In The News

By Michael Heidt

Go Green? The leader of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has launched a bold new initiative to unite the world’s third largest denomination against global warming and climate change.

Called the “Season of Creation,” Welby’s green campaign has solicited “Letters of Creation” from the Communion’s leading bishops, asking them to describe the catastrophic effects of global warming and climate change.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has called the battle to stop climate change “essential to the life of faith” and an “ethical crisis.”

“The ethical crisis of climate change is an opportunity to find purpose and joy, and to respond to our Creator’s charge. Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbour and to steward the gift of creation.”

Whether the Primates of the Anglican Communion will be able to stop the weather changing remains to be seen.

Brisbane Pride: Brisbane’s Anglican cathedral held a “Pride Evensong” in September, at which the Dean, Peter Catt, preached a sermon on the importance of the rainbow flag and addressed Jesus as the “Erotic Christ:”

“Rainbow Christ, you embody all the colors of the world,” enthused Catt, “Rainbows serve as bridges between different realms: Heaven and Earth, east and west, queer and non-queer. Inspire us to remember the values expressed in the rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community.

“Orange is for sexuality, the fire of spirit. Erotic Christ, you are our Fire, the Word made flesh. Free us from exploitation, and grant us the grace of mutual relationships. With the orange stripe in the rainbow, kindle a fire of passion in us.”

Catt went on to describe the Trinity as a “Queering principle.”

“The Trinity is our Queering principle, that which invites us to defy binaries and labels.”
Forward in Christ could think of several labels, binary and otherwise, to apply to Catt’s sermon.

Priest Burns Rainbow Flag: In bold contrast to Brisbane’s Anglican cathedral, a Roman Catholic priest in Chicago defied Cardinal Blaise Cupic by burning a rainbow flag while saying prayers of exorcism.

Fr. Paul Kalchik, of Chicago’s Northside Resurrection church, was warned against burning the brightly colored flag by Cupic but chose to disobey the cardinal and incinerated the LGBTQ banner in the church’s schoolyard.

Kalchik was subsequently removed from his church and is now reportedly in hiding.

Roman Catholic Sex Scandal: An explosive Pennsylvania grand jury report, detailing the abuse of over 1000 victims by clergy, has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

The jury’s findings came after secret files in the Vatican were investigated, implicating senior members of the Church’s hierarchy in covering up the abuse over decades. Pope Francis has also been caught up in the scandal, after Archbishop Carlo Vigano accused him of ignoring Cardinal McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians. McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington DC, resigned in July. At the time of writing, Vigano is in hiding.

The attorneys general of Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico and New York State are launching investigations into Roman Catholic clerical abuse.

Forward in Christ urges your prayers for our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters and the victims of abuse.

Gender Neutral Gloucester: Rachel Treweek, the Bishop of Gloucester, has come out against referring to God as “he.”

“I don’t want young girls or young boys to hear us constantly refer to God as ‘he’,” stated the senior clergyperson, who went on to tell the Daily Telegraph: “For me, particularly in a bigger context, in all things, whether it’s that you go to a website and you see pictures of all-white people, or whether you go to a website and see the use of ‘he’ when we could use God, all of those things are giving subconscious messages to people.”

Treweek became the first woman bishop ever to sit in the House of Lords when she was promoted to her top level job in 2015. In an interview with the Observer, Treweek explained that she had renounced the use personal pronouns when praying to God but sometimes “lapsed.”

Whether Treweek’s unfortunate lapses extend to the Lord’s Prayer is currently unclear.

Dutch Cathedral Turns Pink: The Roman Catholic cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist in Den Bosch, in southern Holland, hosted an ecumenical LGBTQ “Pink Saturday” service on June 24, which was blessed by Bishop Gerard de Korte.

Pink Saturday, the Dutch equivalent of Gay Pride, was conceived of as a counterpoint to Holy Week services, such as Good Friday and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist once barred homosexual activists from Holy Communion.

This attitude has changed and the cathedral, along with its bishop, now apparently endorse LGBTQ behavior. According to the bishop’s spokesman:

“The teaching of the Church does not change… but we think that everyone should find a spot within the community of believers. Subjects such as sexual orientation collide with the teaching of the Church, but in practice it’s often not much of a deal. Today, there are already homosexuals who are joyful members of a parish.”

The gothic Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Den Bosch is home to a miraculous statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which has been venerated since the Middle Ages.

Pink Saturday was conceived in 1979.

Forward in Christ

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