Daily Archives: February 2, 2009

Primates’ Meeting opens in ”˜fog of confusion’

The 1998 Lambeth Conference further enhanced the role of the Primates’ Meeting asking that it intervene “in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies.”

A return now to the “talking-shop” model of the early 1980s would not work, one African archbishop told ReligiousIntelligence.com, while Archbishop Peter Akinola told his some of his colleagues on Feb 1 that the primates must be consistent in their actions and not walk away from the undertakings made at the last three meetings.

As the primates began to arrive at the Helnan Palestine Hotel on Alexandria ’s corniche, splinter groups on the left and right met to prepare strategies for the meeting. The larger conservative faction met on the afternoon of Jan 31. “Long distances” and “poor communications” in the developing world necessitated the pre-conference meeting, Presiding Bishop Maurice Sinclair, retired primate of the Southern Cone told us.

Bishop Sinclair, who after retirement served a term as Dean of the Anglican Cathedral in Cairo and as visiting lecturer at the Alexandria School of Theology, stated he had not been part of the strategy group for the Global South primates, but had been invited by the Bishop of Egypt, the Rt Rev Mouneer Anis to greet the primates on his behalf.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Meeting Alexandria Egypt, February 2009

Philadeplphia Inquirer: Episcopalians still a house divided

With its towering stone steeple, marble steps and crimson doors, Pittsburgh’s Trinity Episcopal Cathedral looks every bit a “mighty fortress” of faith.

But the 226-year-old cathedral is a house divided, like the denomination that built it.

Since October, Trinity’s priests have been saying Sunday Masses for two warring dioceses: the older one composed of 28 theologically moderate or liberal parishes, and one newly created of 66 breakaway conservative parishes. Each claims to be the true “Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.” Each is dug in.

The cathedral parish has not taken sides. “They’re both in our prayers,” said the Rev. Canon Catherine Brall, Trinity’s rector.

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

Stephen Prothero: For the Vatican, a teachable moment

I am not a Catholic, and I agree with the church on only roughly half of its positions on such matters as war, abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment. So in some respects I have no standing here. But I have long valued the capacity of this 2,000-year-old institution to speak with moral authority on the social and political questions of our time ”” and to do so with a voice from the ancient of days. But this moral authority was badly eroded by the sexual abuse scandal of the past decade, and it is taking another hit by Benedict’s actions in this matter….

I would think we would be well beyond the point where Vatican spokesmen would need to inform us that the Holocaust did, in fact, happen.

Unfortunately, we are not.

My only hope is that this unfortunate incident cracks open Benedict’s study a bit to the world, and to the ecumenical spirit of John Paul II.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Europe, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Adopted Resolutions from the Diocese of Central Florida

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

A Response from the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church to the Saint Andrew’s Draft

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Episcopal Church (TEC)

ENS: Executive Council gets update on reorganization of San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her staff have attempted to aid the four dioceses in which the leadership and a majority of members have left the church with a combination of “guidance, support and pastoral care.”

So says an eight-and-a-half page memo Jefferts Schori gave the Executive Council during its winter meeting here. The memo was written by Mary Kostel, the recently appointed special counsel to the Presiding Bishop for property litigation and discipline. Kostel has worked closely with David Beers, who is chancellor to the Presiding Bishop.

While the situations in San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh and Quincy are all different, there are similarities in their experiences and in the way Jefferts Schori has worked with them, Kostel wrote. Those efforts usually begin with the Presiding Bishop encouraging the formation of a steering committee of Episcopalians from across the diocese who are committed to remaining in the church “and who represent a broad spectrum of views in the diocese on issues such as human sexuality and the ordination of women.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Risks are vast in revaluing tainted assets

As the Obama administration prepares its strategy to rescue the nation’s banks by buying or guaranteeing troubled assets on their books, it confronts one central problem: How should they be valued?

Not just billions, but hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars are at stake.

The Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, is expected to announce details of the new plan within weeks. Administration and congressional officials say it will give the government flexibility to buy some bad assets and guarantee others in an effort to have a broad impact but still tailor the aid for different institutions.

But getting this right will not be easy. The wild variations on the value of many bad bank assets can be seen by looking at one mortgage-backed bond recently analyzed by a division of Standard & Poor’s, the credit rating agency.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

Christian refugees probably will not return to Iraq, bishops say

Despite signs of a new season of hope on the horizon in Iraq, the vast majority of Iraqi Christian refugees will probably not return to their homeland, said two U.S.-based Chaldean Catholic bishops.

“No one in the United States will go back to Iraq or the Middle East because the future for children, (opportunities for) education and life are better here,” said Chaldean Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.

Also, experience has shown that once people have overcome the initial difficulties of adapting to a new culture, “no one will convince them to change it again” and rip up those freshly laid roots, said Chaldean Bishop Sarhad Y. Jammo.

