Daily Archives: October 20, 2010

Pope names D.C. archbishop, 23 others to be new cardinals

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday named Washington Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl and 23 other Catholic leaders from around the world to join the elite College of Cardinals.

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

(Zenit) Pope Benedict XVI's letter to seminarians

“Anyone who wishes to become a priest must be first and foremost a ‘man of God,’ to use the expression of St. Paul (2 Timothy 6:11). For us God is not some abstract hypothesis; he is not some stranger who left the scene after the “big bang.” God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ. In the face of Jesus Christ we see the face of God. In his words we hear God himself speaking to us. It follows that the most important thing in our path towards priesthood and during the whole of our priestly lives is our personal relationship with God in Jesus Christ.

“The priest is not the leader of a sort of association whose membership he tries to maintain and expand. He is God’s messenger to his people. He wants to lead them to God and in this way to foster authentic communion between all men and women. That is why it is so important, dear friends, that you learn to live in constant intimacy with God. When the Lord tells us to ‘pray constantly,’ he is obviously not asking us to recite endless prayers, but urging us never to lose our inner closeness to God.

“Praying means growing in this intimacy. So it is important that our day should begin and end with prayer; that we listen to God as the Scriptures are read; that we share with him our desires and our hopes, our joys and our troubles, our failures and our thanks for all his blessings, and thus keep him ever before us as the point of reference for our lives. In this way we grow aware of our failings and learn to improve, but we also come to appreciate all the beauty and goodness, which we daily take for granted and so we grow in gratitude. With gratitude comes joy for the fact that God is close to us and that we can serve him.”

May the Lord make us better servants who do what we ought, never focusing on being better than or above others, but recognizing our obligation to be greater servants to others, precisely because we have been given so much, forgiven so much, and blessed so much. May God grant us generous hearts as we serve Him and love him in others! To him be glory forever and ever.

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Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Seminary / Theological Education, Theology

Christian and Muslim religious leaders discuss pluralism and dialogue in Dhaka

Some 50 priests and 50 imams, plus a number of lay people, met last Saturday in Savar (Dhaka), at a Qur”˜an research centre to discuss ”˜Leadership in a pluralistic society from the Muslim and Christian points of view’.

Organised with the support of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), the seminar was chaired by philosopher Obidur Rahman. The Italian ambassador to Bangladesh, Ms Itala Maria Marta Occhi, and Ms Kilmeny Beckering Vinckers, Australian deputy high commissioner, were present at the event.

In his address, Rev Paul Sishir Sarkar, bishop of the Anglican Church of Bangladesh, said that society today is increasingly pluralistic, and that mutual understanding and dialogue are increasingly important. In this context, an open exchange of opinions can be advantageous to everyone. For this reason, it is even more important for Christians and their leaders to lead a life according to their faith, with honesty, humility and openness to dialogue, for “Muslims are our neighbours,” he said, and as leaders, “we should teach our people to love them”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Bangladesh, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Theology

(SMH) No sale: Sydney Anglicans decide they will keep Bishopscourt

A price tag of $24 million was put on Bishopscourt at the end of last year by Collier International. Its sale was intended to yield the church up to $1 million a year. Future archbishops were not expected to slum it: $8 million was set aside to put a new roof over their heads.

Archbishop Jensen chaired the wide-ranging debate but did not participate. None of the speakers denied the urgent need of the church for cash. But Anglican sentimentalists teamed with critics of the church’s present financial administration to oppose the sale.

”Selling it now is a bad idea,” declared their leader, Reverend Craig Roberts, a former PricewaterhouseCoopers liquidator and now the rector of St Augustine’s, Neutral Bay. That was his view even though he admitted he badly needed cash to do Christ’s work in his own parish. ”Most of Neutral Bay is going to hell.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Economy, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

Donations Dropped 11% at Nation's Biggest Charities Last Year

Donations to the nation’s biggest charities dropped 11 percent last year, a decline that was the worst in the two decades since The Chronicle started its Philanthropy 400 ranking of the organizations that raise the most from private sources.

Nonprofit organizations say they don’t expect to have done much better by the time 2010 ends. More than one in four of the groups provided projections for 2010, and the median change they predicted was an increase of just 1.4 percent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Christian Today) Fissure over women bishops deepens in Church of England

Rod Thomas, of orthodox Anglican group Reform said: “Only 34% is needed to block this when it returns from the dioceses. For the first time, it can and will be blocked by both fully elected houses.

“In the clergy only a further 1.81% is needed, and that’s just one person. There are 21 new evangelicals on this new synod, and one out of a possible 58 undecided is a given!”

He said the outcome of the elections suggested that the Bishop of Fulham, John Broadhurst, had been “too early” in making his decision to join an ordinariate in the Roman Catholic Church.

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

NY Times Editorial–Iraq’s Stalemate

Seven long months after parliamentary elections, Iraqis still don’t have a government. Yet Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki was on another international road trip Monday ”” this one to Tehran, where he was soliciting the mullahs’ support for his bid to maintain power in Baghdad.

Mr. Maliki also was just in Syria and Jordan and is expected to visit Egypt and Turkey. Reuters reported that he is offering Arab states investment deals if they nudge his rival, former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, toward accepting Mr. Maliki’s leadership. Mr. Allawi, whose Sunni-backed, secular-Shiite coalition called Iraqiya bested Mr. Maliki’s Shiite State of Law bloc by two seats in the election, has also been on the road trawling for support.

