Daily Archives: April 18, 2010

Live Footage of the Iceland Volcano Erupting

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Astronomy Picture of the Day

All I can say is wow!. For an explanation please go here.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

Goldman Sachs: Gordon Brown attacks firm's 'moral bankruptcy'

Gordon Brown has called for a “special investigation” into Goldman Sachs after reports that the bank is to pay £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”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, Theology

McClatchy–Roman Catholic Church lacks enough pastors

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

BBC–Church in Wales has 'urgent need' for new clergy

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Wales, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Premier Kristina Keneally: Ethics trial to face review

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Theology

SMH–What lies beneath – a question of ethics

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology

At Vatican, frustration and some optimism over abuse scandal

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.

read it all.

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

For Goldman, a Bet’s Stakes Keep Growing

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Bob the Screech Owl becomes a Celebrity

This is a follow up on the NPR story posted yesterday–watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

How to cuddle with an elephant seal

This is a guaranteed day brightener–watch it all (Hat tip: Selimah).

Posted in * General Interest, Animals

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina E-Newsletter

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

In Connecticut Bishop Seabury parishioners take it day by day

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.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Departing Parishes