Daily Archives: October 22, 2008

Pope defends those most effected by Money crisis

The Holy Father expressed his hope that “in the difficult international economic context of today, particular attention is given to the people and families who are most underprivileged and the weakest of society.”

He also spoke out on behalf of those for whom life is more difficult due to the crisis: “The present situation aggravates the already worrying and sometimes tragic conditions of life for numerous people, whose human dignity is in this way gravely compromised.”

The Pontiff concluded asking God to “support all those people who are victims of extreme poverty” and bless “the efforts of those who, with their generous commitment, contribute to the building up of a more just and fraternal world, which rejects the misfortune of extreme poverty.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Poverty, Roman Catholic, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Mark Woods: When the Pursuit of Wealth Leaves Us Feeling Empty

Whatever the long term effect of this bailout, it should at the very least make us, as a society and as Christians in society, take a far more critical view of the culture in which we are inevitably embedded.

Most of us have very little influence on the great affairs of state; we do not run major financial institutions or multinational corporations. But we are entitled to opinions about how far the pursuit of wealth by the few should be allowed to trump their responsibilities to the many. We are entitled to take a stand on the glorification of greed in popular culture.

And we are obliged, by our discipleship, to live differently ourselves. To walk around one of our great city centres is to be exposed to a full-scale onslaught on the senses from advertisers who want us to buy things not because they are useful, but because they are desirable in themselves; a quality they acquire simply because we are persuaded that other people desire them too.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The September 2008 Proposed Henry Paulson 700 Billion Bailout Package, Theology

Resolutions passed at Dallas' Diocesan Convention

A reader sent us a copy of the resolutions passed by the Diocese of Dallas during its convention October 17-18.
You can read them all here: Diocese of Dallas 2008 resolutions

The three resolutions forwarded to us:

1) Express gratitude express to Bishop Stanton and Bishop Lambert for voting No to the deposition of the Rt. Rev’d Robert Duncan

2) Request that the office of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church provide each diocese of The Episcopal Church with the following information:
a. the dollar amount spent by TEC on litigation against dioceses, parishes, groups of churches and individuals since General Convention 2006;
b. a list of the church accounts and/or budget items from which these funds were taken;
c. the proposed amount of money for litigation to be presented to the 2009 General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

3) Requests that the Episcopal Church adopt a policy of negotiation and/or mediation with regard to disputes over property, and according to the request of the Dar Es Salaam Primate’s Communiqué, cease and desist from engaging in lawsuits with fellow Christians.

According to our informant all three passed. We’d welcome more details as to vote margins, etc. Thanks!

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Anglican TV Interviews Jim Oakes

Watch it all.

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

Financial meltdown puts SEC in hot seat

Watch it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Politics in General, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Some Cut Back on Prescription Drugs in Sour Economy

For the first time in at least a decade, the nation’s consumers are trying to get by on fewer prescription drugs.

As people around the country respond to financial and economic hard times by juggling the cost of necessities like groceries and housing, drugs are sometimes having to wait.

“People are having to choose between gas, meals and medication,” said Dr. James King, the chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a national professional group. He also runs his own family practice in rural Selmer, Tenn.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Health & Medicine, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

From the Email Bag (II)


I have found myself increasingly stunned by the tone of…[some] of the respondents on Titus, and that particular thread which included your own thoughts on Sarah Palin was particularly unedifying….

On a more general note, these days I usually pause several times before posting on Titus because it would appear that on…[some] of the threads there is rightist determination to pounce on anything that is considered not to be towing their particular party line — and usually it is not the idea that is made subject to debate, but it all comes down to issues of personality and prejudice. Most of the time I do not engage because of such an expected response.

I am sorry that such Rush Limbaugh shout-you-down tactics have taken more moderate voices like my own out of the discussion, because clearly a lot of us have shrugged our shoulders and said to ourselves that we have better things to do than jumping in on a conversation where we are going to be kicked around the place like something nasty that the cat brought in!

I am sorry that this polarization has taken place because it minimizes our ability to honestly and faithfully exchange ideas and create some kind of fresh, Christ-centered synthesis.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Email Bag (I)

My deepest sympathy for the way you were raked over the coals recently at T19 (“Many Evangelicals Struggle with the Choice of Sarah Palin”). It was a masterpiece of understatement when you finally said:

This thread is not proving productive nor is it a good witness.

It’s just awful to see such terrible departures from civility amongst Christians, much less than a complete flight from the deeper Christian virtues of gentleness, tenderness, charity, humility, and forgiveness. It must have been miserable for you. And certainly as you say it isn’t a good witness to the outside world.

Anyway, my deepest sympathy to you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Margaret Atwood: A Matter of Life and Debt

But we’re deluding ourselves if we assume that we can recover from the crisis of 2008 so quickly and easily simply by watching the Dow creep upward. The wounds go deeper than that. To heal them, we must repair the broken moral balance that let this chaos loose.

Debt ”” who owes what to whom, or to what, and how that debt gets paid ”” is a subject much larger than money. It has to do with our basic sense of fairness, a sense that is embedded in all of our exchanges with our fellow human beings.

But at some point we stopped seeing debt as a simple personal relationship. The human factor became diminished. Maybe it had something to do with the sheer volume of transactions that computers have enabled. But what we seem to have forgotten is that the debtor is only one twin in a joined-at-the-hip pair, the other twin being the creditor. The whole edifice rests on a few fundamental principles that are inherent in us.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A Joint Statement by Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop William Murphy

In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision knocked down laws against abortion in all 50 states, fabricating a constitutional “right” to abortion that continues to haunt and divide our society. Within two days of that decision, the Catholic bishops rejected it as “bad morality, bad medicine and bad public policy.” We called for a comprehensive response: exploring “every legal possibility” for challenging the Court’s tragic error and restoring legal safeguards for the right to life of the unborn child; helping to pass laws to “restrict the practice of abortion as much as possible” in the meantime; and educating society to the need to safeguard the child and support “more humane and morally acceptable solutions” for women facing problems during pregnancy.

Recently, some have called on the Church to abandon most of this effort. They say we should accept Roe as a permanent fixture of constitutional law, stop trying to restore recognition for the unborn child’s human rights, and confine our public advocacy to efforts to “reduce abortions” through improved economic and social support for women and families.

[We have been very involved in manifold ways in seeking to provide such ministry and support]….

These efforts, however, are not an adequate or complete response to the injustice of Roe v. Wade for several important reasons. First, the Court’s decision in Roe denied an entire class of innocent human beings the most fundamental human right, the right to life. In fact, the act of killing these fellow human beings was transformed from a crime into a “right,” turning the structure of human rights on its head. Roe v. Wade is a clear case of an “intrinsically unjust law” we are morally obliged to oppose (see Evangelium vitae, nos. 71-73). Reversing it is not a mere political tactic, but a moral imperative for Catholics and others who respect human life.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

BabyBlue writes about the Virginia Episcopal Church Court Proceedings

This is well worth the time.

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

RNS: Catholics Try to Block Eucharist Desecration Videos

Roman Catholics in North America and Britain are calling for a series of YouTube videos showing a Canadian teenager destroying Communion hosts to be removed from the Internet.

The Quebec teenager named Dominique, who tags himself “fsmdude,” has posted more than 40 videos featuring him desecrating the host, the small circular wafer that Catholics ingest during Eucharist service.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, Eucharist, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

In California Black clergy both for and against gay marriage speak out

“Marriage is between a man and a woman,” said Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, who leads the 22,000-member Crenshaw Christian Center. He urged his audience to “stand with God in saying the definition of marriage must not change.”

A few miles away at Lucy Florence Cultural Center in Leimert Park, a much smaller group of ministers — three, as it turned out — spoke against the measure. Among their arguments: that African Americans, given their history of discrimination, should not be taking away rights.

“Same-gender marriage is a civil rights issue,” the Rev. Eric Lee, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Council of Los Angeles, said at a recent event.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Sexuality

General Convention should not consider Anglican covenant, Presiding Bishop tells Executive Council

(ENS) If a proposed Anglican covenant is released in mid-May for adoption by the Anglican Communion’s provinces, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will “strongly discourage” any effort to bring that request to the 76th General Convention in July….

Anglican Communion provinces have until the end of March 2009 to respond to the current version of the proposed covenant, known as the St. Andrew’s Draft. The Covenant Design Group meets in London in April 2009 and may issue another draft of a covenant. That draft is expected to be reviewed by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) during its May 1-12, 2009 meeting. The ACC could decide to release that version to the provinces for their adoption.

If the ACC decides to do that, “my sense is that the time is far too short before our General Convention for us to have a thorough discussion of it as a church and I’m therefore going to strongly discourage any move to bring it to General Convention,” Jefferts Schori told the Executive Council. “I just think it’s inappropriate to make a decision that weighty” that quickly, she added.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Presiding Bishop

Jim Oakes: The True Cost of Episcopal Property Battles

This week, a judge in Fairfax County, Va., will hear the last round of arguments in a church property case that has drawn national attention. As a member of Truro Church, one of the parishes being sued by The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia, I’d like to reflect on how we got to this point and what we could be doing with the money that has been spent on legal fees.

This journey started two years ago, when ten congregations, formerly part of the Diocese, voted to sever our ties with The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a new denomination affiliated with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, thereby remaining with the worldwide Anglican Communion. These congregations are now part of the Anglican District of Virginia, which has grown to include 23 Virginia congregations in its short history.

We made that decision soberly and prayerfully, based on actions of The Episcopal Church to walk away from what we see as the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Our decision was not about issues of lifestyle or minor differences of opinion. We simply could not continue to be led by a church body that would not affirm the authority of Scripture.

Read it all.

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