Iraq needs good relations with its neighbors. But more than anything it needs a legitimate government able to address its many deep problems. Rather than trading unseemly favors with other countries, Mr. Maliki should be working full time with Mr. Allawi and other leaders to break the political impasse at home. Mr. Allawi needs to be open to compromise.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Politics in General

(Anglican Journal) Diocese of Montreal moves toward shared episcopal ministry

Parishes and priests not on board with the openness of the diocese of Montreal and its bishop to the blessing of same-sex unions may get access in the new year to spiritual guidance from a bishop more in tune with their views.

Bishop Barry Clarke told delegates to the annual diocesan synod October 15 that he will make a formal presentation to the diocesan council in January on “shared episcopal ministry.” The proposal would permit parishes to have “episcopal oversight” from a fellow-bishop. He emphasized that this episcopal ministry would be shared with his own.

“This does not mean that I am abdicating my responsibility as the diocesan bishop to those clergy and parishes,” he said in his opening address to the synod. “I emphasize the fact that it is a ”˜shared’ ministry with a fellow bishop. This is a pastoral response to a particular need at this time in our church. The clergy and parishes that may be involved in this shared episcopal ministry will still have to meet their full responsibility to live within the canons and the constitution of our diocese and of our church.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

(NY Times) Intermission, at Best, in Battle Over Foreclosures

Bank of America may be trying to bring down the curtain on the foreclosure furor, but there were numerous indications Tuesday that the problems would not move off-stage so quickly.

A day after the bank said it would once again pursue defaulting borrowers in the 23 states where foreclosures were overseen by the courts, judges in Florida said they were expecting even more challenges from defaulting homeowners.

The White House is convening a meeting of regulators and administration officials on Wednesday to review federal investigations into the foreclosure crisis, while state law enforcement officials emphasized their inquiry into flawed foreclosures was continuing.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Law & Legal Issues, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government

(Fresno Bee) Court gets Episcopal case on Valley properties

A key phase begins today in the court battle between the U.S. Episcopal Church and the breakaway Diocese of San Joaquin over who owns the Valley churches’ properties.

After a Fresno County Superior Court judge ruled last year that the national Episcopal Church is the rightful owner of the church buildings and other assets, the diocese appealed. A hearing before the Fifth District Court of Appeal in Fresno is scheduled for 10 a.m. today. The judges are expected to make a ruling in about a month.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

(Modesto Bee) Episcopalians face off against Anglicans in California in Appellate Court today

Who is the legitimate bishop in the San Joaquin Diocese, and who owns the diocese’s property, including its headquarters in Fresno and parishes from Stockton to Bakersfield?

Those questions are at the heart of the next round in the legal battle between local Episcopalians and Anglicans. The two groups face off today in the 5th District Court of Appeal in Fresno.

The justices will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit, filed by Bishop Jerry Lamb against Bishop John-David Schofield.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Anglican Provinces, Cono Sur [formerly Southern Cone], Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

SMH–Labor to defy churches: ethics classes likely to start next year

Students in…[New South Wales] will be offered ethics classes as an alternative to scripture classes by next year, under a proposal the government is expected to adopt.

The Minister for Education, Verity Firth, will release today the findings of an independent report on a trial of ethics classes held in 10 schools over 10 weeks this year.
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The 102-page report, by Sue Knight and three colleagues at the University of South Australia, recommends the government adopts the ethics classes model used in the trial if it decides to establish the classes.

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

The Hindu–Dialogue for me is recognition of the serious: Rowan Williams

You became the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2003 at a particularly difficult time in relations among the different churches that comprise the Anglican Communion. There was even talk of the Communion being on the verge of fragmentation. Yet your attempts to keep all sides talking to one another have been notable. Could you tell us how it has been going, and what you see ahead of you?

I think that after the Lambeth Conference of 2008 many people felt that we found ways of talking to one another, and perhaps exercising some restraint and tact towards one another. And it was very significant that at the next meeting of the Anglican primates, which was in the early part of 2009, all major Churches of the Communion were represented.

Unfortunately, the situation does not remain there. The decision of the American Church to go forward, as it has, with the ordination of a lesbian bishop has, I think, set us back. At the moment I’m not certain how we will approach the next primates’ meeting, but regrettably some of the progress that I believe we had made has not remained steady. Alongside that, and I think this is important, while the institutions of the Communion struggle, in many ways the mutual life of the Communion, the life of exchange and cooperation between different parts of our Anglican family, is quite strong and perhaps getting stronger. It’s a paradox. We are working more closely together on issues of development than we did before. We have the emergence of an Anglican health network across the globe, bringing together various health care institutions. We have also had quite a successful programme on the standards and criteria for theological education across the Communion. So, a very mixed picture.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Asia, India

From the Morning Bible Readings

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will. All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

–Luke 10:21-22

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Reuters–Officials hint that the Federal Reserve is on the verge of more easing

A string of Federal Reserve officials on Tuesday indicated the central bank will soon offer further monetary stimulus to the economy, with one saying $100 billion a month in bond buys may be appropriate.

While internal differences on the unconventional policy are still evident, the consensus view at the Fed appears to be that the economy is weak enough to warrant further support, most likely through increased purchases of Treasury debt.

The U.S. economy is expected to have grown just 1.9 percent in the third quarter, a level considered too low to bring down unemployment. The debt purchases would help lower long-term interest rates in the hope of boosting demand.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Federal Reserve, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government