Letters to the Editor

Published October 1, 1998

Preserving the peace

Dear editor,

Your September article, Peace Activists Target Cenotaph, concerning the war memorial at St. Paul’s Bloor Street in Toronto is a disgrace. The cenotaph, to my knowledge, was erected in memory of the Queen’s Own Rifles. Members of that regiment fought overseas for Canada.

No one wants war but those who died did so to preserve and obtain the peace. How are these activists working to that end? If Mr. Heap and his cohorts are so keen on the ploughshare, let them have a ploughshare set side by side with this memorial. Mary Rous


Guidance needed

Dear editor,

I disagree strongly with your editorial, Lambeth Conference Needs to Rethink Itself. You state the conference should consider dropping the resolution format in favour of spending more time producing reports. In support of this you use the example of the subsection on homosexuality.

I am continually hearing that members of our church are seeking more clear teaching, guidance and leadership from clergy and particularly from the bishops. Had the subsection on homosexuality merely produced a report, it would have been read by very few and its message would have had little prominence.

Instead, the collective voice of our church spoke out clearly and decisively but lovingly on the issue in a motion that was carried by an overwhelming majority.

The Anglican Communion has spoken out clearly. The church in Africa and Asia is experiencing unprecedented growth. It is only a question of time before these churches, alive in the Spirit, begin to send missionaries to re-evangelize the pagan West, including Canada. Christopher Williams

Bishop of the Arctic

(via e-mail)

Lambeth offers answer

Dear editor,

I was asked by a crew member on a cruise ship in Siberia: “Are the young people flocking to the churches in your country?”

My answer, sadly, was: “Not to the mainline churches, but many are to the newer ones.”

The young people of Russia are flocking to the mainline church. Why is this not happening here?

I believe the recent Lambeth Conference offers a very clear answer. Some Canadian, American and English bishops were anxious to have the conference officially approve of same-sex unions and the ordination of practising homosexual clergy. The resolution passed at Lambeth by a vote of 526 to 70, with 45 abstentions, was a reaffirmation that sexual relations are permissible only within marriage. It was the Asian and African bishops who were firmly set against supporting same-sex unions.

The fast-growing areas in the Anglican Communion are in Asia and Africa, whereas the “worldly-wise” ones are losing members in ever-increasing numbers. John F.H. Stewart

Brockville, Ont.

No apology needed

Dear editor,

I am saddened by the views held by a tiny minority of Canada’s Anglicans and expressed by Michael Peers.

The Primate ignores the overwhelming support that exists in the Anglican Church of Canada for the Lambeth resolution and intones the dogmatic rhetoric that comes from a small group of secularizing fundamentalists.

Moderates in the church will continue to resist secularizing attacks, promote ethics, justice and equality, help those in wrong sexual relationships to find healing, and build bridges and seek reconciliation with fellow Anglicans, Christians and sensitive peoples throughout the world.

Far from apologizing for the reasonable Lambeth resolution, the archbishop should apologize for creating division, sabotaging our sense of closure, and regarding the body of Christ as a field in which to fight his foolish war. Peter Alan Featherstone

Burnaby, B.C.

(via e-mail)

Poor understanding

Dear editor,

After reading the article in your July General Synod supplement, Bishops Vote Down Bill of Rights, I find it hard to accept that the bishops are so willing to see collegiality as a virtue.

One of their members thinks adhering to the expressed principles would lead to “transvestites as parish leaders and a non-practising pedophile as head of the boys’ choir.”

It doesn’t speak well for the level of understanding of the House of Bishops if even one could make such a statement in public. Let’s hope that the next several years of “continued study and dialogue” will produce something better than this. Norah Bolton



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