Daily Archives: February 2, 2008

The Bishop of Central Florida's Diocesan Convention Address

There are those who simply have to leave The Episcopal Church for conscience sake. I understand that. I don’t agree, but I don’t believe we should punish them. We shouldn’t sue them. We shouldn’t depose the clergy. Our brokenness is a tragedy. The litigation that is going on in so many places is a travesty.

And although some seem to be trying to do so, I don’t think you can hold a Church together by taking everybody you disagree with to court.

One year ago I stood before you and said, “This is my promise: if there are those who decide to leave I will be more fair-minded and generous to them than any policy that could possibly be established. And I don’t have to ask you to believe that; I’ve proven it.”

Well, Dear Friends, we have proven it, again (and again, several times). As I promised we would, we have said to those leaving, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”

You all know that personally I am no happier than those who are departing about some of the recent decisions of The Episcopal Church. But I am committed to staying the course for as long as it is possible to remain both an Episcopalian and an Anglican. And the Archbishop of Canterbury has given me, personally, and all the world, assurances…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Notable and Quotable

[Thomas] Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury spent the day in the same way as he had when he was a Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge-75% of it in study. And the fruits of that private, searching daily study were coming to maturity as Henry VIII died and his nine-year-old son Edward VI ascended the throne in 1547. The moment had come for deeper reform (emphasis mine).

Caroline Stacey

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

Saturday Morning in Charleston, South Carolina

Paul Moser is beginning to speak at the Mere Anglicanism Conference–check out his homepage.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis

Canadian Anglican Priest retires from ”˜ministry of the edge’

About 14 years ago, his health declining due to HIV, Ron Chaplin decided to return after many years of absence to St. John the Evangelist, a downtown church located on Ottawa’s busy Elgin Street.

“My expectations were modest. I was looking for a place to die ”¦ I was seeking a place from which to be buried,” recalled Mr. Chaplin. “What I found was not what I expected. What I found at St. John’s was new life.”

Among those who welcomed him was the rector, Canon Garth Bulmer, by then two years into the job. “Garth Bulmer encouraged me, and indeed all the laity, to exercise (our) ministry. He was our tireless cheerleader,” said Mr. Chaplin. “We were encouraged and cajoled at all times to ask questions, to seek new perspectives, to not be afraid to challenge injustice or unfairness, and at all times to engage honestly and openly with each other in an attitude of prayer and mutual respect. Under his guidance, I found new roles to play in the community, and new purpose in life.”

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

A Statement from the Archbishop of Sydney

‘With regret, the Archbishop and Bishops of the Diocese of Sydney have decided not to attend the Lambeth Conference in July. They remain fully committed to the Anglican Communion, to which they continue to belong, but sense that attending the Conference at this time will not help heal its divisions. They continue to pray for the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference.

–The Most. Rev. Peter Jensen, speaking after the service of ordination of 48 deacons at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney

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

Jesuit Scholar James Schall Points to Pope's Insights Into True Hope

Q: Why do you think that this consideration of the theological virtue of hope is particularly timely?

Father Schall: We might state the issue briefly, but with some irony, by saying that in fact the secular world is itself full of “hope.” However, the intellectual origins or implications of the ideas it uses for hope are no longer recognized. The modern words used instead of hope are “progress,” or “making the world safe for democracy,” “social justice,” or the “scientific” eradication of suffering and evil. The theological background for this “secularization” of hope comes from Joachim of Flora and Francis Bacon, among others.

The modern idea of hope always means dissatisfaction with the present in the light of some presumed future that is not only better, but is the man-made answer to what we mean by complete happiness.

Even the word “education” has overtones of hope. Stress on education as a solution also has a Socratic background. Socrates evidently thought that at the origin of all the human disorder we find “ignorance.” Thus, education, both general and universal, comes to be considered a universal “cure” for the moral disorders manifest in human nature wherever and whenever it appears in our experience. If we can just eliminate “ignorance,” it is “hoped,” we will eliminate evil.

