Daily Archives: July 2, 2007

More Canadian Bishops Letters

Earlier today we posted Bp. Terry Buckle’s (Yukon) clergy letter in response to the Canadian General Synod. One of our commenters very helpfully let us know that Felix Hominum blog is tracking other bishops’ statements.

Here’s the link: http://joewalker.blogs.com/felixhominum/2007/06/victoria-matthe.html

Bishop letters are posted for:
+ Victoria Matthews, Bishop of Edmonton
+Colin Johnson, Bishop of Toronto,
+Derek Hoskin, Bishop of Calgary,

Great work Joe. Thank you.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Calgary Sun: Pews of religions which compromise their theology are quickly emptying

A Columnist in the Calgary Sun has an interesting op-ed about how the press and elite who opine that churches must change with the times or die has it exactly backwards:

Anyway, we saw it all again last week after Anglican bishops by a vote of 21-to-19 decided their church would not bless same-sex unions. The laity and the lesser clergy had approved of them, but without the OK of the bishops, the church’s answer was no. The Evangelical Lutherans came to the same conclusion.

“Wise leaders know,” intoned one Toronto editorial, “that no institution can remain impervious to social change if it also remains committed to being a key piece of the social fabric. Homosexual unions are an accepted legal fact of life in Canada.”

Whatever else might be implied here, the writer himself is apparently “impervious to statistical fact.”

About 40 years ago, the Anglican Church hired Pierre Berton to critique the church from an atheist viewpoint. Berton recommended it change its traditionalist ways and become instead what he called “relevant.” It embraced his advice, and followed the march of mankind.

From that time onward, its membership has been going straight down. Today, while some two million people tell census-takers they are Anglicans, only 800,000 appear on the church’s rolls, and less than 300,000 show up on Sunday. Meanwhile, the United Church, which eagerly followed exactly the same path, has seen its membership drop from two million to 500,000. Three quarters of the members have gone.

Full article

Scott at Magic Statistics, one of this elf’s favorite bloggers, adds some excellent commentary and background links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Religion & Culture

Another New Hampshire first? Repeal of Parental Notification re: Abortion

Haven’t seen a lot of coverage of this story. But it might be something to keep an eye on. New Hampshire really likes being first it seems.

U.S. state New Hampshire repeals parental notice abortion law

CONCORD, New Hampshire: New Hampshire on Friday became the first U.S. state to repeal a law requiring parental notification for teenagers to get abortions.

The repeal took effect immediately after New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed the bill.

“I strongly believe parents should be involved in these decisions, providing important support and guidance,” said Lynch. “Unfortunately that is not possible in every case. The Supreme Court found this law unconstitutional because it fails to protect the health and safety of all women, which is why I am signing its repeal.”

New Hampshire is the first state to repeal a parental notice law, according to Dawn Touzin of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, whose lawsuit had tied up the law in court.

Here’s the full text.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics

In Vermont, Controversy over a Historic Church Hall

An inn keeper who hoped to rescue a National Register of Historic Places building in Swanton from demolition says her efforts have failed and the 1876 American Gothic church hall is headed for the wrecking ball.

Jennifer Bright said last week that she is disappointed and sad the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church parish hall that she had hoped to move to her nearby inn is now slated for tear-down.

“I think there is an intrinsic value in the preservation of historic properties,” she said. “This is not some shed that was in someone’s back yard. This is a church. This is the first Episcopal church in Swanton.”

The parishioners of Holy Trinity want the building removed so they can replace it with a new, larger hall that will sit in the same spot and connect to the adjacent marble church where they currently worship. After the marble church was built in 1909, parishioners began using the 1876 church as an auxiliary structure and parish hall for Sunday school, receptions and other functions.

Read it all from the Burlington Free Press.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

A Clarification Notice from the Archbishop of Canterbury on one Report about Lambeth Invitations

From here:

In relation to the Times report of 29th June that ‘Gene Robinson is to be invited to the Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Church next summer’, it should be noted that there is no change to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s decision not to invite the Bishop of New Hampshire to the conference as a participating bishop. It is still being explored whether Bishop Robinson might attend in another status but no invitation has been issued.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lambeth 2008

The 50 best business blogs

Read it all from the Sunday Times.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet

A year’s reflection: Celebrating the beginnings of Christ Church Anglican in Montana

One of the things this elf has found a very encouraging development in the orthodox Anglican blogosphere is the increase of blogs and websites designed to help encourage and mobilize reasserting Episcopalians and Anglicans at a local level. Montana Anglicans is one such local-level blog. One of their contributors, Kathrine, has just posted her reflections on what it has meant for her family to join Christ Church Anglican in Butte, which is under the oversight of the Province of Uganda.

Most of this year I have looked back as well as looked forward. As July of 2006 has progressed into July 2007, I’ve caught myself thinking, “Oh, yes, last year this time we went to Spokane, or were reading Matt Kennedy’s account of the 2006 Convention on-line, or I met with 3 other members of my church over coffee at Denny’s, or had a last meeting at my old parish.” So, when I saw the announcement by our Spirit Life Committee that this Sunday we would celebrate our first meeting that really began the movement for Christ Church Anglican – Butte, it was a moment for long reflection. What has my family lost and gained this past year? Where are we going? I ponder all these things as I think about meeting with my church community this Sunday at the Costin’s.

What have we lost this past year :

When thinking of what has been lost, the first things that come to mind are the material ones. For my family, the loss of our place of worship was a sadness. My husband and I were confirmed there, our children were baptized and had first communion at our old parish. There were the endless winding stairs and the silence of the sanctuary. There was the silence of the chapel during Easter Vigil and the Parish Hall decorated for Vacation Bible School. It was an old building ”“ with great Butte history ”“ since I love history, I loved the historic nature of the place. However, with all of that, I cannot say I’ve missed it that much ”“ the building, was only a building, easily replaced and not that important to a community of Faith. No, while it was beautiful and full of memory, I do not see it with a sense of longing one might expect. So, as a real ”˜loss’ I cannot count it as such.

Yet I do miss the people of my old parish that chose to stay. I miss the community we had as believers ”“ not always agreeing but always family. The National Church, with its resolve to break the bonds of the Communion has destroyed many things, including the fellowship of our wider Anglican family here in Butte. When we Anglicans had to part in August, some resolved to stay with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and others with the wider Anglican Communion. This parting was hard on all of us. We love each other still ”“ but no longer worship together ”“ and that makes me very sad. This is the greatest loss I would count to in my Christian community this past year.

The full entry is here.

In addition to commenting on Katharine’s article, we’d like to use this post to work towards compiling a list of the various blogs and websites designed to facilitate local-networking among reasserting Anglicans. Here are a few we know of. Please chime in with others in the comments.

Albany Intercessor (Dio. Albany prayer blog)
Anglican District of Virginia (website, not a blog)
Anglican Watchman (Diocese of Newark)
Connecticut 6 (covers much more than CT, but it has all the CT news as well.)
Drell’s Descants (although Brad covers much more than local news, his is a key blog for news of and networking in Western Louisiana.)
Montana Anglicans
Northern Plains Anglicans
Northwest Anglicans Blog
South Carolina – ACN
Surrounded (Diocese of San Joaquin)
Windsor Coalition of Western Louisiana

What sites are we missing?

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Resources & Links, Episcopal Church (TEC), Resources: blogs / websites, TEC Conflicts

Latest news from All Saints Pasadena: Call for Cheney impeachment investigation

Well, let it never be said that the IRS investigation of whether All Saints Pasadena violated separation of church and state or prohibitions against churches lobbying for political candidates caused them to become timid or stay out of politics.

In checking Susan Russell’s blog we just read this:

From today’s All Saints Church Media Alert:

In an Independence Day sermon All Saints Church rector Ed Bacon called for an investigation into grounds for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney.

“I have come to believe,” Bacon proclaimed, “that for the soul of America ”¦ the U.S. Congress should direct the Judiciary Committee to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the impeachment the Vice President.”

You can read Susan’s entire blog entry here.

Note: We’re turning comments off on this one. Busy day and no time for the elves to keep an eye on them. Sorry.

The “Reformed Pastor” David Fischler picked up this story on his blog. And he has comments on. So, if you want to comment, you can go here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics

Floods are judgment on society, say bishops

While those who have been affected by the storms are innocent victims, the bishops argue controversially that the flooding is a result of Western civilisation’s decision to ignore biblical teaching.

The Rt Rev Graham Dow, Bishop of Carlisle, argued that the floods are not just a result of a lack of respect for the planet, but also a judgment on society’s moral decadence.

“This is a strong and definite judgment because the world has been arrogant in going its own way,” he said. “We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmental damage that we have caused.”

The bishop, who is a leading evangelical, said that people should heed the stories of the Bible, which described the downfall of the Roman empire as a result of its immorality.

“We are in serious moral trouble because every type of lifestyle is now regarded as legitimate,” he said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Archbishop Terry Buckle’s letter to Yukon clergy

Scott at Magic Statistics blog has the full text of Abp. Terry Buckle’s post-General Synod letter to Yukon clergy. Here’s an excerpt:

There were resolutions dealing with the blessing of same sex unions. These resolutions brought about much debate from General Synod Delegates. A resolution was passed that stated:

“That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine, in the sense of being creedal, of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

However a resolution failed to be passed which stated:

“That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod, with the concurrence of its bishop, to authorize the blessing of committed same sex unions.”

Another resolution coming out of this discussion was passed in relation to the Marriage Canon of our church. This resolution as passed states:

“That this General Synod request the Council of General Synod to consider a revision of Canon 21 (On Marriage) including theological rationale to allow marriage of all legally qualified persons and to report back to General Synod 2010.”

The passing of these resolutions has now affirmed that the blessing of committed same sex unions is doctrine but not in conflict with the core or creedal doctrine of the Anglican Church of Canada. This means that the blessing of committed same sex unions is considered doctrine of importance but not of the greater importance of creedal (core) doctrine: (Like the Divinity of Christ for example)

The above mentioned resolution that failed to pass has prohibited dioceses from proceeding at this time with the blessing of same sex unions.

The passing of the resolution on the revision of Canon 21 on Marriage has requested the Council of General Synod to consider a revision of the Marriage Canon and to provide a theological rationale to allow marriage of all legally qualified persons. The Council of General Synod is to report back to General Synod 2010.

The resulting consequence of the voting results of these resolutions leaves many with a sense of confusion and uncertainty as we seek to keep together and work together as a church over the next three years until General Synod 2010. Our church is hurting, it feels torn, people are weary of the matter and in the days ahead we will see how the rest of the Anglican Communion reacts to these resolutions of the Anglican Church of Canada.

Read the full letter at Magic Statistics

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Bishops, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007

Taking a Break and Going Across the Pond

Tonight I fly to London and then go on tomorrow to Oxford for a conference there. Next Friday I meet the rest of the family in London so we can enjoy England for about week. This will be exciting for us, not least because Elizabeth and I get to show the two youngest where they were born.

I have been at this blog since the first part of 2003, and it is time for a break. As I am constantly insisting to my friends, none of us is indispensable, and this is a way of living that out by yours truly. Remember I told you I am the type of person who goes to bed every night just a little sad–only a little–about how much I don’t know (and still wish to find out). So moving away from the information addiction for me will not necessarily be easy–but it needs to be done.

I will possibly check in from time to time, but will be posting little if at all. The elves are swamped and will provide threads and ideas only as they are able. Full blogging will only resume July 15 or 16. Thanks for your prayers, your comments and your support–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall

Religion and Ethics Weekly: Advertising Ethics

BOB ABERNETHY, anchor: Now, the messages of the advertising business. They help sell billions of dollars worth of products. But do they also coarsen American culture? And if so, who’s to blame ””the ad agencies or us consumers? Lucky Severson has a report from Madison Avenue.

LUCKY SEVERSON: This is the annual One Show festival in New York, sponsored by the One Club, a nonprofit organization founded to uphold and raise creative standards in advertising. One commercial receiving top honors was an ad for Dove soap ””an unusual attempt to broaden the concept of beauty. Mary Warlick is CEO of the One Club.

MARY WARLICK (CEO, The One Club): What Dove is doing, it’s showing that there’re real people out there. Everybody is not a size 2. You can be beautiful in your own skin, and that’s a very, very important breakthrough.

SEVERSON: Does this mean the advertising industry has turned a new leaf against creating unrealistic images of beauty? Does it mean less sex and violence in media and advertising? Keith Reinhard is the chairman emeritus of the giant ad agency DDB Worldwide, and he has a dim view of the trend of many of today’s spots.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

Great News! Old Pontifications is back online

Yesterday we posted the news that Fr. Al Kimel, aka “The Pontificator,” has decided to give up blogging. That decision, while understandable, was made harder by the seeming loss of the more than 3 years of archives at the old Pontifications site.

Great news however. The Old Pontifications is back online!
Here’s the link to the CaNNet-hosted blog Fr. Al ran from March 2004 – May 2007: http://catholica.pontifications.net/

Pontifications was such a helpful resource to so many of us. (This elf personally is a huge fan of his citations category.) It is wonderful to know this material is all still available. Phew!! And thanks to whatever wonderful tech elves worked to make this possible!

Posted in * Resources & Links, Resources: blogs / websites

Just to be sure, Pittsburgh Roman Catholic Diocese is checking all volunteers–everyone

When the 17 lectors at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Shadyside learned they would have to undergo national criminal background checks to continue reading the Bible aloud at Mass, two quit.

Dr. Mark Stehlik, the lector coordinator, says he doesn’t think the two were hiding anything. They simply resented the intrusion into their privacy and were hurt by the church’s lack of trust, he says.

In 2004 Dr. Stehlik cheerfully submitted to a state background check in order to coach at the parish school. But now he wonders whether expanding the requirement to volunteers with little official interaction with minors is wise or even helpful in preventing child sexual abuse.

“For a community, meaning the Catholic community, that has been built up on the backs of willing parish volunteers, there had better be a really good, verifiable return to justify putting anything onerous in the way of that volunteerism. In my mind, that return is just not there,” said Dr. Stehlik, 49, a father of two and a lector since eighth grade.

“We are paying a huge price for a very small likelihood of something actually happening.”

Read it all from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Irwin Stelzer: Private equity will have to play fair on tax

At times, a sense of fairness trumps such economic considerations, and this is one of those times.

Here’s why. Americans have traditionally been unperturbed by inequality levels that would provoke Europeans to turn out their governments. And there is no indication that the most extreme populist politician, Democratic presidential wannabe John Edwards, is gaining much traction for his argument that there are “two Americas”, one very rich, the other very poor.

But there is some indication that Americans worry that it is no longer the case that everyone can get rich, or at least look forward to a rising standard of living. Add to that the decoupling of some high incomes from performance. Too many failed executives leave with golden good-byes after mismanaging the companies they were supposed to take to the next level of profitability.

Then there is the not-so-trivial matter of the flamboyant life styles of the private-equity class. Black-stone boss Steve Schwarzman threw a very public birthday party for himself at a cost variously estimated at between $3m and $15m. Tales of $5,000 bottles of champagne and even more expensive female companionship, lavish parties in far-flung places, with private performances by the world’s most highly paid entertainers, create more than harmless gossip. They create an atmosphere in which it is difficult for politicians to defend a tax structure that claims 10%-15% of the gains on private-equity deals, but 40% of the overtime wages of moderately well-paid workers.

Read it all.

Update: Ben Stein has further thoughts on the same subject here.

Posted in * Economics, Politics