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Sat, Oct 31st - 6:36AM

Primate's Response to Vatican Announcement

October 21, 2009, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, issued the following statement in response to the Vatican’s announcement of an Apostolic Constitution.

I hereby acknowledge the announcement of the Apostolic Constitution (a formal papal decree) whereby Pope Benedict XVI makes provision for groups of Anglicans who, while retaining certain aspects of Anglican Tradition, wish to be received into communion with the See of Rome. I offer the following comments.

This is not an entirely new phenomenon. For a number of years, Rome has made provisions for individual Anglicans to be received. What is unique about this provision is that it responds to groups of Anglicans who have made special enquiries. Who these groups are has not been announced.

As Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said in a letter to the Bishops of the Church of England and to the Primates of the Anglican Communion, "It remains to be seen what use will be made of this provision since it is now up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution."

It is not clear how their desire to retain certain aspects of Anglican Tradition will be honoured. That may spelled out in more detail in the "code of practice" within the constitution. From a Canadian perspective I do not foresee a groundswell of response to these provisions. I say this knowing that even among those who have separated themselves from the Anglican Church of Canada, there is an abiding desire to remain in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and to maintain a place within the family of churches we know as the Anglican Communion.

I believe that among the vast majority of Anglicans and Roman Catholics in Canada and in the world there is a genuine commitment to build on 40 years of formal dialogue between our Communions. We acknowledge substantial agreement on many matters of faith. We embrace the call to action articulated in the 2007 statement Growing Together in Unity and Mission produced by the International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission. That statement takes us into a new phase of common witness in the service of the Gospel – locally, nationally, and internationally.

While this announcement from the Vatican creates some shock waves, I do not believe them to be seismic. I believe the greater will of the whole church while acknowledging our "real but imperfect communion" is to continue steadfast in dialogue that will lead us more deeply into that unity for which The Lord prays, "That they all may be one." (John 17:21)

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Sat, Oct 17th - 8:32AM

Christus Rex
Christus RexFrom the earliest times crosses were placed on altars in churches. The cross generally did not show the body of Jesus, not only because using Jesus' image might be considered idolatrous, but also because the empty cross symbolized Jesus' resurrection rather than his death.

By the 7th century, however, it had become customary to represent the whole figure of Jesus, alive and robed, as the triumphant Christ - Christus Rex - in front of the cross but not attached to it.

Gradually, as the church put more emphasis on his suffering and death, Christ was portrayed naturalistically in a loincloth and crown of thorns, nailed to the cross. The wound in his side was visible. Thereafter, most three-dimensional crosses in the Roman Catholic church were crucifixes.

Most Anglican churches follow the early church tradition displaying the cross alone. The Church of the Epiphany, Scarborough is one of the few Anglican churches in Canada that have a Christus Rex installed above the altar.

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Sat, Oct 3rd - 7:48AM

New Bishop of Athabasca

Anglican Diocese of AthabascaCanon Fraser Lawton was elected Bishop of Athabasca during a synod held September 19 at the Cathedral Church of St. James, in Peace River, Alberta.

Bishop-elect Lawson was ordained a deacon in 1993, and a priest in 1994. He is a master of divinity graduate from the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Saskatoon. At the time of the election, he was rector of St. Thomas' Anglican church in Fort McMurray, Alberta. He is 41-years-old, married with 4 children.

Athabasca is the least populous but geographically largest of Alberta's 3 dioceses. It was created in 1874 and encompasses an area of more than 317,000 square kilometers that includes 18 parishes, 33 congregations with more than 3,500 people on its parish rolls.

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