Daily Archives: September 10, 2010
[John Henry] Newman died in 1890 popularly considered a saint. Over a century later, the Church is vindicating this judgment of the people of the U.K. and the whole English-speaking world. Pope Benedict’s decision to preside over Newman’s beatification reflects his love and respect for a fellow theologian whose work he has studied from his seminary days, and whose influence on the Second Vatican Council made him perhaps the most influential theologian on the council, even though it was meeting more than 70 years after his death.
Yet what is most intriguing about Benedict’s upcoming visit to England is its ecumenical significance. Pope Benedict has established very cordial relationships with Orthodox patriarchs and bishops (a long-held ambition of his predecessor John Paul II as well). At the same time, he has made a remarkable and controversial offer to members of the Anglican Communion throughout the world to be received into the Church, singly or in whole congregations, bringing with them their liturgical traditions and even their pastors and bishops, if those clergymen were properly received into the Catholic Church.
If Pope Benedict’s outreach meets with even limited success, perhaps tens of millions of fervent Evangelical and Pentecostal “Bible” Christians may want to reexamine more closely this ancient Church as the 500th anniversary of the Reformation draws near in 2017. The mutual momentum towards reunion may be irresistible.
[My second reason for being uneasy]…is due to the outcome of the discussion groups on the blessing of same-sex unions. The “indaba” process was very well run, and it did allow everyone to speak and be heard. However, I do not feel that my own voice and most of the voices in my discussion group were recorded. I had the feeling that there was an orchestrated effort to avoid public controversy. As a consequence, there really was no likelihood that a decision would be made. The final resolution seems to say that the local option is allowed for pastoral reasons, but we are nevertheless going to refrain from legislating anything. My fear is that our reluctance to commit ourselves has left The Episcopal Church even more isolated in the Communion….
In an uncharacteristic about-face, Apple Inc. loosened its control over software development for its iPhones and iPads as the company feels heat from a U.S. antitrust investigation and rising competition from mobile devices powered by Google Inc.’s Android software.
The move gives software developers more freedom to decide how to build their applications, or “apps.” It will relax restrictions Apple introduced in the spring that had effectively blocked use of programming technology from Adobe Systems Inc. and potentially impeded Google’s AdMob ad network from serving ads to Apple apps.
The concession comes after the Federal Trade Commission launched an inquiry around June to determine whether Apple had violated antitrust laws with the earlier policy. It isn’t clear if Apple’s move Thursday was in response to the FTC’s investigation, but it will likely be carefully scrutinized by the regulatory agency, said people familiar with the situation.
Meeting at the Imperial Hotel in Entebbe, on the shores of Lake Victoria, the meeting offered confusing signals to participants. Speakers such as Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda, Bishop Mouneer Anis of Egypt and key Ugandan government ministers offered pointed criticisms and critiques of the divisions within the Anglican Communion.
The chairman of CAPA, Archbishop Ian Ernest of the Indian Ocean told reporters Africa was the hope for the Anglican future. “Today, the West is lacking obedience to the word of God. It is for us to redress the situation,” he said.
However, the official agenda prepared by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) office in Nairobi looked at anodyne issues of social and institutional development in the African church, while a wan Archbishop of Canterbury returned to themes of patience and forbearance in his address to the gathering.
It is fortunate, then, that Pope Benedict, though less popular than his predecessor, is intelligent enough to respond sensitively to the delicacy of his position as a guest in the UK. The English RC hierarchy will have prepared a full brief for him, and the offer last year of an Ordinariate for former Anglicans shows an awareness of local problems, if not a complete grasp of the best solution. More generally, what he lacks in radicalism he makes up for in integrity, and he will find a sympathetic ear if he chooses to speak about ethical issues.
Anglicans will want to welcome him as a Christian brother (some, indeed, as Christian father). Irritations persist, of course, over his refusal to countenance debate on women’s ordination, and that old stone in the shoe, the non-recognition of Anglican orders; but the blunt attacks of secularists have served to drive the different Churches closer together, in utterance if not in structure. There is a diversity of views of how best to meet the challenge of secularism, Anglicans in general favouring more cultural and ethical adaptability; but the pattern in the years since Pope John Paul’s visit has been for much greater cooperation between the Churches at all levels. If Pope Benedict can recognise and encourage this, it would prove to be the most fruitful element of his short visit.
First, Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who set the world on edge with plans to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11, said Thursday that he had canceled his demonstration because he had won a promise to move the proposed Islamic center near ground zero to a new location.
Then, hours later, after learning that the project’s leaders in New York had said that no such deal existed, Mr. Jones backed away from his promise and said the bonfire of sacred texts was simply “suspended.”
The sudden back and forth suggested that the controversy ”” the pastor drew pointed criticisms from President Obama and an array of leaders, officials and celebrities in the United States and abroad ”” was not yet finished even after multiple appearances before the news media on the lawn of his small church.
The just-released book, co-written by Caltech physicist Leonard Mlodinov, has already proven to be controversial in the U.K. Baroness Greenfield, a leading British scientist, attacked Hawking’s theories in a radio interview with the BBC.
“Of course they can make whatever comments they like but when they assume, rather in a Talibanlike way, that they have all the answers, then I do feel uncomfortable,” Baroness Greenfield said.
As Bishops of the Church of Ireland, we join our voice to the widespread international condemnation of the plan to burn copies of the Islamic Sacred scriptures. This deliberate desecration of scriptures sacred to all Muslims is a gratuitous act of sectarianism and totally contrary to the Christian spirit of love and reconciliation. We recognise that the pain of this outrage will be felt by members of Islamic communities throughout the world.
The international outcry over a tiny Florida congregation’s plan to burn copies of the Koran on Sept. 11 intensified on Thursday, drawing vocal condemnations from world leaders and touching off angry protests in corners of the Muslim world.
We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become. The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship.
Many people wondered why I did not speak out more, and sooner, about this project. I felt that it would not be right to comment from abroad. It would be better if I addressed these issues once I returned home to America, and after I could confer with leaders of other faiths who have been deliberating with us over this project. My life’s work has been focused on building bridges between religious groups and never has that been as important as it is now.
We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons….
During the recession, political and business leaders have held out the promise that American advances, particularly in green technology, might stem the decades-long decline in U.S. manufacturing jobs. But as the lighting industry shows, even when the government pushes companies toward environmental innovations and Americans come up with them, the manufacture of the next generation technology can still end up overseas.
What made the plant here vulnerable is, in part, a 2007 energy conservation measure passed by Congress that set standards essentially banning ordinary incandescents by 2014. The law will force millions of American households to switch to more efficient bulbs.
The resulting savings in energy and greenhouse-gas emissions are expected to be immense. But the move also had unintended consequences.
Rather than setting off a boom in the U.S. manufacture of replacement lights, the leading replacement lights are compact fluorescents, or CFLs, which are made almost entirely overseas, mostly in China.
In the months ahead, direct negotiations will be taking place between the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. This will be a critically important test for those directly responsible and a heavy responsibility lies on them to move the situation forward from the tragic patterns of recrimination and retaliation that have become so familiar. It will also be a time of testing for Jews, Christians and Muslims in this country. Shall we be able to pray together for peace and justice; shall we be able to refrain from words and actions which are partisan rather than reconciling and thereby model to the wider world how a deep commitment to each other can be sustained? It is my hope and prayer that this will be so.
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servant Alexander Crummell, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel to those who were far off and to those who were near. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land evangelists and heralds of thy kingdom, that thy Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
O Thou King eternal, immortal, invisible, thou only wise God our Saviour: Hasten, we beseech thee, the coming of thy kingdom upon earth, and draw the whole world of mankind into willing obedience to thy blessed reign. Overcome all the enemies of Christ, and bring low every power that is exalted against him; and let thy Holy Spirit rule the hearts of men in righteousness and love; through the victory of Christ our Lord.
–Book of Common Order