Monthly Archives: June 2007

Micah Challenge Calls On New British Prime Minister to Reduce Poverty

The anti-poverty coalition Micah Challenge has called on Britain’s new prime minister to take a stand to stamp out global poverty.

Former Chancellor Gordon Brown takes over today as 52nd prime minister of the United Kingdom. His predecessor, Tony Blair, recently pledged “complete support” for aims of the Micah Challenge to hold governments accountable for cutting poverty in half by 2015, and leaders of the Micah Challenge are now calling on Brown to do the same.

“Gordon Brown has a great track record for getting the British Government and the international community to honor the promises they have made to the world’s poorest people,” Andy Clasper, executive director of Micah Challenge UK, said in a statement. “Now Micah Challenge is challenging him to keep up the good work and make a positive difference to the world’s poor during his time as prime minister.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture

Senate Blocks Immigration Bill

The Senate drove a stake Thursday through President Bush’s plan to legalize millions of unlawful immigrants, likely postponing major action on immigration until after the 2008 elections.

After the stinging political setback, Bush sounded resigned to defeat.

“Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people, and Congress’ failure to act on it is a disappointment,” he said after an appearance in Newport, R.I. “A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn’t find common ground. It didn’t work.”

The bill’s Senate supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics

Wider Use of Latin Mass Likely, Vatican Officials Say

From the New York Times:

Pope Benedict XVI has signed a document that would allow more churches to adopt the old Latin Mass that largely faded from use during the 1960s, when the groundbreaking Second Vatican Council opened the door to worship in the local vernacular, Vatican officials say.

The revival of what is known as the Tridentine Mass has long been promoted by Roman Catholic traditionalists, who say it is more moving, contemplative and historically authentic than the modern Mass.

But Pope Benedict has been hearing resistance from cardinals and bishops, many of them in Europe, who argue that the change would divide the church by promulgating two very different official rites.

They say that it could create rifts in smaller parishes that cannot agree which Mass to use, and that it would burden already overburdened members of the clergy, many of whom do not know Latin and were never trained to perform the older rite’s more complex choreography.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

An Anglican Essentials Wrap up of the Canadian General Synod

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007

John Oakes on the End of Canadian General Synod

Thus even whilst affirming the blessing of same-sex unions not to be “in conflict with the core doctrine” of the church, in the very narrow sense of being “credal,” Synod effectively left open and committed the church to further study of the more specific and arguably most central theological question, i.e., “whether the blessing of same-sex unions is a faithful, Spirit-led development of Christian doctrine.” At the same time, having declined to “walk apart” from Anglican Communion standards, to use a key term in the Windsor Report, by endorsing such blessings, Synod also requested further exploration of the implications of moving forward with them and/or with same-sex marriage for the Anglican Church of Canada and its relationship with the Communion. Finally, in view of the vote against same-sex blessings, neither Resolution A224 nor C003 affirmed any further pastoral provision for gay and lesbian Anglicans beyond what is already permitted by “the current teaching of the church” (C003) or consistent with previous standards and statements (A224).

Two key questions obviously remained in light of Synod’s passage of such a complex range of resolutions and decisions: 1), whether the Diocese of New Westminster would move from its existing partial moratorium on authorizing same-sex blessings in any further parishes to imposing a full moratorium throughout the diocese; 2), how the wider Anglican Communion would respond to Synod’s deliberations. Both were clearly yet to be resolved at the time of writing. But well-placed commentators saw strong reason to believe that the outcome of General Synod 2007 would not be anything like as unfavourable for the Anglican Church of Canada’s standing in the wider Communion that many had feared and/or prognosticated.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

In LA, Anglican Parishioners pray for church

The weekly noontime Eucharist service at St. James Church drew a crowd three times the usual size on Wednesday, when about 30 parishioners prayed for support and guidance after a court revoked their rights to the church’s Newport Beach property.

“Typically we meet in the side chapel, but more people came today to be together, to meet God, and to receive encouragement and support during this challenging time,” said St. James’ pastor of discipleship Cathie Young, who delivered Wednesday’s sermon.

“My message today was: God has been faithful, God is faithful and God will be faithful ”” an important idea to hold on to in the midst of this disappointment.”

Eric Sohlgren, lead attorney for St. James, said that the church is “seriously considering” appealing the case to the California Supreme Court after Tuesday’s appellate court decision which upheld the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles’ claims to the church’s property.

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

Monterey priest, church must pay $149,500 in defamation case

A Superior Court jury decided a Monterey Episcopal church and priest must pay $149,500 for defaming a parishioner in what was described as church gossip run amok.

Rayn Random, 73, sued the Rev. William Martin and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Monterey for telling other church members she pursued him sexually and that she was really a man with fake breasts.

“I’m so glad it’s over. It’s been a long four and a half years,” Random said after Wednesday’s verdict.

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

Chris Sugden: An Anglican Communion Covenant

The concept of agreeing to disagree fails to do justice to the nature of the commitments and convictions that command our loyalty and obedience and bind us together. What we disagree about is not what has brought us together. We have not come together because we have diverse views on things. Diversity of opinions is not what people have committed themselves to. This is a via negativa ”“ we do not agree on this, we do not agree on that.

The focus of the paper by Colin Slee and his colleagues is on agreement and disagreement. “The Covenant is an attempt to impose agreement where this did not exist before”. “A true family cannot exist without disagreements”. “The Anglican tradition of living with difference”. This is typical of the current approach to religion in a secularist context. It is argued that since there are disagreements on some matters, it follows that there is no standard of truth, no body of authoritative teaching at: all that is left is the expression of various views, agreements and disagreements.

But this is surely too sweeping. Because some matters are contested it does not imply that all are. And if some are, and some are not, a method is needed to establish where the mere existence of dissenting views means there is no body of authoritative. Take, for example, the incarnation of the Son of God, or the Trinity: there may be people, very distinguished people, in the Anglican Communion who at one time or another have expressed deep reservations about some fundamental matters of those doctrines. But those doctrines remain authentic Anglican doctrine, even though some have dissented from them.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Identity, Theology

The Communion Laity and Clergy of Colorado Group Releases a Letter to Bishop O'Neill

We know you have asked the Diocesan Task Force “to find some ways to maintain the essential unity of the body by identifying practical means by which different groups can hold and exercise their convictions with integrity without needing either to act out or to split off completely and to identify some way in which the two polarizing elements of the diocese can continue to work together.” While the goal of the Task Force is noble, we do not see any solution to the dilemma facing either group, short of a miracle. The dilemma is not based on issues of sexuality. Rather, the primary source of our differences is two interpretations of scripture and of the Gospel itself.

CLC stands committed to the primates’ Communiqué and to whatever Primate endorsed alternate national pastoral scheme may be developed””with or without the cooperation of the House of Bishops. Further, we are committed to work cooperatively with you through any practical matters if such a scheme is determined in a manner that reflects a Christian witness.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado

A Winnipeg Free Press Editorial: Anglican sensibilities

The same schools of thought will tussle again over the same and related questions in preparation for next year’s Lambeth Conference, to which all the bishops of the church are invited. Liberal Anglicans can be pleased that the great majority of lay and clerical synod delegates supported their views, blocked only by bishops on one point. Conservatives can be pleased that the Canadian church kept its practice more or less in line with that of the worldwide church. Since both sides have reasons for encouragement, mass defections seem unlikely.

The Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of Anglicanism, has suffered mass defections because conservative parishes, finding no acceptance of their views at the top levels of the church, have withdrawn from the national church and put themselves under the authority of conservative bishops from Uganda and Nigeria. The factional struggles within the Canadian church have so far come nowhere near the level of rage seen in the Episcopal church.
Time may be on the side of the liberals in the Canadian church. The bishops, by a small majority, clung to the orthodox policy which the clergy and laity were willing to change. Bishops are, however, drawn from the ranks of clergy and they may not forever resist the pressure for change coming from below. Their duties make them more sensitive to the worldwide church, but they have not yet shown the Anglican rank and file why African prelates deserve more consideration than Canadian reformers.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Lambeth 2008, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

An Ephraim Radner Sermon–Who Do You Say: Commitments In The Church

But we are asked to go further. “You are the Christ”, Peter says in Matthew, yes; but the Christ who is the “Son of the living God” (Mt. 16:16). We must choose Jesus, who is promised in Scripture and described and yearned after in Scripture, as the very Son of God ”“ as the very the power of the living God’s life embodied. Which is why we must choose the “Body of Christ” itself as our own life. The body, that is, “which is the church”, “the fullness of him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22f.). We must choose the Body, this Body, as being Jesus himself, and as Jesus himself chooses it: “For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body” and so “gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:29f., 25).

Such a choice for the Body of Christ ”“ for you are the Son of the living God! ”“ cuts against many grains. There are those in our churches ready to give up on the Communion, or on this or that part of the Communion, or this or that part of a diocese or parish. They come from the left and the right of the spectrum. They will not subject themselves to the Body’s needs or demands or burdens. But that, my friends, is not a choice for Christ Jesus, “King Jesus”, Jesus the living God in the flesh. For in choosing Jesus as the Christ, we choose to give ourselves to the church. Hence I do not leave. I too must join myself to the Centurion, who explains his faith to Jesus by sahing, “For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Lk. 7:8f.). So I must subject myself to the Body of Jesus, here, where I am. That is the second thing I would say about our church’s future: unless we subject ourselves to the whole Church, and the church at hand, we have no blessing. How we do this in particular instances is a challenge. But it is the criterion of our decisions, make no mistake about it.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Identity, Christology, Ecclesiology, Theology

A trend toward 'encore careers' in later life

If Marc Freedman is right, the American workplace will soon undergo its largest transformation since the women’s movement. The agents of this change? The many baby boomers who plan to delay their retirement for an “encore career.”

Mr. Freedman, a social entrepreneur and CEO of Civic Ventures, a think tank, sees a new stage of life beginning where midlife careers end. As legions of older workers seek new challenges ”“ or continue their current work ”“ this burgeoning movement will give them a combination of continued income, greater impact, and added purpose.

Purpose is a word that figures prominently in Freedman’s vocabulary. He has even established a major award by that name, the Purpose Prize ”“ a three-year, $9 million program honoring social innovators over the age of 60 who are working to solve critical social problems. These range from global warming to infant mortality, from hunger to high dropout rates for Hispanic students.

This week Freedman announced the 15 finalists in his second annual Purpose Prize. The five top winners, to be announced in September, will each receive $100,000; the others $10,000 each. In addition to reshaping their own lives, the recipients are having positive effects on their communities.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch

Pew Survey: Discontent with Global Leaders Grows

Although anti-Americanism is still extensive, the image of other world powers is falling as well, a new global opinion survey finds.

“There’s not much comfort with the global powers-that-be,” Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, tells Robert Siegel.

Each year since 2002, Pew Research Center has conducted worldwide polling to gauge attitudes about the United States, other countries and issues of global concern. The results of the 2007 Pew Global Attitudes survey are based on 45,000 in-depth interviews conducted in 47 countries.

In the current survey, favorable ratings of America are lower in 26 of 33 countries for which trends are available. The image of China, too, is slipping among most advanced nations, while the survey found a mixed review of Russia.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Globalization

Immigration Measure in Doubt Over Senate Defections

The fate of U.S. immigration legislation was cast into doubt when at least six senators who helped revive the proposed overhaul said they either oppose or are leaning against a move to permit a vote on final passage.

The measure is in more jeopardy “than I thought a few hours ago,” said Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat.

The supporters’ strategy of disposing of amendments that threatened the legislation’s bipartisan support hit a procedural snag late in the day, adding to the uncertainty. The Senate refused to set aside an amendment by Montana Democrats Max Baucus and Jon Tester that would dilute requirements employers verify the identity of new workers.

Under Senate rules, Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, now can’t move to consider other provisions without getting the consent of all 100 senators.

“I think this hurts” the measure, said Texas Republican John Cornyn, an opponent.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics

Communique from the House of Bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda

In response to the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Honourable Rowan Williams, inviting the bishops to the Lambeth Conference 2008, the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, who met in Kigali on 19 June 2007, resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference for the following reasons:

1. Our Primates represent the bishops, clergy and laity from their Provinces. Therefore what they decide as representatives cannot be taken lightly when it engages the faith of the churches they represent. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 have been issued in complete disregard of our conscientious commitment to the apostolic faith once delivered.

2. The manner in which the invitations to the bishops of Rwanda were issued is divisive as some of our bishops were not invited. The bishops that provide oversight to the Anglican Mission (AMiA) are not “Anglican Mission bishops,” but rather bishops of the Province of Rwanda given the responsibility to lead Rwanda’s missionary outreach to North America. We are a united body and will not participate in a conference which would divide our number.
3. The invitations to Lambeth 2008 not only contravene the Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 but also the positions taken in the communiqués that have been agreed upon in previous Primates’ meetings and in the “Road To Lambeth” document prepared for and accepted by the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) bishops.

The following are issues of great concern:

1. This Lambeth 1998 Resolution has not been respected by the Episcopal Church of America (TEC), the Anglican Church of Canada, and other like-minded Provinces, which are now violating the resolution as well as holy orders by making the decision to ordain and to consecrate practicing homosexuals.
2. The leadership of Canterbury has ignored and constantly taken lightly the resolutions from the Primates’ meetings and the statement in the “Road to Lambeth” document prepared for, and accepted by, CAPA which agreed that the crisis of faith in the Anglican Communion needed to be resolved before Lambeth 2008.
3. From his actions and decision to invite TEC, a province which is violating holy orders, biblical teaching and the tradition of the church, and his decision not to invite the bishops of AMiA and CANA, the Archbishop of Canterbury has shown that he has now taken sides because the Primates have asked TEC for repentance in order to be in communion with them. In several meetings and in its response to “The Road to Lambeth”, TEC has continually rebelled against the position and counsel of the Primates.
4. In a letter sent to Archbishop Emmanuel Kolini on 18 June 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote, “You should know that I have not invited the bishops of AMiA and CANA. This is not a question of asking anyone to disassociate themselves at this stage from what have been described as the missionary initiatives of your Provinces”¦. I appreciate that you may not be happy with these decisions, but I feel that as we approach a critical juncture of the life of the Communion, I must act in accordance to the clear guidance of the instruments of the Communion”¦.” We would like to know if there are instruments in the Communion more important than the Primates and Provinces themselves. The Archbishop of Canterbury also refers to the consecration of the AMiA and CANA bishops as irregular. We would like to know why their consecrations are considered irregular when the actions of TEC are not considered irregular. We feel that the words of the Archbishop are tantamount to a threat, and we cannot accept this.

Therefore, in view of the above, in good conscience, the bishops of the Province of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda have resolved not to attend the Lambeth Conference 2008 unless the previously stipulated requirement of repentance on the part of the TEC and other like-minded Provinces is met, and invitations are extended to our entire House of Bishops.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Statements & Letters: Primates, Lambeth 2008

Two Articles on the Aftermath of Canadian General Synod in the Diocese of New Westminster

One, entitled “Bishop says diocese will study General Synod decisions” begins thus:

Leaders of the Diocese of New Westminster will have to study this week’s resolutions of the General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada, and determine what the implications are for the diocese, Bishop Michael Ingham said Monday (June 25).

On Sunday the General Synod, which includes all the Canadian Church’s bishops and about 250 clergy and lay delegates from 30 dioceses, failed to agree with a resolution that would have had the General Synod “affirm” the authority and jurisdiction of diocesan synods and bishops to authorize the blessing of committed same sex unions.

The vote was extremely close, with the clergy and laity approving the motion, but the Church’s 40 bishops turning it down by 2 votes – 21 to 19.

However earlier in the Synod, a motion passed which resolved that the blessing of same-sex unions is “not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being creedal) of the Anglican Church of Canada.”

Some theologians and Canon lawyers at the Synod suggested that the effect of the two resolutions would not mean the diocese’s current practice has to stop.

Read it all.

The second, entitled “New Westminster Anglicans to continue blessing gay unions,” starst this way:

Canada’s first Anglican diocese to bless gay unions has withdrawn its request to be exempt from the national church’s rules forbidding priests from performing same-sex ceremonies.

For the time being, however, it’s “status quo,” bishop Michael Ingham said Monday of the situation for B.C.’s New Westminster diocese.

Anglican churches in the diocese will keep sanctifying civil unions for same-gender couples in committed relationships. But “I have to go back to Vancouver and think about what it means to the diocese,” Ingham said, adding he would listen to church community members and then make a statement “in a few weeks.”

In a move that surprised church delegates heading into the general synod on Monday, Ingham backed off from asking the national church to allow the New Westminster diocese to let its priests continue blessing same-sex unions.

Read it also.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Barbara R. Bergmann Reviews 3 recent Book on Marriage

From the Times Literary Supplement:

Marriage has served a crucial function in human society: it has been the means by which the male half of the species has been hooked into providing substantial amounts of goods and services to the offspring they engender, a duty from which their close relatives, the male chimps and gorillas, have been exempt. Human males have been burdened with this duty as a result of human cleverness. As we started wearing clothing, building shelters, using difficult-to-manufacture tools, herding animals, and moving into colder climates, human children needed more than they could get from just their mothers. The institution of marriage responded to this need with a pledge by a man to make contributions on a long-term basis to a woman and her children. In return he got her domestic services, plus a promise of exclusive sexual access, which gave him assurance that he had sired her children.

There has always been more to marriage than material provision to offspring. There’s nurturance, companionship, stability, passing down of property, family alliances, home cooking. And, of course, there’s love. Ay, there’s the rub ”“ love is notoriously changeable. The increased freedom in the modern world to follow one’s heart wherever it leads has led some to an avoidance of new commitments and many to exits from previous ones.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

Blog quiz answers

Here are the answers to the T19 trivia quiz we posted this morning about the blog stats for the first month (and a few days) since we launched the new blog on May 22.

New blog: During the first 36 days

–648 entries. (about 18 per day)
–7400 comments (about 11 per post, or 205 per day)

The old CaNNet version of the blog first 36 days: (Jan / Feb 2004 — note this was the second edition of Titusonenine. Kendall began blogging in March 2003 on Blogspot)

— 328 posts (9 per day)
— 2108 comments (6 per post, or 58 per day)

So, the new blog stats are about double that of the old CaNNet version of the blog at its launch.

Old blog: most comments in first month =76
Ann Van Dervoort: ALL WILL BE WELL after General Convention

New blog: most comments in first month = 138
A Seattle Episcopal Priest says: “I am both Muslim and Christian”

And there you have it. It’s good to see the new blog off to a good start. Thanks to all who have helped to get it running (esp. Greg), and offered feedback and encouragement, and to all who participate in the discussions here.

Posted in * Admin

Jewish leaders dropped from faith lobby in UK

From the London Times:

Jews and Unitarians are to be excluded from the main body set up to lobby the Government on behalf of Britain’s religious communities, The Times has learned.

The Chief Rabbi’s United Synagogue, the country’s leading Orthodox Jewish body, and the Unitarians, spiritual home to Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the world wide web, are to be excluded from membership in a proposal to be debated at a meeting this afternoon.

The Churches Main Committee, which lobbies the Government on legislation in all areas except faith and education, is also to exclude the Christian Scientists and the Seventh Day Adventists in a reform of its structure proposed in a review chaired by Tory MP Peter Bottomley.

Steve Dick, Unitarian chief executive, said: “We are deeply disappointed. It seems to be a very retrograde step. This is surely not the way for religions to address the 21st century. It speaks almost of a desperation, which seems sadly to be reflected in some of the other aspects of what is happening with our Anglican brothers and sisters, where they are tearing themselves apart over sexuality.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Religion & Culture

James Halteman reviews Arthur C. Brooks Book Who Really Cares

This is a provocative book on charitable giving in the United States and a variety of other countries. Approximately 75 percent of U.S. households make charitable contributions each year. They give away 3.5 percent of their $51,500 average annual income, with one-third of the giving going to religious causes. But there is much hidden behind these averages.

Arthur Brooks’s findings, some of which are counterintuitive, are based on extensive statistics. Brooks, professor of public administration at Syracuse University, is surprised by the findings and appears to have altered his political perspective from liberal to conservative as a result of his explorations. There is much to be gleaned from this book, but some cautions are in order.

His thesis is that acts of charity are fostered primarily by conservative political and religious commitments and cultivated within a strong family context, and that such acts result in happiness, good health and more income for the giver. People who are skeptical about the government redistributing income also tend to give more. In contrast, the people who give and volunteer the least are more likely to be secular liberals from less stable families who support government redistribution programs. However, Brooks makes it clear that there are many exceptions to these tendencies.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

Province 3 President: Pittsburgh Diocese May Not Opt Out

A decision to leave the Province 3 regional ministry jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church cannot be made unilaterally, according to the Rt. Rev. Robert Ihloff, retired Bishop of Maryland and president of Province 3. Bishop Ihloff wrote all ordained clergy canonically resident in the Diocese of Pittsburgh on June 22.

“We need you,” he wrote. “We need your voices, insights, your convictions, and your Christian fellowship. If the officers or ministry coordinators of Province 3 can assist you, answer questions, or simply be in dialogue with you, we welcome that opportunity. Meanwhile we remain in contact with a number of leaders in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and remember you all daily in prayer.”

Last November delegates to Pittsburgh’s diocesan convention voted to withdraw from active life in Province 3 ministry. Article VII of the constitution states that “no diocese shall be included in a province without its own consent.” But the Rev. Barbara J. Seras, province coordinator, said the provincial leadership has received a definitive ruling from David Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop’s chancellor, that General Convention must approve any changes in provincial membership.

In one of the few business items during the annual provincial synod in Martinsburg, W.Va., on May 22, delegates debated, without coming to any conclusions, how to respond to the withdrawal from the province by Pittsburgh’s leadership.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Polity & Canons

Toronto Star: Canadian gay marriage vote blow to U.S. Anglicans

Canadian Anglicans further isolated the U.S. wing of the church with their narrow weekend vote against allowing church blessing of same-sex unions.

But those within the U.S. branch of Anglicanism ”“ known here as the Episcopal Church ”“ pointed to the slim margin of the Canadian vote as a sign that the two churches are not that far apart.

“Naturally I’m disappointed,” said Rev. Susan Russell, the California-based president of the U.S. branch of Integrity, which advocates on behalf of gays and lesbians in the Episcopal Church.

“The fallout will not only be for the faithful gays and lesbians in the United States, but all ministries of the church because it will only further drag out this issue to the detriment of larger questions which should be dealt with.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Canadian General Synod 2007, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

White House, Cheney's Office, Subpoenaed

The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House and Vice President Dick Cheney’s office Wednesday for documents relating to President Bush’s warrant-free eavesdropping program.
Also named in subpoenas signed by committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D- Vt., were the Justice Department and the National Security Council.

The committee wants documents that might shed light on internal squabbles within the administration over the legality of the program, said a congressional official speaking on condition of anonymity because the subpoenas had not been made public.

Leahy’s committee authorized the subpoenas previously as part of its sweeping investigation into how much influence the White House exerts over the Justice Department and its chief, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics

Young Americans Are Leaning Left, New Poll Finds

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

The poll offers a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have always been as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shifting interests have been frustrating. It found that substantially more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.

They have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party. And although they are just as worried as the general population about the outlook for the country and think their generation is likely to be worse off than that of their parents, they retain a belief that their votes can make a difference, the poll found.

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 ”” 54 percent ”” say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.

Among this age group, Mr. Bush’s job approval rating after the attacks of Sept. 11 was more than 80 percent. Over the course of the next three years, it drifted downward leading into the presidential election of 2004, when 4 of 10 young Americans said they approved how Mr. Bush was handling his job.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Teens / Youth

George Will: Marriage and Speech in the State of California These Days

Marriage is the foundation of the natural family and sustains family values. That sentence is inflammatory, perhaps even a hate crime.

At least it is in Oakland, Calif. That city’s government says those words italicized here constitute something akin to hate speech, and can be proscribed from the government’s open e-mail system and employee bulletin board.

When the McCain-Feingold law empowered government to regulate the quantity, content and timing of political campaign speech about government, it was predictable that the right of free speech would increasingly be sacrificed to various social objectives that free speech supposedly impedes. And it was predictable that speech suppression would become an instrument of cultural combat, used to settle ideological scores and advance political agendas by silencing adversaries.

That has happened in Oakland. And, predictably, the ineffable 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ratified this abridgement of First Amendment protections. Fortunately, overturning the 9th Circuit is steady work for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture

Church of Uganda welcomes Bishop Andy Fairfield to its House of Bishops

(Church of Uganda News)

At the request of the Rt. Rev. Andrew (Andy) H. Fairfield, retired Bishop of North Dakota, the House of Bishops of the Church of Uganda voted to receive Bishop Fairfield as a member of its House at its 21st June meeting. Bishop Fairfield will assist Bishop-elect John Guernsey in providing episcopal care and oversight to the 26 congregations in America that are part of the Church of Uganda .

Bishop Fairfield has written to The Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, and resigned from their House of Bishops.

In considering his new role as a Bishop in the Church of Uganda , Fairfield said, “Now, although I am ”˜retired’ (from a jurisdictional and financial point of view), I seek further Christian service, especially in the process of this transition in Anglican orthodoxy.”

The Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, Archbishop of the Church of Uganda , said, “It is an honour for us to receive into our House of Bishops such a man of God. At the 1998 Lambeth Conference, he proposed the resolution on The Authority of Scripture, which we passed. We believe he will be a great support to Bishop-elect John Guernsey and all the congregations in America that are under our care.”

Bishop Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, said, “Bishop Fairfield is one of the most respected Bishops in the entire American Church, and has served the Network very well as our ordinations suffragan. I know his work has been especially valuable to congregations in our International Conference. I am delighted to know that he has found a new ecclesiastical home in the Church of Uganda , a Province which has declared a state of broken communion with The Episcopal Church’s majority, but embraces full communion with all in the Anglican Communion Network. We look forward to many years of continued fruitful ministry together.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

USA Today: Doctors often shift focus from patients to themselves

Internist Howard Beckman used to try to inspire older patients by talking about his active mother, who, in her late 80s, walked two miles a day. “It worked great until she wasn’t doing so well,” says Beckman, whose mother is now 94. By then, people got used to asking, ‘How’s your mother?’ I’d have to say, ‘Well, she’s struggling.’ ”
Patients began worrying about his mother, and they wondered how good a doctor he was if he couldn’t even keep his own mother healthy.

Beckman had thought that talking about himself and his family strengthened his connection with patients, but he came to realize it wasn’t such a good thing. “It created a complex set of issues, totally unnecessary in caring for these people.”

Beckman has more proof. He’s a co-author of a study published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine titled “Physician Self-disclosure in Primary Care Visits,” or “Enough About You, What About Me?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine

Religion under wraps

From the Chicago Tribune:

On a shelf in the office of Chicago White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen, mixed in among the family photos, the Roberto Clemente bobblehead and the Napoleon Dynamite figurine, are four small but intimidating religious icons.

“If you see my saints, you’ll be like ‘Golly, they’re ugly,’ ” Guillen had said before inviting a visitor to come in. “They’ve got blood. They’ve got feathers. You go to the Catholic church, the [saints] have got real nice clothes.

“My religion, you see a lot of different things you never see.”

Guillen’s religion is Santeria, a largely misunderstood Afro-Cuba spiritual tradition that incorporates the worship of orisha ”” multidimensional beings who represent the forces of nature ”” with beliefs of the Yoruba and Bantu people of Africa and elements of Roman Catholicism. And Guillen, born in Venezuela, is one of a growing number of Latin American players, managers and coaches who are followers of the faith.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

The Full Text of the Court Ruling in the Diocese of Los Angeles Property Lawsuit

The 77 page pdf file is here (For those who prefer it, the Microsoft Word version there).

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

Diocese of Los Angeles Press Release on the Court Ruling

“This has been a long ordeal for the Diocese and its faithful members, but we now have clear judicial recognition that parish property is dedicated forever for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church,” said the bishop. “While individuals are always free to leave the Episcopal Church and worship however they please, they do not have the right to take parish property with them. We welcome with open arms all persons who desire to be part of the Episcopal ministry, including those persons who chose to leave the Church in 2004.”

John R. Shiner, Chancellor for the Diocese and its attorney in the litigation, called the ruling a “decisive decision” for the Episcopal Church. Shiner, a partner of Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP, noted, “Yesterday’s decision contains the most thorough analysis yet of church property law in California, and should dispel any notion that local congregations of a hierarchical church may leave the larger church and take property with them.”

Read it all.

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