Daily Archives: November 4, 2009

Episcopal body files suit in Tsunami fraud row

Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) of the American Episcopal Church has filed suit against the Church of South India (CSI) to recover £1 million allegedly stolen by its former General Secretary Dr Pauline Sathiamurthy.

Detectives from the Central Crime Branch of the Madras police arrested Dr Sathiamurthy and three members of her family on Oct 13, after the church turned over the results of an internal investigation to prosecutors.

In a statement released on Oct 23, ERD said that two years ago it had “approached the local Church authorities with concerns when CSI failed to complete the financial reporting and required audits outlined in our agreement for 2005 and 2006. As a result, we suspended work with CSI and implemented an in-depth effort to account for the missing funds. After a lengthy process, we deeply regret that we have been forced to take legal action.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Episcopal Church (TEC), India, Law & Legal Issues

Northern Michigan Episcopal Diocese Plans Election Changes

The Diocese of Northern Michigan has decided that it will choose from multiple nominees when it next elects a bishop.

The diocese’s 114th annual convention, meeting on Oct. 30-31 in Escanaba, Mich., approved a new election process that allows for nominees by petition and will stress regular communication with the wider Episcopal Church.

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

Maine Same Sex Marriage Law Repealed

Maine would have been the sixth state in the country to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, but instead becomes the 31st state to oppose the unions in a popular vote.

With 87 percent of precincts reporting as of 2 a.m. today, gay marriage opponents claimed 53 percent of the vote to supporters’ 47 percent.

Marc Mutty, campaign manager for Stand for Marriage Maine which opposed gay marriages, claimed victory at a rally in Portland just after midnight. “We’ve struggled, we’ve worked against tremendous odds, as we’ve all known,” he said. “We prevailed because the people of Maine, the silent majority, the folks back home spoke with their vote tonight.”

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

Olin Robison on VPR: Anglicans and the Pope

The Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England – the people in the United States known as Episcopalians – is in a terrible bind. Talk about “dithering.” The current Archbishop, a certain Reverend Rowan Williams, is stalling for time; which, of course, is a sign that he doesn’t know what to do. His problem is that the more conservative Anglicans or Episcopalians, especially the Africans, say they will leave the Church, known among Church types as the Lambeth Communion, unless the Archbishop disciplines the Americans, who have – horror of horrors – ordained a Gay Bishop and also, equally scandalous from their point of view, tolerate women priests. The Americans, on the other hand, are having none of the African stuff. They say, in effect, that if the Archbishop does something they don’t like, THEY will cut and run.

So, the Reverend Williams dithers. He stalls for time. I, of course, follow all of this stuff, but having grown up Baptist – people who are all too familiar with splits – I am not as sympathetic with the Archbishop’s plight as might be desired. In the U.K. I frequently suggest to my Anglican friends that splitting is not necessarily a bad thing. First there is one church, then two, then four, then eight, and so on. They don’t like that at all. Nor, of course does the Archbishop. His problem is simple: The Africans have the numbers and the Americans have the money. What a mess.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Affirming Catholicsim Letter to the General Synod Revision Committee on Women Bishops

Affirming Catholicism has noted with dismay the Press Release from the Revision Committee indicating the Committee’s decision to review General Synod’s support for the adoption of the simplest form of legislation enabling the admission of women into the episcopate in the Church of England coupled with a statutory code of practice, as expressed in July 2008.

We believe that the suggestion that certain functions should be vested in bishops by statute rather than by delegation from the diocesan bishop under a statutory code of practice runs counter to the principle that the diocese is the fundamental unit of the Church. In practice, this means that the Diocesan Bishop is and must be recognised to be Ordinary in his / her Diocese. Consequently, as we have argued consistently in our submissions to the Bishops of Guildford and Gloucester and to the Legislative Drafting Group, any designated special Bishops who exercise a ministry in a Diocese where the Ordinary is a woman must share in the ministry of the Ordinary in order that the unity of the diocese ”“ and with it the Church of England ”“ be preserved.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

Trinity dean again a bishop candidate for Upper South Carolina

[Phil] Linder has been dean of the downtown cathedral for a decade.

In an earlier letter bowing out of the nomination process, he made it clear it would be difficult to leave Trinity to become bishop.

“We are at a critical moment in the history of our beloved Trinity,” he wrote. Trinity, with a membership topping 4,200, is currently in the midst of a multi-million dollar renovation of the historic sanctuary, he noted. “Today, the staff, vestry and laity of Trinity are worshipping, working and serving Christ at a level that I have never before witnessed,” he said.

