Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Archbishop Hiltz writes to all Primates

Anglican Journal reports:

Archbishop Hiltz clarifies Canadian situation for fellow primates by Solange De Santis and Marites N Sison

Saying that he hoped to “dispel rumour or misunderstanding,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written to his fellow leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion explaining the developments around the blessing of same-sex unions, which has embroiled Canadian Anglicans in conflict.

In his four-page letter, which was sent to the other 34 Anglican primates and four moderators of the Anglican Communion’s United Churches on Jan. 9, Archbishop Hiltz, who is the national archbishop, underscored that the Anglican Church of Canada has not yet agreed upon a definitive position on the issue. “It is important to note that the Anglican Church of Canada has not altered its doctrine of marriage as outlined in our prayer books and canons (church laws).”

However, he put the situation in context: Canadian Anglicans, he noted, “do live in a country where the federal government in 2005 approved legislation that allows the marriage of same-gender couples.”

Archbishop Hiltz also reaffirmed the Canadian church’s “commitment to full membership and participation in the life, witness and structures of the Anglican Communion.” He also called on Anglican leaders to respect each other’s boundaries and desist from intervening in the affairs of provinces other than their own…

The full text of his letter can be found here.

At the foot of the letter, there are hyperlinks to all the key Canadian statements.

  • Shared Episcopal Ministry - Addendum to the Primate’s Task Force report on Alternative Episcopal Oversight - Nov. 3, 2004
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Categorised as: Canada
Comments

What a sane letter from Archbishop Hiltz; calm, measured, and yet pointing out that there is a grass-roots level pastoral need that underlies this whole debate!
Can the Church of England please start to be similiarly pastoral and realistic?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 9:32am GMT

Perhaps Anglican opponents of a repeal of the blasphemy laws should consider exactly how much risk the church faces from religious hatred. it seems a stretch to suggest the CoE needs such protection as the blasphemy laws.

Posted by: Weiwen on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 10:49am GMT

"it seems a stretch to suggest the CoE needs such protection as the blasphemy laws"

Isn't the idea that God needs protection through blasphemy laws?

In any case, about time they went!

Posted by: Erika Baker on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 11:40am GMT

With invitations going out from Robert Duncan to Common Cause people to stomp around Jerusalem with GAFCON, against the wishes of the local bishop, the Archbishop should not be surprised that the same people are walking over Canadian Church territory.

Posted by: Pluralist on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 1:05pm GMT

The Anglican Communion, which we have known, is dead. It no longer exists. The new version emerging has an infallible curia of cardinal primates for its instrument of union. The GS now dominates this curia, together with their Anglican Network prince bishops. Any provinces, such as Canada and TEC, had better submit to the curia of cardinal primates or else face expulsion from the Body of Christ. This sad and sorry state of affairs has come about due to the total ineptitude of the present Cantuar, who has failed to lead or allowed himself to be persuaded that the Anglican Communion needs a "Roman model" of leadership, the papal curia being present in the curia of the GS-dominated college of cardinal primates.

The gay issue was the wedge issue to bring about a shift in the power structures of the Communion. The GS primates and their North American evo cons will not shun gays and lesbians as long as they remain in the closet, living a lie. Rome, too, accepts gays on those terms, allowing them to be parish clergy, bishops and even cardinals.

Sadly, the new curia of cardinal primates will not tolerate any prophetic voices that question their mantra, "the faith once delivered to the saints".

Indeed, sad times are upon us who cherish the "big tent" Anglicanism of the past.

Posted by: John Henry on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 4:20pm GMT

AB Hiltz is a rather good match for our own USA PB Katharine. Both seem widely read, ready to talk things over, and informed with sufficient real history in hand to nicely counter the ahistorical claims so often being made in support of the worst of our current Anglican realignment campaigning.

If you actually bother to read through the referenced Canadian materials, you get an introductory crash course in just how much our understandings of queer folks, straight folks, embodiment, and church life have been shifting as old presuppositions are revealed to be less than accurate and quite a bit less than final, whether the claim is that tradition is closed off morally or theologically.

Thanks, thanks, thanks, to the AB.

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 6:27pm GMT

It was required to formalise who was in which camp, Moses did this with the Jewish when he came down from Mt Sinai the first time and saw they had built a Baal idol. Praise be to God, in most parts of the world, the decision to worship violence and accusations versus trusting in God's desire for peace and forgiveness will not lead to such bloodbaths. Bloodbaths end when the advocates of violence are exposed for what they are - greedy bickers who lust after power and desecration. By their fruits we now know them.

John Henry

A big tent still exists and will continue to exist. It is a tent beyond Anglicanism, and even Christianity.

It is the Holy Spirit woven into each and every one of us, as descendants of Noah, and before that Adam and Cheva.

Bonds of affection and love will continue to manifest. New friendships, new paradigms, new breathe e.g. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/6555 and http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/6525

Remember Ezekiel 37:14 God puts his Spirit in us and we live. God settles with us in our own land. Zechariah 8:3 God returns to Zion and dwells in Jerusalem's heart. Hosea 14:4-9 We will again dwell in God's shade, even though the rebellious stumble. See also Isaiah 65, God creates a new heavens and a new earth, the former things are not remembered, Jerusalem's heart is created to be a delight, her people a joy, souls will be safe and predator and prey will lie safely next to each other.

See also Ephesians 3 Paul knelt before the Father from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derivies his name. Paul prayed that God strengthen us with God's Spirit in our inner being so that Christ could dwell in our hearts through faith. May we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of the Holy Trinity and know that this love surpasses knowledge.

You can tell those in whom God's word does not dwell, they do not believe God's messengers. They study the Scriptures yet refuse to accept the love of God in their hearts (see John 5:37-42).

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Thursday, 10 January 2008 at 8:05pm GMT

I think the letter was excellent and give thanks that we have a Primate who can cut through the noise and misinformation so well. The letter presents a clear, honest summary of our painful position and confirms that we are tackling the issues in as sensitive, disciplined and informed manner possible. The intervention of other parts of the Anglican Communion is not helpful and cannot be ignored. Hopefully the letter will engender greater understanding of our situation and afford us all a bit more room to look for the right way forward. AB Fred needs our full support right now - he has mine wholeheartedly and without reservation. Thanks be to God!

Posted by: Paul Kent on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 1:17am GMT

John Henry,

I think the greater irony is after what has happened you can not see!

Rowan Williams along with theologians like Oliver O'Donovan have been open to reflection and hearing from all sides on this.(So your sarcasm is unwarrented and amounts to denigration). At the same time, the writer from Covenant notes in his piece on Fulcrum, they worked to include people and embraced the “mind of the Communion” in acord with Lambeth 98.1.10. That,as he says,"is what the Communion has asked of them and that is what they do."

They have acted in accord with communion and "continue working constructively with the Windsor Report and the Covenant draft as tools for the development of appropriate “structures” for our common life, and to accept the constraints on Christian behavior articulated in those documents “until a new consensus emerges.” If the aim is understanding and, we can hope, reconciliation what more could one ask? That is acting with consideration for all sides, what one could wish to see on this list in response.

Ben W

Posted by: Ben W on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 2:17am GMT

Sane, indeed, and pastorally sensitive. But of course the Global South people will write it off immediately, because it speaks sympathetically of same-sex unions. And it may be true that this treatment of loving and constructive adult decisions as an "abomination" is only a pretext, consciously or unconsciously, in a bid for power. Even in highly intelligent Christian thinkers of a right-wing stamp I see deep instincts of bullying, a latent violence, that augurs longterm destructive effects for church and society.

Posted by: Joseph O'Leary on Friday, 11 January 2008 at 3:35am GMT
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