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Tuesday
Mar222016

A ‘Foul and Rainy Day’

Woodcut from John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563) of Cranmer’s death on March 21, 1556. 

What we can learn from Thomas Cranmer on the 460th anniversary of his martyrdom

By C. Peter Molloy

IN HIS ACCOUNT of Thomas Cranmer’s martyrdom, John Foxe describes it as a ‘Foul and Rainy Day.’ Leading the mad processional from the Bocardo prison, at the doorstep of St. Michael’s to St. Mary’s was the Mayor and Aldermen of Oxford. Cranmer himself was escorted by two Dominican friars. Perhaps out of habit, or out of some nervous desire to sanctify the procession, these two friars mumbled some psalms responsively to each other. Upon entering St. Mary’s they escorted the beleaguered Cranmer to a stage under the pulpit and lead the congregation in the Nunc Dimmittis. And there before a packed church stood the former archbishop and primate of all England, in a bare and ragged gown, forced to listen

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Report would expand access to medically-assisted suicide

By Sharon Dewey Hetke

Ottawa – A REPORT ISSUED on Feb. 25th has reignited the debate around assisted suicide. Entitled “Medical Assistance in Dying: A Patient-Centred Approach,” the Report by the government’s Special Joint Committee contained recommendations for legislation on assisted suicide – and comes in response to the Supreme Court of Canada’s Feb. 6th , 2015 unanimous decision in the Carter case to strike down Canada’s ban on the practice. 

As part of its consultation process, the government had struck a Committee of 11 MPs (6 Liberals, 2 New Democrats and 3 Conservatives) as well as 5 Senators – three of whom are Conservatives and two of whom sit as independent Liberals. The Report comes four months in advance of the legislative deadline issued by the Supreme Court, June 6, 2016. (A 4-month extension had been granted, partly in light of the October change in government.)

In striking down the law, the Court said it did not intend to create a “a free-standing constitutional exemption,”

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Easter and the Happiness of Penguins

(Photo: www.designpics.com)

By Gerry Bowler

The Devil is strolling through Hell one day, enjoying the screams of his victims when he comes across a group of people who don’t seem to having a bad time at all. They’re stretched out on the hot rocks just tanning themselves and chatting. The Devil asks them what the heck is going on, why aren’t they roasting in agony? They reply that they’re from Manitoba and this is just like a day in June to them. So the Devil goes down to the furnace room and really cranks up the thermostat. He walks back to them through the searing heat -- even he is sweating -- and discovers the Manitobans are sitting around

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Tuesday
Mar222016

An Illiberal Future

(Photo: Sue Careless)

WELL, I GUESS there has been some news in the Anglican Church of Canada. What a wake-up call in an otherwise sleepy Canadian winter! I am talking, of course, of the letter from the House of Bishops (HOB) to the Council of General Synod (COGS) in which they communicate that the motion to changing the Marriage Canon is unlikely to pass in the order of bishops at General Synod. While Sue has done her usual excellent job in reporting on the situation on our front page, allow me to offer some commentary as I think this development reveals a great deal about where we are and where we may be headed.

The first thing to note is how divided the House of Bishops is over this matter. The Primate in a recent interview in the Anglican Journal has suggested that, while no vote had taken place within the HOB, it was a pretty even three-way division of yes/no/maybe. This would suggest that it was not even a matter of not being quite able to cross the two-thirds line. From his account it would seem that even a simple majority may not have been achievable.

The division in the HOB became even clearer in the days following their Statement. It is hard to reconcile

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Tuesday
Mar222016

The Cross and the Crescent: The Gospel and the Challenge of Islam

 

Three conference speakers clockwise: Michael Nazir-Ali, Nabeel Qureshi and William Craig. Bishop Nazir-Ali claims that Muslims have some knowledge of a Supreme Being but “lack any assurance of God’s love.” Muslim-born Qureshi says that in Christianity “I met a God who loves me unconditionally.”    

(Photos: Sue Careless)


By Sue Careless

LEARNING HOW TO ENGAGE Muslims in considering Christianity was the thrust of this year’s Mere Anglicanism conference. The popular event had as its theme The Cross and the Crescent: the Gospel and the Challenge of Islam and attracted almost 870 participants to Charleston, South Carolina, Jan. 28-30.

Most of the speakers had been born or had served in a Muslim-majority country and spoke Arabic.

The most moving testimony was given by Dr Nabeel Qureshi, a young Muslim convert

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