Daily Archives: February 17, 2009

NY Times Letters: Catholics, Penance and Indulgences

Read them all.

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

From the You Cannot Make this Stuff up Department

Seattle Washington: In order to pay for a court ordered $22M rebate on water bills for illegal charges the city is adding a surcharge to water bill to pay for the rebate. The surcharge is expected to be a net gain for city of about $5M.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Todd Marchand Responds to Tim Carson's Inaccurate Piece on Fort Worth

[Tim] Carson reveals an astounding ignorance of facts in his commentary, which is largely an attack on the Rt. Rev. Jack L. Iker, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.

First, he alleges that Iker “has withdrawn from the established Diocese of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A.,” and he challenges the legitimacy of the body of which Iker is chief pastor.

But Carson ignores the fact that at the November 2008 convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, a resolution to realign with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone was adopted by a 78 percent majority of the clergy voting and 80 percent of lay delegates. This was the second such vote in two years, as any amendment to the constitution of the Diocese requires a concurrent majority of the vote of both orders, clergy and lay, in two consecutive conventions.

This was not the unilateral action of the bishop. Nor was it the creation of a “newly founded” diocese, as Carson claims. It was, in fact, the constitutionally legitimate action of the diocese “that has been here all along” (to use, ironically, the words Carson intended as sarcasm).

Carson then alleges that “it only seems right to the good bishop [Iker] that all of the assets and congregations should stay with him, even if he cashes in his chips, leaves the mother ship and affiliates with an African one.”

Here again, Carson ignores facts.

Read it all.

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

Post-Gazette: Episcopalians want to join lawsuit over church assets

The national Episcopal Church has asked to join a lawsuit over who owns an estimated $20 million held in the name of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Since Oct. 4, when the majority of the diocese voted to secede from the national church and realign with an Anglican province in South America, there have been two rival bodies called the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

Read it all.

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

Milwaukee Episcopal diocese sues Elm Grove church over split

The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee filed a lawsuit Monday against St. Edmund’s Church, an Elm Grove congregation that split from the Episcopal Church in December and claimed control of the church buildings and real estate.

The diocese contends that it is the rightful owner of the property and is asking a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge to order St. Edmund’s, church leaders and others named in the lawsuit to relinquish control of the property.

Eleven people and the church are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

“We are saddened to take this action, and it has not been taken lightly,” said Bishop Steven A. Miller in a statement issued by the diocese.

“It’s an unfortunate situation for all involved. But under our canon law, all parish property ultimately belongs to the diocese, and we have to enforce that law for the unity and well-being of the Church.”

Read it all.

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

Boy, Marine pen pal inspire a community

A wonderful piece from over the weekend, especially touching to me is the mother’s face as she describes what happened toward the end. Watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Military / Armed Forces

World Of Trouble: a 60 minutes segment on the subprime mortgage debacle

I recommend the video report, but if you do not have the capacity to view it read it all. I also recommend CNBC’s House of Cards which I managed to get to over the weekend.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

CNN's Jack Cafferty: Stimulus bill a sorry spectacle

The criminal part of this boondoggle is divided into two parts. The first is the Democrats promised to post the bill a full 48 hours before the vote was taken to allow members of the public to see what they were getting for their money. Both parties voted unanimously to do this … and they lied.

It didn’t happen. Why am I not surprised? Congress lying to the American people has become part of their job description. They can’t be trusted on anything anymore.

I’m sure part of the reason there was no time for the public to read the bill was the 11th-hour internecine warfare between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

How many Anglicans are there in the Anglican Church in North America?

Check it out.

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

Women use Koran to demand equal rights

The religious order banning women from dressing like tomboys was bad enough. But the fatwa by this country’s leading clerics against yoga was the last straw.

“They have never even done yoga,” said Zainah Anwar, a founder of a Malaysian women’s rights group called Sisters in Islam.

Anwar argues that the edict, issued late last year by the National Fatwa Council of Malaysia, is pure patriarchy. Islam, she says, is only a cover.

It was frustrations like those that drew several hundred Muslim women to a conference in this Muslim-majority country over the weekend. Their mission was to come up with ways to demand equal rights for women. And their tools, however unlikely, were the tenets of Islam itself.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Islam, Malaysia, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Women

Amid scandals, questions about the Pope's Focus

Close on the heels of the pope’s rehabilitation of a group of schismatic bishops, including one who denied the Holocaust, a second scandal has compounded a debate within the church over whether Pope Benedict XVI’s focus on doctrine and his perceived insensitivity to political tone are alienating mainstream Catholics and undermining the church’s moral authority.

On Sunday, a priest known for such provocative statements as blaming the sins of New Orleanians for Hurricane Katrina asked the pope to rescind his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in Austria.

The affairs have engendered a storm of criticism of the church hierarchy and led to frantic efforts to mollify angry and confused parishioners around the globe, while the latest controversy has raised concerns that the actions could be part of a disturbing pattern.

The Vatican expert George Weigel, in a recent essay in First Things, an American religion journal, criticized the Vatican for its “chaos, confusion and incompetence.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

The Paradox Who Was G.K. Chesterton

When G. K. Chesterton died in 1936, the obituary in the Manchester Guardian dismissed the description of him as a philosopher as “very ill-chosen”. He had, rather, “a profusion of fresh and original ideas, but they owed more to the spontaneous inspirations of an enormously zestful temperament than to continuous or connected thought”. To this anonymous obituary, his friend Hilaire Belloc replied six days later in the Observer, with the view that “The intellectual side of him has been masked for many and for some hidden by his delight in the exercise of words and especially in the comedy of words”. The most sustained defence of “the intellectual side” of GKC remains Hugh Kenner’s classic short exposition, Paradox in Chesterton (1948). Since then, there has been a steady stream of books, usually by Roman Catholics, more or less ploddingly demonstrating Chesterton’s orthodoxy ”“ which is a different exercise from winkling out the peculiar charms of his playful mind.

Chesterton and the Romance of Orthodoxy painstakingly follows the development of GK’s ideas from the schoolboy poet and debater of the 1880s to the author of Orthodoxy in 1908. William Oddie’s book demonstrates, sometimes with a little too much bluster, that although Chesterton did not actually become a Roman Catholic until 1922, his “position” as a robust defender of Catholic Orthodoxy was well in place fifteen years earlier. It is also Oddie’s intention to demonstrate that Chesterton absorbed many of his Catholic ideas not, as might previously have been supposed, from his friend Belloc, nor from Fr O’Connor, the model for Father Brown, but from his Anglo-Catholic wife Frances Blogg, and from some of her high-church heroes, most notably Charles Gore, Conrad Noel and Percy Dearmer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

The Sunday (London) Times: A guide to the 100 best blogs – part I

Blogs ”” an ugly word, but now unavoidable ”” were born with the internet. As soon as people started to use the technology that would link computers, they started leaving messages. In the 1980s, these were “pinned” on virtual “bulletin boards”. Then, in the early 1990s, online diaries appeared, personal journals to be seen by the entire online world. As internet use spread, people were dazzled by their power to connect and communicate. But they didn’t just want to stare at pages. They wanted, above all, to make their mark on the explosively expanding world of cyberspace. So, in the mid-1990s, the online diary became the web log, or blog.

Blogs let you jot down what you think, feel or know and, at the speed of light, publish it to the world. They now cover everything from quantum theory to politics to low-life celebrity gossip and intimate personal confessions. They can be vast publications written by teams of writers, or fragmented jottings from a student pad. They are the most successful, addictive, potent and radical application of all the new technologies and applications spawned by the personal computer.

The total number of blogs is thought to be approaching 200m, 73m of them in China. I can see no reason why there shouldn’t be hundreds of millions more, because, you see, blogging is like smoking or gambling ”” hard to give up.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet

Kansas suspends income tax refunds, may miss payroll

Income tax refunds and state employee paychecks could be late after Republican leaders and the Democratic governor clashed Monday over how to solve a cash-flow problem.

Payments to Medicaid providers and schools also could be delayed.

“We are out of cash, in essence,” state budget director Duane Goossen said.

Read it all.

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

Roman Catholic symbols stir diverse feelings at Boston College

On the plaza in front of Higgins Hall at Boston College, there is a new oversized statue of St. Ignatius of Loyola, robes flowing and his hand over his heart. For the university’s nearby Newton campus, a large statue of St. Thomas More is being designed.

On each side of the foyer in Lyons Hall is a new mosaic, one depicting Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic worker movement, and the other Pedro Arrupe, a former superior general of the Jesuit order.

And suddenly, in all 151 classrooms, there is a Catholic icon, in most cases, a crucifix above the lintel.

Students and faculty returned to campus after winter break to find that Boston College had quietly completed, without announcement or fanfare, an eight-year project to dramatically increase the presence of Roman Catholic religious symbols on campus. The additions are subtle but significant, as the university joins other Catholic institutions around the nation in visibly reclaiming its Catholic identity.

“The Christian art reflects our pride in and commitment to our religious heritage,” said Jack Dunn, BC’s spokesman.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Education, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic