Daily Archives: January 30, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI's Address at the Close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The choice of the theme of this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity the invitation, that is, to a common witness of the Risen Christ in accordance with the mandate he entrusted to his disciples is linked to the memory of the 100th anniversary of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, in Scotland, widely considered a crucial event in the birth of the modern ecumenical movement.

In the summer of 1910, in the Scottish capital, over 1,000 missionaries from diverse branches of Protestantism and Anglicanism, who were joined by one Orthodox guest, met to reflect together on the necessity of achieving unity in order to be credible in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, it is precisely this desire to proclaim Christ to others and to carry his message of reconciliation throughout the world that makes one realize the contradiction posed by division among Christians.

Indeed, how can non-believers accept the Gospel proclamation if Christians even if they all call on the same Christ are divided among themselves? Moreover, as we know, the same Teacher, at the end of the Last Supper, had prayed to the Father for his disciples: “That they may all be one… so that the world may believe” (Jn 17: 21). The communion and unity of Christ’s disciples is therefore a particularly important condition to enhance the credibility and efficacy of their witness.

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

The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks in Yonkers at St. Vladimir's Seminary today

On Saturday, though, Williams will receive an honorary doctorate from St. Vladimir’s that will recognize his lesser-known contributions to the study of Orthodox Christian theology. And he will speak not about sexual politics, but about the “Philokalia,” a collection of writings about monastic life that date from the 4th to 15th centuries and are revered by Orthodox Christians.

The 12:30 p.m. lecture is free and open to the public.

“We chose to honor him because of the contributions he has made toward increasing knowledge of Eastern Orthodoxy in the West,” said the Very Rev. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s. “Through his work, he has also asked (the) Eastern Orthodox to continue our own thinking through of our tradition .”

Read it all and you may find a Seminary press release on the event there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

John Mauldin on the Economy–This Time is Different–NOT

“Our immersion in the details of crises that have arisen over the past eight centuries and in data on them has led us to conclude that the most commonly repeated and most expensive investment advice ever given in the boom just before a financial crisis stems from the perception that ‘this time is different.’ That advice, that the old rules of valuation no longer apply, is usually followed up with vigor. Financial professionals and, all too often, government leaders explain that we are doing things better than before, we are smarter, and we have learned from past mistakes. Each time, society convinces itself that the current boom, unlike the many booms that preceded catastrophic collapses in the past, is built on sound fundamentals, structural reforms, technological innovation, and good policy.”

– This Time is Different (Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff)

When does a potential crisis become an actual crisis, and how and why does it happen? Why did most everyone believe there were no problems in the US (or Japanese or European or British) economies in 2006? Yet now we are mired in a very difficult situation. “The subprime problem will be contained,” said now controversially confirmed Fed Chairman Bernanke, just months before the implosion and significant Fed intervention. I have just returned from Europe, and the discussion often turned to the potential of a crisis in the Eurozone if Greece defaults….
Greece is running a budget deficit of 12.5%. Under the Maastricht Treaty, they are supposed to keep it at 3%. Their GDP was $374 billion in 2008 (about €240 billion). If they can cut their budget deficit to 10% this year, that means they will need to go into the bond market for another €25 billion or so. But they already have a problem with rising debt. Look at the following graph on the debt of various countries….

When Russia defaulted on its debt and sent the world into crisis in 1998, they had total debt of only €51 billion. Greece now has €254 billion and added another €8 billion this week, and needs to add another €24 billion (or so) later this year. That’s a debt-to-GDP ratio of over 100%, well above the limit of the treaty, which is 60%.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Budget, Economy, Europe, Globalization, Greece, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

Notable and Quotable

(Please note the the document quoted has already been posted earlier this week–KSH)

Anglicanism is a tradition that makes decisions on the basis of practice rather than confession. We are a church that determines membership and status by behavior rather than by belief.

–The Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall in God’s Call and Our Response

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, Theology

Washington Post: Washington Episcopal Bishop John Bryson Chane to retire

[John] Chane, 65, made the announcement at the diocese’s annual convention at Washington National Cathedral, where he received a standing ovation. He told the delegates he is not “burned out or bored,” but believes it’s time for someone younger to take over.

“I love what I do and I deeply love this diocese,” Chane said in the annual bishop’s address. “When the time actually comes to turn over the crosier to another, it will be a very emotional time for me.”

Chane’s exit from the diocese, which includes 89 congregations in the District and suburban Maryland, follows that of his counterpart in Northern Virginia, Peter James Lee, who retired in October as bishop of the diocese that includes eastern Virginia.

While Lee was known as a moderate on the social issues that have embroiled the Episcopal Church — as well as mainline Protestantism — Chane was an unabashed liberal on the right of gay men and lesbians to marry. He allows clergy in the diocese to bless same-sex relationships and blesses such relationships himself. He made outreach to the Muslim world a priority and extended a controversial invitation in 2006 to former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to speak at the cathedral. It’s likely he will focus on Muslim-Christian dialogue after his retirement.

Read the whole thing.

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

NY Times Religion Journal: Black Priest Shares Past, Enlightening White Town

When he moved back home here 12 years ago, the Rev. Moses Berry wanted to settle down to small-town life with his wife and two children. He did not intend to become a one-man racial reconciliation committee.

But some residents of this nearly all-white, rural town of 1,400 people 15 miles west of Springfield say that he has done just that.

By founding a black history museum here, cleaning up his family’s cemetery and telling his family’s sometimes controversial story, beginning with its roots in slavery, Father Moses, as everyone calls him ”” an African-American, Orthodox Christian priest in a flowing black cassock ”” has tried to remind people of a part of the region’s often-forgotten past, and to open up hearts and minds along the way.

“He brings peace to people. I’ve seen it,” said Gail Emrie, 56, a local history buff who helped get the Berry family’s 135-year-old cemetery ”” one of the region’s few black cemeteries not located on a plantation ”” listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004. “It is reconciliation, and it is his mission, reconciliation of our history between the races.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture

China suspends U.S. military exchanges in wake of Taiwan arms deal

The Obama administration announced the sale Friday of $6 billion worth of Patriot anti-missile systems, helicopters, mine-sweeping ships and communications equipment to Taiwan in a long-expected move that sparked an angry protest from China.

In a strongly worded statement on Saturday, China’s Defense Ministry suspended military exchanges with the United States and summoned the U.S. defense attache to lodge a “solemn protest” over the sale, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

“Considering the severe harm and odious effect of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, the Chinese side has decided to suspend planned mutual military visits,” Xinhua quoted the ministry as saying. The Foreign Ministry said China also would put sanctions on U.S. companies supplying the equipment.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, China, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Taiwan

Francesco Guerrera in the FT: Obama’s one-two punch misses its target

…it should not be impossible for a president who pledged to change Washington’s culture to introduce a note of competence and sobriety in his justifiable fight against banks.

Not that the financial industry has done much to deserve a more adult debate. Wall Street’s normally loquacious titans have so far been deafeningly silent. Their contributions to a battle that could shape their industry for years have been limited to private rants and a misguided attempt at suing the government. (Only bankers could think that hiring lawyers would increase their popularity.)

Here is a novel idea for banking chiefs: get down from your ivory towers and propose (not lobby for, propose) a plan to reduce reckless risk-taking without harming the financial system or the economy. A nation awaits.

Read the whole piece.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

David Broder: In rejecting a fiscal commission, senators betray the nation

On the very day this week when the Congressional Budget Office warned that the succession of previously unimaginable trillion-dollar-plus budget deficits could inflict ruin on the United States, the Senate faced a moment of truth.

For the first time, a truly bipartisan proposal aimed at averting such a calamity came to a vote. By 53 to 46, the senators approved the measure officially described as a bill for “responsible fiscal action, to assure the long-term fiscal stability and economic security of the federal government of the United States, and to expand future prosperity and growth for all Americans.”

Of course, this being the 21st-century Senate, it meant defeat because of a failure to command the 60-vote supermajority the opposition now always requires.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Politics in General, Senate, The U.S. Government

'Unhappy' Queen sends Lord Chamberlain to ask Archbishop Nichols about Pope's Anglican plan

In a surprising departure from protocol, the Queen has sent the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior official of the Royal Household, to see Archbishop Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, to discuss Pope Benedict XVI’s offer to Anglicans wanting to convert to Rome en masse.

My source says Her Majesty ”“ who is expected to meet the Pope when he visits Britain this autumn ”“ was “unhappy” about aspects of the scheme as she understood it. So, late last year, she dispatched Lord Peel with a list of questions for the Archbishop. The nature of the questions has not been revealed, but Archbishop’s House confirms that the meeting took place and was “mutually beneficial”.

The Queen ”“ a somewhat “Low Church” Anglican who feels it is her solemn duty to preserve the Protestant identity of the Church of England ”“ appears to have been alarmed by press reports of Pope Benedict’s Apostolic Constitution, Anglicanorum coetibus.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, England / UK, Other Churches, Politics in General, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Church of England General Synod: The Proposed amendment to ACNA motion

From here:

Item 14 Anglican Church in North America (GS 1764A and 1764B)

The Rt Revd Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol, is to move as an amendment:

Leave out everything after “That this Synod” and insert:

“(a) recognise and affirm the desire of those who have formed the Anglican Church in North America to remain within the Anglican family;

(b) acknowledge that this aspiration, in respect both of relations with the Church of England and membership of the Anglican Communion, raises issues which the relevant authorities of each need to explore further; and

(c) invite the Archbishops to report further to the Synod in 2011”.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE)

Photos from the Mere Anglicanism Conference 2010

Check them out. Note that there is a slideshow option if you prefer that.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Theology

Michiko Kakutani on J.D. Salinger: Of Teen Angst and an Author’s Alienation

What really knocked readers out about “The Catcher in the Rye” was the wonderfully immediate voice that J. D. Salinger fashioned for Holden Caulfield ”” a voice that enabled him to channel an alienated 16-year-old’s thoughts and anxieties and frustrations, a voice that skeptically appraised the world and denounced its phonies and hypocrites and bores.

Mr. Salinger had such unerring radar for the feelings of teenage angst and vulnerability and anger that “Catcher,” published in 1951, remains one of the books that adolescents first fall in love with ”” a book that intimately articulates what it is to be young and sensitive and precociously existential, a book that first awakens them to the possibilities of literature.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Books, History, Teens / Youth