Orthodox view of God termed ‘encouraging’

Published September 1, 2002

Dear editor, It was with surprise and relief that I read the text of a “Doctrine of God” statement approved by Anglican primates in April, which appeared in the June edition of the Anglican Journal. That the primates would endorse a statement affirming orthodoxy is encouraging in light of the tremendous pressure from within and without to abandon the fundamentals of the Christian faith. Hopefully some doubters, sceptics, and revisionists will be encouraged to prayerfully re-examine their positions and return to or perhaps for the first time enter into the beauty, majesty, joy, holiness and ultimate mystery that is the Gospel of the risen and living saviour, Jesus. For others, perhaps it will encourage them to finally leave us alone and depart from the church. Richard Harstone
Mississauga, Ont.

Lament for separation

Dear editor,

I smiled when I read your letter giving reasons for supporting the Journal and even more when I saw your signature.

I am a Catholic and have had two wonderful Anglican women, now gone to heaven, as wives. More than that, I was a Catholic priest for 25 years before marrying. While married I always attended the Anglican Eucharist with my wife as well as the Catholic mass.

I lament the institutional separation of Christians, which portrays to all how we fail to be what we profess to be – followers of Christ.

I renew my subscription hoping to read about how Anglicans follow Christ.

Orloffe Dorion
Smiths Falls, Ont.

ACW discriminatory?

Dear editor,

Why does the Anglican Church continue to encourage an organization that is discriminatory; forces people, although unwilling, to be members, ignores those mere males who also work for the good of the church, is independent of the wardens and maintains (sometimes substantial) sums of money that ought to come under the authority of the corporation?

I propose that the present Anglican Church Women (ACW) be converted into Anglican Church Workers with membership open to those who wish to belong, of either sex, and with all activities subject to the oversight of the corporation.

John Griffith
Orillia, Ont.

Retroactive legitimacy

Dear editor,

I have just finished reading that the Church of England has decided to re-marry divorced people. The Anglican Church of Canada refused to marry my fiancee and I because we were divorced. So we were married in the United Church, instead. I have to assume that the Anglican church does not recognize our marriage as legitimate. Maybe the church will recognize our marriage retroactively, when it follows in Canterbury’s footsteps. It’s small wonder indeed that the Anglican Communion is disintegrating everywhere except in Africa.

William Bedford

Shock and dismay

Dear editor,

Few printable words exist that adequately express the shock and dismay that I felt when I read Military Role Questioned (June 2002).

I wonder where Canon Jack Adam and Rev. Andrew Graham and anyone else who signed their petition were on Sept. 11, 2001? Questioning the Canadian military’s role in Afghanistan and the treatment of captured terrorists is counterproductive and a slap in the face to those of Canada’s armed forces and of our allies who are risking their lives overseas to protect us.

W.E. Storey
Nepean, Ont.

Hats off to writer

Dear editor,

Re "Homosexuality a divine plan?" (May 2002) Although I would not have used the phraseology that Ms. Josie Newman employed, my hat goes off to her. This was a most courageous and sensitive article that calls for leadership at every level of our Communion. I do hope our church hears the urgency in this message. This article not only calls us to an open, honest and intelligent discussion on homosexuality, but it directs us to a seriously and conscientious discovery of who we Anglicans truly are. Bob Calderwood
Nanaimo, B.C.

Nothing has improved

Dear editor,

Re: The Lasting Impact of the Jim Ferry Case (June 2002):

The Anglican church pretends to welcome gays and lesbians, but still the rules have not changed.

Both our lesbian daughter and gay son are in loving relationships which are not recognized. They do not feel comfortable in the Anglican church. Of course, our straight daughter and son fit in.

It’s sad to think that the Rev. Jim Ferry has suffered for the past 10 years – and is not allowed to work in his chosen field. We attended the bishop’s court trial and feel angry that nothing has improved. Lots of talk, but no action. Why?

Mary & W. Laurence Jones
Brampton, Ont.

Secret ballot

Dear editor,

I agree with Bishop Donald Harvey’s suggestion that Archbishop Andrew Hutchison’s recent election should be held using mail with a double envelope system so that ballots could remain secret in their inner envelope. The tradition of secret ballots should not be eliminated in the name of efficiency.

Michael Li
Grand Bank, Nfld.

Help kids in summer

Dear editor,

It always impresses me very much how communities come together during the Christmas period to make Christmas a better time for the children. I feel this is done so the kids from less affluent families also have gifts, food and warm coats.

I feel there is just a great a need for communities to help kids in the summertime. I think childhood is an apprenticeship for being an adult. Childhood should also be the most fun times of a person’s life. It would be great if communities could raise monies to send kids from poor working families to summer camps. Going to a summer camp is an important part of a child?s life. Summer camps however are out of reach of a lot of families for their children.

Could newspaper, radio and TV stations and societies and others get behind an annual push to raise support to send poor kids to summer camps? Many camps might donate spaces as well. The more kids we get to summer camps the better. The need is great.

John Hungar

Satan get hence

Dear editor,

For 20 years or so I have been receiving your paper. I have read many letters and articles that have deeply distressed me. The one over-riding theme, however, has been your unabashed promotion of the homosexual lifestyle.

With the continuous charges of sexual misconduct of priests and other representatives of the Anglican church over the years, along with the constant apologies and the veritable bankruptcy of the church in answering lawsuits accordingly, it strikes me as rather ironic how you can still believe that you or the church has any credibility whatsoever when you print letters in such a prominent manner as the one from Josie Newman of Victoria entitled "Homosexuality a divine plan?"

Of all the letters that were written in that May 2002 issue of your paper, why did that one have to be the feature article? Do you honestly believe that type of drivel to be helpful? It?s not only this latest letter either. I can vividly recall, a few years ago after the last Lambeth Conference, when most Anglican bishops rejected homosexuality as acceptable, how Michael Peers blamed bishops of the Third World because of their poverty, how they had somehow been unduly influenced by wealthy U.S. Episcopalians to vote against the acceptance of homosexuality.

So not send me your propaganda any longer. What’s the biblical saying? "Satan, get thee hence from me."

Perry D. Robinson
Sedgewick Alta.

Primate shows courage

Dear editor,

I commend Archbishop Michael Peers, primate, for his letter to Anglicans (May 2002). He offers us courage as he speaks boldly to the contentious of the Middle East conflict, increase escalation, euphemisms for the war that is being waged.

It is not popular to take the stand that the Israeli occupation of Palestine is illegal. The primate’s statement, well-written and in logical sequence and based on the Anglican church’s communion, rings clearly with the truth: "There is no peace without justice."

As a Lutheran cum ecumenist, I voice my thanks.

Ollie Miller
Surrey, B.C.

Diverse views welcomed

Dear editor,

Not long ago I took a five-week course, entitled "Anglican Diversity," at Christ Church Cathedral here in Ottawa, from Rev. Patricia Bays. Over the very same time interval, I was painfully disappointed that there was so little discernible diversity of opinion about the "official" Anglican position of our archbishop regarding the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. Imagine my delight at pages 4, 5, and 6 of the June issue. Talk about having one’s faith restored!

Lloyd H. Strickland

A proud Anglican

Dear editor,

Re. Letters to Editor June 2002:

I was a proud Anglican when Archbishop Michael Peers publicly endorsed peace with justice for the Palestinian people and the British Columbian bishops opposed the provincial Refer-endum on Treaty Principles.

To oppose Jewish settlements that are gobbling up the land and water resources of the occupied territories, is not to be against the right of Israelis to live in peace and security within their own state. To support First Nations in concluding fair and just treaties with the federal and provincial governments is to the benefit of all British Columbians, both morally and financially.

As I read the Gospels, Jesus called for peace, prosperity and justice for all, which is the essence of these recent statements by our leaders. I give thanks for their courage!

Cynthia McLean

Letters dismay

Dear editor,

I was dismayed by the tone of the most of the letters that were printed in the most recent issue of the Anglican Journal, in regard to Archbishop Michael Peers’ letter in the May issue.

Unfortunately, the Middle East crisis is an extremely divisive issue.

I applaud the archbishop in stating an opinion that is not popular. His letter was not anti-Semitic in any way. I too, find the suicide bombings repugnant; this, however, should not allow us to forget that since 1947, the Israeli government has refused to follow any recommendations in regards to the Palestinian people.

Feeling sympathy for the plight of the Palestinian people in no way denies the right of the Israel public to feel secure within their own country.

Penelope Walcott

Statement was fair

Dear editor,

In response to the deluge of letters in your June publication opposed to Archbishop Michael Peers? statements on the conflict in Israel and Palestine, I was so surprised I had to read the article. I found what the Archbishop had to say very fair. Criticism of the actions of this Israeli government is not criticism of the Jewish state. Many in Israel feel the same way; for example, the many Israeli army officers who refuse to partake in this persecution of Palestinians.

Never mind, Michael; you are in good company. They crucified Jesus too, for speaking the uncomfortable truth.

Brian Webster
New Westminster, B.C.

Both sides wrong

Dear editor,

You published 16 letters in the June issue, all berating Archbishop Michael Peers’ statement on the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

I do feel both Israel and Palestine can be classified as "terrorists." On the one hand there is a country with a powerful, organized army and air force wreaking havoc on refugees and other innocent civilians.

On the other, there are fanatics taking the only avenue they can see as viable by sending patriots determined to blow themselves up, as well as innocent people, in what they see as a just cause.

Both sides are in the wrong. With these attitudes, what hope can there be of a solution to this ingrained ethnic hatred of one side toward the other?

Irene Taylor
Oshawa, Ont.


Dear editor,

Congratulations to Archbishop Peers for expressing the self-evident, though apparently controversial position, that Palestinians have the same right to peace and security as Israelis.

John Dirlik


Dear editor,

Regarding your editorial (June 2002.): let me get this straight, Mr. Carriere. According to you, the Anglican Journal welcomes diverse opinions on controversial issues. However, it appears that when the primate establishes an official position of the Anglican Church, this beautiful egalitarianism expressed in the opposing letters to the editor, suddenly become "out of tune," or perhaps, "a kind of evil thing."

The only thing out of tune on this issue is the primate and his genuflecting subservience. If you truly believe that the letters to the editor page are the voice of the church, then when you "pause for deep reflection," you might re-evaluate your defence of the primate’s position.

L. Clement-Hobbs
Cannington, Ont.

Followers of Christ

Dear editor,

I have just read the June 2002 Anglican Journal and the letters which you received from readers regarding Archbishop Michael Peers? statements relation to the on-going conflict in the Middle East.

The level of anger and hostility aimed at our primate was shocking and even disturbing considering the fact that most of those letters came from fellow Anglicans.

As followers of Christ, the plight of the Palestinian people should be of grave concern to us and I support the statements of my primate.

I am not anti-Jewish, nor do I wish to see the destruction of the state of Israel. It is in the long-term best interest of both Arab and Jew to co-exist each within the borders of their own state and at peace with one another.

Atrocities and horrors have been committed by both sides and distinguishing fact from fiction is nearly impossible. As Anglicans we must do everything within our power to bring both sides to the negotiation table and to secure a lasting peace for all.

Derek Kerr
Dundas, Ont.


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