B.B.C. Europe Report
Cardinals gathered in Rome to elect a new pope will begin voting later on Tuesday, with no clear frontrunner in sight.
The 115 cardinal-electors will attend a special Mass in the morning before processing into the Sistine Chapel to begin their deliberations in the afternoon.
They will vote four times daily until two-thirds can agree on a candidate.
The election was prompted by the surprise resignation of Benedict XVI.
The challenges of leading a Church beset by problems ranging from the sexual abuse scandal to accusations of corruption at the Vatican bank proved too much for the 85-year-old now known as Pope emeritus, say correspondents.
They now lie ahead for his successor, once he is elected.
Tuesday morning will be dominated by the saying of the Mass “for the Election of the Supreme Pontiff”, beginning at 1000 (0900 GMT) in St Peter’s Basilica.
- 115 cardinal-electors
- Two-thirds – or 77 – need to agree on papal candidate
- Four votes per day, two in the morning and two in the evening
- Chosen candidate will be 266th Pope
- He will lead world’s 1.2 billion Catholics
In the afternoon, 115 cardinal-electors – all under 80, as those over 80 are excluded – will proceed into the Sistine Chapel for the secret conclave to select Benedict’s successor.
Once they have taken an oath of secrecy, Msgr Guido Marini, papal master of ceremonies, will call out the words “Extra omnes” – “Everybody out” – and the chapel doors will be locked to outsiders.
The 85-year-old Pope emeritus resigned on 28 February after eight years in office, citing ill health. He was the first Pope in six centuries to do so.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the marked favourite ahead of the 2005 conclave that elected him pope after just four rounds of voting, says the BBC’s Michael Hirst in Rome.
His status was compounded by a strong sermon given during the pre-election mass, a scathing attack on what he saw as the “dictatorship of relativism”.
The vote for his successor is expected to be much longer.
After 10 general congregations open to all cardinals, regardless of age – at which 160 cardinals spoke of the issues facing the faith and its 1.2 billion adherents, and the qualities needed by their next leader – no clear frontrunner has emerged, our correspondent says.
“Last time around there was a man of stature, three or four times that of any other cardinal,” French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin told reporters, according to Reuters news agency.
“That is not the case this time around. Therefore, the choice has to be made among one, two, three, four… a dozen candidates.
“We still don’t really know anything. We will have to wait for the results of the first ballot.”
Cardinal Angelo Sodano – the dean of the college of cardinals who will lead Tuesday’s Mass and issue a sermon likely to touch on the themes and priorities raised during the congregations – is too old to vote at 85 and not seen as a contender for the papacy.
Candidates named as contenders include Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, Brazil’s Odilo Scherer, and the US Cardinal Timothy Dolan – though he told one interviewer anyone who thought he was in with a chance might be “smoking marijuana”.
Emphasis on secrecy
Once inside the Sistine Chapel on Tuesday, cardinals will listen to a meditation by elderly Maltese Cardinal Prosper Grech before holding a first vote, after which their ballot papers will be burned.
The smoke that will drift out of the chapel’s chimney early in the evening is likely to be black – meaning no Pope has been elected.
From Wednesday, two votes will be held each morning and afternoon – with ballots burned after each session – until one candidate attains a two-thirds majority (77 votes).
Then the smoke will be white, meaning the 266th bishop of Rome will have been chosen.
Extensive measures are taken to prevent details about the cardinals’ discussions over the next pope becoming public.
On Monday, some 90 staff who will support the cardinals during their time of seclusion – including waiters, cleaners, drivers and medical staff – took an oath of secrecy.
The Sistine Chapel will be swept daily for bugs.
It is probably not unthinkable that spirits inhabit the churches in Montreal. Many of them have been built long ago. Many religious properties in our city housed nuns and priests and monks. Where the religious have gone, sacred spaces have been re-appropriated by the city as historical buildings and cannot be torn down, but can be updated to meet new specifications.
In the basement of the Grey Nun’s Mother house, just up the block from us, houses the remains of past grey nuns who lived and died in the house, buried in the crypt beneath the building. Once the remaining nuns vacate the property the crypt will be cemented over forever. Down in that crypt were the resting places of Mere D’Youville before she was declared a saint.
My Aunt Georgette used to take me down there to pray and to see the relics and rooms that were preserved in her memory. Mere D’Youville was moved to a crypt beneath the main altar in the church above, until the building was sold to Concordia University. Mere D’Youville was moved from her resting place at the Mother House to another Mother House on the South Shore of Montreal, where the nuns will live. Which is where my aunt Georgette is buried.
I say all these things as a preface of what I am going to write about now…
God has been known to make appearances at St. Leon’s Church hall, during really good meetings. The light comes down from the church and alights on the folks in the room. I have seen this happen over the years at certain points in my journey, and those of the others.
Recently, as I come into the darkened hall on some afternoons, the air is cool and I am alone in the space for 2 hours prior to anyone coming in to read. I like that alone time. I enjoy it. I put on some tunes and I set up. When that is finished I go outside to people watch. Then I come back downstairs to read.
And that is when it happens. And it happened again today. I am sitting at the head of the table where I always sit, Barbra Streisand was singing Christmas Carols in my ear and I was thumbing through a Grapevine.
Several times while I was sitting there, just above my field of vision, I saw shadows move across the doorway from the entrance hall into the room itself. And it didn’t happen once, it happened several times. Almost like it wanted me to see it pass through. I was looking down, but to an extent I could just turn my gaze upwards towards the doors looking up from my book and see it.
I caught myself looking up several times as I was sitting there. Whatever it was, it moved soundlessly. And it almost hung in the doorway. This isn’t the first time that I have seen this shadow move into the room. And it is always when I am alone in the space.
I don’t know the exact history of the building save for the bronze plaque that sits outside the church and denotes its building history. The hall is a multi-use space. Several meetings use the hall, kids day programs and church functions take place there as well. And sometimes wakes and viewings happen in the hall, but it is quite a task carrying a coffin down those stairs into the hall and then back up again.
You never know who is visiting on any given day. Thousands of sober people have graced that hall over the past 75 years.
It is heart warming to be able to share the space with the spirits. I am not immune to this kind of phenomena. I’ve been visited before by departed family members over the years, so when I see it manifest I welcome it.
That space is blessed and God visits us on occasion … it is quite an awe inspiring vision of the holy.
That is all.
More tomorrow. Time for bed …
Courtesy: Stefano Rellandini Reuters photo
VATICAN CITY – Kateri Tekakwitha ( Kat’-er-ee Teka-KWEE’-ta), a woman credited with life-saving miracles, has become North America’s first aboriginal saint after a canonization mass at the Vatican.
Tekakwitha was among the seven saints Pope Benedict XVI added to the roster of Catholic role models Sunday morning as he tries to rekindle the faith in places where it’s lagging.
Aboriginal Canadians and Americans in traditional dress sang songs to Kateri as the sun rose over St. Peter’s Square.
They joined pilgrims from around the world at the Mass and cheered when Benedict, in Latin, declared each of the seven new saints worthy of veneration by the church.
Tekakwitha, who is also known as “Lily of the Mohawks,” was born in New York state in 1656 before fleeing to a settlement north of the border to escape opposition to her Christianity.
She died in 1680 at the age of 24. Her body is entombed in a marble shrine at the St. Francis-Xavier Church in Kahnawake, a Montreal-area Mowhawk community that was expected be well represented among the 1,500 Canadian pilgrims set to attend the celebrations.
The process for her canonization began in the 1880s and Tekakwitha was eventually beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980.
According to a longtime deacon at the Kahnawake reserve, an event six years ago is widely viewed as a miracle which sealed Tekakwitha’s canonization.
The case involved six-year-old Jake Finkbonner, who belongs to the Lummi tribe in Washington, said Ron Boyer, who was appointed by the Vatican in 2007 to help make the case for the canonization.
Finkbonner was knocked over while playing basketball, striking his lip on a post. The incident led to the boy developing a high fever which landed him in intensive care where doctors determined he had a flesh-eating disease.
The deacon said Sister Kateri Mitchell, a Mohawk from the Akwesasne reserve, happened to be visiting the area and was summoned by the family. She had a bone relic of Tekakwitha which was held to Finkbonner’s chest as his family prayed.
According to Boyer, at that point the infection stopped spreading and began to heal.
Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, is among 17 bishops who were to make the trip to the Vatican, while House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer was also expected to attend Sunday’s mass.
The Ordination to the Deaconate
of the Diocese of Montreal
June 3 2012
Christ Church Cathedral
Donald Luc Boisvert
Rev. Robert Camara
Rev. Rhonda Waters
It was a beautiful day for an ordination. Donald Boisvert to the Deaconate, The Rev. Robert Camara to the Priesthood, and Rev. Rhonda Waters, also to the Priesthood. The Cathedral was packed. The choir was heavenly.
And there was controversy, a letter had been submitted to the proceedings calling for Donald and Robert Not to be ordained today because they are both gay and in same sex marriages.
However, our Bishop Barry, having put thoughtful prayer to this petition, decided against it and performed the ordinations to the swelling jubilation of the people inside the cathedral.
It was a beautiful service. My camera phone was very handy. I was like damn, I forgot my camera, and then remembered that my phone had a camera… DOH !!! So here are a few shots.
The tapestry of Saint Andre Bessette, of Canada, is displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica during a Canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)
CTV.ca News Staff
Date: Sun. Oct. 17 2010 9:43 PM ET
The humble Quebec monk who founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory was named a saint by Pope Benedict in a ceremony at the Vatican Sunday.
The former Brother Andre, who was credited with miracle healings before his death in 1937, is now known as St. Andre.
The Pope told the thousands of faithful gathered for the ceremony, including hundreds of Canadians, that although St. Andre was poorly educated and working at a menial job, he was an inspiration to many faithful.
“(As) doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him,” Benedict said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon led the official Canadian delegation to the ceremony.
“Here is a person who throughout his life had a dream, and he was able to pursue that dream, he was able to build the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal,” Cannon told CTV News Channel on Sunday in a telephone interview from Rome.
“So I think that when one looks at him, and what he was able to do throughout his life, he will be an inspiration for generations of Canadians to come.”
Francoise Bessette, whose grandfather was Brother Andre’s first cousin, was among the thousands of Canadians in attendance.
“I didn’t think this would happen while I was alive,” said Bessette, whose brother was named after the saint. “So to be here today is very special for me.”
In Montreal, the faithful crowded around a big-screen television in the Oratory’s church to watch the ceremony broadcast live from St. Peter’s Square.
His elevation to sainthood will carry some worldly benefits for St. Andre’s hometown, according to Kevin Wright, the president of the U.S.-based world religious travel association.
“When an individual is declared a saint, their shrines attract significant numbers of visitors,” Wright told CTV News Channel. “And we’re going to see that in Montreal.”
He said that while the oratory that St. Andre founded is not as big a draw as sites like the French shrine at Lourdes, it already attracts an estimated one million pilgrims a year.
And Wright said that St. Andre’s sanctification will only boost those numbers.
“Over the next couple of years we could see that double and get up to three, four or even five million people. And that’s incredible.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that the newly canonized St. Andre was “a great Canadian.”
“Brother Andre’s canonization is an important inspiration to us all, and the Oratory will continue to serve as a central landmark of spiritual strength and faith for Quebecers and all Canadians.”
Premier Jean Charest said in a statement from Quebec City that Saint Andre is a major figure in Quebec and that his “canonization gives full measure to his work as well as to his place in Quebec history.”
All the attention and ceremony would likely have embarrassed St. Andre, who was known for his humility and his faith, which has been described by Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte as strong enough “to move mountains.”
St. Andre was born Alfred Bessette in St-Gregoire-d’Iberville on Aug. 9, 1845, and was orphaned at the age of 12.
In 1904, the Holy Cross brother founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory, a landmark church on the northern slope of Mount Royal that receives about 2 million visitors every year.
He became known for comforting the sick, and is credited with more than 100,000 miraculous healings before his death in 1937 at age 91. Two of those healings met the Vatican standard for a miracle, reported the Globe and Mail’s Eric Reguly from Rome.
The drive for the canonization goes back to 1940, when it was started by the Archdiocese of Montreal and the Congregation of Holy Cross and St. Joseph’s Oratory.
He was declared “venerable” by Pope Paul VI in 1978, and beatified — declared “blessed” — by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Benedict announced his canonization in February after officially recognizing a second miracle attributed to him.
Brother Andre died at age 91 on Jan. 6, 1937. During the six days and nights before his funeral, more than one million people filed past his coffin.
His heart still rests in a small shrine in the Oratory, where he was ultimately laid to rest.
The heart, which is on public view as an object of contemplation for pilgrims, is protected by security systems after it was stolen in 1973. Police recovered it almost two years later from the basement of a home near Montreal.
Brother Andre follows in the footsteps of Marguerite d’Youville, who was born in 1701 and was the first saint born on what is now Canadian territory.
Canada’s other saints are Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was born in France in 1620 and is considered the co-founder of Montreal, and eight French-born Jesuit martyrs who were killed during the 1640s.
Benedict gave Australia its first saint, canonizing 19th-century nun Mary MacKillop.
Also canonized Sunday were Stanislaus Soltys of Poland, Italians Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of Spain.
Father Duncan is the “go-to” man for his bishop. The one who cleans up the messes that other priests create. MacIntyre’s attention to detail speaks to his being a journalist. Along with the assignments that Duncan works through, he has his own past, that spans back to the 1970′s in Honduras, and even further.
The way the book is written is very interesting. For me it was a page turner. It is not a straight forwards read, there are many threads weaving in and out at the same time, and the flow of the read depends on all these threads weaving in and out of the story. I found myself paying acute attention to his storytelling method.
Duncan is moved from place to place. His work takes him all over the globe, but never to a parish, until now. The Bishop wishes Duncan to clean up after a “situation” arises with a particular priest.
The story is about clerical abuse. A story that is ripped from the headlines of the recent past. Duncan finds himself set into a parish in Creignish. Duncan faces his past as he takes on his new parish assignment. It is too close to home for Duncan.
In having to face his past, while working in the present, many things are going on at the same time. Everybody knows each other, and secrets are kept in hidden coves and harbors. As Duncan faces his demons he becomes a victim of alcoholism, which he eventually finds himself in a detox for 40 days to clean himself up.
A scandal is brewing and Duncan’s job is to route out the guilty party and find out what really happened. That is not an easy task because of the people involved and the role that father MacAskill plays in their lives. Duncan lives on a need to know basis. And that creates heat between himself and his bishop and the other priests that he find himself friends with. This need to know problem almost costs Duncan his sanity, when the situation blows up in his face and he needs to be extricated from the situation and sent to Ontario for detox and to get away from the media storm.
We find out what abuse does to the men who perpetrate that kind of sin, the effect it has on the innocent victim’s, but the Bishop is not keen to recognize victims, he once tells Duncan that he is either with the church or against it, when Duncan is forced to choose allegiance to Holy Mother Church, a choice he does not make willingly.
Nobody escapes abuse, and I think that is a running theme in the book, from Duncan’s past and his wartime father and mother, through his life as a priest, and into the present day. Duncan has seen his fair share of abuse and he attempts to reconcile his own life in the process of trying to save the young people he meets and befriends in Creignish.
Read the book, it is well worth the time. Linden did a fantastic job of capturing all the emotion and sadness of the situations. Life in the Maritimes is much different than in the big cities, and you get a birds eye view of just what matters to small town Canada.
By The Canadian Press – Report Here
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the other three federal party leaders will fly together to Poland for the state funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife.
Harper invited Liberal Michael Ignatieff, New Democrat Jack Layton and Gilles Duceppe to accompany him to the Sunday funeral, and all accepted, said a release from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Kaczynski and a cross-section of Poland’s senior political and military figures were killed last Saturday in a plane crash.
The president was flying to services marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre.
The tragedy was deepened because he had invited so many senior figures to accompany him, including the president of the national bank, the deputy foreign affairs minister, a senior military officer, a deputy parliamentary speaker and several lawmakers.
U.S. President Barack Obama and dozens of other world leaders are to attend the Kaczynski funeral.
Can you hear the screaming? The catacomb underneath the Vatican is rumbling. The Popes of old are rolling in their graves. St. Peter’s is being rocked by an earthquake of immense proportions. You can imagine what is being said behind closed doors. The scandal that has pervaded the Church is gaining ground. The people are beginning to revolt, and Holy Mother Church is in the cross hairs.
I wonder just how long our Pontiff has before something drastic is done about the pervasiveness of abuse in the church? This crisis has been gaining ground for decades. John Paul II turned a blind eye to the complaints, he was a man of few words in public, but behind the scenes he wielded a heavy hand. It was often a practice that John Paul would call clergy into a meeting and lambaste them in private. His public persona was very different from what he did in private.
It doesn’t seem that Benedict XVI is as vocal behind the scenes. What happened to the watchdog who used to be the grand inquisitor of the Congregation for the doctrine of the faith? In his elderly state he may not have the energy to fight what is coming. I don’t think he is very long for the office of Pope. There are too many men standing in line to take his place.
Here are some stats for you to look at …
The College, as of March 31, 2010, is still at 182, but only 108 under the age of 80 (and thus eligible to vote at a conclave) and 74 over the age of 80. [The electors represent 59.3% of cardinals.]
We lost three electors during the month of March 2010, and four since the beginning of 2010.
This is the smallest the College has been in awhile. After the last consistory on November 24, 2007, there were 201 cardinals, with 120 eligible to vote . I had thought that we were due for another consistory last year. Here are my latest thoughts on when we might see the next. This is not a problem. There is nothing wrong with having but 110 electors. Only 111 electors participated in both of the 1978 conclaves. Click <here> for an article on consistory trends as of 1903. I doubt whether we will see a cardinal-creating consistory in the next six months. The pope has his hands full with the latest rounds of the clergy sex abuse scandal. To create cardinals at this juncture will be seen as irresponsible. Plus, though I doubt whether the Vatican has the gumption to do it, the vetting process for future cardinals probably has to be made more vigorous. It would be very embarrassing for the pope if he creates a cardinal who is in the midst of being implicated in the current scandal.
This information comes to us via – Papam, All about papal elections.
I have heard it said that there are many Churches. The Church in Rome, The Church in America, the Church in Africa and Latin America. Rome is well out of touch with her counterparts in other parts of the world. If the church founders and falls, will the people still have their God. But will the still have their faith? In crises like this you would imagine that people’s faith in Church would be shaken. And some would even loose their faith without the structure of Church to guide them.
I have spoken to Catholic priests and monsignors in this diocese, and they all stand by their churches and they uphold the faith of their people. There are still good men of faith to guide their congregations.
The Sacking of Rome has begun. The Papacy is under extreme pressure to do something, but will something be enough? What do you do with all these men who have abused their positions as pastors of churches? Where do you send them? And how would you punish all these men justly? Where would you build the penal colony to banish them to? And should that be the punishment?
It seems that Benedict is complicit in these allegations. If one follows the thought through complicity in this case brings with it a guilty label. What did he know, when did he know it and why didn’t he do anything about it? At the end of John Paul’s papacy, he did not have the wherewithal to do anything in his Parkinson’s condition. The team that existed behind John Paul were too busy holding up the papacy while John Paul deteriorated.
As keeper of the Doctrine of the faith, Cardinal Ratzinger had his hands full with his business of keeping the faith. Meanwhile, men in high places kept secrets and let go this abuse that is now coming to light. These allegations are not new news. This has been going on for decades. John Paul knew about it and the church settled many cases in the past. If you read “The Power and the Glory, Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul’s Vatican” the book discusses in great detail just what John Paul was up to during his papacy.
How long can the Vatican go on telling itself that the allegations raised are just gossip and rumors? Are they trying to change the facts and justify the words as just words? St. Peter’s is becoming a point of rally. The people are not coming to see the pontiff, but to bring the truth with them to the foundations of Holy Mother Church. And what is Holy Mother Church supposed to do with this information? How long can Benedict ignore the cries of his people? If this escalates and someone in the Holy See or the Curia moves to open up this dialogue further it could undermine the authority and the position of the papacy on the world stage.
Are people loosing their faith in God, or just in the faith of Holy Mother Church? God still exists. He may not be very happy at the moment, but he is still there, right where he has been for 2000 years. I don’t think we are going to see Armageddon or Jesus coming back to take back charge of his church that has now begun to run amok.
With the rise of Protestantism and the Episcopal churches worldwide, there are potent men in the chairs of power worldwide, and those churches will stand alone. There are places for people to go if the need to find church again. We have seen what kind of religious damage that the churches in Latin America and Africa can do. We have seen them move precisely to conquer politics that they disagreed with. They don’t need Holy Mother Church in Rome to back them up, they stand well on their own.
If the Sacking of Rome continues and the church falls, this could be the end of Holy Mother Church. People talk about 2012 and the fact that a spiritual upheaval is coming. Could this be a precursor to that upheaval?
If Benedict is removed from the Papacy or he dies, they will elect another Papabile man to fill the role of Pope. And at this next conclave, the spirit might move and we may get a man who is not from the European continent. This would bring a breath of fresh air to the Vatican. And maybe it would also bring a new sense of dignity and power to the See of Peter. Would the successor to Benedict XVI swing his mighty scepter and bring an end to this scourge that has plagued the church for decades?
We know that Benedict sent his minions out across the world to try and route out homosexuals from seminary. This is not necessarily a homosexual problem. But it is a “power problem.” Men who have been tainted who disavowed their calling as priests to abuse children and others should face the consequences. I don’t think you can point a finger at gay priests as the perpetrators of these sinful actions. They are just scape goats for a wider problem.
When I was in seminary I witnessed things that made me question why I was in seminary to begin with. I had my God and I felt that I was called to be a priest, but I did not identify with my brothers at that time. I was not like them. I had not identified as Gay at that point of my life. In hindsight, the truth was there, but had I stayed in ministry, I think it would have changed the man I would become. There were plenty of gay men in the seminary with me. And when the rector asked me to leave after my first year there, after I did eventually come out, I would see seminarians in the bars that I frequented.
Many years after the fact, many of the men I knew were accused of some very unseemly things. I don’t know what it is with clergy, why take all that time to study and learn about God, only to forgo your holy orders and abuse people?
Abuse is about power, it’s not about sexuality. We saw this in the case of residential schools here in Canada. And we are seeing it from the cases now being brought forwards in other parts of the world.
I have been a Catholic for the whole of my life, but I have wavered from Holy Mother Church during my religious studies in university. Even if the priests I know today welcome me to their churches, in principle I just cannot bring myself to walk into a Catholic Church based on principle. That doesn’t mean that I have given up my roots.
I still go to church. I still have my faith. I just happen to worship in the Anglican faith nowadays. It is not the same as Catholic ritual, but still has its smells and bells.
But what is to happen to Holy Mother Church if the abuse allegations go forwards? Will she fall? Will Jesus make an appearance to scold those in power and to bring punishment and judgment to the church?
If the Sacking of Rome continues and the church falls, the liquidation sale will be extreme. Third world countries all over the world will benefit from the spoils. I am sure that enough money will be made that the world will be fed for a good long time.
As disconnected from the rest of the world Rome is, the churches around the world will continue. The strong men of faith will guide them forth. But change has got to come to Holy Mother Church. Maybe this sacking will bring with it the changes that have been called for for years. Maybe it is time for Vatican III to be brought forth. And new guidelines for ministry taken up.
I don’t think that Benedict XVI is going to escape what is coming. Something is going to have to give, and someone is going to loose. Just what happens next is up for discussion. We can speculate for days and days, but as long as old Rome is still in power, the issues are going to be played down and ignored.
There is too much at stake to allow the Papacy to founder. Centuries of secrets and lies are tied up in the depths of the Vatican. And if this going forwards and the Vatican finds itself in a position that they can’t escape the ramifications could be drastic and dramatic. I don’t think that the Vatican is going to let go the secrets and admit to any kind of abuse. To do that would undermine the role of the papacy and rock the church to its foundations. And I don’t believe that these old men will be able to cope with the stress now on their shoulders.
Something is going to have to give. The sacrificial lamb is being prepared for slaughter if you are paying attention to what is being said all over the sphere.
From: Perge Modo
Just when you think they would have gotten control of their message, a pope whose only appropriate garb is sack cloth, appears in spun gold. Hard to avoid the comparisons. Do we dance before this golden idol? Or, is this a pascal sacrificial lamb that Cardinal Sodano is proclaiming? If I am metaphorically confused, what are the average American Catholics feeling when they read this?
Dressed in gold robes and shielded from a cool drizzle by a canopy, Benedict looked weary as he listened to Sodano’s speech at the start of Mass in the cobblestone square bedecked with daffodils, tulips and azaleas.
”With this spirit today we rally close around you, successor to (St.) Peter, bishop of Rome, the unfailing rock of the holy church,” Sodano said. ”Holy Father, on your side are the people of God, who do not allow themselves to be influenced by the petty gossip of the moment, by the trials which sometimes buffet the community of believers.”
The thought has begun to cross my mind that Cardinal Sodano and all the others who most ardently sing the praises of B16 know full well what they are doing: making a dirge from the sidelines of his cart ride to the gallows. This could be the most genteel throwing of anyone under a bus that has ever been performed. Perhaps the hierarchy has decided that Pope Difficult the Last needs to go, and that the only way to do it is to magnify the absurdity of the situation. As tone deaf as these men can be, surely they know the meaning of the deaf ear.
Does this pope, like Miss Diana Ross, still believe he can pack an arena and sell out a world tour? Granted, he’s got Sodano and another 170 cardinals singing back-up.
According to the report there were only tens of thousands in attendance. In my day, whenever we did one of those outdoor papal masses – we called them papal picnics – the faithful numbered in the hundreds of thousands.
Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
So where do you sit in the discussion? Let’s talk… I know you are out there.
By The Canadian Press
VATICAN CITY – A small, humble Roman Catholic brother who built a monument that still towers over Montreal will become modern-day Canada’s first saint.
Pope Benedict has approved sainthood for Montreal’s Brother Andre, the founder of St. Joseph’s Oratory who was credited with miracle healings before his death in 1937.
The Pope made the announcement Friday during a ceremony at the Vatican and set the formal canonization for October 17th in Rome.
The announcement triggered a celebratory statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Brother Andre follows in the footsteps of Marguerite d’Youville, who was born in 1701 and was the first saint born on the Canadian territory, almost two centuries before Confederation.
One religious leader happily compared Friday’s milestone to another recent Canadian first.
“We are proud,” said Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte.
“We won a gold medal at the Olympics. This is also a gold medal.”
The cardinal compared each step in Andre’s path to sainthood to an Olympic medal. It was like a bronze when he was declared venerable by the church in 1978, Turcotte said, and like a silver when he was beatified in 1982.
And on Friday: “Finally, a gold medal,” Turcotte said.
He made the remarks at St. Joseph’s Oratory, a grand church built into the mountain slope overlooking downtown Montreal.
It was there in the early 20th century that a young Holy Cross brother built what was, at the time, a simple little shrine to honour the father of Jesus Christ.
Since then Brother Andre, born Alfred Bessette on Aug. 9, 1845 in St-Gregoire-d’Iberville and orphaned at age 12, has been credited with thousands of miracle healings.
Last December, the Pope attributed to him a second miracle healing described as scientifically inexplicable, a necessary step before sainthood.
The Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement shortly after the Vatican’s announcement.
“His canonization confirms the devotion of the countless people who came to him for help during his life, the million who attended his funeral and the two million who visit St. Joseph’s Oratory every year,” Harper said.
“Brother Andre’s life shows us the power of faith and the importance of concern for the sick and others in need.
“In this solemn act, the Roman Catholic Church is honouring a Canadian who achieved greatness through humility, determination and service to others.”
Harper noted that his devotion to St. Joseph led him to build a “magnificent” oratory and that Friday’s news “heightens the inspiration we feel on seeing that religious landmark.”
A member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Brother Andre died in Montreal in 1937 at the age of 91.
In 1904, Brother Andre founded St. Joseph’s Oratory, where he lived and was ultimately laid to rest. His funeral drew an enormous crowd of mourners – estimated by some at nearly one million.
“He was not a big personality. He didn’t have an ego. He was a humble man,” Turcotte said.
“But he had enough faith to move a mountain.”
At the time of his death, the Archbishop of Montreal, George Gauthier, suggested reviving a little known custom of the Middle Ages.
In medieval France and Italy, when people of note passed away their hearts were often removed from their bodies before burial and preserved as a token of admiration or recognition.
It was decided to preserve Brother Andre’s heart in a reliquary at the Oratory.
During the night of March 15, 1973, someone removed the reliquary containing the heart of Brother Andre from its shrine.
Eventually, it was discovered in the basement of a home in South Montreal on December 21st, 1974, based on a tip received by the police.
It was put back on display with the addition of a security system, so that it could continue to serve as an object of contemplation for pilgrims.
Cardinal Ouellet: Gay Marriage Reflects Confusion About Man, Woman
Canadian Prelate Addresses Family Conference
MEXICO CITY, JAN. 14, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The family crisis is not just a problem of morals; it goes much deeper and is rooted in misunderstandings about the very nature of men and women, says the archbishop of Quebec.
Cardinal Marc Ouellet affirmed this today at the 6th World Meeting of Families, underway in Mexico City.
He spoke of the disorder in values, saying it explains certain nations adopting laws that recognize homosexual couples as marriages, and even permit them to adopt children.
This “cultural battle,” the prelate said, involves a “vision of the world without God that tries to replace the Judeo-Christian heritage,” with grave consequences at the “human, social and religious level.”
The result, Cardinal Ouellet lamented, is that added to the “growing fragility of couples are the education problems linked to the loss of models and the influence of currents of thought that reject the very bases of the family institution.”
This anthropological crisis, he said, “particularly widespread in the West,” has been promoted by the gender theory, which adulterates “the reality of matrimony and the family, re-proposing the notion of the human couple starting from the subjective desires of the individual, making the sexual difference practically insignificant, to the point of trying to equate heterosexual union and homosexual relations.”
The cardinal noted that “according to this theory, the sexual difference inscribed in the biological reality of the man and the woman does not have significant influence in the sexual identity of the individuals because it is the result of a subjective orientation and a social construction.”
“Under the influence of these sometimes openly anti-Christian ideologies, certain states move to legislation that reconsiders the meaning of marriage, procreation, affiliation and the family, without taking into account the fundamental anthropological realities that give structure to human relationships,” he lamented. “Various international organizations participate in this movement for the destruction of matrimony and family for the benefit of certain well-organized pressure groups that pursue their own interests in detriment to the common good.
“The Catholic Church strongly criticizes these cultural currents, which too easily obtain the support of the modern press.”
Faced with this panorama, the cardinal proposed a rediscovery of Pope John Paul II’s “Familiaris Consortio,” which defines marriage “as a personal union in which the spouses reciprocally give and receive.”
It aims to reach “the very roots of reality,” the cardinal said, affirming the link between the personal love of the spouses and the transmission of life.
In this way, he said, the three values of marriage — procreation, faithful love and indissolubility — find their “axis” in fruitful conjugal love.
Found on: Walking with Intergrity
Below is the relevant portion of Bishop Chapman’s charge to his diocesan synod on Thursday…
“Synod 2007 adopted a motion ‘requesting the Bishop grant permission for clergy, whose conscience permits, to bless duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; and that he authorize an appropriate rite and guidelines for its use in supportive parishes.’
“For a year now I have reflected on how I should respond to the mind of Synod. I have prayed for God’s guidance, sought the counsel of fellow bishops, and listened carefully to all who have spoken from various perspectives. In forming my response to this motion I have been strengthened in my conviction that God remains faithful in guiding His Church to the truth, that our chief call on this matter is a pastoral one, and that we are challenged to proclaim a prophetic voice to the Church and to the world.
“When we gather at Synod, we pray that our church will be guided by the Spirit of God. I believe God is faithful to us in this and as we discern how to proceed, the decisions we make, informed and shaped by healthy debate and conversation, are the result of the leading of that same Spirit for which we have prayed.
“With the benefit of scientific and medical knowledge we know sexual orientation is a given and a gift from God in the lives of all people. Our challenge is to determine how all persons may rejoice in and celebrate this God given gift so it honours our creator and gives dignity to the creatures of God. I believe our dealing with the issues of human sexuality is fundamentally a pastoral matter. How is God calling us to proclaim the gospel, the good news of Jesus, to those whose sexual givenness has resulted in their marginalization and has often made them victims in their communities, families and churches?
“I am mindful that we do not normally act in isolation. The question of blessing same-sex civil marriages is before our sister and brother Christians in many Dioceses and Provinces of the Church. My observation of how various parts of the church deal with the question leads me to believe that we will not go forward at the same pace nor with uniformity. At the Lambeth Conference this summer the Bishops of the communion articulated a strong desire that we remain together as a communion. Equally strong were convictions held on all sides of human sexuality issues.
Moratoria emerging from Lyambeth, while reflecting a majority view, hold neither the command of consensus nor the proscriptive authority of legislation. In other words, it appears that a majority of Bishops desire a moratorium but a legislation or decision has yet to be taken. As well, majority support for a moratorium was not evident among the Bishops from Canada, the United States, South Africa, Brazil, Scotland, Ireland and the Congo to name just a few provinces.
At this juncture I believe some are being called to speak with a prophetic voice, challenging long held assumptions, unseating prejudices, and advocating on behalf of those whose circumstances to not permit them to advocate for themselves. Others are being called to speak with a voice of caution calling the Church to evaluate and test all positions with the longstanding three-fold reliance on tradition, reason, and scripture.
While the prophetic voice and the voice of caution may not find a common place within the Chruch from which to speak they can both be embraced within the breadth of the body of Christ. For reasons, perhaps known only to God, I believe we, in the Diocese of Ottawa, are among those who have been called by God to speak with the voice of a prophet. Synod 2007 reflects this communal desire. It is our voice that is called to affirm that all people are loved, valued and precious before God and the Church. It is our voice that is calling to affirm that all unions of faithful love and life-long commitment are worthy of God’s blessing.
“It is my intention to place before the Canadian House of Bishops, next week, my prayerful hope regarding the issue of ‘blessings’. It is important that I honour the collegiality of the Canadian House; we are, after all, an episcopally led and synodically governed church. It is my intention at this meeting to discuss my hope which includes my desire to make the following statement: ‘That we, in Ottawa, begin to explore experientially, the blessing of duly solemnized and registered civil marriages between same-sex couples, where at least one party is baptized; to charge the Doctrine and Worship Committee with the responsibility to develop an appropriate rite for this blessing. Upon the authorization of a rite, I will give my permission for one parish within the Diocese to offer the blessing of civil marriages between same-sex couples. Discernment continues!’
This hope is not and must not be understood as a conclusive statement affirming that the church must and ought to proceed with the blessings of same-sex civilly married couples. As the church was not able to come to a clear mind regarding the benefits of the ordination of women to the priesthood until the church experienced the priestly ministry of women, so must we take the process of discernment to a place beyond discussion. We have talked about this issue since I was a seminary student in the mid-seventies. In order to further the discernment process, we must ‘experience’ the issue as church before clarity of heart and mind might be attained.
For this reason, I hope to proceed, but slowly and cautiously. This would be an initial step from which we can observe and learn. If we are to interpret our scriptures using prayerful reason in interpretation and application as generations before us, most especially on matters that reflect a historical context and appear inconsistent with a scriptural mandate, e.g., divorce, slavery, usury or the role of women, then, we must encourage discernment fully and completely.
What I propose will allow for a continuation of our discernment process without obligation or a non-negotiable commitment. Our process will allow ourselves to be better informed as we go forward to General Synod 2010 where this issue will be discussed again.
“Within one month following the completion of the House of Bishops’ meeting next week, I will make a conclusive statement to the Diocese regarding next steps.”
The assembly of the Anglican Parishes of the Central Interior (APCI) has requested its bishop, Gordon Light, to allow clergy whose conscience permits to bless civilly-married gay couples where at least one party is baptized. The assembly passed the motion when it met Oct. 17 to 19.
A notice of a similar motion was filed at the synod of the diocese of Ontario but was declared out of order by the diocesan bishop, George Bruce, who acted on the advice of the diocesan chancellor (legal advisor). The ruling was appealed at the synod held Oct. 16 to 18 but was upheld by a majority vote of delegates.
At the APCI assembly, Bishop Light gave concurrence to the motion but suspended any action pending consultations with the Canadian house of bishops, which meets Oct. 27 to 31 to discuss, among others, how best to respond to renewed proposals for moratoria on the blessing of same-sex unions, the ordination of persons living in same-sex unions to the episcopate, and cross-border interventions.
Since the 2007 General Synod four dioceses have already passed similar motions – Ottawa, Montreal, Niagara, and Huron. The diocesan synod of New Westminster approved same-sex blessings in 2002.
Of the 50 clergy and lay delegates at the APCI assembly, 36 voted yes (72 per cent), 10 voted no (20 per cent), and four (8 per cent) abstained. APCI is composed of 18 parishes (including 35 congregations) which was constituted after the former diocese of Cariboo closed its diocesan office in 2001 because of financial pressures surrounding lawsuits about abuse at the St. George’s Indian Residential School in Lytton, B.C.
“We had a very respectful discussion. All voices were heard,” said Rev. Susan Hermanson, rector of St. Peter’s Anglican church in Williams Lake, who moved the motion. She said that approval of the motion “allows us to accept gays and lesbians fully as part of our family and, as in all families, we can disagree with one another and still be part of the family.”
In a telephone interview, she added that the motion was also meant to “take a reading” of where APCI was on the issue. She noted that in 2000, the diocesan synod of Cariboo had approved a motion affirming the full inclusion of gay and lesbian couples in the life of the church. Since then, parishes have been discussing and studying the issue further, she said. “We have, in fact, been discussing this issue for the last 30 years now,” she said.
In her written background and explanation, Ms. Hermanson noted that APCI “is a diverse community and therefore respects and honours those who, because of their theological position or as a matter of conscience, cannot agree with the blessing of same-sex unions.”
Anglicans opposed to same-sex blessings believe that homosexuality is contrary to scripture and to Anglican teaching. To date, 14 of about 2,800 congregations have left the Canadian Anglican church over theological disagreements over homosexuality. These churches have joined a group called the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) and placed themselves under the episcopal oversight of the primate of the Southern Cone, Archbishop Gregory Venables.
Meanwhile, Bishop Bruce said he referred the notice of motion to approve same-sex blessings to the diocesan chancellor (legal advisor) to determine “whether what it sought was within the authority of both synod and myself as bishop.”
In his charge to the synod, Bishop Bruce said that the chancellor had advised him that the motion is ultra vires (beyond the power) of both him and the synod. “Firstly, because at its inception, matters relating to doctrine were ceded by dioceses to the General Synod and secondly, as you heard, General Synod 2007 clearly affirmed that blessing same-sex unions was a matter of doctrine,” he said. “Therefore, until such time as the General Synod addresses the question of whether the theology of marriage can be extended to all legally qualified persons and decides for or against amending Canon XXI (the national church canon on marriage), the request made in this motion remains within the authority of General Synod.”
At its triennial meeting in June 2007, General Synod, the Anglican Church of Canada’s national governing body, agreed that same-sex blessings are “not in conflict” with core church doctrine, but declined by a slim margin to affirm the authority of dioceses to offer them.
Nathan Brinklow, who filed the motion and is a parishioner of St. Thomas’, Belleville, Ont., said he was “disappointed but not surprised” by the synod’s decision. “I am a little concerned that bishop so obviously ignored the precendent set by several other dioceses when we’re all interpreting the same Constitution and canons,” he said. “There is a growing level of frustration amongst many that we’ve run out of ways to put this decision off. We either need to move forward and practice what we preach or we need to own up to the way things really are and stop pretending we’re something we’re not. ”
While the motion was declared out of order, the synod of Ontario engaged in indaba group discussions designed “to help us discern God’s will around same-sex matters,” said Bishop Bruce. (Indaba, which is Zulu for “a gathering for purposeful discussion,”was a process used at the recent Lambeth Conference of bishops.)
In a related development, the diocesan bishop of Brandon, Jim Njegovan, addressed the issue of cross-border interventions in his charge to the diocesan synod held Oct. 16 to 18.
“Sadly, our diocese, even though we as a synod have not even begun to address permitting parishes to bless same-sex couples, has been one of those parts of the communion affected by cross-provincial intervention and it is all the more painful because it has been done by those who many of us considered friends and colleagues,” said Bishop Njegovan.
St. Bede’s, a small rural congregation of the South Parkland parish in the diocese of Brandon, voted to leave Oct. 15.
Bishop Njegovan noted that his predecessor, Malcolm Harding, had relinquished his order of ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada, “meaning that for all intents and purposes he was ‘laicized;’ that is, he could no longer exercise any ordained ministerial function within the church and could not use ministerial titles or wear clerical vesture.” He said that following ancient practice and polity of the church, this would apply not only to ministries within the Anglican Church of Canada “but also within all churches in full communion with us, such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and all the churches of the Anglican Communion.”
Bishop Njegovan said that his predecessor, now recognized as a bishop by Archbishop Venables, has been meeting in various communities in the diocese “with the intent of planting ‘ network’ (ANiC) churches.” He cautioned parishioners against believing what they have been told “that they would still be Anglicans recognized by the communion” once they leave the Canadian Anglican church and fall under the jurisdiction of another province like the Southern Cone.
He said that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has stated in a letter to him that his office and that of the Anglican Communion only recognizes “one ecclesial body in Canada as a constitute part of the communion, that being the Anglican Church of Canada.”
Bishop Njegovan said that while the Southern Cone is a recognized part of the communion and Archbishop Venables was invited and present at the Lambeth Conference of bishops “those claiming to be under his jurisdiction in Canada were not and are not so recognized.”
In his strongly-worded charge, Bishop Njegovan added, “It could be argued that the promotion of schism within the church has always been considered an even greater heresy in that it flies directly in the face of the scriptural call to unity…”
Tonight my Theology 315 class met. Gospel and Acts. The class was packed, many of the Certificate for Pastoral Ministry students are in this class as well. It’s different this year seeing the same faces in all of my classes, this is an unusual phenomena. I guess that when you specialize, you see the same faces in your field of study.
An old friend showed up for class tonight, he is on his own faith journey of personal growth and discovery. It seems that he and I are reading the same books as of late. I read The Betrayal, the lost life of Jesus, by Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. Which shares a spin on well known religious doctrine. So after class my friend shared with me his new view of institution. I couldn’t help but agree with him.
I just found it refreshing that new ideas of church, faith and Jesus are making their way through the halls of higher learning. Class was really good tonight. We had some great discussion. I am looking forward to more discussion in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for more…
We need to keep Randall, his family and his calling in prayer…
So I’m in my beloved office, easily the nicest office of any Canadian Covenant Pastor I believe.
Yes, I resigned this morning. One of the toughest things I’ve ever done.
Things were shifting it felt like, since this past winter, and I couldn’t determine what it was exactly. It felt like the church was at a great place, a kind of wide open space and I wasn’t getting any sense of new direction for us.
And we struggled through Lauralea’s health scare, then a daughter got married and two sons were graduating and my course was drawing to a close. I felt like it was a good opportunity to spend some discernment time about what I wanted to do for the next part of my working life. I quietly listed some of the dreams we’ve held on to for a while, and wondered if now was the time for some of those things to come alive.
It was a tough spring, feeling like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop, and something to fall into place and give us clarity, but nothing gave us clarity or peace.
Calls came from other churches, asking of we were open, and each one was processed & prayed through by us and some of the church leadership here, and nothing stuck, nothing seemed right or gave us that peace.
And then late one night an email came from a friend who asked if I would be willing to consider a church that needed some of the things I had to offer.
I knew this church and have known it for some time, and I need to say that I have thanked God many times that he had never called me to pastor it. For my own biased reasons, I never wanted to pastor that church, or truth be told, live in that province.
And just so you know how arrogant I can be, I have told God in the past, never that church. Please.
The reasons are my own, but I remember crawling into bed and telling Lauralea of the email and who had sent it. Once she heard who was asking she said “That’s probably it then eh?” I said something smart like not if I can help it.
So we processed this call like any other, and I fought for a long while to get my heart to the place where it didn’t matter if we went there or not. Obviously I had things to deal with about my perception of the place. Or at least, about my arrogance in telling God what I would or wouldn’t do.
Fighting with God gets old, and I tried to get my head to the place where I could actually believe that God didn’t care where I was working. But like Lauralea asked one night, “How do you feel about living in the belly of a fish for a few days?”
Really this process has been about coming to terms with my wants and wishes being contrary to Gods. And how to live in that space.
Fortunately or not, this church wouldn’t get out of my system, I couldn’t shake it. I had less peace when I considered dropping it, than when I considered walking it through. And the people who were discerning with us were agreeing. So we met with the church and they with us, and we were impressed with who they are. Good, prairie people, with a few systems issues and a long past history to live out.
It is a rural church, located in a field, in Alberta, at the crossroads of two grid roads. There is a manse beside the church, and a cemetery beside the manse.
It’s a rural church, did I mention that? I’ve pastored in Southern Ontario with tons of people, then in Winnipeg with lots of people, then in Prince Albert with a few thousand people. But who am I when I pastor a church in a field?
Like I told a friend, my world seems to be continually getting smaller, or perhaps more focused.
So there is much to be nervous about, yet there is a great deal of peace that goes with this decision. I am good, really, about going there and I’m starting to look forward to it. I’m not so good yet about saying goodbye to this place.
Gateway. Prince Albert. Saskatchewan.
And in all honesty I’m trying to process how it was that I felt like I wanted to go in one direction, and the direction God had for me, for now, is an opposite one.
Then the fortune cookie I got last March makes bizarre sense. It sits in a frame on my desk now because it has sat on my desk all spring and summer, taunting me with the words:
“You will find your solution where you least expect it.”
And so it begins…
Tonight was my first night back at school and we are now into the meat and potatos of my Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. Theo 402, the first of two classes that will shape the future that I will walk. Our instructor is Monsignor Sean Hardy. A most ebullent man of faith and distinction. There are about 20 people in the class and it seems to be a very interesting group of people. Some I know, and some I do not know personally, yet.
I have great hopes for this class and the future of my studies.
It is still unbearably HOT and HUMID again tonight. These are those days and nights that one has to shower more than once a day. I took a cold shower before going to bed last night. Today we got our hair done so everyone is polished and pretty. Just a short entry tonight.
By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer
NEW YORK – Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, struggling to hold together the troubled world Anglican family, urged church leaders gathered Sunday in England not to consecrate another gay bishop, saying the fellowship will be in “grave peril” without a moratorium.
In his final speech at the once-a-decade, Williams said Anglicans need “space for study and free discussion without pressure” about whether to accept changes in traditional biblical understanding of same-sex relationships. He also asked churches to refrain from adopting official prayers for blessing same-gender unions.
“If the North American churches don’t accept the need for moratoria, then to say the least, we are no further forward,” Williams said at a news conference ending the 20-day assembly in Canterbury. “That means as a communion we continue to be in grave peril.”
The 77 million-member Anglican Communion has been splintering since 2003, when the U.S. Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, V. of New Hampshire.
Williams barred Robinson and a few other bishops from the meeting, and designed the event without legislation or votes, instead focusing on rebuilding frayed relationships.
Still, more than 200 theologically conservative bishops boycotted the gathering, upset that Williams had invited Episcopal leaders who consecrated Robinson. In June, just before Lambeth began, those same conservative bishops formed a new global network within the communion that challenges Williams’ authority but stops short of a permanent split.
Williams does not have the authority to force an agreement among the conflicted groups. The 38 Anglican national churches, including the U.S. Episcopal Church, are self-governed and loosely connected by shared roots in the missionary work of the.
But the 650 bishops at Lambeth said Sunday in a statement, which they called their “reflections” on the meeting, that “there is widespread support across the communion” for an extended moratorium on gay bishops and on blessing ceremonies for same-gender couples.
“A fellow Christian may believe they have a profound fresh insight,” Williams said in his final address. “But the Christian with the new insight can’t claim straight away that this is now what the Church of God believes or intends.”
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori issued a brief statement that did not address the requested bans. She said the communion “is suffering the birth pangs of something new” and urged patience in the church.
Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno told Episcopal Cafe, the blog of the Diocese of Washington, D.C., “for people who think that this is going to lead us to disenfranchise any gay or lesbian person, they are sadly mistaken.” Same-sex marriage was legalized in California in June.
Thealso has parishes that permit blessings for same-sex couples.
No one expected the Lambeth Conference to definitively heal the rifts among Anglicans. Still, other Christians watched the gathering closely.
The communion is the third-largest religious group in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. Many Protestant churches are also struggling with how they should interpret what Scripture says about gay relationships and other issues.
Anglican internal problems are also hurting their ties with other Christians.
Catholic Cardinal Christian tradition. What is at stake “is nothing other than our faithfulness to Christ himself,” Kasper said., president of the , spoke at Lambeth, urging the bishops to maintain
Vatican and Anglican officials have been in talks for years about reunifying — an effort complicated by the Church of England‘s recent move to accept female bishops. Anglicans split from Rome when England’s King Henry VIII bolted in 1534 after he was refused a marriage annulment.
The bishops at Lambeth discussed a proposed global covenant that would set some requirements for membership in the communion. Williams said Sunday that he plans a meeting early next year of the 38 Anglican national leaders, or primates, to move ahead with the idea. But it will be years before any agreement is reached.
Williams and the bishops also urged a moratorium on church leaders taking oversight of breakaway parishes in an Anglican territory that is not their own.
Conservative Anglican leaders from Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and elsewhere now have authority over seceding Episcopal parishes. One diocese, San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., has broken away, and two more — Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, Texas — are poised to do the same this fall.
Robinson traveled to Canterbury even though he wasn’t invited, meeting with overseas bishops and serving as what he called a “constant and friendly” reminder of gays in the church. His spokesman did not return a call Sunday seeking comment.
Sometimes I just want to wander around aimlessly by the shore. But we live too far away from the water for me to be able to do that. So It’s 4:43 a.m. and I am still up, I was reading from one of my books, and it got me to thinking about self. Are we who we present ourselves to be? Do we stand for something greater than ourselves? Do we remember the person we are at all times? Have I failed in some way to be that person I was meant to be to all of my friends and fellows?
Am I the man I am supposed to be? The Gospel from today is Matthew 13:24-43
The Parable of the Weeds
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
” ‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’ “
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
He told them still another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:
“I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
The Parable of the Weeds Explained
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
This Gospel comes to us at the right time. Are we sowers of good seed? I’ve been reading from a history of John Paul II – The Power and the Glory, Inside the Dark Heart of John Paul II … I have read most of this text which is quite large. The text that I have been reading through the chapter titled “Beyond Belief.” So many men are called to the ministry, and many of them have sinned the greatest sin. Against themselves, against children and against God.
We have heard in recent days that His Holiness Benedict XVI has apologized for the sins of the priests of the church.
“Until the 1980′s, John Paul II and many of his cardinals and Bishops, including [Then: Cardinal Ratzinger,] chose to ignore centuries of sexual abuse by priests. There is undeniably a direct unbroken line which stretches back over centuries from the present scandals of paedophile priests back to the first millenium.” pg. 273
Our writer goes on the tell us that Cardinal Ratzinger the head of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the faith warned his people of the severe penalty that would be handed down if these cases of abuse went to trial in the civil arena. Pope Benedict was complicit in keeping these secrets from the light of day under the Highest Secrecy that the Vatican could keep up. And now as Pope Benedict, he must find his way through these issues where he was so complicit over the 25 years that John Paul II was Pope.
John Paul II was of the thought that the priesthood was an exalted position and that nothing could go wrong in the eyes of a priest [his priests]. John Paul II protected men and kept secrets.
“The Roman Catholic Church looked after its own, and offending clerics could not be brought before civil courts unless specific permission was obtained to do so.” pg. 270
The world is watching Lambeth and those who sit outside the meeting are wondering what is going on inside, as +Gene Robinson and many others were not invited to join the conference.
Taken from +Gene’s Blog: Canterbury Tales from the Fringe.
Never have I felt more in need of your prayers. As I write this, the opening service of the Lambeth Conference is going on at Canterbury Cathedral. I am a few miles away — but it feels like a much further difference. I am not appearing at the opening service, as I promised the Archbishop.
If he did not want this to come to pass, he would have included those who are celebrating and meeting just across the field from where they are meeting. There is trouble because the Archbishop feels better to include some and not all, and he fears the “Other” more than he fears faith. Had the Archbishop of Canterbury had some BALLS he would walk across the field, and ask the others to join the meeting.
By RACHEL ZOLL, AP Religion Writer
CANTERBURY, England – The head of the Anglican Communion said Sunday that the global fellowship faces “one of the most severe challenges” in its history, and he urged bishops at their once-a-decadeto do the hard work of finding solutions.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said the Anglican family’s most immediate need is for “transformed relationships” so they don’t break apart over homosexuality and the Bible.
“We all know that we stand in the middle of one of the most severe challenges to have faced the Anglican family in its history,” he said in an address to the 650 bishops at the assembly.
But he said the world fellowship has survived other crises in its centuries-long history, and he has faith that church leaders can overcome the most recent troubles.
“Whatever the popular perception, the options before us are not irreparable schism or forced assimilation,” Williams said. “It is not an option to hope that we can somehow just carry on as we always have.”
Williams made the comments as church leaders in Canterbury emerged from days of prayer and turned to the business of their meeting. In Bible study and small group discussion, they will try to rebuild the ties among Anglican national churches that shattered after the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire.
The work of the meeting, which runs through Aug. 3, is complicated by a boycott. About one-quarter of the invited bishops — theological conservatives mostly from Africa — stayed away because Williams invited bishops from the U.S. and elsewhere who accept gay relationships.
Williams called their absence a “wound” and asked participants to pray for the boycotters. He barred Robinson and a few other problematic bishops from the conference.
Still, Robinson is in, staying on the outskirts of the meeting, working with advocates for Anglican gays and lesbians and hoping to meet as many overseas Anglican bishops as possible.
The 77-million-member Anglican Communion is a global fellowship of churches that trace their roots to the missionary work of the. It is the second-largest group of churches in the world, behind Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians.
Anglicans have long held together divergent views of Scripture and ritual. But those divisions have been widening as Anglican churches in the developing world, where strict Bible interpretation is the norm, have become the biggest and fastest-growing in the communion.
Last month, a group of Anglican conservatives from Africa, Australia and elsewhere formed a new network within the fellowship that challenges Williams’ authority, but stops short of schism. Some of the network organizers are attending Lambeth, but most are staying away.
Other religious groups are facing similar divisions over how they should interpret Scripture, and they are closely watching the outcome of the assembly. Several Vatican officials are among the ecumenical participants at.
The meeting was designed without any votes or legislation, and no one expects the Anglicans to resolve their problems by the assembly’s end. Organizers instead hope their discussions will help clarify what direction they should take to stay together.
“A Lambeth Conference is not a political meeting about organization or structure alone, but it is a spiritual meeting,” said Archbishop Phillip Aspinall, head of the Anglican Church of Australia. “We must go into this confident that a way has been found to the Father … . We must be confident that that way is there.”
It was a very good day. I was up all night programming two new rooms in my IMVU account, because my friend Hunter gifted me with a few thousand free credits, which was a really nice gift. I got a few hours of sleep and started my day as usual.
I met with my spiritual adviser this afternoon and we talked for over an hour about life and my work in the community and she gave me some sage wisdom and cautioned me as well. So I took her advice to heart and all was well. I come to find out that the Rev. Canon will be traveling to the UK to attend Lambeth because she is on a commission of female clergy that will be making a presentation at Lambeth.
I also encouraged her to extend an invitation to +Rev Gene Robinson to come back to Montreal to preach at the Cathedral again, she told me that she had made an invitation to him by email and was told that his schedule is really busy, but we hope that a face to face meeting with Bishop Robinson will change his mind and maybe he can find some time to come and see us again.
This years Outmass has been put on hold until we can secure Bishop Robinson to come and preach for us, the mass usually falls during Pride which is in 2 weeks here in Montreal. But because of the Bishop’s busy schedule the Cathedral thought that they would hold off on the mass for a better date.
If you had a chance to go and listen to the sermon which I posted last night for you, Bishop Robinson touched on a number of points. In the church, our church, although some would like to think that we are up to some Gay Agenda, or homosexual truth, we are not. Like many of my Gay and Lesbian brothers and sisters, Jesus is what we think about, its what we talk about and it why we do what it is that we do.
The whole squabble over sexual orientation and the elevation of one man to the position to Bishop and his subsequent marriage to his partner is not all that important. Although some in the Anglican Communion would want you to think that way. Some priests and Bishops in the communion so staunchly hold to the seven deadly scriptures to bolster their argument about homosexuality. What is the real issue, that we are gay or that we are Christians? Or that God so loved us too that he sent his only son to be our savior? We were born of the same stardust that you were. God breathed life into us and He is the one who guides our days and nights, speaks the words that need to be spoken.
We should “Be Not Afraid…”
In his final words Bishop Robinson quotes the prophet Jeremiah and his calling by God. From the first chapter of Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1:4-10
The Call of Jeremiah
The word of the LORD came to me, saying,”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”
But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD.
Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
We are no longer boys and girls. We can no longer afford to hide in the shadows and make excuses for the work that God has asked us to do. To speak the words that need to be said. Bishop Robinson said that each and every one of us knows someone who needs to hear a good word. We all know someone who can benefit from the words only we can speak to them because of our relationship with the people we know best. When we do not have the words to speak, God puts “into our spirits” that which we need.
We should tarry not the work of the Master gardener. So step out there and speak your truth to those who will hear it, share the message of peace and love with those who need it. Go out into the crowd and do good things. Acts 3:1-10
Peter Heals the Crippled Beggar
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
What if what we share with another has the miraculous spark to help someone walk, or to see, or to hear or to feel, what glorious feeling that would be to those of us who work in the field. Be peacemakers. Be Christ like minded people and go out and speak your truth to the world. We are all equals under God. No one is better than the other. We are all just journeymen and women. We follow the same god of our understanding when all is said and done.
As Sisiter Georgette is apt to say to me “Go, DO, Good Works.”
by The Canadian Press
(New York City) Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was installed as head of the U.S. church less than two years ago, inheriting a mess not of her own making.
The global Anglican Communion was in an uproar over the 2003 consecration of the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire. Long-simmering differences over Scripture and the global Anglican fellowship erupted into a threat of full-blown schism.
Jefferts Schori, a theological liberal who supported Robinson’s election, has tried to ease the tensions in meetings with other Anglican leaders.
Starting next Wednesday, she will be explaining the church’s actions in her broadest venue yet: the Lambeth Conference, a once-a-decade meeting of Anglican bishops from around the world. Jefferts Schori said she’s looking forward to the “face-to-face conversation” at the event.
“We’re far more diverse than we’re presented in some quarters,” she said in a recent interview at Episcopal headquarters in New York. “We have people all over the theological spectrum and liturgical spectrum.”
It won’t be an easy sell.
About 200 conservative Anglican bishops won’t even be there. They are boycotting the 18-day event outside London because the U.S. bishops who consecrated Robinson were invited. (For the sake of unity, the Anglican spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, barred Robinson and a handful of other bishops from the assembly.)
But that won’t mean a conflict-free Lambeth for Episcopal bishops.
Tradition-minded church leaders who want the Anglican family to stay together despite its rifts will attend. They will undoubtedly ask Jefferts Schori about complaints that the 2.2-million-member U.S. church is mistreating its conservative minority.
Of the tensions within the American church, Jefferts Schori said “we’ve attempted to deal with it in the Christian community” but haven’t always been successful.
Although the exact figure is in dispute, Episcopal officials say that fewer than 100 of the more than 7,000 U.S. Episcopal parishes have voted to split off since Robinson was elected.
The entire Diocese of San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., voted to withdraw from the denomination, and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, is poised to do the same this fall.
The national church is suing to retain hold of the San Joaquin diocese and its many millions of dollars in property. Another lawsuit is moving through the courts over 11 breakaway churches in Virginia. Critics have called the legal fights “un-Christian” and have asked Episcopal leaders to halt the lawsuits.
But Jefferts Schori said, “We really don’t have the authority or the moral right to give away those gifts that have been given by generations past and for the benefit of generations now and the benefit of generations to come.”
Last month in Jerusalem, conservatives from around the world held the Global Anglican Future Conference and said they hoped to create a North American province for breakaway conservatives in the Episcopal Church and the liberal-leaning Anglican Church of Canada.
Already, Anglican archbishops, called primates, from Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and South America, have taken oversight of seceding U.S. parishes. At Lambeth, Jefferts Schori said she will ask Williams “to encourage other parts of the communion to cease their incursions.”
“It’s totally opposed to a traditional Christian understanding of how bishops relate to each other,” she said. “That’s the biggest difficulty. They’re setting up as something else in the same geographical territory.”
Williams has already spoken out against the idea of a North American province, but Anglican conservatives defend the idea as critical for the spiritual well-being of traditionalists.
While Robinson won’t attend the Lambeth meeting, he will be just outside the event.
He is preaching at a British church, despite a request from Williams that he refrain from doing so. A group of Episcopal bishops will host two receptions for Robinson outside the Lambeth Conference grounds so other Anglican bishops can meet and speak with him.
Jefferts Schori said she didn’t ask Robinson to refrain from preaching and said his presence on the outskirts of the conference “doesn’t make my life more difficult.”
“I think it’s an opportunity for others to meet him as a human being, as a member of this church, as an honored member of this church,” she said.
Liberal Christians believe that committed same-sex relationships are permitted under the Bible’s social justice teachings. Conservatives disagree and they are a majority in the 77-million-member Anglican fellowship. The communion, a group of churches that trace their roots to the Church of England, has a long tradition of accommodating different views, but it’s unclear whether that broad practice will continue.
“Some people think that you can read the Bible without understanding the original context and simply take literally what you read. We will interpret and it’s an important part of faithful living,” Jefferts Schori said. “To assume there is only one way of reading is hubris.”
To prepare for the meeting, the presiding bishop said she has been speaking and praying with other Episcopal leaders. She is urging them to have realistic expectations for the event.
“Conversations that are challenging can’t be solved in one meeting,” she said. “These issues aren’t going to be finished by the end of the summer.”
“This year we mark and celebrate the founding of the Canadian state 400 years ago; from Champlain to today.”
From Celebrate Canada Day
It has been over six years since I moved to Montreal, and Canada the larger nation. And I thought that I would write a post about being a Canadian and why that is so important to me. Living in Canada as a gay, hiv positive man has done wonders for my life. I have achieved heights here I would never have been able to in the United States as the situation was in the past. Living hand to mouth, having to choose between bills and food, over medications was a real downer.
Moving from one BIG city to a truly Cosmopolitan BIG Candian city was remarkable. Montreal had a mystique all its own. There was so much to see and there still is so much to see here that I would never think of leaving this great city. I have grown up in this city in ways I never thought possible.
Living in Canada brought with it radical changes in the way I see the world from above the Northern Border. Learning where my loyalties lain was very important seeing that I was here as the Iraq war had begun, taking part in demonstrations against the war was life changing. Not knowing where to stand at one point of this journey, I had to take the time to learn about what I was feeling and where those loyalties laid. That took a while to figure out but when the map finally appeared before me, I was good to go.
Coming from the United States, knowing what I knew changed when the run up to the war took place. Everything I knew came into question. Everything I had grown up to believe was challenged. The very way I lived my life was on the line. I had one foot in the U.S. and one foot in Canada. And I was at odds with my self because I did not know where I stood on many issues. I had to find my way. That took some time. I eventually chose to place both feet firmly on Canadian soil and make my stand here. And that decision changed my life. I may hold dual citizenship but my soul is firmly a Canadian soul. I sewed Canadian flags on my backpack and I became one of many. My collective here in Canada.
Canada has grown as a country. Montreal has grown as a city. I have grown into the man I am. I have learned about the myriad of religious beliefs that reside here. I have met, studied and befriended many different people from all walks of life. Returning to University was the biggest decision I had made at one point in my journey. And now I hold a B.A. in Religious Studies which has changed the way I see religion today.
When Canada passed legislation on Same Sex marriage, Hubby and I were amongst the first ten couples in Montreal to get a marriage license. We eventually married in November of 2004, with friends and family in attendance. That was a big change in our lives to be recognized as a couple legally. Gay rights IS a big deal no matter where you live. And we have seen what kind of divisivness can come about from the discussion of Gay Marriage in the United States.
Being gay in Canada has changed the way we see the world around us. Because here in Canada we are afforded right according to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. We have an entire neighborhood devoted to all things gay. We have a vibrant multicultural gay community, and a vibrant multicultural city, a mosaic of people, ethnicity and faith. Gay Pride is a daily way of life. We don’t have to hide in closets and in dark corners of neighborhoods. With the passage of gay rights and marriage rights here we move more fully into community and that is lacking in the United States. When will the United States realize that there are bigger fish to fry like impeaching the President and taking him the the Hague for War Crimes! When will gay move main stream and the people of an entire nation rise up and do the right thing for a change, instead of being led to slaughter like mindless sheep?
I tell you truly, that if you really want to see the world (The U.S. ) for what it is, then uproot your family, leave your sofas and beer cans and football games and move abroad for One Calendar year. See the United States from someplace else, like Canada, and I assure you that you will never see the U.S. the way you did before and forever after.
I became part of a church, I found my religious roots so to speak. With my religious studies my faith has changed. Everything I knew and loved about Catholicism was changed. Being gay and informed has truly changed the way I see Christianity and the way I practice my faith. I moved away from Holy Mother Church and into the Anglican communion and as a communion community here in Canada we came to agreement on the blessing of same sex couples in the last year. A change that has challenged the greater Anglican and Episcopal community at large.
As we see today that the Anglican community is more fractured than ever just because a Gay, now married man, The V. Rev. Gene Robinson is Bishop in New Hampshire. My views and practice of Christian faith has been tempered by the way other Christians live their lives. It is my belief that I practice an active true faith in Christ. I love my god with all my heart, soul and strength and I love my neighbor as myself. How much easier can Christianity be? My faith is so much richer for the opportunity to study religion in University. That has also changed my life for the better.
Over the years we have seen many things change in Canada. The recognition of the past and apologies made to certain communities of people have changed Canada for the better. The head tax apology to the Chinese community was a big step in Asia Pacific understanding. And more recently the Truth and Reconciliation commission undertaking the huge step in repairing the sins of a Nation against the Native Peoples of Canada. The great apology from the Prime Minister to the native community just a little while ago was a big step in helping Canada and a peoples move forward from one of the darkest periods in Canadian history.
Canada is a great country to live in – Montreal is a wonderful city to be a part of. There is so much more freedom here than in the United States. My life is so much richer for being here. And I am more the man I was meant to be here. I work with my kids, I have great friends, and I have a great life. And I live. I have medical treatment here that is unheard of in the United States. I am in trials for new medications for people with Aids. I work every day to try to help find solutions for the sick and dying. That is my full time job here, to live and to make sure that as these meds come off the production line that they work so that you, out there can use them with the assurance that they really do work.
I am sober now seven years going on eight this Winter. I am committed to my home group and the ministry of AA in my community. I help others get sober and we teach them how to live in the moment and to stay in their days. So much has changed in sobriety. My life is so different from what it had been and I have everything to be grateful for in coming to Canada.
If you can dream it you can live it. Always fight for what you believe in, and if you can’t find it where you are, then come and find it elsewhere. There are always possibilities.
September 25th, 2010
It seems this post has been accessed by someone and I am reading this again tonight, having traveled farther down the journey here in Canada. Since that post was written, I have graduated from University with my BA in Religious studies, I have completed a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry in 2010. I am now studying languages and history at Dawson College here in Montreal. It truly has been a journey of a thousand steps all one day at a time.
I spent a year working on my M.A. in Theology and I found myself wanting more, I was not enjoying myself, and my papers were not what was necessary to keep up a GPA. I left the university with no way to continue my studies there, which sent me to Dawson, because unlike the U.S. you can get financial aide from the government to go to school at all levels of the educational ladder. And since I did not attend CeGep on the way up, I was able to continue my studies at that level. It’s all good.
Hubby has since completed a BA in English lit and a second BA in Sociology. And today he is working on his M.A. in Sociology at Concordia University. We are all so very proud of him, he has come a LONG way from the point that I wrote this first entry some years ago. We have been married now almost 6 years come November. He will have been sober almost eight years as well. We have traveled a thousand miles in our marriage. Life could not be better for either one of us today.
I am still alive, I have been testing HIV medications for the entire time that I have been here in Montreal, having a doctor who has treated patient zero, as my doctor has changed my life. Pills that were never available to the general public were made available because we tested them here in Montreal first. I tested them just for you, because you matter to the rest of us, every one of you. This year I crossed the 16 year mark living with aids. And I am doing very well, with the treatment that I have been on for more than three years now.
This calendar year, 2010 I will celebrate 9 years of sobriety on December the 9th. Sobriety has changed my life. Being in Canada has changed my life in ways I could never have imagined even when I wrote this original entry, I was no so far up the road, but far enough to root myself in Montreal.
I still maintain that if you want to see the world and the place you come from in a different light, you have to leave the comfort of home and move someplace else for at least a calendar year.
That is all for this update on Being Canadian…
Assembly of First Nations Chief Phil Fontaine, in headdress, watches as Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially apologizes for more than a century of abuse and cultural loss involving residential schools. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
Stephen Harper stood in the House of Commons on Wednesday to say sorry to former students of native residential schools — in the first formal apology from a Canadian prime minister over the federally financed program.
“Mr. Speaker, I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian residential schools,” Harper said in Ottawa, surrounded by a small group of aboriginal leaders and former students, some of whom wept as he spoke.
“The treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history.
“Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country,” he said to applause.
“The government now recognizes that the consequences of the Indian residential schools policy were profoundly negative and that this policy has had a lasting and damaging impact on aboriginal culture, heritage and language,” Harper said.
“While some former students have spoken positively about their experiences at residential schools, these stories are far overshadowed by tragic accounts of the emotional, physical and sexual abuse and neglect of helpless children, and their separation from powerless families and communities.”
Apology broadcast during nationwide events
Above the floor in the Commons gallery, hundreds of former students, church representatives and others watched Harper’s statement, which began at 3 p.m. ET. About 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their communities throughout most of the last century and forced to attend residential schools.
‘Today’s apology is about a past that should have been completely different.’—Stéphane Dion, Liberal leader
Harper’s speech was followed by a statement from Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
“Today’s apology is about a past that should have been completely different,” he said. “But it must be also about the future. It must be about collective reconciliation and fundamental changes.
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion addresses the House during the government’s apology to former students of native residential schools. (CBC)
“It must be about moving forward together, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, into a future based on respect. It is about trying to find in each of us some of the immense courage that we see in the eyes of those who have survived.”
NDP Leader Jack Layton denounced the residential schools program as “racist,” and called Wednesday’s event an important moment for Canada.
“It is the moment where we as a Parliament and as a country assume the responsibility for one of the most shameful eras of our history,” Layton said in an emotional address.
“It is the moment to finally say we are sorry and it is the moment where we start to begin a shared future on equal footing through mutual respect and truth.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe offered his own apology, adding that the most meaningful expressions of regret are followed by concrete action.
“This is something that must be done concretely by the government …The federal government has not invested enough for young aboriginal people.”
Televisions set up in a room outside the House and on the lawn of Parliament Hill broadcast the statement to overflow crowds, while more than 30 events were staged across the country so the apology could be viewed live.
While aboriginal leaders were not expected to have an opportunity to respond on the record in the House of Commons chamber, House leaders agreed at the last minute to allow it.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, himself a former residential school student, was one of several aboriginal leaders who took the floor, saying the occasion “testifies nothing less than the accomplishment of the impossible.”
“For the generation that will follow us, we bear witness today…Never again will this House consider us the Indian problem just for being who we are,” he said.
“We heard the government of Canada take full responsibility for this dreadful chapter in our shared history. We heard the prime minister declare that this will never happen again. Finally, we heard Canada say it is sorry,” Fontaine added.
Connie Brooks, who attended the Shubenacadie Residential School in the early 1960s, during a “Letting Go” ceremony in Shubenacadie, N.S., on Wednesday. (Mike Dembeck/Canadian Press)
Wednesday marked the first time a Canadian prime minister has formally apologized for the physical and sexual abuse that occurred in the now-defunct network of federally financed, church-run residential schools.
Former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien offered a statement of reconciliation on behalf of the government in 1998, although it was largely rejected by members of the aboriginal community as lip service. In advance of Harper’s apology, many have said they want to see a sincere, heartfelt apology from the prime minister.
Working business was cancelled in Parliament on Wednesday in order to mark the apology. The day began with a sunrise ceremony on an island in the Ottawa River behind Parliament Hill, where about 100 people gathered to say prayers for former residential school students who didn’t live to see the historic event.
In partnership with Health Canada, the Assembly of First Nations arranged for counsellors to be available at Parliament Hill and other gatherings planned across Canada to provide support for those overwrought with emotion.
Survivors can call crisis line
The Assembly of First Nations said survivors watching the apology who need support can call a 24-hour toll-free crisis line at 1-866-925-4419. Other support information is also available on the AFN website.
Overseen by the Department of Indian Affairs, residential schools aimed to force aboriginal children to learn English, and adopt Christianity and Canadian customs as part of a government policy called “aggressive assimilation.”
There were about 130 such schools in Canada, with some in every territory and province except Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, from as early as the 19th century to 1996.
In September, the government formalized a $1.9-billion compensation plan for victims. The government has also established a truth and reconciliation commission to examine the legacy of the residential schools.
The commission was scheduled to begin its work this month.
With files from the Canadian Press
Christ Church Cathedral, Sunday March 16th 2008 Palm Sunday Service
Celebrant: The Dean
Gospel Reader: The Rev. Joyce Sanchez
I took a quick shot of the sanctuary Sunday morning before the service started. I was pleasantly surprised that Judy and Donald came to church for the service. I was not so awake, but at least I was present, after staying up all night working on a website that I just could not sleep over Saturday night. Suffice to say, I was there, and I prayed for all of you as Lent draws itself to a close, there is still much to do this week, so if you are in Montreal for the Easter Holidays, come join the chapel for one of their Holy Week Events.
TORONTO – The head of thehas warned members who split with the church over its decision to bless same-sex unions that they will lose their church buildings and funds.
“In our Anglican tradition, individuals who choose to leave the Church over contentious issues cannot take property and other assets with them,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz said in a letter released Friday.
The letter comes two days afterShaughnessy, a large parish church in , voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and affiliate itself with a , which has a more conservative stance on homosexuality.
St. John’s is one of the first Canadian Anglican churches to vote to split since South America’s Province of the Southern Cone said in November it would accept Canadian churches who are at odds with their more liberal bishops or national church.
The issues of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex marriages has divided members of the 700-year-old Anglican Church around the world.
In June, over 700 Anglican bishops from around the world voted 9-to-1 against the blessing of same-sex unions at the decennial Lambeth Conference, held in.
In the U.S., clergy and lay members of the Diocese of San Joaquin became the first full diocese to break from the U.S. wing of the 77 million-member worldwide Anglican family when they voted to secede Dec. 6.