Daily Archives: March 8, 2011

(Zenit) Father Federico Lombardi Reflects on the Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti

Bhatti, 42, was shot repeatedly Wednesday as he left his mother’s home in Islamabad. As the Federal Minister for Minorities, he was an outspoken opponent of Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy laws, which can impose the death penalty for actions judged to insult Mohammed.

He is the second Pakistani official to be murdered for his opposition to the laws in as many months. Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, was killed in early January by his bodyguard.

“Both were killed for the same reason,” said Father Lombarid, “because they opposed the blasphemy law, a law that is itself truly a blasphemy, because in the name of God it causes injustice and death.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Death / Burial / Funerals, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Pakistan, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Violence

(Essex Echo) Will three Church of England vicars go Catholic?

Despite attempts by the Catholic hierarchy in Britain to prevent the move reopening old wounds, senior Anglicans have already said the overtures have a “slightly predatory feel” to them.

However, Lee Bennett, who has been the vicar of the Church of England’s St Mary the Virgin Church, in Benfleet High Road, since 2007, is adamant there is no need to worry….

He said: “It is nothing more than an idea at this stage.

“Nothing has been decided and when, or if, it is, I will be very open about it.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Globe and Mail) Todd Hirsch: Our knowledge-based economy can’t afford to be smug

All of the hype around knowledge-based economies and our abundant resources misses the point about globalization. Financial services jobs can just as easily be done in London, Tokyo or Frankfurt as in Toronto. Americans don’t need to buy our oil if they can find ways to shift to natural gas, which they possess in abundance, or reduce energy consumption altogether. That change could come faster than any of us would care to know.

This leaves Canada with two unappealing choices: Fear globalization, protect jobs temporarily, dig in our heels on traditional resources ”“ and isolate Canada as a very small fish in a very big pond. Or embrace globalization and all its terrifying consequences, and allow Canada to be a global leader in new services and industries.

The first choice is unattractive for obvious reasons. But the second choice is unattractive because we don’t know precisely what these new services and industries will be. That’s the challenge of globalization: Go out and create opportunities that didn’t exist before. Build industries that don’t yet have Standard Industrial Classification codes. Train Canadians for new jobs that don’t even have names. Complement our traditional resources with alternative energy systems that the world will beat down our door to buy.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Canada, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Globalization, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General

(Zenit) Archbishop Timothy Dolan Decries Injustice Against Marriage

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is decrying the “alarming and grave injustice” of U.S. President Barack Obama’s instruction to the nation’s justice department to cease its defense of marriage.
The president’s instruction to stop defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was announced on Feb. 23 by the U.S. attorney general, Eric Holder.
Archbishop Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, released a statement in response to this announcement, and also sent a personal message to Obama regarding the administration’s move.
“Marriage, the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife, is a singular and irreplaceable institution,” the archbishop affirmed.
He asserted, “Only a man and a woman have the ability to bring children into the world.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, America/U.S.A., Children, Economy, House of Representatives, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Senate, Sexuality, The U.S. Government

Der Spiegel Interviews Martin Schulz on Libya: 'The Maneuvering of EU Member States Is a Scandal'

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Gadhafi doesn’t even shy away from bombing his own people. Doesn’t this raise the question of whether the West should intervene militarily?

Schulz: Gadhafi’s methods are brutal. But we have to choose carefully between an emotional reaction, which is understandable, and decisions that could lead to a protracted war. All of the measures that can be taken within the context of the Charter of the United Nations must be considered. I am deliberately emphasizing the word “all” there — in other words, including the military option. But that’s only possible with the involvement of the Security Council and the Arab countries.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why?

Schulz: Military intervention without their involvement could even have the effect of strengthening Gadhafi….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Europe, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Libya, Politics in General

Lichfield Bishop urges churchgoers to transform communities for Lent

In his appeal letter, Jonathan Gledhill writes…:

“One new and exciting way this care for others is being provided right here in the streets of our diocese is through the Street Pastors scheme which is rapidly growing. Ordinary Christians are putting denominational differences aside to work together from late at night to the early hours of the morning to provide a caring presence on the streets of our towns and cities. Street Pastors are operating or being planned in areas as diverse as Walsall, Stoke on Trent, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Leek and Lichfield.

“Street Pastors are a visible and accessible Christian pastoral presence, ministering mainly to young people who are vulnerable, lonely and, quite often, frightened.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, CoE Bishops, Lent

(NY Times) Ross Douthat–Why Monogamy Matters

Among the young people Regnerus and Uecker studied, the happiest women were those with a current sexual partner and only one or two partners in their lifetime. Virgins were almost as happy, though not quite, and then a young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.

When social conservatives talk about restoring the link between sex, monogamy and marriage, they often have these kinds of realities in mind. The point isn’t that we should aspire to some Arcadia of perfect chastity. Rather, it’s that a high sexual ideal can shape how quickly and casually people pair off, even when they aren’t living up to its exacting demands. The ultimate goal is a sexual culture that makes it easier for young people to achieve romantic happiness ”” by encouraging them to wait a little longer, choose more carefully and judge their sex lives against a strong moral standard.

This is what’s at stake, for instance, in debates over abstinence-based sex education.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Men, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Women

(LA Times) Doyle McManus–A no-fly zone in Libya is a war cry

…there’s one thing those optimistic assessments play down: Imposing a no-fly zone is an act of war, and we’re already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If the United States sent aircraft to patrol the skies of Libya, the first step would have to be to knock out the country’s antiaircraft batteries; that’s an act of war too.

And any time the United States is at war ”” even at the limited level of a no-fly zone ”” the question of further military involvement often follows.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq War, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Politics in General, Theology, War in Afghanistan

(SMH) Geoffrey Robertson–How the West can end Gaddafi's slaughter

As Colonel Gaddafi, with his army and air force, his tribal supporters and his propaganda machine, begins to counter-attack, only one thing is certain. He is a man utterly without mercy. The history of his regime demonstrates how he deals with opponents: hanging them from lamp-posts, sending death squads to assassinate them as ”stray dogs”, killing them in their jail cells. His offer of amnesty is not believable and will not, in any event, be believed by the insurgents. Will the world stand idly by once he starts to deliver on his threat to ”fight to the last man and woman”?….

The lesson of Iraq ’03 is not that the US and its allies should never use force against another country, but that never again should they do so in breach of international law.

Which begs the big question, namely the circumstances in which there is a right – or, more importantly, a duty – to use force to relieve a humanitarian nightmare….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Libya, Theology

(SMH) IVF parents travel overseas to pick baby's sex

A leading IVF clinic is helping clients choose the sex of their baby by sending them to an overseas clinic it co-owns, avoiding Australian rules which allow the practice only for medical reasons.

Sydney IVF, which has several clinics in NSW as well as in Canberra, Perth and Tasmania, is part-owner of Superior ART, a Thai clinic that will provide IVF for ”family balancing” – when families with children of one gender are seeking another child of the opposite sex.

It costs $11,000 including flights and accommodation, a spokesman for Sydney IVF said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

Emotions run high at final service as South Devon area vicar defects to Catholicism

A Church of England vicar has defected to the Catholic church in an emotional speech to his Torquay flock yesterday.

Father David Lashbrooke…, who has been attached to the Parish Church of St Marychurch for almost nine years, fought back tears as he broke the news to his congregation. He is one of hundreds of Anglican priests who have left the Church of England in recent months. Many have opposed developments including women bishops, gay clergy and same-sex blessings.

Father Lashbrooke said he had wrestled with the changes brought to the Church of England and his decision to leave was ‘God’s calling’.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(Roman Catholic) Bishop Hollis (of Portsmouth) issues Pastoral Letter on the Anglican Ordinariate

Next week, on the first Saturday of Lent, there will be a very special celebration in the Cathedral for the whole diocese. We will be gathering for the Rite of Election, when many from most of the parishes in the diocese will be present to welcome into our midst those who are seeking to be baptised or received into full communion with the Church at Easter.

It is a moment of great significance for us all but especially it is so for our candidates and catechumens. For them, it represents the last chapter of a long journey of faith into the life of Christ and the life of the Church. They have come from many different backgrounds and experiences but all are now enrolled in the life of the diocese and we will all be able to celebrate with them when we come to the Easter Vigil and the Easter Sacraments.

Among our candidates this year, there are three groups of members of the Anglican Communion who, together with their priests, are seeking to come into full communion with the Catholic Church through the Ordinariate. Their priests have resigned from their ministry in the Church of England and they, with their people, will be beginning an intensive period of instruction so that they can be received into the Church at the Easter.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, England / UK, Lent, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Anglican Journal) Gary Nicolosi: A Case for Open Communion

Consider the fact that most Anglican churches now celebrate the eucharist every Sunday at every service. Yet many people are not baptized. How do we reach them? Do we invite them to church for Sunday dinner and tell them they cannot eat the food?

How, in our multicultural and pluralistic society, can our churches be places of hospitality if we exclude table fellowship with the non-baptized? This is not an academic question. In Canada, a growing number of the population is not baptized. Included are people from different religious traditions or people with no religious affiliation at all. Quite likely, some are our grandchildren or great-grandchildren, whose parents neglected or refused to have them baptized.

How can the church effectively minister in a post-Christian world where a significant percentage of the population is not baptized? Some Anglican churches are attempting to meet this challenge by becoming open and inclusive faith communities, ready and willing to support people in their spiritual journeys. They understand that the Anglican tradition has never been content to adopt a sectarian mentality, to insulate itself from culture or to refuse to connect with an unchurched population.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Theology

A Prayer for the Provisional Feast Day of Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

Glorious God, we give thanks not merely for high and holy things, but for the common things of earth which thou hast created: Wake us to love and work, that Jesus, the Lord of life, may set our hearts ablaze and that we, like Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy, may recognize thee in thy people and in thy creation, serving the holy and undivided Trinity; who livest and reignest throughout all ages of ages. Amen.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God our Father, who hast sent thy Son to be our Saviour: Renew in us day by day the power of thy Holy Spirit, that with knowledge and zeal, with courage and hope, we may strive mightily in thy service, and ever live as faithful soldiers and servants of thy Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer