Daily Archives: May 4, 2017

(CEN) Coming soon: a Gafcon bishop for Europe

Admitting that news of a missionary bishop may seem to some ‘a threat to their hopes’ of ‘reform’ within their European provinces they explained that ‘the complexity of the current situation in Europe does not admit of a single solution’.

“We bless those whose context and conscience have led them to remain and contend for the faith within the current structures. If you are successful, you will not need a missionary bishop; if you are not successful, an alternative is at hand,” said the Primates.

Gafcon UK ‘welcomed’ the decision to consecrate a missionary bishop, saying that ‘many faithful clergy and lay people’ in the Church of England, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales feel ‘increasing concern’ about the ‘revisionist trajectory’ of these Churches.

The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Bishop of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said that the news that Gafcon intends to send a missionary bishop to Britain is ‘regrettable’.

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Posted in Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Global South Churches & Primates, Scottish Episcopal Church

(AJ) In Canada, 3 Anglican dioceses have married eight same-sex couples since General Synod 2016

Eight same-sex couples have been married in three Anglican Church of Canada dioceses, ahead of General Synod 2019, when a resolution to allow same-sex marriages will be presented for final approval.

Since General Synod 2016 approved – on first reading – a proposed change in the marriage canon (church law) to allow same-sex marriages, four weddings of same-sex couples have taken place in the diocese of Niagara, three in the diocese of Toronto and one in the diocese of Ottawa, according to the offices of the respective diocesan bishops. Several other same-sex couples in the dioceses of Toronto and Ottawa are also preparing to walk down the aisle.

In the diocese of Montreal, Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson said she is currently going through a discernment process with four same-sex couples considering marriage.

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Posted in --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Canada, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

(Guardian) Archbp Justin Welby: Christians must unite with Jews to halt rise of antisemitism

The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called for bridges to be built between Jewish people and others to prevent antisemitism taking hold. Speaking at Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust, Welby said the museum’s art revealed “the depths of human evil”.

He said: “Within European culture, the root of all racism, I think, is found in antisemitism. It goes back more than 1,000 years in Europe. Within our Christian tradition, there has been century upon century of these terrible, terrible hatreds in which one people … [are] hated more specifically, more violently, more determinedly, more systematically than any other people.”

The Jewish people had advanced science, art, music and had founded economies. “You would have thought we would rise up together in gratitude,” he said. Now, with antisemitism on the rise, he added: “We must dedicate ourselves afresh … to building and maintaining bridges and friendships, understanding, tolerance, unity and peace.”

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Inter-Faith Relations, Israel, Judaism

(NPR) Wearing A Hijab, A Young Muslim Boxer Enters The Ring

In November, young boxer Amaiya Zafar traveled from Minnesota to Florida to fight her first competitive bout.

But before Zafar even had her gloves on, officials called off the fight – they told the 16-year-old she had to remove the hijab she wore or forfeit the match. A devout Muslim, Zafar refused, and her 15-year-old opponent was declared the victor.

USA Boxing, the sport’s national governing body, has dictated that athletes fight in sleeveless jerseys and shorts no longer than the knee. Zafar adds long sleeves, leggings, and a sporty hijab to the uniform.

The organization appears to be shifting its policy, and…[later] it granted Zafar a religious exemption to compete wearing the hijab so she…[could] fight…in Minneapolis.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Islam, Religion & Culture, Sports, Teens / Youth

(CC) Bromleigh McCleneghan on the recent decision of the United Methodist Court about a Bishop Married to her Same-Sex Partner

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Posted in Methodist, Sexuality Debate (Other denominations and faiths)

(1st Things) Peter Hitchens-An Elegy for the Church of England: A Church that Was

So ended a global empire which dispatched fleets of giant gray warships round the world to secure its wealth and which needed to be underpinned by ­serious ideas, nobly phrased and spoken by serious people. A post-imperial country increasingly famous for the Beatles (for heaven’s sake) and the miniskirt did not need such things. Although the deep old sources of our wealth were drying up, we were for a time affluent. No other power could so effectively have dispelled the austere, hollow-cheeked stoicism, the tolerance of bad food in inadequate amounts, the thin sour beer, watered to help the war effort, the national motto of “mustn’t grumble.”

English Protestantism, with its secret enjoyment of the chilly, the grim, and the frugal, was killed in fifteen years by supermarkets and TV commercials, fake Italian restaurants, cheap holidays in Spain. The Church’s loveliest and most accessible service, Evensong, was killed off in many parishes because, in the days before VCRs, worshippers preferred to watch a dramatization of John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga on TV. Thus do great traditions end, and a culture that in living memory still read The Pilgrim’s Progress and readily recognized quotations from Isaiah now watches Sex in the City and thinks Vanity Fair is a magazine. I have learned, in a time of loss where anything good and beloved fights to survive, to mourn such departures but not to imagine that, in this life, what is lost will ever return. It will not. But anyone who is pleased that it is gone for good is a fool.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE)

An Indianapolis Star profile of the new TEC Bishop of Indianapolis

A larger issue facing the new bishop is an existential one — a dwindling membership. The Episcopal Church peaked nationally in the late 1960s but, like other mainline denominations, has been on a 50-year slide. The largest demographic in the church today are those older than 65.

That’s been reflected in Indiana, where there were more than 25,000 Episcopalians in 1980, according to the Association of Religious Data Archives. Today, there are fewer than 15,000. The Diocese of Indianapolis now has more than 9,300 members. It’s a byproduct of an evolving spirituality that is increasingly untethered to the institutional church.

Baskerville-Burrows recognizes that. She notes that many church buildings are situated in locales where the overall population has declined. Still, after her early visits around the diocese, she reports finding vibrancy, and that the church’s message of hope and inclusion is changing lives, which she sees as the best metric. Above all, she says the church is well-equipped to meet a yearning in today’s culture — for belonging.

“We are in a fragmented culture that seems to have no end to fragmentation. It’s easier now to be isolated than it has ever been. Our scriptures tell us … that we are meant for community and for belonging, and so I hear that yearning. That’s why I am hopeful about the future of the church.”

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Posted in Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

(CNS) Belgian brothers to allow euthanasia for nonterminal psych patients

A group of psychiatric care centers run by a Catholic religious order in Belgium has announced it will permit doctors to undertake the euthanasia of “nonterminal” mentally ill patients on its premises.

In a nine-page document, the Brothers of Charity Group stated that it would allow doctors to perform euthanasia in any of its 15 centers, which provide care to more than 5,000 patients a year, subject to carefully stipulated criteria.

Br. Rene Stockman, the superior general, has distanced himself from the decision of the group’s largely lay board of directors, however, and has told Belgian media that the policy was a tragedy.

“We cannot accept that euthanasia is carried out within the walls of our institutions,” said Stockman, a specialist in psychiatric care, in an April 27 interview with De Morgen newspaper in Brussels.

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Posted in Aging / the Elderly, Belgium, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Marriage & Family, Roman Catholic

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Monnica

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Church History, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Christina Rossetti

O God of patience and consolation, grant we beseech thee that with free hearts we may love and serve thee and our brethren; and, having thus the mind of Christ, may begin heaven on earth, and exercise ourselves therein till that day when heaven, where love abideth, shall seem no strange habitation to us; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes”²aret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb”²edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men.” And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

–Luke 5:1-11

Posted in Theology: Scripture