Anglican Samizdat

February 19, 2010

Bridging divisions the Anglican way

John Chapman, Bishop of Ottawa is going to quell the strife in his church by training his priests:

The Anglican Church in Canada is updating how it trains priests so they can minister to everyone from Bay Street stockbrokers to Baffin Island Inuit.

Up until now priests have only been trained to seek out and hunt down candidates for same-sex unions; now that demographic has been exhausted, they are going after stockbrokers.

Ottawa Bishop John Chapman, who is leading the initiative, believes a savvier clergy would help bridge the church’s current bitter divisions over issues such as gay priests.

I can’t think why no-one has come up with this before. If only the clergy were more “savvy” we’d all start agreeing with same-sex blessings. It’s so obvious.

“The genius of the Anglican Church has been its capacity to live in difference,” Chapman said in an interview.

Or, as is now the case, disintegrate in difference.

As much as the church is badly divided these days, at least people care, “and that’s not what I remember as a child. I don’t remember people working up that kind of energy about anything. It was still the club; it was the social life. You found yourself there every Sunday and you weren’t even sure why some times.

Now, at least, people know why they do not belong to the Anglican Church of Canada

“I can’t imagine my childhood church getting worked about human sexuality,” said Chapman. “These are one of the most exciting times; there is a passion for faith.”

It’s true, of course: the creeping heresy of the ACoC has created passion among Anglican Christians; so much passion that a new Anglican province has been formed. Thanks for the nudge, John.

But pastors need new skills in calming congregations at war over sexuality or steering communities through traumatic change like closing a church. “There is quite a variety of need … that has exploded in last 25 years and we have not, in terms of a common standard … kept pace with that.”

It’s hard to keep pace with dealing with the havoc you have created when you are expending so much energy in creating more, John.

In order to calm congregations, training in doping incense with teargas, crippling but non-lethal wielding of thuribles and the use of taser tipped bishops crooks has begun.

Those working with immigrants, in urban areas, or remote First Nations communities, all need unique skills if they are to keep the church vibrant.

“The Anglican Church is not … white Anglo-Saxon,” says Chapman.

“It’s very much a global church, represented in this country.”

The global Anglican church is the one thing that bishops like Chapman are ignoring; every request from the bulk of the Anglican Communion to stop same sex blessings and homosexual ordinations has only served to create perversely contorted justifications for continuing to do what it has been asked not to do. Chapman himself coined the phrase “experiential discernment” to explain why he was continuing to do what he ought not to; I understand that the Ottawa branch of the Hell’s Angels now tattoos that on every member’s arm as part of his initiation.

Recommendations will go to the national church’s faith, worship and ministry committee, which will develop a proposal for common standards. Chapman is hoping that Primate George Hiltz, head of the Anglican Church in Canada, will create a commission to address the problems.

“create a commission to address the problems” . In other words, nothing will be done.



  1. I don’t know how you do it David. You have the uncanny ability to be able to make me laugh my socks off, while detailing tragedy. A rare gift.

    Comment by Stuart — February 20, 2010 @ 3:02 am

  2. Once more an Anglican bishop focuses on the ssb differences and ignores the actual dividing differences – the uniqueness of Christ, His atoning sacrifice, His resurrection and His claim that no-one comes to the Father except by Him.
    By the way – who is George Hiltz (Fred’s brother perhaps).

    Comment by Muriel — February 20, 2010 @ 11:30 am

  3. Sorry – I missed the authority of scripture in the list!

    Comment by Muriel — February 20, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  4. When did it become “The Anglican Church ‘in’ Canada”? As I understand things prior to the Solemn Declaratin of 1893 it was “Church of England in the Dominion of Canada”, and after the Selemn Declaratin it was “The Anglican Church ‘of’ Canada”. A small but important difference. This can be exemplafied by the Reformation, when before it was the “Church in England” and became the “Church of England”. Perhaps Chapman does not understand the difference? Or perhaps he is simply careless with how he uses words? Either way, it doesn’t sit well with me that a Diocesan Bishop would make such a mistake. If he is this incompetant with the name of the Church, than perhaps he is equally incompentant with The Holy Scriptures.

    Comment by AMPisAnglican — February 22, 2010 @ 8:50 am

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