Daily Archives: August 30, 2007

Nerve gas discovered at UN; evacuation underway–ABC News

Posted in Uncategorized

Pictures from Kenya

Stand Firm has identified many of the bishops in the picture below here. If you know some of those not yet identified, please leave a comment over at StandFirm. Also, someone who was present at the service in Kenya has left a comment at SF identifying the participating Primates. Here’s the link.
Thanks to USA Today, we have this nice picture of the consecration today in Nairobi of Bill Atwood and Bill Murdoch:

The story accompanying the photo is here.

UPDATE 2: Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV has a large collection of photos online here. This one below is my favorite. NICE WORK KEVIN!

Other pictures include these two from AFP:

BBC: Photo, Story

TurkishPress.Com — Photo, Story

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Visitors to Confess 'Eco-Sins' to Priest at Greenpeace Fair in England

Visitors to East Anglia’s annual Greenpeace fair in England on Sunday will be able to confess their sins against the environment to a [Roman] Catholic priest.

But the Rev. Antony Sutch, who will be hearing people’s eco-confessions, said it would be a question of secular rather than sacramental confession.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Religion & Culture

FYI: Anglican TV will be Streaming Kenyan Consecrations at 1 p.m. Eastern

As many of our readers know, Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV is in Africa to record the consecrations of Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood in Kenya (today) and John Guernsey in Uganda (Sunday Sept. 2).

His one-hour long broadcast (of a portion of the 4 hour service) from Nairobi today will begin at 1 p.m. Eastern. You’ll find it at Anglican TV.

If you appreciate Kevin’s service in filming these events, please consider donating to help Kevin’s internet costs.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Resources & Links, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Resources: Audio-Visual

French Government Report Says No to Homosexual “Marriage”

The Information Mission, as the commission was called, was to propose any change to the law and to administrative practices that were necessary to better protect the rights of the child and to reflect changes in the French family. The commission’s report, the Parliamentary Report on the Family and the Rights of Children, released January 27, 2006 did acknowledge that the French family has altered significantly, becoming “more diverse and less institutionalized”, but recommended nonetheless that in the best interests of children homosexual ”˜marriage’ should remain prohibited.

The Information Mission made every effort to hear all views on the subject. It organized 14 round tables and heard 130 people from the diversity of French society. It travelled to Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada to assess the reforms that have been undertaken in other countries.

The report sets out 100 proposals that require amendments to existing statutory or regulatory provisions.

The Mission considered demands for marriage to be made available to same-sex couples, and was of the view that it “is not possible to think about marriage separately from filiation: the two questions are closely connected, in that marriage is organized around the child.” Said the report: “ Marriage is not merely the contractual recognition of the love between a couple; it is a framework that imposes rights and duties, and that is designed to provide for the care and harmonious development of the child. Foreign examples demonstrate this: countries that have made marriage available to same-sex couples have all, simultaneously or subsequently, authorized adoption by those couples and developed systems for assisted procreation or surrogate gestation, to enable those couples to have children.”

The report stated: “It would in fact be incoherent, if couples were regarded as equal, to remove the prohibition on marriage and preserve it for filiation.”

Read it all..

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Europe, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

BBC: US Anglicans consecrated in Kenya

The BBC has the story about today’s consecrations of Bill Murdoch and Bill Atwood as one of the lead stories on its world news page. Since it’s just a short story, we include it here in full.

Kenya’s Anglican Church has consecrated two US bishops in a move likely to deepen a bitter row over homosexuality.

Bill Murdoch, of Massachusetts, and Bill Atwood, of Texas, will be answerable to the Kenyan Church, although they will serve in the US.

They left the US branch of the Anglican Church – the Episcopal Church – after it consecrated an openly gay bishop.

There are growing tensions within the Anglican denomination around the world, mainly over the issue of homosexuality.

Strong opposition

The two Americans were consecrated at a service at All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi by Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi. The ceremony was expected to be watched by a huge congregation of Kenyans, by archbishops and bishops from across Africa, and by the men’s friends and supporters from the US.

Archbishop Nzimbi said the consecration was not intended to widen the gulf in the church, but was a Christian response to a plea for help and pastoral care from Anglicans in the United States.

Gay people, he said, did not have a place as leaders in the Anglican communion. “We need to love them, we need to preach to them, but not to make them lay readers, pastors, bishops,” he said.

African authority

Last year two US churches, unhappy with the Episcopal Church’s stance on homosexuality, voted to place themselves under the authority of the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria.

The Anglican Church in Africa is conservative and deeply opposed to the ordination of gay priests.

In February, Anglican bishops meeting in Tanzania issued an ultimatum to the American church, demanding an end to the appointment of gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex couples. US bishops have until 30 September to respond.

Meanwhile, the Episcopal diocese of Chicago on Tuesday included a lesbian priest among five nominees for bishop.

