Daily Archives: July 27, 2007
1. Because The Episcopal Church (USA and other regions) is more accepting than most provinces of lesbians and gay people, including those in loving partnerships, it has been accused of failing to act in accord with the clear teaching of the Bible and the agreed position of the Communion, being too heavily influenced by the dominant culture and acting in an imperialist manner. Resolution 1.10 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference is often mentioned: though its position on homosexuality was not binding, TEC has been condemned for breaching ‘bonds of affection’ by not conforming.
2. However it is unjust to punish TEC when senior clergy in certain other provinces have to a far greater extent failed to act in line with Scripture and Anglican consensus, to examine their own cultures critically and to oppose imperialism. These include the primate and bishops of the Church of Nigeria, who have acted in ways contrary to key Biblical teachings, the 1998 Lambeth Resolution on homosexuality and over thirty resolutions agreed by Lambeth or the Anglican Consultative Council, as well as several recommendations of the Windsor Report.
Many jihadis seek to create a global caliphate, ruled by Sharia. At best, Christians, Hindus, and Jews would live in a state of submission tantamount to second-class citizenship. If they got above themselves, they would suffer the persecutions Islamists visited on the Coptic Christians of Egypt. The rule of Islamists has resulted in murderous chaos ”“ 150,000 died in Algeria during the 1990s when madmen decided that most of the Muslim population were apostates. The Taleban anti-state so ruined Afghanistan that Americans joked that they had to bomb it forwards to the Stone Age. There are significant numbers of people living in Britain who wish to visit such chaos on us.
This is the backdrop to the debate about anti-terrorism legislation. As usual lawyers talk to lawyers, including those overrepresented in our political class. Overlooking that our greatest right is to life, civil libertarians are exercised about proposals to extend detention of suspects from 28 to 56 days.
Shami Chakrabarti, the barrister whom the BBC assiduously promotes as the voice of a presumed liberal consensus, will widen her Diana-like eyes in outrage, while Amnesty will mutter darkly about internment.
Last month, Pope Benedict XVI addressed what he called “the delicate situation” in the Middle East. He told a Vatican meeting of the Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches that “peace, much awaited and implored, is unfortunately greatly offended.” Although the pope’s words were meant to refer to strife in Iraq and Israel, they also may be taken to describe the delicate, oft-broken peace in Christianity’s own holiest site in the region.
Ever since it was built by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine in 335 on the hill of Golgotha, where his mother, Helena, claimed to have found the remains of the True Cross, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem’s Old City has enjoyed little peace. The historian Eusebius records that the original structure, “an extraordinary work,” was crowned by a roof “overlaid throughout with radiant gold.” But Constantine’s marvel was razed by the Persians in 614, reconstructed, and then destroyed again by Caliph Hakim of Egypt in 1009. Rebuilt by Crusaders in the 11th and 12th centuries, the building evolved into the motley collection of shrines, chapels and grottos that greet–and sometimes disappoint–the visitor today. The critic Edmund Wilson said it “probably contains more bad taste, certainly more kinds of bad taste, than any other church in the world.”
The architectural mishmash reflects the overlapping theological resonances of the spots contained under one roof. As Amos Elon notes in his book “Jerusalem: City of Mirrors,” the church marks the site of “Christ’s alleged prison, Adam’s tomb, the Pillar of Flagellation [to which Jesus was bound], ‘Mount’ Calvary [the Latin name for the hill where Jesus was crucified], the Stone of Unction [where his body was washed in preparation for burial], Christ’s sepulcher and the Center of the Earth, as well as the site of the resurrected Christ’s meeting with Mary Magdalene.” No wonder Pope John Paul II called it “the mother of all churches.”
Former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev has said that the complicated situation in the world is largely due to the position of the United States, which suffers from
“The U.S. is always anxious to win. The fact that they suffer from this disorder, the winner complex, is the main reason why things are so complicated in the world,” Gorbachev said at a press conference at Interfax on Friday.
At Gavin Brown’s 4th birthday party, the usual detritus lined the edges of the backyard: sippy cups, sunscreen, water shoes, stuffed animals. There were 44 guests and as many buns on the grill, in addition to an elaborate ice cream cake adorned with a fire truck. For the adults, there was sangria and savory corn salsa.
Glenn Johnson lifted his daughter Mia, 3, up to drop money into the donation box.
But the only gift in sight was a little red Matchbox hook and ladder rig. All the bounty from Gavin’s birthday ”” $240 in checks and cash collected in a red box next to a plastic fire helmet ”” went to the Cranford Fire Department.
“Thanks, buddy,” Lt. Frank Genova said on Sunday when Gavin handed over the loot, after which he took a tour of the pumper truck and tried on a real captain’s helmet. With the party proceeds, the birthday boy suggested, the firefighters “can buy new fire trucks, new equipment, and more food.”
In part to teach philanthropy and altruism, and in part as a defense against swarms of random plastic objects destined to clutter every square foot of their living space, a number of families are experimenting with gift-free birthday parties, suggesting that guests donate money or specified items to the charity of the child’s choice instead.
During a high-level meeting in Riyadh in January, Saudi officials confronted a top American envoy with documents that seemed to suggest that Iraq’s prime minister could not be trusted.
One purported to be an early alert from the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, to the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr warning him to lie low during the coming American troop increase, which was aimed in part at Mr. Sadr’s militia. Another document purported to offer proof that Mr. Maliki was an agent of Iran.
The American envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, immediately protested to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contending that the documents were forged. But, said administration officials who provided an account of the exchange, the Saudis remained skeptical, adding to the deep rift between America’s most powerful Sunni Arab ally, Saudi Arabia, and its Shiite-run neighbor, Iraq.
Now, Bush administration officials are voicing increasing anger at what they say has been Saudi Arabia’s counterproductive role in the Iraq war. They say that beyond regarding Mr. Maliki as an Iranian agent, the Saudis have offered financial support to Sunni groups in Iraq. Of an estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters who enter Iraq each month, American military and intelligence officials say that nearly half are coming from Saudi Arabia and that the Saudis have not done enough to stem the flow.
One senior administration official says he has seen evidence that Saudi Arabia is providing financial support to opponents of Mr. Maliki. He declined to say whether that support was going to Sunni insurgents because, he said, “That would get into disagreements over who is an insurgent and who is not.”
Jim Rosenthal describes himself as an “ardent Anglican,” “a faithful catholic” and a “prayerful … but not too pious … bureaucrat.” In fact, this gregarious, cheerful, hail-fellow-well-met who left the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago 18 years ago to become director of communications for the Anglican Communion, is far more than that, and his friends — many of them in high places — will tell you so.
“He is an incarnation of the bonds of affection of the Anglican Communion,” says Bishop Peter Lee of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.
“He interprets the church to the world and the world to the church,” says former Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold.
THE BISHOP of Jos, Nigeria, the Rt Revd Benjamin Kwashi, was frogmarched out of his house at knifepoint and gunpoint on Tuesday, by a gang who threatened him with murder and beat up his teenage son, Rinji. They ransacked the house and stole what was initially estimated at about Â£3000-worth of possessions, including a laptop and mobile phones.
The gang overpowered the two security guards at the gates of the Bishop’s compound and locked up the four domestic staff. It is the second attack on the Bishop’s household in 18 months. In February 2006, in his absence from home, a gang beat up Bishop Kwashi’s wife, Gloria, and left her temporarily blinded (News, 24 February 2006).
The Bishop said on Wednesday morning: “The shock has gone, but now the reality is dawning, and we are discovering what was lost and what was destroyed. It is more than we thought ”” terrible. But we thank the Lord for life. I never thought that someone would negotiate my life so cheaply,” he said.
The attack was calculated and deliberate. “They came with ladders, a hacksaw, a sledgehammer, diggers ”” they came to remove the door. No ordinary thief who wants to steal would collect the stuff that way.”
From the Irish Gazette:
Following the debate on the Anglican covenant process at the meeting of the Church of England General Synod earlier this month in York, the Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, told the Gazette that if the bishops of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States do not meet the demands of the Dar es Salaam Primates’ Meeting required by next September’s deadline, and if the bishops of the Global South decline to attend next year’s Lambeth Conference, as many as six in ten Church of England bishops could be considering their own positions about attending the ten-yearly episcopal gathering.
However, Bishop Scott- Joynt added that such bishops would feel “constrained” by their loyalty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, who personally invites the bishops.
Bishop Scott-Joynt also said that if the US bishops were not attending and the Global South bishops were, his estimated four in ten minority among the English bishops would be facing similar considerations to those of the majority in the opposite situation.
A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is on sabbatical until September, said Archbishop John Sentamu was not speaking on behalf of Archbishop Rowan Williams, but instead offering his own reflections on current events.
THE FORMER Bishop of Harare and Mashonaland Peter Hatendi (pictured) has accused his successor Dr Nolbert Kunonga of banning him from functioning as a priest.
In an open letter published on July 10 in the Zimbabwean, Bishop Hatendi, denied rumours that he had left the Anglican Church. His absence from the pulpit was due to a ban issued by Dr Kunonga, he explained.
“Not long after his consecration as Bishop Dr Kunonga let it be known that he had decided to deprive me indefinitely of my divine right to celebrate, officiate, preach and administer sacraments in the Diocese of Harare. The Diocese in which I was baptised when I was three weeks old, confirmed, ordained and consecrated Bishop.”
No reason for the ban had been given, he said.
I participated in the Committee of the 100 leaders (C-100) of the World Economic Forum in Amman, Jordan. Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, chaired this committee. The Grand Mufti of Egypt participated for the first time. It was an excellent interfaith event.
I also participated in the Global South Primate’s Steering Committee Meeting from the 16th to the 18th of July in London, England. We produced a very important communiquÃ©, that you can find it here.
I also enjoyed participating in the Wycliffe Hall conference in Oxford that focused on the Covenant and the mission of the Anglican Communion. This was an eye-opening opportunity and it was very helpful.