in response to a growing number of calls and requests that have come from Anglican believers, both clergy and laity, who find themselves very distressed as they ponder the most recent developments in the Anglican Church of Canada at its General Synod last July and since.

We have actually never experienced this number of inquiries. Some have come directly to our Diocesan office but many have been made to the local ANiC clergy in their respective communities. Either way, the distress is real and the concern about what these developments may mean for orthodox Anglicans in the future seems to be growing.

Accordingly, I am writing to assure you again of our sadness at these developments and the challenge they present to ordinary Anglicans – both clergy and laity – in living out the gospel and making disciples as Anglicans.
We pray much for you and feel that perhaps we understand something of how difficult it is for you now because of what we ourselves went through just a few years ago.

Beyond praying, we are willing and eager to stand with you in any way we can.

To that end, one thing we thought might be encouraging to some would be to attend our Diocesan Synod which is happening very soon at the end of October (October 26-28), with Clergy Day October 25, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Our hope and prayer would be that the worship, teaching and fellowship with fellow Anglicans most of whom are members of ANiC would be helpful to you at this time and perhaps refreshing. Certainly it would be our joy to have fellowship with you.

I am writing therefore to invite you to consider coming to our Synod at Good Shepherd Anglican Church in Vancouver, British Columbia. On our website you can get all the information you need concerning the dates and everything else: Although registration officially closes today, October 7, we will try very hard to get you in – but please register as soon as possible by calling Jessica at 1-866-351-2642 extension 4015 or emailing [email protected]

For any ordained Anglican (non-ANiC) clergy who may like to attend, we will waive your registration fees. Clergy would also be welcome to come to our Clergy Day on the Tuesday (October 25) and if any would like to robe and process in the Wednesday evening service they would be welcome to take part in that procession along with other clergy. (The colour will be red for that service.)

I am aware that some perhaps might prefer quietly to attend. We understand that too and will respect your desire to attend discreetly.

We would hope that all laity and clergy will attend our workshop day, all day Wednesday and then, of course, Synod on Thursday and Friday. At some point in the Synod there will be a separate special session specifically for those who are orthodox Anglicans, but not members of ANiC, and who would like information about the Anglican Church in North America and ANiC as a diocese.

We do understand that this is a very big country and Vancouver may be very far from where you live. It is also true that the time is short between now and when Synod begins. Please know that most of our Synod will be live-streamed thanks to Anglican TV. Also we anticipate there will be information meetings across the country at various times and places which we will post on our website. If you wish to stay informed and connected, please sign up for our email communication and “like” our Facebook page.

So dear friends, we pray for you especially in these days. Would you also pray for us of the Anglican Network in Canada, as well as for the ACNA as a Province?

We want to bless and encourage you and would be delighted if many of you were able to accept our invitation and join us for our Clergy Day, workshops and Synod, October 25-28, 2016.

Every Blessing!


I attended the first ANiC Synod and I remember overhearing one priest say to another, as if in a state of shock: “It’s Christian!”

An Anglican hunger for Thanksgiving justice

The Anglican Church of Canada wants to end poverty (Bishop Jane Alexander is co-chair of the End Poverty Edmonton Task Force), an ambition that we might be tempted to think a trifle arrogant since the Church’s founder said it couldn’t be done.

No one seriously thinks the ACoC can actually do it, of course; it can’t even deliver Biblical sustenance to its own flock. That means it’s up to the government or, to put it more plainly, taxpayers, most of whom don’t attend an Anglican church, anyway, so that’s a good plan.

Read it all here:

At their first joint assembly in 2013, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada passed a declaration committing their churches to “advocate for renewed federal funding” and for an “integrated national collaborative strategy and greater accountability on the part of provinces and municipalities” in addressing homelessness and substandard housing.

Whatever you do, though, don’t mention abortion. Sorry, I know I just mentioned it. That is because killing the unborn is the biggest injustice that will be visited on the defenceless this Thanksgiving but the ACoC hasn’t the guts to stand up for murdered unborn babies. So I won’t mention abortion. Oops, there I go again.

Roman Catholics and Anglicans continue their ecumenical dance

Justin Welby met with Pope Francis for more ecumenical dialogue recently. The conclusion was that the denominations are still divided.

A great deal of expense and carbon emissions could have been avoided by a close inspection of the invitation list. It included Fred Hiltz from Canada who, not only has no influence over healing divisions between Catholics and Anglicans, but has spent most of the time during his tenure in his own denomination promoting division in it. Justin Welby, seemingly eager to learn from the colonies, is about to follow suit.

What a waste of time, energy and resources.

From here:

While the decision by some provinces in the Anglican Communion to accept the ordination of women and same-sex marriage have posed new obstacles to formal unity between Anglicans and Roman Catholics, a common declaration issued by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Pope Francis October 5 reaffirmed their commitment to ecumenical work.

“While…we ourselves do not see solutions to the obstacles before us, we are undeterred,” the declaration says. “We are confident that dialogue and engagement with one another will deepen our understanding and help us to discern the mind of Christ for his church.”


Representing Canada were Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, and Bishop Dennis Drainville, of the diocese of Quebec.

Diocese Of Niagara rector thinks the Nicene Creed is outdated

The Diocese of Niagara’s Rev. Wayne Fraser wants to ditch the Nicene Creed because it promotes “old science” and says the world is flat.

The Creeds, of course, make no scientific claims at all. What probably disturbs Rev. Wayne’s sensibilities is the Creed’s insistence on the miraculous, such as the Virgin Birth and Resurrection.

Miracles are only a problem for materialists who believe the universe is a closed system; for those of us who think God is free to act as an agent in his own creation – that may well not include the Rev. Wayne –  miracles are no less scientific than the free act of any human agent.

Rev. Wayne also thinks the Creed should engage in modern dance with scientific knowledge, so I don’t think we should pay much attention to anything he says.

From here (page 9):

There’s so much old science reflected in the Creed that does not jive [he means “jibe”] with what we know today about the universe. The ancient concept of a three-tiered world, to begin with. And a flat earth.

The Nicene Creed teaches us to believe in “one holy, catholic and apostolic Church.” Is that in the Bible? No. What good does it do? It does not make much difference to most people’s lives. If we are still considering the role of the Nicene Creed in the Christian church after 1,700 years, still fretting about ideologies, we have missed the point.

Fred Hiltz responds to dissenting bishops

Once the vote to change the marriage canon to permit same-sex marriage passed at General Synod, a number of bishops released a statement expressing their disagreement with both the process and the outcome. They also reaffirmed their commitment to stick with the Anglican Church of Canada come what may, a resolve that does little to fortify any influence they may think they have.

Now Fred Hiltz has responded to the statement. He makes his support for same-sex marriage quite clear and, reading between the lines, in spite of protestations to the contrary, I can’t believe there will be much tolerance for dissent.

From here:

While he affirmed the bishops’ commitment to offer “pastoral care and loving service to all irrespective of sexual orientation,” he noted that for many LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) Anglicans, “pastoral care” would include the solemnization of their marriages—which the bishops have expressly said they will not do. “For me, my brothers, the question you ask is really a question for all members of the church. To what extent can we and will we make room for one another? To what extent will we pastorally accommodate one another?” Hiltz said in his letter.

The bishops are, rightly, worried about the conscience clause:

Hiltz also challenged their claim that the resolution, which contains a conscience clause, “does not provide adequate protection for the consciences of dioceses, clergy and congregations.” He asked the bishops to explain what such protection would look like, and how it would apply for those in their dioceses who are in favour of same-sex marriage.

One answer to Hiltz might be this: when a bishop or clergyman refusing to marry a same-sex couple is either hauled before the Human Rights Commission or is civilly sued, the ACoC must pay for his legal defence. Of course, that won’t stop liberal bishops refusing to hire orthodox clergy or making their lives so disagreeable that they quit for a saner environment – but some things are too much to hope for.

Bishops attempt to think about something other than same-sex marriage

Having driven thousands of people out of the pews through its obsession with same-sex marriage, the Anglican Church of Canada has decided to concentrate on “evangelism and discipleship and mission” instead.

This, of course, is unfamiliar territory for the ACoC. Nevertheless, I have every confidence that – just as it did during the decade of evangelism – the ACoC will spend the next 10 years or so trying to decipher what those terms really mean, having conversations about them and, after establishing a commission to study the numerous theological interpretations that can be ascribed to them, acknowledge that, as theological abstractions, they do actually exist.

From here:

After three years spent in intense debate over a resolution to allow the marriage of same-sex couples, the House of Bishops intends to shift its focus to “evangelism and discipleship and mission” in the next triennium, says Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, following the house’s September 22-27 meeting in Winnipeg.

“In the last number of years…the vast majority of our time in meetings was consumed by conversations about same-sex marriage,” said Hiltz in an interview. “And the bishops are saying, ‘We’ve just got to have a more balanced agenda.’ ”

Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson, of the diocese of Montreal, agreed, saying in an interview that the same-sex marriage debate has taken up “way too much airtime” in recent years. She said she hopes the house can “get on with the mission of the church” by making it “more vital and adept” at creating disciples.

If the same-sex marriage vote had gone the other way at general synod, I very much doubt that the bishops would be so willing to adopt a “more balanced agenda”.  As it is, liberals have their way and same-sex marriages are proceeding without having to wait for the 2019 vote to finalise the issue. In Ecclesiastical Newspeak, this is called an “interim pastoral provision”, permitting bishops to ignore pettifogging details like synods, votes, canons, the Bible, God and Jesus.

Hiltz said no attempt was made to place a moratorium on same-sex marriages until after the second vote in 2019. What he heard from some bishops who announced their intention to allow same-sex marriages in their dioceses was that such marriages could happen, but as an “interim pastoral provision” that would require “the bishop’s knowledge and permission.” The bishop would also have to authorize a rite to be used to solemnize the union since the current liturgies, in the Book of Common Prayer and the Book of Alternative Services, cannot be used until the marriage canon is formally amended.

When asked how this arrangement was received by the house, Hiltz said, “I didn’t see any major reaction. No blow-up, no pushback.” He said that the bishops understood this as a pastoral provision.

To qualify my second paragraph above a little: one bishop, at least – Montreal’s Mary Irwin-Gibson – does have a clear idea of what “discipleship” really means – hard to believe, I know. “Discipleship” is marrying more same-sex couples:

“I’m interested in marriage as a Christian avenue of discipleship”

The scandal of Sooty’s girlfriend

My apologies to readers whose childhood was deprived by an absence of Sooty and have no idea what I am talking about, but I thought this was a good illustration of the fact that there really is a slippery slope. Today Sooty would be gay, have a boyfriend and there would be no scandal. Or he would be a transgender bear.

From the BBC:

The idea to introduce a female puppet to Sooty’s children’s TV show in the 1960s was so controversial that the BBC director general had to intervene, a new documentary has revealed.

The suggestion by Sooty creator Harry Corbett caused a furore in the press, which claimed it would “introduce sex into a children’s programme”.