Daily Archives: September 20, 2013

(Denver Catholic Register) George Weigel–Where the 20th century happened

This past August, while contemplating the beauties of the Ottawa River from the deck of my family’s cottage on Allumette Island, Father Raymond de Souza, the Canadian commentator and a former-student-become-friend-and-colleague, offered an interesting take on World Youth Day 2016, which will be held in Cracow. When you think about it, he said, “the 20th century happened in Cracow.”

I think I know what Father de Souza meant. Cracow and its people suffered terribly under both Nazi and communist occupation; the murders at Auschwitz took place a few dozen kilometers away; the city-without-God, Nowa Huta, was built outside Cracow, as payback for the city’s failure to vote correctly in a bogus communist election. Yet the bad news was not all the news there was, in Cracow. For in this same city, the divine answer to the unprecedented human wickedness of the 20th century was given, in the visions of the divine mercy that seized the religious imagination of an obscure Polish nun, Sister Faustina Kowalska. And it was from Cracow that there came a man who brought Sister Faustina’s message of divine mercy to the world.

Read it all.

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

(WSJ) Mollie Ziegler Hemingway: Same Sex Marriage Collides With Religious Liberty

Robert Ingersoll and his partner, Curt Freed, were longtime customers of Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in Richland, Wash. After voters in the state approved same-sex marriage in December 2012, Messrs. Ingersoll and Freed decided to tie the knot, and called their florist. “There was never a question she’d be the one to do our flowers,” Mr. Ingersoll told the Tri-City Herald. But Ms. Stutzman declined, citing her Christian beliefs about marriage.

“You have to make a stand somewhere in your life on what you believe and what you don’t believe,” Ms. Stutzman told Christian Broadcasting Network. For acting on her religious beliefs, Ms. Stutzman has been sued twice: once by state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and once by the American Civil Liberties Union.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Voters were assured that legalizing gay marriage wouldn’t undermine religious freedom””after all, the public was assured that religious institutions would be free to act as they always had. But what about religious individuals? The effects of this new legal regime on private citizens have largely been ignored.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(Daily Mail) Ann Furedi, the chief executive of BPAS, claims legality for abortion based on Gender

We have now entered a brave new world, where a pregnancy can be terminated simply because the foetus does not meet an arbitrary set of criteria drawn up by the mother – or the wider family.

This moral revolution has been driven by two forces. One is the invention of ever-more sophisticated scanning techniques and other tests, which allow a comprehensive profile of the baby to be provided before the birth.

The second is the aggressively libertarian interpretation of the 1967 Abortion Act, which means that in this country we now effectively have abortion on demand.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

The Archbishop of Canterbury appoints a new Director of Communications

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is delighted to announce the appointment of Ailsa Anderson LVO as Director of Communications at Lambeth Palace. Mrs Anderson is currently the Communications and Press Secretary to the Queen.

Mrs Anderson will be the primary spokesperson for the Archbishop, and a member of his senior team at Lambeth Palace. She will manage the Lambeth Palace communications team, overseeing day to day contact with the media as well as driving and developing strategic communications.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Media, Religion & Culture

(USNews and WR) Citing the Affordable Care Act, Cleveland Clinic to Cut $300M, Warns of Layoffs

Administrators at the Cleveland Clinic announced on Wednesday that the health care giant would be cutting as much as $300 million from its 2014 budget, and that the cuts will likely include layoffs.

“Health care reform has really changed things, and the burden of cost is going to be falling on patients,” spokeswoman Eileen Shiel told The Plain Dealer. “We want to make sure we can keep care affordable.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(ACNA via Anglican Ink) Assorted South Carolina Bishops meet

Statement from Camp St. Christopher

9 September 2013

We met together with a common vision for Biblical, missionary, united Anglicanism to reach North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

As Bishops with jurisdiction in South Carolina, we gathered for prayer, honest conversation about our historic and recent wounds and to identify areas where we can work together.

We committed to praying together and meeting regularly, deepening and broadening communication with one another and furthering missional work of the Gospel.

It was agreed amongst the group that Bishop Mark Lawrence serve as Convener for future gatherings and conversation.

We hope that our work together will serve as an inspiration and foretaste of the unity that we have in Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches

(Church Times) Alcohol-free wine served at a Parish in Kent

All communicants at St Peter and St Paul’s, Yalding, in Kent, now receive non-alcoholic wine, in deference to the residents of a rehabilitation centre situated near by.

The PCC of the church voted in July to approve the change, and it has been in place since 1 September. The Vicar of Yalding with Collier Street, the Revd Paul Filmer, is Chaplain to the Kenward Trust, which runs a rehabilitation centre for men seeking to overcome addiction to alcohol and drugs. The residents of the centre are encouraged to attend the church, which is less than a mile away. This month, Mr Filmer said that, since his arrival in Yalding in 2009, he had been considering ways in which these congregants could take communion without drinking alcohol.

“We had two options: to have an alternative non-alcoholic communion wine for those who preferred it, or to serve non-alcoholic wine to everyone. After much prayer and thought, we went for the latter as a more inclusive way forward, and one which will not in any way stigmatise any members of the congregation.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

Crucial Documentation available to Readers–TEC's so called "Expert" under Fire from the Quincy Case

[You may find here]….the cross-examination of ECUSA’s expert witness on its polity and history, Dr. Robert Bruce Mullin, who testified all day on both April 29 and April 30 of this year. His cross-examination by Alan Runyan, …[counsel of] the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina under Bishop Lawrence, is a case study in how to break apart a structure into which every effort has been poured to make it appear as solid.