The link is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

AP: Anger, Sadness Mark Katrina Anniversary

On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, anger over the stalled rebuilding was palpable Wednesday throughout the city where the mourning for the dead and feeling of loss doesn’t seem to subside.

Hurricane Katrina made landfall south of New Orleans at 6:10 a.m. Aug. 29, 2005, as a strong Category 3 hurricane that flooded 80 percent of the city and killed more than 1,600 people in Louisiana and Mississippi. It was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States.

New Orleans churches staged memorial services, including one at the historic St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, and ring bells in honor of the victims. People throughout the city will hold their own private ceremonies to remember where they were when Katrina hit, and what they lost.

“We ring the bells today for the 17, 1,800 people who have gone on to a better place,” Mayor Ray Nagin said after large bell tolled a dozen times and a crowd wordlessly sounded handheld bells for more than a minute. “We ring the bells for a city that is in recovery, that is struggling, that is performing miracles on a daily basis.”

Read it all.

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Michael Jonas: The downside of diversity

IT HAS BECOME increasingly popular to speak of racial and ethnic diversity as a civic strength. From multicultural festivals to pronouncements from political leaders, the message is the same: our differences make us stronger.

But a massive new study, based on detailed interviews of nearly 30,000 people across America, has concluded just the opposite. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam — famous for “Bowling Alone,” his 2000 book on declining civic engagement — has found that the greater the diversity in a community, the fewer people vote and the less they volunteer, the less they give to charity and work on community projects. In the most diverse communities, neighbors trust one another about half as much as they do in the most homogenous settings. The study, the largest ever on civic engagement in America, found that virtually all measures of civic health are lower in more diverse settings.

“The extent of the effect is shocking,” says Scott Page, a University of Michigan political scientist.

The study comes at a time when the future of the American melting pot is the focus of intense political debate, from immigration to race-based admissions to schools, and it poses challenges to advocates on all sides of the issues. The study is already being cited by some conservatives as proof of the harm large-scale immigration causes to the nation’s social fabric. But with demographic trends already pushing the nation inexorably toward greater diversity, the real question may yet lie ahead: how to handle the unsettling social changes that Putnam’s research predicts.

“We can’t ignore the findings,” says Ali Noorani, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “The big question we have to ask ourselves is, what do we do about it; what are the next steps?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics

Damian Thompson–An act of liturgical vandalism

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Roman Catholic

AP: U.S. priests getting ordained in Kenya say American Episcopal Church has lost its way

“The church is now trying to bless what God always said in the Scripture he wants to redeem,” [Bill] Atwood said.

After Thursday’s ceremony, Atwood and Murdoch will return home to minister to their congregations with Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi as their spiritual adviser. Because they are no longer affiliated with the Episcopal Church, the men will have to find new church buildings and funding in the United States. Several U.S. churches whose priests have switched to a foreign diocese are embroiled in lawsuits over church property.

Nzimbi said 30 U.S. congregations have asked to become part of African dioceses in the last four years. Six other U.S. priests have been consecrated as bishops in the Rwandan church and one has also been consecrated in Nigeria. Another American priest is scheduled to be consecrated in Uganda on Sunday.

After Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola set up the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in 2005, some U.S. liberals accused African archbishops of breaching protocol by trying to create rival churches on their territory. Akinola administers his convocation from Nigeria.

The day before his consecration in Kenya, Murdoch said: “When American or British missionaries come to Africa currently it’s missionary work, but when Africans come to the United States or Great Britain, it’s boundary crossing,” he said. “We ought to be clear that this is about the mission of the gospel.”

Read it all.

Update: A (London) Times article is here which includes the following:

Today’s service will be conducted by the Archbishop of Kenya. It will be attended by ten primates ”“ or their representatives ”“ from the Global South coalition of conservative bishops.They were at pains to emphasise that the consecration of American bishops in Africa was a temporary measure.

Archbishop Greg Venables, of the Southern Cone, said: “The major struggle we are going through is how to resolve a conflict of this nature, where there is a group of people who want to go in a new direction while the rest of the Church is resisting that.”


Another update: A Reuters article is there in which we find this:

The two clerics to be consecrated on Thursday — William Atwood and William Murdoch — are among a growing number of conservative U.S. Anglicans pledging alliance to traditional African bishops who take a tough line against homosexuality.

The U.S. Church has accused Africans of invading their territory by consecrating Americans. But conservative Africans say they only want to provide refuge for orthodox believers who are at odds with liberal views.

“This is a missionary action brought to this point by four years of frustration,” Murdoch told the news conference.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts

Theo Hobson Speaks with John D. Zizioulas

If you ask a British theologian to name a living Orthodox thinker, he or she is highly likely to name John D. Zizioulas – and indeed to have read his book of 1985, Being as Communion. This is partly because Zizioulas has spent most of his academic career in this country, and partly because his thought is so in tune with the dominant currents of Anglican and Catholic theology. He has now published another book, called Communion and Otherness, which Rowan Williams calls “a great book”, and “a comprehensive model for the whole of Christian theology”.

Zizioulas is Greek Orthodox and Metropolitan of Pergamon, which is in Turkey. When Turkey’s Greek Orthodox population was expelled in the 1920s, it became a sort of ghost see, and remains so: he is only permitted to officiate in Pergamon’s ruined church very occasionally. This may in part explain the rather forlorn look of the man, whom I meet at the London office of his publisher. Sitting in a boardroom overlooking Waterloo station, this gentle elderly man is a black-cassocked fish out of water. His gold-chained pendant cross is concealed, as if to display it in such a setting would be inappropriate. I have been told that he is shy of nosy questioners, and it is immediately apparent: he greets me warmly but warily.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Theology

Lambeth Palace Library catalogue joins online research tool

The printed book collection of Lambeth Palace Library – the historic library and record office of the Archbishops of Canterbury, and one of the oldest public libraries in the country ”“ has made its debut on an online catalogue to improve access to its holdings for researchers across the globe. The move means that readers can now access a list of Lambeth Palace Library’s books alongside those of many British Universities – including Oxford and Cambridge – plus other major collections such as the British Library, Science Museum Library and the V&A National Art Library.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal

David Trimble assesses potential strategies behind Bishop Stacy Sauls' memo

Blogger David Trimble has an excellent follow-up to the Sauls’ memo on non-ECUSA churches which Greg Griffith posted on Stand Firm yesterday:

Bishop Sauls’ memo begins:


Re: Overseas Anglican Interventions in TEC

Dear colleagues,

The HOB Task Force on Property Disputes is attempting to catalogue all cases of congregations in all Episcopal dioceses claiming to be overseen by bishops of the Anglican Communion other than bishops of The Episcopal Church. This would include AMiA, CANA, Uganda, Kenya, Bolivia, the Southern Cone, etc. but not so-called Continuing Churches. We would like to have this information as complete as possible before our September meeting.

Here’s an excerpt from David Trimble’s analysis:

The “test case” method of litigation has been honed by class action attorneys, who will seek to get their best cases to trial in their best jurisdictions, hoping that a big win will intimidate their opponents into settling the remainder of the cases. This is why an individual win in a drug case in Mississippi or Illinois, for example, has such great impact on the remaining scope of cases throughout the country. Similarly, a big win by TEC in any of these cases could serve to give other parishes second thoughts about tilting at this particular windmill.

Likewise, the e-mail could in and of itself have the purpose of discouraging dissenting parishes from trying to take their property, the “chilling effect” mentioned above. I note that the e-mail seeks information on all dissenting parishes that are under alternative (non-TEC) primatial oversight and separately requests information on “status of property”. Given that TEC seems on the surface to be less concerned over dissenting and departing membership than it does about losing buildings, this is a significant point of distinction.

Another is for +Sauls to be able to advise the HOB of the scope of potential litigation and the probable expense were TEC to escalate the litigation and sue more parishes nationwide. This, of course, would run into multi-millions, for the law firms TEC uses do not come cheaply. I would be stunned if TEC has not already incurred legal fees in the range of a million dollars or more. As a lawyer worth his salt, +Sauls should be in position to give his client, the HOB, an analysis of the whole picture, not only of pending litigation, but of potential litigation. The Dar Communique specifically asks TEC to forgo litigation against American parishes, and this e-mail could be an information-gathering effort to put some clear names and numbers on exactly what such forbearance would mean to TEC, and/or the overall cost to TEC were it to let these parishes go and stop fighting versus continuing the lawsuits.

An Anglican optimist or a ComCon could take this last point to mean that the HOB may be considering compliance with this point of the Dar Communique as a concession/compromise to allow the ABC an easier time to claim that TEC is in compliance. While this would not meet the “immediate cessation of litigation” request, it would be something TEC could dangle as a compromise of their previous position. Or, it does lend itself to very idle speculation that the upcoming HOB meeting could turn into a negotiation for the separation of the orthodox from TEC, or at least negotiation of some procedures or provisions for the orthodox, with the ABC acting as mediator.

The full text is here.

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

Kenya: Church to Ordain American Bishops

The Anglican Church of Kenya is today expected to ordain two American bishops in a bid to counter a splinter group advocating for gay marriage.

The head of ACK, Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, said the conflicts in the church had left members without pastoral direction. Nzimbi told the Press at the ACK headquarters in Nairobi that the ordination of Mr Bill Atwood and Mr William Murdoch was the church’s way of providing a temporary solution.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces

A Report on the Kenyan Consecrations by Hank Steenstra

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces

Names of victims fill church's 'murder board'

Father Bill Terry of St. Anna’s Episcopal Church in New Orleans wants everyone to know what’s happening in New Orleans: too many murders with too few people held accountable.

He keeps track of the slayings on what he calls the “murder board,” a plastic board that hangs outside his church. He started listing murder victims earlier this year to humanize the headlines.

At first, the names were neatly typed by a printer. But as the killings continued at a rampant pace, he says, he resorted to adding victims’ names by hand with permanent marker.

“Numbers are very easy to deal with emotionally. When it becomes a human being, then we start to personalize and it’s harder to deal with. I want people to squirm. I want people to feel uncomfortable about the murders going on in the city,” Father Bill told CNN.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Hurricane Katrina, Religion & Culture

Atheists want 'God' out of Texas pledge

A day after thousands of schoolchildren began reciting the revised Texas pledge honoring “one state under God,” an atheist couple asked a federal judge in Dallas that the language be immediately removed.

Legislators inserted the language into the pledge earlier this year to mirror the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade denied the request late Tuesday by David Wallace Croft and his wife, Shannon, for a preliminary injunction to stop the use of the pledge before any trial. No trial date has been set. An unidentified John and Jane Doe are also parties to the case.

“The U.S. Supreme Court has made it abundantly clear for decades that patriotic tributes to God are allowed under the Constitution,” state solicitor general Ted Cruz argued in court.

Read it all.


The Texas pledge revised by legislators this year now reads:

“Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible.”

Posted in Uncategorized

An Editorial from The Independent: A president at the junction of secularism and Islam

The election of Abdullah Gul as President of Turkey closes a stormy chapter in Turkish politics in the most satisfactory possible way. An accomplished diplomat who as foreign minister negotiated the terms of Turkey’s accession into the European Union, Mr Gul was by far the strongest candidate. He won the parliamentary vote by a convincing majority in the third and final round.

That Mr Gul faced obstacles to his election, and nonetheless prevailed, testifies not only to the strength of his determination, but to the robustness of Turkey’s institutions. In April, at the first time of asking, Mr Gul was blocked by the secular opposition parties which saw his Islamic background as a threat to the state. The stalemate, which was reinforced by street demonstrations, was broken by the Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who called an early general election. His Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has Islamic roots, won a new mandate with an increased majority. Mr Gul renewed his candidacy, and has now won.

This was a textbook example of how Turkey’s political system is supposed to function ”“ through democratic elections and parliamentary votes. Yet there were fears, inside and outside the country, that it might not prove equal to the task.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Religion & Culture

Chicago Sun-Times Article on the Chicago Episcopal Nominees

The Rev. Tracey Lind’s nomination comes as conservatives in the worldwide Anglican Communion are demanding that its U.S. branch no longer consecrate openly gay bishops.

“I believe that accepting this nomination is what God is asking of me,” Lind said in a statement. She’s dean of Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland and author of Interrupted by God.

» Lind is among a list of five bishop candidates that includes three women. No woman has ever been a finalist, the diocese said.

Bishop James Stanton of Dallas, a catalyst in the global effort against gay bishops, called Lind’s nomination distressing.

“It’s an action that says Chicago really doesn’t care what the rest of the Anglican Communion says,” he told the Sun-Times.

Read it all.

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

Religious leaders urge lawmakers to let FDA regulate cigarettes

A leader in the Southern Baptist Convention says religious leaders have a “moral imperative” to urge Congress to allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate cigarettes.

Richard Land, head of public policy for the SBC, was among leaders from several religious denominations who gathered at a Nashville church today to urge members of the Tennessee congressional delegation to support such legislation.

Read it all.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone: The Liturgy Should inspire Christians to be Good Citizens

From Zenit:

The liturgy should inspire Catholics to contribute to bettering the world with testimony and social action, says Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

Secretary of State Cardinal Bertone said this in a message sent on behalf of Benedict XVI to the 58th Italian National Liturgical Week, in progress in Spoleto through Friday.

“To live as a Christian, we must harmonize personal faithfulness to Christ with ‘citizenship,’ with a commitment to being present in the world as his witnesses,” Cardinal Bertone wrote.

He continued: “Each liturgical celebration helps to carry out a wise reading of history with an attentive discernment of events, so that the soul of believers will open to the eschatological prospective that enables them to work in the earthly city while looking beyond what is passing, to catch a glimpse of the Risen One.

“Christians, throughout history, knew how to recognize what is good, true, noble and positive in the various societies in which they found themselves.

“Aware of Christ’s invitation to be ‘salt’ and ‘leaven’ of the earth, they worked, sustained by the Holy Spirit, to animate, with the richness of evangelical love, the cultures and traditions of their time.”

Read it all.

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