Daily Archives: February 10, 2010

C of E recognise New Group of American Anglicans

In a two-and-a-half hour in-depth debate the Church of England Synod has decided to recognise the Anglican Church in North America. The original motion wanted the Synod to “express a desire that the Church of England be in communion” with the break-away group. However, following a long deliberation of several amendments (held up by a series of technical glitches with the electronic voting system that saw the tradition division doors used), the motion finally passed reduced this to an awareness of the distress caused by the divisions, but also recognised (and affirmed) the desire of the ACNA to be “part of the Anglican family”.

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

BBC–Church of England concerned by 'religious TV cuts'

The Church of England’s general synod has voted to back a motion expressing “deep concern” at what it believes is a cut in religious TV programming.

But the synod drew back from singling out the BBC, instead backing a motion aimed at all mainstream broadcasters.

It called for more programming that “imaginatively marks major festivals”.

The BBC said it had increased its coverage in recent years, while Channel 4 said religious programmes were “at the heart of its schedule”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Media, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture

Globe and Mail–Anglican Church of Canada facing the threat of extinction

The Anglican Church in Canada ”“ once as powerful in the nation’s secular life as it was in its soul ”“ may be only a generation away from extinction, says a just-published assessment of the church’s future.

The report, prepared for the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia, calls Canada a post-Christian society in which Anglicanism is declining faster than any other denomination. It says the church has been “moved to the far margins of public life.”

According to the report, the diocese ”“ “like most across Canada” ”“ is in crisis. The report repeats, without qualification or question, the results of a controversial study presented to Anglican bishops five years ago that said that at the present rate of decline ”“ a loss of 13,000 members per year ”“ only one Anglican would be left in Canada by 2061.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces

FT–Berlin looks to build Greek ”˜firewall’

As the eurozone’s dominant economy, Germany would be expected to take the lead in marshalling financial support for a Greek bail-out. There are fears the crisis could spread to other eurozone states with big deficits such as Spain and Portugal.

“We’ve had to face up to the fact that what is now a Greek problem could turn into a European one,” the official said.

”We’re thinking about what we should do if the crisis spills from Greece into other euro countries. So it’s more about finding firewalls, containing the problem, than principally about helping the Greeks.” He added there were ”no concrete plans” as yet.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Credit Markets, Economy, Europe, Germany, Greece, Politics in General, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Chicago Tribune–Bishops change feeding tube guidelines

If ever Carol Gaetjens becomes unconscious with no hope of awakening, even if she could live for years in that state, she says she wants her loved ones to discontinue all forms of artificial life support.

But now there’s a catch for this churchgoing Catholic woman. U.S. bishops have decided that it is not permissible to remove a feeding tube from someone who is unconscious but not dying, except in a few circumstances.

People in a persistent vegetative state, the bishops say, must be given food and water indefinitely by natural or artificial means as long as they are otherwise healthy. The new directive, which is more definitive than previous church teachings, also appears to apply broadly to any patient with a chronic illness who has lost the ability to eat or drink, including victims of strokes and people with advanced dementia.

Catholic medical institutions — including 46 hospitals and 49 nursing homes in Illinois — are bound to honor the bishops’ directive, issued late last year, as they do church teachings on abortion and birth control. Officials are weighing how to interpret the guideline in various circumstances.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

The Road Home: Connecticut's new Episcopal leader brings worldy perspective

Bishop-elect Ian T. Douglas’ heart is drawn to two different places these days. One brought him to where he is now; the other will form his future.

Douglas, a former missionary to Haiti, was elected Oct. 24 as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut and, while he won’t be consecrated until April 17, he’s finished teaching at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and is settling in at Diocesan House on Asylum Avenue, waiting for his office to be painted.

Douglas, 51, has spent his ministry primarily involved in world mission, looking outside the Episcopal Church’s boundaries to the church’s role in the worldwide Anglican Communion. But he decided to run for bishop of Connecticut because of what’s within the state’s boundaries.

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

Don Peck in The Atlantic–How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America

The weight of this recession has fallen most heavily upon men, who’ve suffered roughly three-quarters of the 8 million job losses since the beginning of 2008. Male-dominated industries (construction, finance, manufacturing) have been particularly hard-hit, while sectors that disproportionately employ women (education, health care) have held up relatively well. In November, 19.4 percent of all men in their prime working years, 25 to 54, did not have jobs, the highest figure since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking the statistic in 1948. At the time of this writing, it looks possible that within the next few months, for the first time in U.S. history, women will hold a majority of the country’s jobs.

In this respect, the recession has merely intensified a long-standing trend. Broadly speaking, the service sector, which employs relatively more women, is growing, while manufacturing, which employs relatively more men, is shrinking. The net result is that men have been contributing a smaller and smaller share of family income.

“Traditional” marriages, in which men engage in paid work and women in homemaking, have long been in eclipse. Particularly in blue-collar families, where many husbands and wives work staggered shifts, men routinely handle a lot of the child care today. Still, the ease with which gender bends in modern marriages should not be overestimated. When men stop doing paid work””and even when they work less than their wives””marital conflict usually follows.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Women

For Those wishing to Follow Church of England General Synod in Real Time

You may find the live audio link here.

It is working fine for me at present. Elaine Storkey is speaking on the BBC motion right now.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Blogging & the Internet, Church of England (CoE)

RNS–Needle exchange raises weighty Catholic moral questions

In launching its needle-exchange program last week, the Catholic Diocese of Albany, N.Y., said the decision came down to choosing the lesser evil. Illegal drug use is bad, but the spread of deadly diseases is worse.

The medical evidence is clear, the diocese argued on Feb. 1, when it began “Project Safe Point” in two Upstate New York locations through its local branch of Catholic Charities. Public health studies document that exchanging used syringes for new ones can effectively stanch the spread of blood-borne diseases such as AIDS, and even lead drug abusers to treatment and recovery.

“To guide us, the church provides us with the principles of licit cooperation in evil and the counseling of the lesser evil,” the Albany diocese said in a statement.

“The sponsorship of Catholic Charities in Safe Point, then, is based upon the church’s standard moral principles.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Roman Catholic, Theology

Times–Anglican Church in North America ”˜should be in communion with C of E’

One of the most controversial motions to reach the General Synod for several years will be debated today when members discuss a proposal that the Church of England should be in communion with the breakaway US conservative Church, the Anglican Church in North America.

Lorna Ashworth, a lay member from the Diocese of Chichester, will call for the General Synod to express a wish for communion with the new group, which has 742 parishes and more than 800 clergy in the US and Canada and opposes the consecration of openly gay bishops and the blessing of gay partnerships.

Mrs Ashworth, a Canadian-born mother of three who works as a volunteer at All Saints’ Church in Eastbourne, said: “Most lay members like myself have little understanding of the technical ins and outs of canon law but what is clear, however, is the shocking and unjust treatment of historical, biblical Anglicans as they seek to continue to live out their faith in this province.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Episcopal Church (TEC), Instruments of Unity, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, Theology

Times–Rowan Williams issues 'profound apology' to gay Christians

The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a “profound apology” to the lesbian and gay Christian community today.

In a powerful address to the General Synod, Dr Rowan Williams warned that any schism within the Church would represent a betrayal of God’s mission.

But he made clear that he regretted recent rhetoric in which he has sought to mollify the fears of the traditionalist wing of the church.

The Archbishop is from the Church’s liberal wing and a man who once espoused equal rights for gays within the Church. More recently he has adopted a conservative line for the sake of Church unity.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

Telegraph–Relaxing assisted suicide laws a 'moral mistake' – Archbishop of Canterbury

Just weeks before final guidelines are published by the Crown Prosecution Service, Dr Rowan Williams said that granting the right to die would be a “moral mistake” that damaged the rights of the most vulnerable in society.

In a strongly-worded presidential address to the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, he also criticised the Government’s attempts to limit religious freedom under the Equality Bill.

The archbishop added that he was “profoundly sorry” if he appeared to ignore the value of homosexuals in the Anglican Communion, and admitted the 70-million strong church was in “chaos” with “local schisms” over sexuality. He also urged conservatives and liberals in England’s debate over women bishops to see it “in three dimensions”.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

The Church of Uganda’s position on the Controversial Recent Legislation There

The Church of Uganda associates itself with the concerns expressed in the Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009. However, instead of a completely new Bill, the Church recommends a Bill that amends the Penal Code Act (Cap.120) addressing loopholes, in particular:

Ӣ protecting the vulnerabilities of the boy child 1
Ӣ proportionality in sentencing
Ӣ and, ensuring that sexual orientation is excluded as a protected human right.

Further, we recommend involvement of all stakeholders in the preparation of such a Bill in order to uphold Uganda’s values as they relate to human sexuality

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

The Economist Leader–Facing up to China

Two dangers arise from this loss of Western self-confidence. One is of trying to placate China. The delay in Mr Obama’s meeting with the Dalai Lama in order to smooth his visit to China in November gave too much ground, as well as turning an issue of principle into a bargaining chip. America needs to stand firmer. Beefing up the deterrent capacity of Taiwan, which China continues to threaten with hundreds of missiles, is in the interests of peace. Mr Obama should therefore proceed with the arms sales and European governments should back him. If American companies, such as Boeing, lose Chinese custom for political reasons, European firms should not be allowed to supplant them.

On the other hand the West should not be panicked into unnecessary confrontation. Rather than ganging up on China in an effort to “contain” it, the West would do better to get China to take up its share of the burden of global governance. Too often China wants the power due a global giant while shrugging off the responsibilities, saying that it is still a poor country. It must be encouraged to play its part””for instance, on climate change, on Iran and by allowing its currency to appreciate. As the world’s largest exporter, China’s own self-interest lies in a harmonious world order and robust trading system.

It is in the economic field that perhaps the biggest danger lies. Already the Obama administration has shown itself too ready to resort to trade sanctions against China. If China now does the same using a political pretext, while the cheapness of its currency keeps its trade surplus large, it is easy to imagine a clamour in Congress for retaliation met by a further Chinese nationalist backlash. That is why the administration and China’s government need to work together to pre-empt trouble.

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

Reuters–China PLA officers urge economic punch against U.S.

Senior Chinese military officers have proposed that their country boost defense spending, adjust PLA deployments, and possibly sell some U.S. bonds to punish Washington for its latest round of arms sales to Taiwan.

The calls for broad retaliation over the planned U.S. weapons sales to the disputed island came from officers at China’s National Defence University and Academy of Military Sciences, interviewed by Outlook Weekly, a Chinese-language magazine published by the official Xinhua news agency.

The interviews with Major Generals Zhu Chenghu and Luo Yuan and Senior Colonel Ke Chunqiao appeared in the issue published on Monday.

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