Daily Archives: June 5, 2012

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s sermon at Diamond Jubilee Service

To declare a lifelong dedication is to take a huge risk, to embark on a costly venture. But it is also to respond to the promise of a vision that brings joy.

And perhaps that is the challenge that this Jubilee sets before us in nation and Commonwealth. St Paul implies that we should be so overwhelmed by the promise of a shared joy far greater than narrow individual fulfilment, that we find the strength to take the risks and make the sacrifices ”“ even if this seems to reduce our individual hopes of secure enjoyment.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, England / UK, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture

Drone Strike Kills al Qaeda No. 2

A U.S. drone strike killed al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader, Abu Yahya al-Libi , a U.S. official confirmed Tuesday.

Mr. al-Libi was in a house in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region that was destroyed Monday by a drone strike, intelligence officials said.

Mr. al-Libi’s death is a major blow to the terror network, which has lost a string of top leaders at the hands of the American drone program. The U.S. sees the strikes as a key weapon against al Qaeda and the insurgents, despite Pakistan’s repeated demands that the strikes stop.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Science & Technology, Terrorism

The Rev. Canon Hollis H. Buchanan RIP

Via email:

Please keep the family of the Rev. Canon Hollis H. Buchanan in your prayers. He died on June 1, 2012.

Father Buchanan, a 6th generation native Floridian, was born on September 16, 1927 in Tampa, FL. He was a graduate of the University of Florida and Seabury Western Seminary. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1954, served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and spent his life serving his Lord and the Episcopal Church. He served as a priest in Miami, FL, Winter Park, FL, Vero Beach, FL, Florence, SC, and Summerton, SC, retiring from active ministry in 1992.

In the Diocese of South Carolina he served at St. Matthias, Summerton from 1984-1992, at All Saints, Florence from 1979-1984. He was named an honorable Canon for the Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul in 1993.

In his retirement, he continued to serve part-time as a priest in Leesburg, FL. He is survived by his two sons, William and Robert (wife Cindy); three grandchildren, and one nephew. He was predeceased by his parents, Herbert and Lena, his brother, Kenneth, and his daughter, Valencia. A Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. on June 20 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1603 E. Winter Park Rd., Orlando, with interment of ashes immediately following at St. Richard’s Episcopal Church, 5151 Lake Howell Rd., Winter Park, FL. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund or your local Humane Society.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Death / Burial / Funerals, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry

Christ Church New Haven offers Resources on the Question of Communing the unBaptized

Bookmark it and then follow the links and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Sacramental Theology, Soteriology, TEC Parishes, Theology

(USA Today) Genetic testing for disease: The need to know

Children have a 50-50 chance of inheriting the rare [Huntington’s] disease from their parents. Kristen Powers told USA TODAY in April that she would want to be honest about her diagnosis with future partners and would not have children for fear of passing on the gene. She said she wants to raise awareness about an illness many families try to hide.

One way she’s doing that is by making a documentary. She has raised more than $18,000 on crowd-funding website Indiegogo to hire a video crew to document her experiences with genetic testing.

“She is going to empower an entire generation at risk of developing Huntington’s disease,” says Mary Edmondson, a psychiatrist at Duke University’s specialty Huntington’s disease clinic. “The more you can do to empower people, the more they can master the skills required to deal with the disease.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Science & Technology, Theology

West Hollywood parish leaves Presbyterian Church USA over Its Failure to Embrace New Sexual Theology

Even as they supported the move, many of the Presbyterian Church’s more progressive members called West Hollywood’s defection deeply troubling and a little perplexing, given the timing. A year ago, the church lifted its prohibition on gay and lesbian ministers. This summer, its governing body will vote on whether to allow same-sex marriages. The outcome is uncertain.

“Just because there is a rule on the books that says we’re not restricting [ordination], the denomination is still pretty hostile to gay and lesbian folks,” said the Rev. Maria La Sala, who teaches Presbyterian governance at Yale Divinity School. “On the one hand, my heart is broken. On the other, I understand.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Other Churches, Presbyterian, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths), Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia's Center Aisle Gears up for General Convention 2012

Check it out (start from the bottom and read the entries from there to the top one).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Media

(IBD) Core 25-54 Employment Ratio Shows Labor Market Worse than Jobless Rate Suggests

From mid-1987 until the Great Recession, the employment-to-population ratio of 25- to 54-year-olds usually ranged from 78.5% to 80%. It never fell below 78.2% even during the 1990-91 and 2001 slumps.

But now, three years after the recession ended in June 2009, that ratio stands at just 75.7%.

“This is probably a better measure than the unemployment rate,” said James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “There are so many people dropping out of the job market and the unemployment rate, bad as it is, doesn’t pick that up. The ratio gives a better idea of employment opportunities.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

A NY Times article on the Vatican Statement Critiquing Margaret Farley's 2006 book

Sister [Margaret] Farley, a past president of the Catholic Theological Society of America and an award-winning scholar, responded in a statement: “I can only clarify that the book was not intended to be an expression of current official Catholic teaching, nor was it aimed specifically against this teaching. It is of a different genre altogether.”

The book, she said, offers “contemporary interpretations” of justice and fairness in human sexual relations, moving away from a “taboo morality” and drawing on “present-day scientific, philosophical, theological, and biblical resources.”

The formal censure comes only weeks after the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a stinging reprimand of the main coordinating group of American nuns, prompting many Catholics across the country to turn out in defense of the nuns with protests, petitions and vigils.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(CNS) Vatican warns against errors in Mercy nun's 2006 book on sexual ethics

The Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith warned June 4 that Mercy Sister Margaret Farley’s 2006 book, “Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics,” contains “erroneous propositions” on homosexual acts, same-sex marriage, masturbation and remarriage after divorce that could cause confusion and “grave harm to the faithful.”

In a notification signed by U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada and approved March 16 by Pope Benedict XVI, the congregation said the book “is not in conformity with the teaching of the church” and “cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counseling and formation, or in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.”

Sister Farley, who taught at Yale University Divinity School from 1971 to 2007 and now serves as Gilbert L. Stark professor emerita of Christian ethics, is a past president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Society of Christian Ethics.

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

At Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the Crosses Are Gone, but Campus Clash Lives On

Last fall, Sissy Bradford, an adjunct instructor who taught criminology at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, questioned why crosses were being placed near the public university’s entrance. Last month, she was informed that the university would not offer her any courses to teach in the fall semester. Ms. Bradford insists there is a connection, but university officials deny any link.

Though critics in online message boards have accused Ms. Bradford, who is Jewish, of being intolerant of Christianity, she said that is not the case. “I think I’m the only instructor these students ever had who required them to know passages from the Bible,” she said, “because we base so much of our criminal justice policy on it.”

Now, she is out of work, and the campus has been cast into a heated debate about academic freedom and the separation of church and state.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Education, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Young Adults

Notable and Quotable

Some people complain that the Second World War still exerts a dominating influence nearly seven decades after its end, as the disproportionate number of books, plays and films shows, while museums continue to spawn a remembrance industry. This phenomenon should hardly be surprising, if only because the nature of evil seems to provide an endless fascination. Moral choice is the fundamental element in human drama, because it lies in the very heart of humanity itself.

No other period in history offers so rich a source for the study of dilemmas, individual and mass tragedy, the corruption of power politics, ideological hypocrisy, the egomania of commanders, betrayal, perversity, self-sacrifice, unbelievable sadism and unpredictable compassion.

–Antony Beevor, The Second World War (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2012), page 782 [my emphasis]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Books, History, Theodicy, Theology

(Washington Post) Robert Samuelson–Europe's Grim Choices

Europe is at the abyss ”” again. Its turmoil is rattling global stock markets and stoking fear and bewilderment. The obvious question is, what’s the solution? The answer is, there is no solution. Europe faces choices, some bad and others worse. Unfortunately, it’s unclear which are which. The best that can be imagined is that Europe lurches from crisis to crisis and that its slumping economy weakens the already fragile global recovery. The worst is a massive flight from the euro and an economic free fall that resurrects the dark days of 2008 and 2009.

Can anyone doubt that the euro’s creation in 1999 was a huge blunder? It aimed to promote European prosperity and unity, but it’s doing just the opposite. The very belief in its early success reduced interest rates in Europe’s periphery (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy). Low rates fed credit booms and housing bubbles that, once burst, caused recessions and swollen budget deficits.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Globe and Mail) Translation makes Bible available to Inuktitut speakers

It has taken an un-Genesis-like 34 years to create, but Inuit communities in Canada’s Eastern Arctic can now read the complete Bible in their own language.

A consecration ceremony to mark the translation of the King James Version into Inuktitut ”“ the official language in Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut ”“ was held Sunday at the new St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Iqaluit, Nunavut.

The project, jointly undertaken by the Canadian Bible Society and the Anglican Church of Canada, cost about $1.75-million, according to Hartmut Wiens, CBS’s director of scripture translation.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Books, Canada, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times Op-Ed) Preet Bharara–Asleep at the Laptop: the time to prevent Cybercrime is now

…the most important step is the most obvious and fundamental one: understanding the threat in a comprehensive, serious manner. Every member of a board or executive suite is duty bound to protect the institution against material risk, whether they currently possess particular expertise or not. And yet, how many companies have a concrete plan in place to deal with a hack? How many conduct independent audits of their cybervulnerabilities? The answer, many in my position fear, is too few.

Some say we are outgunned. But in my view, it is less a matter of being outgunned than being simply outdated ”” in our thinking and in our vision. Yes, there is an army of computer saboteurs, spies, thieves and nihilists who wish to do us harm. But we have an army, too, or at least the makings of one, which can draw from the best of law enforcement, intelligence, business and academia.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Science & Technology