But in reconsidering, Linder told the congregation that much prayer and a lengthy discernment process “has led me full circle back to Trinity Cathedral, where I believe God, and I pray all of you, desire for me to continue to serve as your priest and dean.”

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

Pittsburgh Episcopal Diocese releases Anglican clergy from vows

While Anglican leaders say they appreciate the gracious tone of the offer, they believe it is a suspect use of a canon written for clergy who want to renounce their ordination. Few responded to the first offer that the Episcopal diocese made last month.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re in this situation, but it is asking us to renounce our vows, which we cannot do,” said the Rev. Mary Hays, canon to the ordinary for the Anglican diocese.

“They’re interpreting the canon in a way that it’s not been interpreted before. We’re all in a tough place, but our clergy have not abandoned their ordination vows.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh

Study: Half of U.S. kids will receive food stamps

Half of American kids will live in households receiving food stamps before age 20, according to a study reported Monday in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Although one in five children rely on food stamps for years, many more live in families who turn to food stamps during a short-term crisis, says author Mark Rank of Washington University in St. Louis. He analyzed 30 years of data from the University of Michigan’s Panel Study of Income Dynamics survey.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Poverty

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

–Psalm 72: 18,19

Posted in Uncategorized

Tuesday's Elections (II): Discontent Voters Heavily Favored Republicans in VA, NJ Races

Vast economic discontent marked the mood of Tuesday’s off-year voters, portending potential trouble for incumbents generally and Democrats in particular in 2010. Still the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey looked less like a referendum on Barack Obama than a reflection of their own candidates and issues.

The gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey looked less like a referendum on Barack Obama than a reflection of their own candidates and issues. Still, the two Republican victories, in predominantly Democratic New Jersey and in purple Virginia, had to smart.

Just under half the voters in Virginia, 48 percent, approved of the way Obama is handling his job, rising to 57 percent in New Jersey. Most in both states, in any case, said the president was not a factor in their vote.

Perhaps most striking were economic views: A vast 89 percent in New Jersey and 85 percent in Virginia said they were worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next year; 56 percent and 53 percent, respectively, said they were “very” worried about it.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, State Government

Tuesday's Elections (I): Big GOP governor victories in Virginia, NJ

Independents who swept Barack Obama to a historic 2008 victory broke big for Republicans on Tuesday as the GOP wrested political control from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey, a troubling sign for the president and his party heading into an important midterm election year.

Conservative Republican Bob McDonnell’s victory in the Virginia governor’s race over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds and moderate Republican Chris Christie’s ouster of unpopular New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was a double-barreled triumph for a party looking to rebuild after being booted from power in national elections in 2006 and 2008.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Maine voters rejected a state law that would allow same-sex couples to wed. If supporters had prevailed, it would have marked the first time that the electorate in any state endorsed gay marriage.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, State Government

The Episcopal Bishop of Arizona on the recent Vatican Decision

First, a little history: “Crossing the Tiber” has always been an option for members of the Church of England. In the 19th century there was the famous case of Henry (later Cardinal) Newman, who left a distinguished position as a Oxford professor to become a Roman Catholic. He experienced, along with other Anglican clergy who joined him, a welcome which was anything but warm. Newman was re-ordained as a Roman Catholic priest and for some years languished in a poor and obscure parish in Birmingham before his new bosses finally realized that this convert possessed one of the greatest theological minds of the age. Only then was he given the position he deserved.

Closer to our own time, a group of married Episcopal clergy who were admitted into the Roman Church because of their refusal to accept the ordination of women in the 1970s found that they were regarded with suspicion by their new congregants and most experienced unhappy and frustrating pastorates.

This current invitation is a bit different in that those going to Rome have been promised that they can maintain their Anglican ways (Prayerbook, etc) and even have oversight by former Anglican bishops. Still those priests and bishops will be ruled by the Vatican. The reason dissenting Episcopalians left our church is that they didn’t like control. I doubt many of them would be anxious to trade in their current relative independence for orders from the Chair of St Peter.

It might be a different story in England where there is a much more pronounced Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Bishops

Pittsburgh Diocese Completes Non-Disciplinary Release Of Clergy

Today the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh formally released 135 priests and deacons who have not been active in the Episcopal Church since October of last year.

In letters being mailed today from Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr. to each of the affected clergy, the diocese is making good on its offer to release the individuals from their licensed ministry in the Episcopal Church in a way that does not involve disciplinary action.

“The Diocese will proceed to notify the Recorder of Ordinations to remove you from the list of clergy licensed to exercise ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church,” Bishop Price writes in his letter.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh