Info on 2011 Holy Land Pilgrimage

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July 04, 2007


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Scott Gilbreath

Thanks for this blast from the past, Joe. The statement's support for all human lives is commendable but that is compromised by fudge elsewhere, e.g., countenancing legal abortion below some "upper limit" to gestation. Also, the statement's emphasis on social programmes while completely ignoring the personal responsibilities of expectant mothers and fathers directly involved is very troubling. Governments (i.e., taxpayers) should provide programmes to help the less fortunate but, as the experience of the past 20 years indicates, public spending with no expectation of accountability solves little and often exacerbates problems.

Still, the 1989 statement is vastly superior to the church's subsequent social policy positions.

I note with some dark amusement (forgive me) the opening reference to "the Government's announcement of a new Abortion Bill". The bill passed the House under Conservative PM Brian Mulroney, but died in the Liberal-dominated Senate on a tie vote after an acrimonious public debate. The Conservative government then and there swore never to attempt to legislate on abortion again. Every government since has abided by that pledge, making Canada unique among Western democracies, if not the entire world, in having no abortion law whatever.

Donald McKenzie

Perhaps this is merely reflective of a "missio Homo" attitude that seems all too prevalent in the church today. The Church increasingly seems to look to the world around it to shape its ideals and commitments. While there are a whole host of difficulties that come with this, one of the most troubling and troublesome is the tendency for the church to get caught up in social fads (usually 10 years too late). When the fads wear off, the deeper issues that they have grown up around still remain, untouched by the gospel.

Coupled with that is the fact that there seems to be a desire to have issues dealt with in a neat and tidy fashion. This editorial from the most recent issue of the Anglican Journal seems to describe this phenomenon quite well. We want neat and easy answers so that we can move on to the next item on the calendar.

In the case of abortion, the fact that until recently there have not been any significant legislative challenges means that it has been pushed to the back burner. So there are no more clinic blockades and protest marches to draw the attention of a media looking for its latest daily sound bite. While there are organizations dedicating to continuing the process of questioning the validity of the practice, the larger church bodies as a whole have tended to neglect it.

Perhaps we need to think about such issues in the context of our liturgical practices. Perhaps the Feast of the Annunciation would make a good starting place for reflection, or maybe the Feast of the Holy Innocents. The BCP, written in the days when death in childbirth was a common occurrence has a rite for the "thanksgiving after child-birth." Maybe we need new rites that can be used for the celebration of a pregnancy or for the gift of life within the womb. I realize that these could be fraught with danger on an emotional level if something goes wrong later on in the pregnancy, but we have very little now in the way of offering hope and support prior to the child’s birth. These are just a few random thoughts, hopefully somebody will have some better and more useful ideas.


I'm sad to say that I can't imagine our present national governing bodies saying something even as (sorta-)strong as this now. I think your insights on "inclusion" are good ones; it's starting to look more and more like a false front for all sorts of ....

Mrs. Falstaff

You know, I saw a little boy with downs at the park the other day - he looked to be about four. He was having a grand old time with his big brother. I was surprised by the child though, and after a few seconds I realized why. I think it's been at least five or six years since I've seen a child with down's syndrome. There are lots of young adults around town, but very very few children - I think you are right. Many of them don't get to be born.

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blank stare...

  • Copyright Rev. Joseph Walker, St Timothy's Anglican Church

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