Primate Fred Hiltz announces his intention to resign

Fred Hiltz has been Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada for about ten years. During his tenure, the church has lurched into a radical heterodoxy beyond the wildest longings of the Screwtapian Principalities assigned to gently steer it into the Pit, tens of thousands of parishioners have fled, congregations have left en masse to form a new Anglican Province, conservative priests and theologians have been persecuted, driven out, inhibited and fired, and multiple scorched-earth lawsuits have been instigated by his beloved church with a studied vindictiveness that makes Attila the Hun look like Winnie the Pooh. It’s been nothing but devastation and chaos.

It is little wonder that Hiltz wants to get out now before the whole putrid, corrupt moldering edifice collapses around his ears. The search for his replacement will, no doubt, concentrate on scouring the land – and overseas if necessary – for a suitable candidate in the form of a  partnered lesbian who dabbles in Buddhism in her spare time.

From here:

Now, dear friends is such a time for our beloved Church, a time for me to make plans to conclude my years of service as Primate, and time for the Church to make the arrangements necessary for the election of a new Primate.
In 2017, I marked 40 years in ordained ministry and 40 years of marriage with my dear Lynne. For 23 of those 40 years I have served our Church as a bishop, and for 10 of those 23 as Primate.
As you well know this was not an office to which I aspired. Nonetheless I have endeavoured to fulfil the duties required of me in the best interests of our Church and its commitment to God’s mission in Canada and as a loyal partner in the life and witness of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

It has been an enormous privilege and a great adventure with blessings beyond number. This year on December 3rd,I will God willing reach the age of 65. I think that is probably no secret in our Church! And in the natural order of discourse around such milestones, questions arise with respect to one’s intentions about retirement. I believe it is incumbent upon me to help  move us all beyond whispered speculations to clarity about my intentions.

Allow me just a few minutes to bare but a bit of my soul concerning my discernment. At some length, I have considered how much longer I should remain in office. In all honesty, there are days when I wonder if I might not be coming very close to the “best before” date in the leadership I am providing. Time and again, I have examined the scenarios for which Canon III on The Primate makes provision with respect to resignation.
I have experienced more than a few restless nights. I have tried to abide by St Paul’s counsel not to be anxious but prayerful (Philippians 2:6) I have prayed and I have quietly asked a few others to uphold me in their prayers through this time of discernment. For their pledge to do so I am enormously grateful.
I confess too that out of a deep and a biding love for our Church I have in these last several months felt more than a little sense of solemn obligation to see General Synod through the next round of conversations over a few very significant matters. I think of how we begin to move beyond Vision 2019. I think of the second reading of the amendment to the Marriage Canon.

Have yourself a Merry Little Anti-Trump Christmas

It would be unAnglican to this waste this Christmas by failing to mention how Trump has ruined it for everyone by planning to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

With that in mind, Oh Little Town of Bethlehem has, at last, been correctly interpreted by Fred Hiltz. It is all about the Israelis with their nasty wall, ugly checkpoints, and preposterous obsession with trying to prevent their citizens being murdered by rampaging Palestinians. Most of all, it’s about Trump moving his stupid embassy.

Brooks speaks of the town’s stillness and its undisturbed sleep above which “the silent stars go by”.  Then he speaks of the beauteous light that shines in its streets, as the birth of the Messiah becomes known.  As we hold our candle, and focus on this lovely text, we might think of how far a cry the Bethlehem of today is from the stillness and peace of which the carol speaks.  Stark images of the massive Separation Wall come to mind, as do images of the heavily guarded check point through which people must pass in and out of the city.  In many respects, Brooks’ words “the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight” are a fitting commentary on the circumstances in which people live there.  They live with hope for the peace God intends, however elusive it may be, however challenging to negotiate and secure.  They live with fear that developments such as the world has witnessed in recent weeks will escalate political tensions in their city, in Jerusalem, Gaza, and throughout the Middle East.  So as we hold our candle and sing, we think of all those for whom this “little town” is home, all those who know its history and cling to its destiny in the sight of God.

Fred Hiltz, Jerusalem and Trump

It goes without saying that Hiltz, along with other church dignitaries, is spluttering his indignation about the U.S. recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Most importantly, it’s because he hates Trump and all he stands for with a loathing as intense as his fawning love for Justin Trudeau, Canada’s pretty boy, a bleached version of Barack Obama. There is no hatred quite so caustic as that of a liberal Anglican clergyman encountering opposition laced with disagreement that’s less than good .

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, is calling for prayers for Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision December 6 to recognize the city as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Hiltz, as Anglican Primate floats, as usual, blissfully above the demands that facts and reality impose on mere mortals. Thus, he declares that Trump has acted unilaterally, in spite of the fact that the U.S. congress voted to recognise Jerusalem as capital 22 years ago. Trump has done what every other president for the last 22 years has been putting off. This is very unAnglican: Anglicans have endless conversations when something comes up that they dislike.

Hiltz is also condemning Trump’s “unilateral action,” saying it has set off violence in the Holy Land.

Significantly, none of the clergy gnashing their collective teeth over this are interested in whether it is the right thing to do or not. Rather, they are motivated by pious pragmatism: will the recognition incite the usual lunatic elements to violence? After all, the Middle East has hitherto been so peaceful.

In a statement released Friday, December 8, Hiltz said he was joining a number of voices expressing “serious concerns” about Trump’s declaration. He cited a letter jointly issued by 13 heads of Christian churches in Jerusalem, including Archbishop Suheil Dawani, primate of the Anglican Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East, voicing disapproval and worry.

“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division,” the church leaders said in the letter, released shortly before Trump’s official announcement. “We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.

“The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.”

We have something to be thankful for in all this: politicians tend to ignore the opinions of effete clerics – just like everyone else:

But Trump, Hiltz said, chose “to ignore this wise and Godly counsel,” and went ahead with his declaration. “His unilateral action has unsettled the entire Middle East and plunged Jerusalem into chaos,” Hiltz continued.

Hiltz, it seems, has found a new word: “unilateral”. This is the third time he has used it. Incorrectly.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal Thursday, December 7, Hiltz said he felt Trump had acted in a characteristically “unilateral” and dangerous way in making his announcement.

What we really need are more conversations. How about a Middle East Indaba?

“There’s no sense of, you know, consultation, no sense of this having been a broader conversation. It’s Donald Trump being Donald Trump,” he said.

It gets worse: North Korea’s obsession with nuclear tipped ballistic missiles is Trump’s fault, too. Did I mention that Hiltz hates Trump?

“As with issues of concern on the Korean peninsula, his statements and his actions agitate, and they tend to stir things up in ways that, quite frankly, are not helpful,” Hiltz said. “It’s very worrisome in terms of how this could turn.”

The Anglican Church of Canada—like the government of Canada—Hiltz said, supports “a lasting peace process in which there is a state of Israel, but within which Palestinians also have a rightful place.”

Finally, we find out what is really bothering Hiltz – other than the fact that he is forced to live on the same planet as Trump. His free trip to Jerusalem might have to be cancelled.

Hiltz also said Trump’s announcement cast some doubt on whether he would still make a planned trip to Jerusalem this January to visit the Anglican primate of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

An Anglican Season of Intentional Drollery

A number of years ago, the Anglican Church of Canada launched something called “The Decade of Evangelism”. I remember it well. Unfortunately.

After ten years of groping for the real meaning of “evangelism”, we came to the conclusion that – lacking access to even the most basic dictionaries in Canada –  we had no idea what it means but we were absolutely certain it did not mean that Christianity is objectively true and we should tell people that it is.

Here we go again. This time it is the Season of Intentional Discipleship – SID, more appositely known as Sudden Infant Death syndrome – another ten years of pretending we are functionally illiterate. This time we are doing it Intentionally, through.

It would be hilarious if those who should know better were not such willing participants in the chicanery.

From Fed Hiltz’s myopic version of the alarums and excursions from the recent Primates’ Meeting,  here:

Accordingly we welcomed a conversation about evangelism.  We were glad to hear of the call for a Season of Intentional Discipleship across the Communion (2016-2025)

Fred Hiltz tackling what he can’t tackle and ignoring what he can

It goes without saying that trading humans for money is evil. It is an evil over which Anglican leaders have no influence: I suspect most of them are not slave owners themselves and anyone who is has little interest in their opinion. Denouncing human trafficking projects an aura of virtue without making any demands on the denouncer.

What Hiltz could do is stop tearing apart the Anglican Communion by continuing to destroy the sacrament of marriage. But he won’t.

From here:

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, says he hopes human trafficking will be in the spotlight when primates from across the Anglican Communion meet in Canterbury, England, October 2-6.

“It is right that the Anglican Consultative Council should challenge the provinces of the Anglican Communion to tackle this issue, and it is right that here in the Primates’ Meeting we should begin substantial attention to it,” Hiltz said. “My own hope and prayer is that together we will rise up and be strong and bold to defy and defeat this crime against humanity.”

Fred Hiltz speaks power to Truth

One of the things that I find comical about extemporaneous prayer is that the person praying sometimes yields to the temptation of telling an apparently absent-minded God what he is like, who he is, what he thinks, what he likes, what he dislikes and what he should do, rather than humbly laying petitions before him.

It could be worse, though, and in Primate Fred Hiltz’s case, it is.

In the case of the soon to be held Primates’ Meeting which has filled Justin Welby with an excitement exceeded  only by that of teenage girls attending a Justin Bieber concert, Hiltz has somehow contrived to leave God’s will out of his prayers entirely.

Rather than, for example, praying for insight into whether or not it’s in God’s plan for two marry to men, he asks for “patience with one another in continuing conversations about same sex marriage”, as if patience for an incorrect view is the guiding principle for theological understanding.

Similarly, the rest of the prayers are largely given over to nudging God into Correct Thinking on the fashionable preoccupations of the day: a shameless attempt to co-opt God’s support for the leftist, intolerant, power-hungry juggernaut that replaced the Anglican Church of Canada some years ago, a speaking of power to Truth, delivered in the pious trappings of prayer. The good news is nobody cares what Anglican leaders think. Including God, I suspect.

From here:

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, offers his prayer for next month’s Oct. 2-6 Primates’ Meeting in Canterbury.

Please pray…

Pray that we have patience with one another in continuing conversations about same sex marriage.

Pray for perseverance in our commitment to honor the Calls to Action from Canada’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission. These calls revealed the horrible suffering endured by Indigenous People through the Residential Schools System established to enforce a colonialist policy of assimilation.

Pray for God’s continuing guidance as we work together in supporting the emergence of a truly Indigenous Church.

Pray for our commitment to eradicating the crime of human trafficking.

Pray for our Church’s response to the Communion Wide Call to a Season of Intentional Discipleship.

Pray for the Primates that at our gathering we have a heart not only for the unity of the Church but for the peace of the world. Pray that we be humbled and graced to be a prophetic voice speaking into the suffering of the poor, the enslaved, and those forced to flee from their homelands.

Fred Hiltz aims for “good disagreement” on same-sex marriage

Does anyone remember Rowan Williams’ attempt to solve the same-sex marriage mess in the Anglican Communion using The Covenant? It was still alive and kicking – well, twitching at least – as little as five years ago, yet now it’s deader than the dandruff falling from Rowan’s eyebrows.

Justin Welby ignored The Covenant and, instead, imposed “consequences” on provinces that defied the ban on same-sex marriages. No one, least of all Welby, took them seriously.

Having now jettisoned both The Covenant and Consequences, Welby has settled on the idea of “good disagreement”, an ecclesiastical version of the cold war with ersatz pieties injected into it for appearances’ sake.

Fred Hiltz has jumped on the good disagreement bandwagon and is applying it to the Anglican Church of Canada. Sorry, he is embracing it.

The question is, if same-sex marriage were to remain forbidden in the ACoC, would anyone be proposing good disagreement as the solution for calming bruised liberals? Of course not: the battle would continue and all we would hear about would be prophetic voices, inclusion, justice and equality, laced with frequent references to a rubber stamping holy spirit.   Good disagreement is just another smoke screen designed to cloud the judgement of conservatives in order to keep them in the fold, so as to continue to collect their offerings.

From here:

My own read is that many in our church are coming to accept and declare that we will never agree on this matter. There will always be those who favour same-sex marriage and those who oppose it, each from the ground of their own wrestling with the Scriptures and the long-held teaching of
the church on the nature of marriage. The challenge is, how do we live with such deep-seated differences of conviction?

At the heart of this challenge are two things—the acknowledging of our fears and the embracing of good disagreement.

Of the fear, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby addressed his own church at a General Synod in 2014, saying, “There is great fear among some, here and round the world, that that will lead to the betrayal of our traditions, to the denial of the authority of Scripture, to apostasy, not to use too strong a word. And there is also a great fear that our decisions will lead us to the rejection of LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender] people, to irrelevance in a changing society, to behaviour that may seem akin to racism. Both those fears are alive and well in this room today.”

Of the nature of good disagreement, 
the dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, David Ison, wrote in 2015: “There is no expectation of achieving any consensus—in either direction—in the foreseeable future. But there is a task to be done of encouraging those within the church who are at odds on this issue to express their concerns in a safe environment, listen carefully to those with whom they disagree profoundly, find something of Christ in each other and consider together what the practical consequence of disagreement might be. From New Testament times the church of Christ has had to face disagreement. Fashioning our life as a church includes finding ways to ‘disagree Christianly’.”

I believe that in our church there is both a commitment and a capacity to do just that—to disagree in a manner that does not demean one another, but honours our calling in Christ. In good disagreement, no one is made to feel their position is of no value. No one feels belittled, walked over or pushed out. In good disagreement, there is, in truth, a continuing place for everyone in our church.

Comparing Anglican reaction to Barcelona vs Charlottesville

Fred Hiltz’s response to what happened in Barcelona and Charlottesville is reasonably representative of the reaction of other Western Anglican leaders.

For Barcelona he concentrates mostly on praying, in particular for our enemies:

So long as we pray for them, let us be bold in praying for those who with such malicious intent inflict such horrific suffering on others. Let us pray that they be turned from their malice, their hearts be moved and their plans thwarted.

He goes on to denounce terrorism without being at all specific about the particular brand of terrorism – they could have been marauding Mennonites, after all.

With people of all faith traditions who condemn the terrorism that stalks our world, we gather in our churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, in our homes and in our public squares, turning with one voice and one heart to God.

When it comes to Charlottesville, things are quite different. No prayers are offered for those being violent, nor does Hiltz shrink from identifying them as white supremacists; instead, he denounces them – quite rightly – and demands secular leaders denounce them.

Could the fact that Hiltz fails to denounced Islamic Jihadists and their sympathisers along with calling for imams to do the same mean that he and his fellow clergy are shamelessly biased? Does Hiltz think white supremacists are not worth praying for because they are beyond redemption? It is tempting to think so.

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, many governors, senators and mayors across the United States have called on the President to be unequivocally clear in denouncing the principles and activities of white supremacy. Many world leaders have also called him to exercise strong leadership in this regard.

Fred Hiltz invites prayer for the USA

Actually, as is so often the case, Hiltz offers his political opinions to God – who must have been waiting to hear them with bated breath – and us in this statement, thinly disguised as an invitation to prayer:

Next week, the eyes and ears of all Americans and indeed many other people around the world will be turned toward Capitol Hill in Washington as Donald Trump takes the Oath of Office as the 45th President of the United States.

Many of course will be rejoicing in his inauguration and eagerly anticipating his administration.  Many others are anxious.  Given some of the rhetoric in his campaign for election, they are wondering how tolerant he will be of the multi-racial, -cultural and -religious textures with which the fabric of the United States of America is woven.

In the face of an ever-growing gulf between Americans who are rich and Americans who are poor, there is considerable angst as to how the Trump administration will address this concern.  Many eagerly await initiatives that will be in the form of laying firm foundations ensuring equality of access to health care, education, and employment opportunities for all Americans.

Mexicans wonder about the nature of future relationships with the United States and so too do many Canadians.  World leaders will be watching to see how he takes his place in the gatherings where they take counsel together for peace and security of the world, and for the care of the earth itself.

It’s instructive to compare the scolding tone of the above with the gushing sycophancy on display in this letter to Justin Trudeau after he was elected 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.

We support your commitment to implementing the Truth & Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. We share the goal to build and strengthen relationships across Canada—with Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians—grounded in right relationships, compassion and justice.

We assure you that week by week, members of our churches are praying for you, for all Members of Parliament, and for the Government of Canada. May your service to this country be a blessing to many, and may God guide us in the better future we intend to foster together.

Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Fred J. Hiltz

Primate Fred Hiltz to preach at Queer Eucharist

Every month the Diocese of Toronto’s St. John’s West Anglican Church holds something it calls a Queer Eucharist where everyone, we are assured, will be welcome, although not necessarily comfortable.

September’s festivities will include Fred Hiltz explaining what happened during the same-sex marriage vote at general synod, including, apparently, “the call to holy manners” or how to dismember a church, desecrate the faith once delivered and pollute the Eucharist with concentrated folly distilled from the zeitgeist – politely.

This has been self-evident for so long it is scarcely worth pointing out. Nevertheless, here it is: the leader of the Anglican Church of Canada has thrown himself heart mind and soul into the ecclesiastical crusade to sanctify homosexual sex. He has no intention of turning back, repenting – a derisory notion no matter how fondly cherished by naïve conservatives – or relenting in leading the church’s ruinous mission to enshrine sexual anarchy in the catalogue of its canons.

There will be no turning back; the days of the Anglican Church of Canada being a Christian church are over.

HiltzQE