Daily Archives: April 18, 2010
Gordon Brown has called for a “special investigation” into Goldman Sachs after reports that the bank is to pay Â£3.5bn in bonuses.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show the Prime Minister described the situation as one of “moral bankruptcy”.
His criticism follows allegations by the Securities and Exchange Commission in US that Goldman defrauded investors during the sub-prime housing crisis.
Goldman strongly rejected the claims as wrong “in fact and law”.
The pews are packed at many Catholic churches, but a scarcity of priests is leaving even some of the biggest parishes short-staffed and scrambling for help from retired and visiting clergy.
Recent examples aren’t hard to find:
–Just one full-time priest for months at 13,000-member St. Gabriel in Cotswold, N.C.
–A pastor’s heart-bypass operation, with complications, that left 14,000-member St. Mark in Huntersville, N.C., struggling to find substitutes to celebrate Mass.
–A sanctuary so crowded on Ash Wednesday that a parishioner at St. Matthew in Charlotte, where two priests serve a flock of 28,000, called the fire marshal.
Why not just build more churches? Not enough priests to staff them.
The Church in Wales is urgently looking for new clergy as figures reveal a continuing drop in their numbers.
The number of full-time clergy has been falling in recent years with a net loss of more than 100 between 2004 and 2009.
The Church in Wales governing body will discuss the issue when it meets in Lampeter, Ceredigion, on Wednesday.
A motion seeks backing for the “urgent need” to “seek out and nurture” new clergy, while welcoming a five-year vocations strategy.
After a private meeting last month, Archbishop Peter Jensen says Premier Kristina Keneally has assured him there will be a full independent assessment of the trial of ethics classes in NSW schools.
A secular group, the St James Ethics Centre, has been allowed to conduct classes in 10 primary schools across the state, although the syllabus has not been made public.
Two heavyweights of Labor’s socialist left faction ”” NSW education minister Verity Firth and former premier Nathan Rees ”” overruled existing guidelines to allow the trial in term two of this year. The Left has long championed secularist policies.
Dr Jensen met Premier Keneally ”” a Roman Catholic and member of Labor’s Right faction ”” early last month to express his concerns.
“She has promised the trial will be fully evaluated and that we and other SRE providers will have the opportunity to discuss important matters of principle,” he says.
Roman Catholic educators have indicated they have received similar promises from the Labor Government.
The Anglican Archbishop, Dr Peter Jensen, wrote an article entitled ”Ten reasons the ethics trial is not a good idea” in the Anglican publication, Southern Cross.
“The non-religious St James Ethics Centre has already received wide exposure ”¦ boosted by those who see this as a chance to break SRE and remove all trace of religion from public life,” Jensen wrote.
He argues that there is an implication that teachers are not doing their job teaching mainstream ethical behaviour and that the course is presented as new, exciting and more useful than SRE, which may lead to fewer children choosing it.
The study of religion is vital to an understanding of our culture, art, faith and human history, Jensen writes.
Fresh developments in the continuing storm over clerical sex abuse illustrate a chronic Vatican problem as well as some reasons for guarded optimism about the future.
The problem, acknowledged by many inside the Roman Curia, has been recent missteps in communication that have undercut the Vatican’s own patient efforts to provide accurate and detailed information about sex abuse policies.
The latest came when Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican secretary of state, told reporters in Chile April 12 that many psychologists believe there is a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia.
For Goldman Sachs, it was a relatively small transaction. But for the bank ”” and the rest of Wall Street ”” the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Accusations that Goldman defrauded customers who bought investments tied to risky subprime mortgages have only just begun to reverberate through the financial world.
The civil lawsuit that the Securities and Exchange Commission filed against Goldman on Friday seemed to confirm many Americans’ worst suspicions about Wall Street: that the game is rigged, the odds stacked in the banks’ favor. It is the first big case ”” but probably not the last, legal experts said ”” to delve into a Wall Street firm’s role in the mortgage fiasco.
It is a particularly sensitive time for Wall Street. Washington policy makers are hotly debating a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s financial regulations, and the news could embolden those seeking to rein in the banks. President Obama on Saturday stepped up pressure for financial reform by accusing Republicans of “cynical and deceptive” attacks on the measure.
The S.E.C.’s action could also hit Wall Street where it really hurts: the wallet. It could prompt dozens of investor claims against Goldman and other Wall Street titans that devised and sold toxic mortgage investments.
This is a follow up on the NPR story posted yesterday–watch it all.
This is a guaranteed day brightener–watch it all (Hat tip: Selimah).
Members of the Bishop Seabury church, including the man who led them away from the Episcopal Diocese in 2007, are taking it Sunday by Sunday.
About 25 parishioners from the Groton church attended a court hearing in Waterbury Thursday to learn whether they would be able to remain during an appeal of a judge’s ruling that the church and all of its property must be turned over to the diocese.
The group will be allowed to stay, at least for the near future.
“It’s better than nothing,” said the Rev. Ronald Gauss, who traveled by bus to the hearing along with about two dozen others.