In Church of Climate Change, Good Catholics Must Practise and Preach   Leave a comment

Ian Gill challenges Christians to “walk the talk” in this article published first in The Tyee on July 25, 2015:

Although Gill writes about the Roman Catholic Church, and the encyclical Laudato Si’, all Christian denominations in Canada seem to be complicit in their lack of advocacy for the health and welfare of the Earth that sustains us. We are not living with respect IN creation. Gill writes: “Here in Vancouver, birthplace not of Christ, but anyway Greenpeace, I have searched for signs that Rome’s encyclical on the environment hasn’t accidentally been tossed in the recyclical here in our self-styled Greenest City on Earth. The signs are not promising.”


Canada Day message from KAIROS   Leave a comment

Message from Jennifer Henry, KAIROS Executive Director, on Canada Day 2015 

On this day, when Canadians gather to celebrate our country, I will place my pride not in who we are, but in who we can become.  With the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Call to Action summary report, we have a glimpse into the history many did not want to know, and a vision of a future we must strive to realize.

I offer my deepest expression of gratitude to the survivors who in their courage peeled back a façade. We now know how churches and governments collaborated to extinguish language, culture, and identity of Indigenous children, breaking bonds of family and community, contributing to a separation of people from the land, while suppressing the spirituality that celebrated that connection.  We now know that children died preventable deaths, some further dishonoured by unmarked graves. We now know that this has led to generational trauma that continues to this day.

Because of survivors’ courage, we now know.  Because of their resilience, we all have a chance to heal. Because of their profound confidence in the power of the human spirit, our children and grandchildren can believe in a future of mutual respect.

I offer my strongest expression of appreciation to the Commissioners – Justice Murray Sinclair, Dr. Marie Wilson, and Chief Wilton Littlechild – for the sacrifices they made to hold this national conversation, to have these truths revealed to a reluctant country.  I heard them describe cultural genocide.  I heard them speak of graveyards instead of playgrounds.  I heard them describe the deep wounds within families that need to be reconciled.  And I also heard them say resilience.  Spirituality.  Self-respect.  Mutual respect. Contribution. Action. Reconciliation.  Because of their sacrifices, we have a way forward – a clear path to a transformed country.

At KAIROS, we believe that transformation is possible.  We see hope every day. In young Indigenous leaders who claim their voice and pull us, all of us, towards a more just future.  In non-Indigenous children who refuse to tolerate inequity and are committed to bring about tangible change.  In elders who against all odds are passing on language, culture, teachings and spirituality.  In Indigenous people of the South uniting with Indigenous people in Canada, helping us to understand that the struggle is global and that solidarity can flow in many directions.   In new immigrants embracing treaty responsibilities and refusing to perpetuate myths and stereotypes.  In settler Canadians craving education and change.  In communities united to protect their watersheds and build relationships of respect and sharing that reflect the original treaties that are the foundation of Canada.

At KAIROS we believe that transformation is possible, because we have faith, and we can see hope made real.  We believe transformation is possible because we are seeing it happen within our organization, and amongst our members and partners. We are seeing old relationships change and in so doing become stronger, and new ones being formed.  One by one.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action – principled, comprehensive, accessible – deserve more than superficial or cynical acceptance.  They deserve our careful reading, our study and questioning, our embrace of their challenge, our discernment of our accountabilities, and ultimately our persistence towards action.

Almost 20 years ago, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples offered a glimpse into our past and a vision for the future.  Our great failing was that so many, too many, did not have ears to hear the information it contained or eyes to see the vision it held.  In the intervening 20 years we have learned and unlearned, and we believe that many have changed.  This Truth and Reconciliation Commission report will not be shelved because Canadians will not allow it to be shelved.  It is too important. There is still much work to do, much to unlearn and learn, but this time it will be different. It must be different.

Today, inspired by Indigenous leadership – young and old – we can express our pride in who we could be, who we should be, who we must be.  We can join our hands and hearts to every Canadian – Indigenous, settler, newcomer – who pledges persistence until together we have formed a country that we can be proud of.  Persistence until we have a country where the contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people are honoured, where justice is done, where every child can expect equity and respect, and where language, culture and identity are gifts to be shared.  Let us commit to our own change, to contribute to that of our churches and communities, to show possibility in action, and to not let go.

Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action here:

Check out KAIROS’ newest resource entitled Strength for Climbing: On the Journey to Reconciliation, part of our upcoming Winds of Change campaign, here:

Follow KAIROS on Twitter and Facebook, between Canada Day and Thanksgiving, as we detail each of the #94calls2reconcile and encourage all to #ReadTheTRCReport.

Photo credit: James Park, Inspirit Foundation

Click here to make a donation to KAIROS today! 

For more information, please visit our website: 

KAIROS Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives
310 Dupont St. Suite 200, Toronto, ON, Canada M5R 1V9
Tel: 416-463-5312 | Toll-free: 1-877-403-8933| Fax: 416-463-5569

Is science policy a theological matter?   Leave a comment

Take Responsibility

Take Responsibility

With his latest statement on science, technology and the environment, Pope Francis has sought to change the debate on climate change. But his statement has broader significance for the way we think about the future.

More, from the Guardian, at:


Save Thy Planet: The Gospel According to Francis   Leave a comment

imagesCrawford Kilian has crafted an articulate analysis of the new encyclical by Pope Francis, and distilled some of the wisdom therein into the following:

“The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

“The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs to buy, own and consume.”

“Leaving an inhabitable planet to future generations is, first and foremost, up to us.”

“For indigenous communities, land is not a commodity, but a gift from God, a sacred space.”

“Earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone.”

“We should be particularly indignant at the enormous inequalities in our midst.”

“We have to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.”

Kilian writes that, “This is highly incendiary stuff, and the pope is clearly aware that not all his bishops and cardinals will want to propagate this kind of revolutionary faith. But his encyclical frequently credits the clergy of various nations (including the Canadian bishops) for their endorsements of countless key points. They are on his side whether they want to be or not.

Read more at:

Pope Francis rocks the world-and Catholics too   Leave a comment

Originally posted on Theology in the Vineyard:


Pope Francis second Encyclical is entitled Praise be to you, my Lord or On Care for Our Common Home which I am sure this teaching will be known. For many of us encyclicals and papal letters are are known by their Latin names (Populorum Progressio,Octogesima Adveniens etc) so in this case Laudato si . The central question posed by Francis: “What kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up?” (no. 160).

I love the way Francis refers to our common patrimony, the earth. Much like the man from Assisi of the 13th century, he speaks in relational terms. He refers to the earth as “our sister.” Right off the bat he lays out the harm which humans have inflicted on the earth.

This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we…

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Posted June 23, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

Eldon Comfort (2)   1 comment

Eldon was a master creator of limericks. In one of his publications he gave the following explanation:

Though some of my thoughts are perverse,

I like to express them in verse.

I use an old gimmick

That is called a limerick – 

Recorded here for better, for worse.

In terms of justice / injustice, Eldon once wrote:

When we see round us deeds that appall,

And Heaven seems deaf to our call,

We need not inquire

What the Lord doth require-

It’s justice and kindness for all.


Posted June 17, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

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Eldon Comfort   Leave a comment

Remembering Eldon Comfort

Self-described “reluctant soldier” turned pacifist became a pillar of Toronto’s peace and social justice movements.

Posted June 15, 2015 by allanbaker in Uncategorized

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