Daily Archives: January 11, 2012

Episcopal chaplain selected for Guard post in Kansas

Episcopalians make up one of the smaller mainline church denominations in Kansas, with about 15,000 members statewide.

For that reason alone, the Rev. Don Davidson said he found it highly unusual that Episcopal clergymen have been selected three times in a row for the post of state chaplain of the Kansas National Guard.

“That is weird,” Davidson said, “because the Army doesn’t care if a chaplain is a Baptist, a rabbi or an imam.”

He said, only half-jokingly, that Episcopalians make up only about “0.0002 percent of the population of Kansas.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Military / Armed Forces, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

(RNS) Would Mormons Try to Influence a Romney White House?

When Switzerland passed new employment rules that ban foreign religious groups from sending unpaid missionaries, 13 Mormon members of Congress pleaded with the Swiss ambassador for an exception.

The Swiss ambassador sent a respectful, yet perfunctory, letter in response, and while some meetings took place, the rules went forward. Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and a Mormon, called it “very disappointing.”

But for some, the fact that Mormon lawmakers waged the battle at all is troubling, and they point to it as evidence that if elected president, Mitt Romney may use his post to promote his faith and protect its interests.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Mormons, Office of the President, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Archbishop Rowan Williams on Dostoevsky – Radio 4's 'One to One' Programme

Read and listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Europe, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Russia

A.S. Haley Makes Preliminary Comments on the Virginia Court Decision

The opinion is remarkable for its exhaustive consideration of every possible Virginia statute and previous case (including an unreported one) that could bear on the issues at stake. Along the way, it notably holds that the Dennis Canon (and its local diocesan equivalent) were ineffective per se to create a trust interest in favor of the diocese or national Church. But the bulk of the opinion appears (on a very quick first read) to be devoted to arriving at the same result (i.e., as if the Dennis Canon and its local equivalent had established a trust) by other means. It reaches its conclusion in favor of ECUSA and its diocese by drawing upon a minutely detailed analysis of the course of conduct between the parishes in question and the former entities over more than a hundred years (and in the case of Falls Church and a few others, for many more years than that — but in the case of the Church of the Epiphany, on a course of conduct extending for just the first twenty of the last twenty-four years).

In doing so, however, the court ends up equating what it terms a “proprietary and contractual interest” of the diocese in individual parish property to the functional legal equivalent of an express or implied trust in favor of the diocese (and the national Church). And since it recognizes that Virginia law does not allow express or implied trusts in favor of denominations, the marvel is that Judge Bellows can still conclude, by drawing heavily upon his interpretation of a Virginia statute (§ 57-16.1), that the parishes effectively controlled their own properties only for so long as they remained constituent member of the Episcopal Church (USA) — which is exactly what the Dennis Canon states, in haec verba.

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

TEC Diocese of Virginia PR on the Court Ruling

From here:

Tonight, the Fairfax Circuit Court issued its ruling in favor of the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church in litigation seeking to recover Episcopal church property. “Our goal throughout this litigation has been to return faithful Episcopalians to their church homes and Episcopal properties to the mission of the Church,” said the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia.

The court ruled that the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia have “a contractual and proprietary interest” in each of the properties subject to the litigation. The court ordered that all property subject to its ruling be turned over to the Diocese.

“We hope that this ruling will lead to our congregations returning to worship in their church homes in the near future, while finding a way to support the CANA congregations as they plan their transition,” said Henry D.W. Burt, secretary of the Diocese and chief of staff.

Bishop Johnston added, “While we are grateful for the decision in our favor, we remain mindful of the toll this litigation has taken on all parties involved, and we continue to pray for all affected by the litigation.”

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

Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic PR on the Virginia Ruling

Seven Anglican congregations in Virginia that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia are reviewing today’s ruling by the Fairfax County Circuit Court that the property should be turned over to the Episcopal Diocese.

The Circuit Court heard the case last spring after the Virginia Supreme Court remanded it in June 2010. The congregations previously had succeeded in their efforts on the Circuit Court level to defend the property that they bought and paid for.

“Although we are profoundly disappointed by today’s decision, we offer our gratitude to Judge Bellows for his review of this case. As we prayerfully consider our legal options, we above all remain steadfast in our effort to defend the historic Christian faith. Regardless of today’s ruling, we are confident that God is in control, and that He will continue to guide our path,” said Jim Oakes, spokesperson for the seven Anglican congregations.

The Rev. John Yates, rector of The Falls Church, a historic property involved in the case, stated, “The core issue for us is not physical property, but theological and moral truth and the intellectual integrity of faith in the modern world. Wherever we worship, we remain Anglicans because we cannot compromise our historic faith. Like our spiritual forebears in the Reformation, ‘Here we stand. So help us God. We can do no other.'”

The seven Anglican congregations are members of the newly established Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, a member diocese within the Anglican Church in North America. Bishop John Guernsey of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic has expressed to leaders of the seven congregations, “Our trust is in the Lord who is ever faithful. He is in control and He will enable you to carry forward your mission for the glory of Jesus Christ and the extension of His Kingdom. Know that your brothers and sisters in Christ continue to stand with you and pray for you.”

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

Latest Court Ruling in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia/Anglican Parishes Fracas

Read it all (113 page pdf).

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

Consumers spend more on digital immersion than staying warm

PC support company iYogi today released these survey results showing consumers spend more on staying connected to the Internet than on staying warm.

Not surprisingly, mobile phones chew up a large and growing chunk of the average household’s disposable income. Some 63% of American households spend 35% more on technology bills than utility bills, according to an in-depth survey of 1,100 adults.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Economy, Personal Finance, Science & Technology

The List of 22 new cardinals named by Pope Benedict

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

(Der Spiegel) Investors Pay to Lend Germany Money

Investors in Europe are so worried about the euro crisis and so desperate to find a safe haven for their cash that they decided to forego an interest rate, and even paid a premium, for the privilege of lending Germany money on Monday.

The auction of six-month German government bills on Monday produced a negative interest rate. Even the Federal Finance Agency, which manages Germany’s debt, was astonished. “That has never happened before,” said a spokesman.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Economy, Europe, Germany, The Banking System/Sector

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Almighty God, who to wise men who sought him didst manifest the Incarnation of thy Son by the bright shining of a star: Grant that, as they presented unto him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh, so we also out of our treasures may offer to him ourselves, a living sacrifice acceptable in thy sight; through him who for our sakes was born on earth as a little child, Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Frederick B. Macnutt

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage.

–Hebrews 2:14-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Reuters) Mafia turns into 'Italy's No.1 bank' as crisis bites: Report

Organised crime has tightened its grip on the Italian economy during the economic crisis, making the Mafia the country’s biggest “bank” and squeezing the life out of thousands of small firms, according to a report on Tuesday.

Extortionate lending by criminal groups had become a “national emergency”, said the report by anti-crime group SOS Impresa.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Economy, Europe, Italy, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

(New Statesman) Nelson Jones–God save the Queen

…the Church of England’s leaders have reason to be sincere in offering a “Big Thank You” to the Queen, not least for living and reigning for so long. Things might not be quite so straightforward under the next Sovereign. Prince Charles’s interest in religion is well-known, but it would seem very different from the uncomplicated and quiet Anglicanism of his mother. He has famously expressed a desire to be “defender of faith” rather than “Defender of the Faith”, a distinction that may seem more appropriate in a multi-faith society but which also implies a more problematic desire to involve himself in theological debates (as well as leaving atheists and agnostics seemingly undefended). Some of the more traditionally-minded clergy objected to his divorce and remarriage in a civil ceremony. A few even questioned its legality.

The next coronation, if indeed there is a next coronation, is unlikely to be an Anglican monopoly like that in 1953. Will the new king be expected, or willing, to swear to uphold “the Protestant reformed religion established by law”? It seems unlikely. But it seems even more unlikely that the Church of England would give up its official status easily, or even that it will be seriously questioned. I suspect that the C of E will be offering prayers, and even Big Thank-Yous, to monarchs for as long as the monarchy persists. Anachronisms survive best if they stick together.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Indecency on TV: Supreme Court reluctant to ease profanity rules

The Supreme Court seemed reluctant Tuesday to end the government’s historic policing of the broadcast airwaves and to strike down the “indecency” rules that guide prime-time TV shows.

Broadcasters use the public airwaves, and the “government can insist on a certain modicum of decency,” said Justice Antonin Scalia during oral arguments on the constitutionality of a ban on four-letter words and nudity.

“All we are asking for is for a few channels” where parents can be confident their children will not hear profanity or see sex scenes, said Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., who is a parent of two young children.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Movies & Television, Theology