Daily Archives: June 3, 2008

Connecticut Episcopal Priest accused of hosting liquor party for minors

Stonington police have arrested the pastor of an Episcopal church accusing him of hosting a graduation party that resulted in two girls getting sick on alcohol.

The Rev. Mark Robinson of Calvary Episcopal Church was arrested Monday on charges stemming from a party at his home Sunday night.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Alcoholism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry

Roman Catholic Priest says remarks at Chicago church were about racism, not politics

Speaking at a “unity service” June 1 at St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago, Father Michael Pfleger said his remarks the week before at Trinity United Church of Christ were about racism, not politics.

“All my life, I have had to deal with the reality of racism,” the St. Sabina pastor said in a statement to the media before his homily. “I have committed myself to tearing down the walls that divide us wherever they stand.”

He said the days following the dissemination of the YouTube clip in which he mocked Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York were “the most painful days of my life, even more so than the death of Jarvis, my foster son.”

Jarvis was gunned down in gang crossfire not far from St. Sabina in 1998.

“This was a new level, when the world is meeting you for the first time in a minute-and-a-half YouTube clip,” he said.

Read the whole article.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Race/Race Relations, Roman Catholic, US Presidential Election 2008

Why some may say that the Episcopal Church is no longer a member of the Anglican Communion

From the Bishop of Western Kansas:

A very interesting and disturbing phenomenon has occurred due to a reinterpretation of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. The decision was made to use a Canon formed to ease the transition for a priest to leave the Anglican Church (of which The Episcopal Church is a part) and go to another Apostolic faith community without trial or expenses, non-necessary paperwork and meetings, which a regular renunciation would have required.

A good Canon constructed to work as Christians together in one faith: when spiritual disciplines change and new callings and discernment lead us apart. But now that same Canon has been reinterpreted to mean that a bishop may depose a priest when they disagree or when that clergyperson sees that they can no longer remain in the Episcopal Church, but she/he may be called to another Anglican entity (Province, Church, Ministry) which shares, supposedly, the same faith and Holy Orders.

It has been used nearly 300 times in the past six years. The words have been reinterpreted to speak to a Bishop and his/her clergy instead of a Holy Order within the whole of the Anglican Communion. The interpretation now leans to saying that people are ordained to this Church (TEC) and not to the worldwide Communion.

This has been extended to bishops for the first time and now all pretence of investigation, trial, evidence and Anglican identity can be ignored to solve problems that should be dealt with pastorally.

In fact, some few bishops have said they will never depose a clergyperson under these circumstances and have actually sat down with clergy and churches (which they refuse to litigate against) and have worked out pastoral solutions to very difficult and challenging issues. No one has been deposed.

Fiscal responsibilities have been satisfied, and even though all arrangements do not satisfy everyone, the Church does not sue its own and cast aside faithful, loving clergy who just can not belong to a Church which has so changed from when they took their vows, that some no longer recognize the Church where many first came to Christ.

I actually have a dear friend and priest who was deposed from his office. How many times did he meet with his Bishop? How many people advised him of the gravity of the situation? How many questions were asked of him as to why he was doing what he was doing and believed as he did? Absolutely none. He received a letter one day saying he could no longer be a clergyman in the Episcopal Church. No reason asked. No reason given.

When I was ordained a priest 28 years ago I could go to any Anglican Church in the world and as a recognized Anglican in Holy Orders of the Anglican Communion, I could be invited to celebrate, preach or otherwise minister with summary permission from ecclesiastical authorities. Today, I would stand in judgment of my beliefs and practices in many of the world’s Anglican Provinces. Why? Because the Episcopal Church no longer validates Anglican Orders but only those conferred by bishops within The Episcopal Church (also named TEC).

In years past, if I was given a call to another Province, I could go and serve, never being deposed whether I came back or not. What has changed? The Episcopal Church’s understanding seems to be that their orders only extend within the ecclesiastical package of what was known as ECUSA, PECUSA and ultimately the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society and applies to TEC only.

The Episcopal Church has declared that it is indeed a church apart from the Anglican Communion. And this has not occurred because of sexuality, women’s ordination, differences in doctrine, nor polity.

It has happened because The Episcopal Church no longer recognizes the universality of Anglican Holy Orders and truly is no longer a member of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church most of us were ordained into. How far will the separation go? I fear it will eventually be complete and Episcopalians can throw away all the books which claim it is an Anglican Church because it will have divorced itself from its past and become something apart.

Maybe that is what the majority want. Then those who have trouble with the historic Creeds of the Church can cut those out of the liturgies and declare a universal salvation at no cost or sacrifice. And it will be worth what people are willing to give for it. As little as possible.

—(The Rt. Rev.) James M. Adams is the Bishop of Western Kansas

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

Vatican letter directs bishops to keep parish records from Mormons

In an effort to block posthumous rebaptisms by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholic dioceses throughout the world have been directed by the Vatican not to give information in parish registers to the Mormons’ Genealogical Society of Utah.

