How to end violence, Anglican style

Hold up a sign to declare your opposition to it.

Here is Anglican Primate, Fred Hiltz, doing his bit to stamp out sexual and gender-based violence.

The BDSM community must feel so excluded.

The alternative to this vacuous ecclesiastical virtue signalling might be to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ – you know, the real one where Jesus wants to transform us, not the watery ACoC version dedicated to affirming us and all our desires no matter how murky.

More on the firing of Jacob Worley

In a extraordinarily hypocritical statement – even for an ACoC archbishop – John Privett still refuses to reveal why Rev Jacob Worley was fired, hinting that to do so would be to reveal something “personal” – a hint that is dripping with the innuendo of a dark and shameful secret – about Worley. I suspect it would actually reveal something personal about the bishops who made the decision, namely that there are none whose intolerance is as venomous as that of those who claim to be standard bearers of tolerance.

He goes on to note that the decision was not “precipitous”, nor was it made by Privett alone. To cap this sanctimonious tripe, he declares that those making the decision were acting as “compassionately as possible”. There is no compassion as heartwarming as Anglican compassion, a compassion that deprives a person and his family of his livelihood, home and country of residence and refuses to state why.

In a telephone interview with the Anglican Journal, Privett stated that he made the decision, as he has episcopal authority during a vacancy, but that he “did not act alone,” rather in consultation with the diocesan leadership. Privett declined to speak further about the reasons behind the termination, saying, “I don’t think it’s appropriate to speak about personal matters. Those are confidential.

“What I can say, though, is that it was not precipitous. I thought about it carefully, I discussed it with others, and I do believe the decision was in the best interests of both the diocese and the Worley family.”
Privett says the diocese is “looking into” the details of Worley’s immigration status, as they were unaware of the details of his residency before making their decision.

“I can say, we don’t want to create hardship for the Worley family, so we’re trying to act as compassionately as possible.”

Anglican Church of Canada considering deleting prayer for conversion of the Jews

When I was in Israel a few year ago, I visited the garden tomb, a place that may have temporarily housed Jesus’ body after the crucifixion.

The garden was managed by Messianic Jews who believe Jesus is the Messiah. As a result, Jesus’ tomb had this plaque inside:

Here is one of the guides who made the most of his time talking to us by telling us that Jesus is his risen Lord:

Now, in a rather odd move, the Anglican Church of Canada has before it a motion to remove from the prayer book a prayer for the salvation of the Jews. To me it seems a thoroughly unloving – in a way almost anti-Semitic – thing to do. If Jesus is the only way to the Father, the only means of our redemption, the only way ridding ourselves of sin and avoiding judgement and hell, then to refuse to pray for the eyes of a people to be opened to this seems, at the very least, callous, if not downright sinister.

Needless to say, the motion is being proposed after “substantial years-long theological reflection and dialogue” and in the interests of “interfaith relationships’, neither of which ever lead to anything useful.

I’m almost tempted to conclude that the Anglican Church of Canada no longer believes that Jesus is the only way to the Father; come to think of it, the ACoC no longer believes there even is a “Father”, only an impersonal “Creator”.

Here is the prayer that is to be expunged:

O God, who didst choose Israel to be thine inheritance: Look, we beseech thee, upon thine ancient people; open their hearts that they may see and confess the Lord Jesus to be thy Son and their true Messiah, and, believing, they may have life through his Name. Take away all pride and prejudice in us that may hinder their understanding of the Gospel, and hasten the time when all Israel shall be saved; through the merits of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

At last, some good news from the Anglican Church of Canada

They are running out of money.

The end is nigh. It must be, because no organisation, let alone church, can possibly survive if it finds itself groping for answers to questions like: “Why do we exist?” and “What is our purpose?”

All the shiny things adorning the beloved primate are coming soon to a pawn shop near you.

From here:

The likelihood that the church’s revenue will stagnate in coming years means it might want to think carefully about its priorities, Fraser Lawton, bishop of the diocese of Athabasca and a member of the financial management committee, said in a presentation to Council of General Synod (CoGS) Saturday, November 11.

“The trends as we go forward, looking ahead over a number of years, suggest that we need to be mindful of what appears to be a probability of declining income,” Lawton said. “It might be wise for us to think about what are the critical things…Why do we exist as General Synod? What is our purpose, what is the priority in terms of funding?”

More than 90% of General Synod’s net income comes from the dioceses, Lawton said, but almost all of them are “having some conversations” about their own financial future. Given this, he said, “if everything continues as is, the day is going to come when we’re going to have to make some very hard decisions.”

Fred Hiltz wonders what St. Paul would make of the Anglican Church of Canada

Wondering what St. Paul would think of a church considering marrying people of the same sex is akin to pondering whether Karl Marx would approve of Walmart. Any Christian whose thought processes are still anchored in the reality our familiar old four-dimensional space-time continuum knows the answer. It is the one thing Paul and Marx would have in common: the strength of their respective loathing for same-sex activity and Walmart.

Yet, here we have Fred Hiltz seriously – at least, I assume this article is not an elaborate exercise in exploring the outer limits of poor taste in Anglican jokes, it’s sometimes difficult to tell – asking exactly that:

Hiltz made the comment in an address that began and ended by wondering what St. Paul might think of the church, what advice he might give it and how he might pray for it.

On the church’s deliberation over changing its marriage canon to allow same-sex marriage, for example, Paul might remind it of his counsel to the Ephesians to be “humble and gentle and patient with one another, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3),” he said.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Hiltz said it was partly the idea of the importance of good leadership in the church at this point in its history that had prompted him to imagine what the apostle might think if he were to look at it “with a penetrating eye.”


Hiltz concluded his address by speculating that St. Paul might pray for the Canadian church as he prayed for the Ephesians, “that we understand the incredible greatness of God’s power—that we might have power to comprehend how wide, and how long, and how high and how deep is God’s love for us in Christ; that we be filled with that knowledge and in and through it live our lives and do the work to which God calls us.”

Anglican clergy encounter the real world

For years I’ve been convinced than Anglican clergy live in a theological bubble, drifting aimlessly on an ocean of meaningless letters generally preceded by LGBT. Now, it seems Anglican deacons are awakening from their stupor and, much as Plato’s cave dwellers, wish to see what lies beyond the rainbow shadows that have hitherto been their only encounter with the cosmos and venture into the Real World.

To this end, they have sought inspiration not, as one might have hoped from the Bible, but from Elizabeth May and Leonard Cohen, the first of whom sees everything through a green mist and the second a sexual haze.

From Leonard they learned that “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” and from Elizabeth that “If you don’t have informed practice, you’re just flapping your arms in the wind”, rather like one of her beloved windmills.

After that blaze of illumination, who needs the Bible?

From here:

Hosted by the Chapter of Deacons of the Diocese of British Columbia, the conference brought together more than 70 deacons from almost every diocese in Canada, as well as representatives from U.S.-based The Episcopal Church, to talk about poverty, homelessness and reconciliation.

The conference kicked off July 27, in the evening, with an address by Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Reflecting on a famous line from Leonard Cohen’s song “Anthem” (“There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in”), May challenged the deacons to engage with the tension between the perfection of God’s creation and the pain and brokenness of the world.


Sharing from her own experience with tent city, she noted that good intentions are often not enough to make real and lasting changes in people’s lives, and that “lovely acts of kindness that don’t change anything” aren’t enough if they aren’t coupled with a wider analysis of the structural barriers marginalized people face.

“If you don’t have informed practice, you’re just flapping your arms in the wind,” she said.

Fingering in the Anglican Church of Canada

The Anglican Church of Canada seems to be on the way to making decisions by consensus rather than voting. To this end, delegates are holding up fingers – from five to zero – to register their level of agreement with a motion.

Extreme disagreement would be indicated by a single middle finger.

Since “consensus” means a “judgment arrived at by most of those concerned”, and is something generally determined by voting, I can’t help suspecting that this new piece of Anglican fudge is an attempt to sow just the right amount of diverse and inclusive confusion to keep the remaining conservatives studiously fiddling with their fingers while the latest piece of nonsensical sexual legislation slithers passed them into the church canons.

From here:

Discussed and practiced, for some votes, decision-making by consensus. Instead of simply voting for or against a motion, members showed their level of support for it using their fingers, with five fingers meaning strong support, for example, and no fingers indicating a need to discuss the matter in more detail. In a discussion on consensus decision-making, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, said he hoped CoGS in this triennium would move beyond a “yearning” for alternatives (such as consensus) to the more traditional parliamentary form of decision-making.

Bishops learning how to sue people

Three bishops from Toronto have travelled to Richmond Virginia to learn how to be better bishops from TEC. It all looks quite tedious. One thing did catch my eye, though: the TEC counsel for property litigation held a session on clergy discipline. Presumably the Canadian bishops will return with a renewed zest for suing people.

Another lesson was on “Building Community”. Don’t laugh.

From here:

Bishops listen June 14 as Mary Kostel, special counsel to the presiding bishop for property litigation and discipline, explains the Episcopal Church’s clergy discipline canon, known as Title IV. The session was part of Living our Vows, the College for Bishops’ three-year formation program for new bishops.

The Anglican Pravda

For years it’s been a standing joke that the Anglican Journal is the Anglican Church of Canada’s Pravda because it has such a strong bias towards theological liberalism and the political left. Just like the organisation it is there to report on.

At the same time, the Journal claims to be editorially independent, a requirement if it is to continue to receive a yearly grant of $409,866 from Heritage Canada, otherwise known as Canadian taxpayers.

Now, it seems the claimed editorially independence is under review by the Council of General Synod, prompting a CoGS member to finally catch on to what the rest of us have known for some time: the Anglican Journal is in danger of becoming – I would make that has become – The Anglican Pravda.

From here (emphasis mine):

A request by the diocese of Rupert’s Land to no longer have a print version of the Anglican Journal distributed in the diocese has led to the raising of questions about whether the newspaper should be produced in print form at all and whether it should continue to be free to determine its own content, Council of General Synod (CoGS) heard Saturday, June 24.


In a question-and-answer session after Egan’s presentation, the issue of the Journal’s editorial independence prompted, instead of a question, a strong statement from one CoGS member. Jason Antonio, from the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land, who also introduced himself as managing editor of the diocesan newspaper The Saskatchewan Anglican, condemned what he termed the report’s “attack” on the Anglican Journal’s editorial independence.

“It’s a leap in logic for me to think that because Rupert’s Land News shut down we have to question the editorial independence of the newspaper,” he said. “The Anglican Church of Canada does not need another mouthpiece…To attack the Anglican Journal, then, and take it over is an authoritarian move. We might as well just rename it Pravda,” said Antonio, alluding to the former news organ of the Soviet Union’s communist party.

Marriage canon CoGS still turning

The Council of General Synod met recently to discuss, among other things, the change to the marriage canon to allow same-sex marriage. The Indigenous representative seems less than happy with the fact that the report “This Holy Estate” has not been translated into Indigenous languages. Moreover, some dioceses are already marrying same sex couples ahead of the 2019 vote to approve them – if they can find any willing specimens, that is.

What the Indigenous member should realise is that, since same-sex marriages are already occurring, the report is irrelevant: it is a fait accompli, no report, listening process, vote, conversation or discussion – respectful or otherwise – is going to make a blind bit of difference. Anglican conservatives have, as usual, been conned and outmaneuvered. Business as usual at CoGS.

During the discussion, one Indigenous CoGS member asked why some dioceses were already marrying same-sex couples, which her people did not understand given that the church was currently debating passing an amendment to the marriage canon to change the rules.