Daily Archives: April 16, 2008

The Full Text of the Pope's Speech at the White House

Freedom is not only a gift, but also a summons to personal responsibility. Americans know this from experience ”“ almost every town in this country has its monuments honoring those who sacrificed their lives in defense of freedom, both at home and abroad. The preservation of freedom calls for the cultivation of virtue, self-discipline, sacrifice for the common good and a sense of responsibility towards the less fortunate. It also demands the courage to engage in civic life and to bring one’s deepest beliefs and values to reasoned public debate. In a word, freedom is ever new. It is a challenge held out to each generation, and it must constantly be won over for the cause of good (cf. Spe Salvi, 24). Few have understood this as clearly as the late Pope John Paul II. In reflecting on the spiritual victory of freedom over totalitarianism in his native Poland and in eastern Europe, he reminded us that history shows, time and again, that “in a world without truth, freedom loses its foundation”, and a democracy without values can lose its very soul (cf. Centesimus Annus, 46). Those prophetic words in some sense echo the conviction of President Washington, expressed in his Farewell Address, that religion and morality represent “indispensable supports” of political prosperity.

The Church, for her part, wishes to contribute to building a world ever more worthy of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gen 1:26-27). She is convinced that faith sheds new light on all things, and that the Gospel reveals the noble vocation and sublime destiny of every man and woman (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 10). Faith also gives us the strength to respond to our high calling, and the hope that inspires us to work for an ever more just and fraternal society. Democracy can only flourish, as your founding fathers realized, when political leaders and those whom they represent are guided by truth and bring the wisdom born of firm moral principle to decisions affecting the life and future of the nation.

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

At White House, Pope Lauds Americans’ Faith

Saying he had come as a friend of the United States, Pope Benedict urged Americans and their leaders on Wednesday to base their political and social decisions on moral principles and create a more just society.

In an address to President George W. Bush at the White House on the first full day of his U.S. visit, the pope also called for “patient efforts of international diplomacy to resolve conflicts” and promote progress around the world.

“I come as a friend, a preacher of the Gospel and one with great respect for this vast pluralistic society,” Benedict said in a speech after Bush welcomed him to the White House at a ceremony that included 21-gun salute.

Bush cited the role of faith in U.S. life, which the pope had praised in remarks to journalists traveling with him as he crossed the Atlantic.

“Here in America, you’ll find a nation that welcomes the role of religion in the public square,” Bush said.

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

Notable and Quotable

A Black Hole “teaches us that space can be crumpled like a piece of paper into an infinitesimal dot, that time can be extinguished like a blown-out flame, and that the laws of physics that we regard as ‘sacred,’ as immutable, are anything but.”

–John A. Wheeler, one of the giants of the world of physics, compatriot of Albert, Einstein, Niels Bohr, and key scientist on the Manhattan Project–the man who coined the term “Black Hole”–dead at the age of 96.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Bush, big White House crowd to greet pope on his birthday

President Bush has quite a birthday present for Pope Benedict XVI: at least 9,000 excited guests gathered on the White House’s South Lawn for a 21-gun salute, a famed soprano’s rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer” and an emotional presidential welcome.

The pontiff turns 81 on Wednesday, the first full day of his first trip to the United States as leader of the world’s Roman Catholics. He’ll spend most of the day at the White House, only the second pope to do so and the first in 29 years.

In remarks during pomp-filled festivities that have had Washington aflutter for days, Bush was to tell the pontiff and the crowd how glad America is to have him visit – and to tell Americans they should listen to his words.

“He will hear from the president that America and the world need to hear his message that God is love, that human life is sacred, that we all must be guided by common moral law, and that we have responsibilities to care for our brothers and sisters in need, at home and across the world,” said White House press secretary Dana Perino.

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

Central New York Episcopal Diocese Sues Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York filed a lawsuit today against Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, New York seeking the seizure of the church building, the parish hall, and the rectory. This is the third church which Episcopal Bishop Gladstone “Skip” Adams of Syracuse has moved against to seize since 2006, and the second church he has actually sued. The priest at Good Shepherd is Fr. Matt Kennedy who is a commentator on the internationally known Stand Firm website.

The Church of the Good Shepherd was a small struggling congregation when Bishop Adams took over the diocese as its new bishop. One of the first priests he ordained was Fr. Kennedy, who then went to Good Shepherd and raised it to be a vibrant congregation doubling its Sunday morning attendance. Since taking the church in Binghamton, Fr. Kennedy has acquired a reputation as one of the most widely read and respected commentators of church news in the Anglican Communion. Today, however, that same bishop who ordained him has sued his church, and refuses to even to acknowledge that Fr. Kennedy is a priest, referring to him as “Mr. Kennedy” in correspondence. In a cover letter to the summons, the lawyer for Bishop Adams likewise followed suit, and addressed the priest as “Matt Kennedy” and “Mr. Kennedy.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts

World Bank Official Warns Rising Food Costs Could Push 100 Million Into Poverty

Surging food prices could push 100 million deeper into poverty, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said Sunday at the close of the International Money Fund-World Bank spring meetings in Washington.

“Based on a very rough analysis, we estimate that a doubling of food prices over the last three years could potentially push 100 million people in low-income countries deeper into poverty,” Zoellick said at a press conference. “This is not just a question of short-term needs, as important as those are; this is ensuring that future generations don’t pay a price too.”

Zoellick called for a “New Deal for Global Food Policy” similar to a 1930s program under U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to tackle problems related to the Great Depression.

The World Bank estimates that food prices have gone up by 83 percent globally over the last three years. Wheat prices have risen by 120 percent in the last year and in just the last two months, the price of rice has risen by 75 percent. The World Banks says increased food prices is not a temporary phenomenon but is likely to persist in the medium term.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Globalization, Poverty

Canon Cameron: Lambeth Won’t Affirm North American Innovations

Speaking at a conference on the proposed Anglican Covenant, the Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron, deputy secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, did not offer hope to those eager for other Anglican provinces to follow the North American churches’ perceived leadership in social justice ministries.

Canon Cameron was the final keynote speaker at “An Anglican Covenant: Divisive or Reconciling?”, a conference held April 10-12 at The General Theological Seminary’s Desmond Tutu Center. He explained that the Archbishop of Canterbury has no juridical authority, and noted that while individual bishops have differing levels of sympathy for full inclusion of homosexual persons, neither intervention nor affirmation can be expected at this summer’s Lambeth Conference.

“We must get our ecclesiology right,” he stressed. “Lambeth bishops cannot command and require. They can only commend. Therefore when any of the instruments speak, they don’t speak as law but as advisors. Like the [British] monarchy, they do not rule or govern, but they can be consulted.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

Elizabeth Goddard: Developing Evangelical Women as Leaders

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Episcopal Priest denied Access To church In Groton

When the newly appointed “priest-in-charge” of the Bishop Seabury Church, the Rev. David Cannon, came to the church Tuesday morning, he was denied entry.

He was not given the keys or granted access to records.

Cannon, however, said he does not have any hard feelings. He accepted the appointment well aware of the ongoing tug of war between church parishioners and the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

Bishop Seabury parishioners have voted themselves out of the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A., instead affiliating themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, which is based on more conservative beliefs, including opposition to the ordination of an openly gay bishop.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut

A Statement of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Western Louisiana

We, the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Western Louisiana, make this statement that we do not recognize the depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox as having had the requisite canonical votes necessary for the deposition of a bishop. We would refer the Church to the March 27, 2008 letter from the Standing Committee and Bishop of South Carolina to the Presiding Bishop, which we believe to be correct in its recitation of the applicable canons and their history.

The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church have been held up by some church leaders as part of the way forward for our broken church, in that these governing documents provide a procedural basis for our common life together. One of the main justifications for the actions taken at General Convention 2003 regarding the consents to the Bishop of New Hampshire was that the Diocese of New Hampshire had followed the canonical process in electing a bishop. We also note that the Diocese of South Carolina was held to an exacting standard in obtaining consents for the consecration of Bishop Mark Lawrence, while such exacting standards as to form of consents have not been applied to any other Episcopal election to our knowledge.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

From ENS: Anglican covenant conference draws international group, elicits varied viewpoints

Referencing Anglican polity and the Windsor Report, [Archbishop Drexel] Gomez said that in the three years since the release of the Windsor Report, positions across the Communion have “polarized” and there is “less trust” between parties and provinces than there has been for a long time.

“Everyone claims to be the defender of the true spirit of Anglicanism, and to describe that spirit as orthodox, mainstream, comprehensive or inclusive,” he said. “The language has become more strident, and, quite frankly, scaremongering is commonplace.”

He said in a situation which is becoming “increasingly overheated” we need to hear “a voice of calm.” We need to identify the fundamentals that we share in common, and to “state the common basis on which our mutual trust can be rebuilt.”

Stating that as “essentially all that the covenant proposal is — no more and no less,” Gomez clarified that it is not intended to define some sort of “new Anglicanism,” or invent a new model of authority, or “peddle a narrow or exclusive view of what Anglicanism is.”

“It is intended to state concisely and clearly the faith that we have all inherited together, so that there can be a new confidence that we are about the same mission,” he said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant

Washington Post: Benedict XVI a Back-to-Basics Messenger

In an era saturated with entertainment and politics, a key question looms as Pope Benedict XVI leaves here Tuesday for Washington: Is his style too dense to get Americans’ attention?

Certainly, tens of thousands of U.S. Catholics have been jockeying for tickets to his Masses in Washington and New York; about 5,000 members of the media will cover him; and Catholics across the spectrum are touting points on which he agrees with them. For traditionalists, that means Catholicism’s superiority and the revival of centuries-old prayer, music and clerical garments in church. For those to the left, it means his comments against the Iraq war, global warming and nuclear arms.

But Benedict, in making his first trip as pope to the United States, brings an agenda, and it’s more the stuff of a theology lecture than a mass-media event. He lands at Andrews Air Force base Tuesday afternoon, where he will be greeted by President Bush and first lady Laura Bush.

To be sure, there are tangible goals: Ramp up frank interfaith dialogue. Return Catholics to regular, traditional worship that reminds them of their long history. But his biggest aspiration for his six-day trip is to encourage Christians to believe in Jesus — to really believe in him, not as a metaphor but as a real miracle meant to deliver human beings from misery and war. The challenge, experts say, is trying to sell this message in a culture dominated more by reason than faith.

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

The Blue Screen of Death Appears on the Laptop

That’s the BSOD to computer geeks, and if you do not know what it means, be thankful.

This will mean less capacity for blogging until the problem is diagnosed and fixed–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology