Monthly Archives: April 2011

George Weigel–Remembering Pope John Paul II

Strange as it may seem, I’ve been vaguely worried about today’s beatification of a man with whom I was in close conversation for over a decade and to the writing of whose biography I dedicated 15 years of my own life.
My worries don’t have to do with allegations of a “rushed” beatification process – the process has been a thorough one, and the official judgment is the same as the judgment of the people of the Church.
I’m also unconcerned about the fretting of ultra-traditionalists for whom John Paul II was a failure because he didn’t restore the French monarchy, impose the Tridentine Mass on the entire Church, and issue thundering anathemas against theologians and wayward politicians….

No, my worries have to do with our losing touch with the qualities of the man himself….

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Other Churches, Poland, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

As the Careless Order a Latte, Thieves Grab Something to Go

Distraction and extraction. These are the skills, timeless, of thousands of thieves who work in New York, without a weapon and without attracting notice.

Where in the city can such a thief visit dozens of happy hunting spots on an afternoon’s walk, finding rooms crowded with people staring at laptops or iPads, or texting or talking on phones, and ignoring their purses? A place so comfortable and familiar, with its jazz, leather chairs and Wi-Fi, that customers, otherwise savvy to the city’s dangers, do not think twice about saving a round blond-wood table with a bag or a laptop while they stand in line?

You may be there now, with a grande caffè mocha….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Science & Technology, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NY Times 'Beliefs')–”˜Christian Economics’ Meets the Antiunion Movement

Gary North was nearly impossible to track down. He did not return multiple e-mails, and when finally reached by phone, he refused to talk and hung up.

But if you know where to look, he is everywhere.

Mr. North, a onetime aide to Representative Ron Paul of Texas, a possible 2012 Republican presidential candidate, is the leading proponent of “Christian economics,” which applies biblical principles to economic issues and the free market.

Largely unknown to the broader public, Mr. North is an influential figure on the American far right. He has written dozens of books, blogs prolifically and is on the curriculum of Christian home-schoolers across America.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(The Living Church) John Martin–Stately Words for a Modern Couple

Wedding couples, even royal couples, at times compose their own wedding prayers. In the British tradition of royal weddings, however, it seems that Prince William and Catherine Middleton are the first to do so:

God our Father, we thank you for our families; for the love that we share and for the joy of our marriage.

In the busyness of each day keep our eyes fixed on what is real and important in life and help us to be generous with our time and love and energy.

Strengthened by our union, help us to serve and comfort those who suffer. We ask this in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Amen.

The prayer helps sum up the prince and his bride, a Facebook-generation couple described by Archbishop Rowan Williams as “deeply unpretentious people” who steered away from an “all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza.”

They “wanted something simple and clear and also wanted something with tradition, roots and associations,” he added.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

(ENI) Interfaith and Christian groups urge U.S. chemical policy reform

Among the groups joining in the call for reform are the National Council of Churches, the Reformed Action Center and GreenFaith. Both the interfaith statement, which carries 900 signatures, and the Christian statement, with 1,800 signatures, express concern that toxic chemicals jeopardize vulnerable populations such as people of color, children and pregnant women.

“While everyone is exposed to some risk from toxic chemicals, communities of color and poor communities have far more toxic dump sites and toxic consumer products,” said the Rev. Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s executive director and an Episcopal priest. “The world’s religions affirm our duty to protect the most vulnerable. We need a chemical policy that offers this kind of protection.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Theology

A.S. Haley on recent Recent Rio Grande Lawsuit Developments

A new lawsuit involving the parish of St. Francis on the Hill in El Paso, Texas was filed on Tuesday, April 26 in the local district court (34th Judicial District). The suit marks another low point in the desultory annals of litigation brought by dioceses of the Episcopal Church (USA) against their former parishes, vestries and rectors. Coming literally on the heels of a final judgment entered in that same court on March 11, which awarded all of the Anglican parish’s real and personal property to the Diocese of Rio Grande, the new lawsuit was filed even though that prior judgment has since been appealed to the Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso….

What is particularly despicable about this latest lawsuit is not just that it seeks to embroil the parties who are appealing the trial court’s judgment in brand-new litigation pending that appeal, but it also seeks punitive damages (in addition to other relief) against them….

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

Developments in Fort Worth this week (III)–Insurance Company Sues Diocese led by Bp. Jack Iker

From here:

On April 25, 2011 Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, which has issued directors’ and officers’ liability insurance to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, sued the break-away faction led since November 15, 2008 by former Bishop Jack Leo Iker. A copy of the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Dallas, is HERE.

Among other things, the complaint seeks a declaration that, based on Judge Chupp’s amended summary judgment order signed February 8, 2011 and the Fort Worth Court of Appeals June 25, 2010 opinion that there can be only one Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, the Iker-led diocese affiliated with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone is not an insured under the directors’ and officers’ liability policy issued by the plaintiff. The complaint described the Iker faction as “a different entity formed by former clergy and members of (The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth)” and alleges that this entity “is not a Named Insured and cannot claim benefits of the Policy.” The complaint also seeks to halt a pending arbitration concerning the Iker-led diocese’s insurance claim for attorneys’ fees and defense costs relating to the litigation about the break-away.

The continuing Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, still a diocese of The Episcopal Church, is not a party to this new action

.

Posted in Uncategorized

Developments in Fort Worth this week (II)–Court moves closer to settling bond question

From here:

In a hearing Thursday afternoon, April 28, in the 141st District Court, the Hon. John Chupp postponed his previous order for the Diocese and Corporation to surrender all property, which would have taken effect on May 5, to an indefinite date in the future. He denied the plaintiffs’ request for extensive additional discovery, limiting his mandate to the taking of a single deposition.

The judge approved only the request to take the deposition of Jane Parrott, the Diocese’s Director of Finance. Her deposition is to be taken before Thursday, May 19, which Judge Chupp set as the next hearing date.

“They’ve got a right to do discovery,” said the judge. “I think I have to let them do this.”

But, in response to the plaintiffs’ six-page statement of requests, he added, “we’ll just have Mrs. Parrott [give her deposition].”

As discussion progressed, the judge set a limit of six hours for the deposition, authorizing only questions relating to the amount, if any, of a supersedeas bond which the Diocese may be ordered to post during the period of our appeal.

The parties will return to court on May 19, at which time the judge is expected to make his decision concerning the bond.

Posted in Uncategorized

Developments in Fort Worth this week (I)–Hearing on Appeal Bond Issues

From here:

…[On] April 28, Judge John Chupp will determine to what extent he will permit the local minority group aligned with TEC to conduct discovery with regard to the Motion to Set Supersedeas Bond* that has been filed by our attorneys. We are asking Judge Chupp to permit the Diocese and our 48 congregations to continue to have possession of the property while the case is being appealed, without the necessity of posting a large bond. The local minority group wants to take depositions and conduct other discovery, including inspections of the property, ostensibly for the purpose of developing evidence to support their argument that a substantial bond should be required as a condition for the continued possession of the property by the Diocese and its congregations during the appeal.

According to David Weaver, who is representing our congregations, “Since the plaintiffs likely will not prevail on the bond issue, they are attempting a flanking maneuver by seeking permission from the Court to allow them to engage in expensive discovery procedures.”

Please keep the hearing in your prayers, and, if possible, plan to attend. The 141st District Court is located on the fourth floor of the Family Law Center on Weatherford Street in Fort Worth.

*A supersedeas bond is a deposit made during an appeal process when the case involves property and the party making the appeal wishes to delay full payment until the process concludes

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man that had been healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred with one another, saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is manifest to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any one in this name.” So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge; for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.”

–Acts 4:13-20

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(RNS) Church-state ties on full display at royal wedding

When Prince William and Kate Middleton walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey on Friday (April 29), Britain’s unique and historic ties between church and state will be on full display.

Some here think””even hope””it could also be the last powerful stroll for church and state in this increasingly secular country.

As the Dean of Westminster, the Very Rev. John Hall, and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams prepare to conduct and solemnize the wedding of the century, both Christians and prominent and powerful nonbelievers are raising their voices and demanding the disestablishment the Church of England that has dominated religious life here for 400 years.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, History, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

The Full text of the Bishop of London's Sermon at the Royal Wedding Today

As the reality of God has faded from so many lives in the West, there has been a corresponding inflation of expectations that personal relations alone will supply meaning and happiness in life. This is to load our partner with too great a burden. We are all incomplete: we all need the love which is secure, rather than oppressive, we need mutual forgiveness, to thrive.

As we move towards our partner in love, following the example of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is quickened within us and can increasingly fill our lives with light. This leads to a family life which offers the best conditions in which the next generation can practise and exchange those gifts which can overcome fear and division and incubate the coming world of the Spirit, whose fruits are love and joy and peace.

I pray that all of us present and the many millions watching this ceremony and sharing in your joy today, will do everything in our power to support and uphold you in your new life. And I pray that God will bless you in the way of life that you have chosen….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Preaching / Homiletics, Religion & Culture

Vatican sees no future for married clergy in Anglican Ordinariate

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

SMH–Intricacies of Anglican worship on display in Royal Wedding

By the book and ”explicitly Christian”. That was the assessment by one of Australia’s Anglican leaders of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

The Bishop of South Sydney, Robert Forsyth, said the wedding ceremony – conducted to a revised 1928 Church of England rite – was ”in a way more Christian than it needed to be”.

”It was not sentimental about marriage,” said Bishop Forsyth. ”The [biblical] reading was not gushy and, rather than apologise for being Christian, the service was generous.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Religion & Culture