Thursday, January 6, 2011

Primate's Statement on Church Bombing

This week, Archbishop Fred Hiltz released a statement regarding the bombing of a Church in Egypt. I am thankful that he has, and I have included his statement here, in its entirety.

He calls for religious tolerance. Tolerance means the, “acceptance of the differing views of other people, e.g. in religious or political matters, and fairness toward the people who hold these different views.” It has a second, weaker meaning too, “the act of putting up with somebody or something irritating or otherwise unpleasant.” This second meaning is often what we think of when we use the word, especially when it is applied to the things “I” have to put up with. I rather suspect, knowing Fred and listening for a hoped for tone in his statement, that he is encouraging this primary meaning of acceptance of other people’s views. I think that the word “tolerance” originally meant to “raise” up someone else and their differing point of view. Either way, Fred’s words are a bold statement easily applied to people far away and challengingly applied to ourselves and the people in our neighbourhoods and pews.

A statement by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada

In the aftermath of the bombing of a Coptic Church in Alexandria, Egypt, as the congregation celebrated Midnight Mass on Jan. 1, I ask your prayers for the 21 people killed, for those injured and for their families in Egypt and abroad.

With leaders of other churches and faith traditions, I deplore this and similar acts of violence and call for religious tolerance and for preservation of the freedom to worship in accord with traditions cherished by the faithful in God.

I make this appeal trusting that at its heart religion is a force for good and for peace in the world.

In this season when we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace I ask Canadians to "devote yourselves to prayer," (Colossians 2:2) in steadfast hope for peace, justice and charity throughout the world.


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