That cross-examination (on behalf of the Anglican Diocese) was followed by a further and well-honed cross-examination by Talmadge G. Brenner, the Chancellor for Quincy, on behalf of its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Alberto Morales, whom ECUSA had named individually as a counter-defendant in its counterclaim in the case. (That is what comes of suing people personally — they get their own attorneys, who have the right to participate fully in all aspects of the trial.)

Read it all (courtesy of A.S. Haley).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Primary Source, Church History, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Seminary / Theological Education, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Coleridge Patteson

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Grant to us, O Lord, the royalty of inward happiness, and the serenity which comes from living close to thee: Daily renew in us the sense of joy, and let the eternal spirit of the Father dwell in our souls and bodies, filling us with light and grace, so that, bearing about with us the infection of a good courage, we may be diffusers of life, and may meet all ills and cross accidents with gallant and high-hearted happiness, giving thee thanks always for all things.

—-The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now Ahazi”²ah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samar”²ia, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Ba”²al-ze”²bub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.” But the angel of the Lord said to Eli”²jah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samar”²ia, and say to them, ”˜Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Ba”²al-ze”²bub, the god of Ekron?’ Now therefore thus says the Lord, ”˜You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.’” So Eli”²jah went.

The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?” And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ”˜Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the Lord, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Ba”²al-ze”²bub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die.’” He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?” They answered him, “He wore a garment of haircloth, with a girdle of leather about his loins.” And he said, “It is Eli”²jah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Eli”²jah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ”˜Come down.’” But Eli”²jah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.

Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he went up and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ”˜Come down quickly!’” But Eli”²jah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.

Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Eli”²jah, and entreated him, “O man of God, I pray you, let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. Lo, fire came down from heaven, and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight.” Then the angel of the Lord said to Eli”²jah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ”˜Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Ba”²al-ze”²bub, the god of Ekron,””is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?””therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.’”

So he died according to the word of the Lord which Eli”²jah had spoken. Jeho”²ram, his brother, became king in his stead in the second year of Jeho”²ram the son of Jehosh”²aphat, king of Judah, because Ahazi”²ah had no son.

–2 Kings 1:2-17

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A.S. Haley on the Latest South Carolina TEC Legal Maneuver to Appeal Judge Houck's Decision

It is the attack made on Judge Houck’s factual reasoning in the first seven pages of the Memorandum that I would like to consider. Here the attorneys argue that under an earlier case from the same Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal which would hear any appeal from Judge Houck’s decision Bishop vonRosenberg has certain prerogatives of his office with which Bishop Lawrence is allegedly interfering.

The argument is ludicrous on its face. Consider this point: Bishop Lawrence is also a bishop of a diocese — the one that is paying his salary — and so under that same precedent, he has certain prerogatives of his office as well. What Bishop vonRosenberg wants is to restrict Bishop Lawrence’s prerogatives just so he can exercise the ones he claims are his.

And that is not all. In Dixon v. Edwards (the earlier case in question), Bishop Dixon claimed that it was the vestry and rector of a particular parish in her own diocese that were interfering with her prerogatives as its bishop, and the court decided that her claims warranted relief. But Bishop Lawrence is not in the same diocese as Bishop vonRosenberg, and is not subject to his jurisdiction. If Bishop Lawrence’s activities in his own diocese are interfering with Bishop vonRosenberg’s activities in his, then can a federal court supply a remedy? To do so would be to wade too far into matters that are “quintessentially ecclesiastical” (to quote the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Schofield case), in violation of the First Amendment.

Read it all and please note the link to the South Carolina filing which you can read in full.

More South Carolina Links

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, - Anglican: Analysis, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, Theology

(III) John Allen of NC Reporter–Pope rejects church of 'small-minded rules' in Jesuit interview

In a wide-ranging interview for 16 Jesuit publications around the world, including America magazine in the United States, Pope Francis once again has waded into hot-button questions such as homosexuality, abortion and the role of women, not breaking with traditional doctrine but trying to shift the church’s emphasis from condemnation to mercy.

“The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules,” Francis says. “Ministers of the church must be ministers of mercy above all.”

The pope also warns against a “restorationist” mentality in Catholicism and insists that “thinking with the church” cannot mean solely thinking with the hierarchy. Francis also pointedly says, “I have never been a right-winger.”

Read it all.

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

(II) NY Times on the Pope's Interview-Pope Bluntly Faults Church’s Focus on Gays and Abortion

In remarkably blunt language, Francis sought to set a new tone for the church, saying it should be a “home for all” and not a “small chapel” focused on doctrine, orthodoxy and a limited agenda of moral teachings.

“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” the pope told the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, a fellow Jesuit and editor in chief of La Civiltà Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit journal whose content is routinely approved by the Vatican. “The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent. The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.

“We have to find a new balance,” the pope continued, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(I) WSJ on the Pope's Interview–Pope Warns Church about Focusing Too Much on Divisive Issues

Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church’s focus on abortion, contraception and gay marriage risked overshadowing its pastoral mission and threatened to bring down the church “like a house of cards.”

The Pope’s comments, made as part of a blunt, wide-ranging interview with the Italian Jesuit journal Civilta’ Cattolica, didn’t mark a break with church teaching. But they set out a vision of a church that is more welcoming and less preoccupied with strict doctrine.

In doing so, Pope Francis appeared to put more distance between himself and his two predecessors, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, who strongly supported traditional church dogma. Indeed, the interview comes in the wake of grumblings from some bishops that the new pope has failed to issue strong pronouncements on divisive issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Pope Francis, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic