Daily Archives: May 10, 2009

MPs' prestige at low ebb – Lord George Carey

Parliament’s moral authority has slumped to its “lowest ebb in living memory”, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said.

Lord Carey told the News of the World that recent leaked reports about MPs’ expenses had shaken trust in politics.

He said the revelations had exposed the “clawing greed” at the heart of Westminster’s “culture of abuse”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

Dean William McKeachie retires after 14 years service at St. Luke, St. Paul

The Very Rev. William Noble McKeachie retired as the fifth dean of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina and rector of its Cathedral Church on May 1, after serving in Charleston for 14 years.

McKeachie has accepted a part-time appointment as pastoral associate at St. Andrew’s Parish in Fort Worth, Texas, where he has maintained a long relationship.

He has been active in the religious and civic life of Charleston, serving as president of the Society for the Advancement of Christianity, as president of the Christian-Jewish Council and in a variety of other capacities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC)

Peet Dickinson, 35, new South Carolina Episcopal dean, cathedral rector

[Peet] Dickinson plays bluegrass guitar. It’s a way to evangelize through music, he says. For years he sang in church choirs. But don’t assume he’s all hipster and not a serious traditionalist. He’s both: well-grounded in Orthodox Anglicanism and well-attuned to the tastes of young people, he says.

Johnny Wallace, senior warden of the cathedral and chairman of the search committee, said the church began looking for a new leader last summer, considered applications from 10 candidates and settled on Dickinson after Bishop Mark Lawrence helped narrow down the field to four. The bishop interviewed each of the finalists.

Wallace said the congregation was “looking for someone to be at the cathedral for a long time.” Dickinson, who is married with a 5-year-old daughter, was just the sort of family man they were looking for, Wallace said, also citing the young priest’s Orthodox leanings, evangelism and varied tastes in music and worship styles. (The cathedral offers both a traditional and contemporary service at 10:30 a.m. Sundays.)

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Parishes

George Conger and Kevin Kallsen Discuss recent ACC Developments

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council

Chris Sugden on ACC Day 14

So was this a conspiracy or was it a cock-up? Whichever it was it is a case study of how to win if you are a minority in a meeting. If matters are going against you, get a team to work, introduce endless amendments to the resolution you do not like to spin out the debate, introduce a competing proposal, have a chair who is known to be on your side who has a vote and allows discussion of the proposal out of order, a person to present the material as a formal amendment, the president of the meeting to point out to people what is being intended, and also to interpret to the meeting its own decisions in a way that would allow this intention to come to fruition, and a chair who proceeds swiftly to a vote on this amendment having allowed extensive debate on the first resolution that was thought would be cleared out of the way quickly.

And what is the de facto result? Those facing litigation in the courts over property cannot appeal to an Anglican Communion Covenant which would give them the moral high ground in their cases by showing their continuity with historic Anglicanism; and General Convention can proceed with numerous resolutions which overturn the effective teaching of the Anglican Church with no opportunity for people to argue that this would be against the Covenant that ACC has accepted.

On the one hand is the property and keeping TEC, a major funder of the Anglican Communion Office and its projects, onside; on the other is affirming and embracing the historic faith as Anglicans have received and understood it. The ACC is split down the middle on the matter. Yet again an instrument of Communion has proved unable to deal with the crisis in the Communion.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Archbishop of Canterbury

Happy Mothers Day to all Mothers and Grandmothers and Godmothers

Posted in Uncategorized

A Poem for Sunday: Dana Gioia's Words


The world does not need words. It articulates itself
in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path
are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted.
The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The kiss is still fully itself though no words were spoken.

And one word transforms it into something less or other””
illicit, chaste, perfunctory, conjugal, covert.
Even calling it a kiss betrays the fluster of hands
glancing the skin or gripping a shoulder, the slow
arching of neck or knee, the silent touching of tongues.

Yet the stones remain less real to those who cannot
name them, or read the mute syllables graven in silica.
To see a red stone is less than seeing it as jasper””
metamorphic quartz, cousin to the flint the Kiowa
carved as arrowheads. To name is to know and remember.

The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds,
painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving
each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it.
The daylight needs no praise, and so we praise it always””
greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon.

–Dana Gioia (1950- )

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Poetry & Literature

“Terrible” Treasury Auction Exposes Hole in Obama Economic Plan

The U.S. Treasury auction of long-term bonds on Thursday was “terrible”, in the words of one Wall Street economist, with the rate on the 30 year bond jumping from 4.1 to 4.3 percent. This is just the first sign that the debt-based Obama economic stimulus plan is about to become a major drag on the recovery, just as expected.

The economic news is not all bad. We are seeing signs the rate of contraction is abating quickly, promising a bottom to the recession sometime this summer as many forecasters have expected. But therein lies another piece of the interest rate puzzle, and the trouble ahead.

There are two critical consequences to the economy stabilizing. The first is that the massive liquidity injected into credit markets by the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world transforms from economic medicine to inflationary heroin. Central banks are going to face a difficult task of extracting the excess liquidity before inflation soars and without causing another recession. Doubt about the fight against soaring inflation means higher inflation premiums in interest rates.

The second dangerous consequence is that President Obama is on course to double the national debt in just four years….

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The 2009 Obama Administration Bank Bailout Plan, The 2009 Obama Administration Housing Amelioration Plan, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009, The National Deficit, The Possibility of a Bailout for the U.S. Auto Industry, The U.S. Government

Western Louisiana Backs Bishop on Church Polity

“We want the rest of the church to know that our bishop has our support,” said the Very Rev. Peter J.A. Cook, president of the Western Louisiana standing committee and rector of St. Michael and All Angels’ Church, Lake Charles. He added that the standing committee and the bishop have no plans to leave, but are committed to working for reform from within the church.

Fr. Cook said the statement also was intended to prepare the diocese for the possibility that it will need to approve the proposed Anglican Covenant on its own if General Convention fails to do so when it meets in Anaheim later this summer.

“If General Convention does not approve the Covenant or fails to consider it, I’d be most surprised if our diocese did not take up a resolution to approve it for ourselves with the encouragement of our bishop,” he said.

Read it all.

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

In Jordan, Pope Deplores ”˜Ideological Manipulation’

Visiting a mosque on the second day of his closely watched first visit to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday denounced the “ideological manipulation of religion” and called for greater understanding between the Christian and Muslim faiths.

Speaking outside Al-Hussein bin-Talal mosque in Amman, Benedict said that because of “the burden of our common history so often marked by misunderstanding,” Christians and Muslims alike should “strive to be seen” as faithful worshipers of God.

In a speech that also touched on a central theme of his papacy and thought, the tension between faith and reason, Benedict said that “the ideological manipulation of religion, sometimes for political ends,” was often “the real catalyst for tension and division, and at times even violence in society.”

Relations between the Vatican and Muslims were strained in 2006 when, in a speech in Regensburg, Germany, Benedict quoted a Byzantine emperor who said Islam had brought things “evil and inhuman.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Judaism, Middle East, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Tracy Press: An Episcopal house of worship divided

When [Bishop John David] Schofield broke off from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin around Christmas in 2007 because he opposed the denomination’s decision to appoint women as bishops and support of same-sex marriage, a handful of churches split with him.

They called themselves Anglican after the schism and claimed membership with a newly formed Fresno-based diocese led by Schofield. Church leaders deemed too liberal by Schofield within the separated diocese were slowly replaced with more conservative leaders.

St. Mark’s, though, was left in the lurch. It took more than a year for the congregation to find a priest. The instability drove away many members and took an emotional toll on those who stayed.

“A deep, dark depression settled over everyone at first,” said Carolyn Barth, 74, Marvin’s wife and a senior warden for the Anglican side of St. Mark’s. “It took a while for us to move on from that.”

In San Joaquin County, St. Ann’s in Stockton and St. Mary’s in Manteca sided with Schofield. About one-third of St. Mark’s congregation stuck with the national Episcopalian denomination, while the rest turned Anglican.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

Russia warns foes in Soviet-style show of might

Russia on Saturday sternly warned its foes not to dare attempt any aggression against the country, as it put on a Soviet-style show of military might in Red Square including nuclear capable missiles.

The display to mark the 64th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II came amid renewed tensions with Georgia after NATO’s decision to hold war games in the Caucasus country infuriated Moscow.

“We are sure that any aggression against our citizens will be given a worthy reply,” President Dmitry Medvedev said in a speech in Red Square side-by-side with powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Foreign Relations, Military / Armed Forces, Russia