An April 5 letter from the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, obtained by Catholic News Service in late April, asks episcopal conferences to direct all bishops to keep the Latter-day Saints from microfilming and digitizing information contained in those registers.

The order came in light of “grave reservations” expressed in a Jan. 29 letter from the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the clergy congregation’s letter said.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Baptism, Mormons, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Megan McCardle: Surprise! The states are out of money again

This story is not exactly an evergreen–more of a counter-cyclic perennial that blooms every time the economy slows down. At each turn, the news that tax revenues fall during recessions is greeted first with surprise, and then with indignation. This is perhaps why no one has expected the states to anticipate this bewildering state of affairs by building up their reserves to levels adequate to weather the really rather moderate financial storms that beset them during lean times.

Too, these articles rarely see fit to mention the other ways in which these wounds have been self-inflicted–the habit of making ever more lavish pension promises to the public sector unions, for example. Public pension funds are now officially a disaster. Politicians promised benefits without funding them. The befuddled fund managers seem to have mistaken beta for alpha, pouring their assets into riskier asset classes because they couldn’t make up the deficit on a safe, modest appreciation every year. If these were private companies, most of those managers and their bosses would be under indictment. The problem is about to get worse, of course, because when do pension funds need the most topping up? During downturns, when asset values decline.

Read it all and I found many of the comments worthwhile as well.

Update: In South Carolina the Governor and the state Government are aggressively fighting over exactly this problem:

Harry E. Bolick, who owns a Greenville-based consulting and engineering firm and who came to hear [Governor Mark] Sanford speak in Greer, said he was “amazed” when the governor said the Legislature proposed borrowing $100 million from Medicaid.

Sanford said he found it necessary to veto expanded health care for children under Medicaid because he doesn’t think it’s sustainable.

[State Senator John] Land said the $100 million wasn’t borrowed, but was unspent funds from last year.

Sanford said the state budget approved by the Legislature doesn’t include higher costs for gasoline and builds in a $20 million shortfall in education and an $8 million shortfall in the Corrections Department. Land said agencies can’t spend more than the Legislature allocates.

Land said expanding the health care for 70,000 poor children under Medicaid by $21 million would return federal monies fourfold. “That is just poor business to turn down that money,” he said.

Sanford said this is the last chance to “hold the line on spending.”

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General

Ohio Al-Qaeda Member Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Use WMD

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Terrorism

IBD: The End Of England?

Maybe [Rowan] Williams has given up. But one Anglican bishop, a brave soul who happens to have a Muslim name, has not. Pakistan-born Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, has made it clear that England has to fight for its cultural life and cannot yield to Islamic extremists who he says are taking advantage of the moral vacuum left by a nation that has largely abandoned Christianity in the wake of the 1960s cultural revolution.

As Archbishop Williams was busy surrendering his nation and his faith earlier this year, Nazir-Ali dared to publicly refer to the no-go areas in Muslim neighborhoods and blame them on government multicultural policies that create divisiveness. For that, this courageous clergyman has received death threats.

England would do well to listen to Nazir-Ali, tune out Williams and resist giving in to the impulses of opinion shapers who have opted for moral cowardice. If not, there will be no England, no Great Britain, left.

As it is, England has become a revolving door of migration, the rotation of which is putting a new face on an old nation. Britons are leaving in large numbers and are being replaced in larger numbers by outsiders.

While many of the foreigners relocating in Britain are skilled workers who are necessary to the health of the economy, the country is experiencing a brain drain, the worst in 50 years, the media say. The Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development says no other nation is losing qualified people so fast.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Yukon diocese unable to elect new bishop

Members of the diocese of the Yukon, meeting in Whitehorse on May 31, failed to elect a new bishop, and Archbishop Terrence Buckle said he would postpone his retirement and remain in office.

Archbishop Buckle, who is 67, had said earlier this year that he would retire at the end of 2008. Canadian Anglican bishops generally retire before or at the age of 70.

Through seven rounds of voting, the 35 delegates assembled at Christ Church Cathedral were not able to give any of the five candidates the required simple majority in each of the two houses of clergy and laity as well as an overall two-thirds majority.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

Anglican church headed by Bishop John-David Schofield Continues to be organized in Lodi

The San Joaquin Diocese, which covers Lodi to Bakersfield and east to Mammoth Lakes and Ridgecrest, split this year over what Schofield perceives as a growing liberalization of the national Episcopal Church. Schofield strongly opposed the consecration of V. Eugene Robinson, an openly gay man, as bishop of New Hampshire. Schofield maintains that Robinson’s appointment violates scripture.

That means there are two San Joaquin Dioceses, one that is Episcopal and one that is Anglican under the Southern Cone. The Episcopal San Joaquin Diocese reorganized on March 29 in Lodi and appointed Jerry Lamb as the new bishop.

The new Lodi congregation will be a “mission church” sponsored by St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Manteca. Riggsby said he has served at St. Mary’s and an Episcopal church in Copperopolis.

Riggsby said he has no intention of attracting conservatives away from St. John’s Episcopal Church.

“We’re not anti-Episcopal,” he said. “I’d like to work with them. I’m not going to lay my beliefs like a sledgehammer.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Voter pessimism over finances likely to influence polls

Americans are more downbeat about their personal financial situations now than they’ve been in decades, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, an attitude likely to dominate this year’s presidential and congressional elections.

A 55% majority of those surveyed say their families are worse off financially than they were a year ago ”” the highest number since Gallup first asked the question in 1976 and a jump of 11 percentage points since February.

Just 26% say they are better off.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, US Presidential Election 2008

Living Church: Bishop Schofield Also Attending Lambeth

But Bishop John-David Schofield of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin also will be attending the conference. He has received his Lambeth study materials and has begun familiarizing himself with them, according to the Rev. Canon Bill Gandenberger, canon to the ordinary of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

“Bishop Schofield received and accepted his invitation to Lambeth shortly after the invitations were first issued,” Canon Gandenberger said. “Shortly thereafter he received the study material common to all the bishops.”

Canon Gandenberger said he had no knowledge of any further correspondence from either Archbishop Williams’ office or the Lambeth planning committee.

In a related development, the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin amended its civil complaint against the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin on June 2, adding Merrill Lynch and the “Anglican Diocese Holding Corporation” as defendants.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Lambeth 2008, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts

New York Times: It Might Be, It Could Be, It Is … Only June

Already, pressure is building in Chicagoland, like tectonic plates grinding up against each other ”” the weight of 99 years of being the second-banana Second City, this bustling, cultured and sometimes even beautiful city by the lake.

Terrible signs are pointing toward disillusionment. Fans are wielding signs that say It’s Gonna Happen. And just the other day, a Republican legislator sent a letter to The Chicago Tribune advocating the state’s desired purchase of historic Wrigley Field ”” “at the same time as we are planning for a World Series this fall.”

Oh, dear. This is the legislative version of the dippy enthusiasm that in 2003 led a decent and knowledgeable Cubs fan to stick his hands where they didn’t belong ”” interfering with a foul fly ball about to nestle into the glove of Moises Alou, after which calamity struck.

Overcoming 99 years of heartbreak will be much harder than the Angels’ winning the 2002 Series in their 42nd season, after several gruesome collapses, or the Red Sox’ eight straight victories at the end of 2004, eradicating all the silliness about the jinx of the Babe, or the White Sox’ winning in 2005 for their first time since 1917, before the gambling scandal of 1919.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Archbishop Greg Venables predicts end of Anglican Communion

The South American primate who has welcomed dissenting Canadian Anglican parishes into his province says he sees the beginning of the end of the world-wide Anglican Communion.

“I believe we’re in the early stages of divorce,” Archbishop Gregory Venables, presiding (national) bishop of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, told a news conference during a meeting of the Anglican Network in Canada from April 25 to 26.

“I think there comes a point when a marriage is no longer a marriage and you have to recognize it,” he said. But Archbishop Venables suggested that Anglican churches could still stay together in some form. “Maybe we can have an Anglican federation,” he said.

In an interview with the Anglican Journal, Archbishop Venables noted that air travel and the Internet have re-structured international networks.

Read it all/.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Global South Churches & Primates

A Washington Post Editorial: The Iraqi Upturn

there’s been a relative lull in news coverage and debate about Iraq in recent weeks — which is odd, because May could turn out to have been one of the most important months of the war. While Washington’s attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have “never been closer to defeat than they are now.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Iraq War

Katherine Berry–Cleavers to Lohans: The Downhill Slide of the American TV Family

These shows, we’re told by Hollywood, are “reality programs” reflecting “normal” families. They are, network executives would have us believe, more accurate depictions of the American family than fictional families of old: the Cleavers, the Bradys, the Huxtables, even the Simpsons. But when did any of our realities include buying a $9,000 grill like Denise Richards, or sitting down with our youngest daughter to watch a porn tape possibly starring our oldest child?

Completely missing from these shows is the one thing that keeps us tuning in, year after year, to reruns of Leave it to Beaver, The Brady Bunch and The Cosby Show, the same ingredient that has kept The Simpsons on the air longer than any other sitcom in the history of television. At the end of It’s Complicated or Living Lohan we are not left with the belief that a family, headed by a wise and loving parent, will somehow come through its struggles better off and stronger for having worked through them together. Rather, we are left shocked at the complete and utter absence of a true parental figure and certain that, somehow, any problems those families encounter are largely caused by the parents themselves. If watching these shows leaves us with that same warm, fuzzy and affirmed feeling that the sitcoms of old did, it’s simply because ”” by comparison ”” our realities look so much more sane than theirs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family, Movies & Television