British Bishops Urge ‘Carbon Fast’ for Lent

Pity these poor guys, trying so hard to remain relevant — and even then they are months behind.

LONDON (AP) — Several prominent Anglican British bishops are urging Christians to keep their carbon consumption in check this Lent.

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The 40-day period of penitence before Easter typically sees observant Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox Christians give up meat, alcohol or chocolates.

But this year’s initiative aims to convince those observing Lent to try a day without an iPod or mobile phone in a bid to reduce the use of electricity — and thus trim the amount of carbon dioxide spewed into the atmosphere.

Bishop of London Rev. Richard Chartres said that the poorest people in developing countries were the hardest hit by man-made climate change.

He said Tuesday that the ”Carbon Fast” was ”an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a practical way.”


  1. “The ”Carbon Fast” was ”an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a practical way.””

    I guess feeding the poor is no longer practical.

    It’s so laughable it’s sad.

    When will guys like this – in every Church (including Orthodoxy) – stop taking the ideology du jour as Gospel?

  2. Fr. Johannes Jacobse :

    No, they will stop when people stop listening to them, and most people already have. The next step is to embrace even more foolishness (see: New York City church holds ‘Clown Eucharist’) or watch below:

    The final step will be when they become a caricature of themselves. They might already be there, that is, they see themselves as clowns, albeit with such grave seriousness that the gullible remain confused.

    How did a church with such beauty ever fall to such depths?

    • Scott Pennington :

      Fr. Johannes,

      They followed the culture instead of transforming it.

      It did not happen overnight. The Episcopal Church used to be known as “the Republican Party at prayer”. They gradually abandoned their theology (which was schizophrenic anyway). As that proceeded they began to loosen all sorts of rules. They saw that they were latecomers to the 60’s “revolution” so they tried to get in front of it. Then a rogue bishop ordained some women. Finally, they decided there was nothing in their “core teaching” that militated against homosexual behavior and subsequently consecrated an openly gay, partnered, divorced man as a bishop.

      Do not believe for a second that some part of the Orthodox Church could not fall into such apostasy.

      It’s a process.

      • My father grew up in the old, traditional Episcopal Church – which was just as you note. It is indeed vital to take nothing for granted – especially our perpetual need for faithfulness and holiness; nothing is as powerful in persuading others as a living witness. Even so, I believe that the Episcopal Church/the Church of England were built on fractured foundations. At the risk of caricature (I still have many good friends who are Episcopal – even clergy), the Church of England began with an act of corruption, usurping tradition in the service of political expediency (the King’s need for an heir – even at the cost of serial marriage). In the process those of greatest conviction were martyred. Thus, a church built on a “tradition” of expedience and compromise (later enshrined as “tolerance”) made it impossible to repent of failings that would eventually cause it to implode. By contrast, the tradition of both white (monastic) and red martyrdom, as well as the beautiful integrity of its theology and spirituality, give the Orthodox Church a living foundation which roots it firmly – in both faith and practice – in the transforming and eternal reality of Christ. This is the foundation necessary for Church to endure, even against the gates of hell.

  3. What utter foolishness and lukewarm thinking! No wonder so many churches and Christian hierarchs have stopped being the salt of the earth they are called to be.

    Also, don’t lenten foods generate more human C02 and methane “emissions” than a meat-rich diet? Doesn’t that cause a “moral conflict” for these Anglican bishops? 🙂

    • Yes.
      See also this article from the UK Telegraph last Friday.

      More to the immediate point, this comment at Power Line was too rich not to share:

      Bishop of London Rev. Richard Chartres said that the poorest people in developing countries were the hardest hit by man-made climate change.

      He said Tuesday that the ”Carbon Fast” was ”an opportunity to demonstrate the love of God in a practical way.”

      I’m trying to think of a less practical way to “demonstrate the love of God” than through a purely symbolic act that will have zero impact on the weather or anything else. So far I haven’t come up with one.

  4. I suggest that their graces fast from whatever they are smoking that makes them believe in global warming, er, climate change. And perhaps do penance at East Anglia U.

    • Tragically, their functions as bishops is to Discern the Truth in all matters of faith and life. If they believe in the giant hoax of the “man generated CO2 causing global warming” that has been exposed for the outrageous lie that it is, then what does that say about their ability to discern reality and truth in general.

  5. The shameful collapse of the Anglican Church after 450 years of history shows that the sacred canons and the Truth of the Church are not to be disregarded or reinterpreted. There can be no triumph in seeing it, but a severe warning: keep vigilant watch, guard the Truth, such that we may not fall away into sin.

    ‘Where there is no prayer and fasting, there are the demons’. The modern world mocks prayer and fasting. We see them mocking the divine service. That ‘church’ looks as a dwelling-place of demons.

    Christianity is despised as impotent, for our faith is so faint, microscopic … so much smaller than the size of a grain of mustard seed.

  6. Dear friends in Christ:

    I can’t say that I’m suprised by this news story from England — its more of the same. This is after all, the same culture which launched the Raving Monster Loony Party. Here in the US, the Episcopal Church’s hierarchy is equally off course. Consider this excerpt from Dr. Katherine Jeffert Schori’s Easter (!) message from 2008:

    ” When atmospheric warming, due in part to the methane output of the millions of cows we raise each year to produce hamburger, begins to slowly drown the island homes of our neighbors in the South Pacific, are we truly sharing good news?”

    I have my doubts as to whether an Easter message advocating the elimination of bovine flatulence has much power to convert our society.

    Somehow, I think “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death” is the message of power!


  7. Scott Pennington :

    One interesting thing about this whole silly subject is that the ACNA, the breakaway Anglican church that has formed in the United States and that Met. Jonah spoke to, is aggressively seeking recognition by Canterbury. The synod of the Church of England voted down a motion to give them formal recognition but gave them some type of nod in a second resolution. They intend to persevere to become acknowledged as a legitimate province of the Anglican Communion by Canterbury.

    What, I think, Met. Jonah fails to realize is that he is dealing with people who, by traditional Orthodox standards, are quite liberal already. They ordain women to the priesthood. They wish the recognition of the Church of England which is preparing to consecrate female bishops. And by wishing to remain in communion with Canterbury, they are indirectly in communion with the Episcopal Church and, each time they receive communion, are affirming as their faith the apostasy of that institution.

    The ACNA only looks conservative if you compare it to The Episcopal Church.

  8. What is the Difference? Can anyone tell me what the difference is between these Anglican Bishops calling for a “Carbon Fast” and Ecumenical Patriarch’s support for the 350 movement in Copenhangen saying in writing that “350 is repentance in action.”

    Sounds like the same thing to me.

    • Scott Pennington :


      Basically, it is the same disease. It’s just more advanced overall in the Episcopal Church and the Church of England. Hence my warning above that we shouldn’t take much comfort in the fact that in other areas we’re not so far down the road to apostasy. It’s a mindset and a process and much of the Orthodox Church is on the same road, just further back.

      Modernism is wanting to be relevant vis a vis Western liberalism, whether the progressive variety or the conservative. Neither man nor this culture is the measure of all things, and the voice of the people is not the voice of God.

      It has many manifestations. The whole calendar issue is one. Other orthopraxis issues also qualify. The condemnation of the death penalty by the OCA and the RCC is another (there is nothing in Holy Tradition that militates against the death penalty; nor is their anything in Catholic tradition, just take a look at the New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia article on the death penalty. It was written in the early 1900’s and had the endorsement of the RCC). It’s a deep desire to be relevant in terms of a foreign ideology. It’s the reason that the RCC talks about “social justice”. They want to hang on to liberal Catholics as well as conservatives so they throw each a few bones.

      Recently, we have Bp. Kallistos opening the door to women’s ordination and the historical critical method. We had Bp. Savvas rejoice at the end of “social darwinism” when Obama was elected (not lamenting, of course, the fact that his election probably made Roe v. Wade safer). We have the Metropolitan of San Francisco making questionable statements about Orthodox moral teaching (you know, the “Desperate Housewives” bishop). I could go on.

      Unless the bishops organize a concerted effort to restore discipline to the Church and purge bad teaching (and bad teachers), we will continue down this road. That is why I believe that eventually there could be a modernist/traditionalist schism. In the Church in America and Western Europe, the number of bishops who have become morally compromised may constitute a majority. This would preclude the possibility of improvement absent a schism. And eventually the Greeks or the Antiochians will do something so far out that the Slavic churches will not be able to stomach it.

      If you look at my post 2.1 above, you will see in broad strokes that The Episcopal Church self destructed slowly with a number of noteworthy benchmarks. When the decline of the Orthodox Church in the United States and Western Europe is chronicled some time in the future, you will see similar benchmarks. Early signs would be a number of events under the Patrirachate of Meletios IV of Constantinople. The marriage of many immigrants to the Democratic party, and it’s decaying morality, would be another. The rise of feminism in the Church (low birthrates, acceptance of birth control, high rates of divorce, abortion, etc.) would be another. The involvement in the ecumenical movement (NCC, WCC, etc.) and questionable statements and actions taken in pursuit of ecumenism would be another. Altar girls and the possible revival of the order of deaconesses (with expanded roles, as Bp. Kallistos suggested) might be another.

      You’re right, Andrew. It’s the same thing.

  9. There is not much difference. We all need to “demonstrate the love of God in a practical way”.

    What will be next is going to be interesting: they will tell us that we all, Christians or pagans, have the same God.

  10. I dont see what is so silly about the idea of fasting from technology. Let’s face it, it is a lot easier nowadays to fast from food than it is from technology. (On the topic of technology, have a look at this excellent article from Radix: Modern Technology: Servant and Master by David W. Gill. It is available online.) Technology is a far greater temptation and distraction from the essential than anything else I can think of.

    • Jaycee, the idea, in and of itself, is not horrible. In the context of Great and Holy Lent however, the idea is inane. The idea trivializes the whole purpose of Lent, repentance so tha we may grow closer to Jesus Christ and participate more fully in His sacrifice for us. The idea reduces the Christian’s struggle against the fallen passions to a mere item of personal choice of what to consume, replacing the obedience to Apostolic authority with one’s own exercise of will.

  11. cynthia curran :

    Well, the orthodox churches when it comes to the death penality are following what is politcally correct. And the only orthodox ruler I can think of that was against the death penality was Vladimir, maybe because he violent prior to being a christian. Anyway, the only group of christians that don’t pay into some of the political correct stuff is conservative protestants. Their wrong on theology but they don’t care about public opinion as much as American Orthodox leaders do.

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