Daily Archives: September 1, 2017
Among Catholic priests, one of the most outspoken critics of the church’s message with regard to sexuality is Father James Martin, an American Jesuit. In his book “Building a Bridge,” published earlier this year, he repeats the common criticism that Catholics have been harshly critical of homosexuality while neglecting the importance of sexual integrity among all of its followers.
Father Martin is correct to argue that there should not be any double standard with regard to the virtue of chastity, which, challenging as it may be, is part of the good news of Jesus Christ for all Christians. For the unmarried—no matter their attractions—faithful chastity requires abstention from sex.
This might seem a high standard, especially today. Yet it would be contrary to the wisdom and goodness of Christ to require something that cannot be achieved. Jesus calls us to this virtue because he has made our hearts for purity, just as he has made our minds for truth. With God’s grace and our perseverance, chastity is not only possible, but it will also become the source for true freedom.
We do not need to look far to see the sad consequences of the rejection of God’s plan for human intimacy and love. The sexual liberation the world promotes does not deliver its promise. Rather, promiscuity is the cause of so much needless suffering, of broken hearts, of loneliness, and of treatment of others as means for sexual gratification. As a mother, the church seeks to protect her children from the harm of sin, as an expression of her pastoral charity.
Cormac was a good friend to Anglicans at home and internationally. As the Catholic co-chair of the second phase of the Anglican – Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC II) he lent both his customary good humour and his theological acumen to the production of some of the most influential of ecumenical agreed texts of the twentieth century. At a time when others bemoaned the lack of instant progress in ecumenical relations, Cormac saw the work of ARCIC as an investment and a building block for future closer relations. At home he was notable for his support for interchurch families and, whilst he was Rector of the Venerable English College in Rome, for the support and encouragement of a scheme that is still going giving Church of England ordinands the opportunity to study in Rome. He cared for Anglican leaders he knew, encouraged and supported them, drawing them into the fellowship of Christ.
— Catholic Church (@catholicEW) September 1, 2017
(Christian Today) Christians in North Korea face ‘systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations’, says US state department
A damning report by the US state department has condemned North Korea’s record on religious freedom, accusing the country of ‘systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations’.
Religious believers in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea face ‘executions, torture, beatings, and arrests’ at the hand of the state, according to the 2016 International Religious Freedom Report.
Kenya’s supreme court on Friday annulled the country’s presidential election results and called for a new poll to be held within 60 days, a surprise ruling that plunged one of Africa’s top economies into a new period of uncertainty.
The bench ruled in favor of the petition filed by opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who claimed the electoral commission’s IT system had been hacked to manipulate the results. Kenya’s election commission had declared incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta the winner of the poll, which was held peacefully and lauded by international observers.
The court judgment, which said the Aug. 8 election contained irregularities and wasn’t conducted in accordance with the constitution, marks the first presidential election to be annulled in Kenya’s history.
O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, who didst choose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be thy servant, and didst send him to be a missionary to his own people and to execute the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to thee and to the neighbors thou hast given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
The churchiness was largely post-Evangelical; the politics firmly left-of-centre. The Mail columnist Peter Oborne had a respectful audience for his knowledgeable talk on the Middle East; less so later on, when he attempted to defend the Mail in the company of the activist Jack Monroe, who was libelled by one of its columnists, Katie Hopkins. Monroe had been greeted with cheers when, earlier in the day, she had been asked how to end poverty. “Stop voting Tory, for Chrissakes.”
She was talked about in the food queues (the best measure of success at the festival); and so was Charles Handy, the 90-year-old economist; the Revd John Bell, who spoke about his sexuality for the first time; the rich Muslim programme of music and worship in its dedicated tent; the Revd Kate Bottley’s illustrated talk on body image, again in a dedicated tent, this time for women; performances by the singer Kate Rusby and the singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner — and also a quartet from St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Others mentioned were Baroness Warsi, Harry Baker and Chris Read, Cole Moreton, Lee Bains III, Natalie Bennett, and Sarah Corbett.
The chief topic of conversation, though, was the main Sunday eucharist, where the festival’s inclusivity was brought into the heart of the service. As well as signers from the charity Livability, and prayers from the L’Arche community, there was a reading via live audio link by Tanya Marlow, an ME sufferer, lying in her bed in Plymouth.
A Summary of recent posts on the August 2 South Carolina Supreme Court Decision involving “five different, strongly-held opinions”
— ABC Religion&Ethics (@ABCReligion) August 30, 2017
Careful blog readers should make sure there have read and understood them all. I have been asked why I have not linked to secular media reports or other stories, and the answer is I would be happy to if they were accurate but they have not been–KSH.
O God, our loving Father, we pray Thee to keep us ever close to Thyself, that we may find in Thy love our strength and our peace.
–Frederick B. Macnutt, The prayer manual for private devotions or public use on divers occasions: Compiled from all sources ancient, medieval, and modern (A.R. Mowbray, 1951)
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) September 1, 2017
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved….Thou dost show me the path of life; in thy presence there is fulness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore