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Canadian Religion Issues

November 20, 2015 … 11 years

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11 years ago tonight, with family and friends present, we exchanged vows and spoke sacred words. Today, we continue to live into those words. Tonight, we had dinner at the fabulous FIRE GRILL, once again.

I have shared before that there are three restos, that are at the top of the budget when it comes to dining out …

  • Fire Grill
  • Rueben’s Smoked Meats
  • Baton Rouge

This short list is a foodies paradise of good eats.

I am grateful that I live in Canada. Due to recent events, in the world, people are at odds, and words are being spoken, that are totally, out of left field. I’m not sure most folks, politicians and leaders alike, know what they are saying.

My tight group of friends are at odds with each other, because of differing views of current events, and what each of them thinks, as to what we should do and how we should do it.

The ties of friendship are being tested. And if a second conversation that needs to take place, because the first one began and ended badly, doesn’t heal the rift, I am afraid that my circle will be broken over non-negotiable statements.

We are Canadian. And we, for the most part, share Canadian values, and for some, that is not good enough. Everybody has a right to their opinions, because of their origins, how they were educated, and how they each decide to live their lives.

No One Person has the definitive answer, because, let’s face it, we don’t. I don’t think a real, tangible, solid, workable answer is possible amid the heat of argument and prejudice.

Let us keep each other in our thoughts …

Notice I did not say “prayers…”

Religion has become a dirty word. People are choosing to incriminate all, due to the actions of “a few.” And that does not bode well, for an entire community of people, world wide.

One day we will see this for what it really is, and we will shake our heads and say to each other …”Was I really that stupid?”

Yes, we really are that stupid.

At least I can unfollow people. And I can turn the channel, and better yet, I can totally turn off my computer when it all gets to be too much of hateful overload.

More to come, stay tuned …

 


Rome conclave: Cardinals set to elect new pope

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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.

Doors locked

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.

Conclave in numbers

  • 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.


Spirits About …

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 …


Kateri Tekakwitha becomes North America’s first aboriginal saint

Courtesy: Stefano Rellandini Reuters photo

By The Canadian Press | The Canadian Press – 20 hours ago

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 of Donald Boisvert

The Ordination to the Deaconate
And Priesthood
of the Diocese of Montreal
June 3 2012
Christ Church Cathedral
Montreal

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.


Quebec monk declared saint for his ‘boundless charity’

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.


The Bishop's Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

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.


The Bishop’s Man

The Bishop’s Man, written by Linden MacIntyre is a well written book. It is the story about Father Duncan MacAskill, a priest from the Maritimes.

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.


Prime Minister Harper and three party leaders to fly to Polish funeral

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.


The Sacking of Rome …

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 viaPapam, 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.


Pope approves sainthood for Montreal’s Brother Andre

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.


Pope approves sainthood for Montreal's Brother Andre

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

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.


Bishop of Ottawa Proposes Blessing Of Same-Gender Civil Mariages

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.”


Central Interior assembly says ‘yes’ to blessings

Similar request declared out of order at Ontario synod
Marites N. Sison
staff writer
Oct 22, 2008

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…”