Daily Archives: February 2, 2010

Bishop John Packer: Don't stop the many migrants who have enriched Britain

One of our strengths as a nation is that we are a land of immigrants. Over the centuries, people have come to this country, fleeing conflict or seeking new opportunities, from other parts of the British Isles, from mainland Europe, or from further afield, to enrich and develop our common life.

Many of us will have Scottish or Welsh blood in our veins. Others trace our ancestry to the West Indies or Pakistan, though we ourselves are English. In Leeds, we have one of the larger Jewish populations in the country, and our city has benefited immensely from their contribution.

Yet, frequently in recent years, there have been expressions of fear over the role of immigrants to our country, and they have surfaced
again with the recent declaration of the cross-party Group on Balanced Migration. This calls for political parties to declare, in the run-up to the General Election, how they will restrict immigration. One of the signatories has described Britain as “our claustrophobic island”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

Dave Morrow, RIP

From the morning email traffic:

Adam Feuerstein: Dave Morrow, TheStreet.com’s former E-in-C died last night after a too short battle with cancer. He was 49. R.I.P. Dave, you’ll be missed.

Dave had pancreatic cancer and was not quite 50; very sad–KSH.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Parish Ministry

McClatchy: Obama's budget sober on jobs, optimistic on growth

The Obama administration projects rosier economic-growth prospects than most mainstream economists do but a sobering jobless recovery, according to documents released Monday about underlying assumptions in the government’s $3.83 trillion federal budget for 2011.

Other documents outlining proposed tax cuts and hikes reveal that the administration, concerned about growing income inequality, seeks to pay for a number of programs to help the middle class by taxing the wealthiest Americans and imposing new taxes on corporations, especially those with international operations.

The administration created a public relations nightmare for itself last year when it came into power forecasting an optimistic 8 percent unemployment rate. Policymakers then watched in horror as the jobless rate climbed to 10.2 percent before dipping back to 10 percent in December.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

NPR–Why Does Time Fly By As You Get Older?

As people get older, “they just have this sense, this feeling that time is going faster than they are,” says Warren Meck, a psychology professor at Duke University.

This seems to be true across cultures, across time, all over the world.

No one is sure where this feeling comes from.

Scientists have theories, of course, and one of them is that when you experience something for the very first time, more details, more information gets stored in your memory. Think about your first kiss.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Psychology, Science & Technology

The Economist on Northern Nigeria–Stagnation stirs everything up

At his meeting-house on an industrial estate in Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city, Sheikh Ibrahim Khalil laments his country’s sporadic uprisings in the name of Islam.”I don’t know why this change has come,” says the 57-year-old Muslim preacher. “Twenty years ago we never used to have this. Everyone got along.”

Outside his vine-covered house, silence prevails on the Sharada estate. Most of the factories that once helped Kano honour its state slogan, “Centre of Commerce”, are shells. The economic slump worries the Americans, especially since it has strengthened the hand of the more militant of northern Nigeria’s Muslim leaders, who are rattling the mild-mannered sheikh.

The role of Islam in Nigeria is in the spotlight, especially in America, since Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up an aircraft landing at Detroit on Christmas Day. The young Nigerian’s failed attack has since been claimed by al-Qaeda, fuelling long-held fears that the jihadist group, already present in north Africa, could win recruits among Africa’s most populous country with some 150m people.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Economy, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture

Percentage Job Losses in Post World War II Recessions

It’s quite a graphic–take some time to try to let it sink in (Hat tip: Calculated Risk)

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, History, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

Living Church–Bp. Mouneer: Talks Prompted Resignation

The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Anis, who has resigned his position on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion, told The Living Church that discussions at the committee’s meeting in December 2009 are what prompted his resignation from the committee.

“I had been in communication before the meeting that I needed to discuss the participation of the Episcopal Church on the standing committee. I found some resistance to this,” said Bishop Mouneer, who is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and President Bishop of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Geoffrey Rowell–Simeon’s triumphal cry heralds the coming of the light

[Today]…Christians keep the feast of Candlemas, 40 days after Christmas. For some it will be kept this Sunday. Candlemas, with its candle procession and theme of light, commemorates the story in St Luke’s Gospel of the child Jesus being brought to the Temple in Jerusalem to be presented to the Lord. As Mary and Joseph carry the child into the Temple, two old and devout people, Simeon and Anna, meet them. Simeon, Luke tells us, has looked for “the consolation of Israel”. The word translated consolation is the word that St John uses for the Holy Spirit ”” “the Paraclete”, a word that means advocate, comforter, even goader. Simeon is longing for transformation and deliverance, for God’s salvation to come to his people. He longs for liberation in a land that is occupied territory, he longs for transformation and renewal, which is the “paracleting”, the Holy Spiriting of his people.

Simeon, with his rheumy eyes, encounters a child carried in by two poor parents. Suddenly he sees in this child the salvation he desires. He bursts out into the great cry of thanksgiving that we know as the Nunc Dimittis. “Lord, now you can let your servant go in peace, for my eyes have seen your salvation!” This song of Simeon, rightly used at funerals, is often heard as a lament, a gentle commendation, but in the story of the Presentation in the Temple, as Luke tells it, is rather a great cry of triumph. In the same way at the end of the Creed Christians “look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come”. This is no casual glancing forward, but the burning hope that waits with longing expectation for the transfiguring of our earthly bodies and the fulfilment of eternal life.

Read the whole reflection.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, CoE Bishops, Epiphany

ENS–President Bishop Mouneer Anis resigns from Standing Committee

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Belfast Telegraph–Pope confirms UK visit but won’t be coming to Northern Ireland

Pope Benedict is to visit the UK in September in the first papal visit to England, Wales and Scotland in more than a quarter of a century ”” although Northern Ireland will not be on the itinerary.

However, Irish church sources still hope Pope Benedict will visit both Northern Ireland and attend the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 2012, some 33 years after Pope John Paul’s historic visit to the Republic.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Ireland, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

BBC–Pope Benedict confirms first papal UK visit since 1982

Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed he will this year make the first papal visit to the UK since John Paul II’s of 1982.

He is expected to visit Birmingham – as part of the planned beatification of Cardinal John Newman – and Scotland. Dates for the trip have not been set.

The Pope spoke of the UK’s “commitment to equality of opportunity” for all.

But he criticised equality legislation which imposed “unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(London) Times–Pope Benedict XVI attacks Labour's equality push

The Pope has made an unprecedented attack on the human rights policies of Gordon Brown’s Government, claiming that they threaten religious freedom and urging Catholic bishops to fight back with “missionary zeal”.

Pope Benedict XVI said that new equality legislation was unjust and violated natural law.

He urged the 35 Catholic bishops from England and Wales, in Rome on a five-yearly “ad limina” visit, to make a united stand against the Equality Bill currently going through Parliament.

He claimed the proposed new laws threatened “long-standing British traditions” of freedom of speech.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

Zenit: Anglicans and Catholics Still Getting Along

The Catholic Church and the Church of England continue to have good relations after Benedict XVI has paved the way for Anglicans to become Catholics in groups.

This was affirmed by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster today when he addressed the Pope on behalf of the bishops of England and Wales in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

Archbishop Nichols characterized the Holy Father’s response to Anglicans who have requested communion with Rome as “generous and paternal.”

And he affirmed that the groundwork of “close cooperation and deepening friendship and communion” between Anglicans and Catholics have “helped us to ensure that the various interpretations of and reactions to ‘Anglicanorum Coetibus’ have not seriously disrupted the relationships between our Ecclesial Communions.”

Read it all.

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

Archbishop Nichols' Address to Benedict XVI

We thank you for the leadership you have given, even in recent months, on the questions of our care for the environments of our world: both the natural environment and, crucially, the human ecology necessary for our proper development. These matters are of deep concern to many in our countries, including many young people, who have accepted the invitation, in large numbers, to look closely at ways in which they can live more simply, so that others may simply live.

We thank you, too, for your constant encouragement to us through the initiatives of the Year of St. Paul and the Year for Priests. In our different dioceses we have built on these invitations both in the deeper appreciation of the Word of God and of the gift of the Eucharist. At this time we appreciate your concern for the dignity and reverence with which the Mass is celebrated. This is a central part of the life of every priest and bishop and we are committed to constant effort in this regard. In particular the new translations of the Roman Missal offer us an opportune moment to deepen our appreciation of the Mass. Through catechesis we can renew our reception of the richness of the Church’s faith through the ages which, in faithfulness, is now handed on to us in these texts.

Of particular delicacy for us is the response made by you, Holy Father, to those Anglicans who, from different parts of the world, asked for a pathway to be established by which they could come into the full communion of the Catholic Church bringing with them elements of the Anglican patrimony which fully accord with Catholic faith. Years of close cooperation and deepening friendship and communion with our brothers and sisters in the Church of England have helped us to ensure that the various interpretations of and reactions to ”˜Anglicanorum Coetibus’ have not seriously disrupted the relationships between our Ecclesial Communions. Indeed the commitment to commence a third round of discussions as part of the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission has reinforced this relationship. We remain ready to explore with those Anglicans in England and Wales who wish to take up your generous and paternal response to their requests the ways forward towards full communion. We ask for your prayers in these important and sensitive matters.

Read it all.

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

Pope Benedict XVI's Words to the Bishops of England and Wales

Your country is well known for its firm commitment to equality of opportunity for all members of society. Yet as you have rightly pointed out, the effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed. I urge you as Pastors to ensure that the Church’s moral teaching be always presented in its entirety and convincingly defended. Fidelity to the Gospel in no way restricts the freedom of others — on the contrary, it serves their freedom by offering them the truth.

Continue to insist upon your right to participate in national debate through respectful dialogue with other elements in society. In doing so, you are not only maintaining long-standing British traditions of freedom of expression and honest exchange of opinion, but you are actually giving voice to the convictions of many people who lack the means to express them: when so many of the population claim to be Christian, how could anyone dispute the Gospel’s right to be heard?

If the full saving message of Christ is to be presented effectively and convincingly to the world, the Catholic community in your country needs to speak with a united voice. This requires not only you, the Bishops, but also priests, teachers, catechists, writers — in short all who are engaged in the task of communicating the Gospel — to be attentive to the promptings of the Spirit, who guides the whole Church into the truth, gathers her into unity and inspires her with missionary zeal.

Read the whole address.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic