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Anglican Communion Leaders Declare War on Climate Change, ignore Life-changing Gospel message

Anglican Communion Leaders Declare War on Climate Change, ignore Life-changing Gospel message
No mention of the battle raging over properties, homosexual marriage and recognition of the Anglican Church in North America

By David W. Virtue, DD
www.virtueonline.org
September 20, 2018

Leaders of the Anglican Communion led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, have united in a common cause against what they have labelled "the care for God's creation" and the "care for our common home." They have pinpointed "climate change and biodiversity loss" in a series of "Letters for Creation". The campaign runs till October 4.

The Letters from different provinces of the Anglican Communion describe what they say are the negative effects of global warming as well as a common effort to combat it.

The "creation" letters come in response to an appeal by the Archbishop of Canterbury to his fellow Primates to set out what "the care for God's creation" means in their Provinces as well as what they wanted to say to the wider Anglican Communion about "the care for our common home."

"The ethical crisis of climate change is an opportunity to find purpose and joy, and to respond to our Creator's charge," Archbishop Welby said. "Reducing the causes of climate change is essential to the life of faith. It is a way to love our neighbor and to steward the gift of creation."

Responding to Welby, The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, said in his letter that climate change is changing rain patterns in Southern Africa, whereas in Namibia, Swaziland, and South Africa "the greatest impact has been that of crippling drought."

"The actions that we take in the next five years are crucial to stop us from reaching the tipping point where climate change becomes unstoppable," Makgoba said. "Look into the eyes of your children and grandchildren and do what you need to do to preserve the world for their future."

The Diocese of Polynesia in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia (ANZP) is part of the world which is one of the most badly affected by climate change. "Island nations are being impacted by sea level rising due to Climate Change," the former Bishop of Polynesia, Winston Halapua, said, adding that because of climate change, "Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands are threatened with non-existence as the sea level rises and land becomes uninhabitable."

Leaders from the Pacific today are reading the signs of the times, Halapua said. "They are being motivated to speak and act so that world wakes up to the need to address the human greed and exploitation which contribute to Climate Change -- to address abuse of Creation."

The Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, said that the "unique ecological tapestry" of Australia makes it "particularly vulnerable to climate change."

Extreme weather events such as drought, floods, and serious bush/wildfires have been "dangerously exacerbated by human-induced climate change with an increase in the number and seriousness of events in recent years," he said.

More expansively, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, called upon the worldwide Anglican Communion to unite in the common enterprise of climate action.

"We can maintain a vigorous and effective commitment and empower Anglicans everywhere to undertake bold action to mitigate and reverse climate change," he said.

It is deeply ironic that these liberal/progressive Anglican leaders are calling for climate change when a theological battle rages within the Anglican Communion, in dioceses and parishes over sodomy and homosexual marriage. These issues are being fought over in nearly every Anglican province, dividing loyalties, splitting churches and ending friendships. Loyal (to the gospel) and faithful Anglicans are attempting to push back the secular tide of moral relativism and sexual immorality enveloping their churches with little success. Orthodox believers are being forced to leave or voluntarily resign.

It is even more ironic and disturbing that the Episcopal Church has spent some $60 million to date on legal fees to fight for properties that will be empty and sold off within a decade. One wonders what that sum of money could have been used for to fight climate change.

The ABC wants to talk about climate change, but won't admit that church change has come to North America with the advent of the Anglican Church in North America as it fights for the 'faith once for all delivered to the saints."

Ignoring the spiritual fire raging in your own backyard while loftily addressing climate change is as disingenuous as Chicago's Cardinal, Blase Cupich, saying that the Pope has a bigger agenda than responding to charges by Archbishop Carlo Viganò that he knew about incidents of sexual abuse. "He's got to get on with other things, talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church. We're not going to go down a rabbit hole on this," said Cupich.

The rabbit hole, of course, is the decades-long molestation of thousands of children and the church's role in enabling and covering up the crimes.

When the lid comes off of TEC and the CofE over molestations of children and young boys, it might just be climate change that goes down the rabbit hole.

*****

OFFICIAL LETTER

Anglican Primates respond to Archbishop of Canterbury's request on Letters for Creation

September 18, 2018

Leaders of some of the Anglican Communion's 39 provinces have responded to the Archbishop of Canterbury's invitation to write Letters for Creation. To help promote the Season of Creation, which runs from 1 September to 4 October. Archbishop Justin asked his fellow Primates to set out what "the care for God's creation" means in their Province; and what they wanted to say to the wider Anglican Communion about "the care for our common home". The responses have now been published by the Church of England's environment programme.

The Diocese of Polynesia in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia (ANZP) is part of the world which is one of the most badly affected by climate change. "Island nations are being impacted by sea level rising due to Climate Change," the former Bishop of Polynesia, Winston Halapua, who was one of the Primates of ANZP before his retirement this year, said. "Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands are threatened with non-existence as the sea level rises and land becomes uninhabitable.

"In Fiji, many villages are having to be relocated. In the Tongan island Pangaimotu, where as a boy I used to fish with my father, coconut palms stand stripped of fronds as the salt water encroaches and eats at root systems below the earth and cyclones ravage above."

He added: "Leaders from the Pacific today from different levels of society, including Government and Church, are reading the signs of the times. They are being motivated to speak and act so that world wakes up to the need to address the human greed and exploitation which contribute to Climate Change -- to address abuse of Creation."

The Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, said: "In Southern Africa we are dependent on water for life -- and climate change is changing rain patterns. On the eastern coast of southern Africa, Mozambique has been devastated by flooding. In contrast, in Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa the greatest impact has been that of crippling drought.

"Schools in parts of Swaziland had to be closed when they ran out of water for school toilets. In northern Namibia and southern Angola, people have been forced to slaughter their cattle, destroying their future economic stability."

He added: "The actions that we take in the next five years are crucial to stop us from reaching the tipping point where climate change becomes unstoppable. Look into the eyes of your children and grandchildren and do what you need to do to preserve the world for their future."

The Chair of the Anglican Consultative Council, Archbishop Paul Kwong, Bishop of Hong Kong Island and Primate of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui -- the Anglican Church in Hong Kong -- said that the City "faces enormous challenges to do with housing, clean water, environmental protection, ecological and bio-diversity, and climatic pollution," adding: "In these respects Hong Kong is particularly vexed by its situation: not only as part of the most populous nation on earth -- China -- in the most economically diverse continent -- Asia -- but also as a port on the shores of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

"These are realities that must be faced and addressed as constructively as possible, something that the Anglican Church of Hong Kong seeks to do by always engaging with civil and political society. In a city like Hong Kong there is no future in being outside of these discussions: truly caring for our city and our part of creation means being part of the way forward and part of its future.

"Our mission is to God's Kingdom in the midst of this world: being God's companions means walking these same streets and living in these endlessly crowded communities, with and for one another."

The Bishop of Kindu, Archbishop Zacharie Masimango Katanda, Primate of the Province de L'Eglise Anglicane Du Congo -- the Anglican Church of Congo -- said: "A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor."

He added: "The environment is God's gift to everyone, and in our use of it we have a responsibility towards the poor, towards future generations and towards humanity as a whole. . . Changes in lifestyle based on traditional moral virtues can ease the way to a sustainable and equitable world economy in which sacrifice will no longer be an unpopular concept.

"For many of us, a life-less focused on material gain may remind us that we are more than what we have. Rejecting the false promises of excessive or conspicuous consumption can even allow more time for family, friends, and civic responsibilities. A renewed sense of sacrifice and restraint could make an essential contribution to addressing global climate change. . .

"The dominion granted to man by the Creator is not an absolute power, nor can one speak of a freedom to 'use and misuse', or to dispose of things as one pleases. The limitation imposed from the beginning by the Creator himself and expressed symbolically by the prohibition not to 'eat of the fruit of the tree' (Gen 2:16-17) shows clearly enough that, when it comes to the natural world, we are subject not only to biological laws but also to moral ones, which cannot be violated with impunity."

The Archbishop of Melbourne, Philip Freier, Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia, described his country as the fourth largest coal producer in the world; and said that coal is Australia's second largest export commodity.

"The mining industry has formed a significant part (though in an ecological era not an uncontested one) of white Australian cultural identity, and despite the global turn to renewable sources, a considerable temptation and quandary is posed for politicians and the business sector by the global demand for Australian coal. . .

"The unique ecological tapestry of Australia relates not only to the sustainable way of living of its First People and to the contentious question of coal. It is also a country whose features make it particularly vulnerable to climate change."

He added: "Because of Australia's unique position and geography (as the driest inhabited continent in the world) it is likely to be more severely impacted than many other wealthy and developed countries. The naturally occurring El Niño/La Niña cycle has traditionally subjected Australia to extreme weather events such as drought, floods, and serious bush/wild fires, but this situation has been dangerously exacerbated by human-induced climate change with an increase in the number and seriousness of events in recent years."

The Presiding Bishop of the US-based Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, said that the world faced one of two choices: "will we live as friends, as brothers and sisters, as Beloved Community, or will we be subsumed under the rising waters of chaos?".

He said: "This Anglican Communion is the third-largest Christian body on the planet. Surely we can do it. I've seen us work together and with our friends of other faiths and no faith at all. I've seen us intervene and provide education, recovery and healing following climate-based tragedies across this globe. We can maintain a vigorous and effective commitment, and empower Anglicans everywhere to undertake bold action to mitigate and reverse climate change. . .

"We can do this. I know because I saw people of every nation, faith, age and race move to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux as they struggled to turn back a pipeline that threatened their sacred lands and their water supply. And I saw the Episcopal Church flag at the front of that procession. When crowds chanted 'Mni Wiconi' (water is life), Episcopalians chanted with full voice because we have been given new life in Jesus Christ through the waters of baptism."

The letters can be read in full on the Church of England's creationtide website: creationtide.com.

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