Daily Archives: July 9, 2008

Study Finds Flawed Practices at Ratings Firms

Analysts, faced with less time to perform the due diligence expected of them, began to cut corners.

“It could be structured by cows and we would rate it,” an analyst wrote in April 2007, noting that she had only been able to measure “half” of a deal’s risk before providing a rating.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

A Telegraph Editorial: A Church divided

The word “historic” is too freely bandied about; but it is an accurate description of the vote of the General Synod of the Church of England to allow women bishops. It marks a decisive break with the Church’s Catholic roots, more so even than when it voted to ordain women priests in 1992, which led to the departure to Rome of many Anglo-Catholics.

The traditionalists who remained were protected by legal safeguards, allowing them to believe they remained a powerful voice in the Church. That pretence can no longer be sustained.

The Synod vote is an unequivocal, almost brutal, rejection of traditional Anglo-Catholicism and an embrace of a progressive approach to the full participation of women, who make up half of those in training for ordination. It will take years for the necessary legislation to be enacted and attempts will be made to assuage the concerns of those for whom women bishops remain an obstacle to full communion.

Read it all.

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

As Web Traffic Grows, Crashes Take Bigger Toll

Alex Payne, a 24-year-old Internet engineer here, has devised a way to answer a commonly asked question of the digital age: Is my favorite Web site working today?

In March, Mr. Payne created downforeveryoneorjustme.com, as in, “Down for everyone, or just me?” It lets visitors type in a Web address and see whether a site is generally inaccessible or whether the problem is with their own connection.

“I had seen that question posed so often,” said Mr. Payne, who perhaps not coincidentally works at Twitter, a Web messaging and social networking site that is itself known for frequent downtime. “Technology companies have branded the Internet as a place that is always on and where information is always available. People are disappointed and looking for answers when it turns out not to be true.”

There is plenty of disappointment to go around these days. Such technology stalwarts as Yahoo, Amazon.com and Research in Motion, the company behind the BlackBerry, have all suffered embarrassing technical problems in the last few months.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Science & Technology

Telegraph: Women win bloody battle at the Synod

Make no mistake, the Anglo-Catholics were done over at the General Synod in York in the debate over women bishops. This being the Church of England, their humiliation was accompanied by lots of hand-wringing, a good deal of guilt and a late attempt to stop the beating entirely, when the Bishop of Durham intervened like a worried boxing referee.

But it was bloody just the same. After nearly eight hours, all that the Catholic Conscience had to show for its pains was a motion that now indicates that it is the wish of a “majority” of the Synod for women to be bishops and the word “statutory” now stands in front of the proposed code of practice.

No structural provisions, no special arrangements, no statutory transfer, no flying bishops and certainly no super-bishops. I had thought that super-bishops were just flying bishops with special powers (“Is it a bird? Is it a plane?”) but it doesn’t matter what they are, because the Catholics can’t have them anyway.

Read it all.

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

(London) Times: Russia threatens military response to US missile defence deal

Russia threatened to retaliate by military means after a deal with the Czech Republic brought the US missile defence system in Europe a step closer.

The threat followed quickly on from the announcement that Condoleezza Rice signed a formal agreement with the Czech Republic to host the radar for the controversial project.

Moscow argues that the missile shield would severely undermine the balance of European security and regards the proposed missile shield based in two former Communist countries as a hostile move.

“We will be forced to react not with diplomatic, but with military-technical methods,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Military / Armed Forces, Russia

John Richardson–Pay now, or pay later: why C of E Traditionalists must not wait to act

[In the recent General Synod vote on Women Bishops] the Liberal wing of the Church of England has achieved a massive gain. But their position is not without hazard. Both Archbishops advised against the step that has been taken. Other senior bishops also disapproved. Substantial numbers in the Synod voted against the final motion. Hundreds of clergy have indicated they would have to rethink their position in the Church.

Read it all.

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

A BBC Audio Report: the inventor of the Internet on the next Generation of the Worldwide Web

The man who is credited with the invention of the world wide web is now looking ahead to a new and more sophisticated way of using the internet known as the semantic web. Sir Tim Berners-Lee explains.

Go here and scroll down to the segment at 0832 and listen to it all (about 8 1/2 minutes).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Foreclosures' financial strains take toll on kids

In many ways, Shelby Morrow is a typical 16-year-old. She likes hanging out with her friends, dreams of getting her own car and enjoys writing short stories in the bedroom of her wood-frame house in Palm Harbor, Fla.

But in the past few months, she’s been grappling with a financial reality that most teens don’t face. The home she shares with her mother, Melody, and younger sister, Lindsey, is falling into foreclosure. Some days, she watches as her mother cries over the stress.

“I completely understand what’s going on, so I went out and got a job as a server at a nursing home,” Shelby says. “I don’t want to move. Sometimes, I blame my mom for it, but I know it’s not her fault. I’m scared.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Marriage & Family

From America's Group Blog: The long Anglican goodbye to Rome

Year after year, Cardinal Kasper comes to the UK to give more or less the same speech, in which he challenges the Church of England to decide whether it is “a church of the first millennium” or “a church of the Reformation”.

To which Anglicans answer: “Why not both?”

The answer to that question, of course, is everywhere in the Anglican “summer of schism” ”“ and it lies in ecclesiology. Containing the differences and resolving them without moving apart requires following Dr Rowan Williams’s essentially “Catholic” method of resolving disputes, ie: move together or not at all; give time and space to allow the Holy Spirit to meld what is not humanly irreconcilable; in the meantime, prefer unity to the assertion of liberal or Biblical principle.

But Dr Williams’s ecclesiology has been constantly rejected: by the North-American Episcopal Church (TEC) in 2004, by the evangelicals of the developing world (FOCA) just recently in Jerusalem, and by the liberal reformers of the Church of England this week in Synod. Each is following the logic of an essentially Protestant ecclesiology.

Which is why, as the Bishop of Durham graphically put it at Synod, Anglicans “are living through on many levels a massive outworking of the law of unintended consequences — or in plain English a slow-moving train wreck.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecclesiology, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

Jordan Hylden–The Anglicans at GAFCON: What Happened in Jerusalem

These difficult questions are at the heart of the entire present struggle over the soul of Anglicanism. Orthodox critics of GAFCON such as Williams and Wright””along with theologians such as Chris Seitz, Ephraim Radner, Philip Turner, and primates such as Drexel Gomez of the West Indies””argue that sufficient answers cannot come from ad hoc interventions and councils. They must come instead by reforming Anglicanism from within. These critics stake their hopes on the proposed Anglican Covenant, due to be discussed at Lambeth next week, the principal goal of which is to arrive at a mutually agreed-upon method for deciding disputed matters with reference to substantive and coherent theological criteria.

Unfortunately, it is not clear that Lambeth and the other existing structures of Anglicanism can accomplish any such thing. Many hope so, against great odds, and not a few continue to work and pray that it might. Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, one of the Church of England’s leading thinkers, said at GAFCON that Anglicanism, if it is to be an effective confessing church, needs also to be a “conciliar church . . . to have councils at every level, including worldwide, that are authoritative, that can make decisions that stick.” Orthodox Anglicans going to Lambeth agree; that is why they are going, and that is why they have placed their hopes in the proposed Anglican Covenant. If they do not succeed, the GAFCON fellowship will almost assuredly step in to fill the gap, as a new confessional church in the evangelical Anglican tradition. Anglicanism will not be what it used to be, and some will argue that it no longer genuinely exists.

It might be too much to say that a good Lambeth could save Anglicanism from such a fate, but it is probably not too much to say that a Lambeth gone wrong could render such schism unavoidable. Certainly it is not too much to predict that faithful Anglicans everywhere will be working, watching, and praying for guidance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

A Press Release from Watch-Women in the Church-on the General Synod Vote

We are delighted that General Synod after many hours of debate, voted to proceed to the consecration of women as bishops with arrangements for those who will not accept their ministry simply in a Code of Practice. This was the stance proposed by the House of Bishops and supported by WATCH, and in the final voting there were clear majorities in each House in favour of taking this step. The voting figures were:

Bishops: 28 for, 12 against, 1 abs
Clergy: 124 for, 44 against, 4 abs
Laity: 111 for, 68 against, 2 abs

The Legislative Drafting Group will now prepare the relevant legislation, along with a Code of Practice, to be brought to the next meeting of General Synod in February next year.

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

Russian Church alarmed by Anglicans' decision to ordain women as Bishops

Father Igor also said that the Anglican Synod’s decision to ordain women “is a very painful blow on the unity of the Anglican community, as it is worsening a split among the Anglicans.”

“The decision was predictable because the tendency of total liberalization unfortunately dominates in many Christian Churches, including the Anglican community,” he said.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Orthodox Church, Other Churches

An MCU Press Release: Liberals welcome vote on women bishops

Liberals… [Monday] night welcomed the Church of England’s decision to proceed with plans to ordain women as bishops.

At the annual conference at the Modern Churchpeople’s Union they supported the General Synod’s vote which passed the plans with a statutory code of practice.

Jonathan Clatworthy, general secretary of the MCU, said, “This paves the way for equal treatment for women and men through all the layers of the church, without discrimination. We consider this to be of fundamental importance. The code of practice has yet to be drawn up and we would urge those charged with the task to protect this vital principle so that the church fully reflects the best insights of the 21st Century.”

John Plant, chair of the MCU, said, “We believe this affirms the vocation of women and, at the same time, allows the church to be inclusive of those who take other views. We hope this allows traditional catholics and conservative evangelicals to continue to contribute to the rich diversity of Anglicanism.”

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

Reminder of the MCU Conference Which Begins Today: Saving the soul of Anglicanism

A draft of the programme may found here.

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

A BBC Radio Four Today Programme Audio report on the Vote to Move to Consecrate Women Bishops

The Church of England has taken a significant step towards ordaining women bishops. Its General Synod rejected pleas from traditionalists to protect them from serving under women bishops. Religious affairs correspondent Robert Piggott reports.

Go here and scroll down to the segment at 07 42 and listen to it all (just a hair over 3 minutes).

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