Bishop Jammo heads the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle of San Diego, Calif., and has under his care Chaldean Catholics in the western U.S., while Bishop Ibrahim heads the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit, the diocese for Chaldean Catholics in the eastern United States.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Iraq War, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

California holds back payments amid budget crisis

Like thousands of other Californians, Marcus Sanders would like a tax refund to help his family as recession tightens its grip on the economy and while he looks for full-time work.

When California’s state government will release its refunds, however, is uncertain.

The payments were due to start on Monday but State Controller John Chiang has said he will hold back the refunds for at least 30 days because the state must close a $15 billion shortfall in its current budget and needs its dwindling cash for more pressing payments, including debt service.

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

Israel vows "disproportionate" response to rockets

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert threatened on Sunday a “disproportionate response” to the continued firing of rockets into Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

There have been sporadic rocket attacks by militants on southern Israeli communities and several Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip since a truce came into effect on Jan. 18 following a 22-day Israeli offensive in the territory.

At least two rockets struck southern Israel on Sunday, causing no damage or casualties. A wing of al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a group belonging to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, claimed responsibility.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Israel, Middle East, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, War in Gaza December 2008--

In a cramped Washington rowhouse, six women share one shower and a quest to serve God

In two days, her new roommate will be here, moving into this cramped and once decrepit rowhouse in Shaw, unpacking belongings into half of the skinny closet that Laura is now clearing out. For the last year and a half, this small room bisected by bunk beds has been Laura’s private enclave. The bookshelves, the dresser, the floor space were hers alone. In the evenings, when she spoke on the phone, no one could walk in with equal claim to her domain. In two days, all that will change.

And that’s good, Laura tells herself. She’s glad the ministry is growing: It’s exactly what she and Clark Massey hoped for six years ago, when they were plotting the details of A Simple House, their Catholic lay ministry devoted to the poor of Southeast. She knows you can’t take a rowhouse with two female missionaries — plus Lucy, the 72-year-old homeless schizophrenic who came with the house when it was donated — and add four more women and expect it to be easy. After all, the four-bedroom house has only one full bath.

Still, when Clark suggested a couple of weeks earlier that maybe they could eliminate clutter in the bathroom by having everyone use shower caddies, Laura recoiled. “I don’t want,” she enunciated, uncharacteristically fierce and emphatic, “a shower caddy.”

“Maybe you all need one,” Clark persisted. “There’s no way six women’s shampoo, et cetera, will fit in the bathroom.”

But shower caddies? Icky, slimy, always-wet-and-dripping shower caddies? Already, Laura had been weighing how much longer she wanted to remain at Simple House. Now her uncertainty was being aggravated by her impending loss of privacy.

Read it all from the Washington Post magazine.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Poverty, Roman Catholic, Theology

AP: 'False solution': Pope weighs in on euthanasia debate

Pope Benedict XVI said Sunday that euthanasia is a “false solution” to suffering, adding his voice to a bitter debate in Italy over the fate of a comatose woman whose father wants to remove her feeding tube.

During his Sunday blessing, Benedict said that love can help confront pain and that “no tear, from those who suffer and those who are with them, is lost before God.”

Benedict didn’t mention Eluana Englaro by name, but it was clear he was referring to her case, which has made headlines in Italy for months.

Englaro has been in a vegetative state since 1992 after a car accident. She was 20 at the time.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

As economic fears rise, families on verge of unraveling

Signs abound that the battered economy is causing serious damage to the mental health and family lives of a growing number of Americans.

Requests for therapists have soared, Americans say they’re stressed out, and domestic-violence and suicide hotlines are reporting increased calls.

“I’ve never seen this level of anxiety and depression in 22 years of practice,” says Nancy Molitor, a psychologist in Wilmette, Ill. “The mental health fallout has been far worse than after 9/11.”

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

Ron Cook: Simply put, Super Bowl XLIII the best

Some might argue there have been better Super Bowls. Legendary quarterback Joe Willie Namath, who handed the Lombardi Trophy to Steelers owner Dan Rooney after the confetti fell last night, played in a pretty remarkable one in Super Bowl III, leading the New York Jets past the ridiculously favored Baltimore Colts. Much more recently, the New York Giants stunned the world by upsetting the unbeaten New England Patriots last year in Super Bowl XLII.

But this one beat ’em all.

Four scores in the final 7 minutes, 33 seconds? Arizona going from 20-7 down to 23-20 ahead in — what — a blink of the eye? Roethlisberger leading the Steelers 78 yards in the final two minutes-and-change to win it on wide receiver Santonio Holmes’ fabulous 6-yard touchdown catch with 35 seconds left?

You gotta be kidding.

Certainly it was one of the best, anyway. Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Steelers Win!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow. My heart is in my throat. What a catch by Santonio Holmes!

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports