Engage election candidates about poverty, climate change, urges primate

Published April 2, 2011

Concern for poverty and for climate change represent “our care for one another and for the earth that we inhabit,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz said in a report to Council of General Synod members. Photo: Marites Sison

Mississauga, Ont.
As Canada gets ready to head for the polls this May, Canadian Anglicans need to press candidates about issues of poverty in the country and climate change, said the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz.

In his primatial report to the Council of General Synod, meeting here March 31 to April 3, Archbishop Hiltz said he is drafting a letter that will urge the church’s faithful “to engage candidates in matters close to our hearts and the ideals for which we stand.”

The letter would also urge them to go out and vote. Voting is “a right that’s denied to so many (around the world) and it’s ours by right,” he said. “We need to exercise it right and with gratitude and responsibility.”

The primate noted there has been a recent 10 per cent increase in the use of food banks, and that 1 in 7 children (1 in 4 children in aboriginal communities) live in poverty. He also pressed for a long-term housing strategy.

On the issue of climate change, Archbishop Hiltz emphasized the need for a comprehensive action plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Concern for poverty and for climate change represent “our care for one another and for the earth that we inhabit,” said Archbishop Hiltz.

The primate’s report also touched on issues ranging from the current political upheavals in the Middle East, the recent disasters in New Zealand and Japan, to the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant.

Archbishop Hiltz reiterated his “lingering concerns” about the Covenant, particularly the implications of having a Communion where “some churches are covenanted and others are not.” He also expressed concern about the Covenant’s Section 4, saying “a whole lot of attention is given to the determination as to whether or not a decision by a province is incompatible with the Covenant,” and to determining “relational consequences.” He said there is no reference to ensuring “continuing conversation, restoration and full communion.”

Provinces of the global Anglican Communion are being asked to consider adoption of the covenant, which has been proposed as a way of preventing schism and maintaining unity among Anglicans who have been deeply divided over issues of human sexuality and biblical interpretation.

This June, the Anglican Church of Canada is launching its study guide about the Covenant for discussion in parishes and dioceses, said the primate.



  • Marites N. Sison

    Marites (Tess) Sison was editor of the Anglican Journal from August 2014 to July 2018, and senior staff writer from December 2003 to July 2014. An award-winning journalist, she has more that three decades of professional journalism experience in Canada and overseas. She has contributed to The Toronto Star and CBC Radio, and worked as a stringer for The New York Times.

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