Daily Archives: June 18, 2010
Marquette University’s decision to withdraw an offer to Jodi O’Brien, a self-described “sexuality scholar” to become Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the Jesuit-led institution continues to divide the faculty. Although Ms. O’Brien reached a settlement with the University last week, her supporters maintain that she is the victim of homophobia. Teachers who criticized the initial job offer say that Ms. O’Brien’s sexual orientation is not what disqualifies her, but rather the fact that her publications disparage Catholic moral teachings on marriage, sexuality and the family.
In a post-settlement letter sent June 9th to the Marquette community, University President Father Robert A. Wild wrote, “[W]e have apologized to Dr. O’Brien for the way in which this was handled and for the upset and unwanted attention that we have caused to this outstanding teacher and scholar.” Yet Fr. Wild also added that he stands by his decision to rescind the employment offer, a decision “made in the context of Marquette’s commitment to its mission and identity.”
The specific nature of the job at issue””as dean Ms. O’Brien would have been charged with helping to implement Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II’s 1990 apostolic constitution intended to revitalize Catholic higher education””may have driven Marquette to back off this particular appointment. But the real story here is that in the upside-down world of Catholic higher education, there is more status in hiring a sexuality scholar who denigrates Catholic teachings on sexuality and marriage than in choosing a serious scholar who might actually support Catholic teachings.
These were the questions asked of Canon Kenneth Kearon by Executive Council. More later on his responses.
There is a covenant being considered that has in it certain processes, some of which have caused great concern for some of the provinces on how fairly they would be applied. For example, the Province of New Zealand gave only partial approval to the covenant, with members of its General Synod noting that Section 4 could “get into a situation where we sanctify a process of exclusion or marginalization” and that it might be implemented in ways that are “punitive, controlling and completely unAnglican.” Do the recent actions of the Archbishop of Canterburygive credence to these concerns? [Canon Rosalie Balletine, Esq., Chair of the World Mission Legislative Committee, Diocese of the Virgin Islands]
There are always consequences to living authentically as Christians. Within relationships among Christians, however, we ought to have opportunity to question those consequences, lest all end up walking on eggshells. Is there such a process now? And, do you foresee a season of such sanctions or is the removal of ecumenical committee appointees from The Episcopal Church an isolated event? [President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson, Diocese of Michigan]
To believe Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, the end of government bailouts is near. In truth, the financial-overhaul legislation now before Congress would do little to arrest the bailouts already in progress.
When the U.S. government rescued American International Group Inc. in 2008, it reasoned that a disorderly failure of the financial-services giant would lead to an economic catastrophe. What the Treasury and Federal Reserve said they needed was a way to wind down systemically important institutions without sending them into bankruptcy courts, to keep the companies from triggering defaults on their obligations that would cascade throughout the broader financial system.
Congressional leaders say their final bill will deliver the resolution authority regulators have been seeking. “It will end bailouts, ensuring that failing firms can be shut down without relying on taxpayer bailouts or threatening the stability of our economy,” Dodd said June 10 at the House-Senate conference committee where the differences between the two chambers’ bills are being negotiated.
It wouldn’t end AIG’s rescue, though. The reason AIG hasn’t failed is that the Fed and the Treasury continue to stand behind it. There’s no sign this will change anytime soon. Nor would the legislation force the government to do otherwise.
A decision by the Anglican mission society the USPG to end its funding to Latin America and the Caribbean has been criticised by bishops in the region….
When the changes were first mooted in March, the Primate of Brazil, the Most Revd Mauricio Andrade, and ten other Brazilian bishops wrote to the society’s trustees to express “surprise and disappointment”.
They had not been consulted, they said, and it was “unjustifiable” to “completely eliminate an entire conÂtinent from your sphere of mission”. This demonstrated a “lack of conÂcern for Latin America and the CaribÂÂbean within the Anglican ComÂmunion”, and smacked of “colonial favouritism”. The cuts would force them to “abandon” projects. They called for period of transition.
The Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd Bill Godfrey, described the decision to “cut off this whole part of the world as extraordinary and regretÂtable”. He said that he had “been on USPG’s books for 25 years”. While he acknowledged that the USPG had to balance its books, he said: “I find it hard to believe the only answer is to withdraw funding. There have always been good times and more difficult times financially, but we pass through them.”
He, too, spoke of a lack of conÂsultation….
“Modern Christianity . . . has increasingly defined itself by way of the project of modernity and its characteristic hopes, in short, has come to see itself almost exclusively as the religious aspect of modernity and consequently has become oblivious and even resentful of the faith that comes from the apostles.”
–Reinhard HÃ¼tter, “‘In hope he believed against hope’ (Rom 4:18): faith and hope, two Pauline motifs as interpreted by Aquinas: a re-lecture of Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical letter Spe salvi,” Nova et vetera: the English edition of the international theological journal 7, no. 4 (Fall 2009): p. 841 (Hat tip: SP)
It is still early days at the 2010 World Cup but the tournament is already taking shape.
From South Africa’s draw with Mexico in the curtain-raiser through to Switzerland’s shock win over Spain on Wednesday, we have now had a chance see all 32 teams play at least once.
For some, like Germany, qualification already looks a formality, but others are less certain of their fate. With the help of Jurgen Klinsmann and Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport takes a look at what we have learned about each of the eight groups so far.
It was yesterday’s Alastair Campbell moment. When Wayne Rooney was asked about the prominent cross he has been wearing during training here he replied: “It’s my religion.” This seemed to open up an interesting new flank in the Rooney story until the Football Association’s head of media relations, Mark Whittle, offered an aside reminiscent of Campbell telling Tony Blair: “We don’t do God.” Whittle replied for Rooney: “We don’t do religion.” Rooney, currently an officer of state of Blairite proportions, had already offered enough information to offer an intriguing insight into his Catholicism, though. Of the cross he said: “I’ve been wearing them for years now and you don’t usually watch training [to see them.] I obviously can’t wear them in games.”
The timing suggests that his recourse to Catholicism may have had its roots in his search for redemption after the events of Gelsenkirchen in 2006, though it seems that Rooney’s wife, Coleen, has had more influence than a red card against Portugal. She comes from a devout Catholic family and her father, Tony, is a particularly devoted, practising Catholic. Religion has formed a part in Rooney’s own life, though, from the letters “RC” to be found on his birth certificate to an education at Our Lady and St Swithin’s Roman Catholic Primary, a ten-minute walk from his childhood Liverpool home, and his particular success at religious education there. “Wayne’s recall of stories about the life of Jesus is quite detailed. His contributions to discussions show him to be a caring child who responds to the needs of others,” read a formative school report.
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Francis Campbell said that politicians are usually aware of the importance of faith because of their “lived experience” in constituencies.
But he claimed that government officials are less knowledgeable, and suggested they try to find out more from devout colleagues.
Mr Campbell, Britain’s first Roman Catholic ambassador to the Holy See, said that the Western belief that religion was in decline had been proved wrong and that faith should be an important consideration in foreign policy.
No question, the Times’s worldview is secularist and secularizing, and as such it rivals the Catholic worldview. But that is not unusual with newspapers. What makes the Times unique””and what any Catholic bishop ought to understand””is that it is not just the nation’s self-appointed newspaper of record. It is, to paraphrase Chesterton, an institution with the soul of a church. And the church it most resembles in size, organization, internal culture, and international reach is the Roman Catholic Church.
Like the Church of Rome, the Times is a global organization. Even in these reduced economic times, the newspaper’s international network of news bureaus rivals the Vatican’s diplomatic corps. The difference is that Times bureau chiefs are better paid and, in most capitals, more influential. A report from a papal nuncio ends up in a Vatican dossier, but a report from a Times correspondent is published around the world, often with immediate repercussions. With the advent of the Internet, stories from the Times can become other outlets’ news in an ever-ramifying process of global cycling and recycling. That, of course, is exactly what happened with the Times piece on Fr. Murphy, the deceased Wisconsin child molester. The pope speaks twice a year urbi et orbi (to the city and to the world), but the Times does that every day.
Again like the Church of Rome, the Times exercises a powerful magisterium or teaching authority through its editorial board. There is no issue, local or global, on which these (usually anonymous) writers do not pronounce with a papal-like editorial “we.” Like the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the editorial board is there to defend received truth as well as advance the paper’s political, social, and cultural agendas. One can no more imagine a Times editorial opposing any form of abortion””to take just one of that magisterium’s articles of faith””than imagine a papal encyclical in favor.
The Times, of course, does not claim to speak infallibly in its judgments on current events. (Neither does the pope.) But to the truly orthodox believers in the Times, its editorials carry the burden of liberal holy writ. As the paper’s first and most acute public editor, Daniel Okrent, once put it, the editorial page is “so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.”
The State Senate on Tuesday, clearing aside decades of opposition, put New York on a course to adopt no-fault divorce ”” the last state to do so. It approved legislation that would permit couples to separate by mutual consent, a major shift with sweeping implications for families and lawyers.
For decades, New Yorkers have been bedeviled by divorce laws that critics said prompted endless litigation and custody fights that were both unnecessary and cruel.
Under current divorce law, one spouse must take the blame, even if both sides agree that a marriage cannot be saved. To get a divorce, one party must allege cruel and inhuman treatment or adultery or abandonment, or the couple must be legally separated for one year.
The new legislation still has to pass the State Assembly, which is considering two bills that would include some version of no-fault divorce. But advocates said Tuesday that they believed that victory in the Senate, which was controlled by Republicans until last year, gave the measure momentum and a high likelihood of gaining approval in the Assembly, which is also controlled by Democrats.
New statistics show that the overall number of homeless people in America dropped slightly last year ”” although the number of homeless families rose 7 percent.
The report from the Department of Housing and Urban Development comes a week before the Obama administration plans to announce the first national proposal to prevent and end homelessness.
About 1.56 million people spent at least one night in an emergency shelter in 2009, according to the HUD report. The number was 1.6 million the year before. And that was at a time of high unemployment and record high foreclosure rates.
Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the flame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.