Letter to the Editor

Published December 1, 2000

Defending the cup

Dear editor,

I read with much interest the article New Report Asserts Common Cup Is Safe. In defense of the cup being safer than the hand, I think one must step back just a few minutes prior to the Eucharist and take a look at what happens during the peace handshakes.

I have sat in front of, beside and behind parishioners who have been sneezing (into their hand), coughing (into their hand) and blowing their nose into non-disposable tissues.

Although I realize the handshake is voluntary, I would be reluctant to humiliate anyone or embarrass myself by refusing to shake his/her hand. And so the germs are spread from hand to hand to hand and ultimately to the communion bread.

Possibly we should be reconsidering the peace handshake.

S. H. Jackson

Unionville, Ont.

Article misses point

Dear editor,

In the Anglican Journal of October 2000, there is an article headlined New Report Asserts Common Cup Is Safe. While being well written and obviously well researched, I really think that it misses the point.

If we open our Bibles to Matthew Chapter 26, verse 26-28, we will read: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.'” (New International Version)

Now I believe that Jesus, being God’s son was all-knowing. He would not teach his disciples something that could be hazardous to their health, or to the health of generations to come knowing full well that his disciples would pass on all of his teachings and also knowing what kinds of sickness existed then and would exist in the future.

The point is that when we walk up to the communion rail, we need to take our faith in hand, knowing in our hearts that Jesus would not do anything to harm us, and drink from the cup believing that we cannot get sick from this act. Basically we need to act on our faith and believe.

Andy Warner

St. Ann’s, Ont

Oh no!!!

Dear editor,

Aaaaaaaaagh! The crossword gremlins have struck again! Once more I am facing a period of cryptic-withdrawal until the November issue. Guess I’ll have to get a life!

Judy Watkins

Port Coquitlam, B.C.

Editor’s note: It is axiomatic in journalism that readers will forgive anything except an error with the crossword puzzle. We apologize. We apologize. We apologize.

Rest of paper OK

Dear editor,

You have done it again! The clues to the October Crossword do not correspond to the lights/grid/matrix. Perhaps you are challenging us either to write our own appropriate clues to the lights or create the proper grid for the clues you give. Keep up the good work of the rest of the paper, but let your lights so shine before men that they may see the right clues.

Raymond Ullyatt

Westmount, Que.

Advocate with vote

Dear editor,

I have attached an article which appeared in the Ottawa Citizen Newspaper on Oct. 5, which quotes a Public Policy Forum survey as saying that MPs and senators are almost irrelevant, and that most of the Liberal government’s decision making power rests with the Prime Minister and his office.

This continues the trend, started by former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, of concentrating more and more power into the hands of fewer and fewer people.

My Liberal MP is a back-bencher and just one of the “trained seals.” Writing a letter to my MP would be a waste of my valuable time.

As for writing to the Prime Minister, he is in denial of the many problems facing this country, i.e., the brain drain, health care crisis, etc.

My suggestion is that you advocate all Anglicans across the country to vote out the dictator and his trained seals, and vote in the Canadian Alliance in the upcoming federal election.

Gladys Atkins

Nepean, Ont.


Dear editor,

I was moved by the request in the article by the editor of the Anglican Journal, Vianney Carriere, for an effort by the 700,000 Anglican Church of Canada members to write their federal elected representatives regarding the residential schools situation.

As a result, I have written my MP, the PM, the justice minister, the leaders of the opposition parties, the opposition party justice critics, all independent MPs, and the Speaker of the House of Commons to express my consternation with the present short-sighted stance of the Canadian federal justice ministry. Without doubt, this ministry’s blatant efforts at minimizing their liability at the expense of the Anglican Church of Canada as well as other Canadian churches is reprehensible. The exposure of this travesty can facilitate a recanting of this policy and the continued existence of the church as we know it is dependent on this action.

It is my hope that, with introspection, the insensibility of Justice Canada will become obvious to these individuals and to all those entrusted with decision-making powers in this matter. In order for this to occur, it is critically important that we make every effort to maximize the volume of correspondence that our elected representatives receive.

As do many hands make light work, so too, many letters can stir with ease the pot of political reversal.

David Goodbrand

London, Ont.

Volunteer lawyers?

Dear editor,

There has been much recent coverage of the abuses alleged in the indigenous residential school situation. Our church is facing bankruptcy, arising principally from the excessive legal costs being incurred in preparing to defend the many court cases lodged against it. For centuries past, the church has relied on the volunteer support it receives from its supporters in many walks of life. Why cannot our legal counsel step forward to offer services on a similar pro bono basis, instead of sending out these crippling invoices covering the professional services the church now so desperately needs?

Foster Carter

St. Catharines, Ont.

The Bible is clear

Dear editor,

The October article in the Journal depicts the diocese of Cariboo as the victim of unreasonable government persecution, victimized by bankrupting lawsuits. Blair concludes that Cariboo’s diocesan synod agenda is made more “difficult” because of the “issue of same-sex unions.”

When will Canada’s high and mighty organized churches wake up and admit that their hierarchical system of ordination, established on the basis of higher education – is as rotten as the education which prepares candidates for so-called ministry? The church is crumbling because its biblical underpinnings have been eroded in the name of modernization.

The Bible says quite plainly that we should not elevate those in ministry to untouchable or unaccountable status above the laity – yet we call our pastors and teachers “father” and often send them to work unsupervised in isolated areas and situations.

The Bible is also clear about moral and marital standards, and extremely strict when it comes to ministerial candidates – yet we allow ministers to indulge in adulterous relationships, divorce and remarry while remaining in their pulpits. We tolerate homosexuality and now wish to bless what the Bible condemns as a spiritual and social curse. An adulterous and increasingly homosexual constituency now promotes its ideals from within the church!

How can we be so blind as not to understand that moral corruption has invaded and almost destroyed the Christian Church in the Western World? Keep tolerating immoral sexual practices, and pay the piper – we are signing our own death warrant. This bankruptcy may be God’s way of confiscating our bullets before we shoot ourselves in the foot.

Thomas Ransom

Lac Brome, Que.

Balancing the record

Dear editor,

I agree with Bishop Eric Bays that there were many good, sacrificial teachers in the residential school system. As aboriginal Anglicans themselves have said, the record should be balanced.

However, I disagree that there was “no suggestion of a realistic alternative” to that system. There were as many children in local schools on reserves as there were in the residential schools. For example, there was a continuous community school on The Pas Reserve (also church staffed) during the whole residential school era.

Canon Fletcher Stewart

The Pas, Man.

Letter was unfair

Dear editor,

I was disappointed by the Journal’s decision to print C.A. Huff’s letter, Women Taking Over, in its October issue. It is one thing for the Journal to publish thoughtful and reasoned criticism of ideas and institutions, but Huff’s letter simply offends, while failing to deliver either fair observations or cogent arguments.

Huff says some incredible things. For instance, he writes that we live in a matriarchal church that deliberately eliminates men from any function unless a situation calls for “male expertise or muscle.” Personally I cannot think of a single parish where that is true. Besides, it is patently silly to call the Anglican Church of Canada matriarchal when all of its bishops, except two, are men.

Even worse is Huff’s musing that women in ministry are probably incapable of attracting men to worship services or boys to Sunday schools. This is bigoted nonsense, and nothing could be further from the truth. Huff should take a look at the growing churches of many of my busy female clergy friends.

When Huff refers to the “sergeant major bearing” of his parish’s new “priestess,” anyone can recognize this as simply unkind mudslinging. The Journal, a Christian paper, should not dignify such unconstructive personal attacks by printing them for our entire denomination, and others, to see. For that matter, Huff’s contorted misquotation of scripture, to the effect that only males are created in God’s likeness, has as much place in the Journal as would such an assertion replacing males with whites or gentiles.

I shall make a point of keeping the October Journal from my non-Anglican friends, just as I would if the Journal were to print a letter consisting of little more than racist invective. Otherwise I should find it too embarrassing to try to explain why my church’s national paper is devoting column space to writing of such a nature.

Tim Andison

Toronto, Ont.

Gender not an issue

Dear editor,

After reading C.A. Huff’s Women Taking Over letter in the October Anglican Journal, I feel compelled to write.

In our parish of St. Patrick’s Edmonton we are fortunate to have a terrific priest. My own experience has been one of tremendous spiritual growth and of a new involvement in the life and worship in our parish. We have a superb, articulate bishop and I can’t think of a single skill or quality that is missing in either my priest or my bishop. I feel terribly sorry for Mr. Huff and I will pray for his enlightenment. Did I mention that both the priest and bishop are women? Guess I must have figured that gender was not an issue.

Micheal Freeman


Risk of lynching

Dear editor,

Is Mr. C.A. Huff of Westlock, Alta (Letters October issue) looking for a public lynching by a band of feminists?

I hope, sir, that your comments about the place of women in our society had a spark of humor attached to them. Otherwise, I suggest you are a very dangerous man.

Women in past generations have been oppressed, abused and sacrificed because of attitudes such as yours. The use of inclusive biblical language and the ordination of women as priests finally puts us in our rightful place, that is, equal to our male counterparts.

In order to create a matriarchal church, sir, we would require the same 2000 years it has taken for men to have the ownership they now enjoy.

I doubt in your lifetime you will experience the full impact of matriarchy to the same extent that women are presently experiencing the effects of a patriarchal society. You need only read a daily newspaper to appreciate this.

It may be that women could bring a sense of warmth and nurturing that has been lost in the power hungry years of male domination.

I’m sorry you lost your spiritual home, sir, but I can name a number of women priests who could quickly change your mindset and your attitudes.

E. Johnston

Oakville, Ont.

‘Please do not worry’

Dear editor,

This is an open letter to C.A. Huff in response to Women Taking Over (October Journal):

I read with sympathy your letter and felt I should write to reassure you. Please, sir, do not worry. You may fear the growth of matriarchy in your small corner of the world but rest assured that the church steadfastly maintains its patriarchal stronghold in many corners of the globe. Also know that even in those liberal bastions that insist on ordaining women the church hierarchy remains predominately male.

If you are looking for a new spiritual home you might want to consider your local Roman church. Fortunately, they have rejected the annoying inclusivity that you find so bothersome. Perhaps this is why their pews remain full, and young men flock to their seminaries.

I was shocked to hear that a priestess had taken over your church. Whereas Wicca can teach us interesting things about feminist spirituality I can understand how all the young men of your parish might reject this notion. Therefore, I spoke with my priest about your dilemma and she suggested that it was wrong for the leader of another faith group to monopolize your pulpit.

Finally, I think that your quote from St. Paul was particularly well taken. Although I have had to sell my hats to make up for the ongoing wage gap, I frequently busy my hands with useful things. For example, only today I spent a great deal of time writing a letter to an editor to decry ignorance and hate.

This all must be especially trying for your wife. I will remember her in my prayers.

K.A. Sorensen



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