Friday, 18 March 2011

Things That Make Me Go, "Say what?" in the March 2011 Anglican Journal

The Anglican Journal (March 2011) got up my nose today. The masthead on the front page says "Inspiring the faithful since 1875." Inspiring them to what, I wonder? For me a sense of disappointment and grief.

Focal Point for What?
The front page story about the primates meeting was subtitled “A focal point for unity.” Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori and Primate Fred Hiltz smile at us from the accompanying photograph. How can the primates who represent the provinces whose unilateral actions resulted in the empty chairs be considered part of any kind of point, focal or otherwise, for unity? The idea is misleading, to say the least.

Anglicanorum Ignoratio Elenchi
Michael Ingham states that the papal ordinariate for Anglicans, Anglicanorum Coetibus
is directed primarily at the Church of England where there are a number of Anglo-Catholics who are dissatisfied with women bishops.
Does he really not realize the significance of his role in bringing the Anglican Communion to the present situation and making the ordinariate necessary? But then, he also says
The number of people affected in Canada is expected to be very small.
Well, it must be okay then.

(Widipedia tells me Ignoratio Elenchi means missing the point).

The Fundamentalist Threat
And then there’s a full page lauding Brent Hawkes, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church; the first pastor to preside at the wedding of a same-sex couple. “Bullets over Broadway," it's called, "Toronto pastor leads way for social justice” (and away from historic gospel of Jesus Christ). The article concludes:
In Hawke’s view, moderate religious leaders must stand beside secular leaders in confronting social injustice of every stripe. “Whenever there’s a confrontation between secularism on its own and religious fundamentalism, the latter always wins out.” 
I don't know where he gets that idea. Fundamentalism, or even mild, reasonable Biblical conservatism doesn't seem to be anywhere near winning out in Canada or the Anglican church.

Tikanga: the place where you stand
Primate Hiltz' piece on Tikanga is good. So are the pieces on Lent and a Church in a trailer in Manitoba. But meanwhile, in the editorial, Kristin Jenkins suggests yoga retreats for inner battery recharging. Why would a follower of Jesus choose that rather than an Ignatian or Franciscan or some other Christian form of spiritual refreshment?

I don't want to be a grinch, but I find the Journal's political correctitudes and liberal spin doctoring distressing and discouraging. If the Journal is an accurate reflection of the place in which Canadian Anglicanism now stands, then it seems that I can only stand there, too, as a member of His Majesty's loyal opposition.