Daily Archives: December 13, 2008

Utah Episcopalians join new province

St. John’s Anglican Church in Park City, Utah’s only congregation to break away from the Episcopal Church after its election of the first openly gay bishop, will join the new rival denomination announced last week.

The new group, to be called the Anglican Church of North America, estimates it will have 100,000 members, compared with the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church. According to news reports, the proposed province would unite nine groups that have left the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada over the years, including four Episcopal dioceses and umbrella groups for dozens of individual parishes in the U.S. and Canada.

“It will create a larger network of churches and a stronger presence in the U.S., Canada and Mexico,” said the Rev. Doug Folsom, St. John’s pastor. “Being united, we are not just off by ourselves.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Beaufort Gazette: Despite divisions nationally, local South Carolina Episcopal Church split unlikely

Last month, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, became the fourth American Episcopal diocese to formally break away from the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, in a long-simmering feud over Biblical authority that included the 2003 consecration of the church’s first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, of New Hampshire.

Although discussions are ongoing, Bishop Mark Joseph Lawrence, of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in Charleston, said the state diocese does not plan to join the newly formed Anglican Church in North America.

“I anticipate the Diocese of South Carolina holding to the faith that is revealed in Holy Scripture, defending that and moving forward with the mission of the church here and throughout the world,” Lawrence said. “This is not just a national church issue. It is an issue for the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church is a part. I think (the split) was primarily because many of the leaders of the Episcopal Church have been tone deaf to the needs of the conservative parishioners and clergy. I know many of the players involved, and I understand their distress and concerns.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

An Editorial from the Local Paper: Don't prolong Detroit futility

First the Big Three CEOs told Congress they needed $25 billion in federal loans. Then they told Congress they needed $34 billion. Then two of those CEOs ”” from General Motors and Chrysler, not Ford ”” told Congress they needed an upfront $14 billion compromise package before year’s end. No wonder those guys are in so much balance-sheet trouble: They don’t even know how much money they need.

If they did, maybe they could have convinced the Senate to pass that $14 billion compromise approved by the House Wednesday night. Instead, the Senate effectively killed it on Thursday.

It’s a shame our auto industry is in such dire shape and that the rest of our nation’s economy will feel painful ripple effects from its meltdown, with or without a bailout. But while the Bush administration said Friday that it will provide that $14 billion from the $700 billion financial-sector bailout or “other sources,” it’s difficult to see how Detroit can rally without a comprehensive overhaul. It’s also difficult to generate confidence in the Big Three bosses and in those Treasury officials who pushed through that other bailout in October by charting a “rescue” course that soon took major detours.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto Industry

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

–Psalm 30: 4,5

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

NY Times: A Massacre in Congo, Despite Nearby Support

At last the bullets had stopped, and François Kambere Siviri made a dash for the door. After hiding all night from firefights between rebels and a government-allied militia over this small but strategic town, he was desperate to get to the latrine a few feet away.

“Pow, pow, pow,” said his widowed mother, Ludia Kavira Nzuva, recounting how the rebels killed her 25-year-old son just outside her front door. As they abandoned his bloodied corpse, she said, one turned to her and declared, “Voilà, here is your gift.”

In little more than 24 hours, at least 150 people would be dead, most of them young men, summarily executed by the rebels last month as they tightened their grip over parts of eastern Congo, according to witnesses and human-rights investigators.

Read it all from the front page of yesterday’s paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Republic of Congo, Violence

Cardinal Avery Dulles RIP

Cardinal Avery Dulles, a scion of diplomats and Presbyterians who converted to Roman Catholicism, rose to pre-eminence in Catholic theology and became the only American theologian ever appointed to the College of Cardinals, died today died Friday morning at Fordham University in the Bronx. He was 90. His death, at the Jesuit infirmary at the university, was confirmed by the New York Province of the Society of Jesus in Manhattan.

Cardinal Dulles, a professor of religion at Fordham University for the last 20 years, was a prolific author and lecturer and an elder statesman of Catholic theology in America. He was also the son of John Foster Dulles, the secretary of state under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the nephew of Allen Dulles, who guided European espionage during World War II and later directed the Central Intelligence Agency.

A conservative theologian in an era of liturgical reforms and rising secularism, Cardinal Dulles wrote 27 books and 800 articles, mostly on theology; advised the Vatican and America’s bishops, and staunchly defended the pope and his church against demands for change on abortion, artificial birth control, priestly celibacy, the ordination of women and other issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

In South Carolina Religious License Plates ordered halted

South Carolina must stop marketing and making license plates that feature the image of a cross and the words “I Believe” while a lawsuit challenging the plates’ constitutionality goes forward, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie issued the temporary injunction after an hour-long court hearing in which opponents argued that the plates, which depict a stained-glass window with a cross on the left hand side and the words “I Believe” across the top, violate the separation of church and state.

Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State had sued state officials on behalf of two Christian pastors, a humanist pastor and a rabbi in South Carolina, along with the Hindu American Foundation, after a bill creating the license plates sailed through South Carolina’s Legislature.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Forward in Faith reacts to the attack on Bishop Iker and the Anglican Communion

From here:

Forward in Faith is appalled by TEC Primate Jefferts Schori’s continued attack upon Bishop Jack L Iker, a bishop of the Province of the Southern Cone. The actions of Jefferts Schori are an embarrassment to Christians and all of Anglicanism. Her actions clearly demonstrate her disregard for other provinces of the Anglican Communion and the canons of her own denomination. Clearly her statements misrepresent the facts. Bishop Iker has not renounced his orders, nor has he abandoned the Communion.

FiF is appreciative of Bishop Jack Iker’s leadership and willingness to stand for biblical truth and the faith and order of the undivided Church. Forward in Faith applauds Bishop Iker’s leadership in the Diocese of Fort Worth, in our worldwide Forward in Faith organization and in the further establishment of the Anglican Church of North America. We offer prayers of thanksgiving for Bishop Iker’s faithfulness and ask our Lord Jesus to continue to bless his ministry as a bishop for the further spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

–(The Rt. Rev.) John Fulham is Chairman, Forward in Faith International

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

The Bishop of Tennessee: A Statement Regarding the Formation of a new Anglican Church

Some have wondered about the status of this church, and about its intention to seek recognition as a province of the Anglican Communion. A basic principal of catholic Christianity is that it is not self-authenticating; its credentials cannot be established by the mere assertion of them. Christian faith looks to authorities, as well: the Scriptures, principally, but also Creeds and Councils that articulate them reasonably and traditionally, and all of which communicate the Gospel and act as a standard by which faith is recognized and acknowledged. Anglicanism itself represents a distinctive witness within the Christian faith, with its own markers and measures. A particular church (any particular church) always looks beyond itself in some way in the key points of its existence, and others will evaluate it accordingly.

However we view this new church in terms of these things, we must recognize that membership in the Anglican Communion is not something claimed unilaterally or seized by force. Sharp elbows may be useful in any number of contexts, but are hardly edifying or effective in this one. A request to be admitted as a province must be approved by the Primates’ Meeting and then acted upon by the Anglican Consultative Council, two of the Instruments of Communion that have developed within Anglicanism to help bring coherence to its life. The constituent bodies of the Anglican Church in North America are not known for a willingness to pay much heed to any of the Instruments of Communion. It is even doubtful that they are much interested in any authentication that looks to the existing structures of the world-wide Communion. Their witness is predicated on a self-proclaimed unwillingness to wait for these structures to work.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops