It was only last year that the CofE decided to allow women to become bishops and the first lady bishop was consecrated in January of this year. Next February, Karen Gorham will be the first nudist lady bishop in the CofE; if you are going to be relevant, you can’t have too many firsts, can you? I can see her turning up for the ordination complaining that she couldn’t find a thing to wear.
Even if Church of England clergy laboured tirelessly night and day, they really could not make themselves appear more ridiculous than they already do with no apparent effort at all.
The Church of England has appointed as Bishop of Sherborne a leading advocate of Christian nudism. On 26 Nov 2015 the Prime Minister’s Office announced the The Queen had approved the nomination of the Ven Karen Gorham, the Archdeacon of Buckingham, to the Suffragan See of Sherborne in the diocese of Salisbury in succession to the Rt Rev. Graham Kings.
The new Bishop of Sherborne, who will be consecrated in February at Westminster Abbey, has urged churches to educate their members on naturism, or nudism. “There is need for much education and openness to talk about issues of sexuality, to remove false taboos which we tend to have about our own bodies, and to define the differences between what is impure and what is godly and properly natural to us,” she wrote in “Naturism and Christianity: Are they compatible?”.
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.
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.
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.”
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.