This view clearly presupposes that we know and define properly the nature of the evil that we seek to eliminate. Perhaps no ideology is more stubborn than this educational one. The fact is that it is not primarily ignorance that causes evil. Education as an ideology always refuses to face the core problem of evil, its relation to free will, virtue and grace.

Aristotle was clear that, while intelligence was indeed a major factor, there was a recurring element of “wickedness” in human nature. The most intelligent and well-educated were often the ones closest to the greatest evil. The classical tractates on tyranny always presupposed this relationship of the greatest evil to the greatest finite intelligence, angelic or human. Lucifer is one of the most intelligent of the angels, which is why he is so dangerous.

Read it all and note the second part is there.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Eschatology, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

Francis Campbell: No future for Europe in the ghetto of Secularism

When getting at the meaning of secularism, [Charles] Taylor rejects what he calls the “subtraction story” which sees science gradually chipping away at the credibility of faith. Instead he argues that secularism and faith come from the same well and that secularism emerges not through scientific discovery, but through history. In this way secularism is not pitted against religion but is part of a proper distinction between the temporal and religious realms.

Secularisation theory on the other hand attempts to describe a process of change ushered in around the time of the Industrial Revolution, whereby states modernise as they secularise. The idea is very simple: the more modernity, the less religion. It is broadly based on empirical data from north-western Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For much of the twentieth century it went unchallenged. It was commonly assumed that the world was following a trajectory set off in north-western Europe at the time of the Industrial Revolution. But about 20 years ago it became clear that the statistics told a different story. Peter Berger, an eminent American sociologist and expert on religions, was long an advocate of the secularisation theory, but changed his view on the basis of the empirical data. He said recently: “We don’t live in an age of secularity; we live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity.”

So those who predicted the “Death of God”, extrapolating the European experience to the rest of the world, were wrong. Rather than a correlation between economic, social and political modernity and decreasing religious practice, the evidence from the United States, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Eastern Europe points to religious practice walking hand in hand with progress, and in some cases actually being the spur. Indeed, figures from the World Christian Database show that the greater part of the world, both developed and developing, is as furiously religious as ever. For example:

It is quite likely that by 2050 or so there will be three billion Christians in the world; the proportion of those who will be non-Latino whites, will be somewhere between 15 and 20 per cent.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Religion & Culture

The Economist: Gullahs versus golfers on the coast of South Carolina

THE coastal sand flats of South Carolina are a tranquil place. A local newspaper carries a front-page story about a mother and daughter who bit each other. But controversy over development is stirring the calm waters. Developers from Florida want to build a supermarket on St Helena, one of the Sea Islands that dot the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. Many locals object. Last year they mounted a letter-writing campaign against another proposed supermarket, and that one backed off. They worry that a big chain would imperil the region’s distinctive black culture, called Gullah or Geechee.

The white planters who settled the Sea Islands imported thousands of slaves from West Africa, and in the comparative isolation of the islands they developed a culture that retains a strong African influence. Patricia Jones-Jackson, a linguist who spent much of the 1970s among the Gullah people, found a transatlantic connection in everything from the islanders’ basket-weaving to their belief in a tripartite soul.

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Posted in * South Carolina

Anglican leader wants Ottawa to restore clemency policy

Condemning the federal government’s “serious departure” from Canada’s long-standing clemency policy, Canada’s top Anglican cleric has urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper to scrap the Conservatives’ new hands-off policy toward Canadians facing execution in some countries.

In a Jan. 29 letter to Harper, made public by the Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz expresses “grave concern” over the government’s recent decision “to accept the imposition of the death penalty” in certain cases, such as the pending lethal injection of Alberta-born killer Ronald Smith in Montana.

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

Bishop in Pakistan acquitted of murder

By: George Conger.

A LAHORE court has acquitted the Bishop of Raiwind and seven co-defendants of murder.

Last Friday Sessions Judge Abdul Karim Langah dismissed all charges against the Rt Rev Samuel Azariah (pictured) and his co-defendants, finding they were innocent of the 2006 murder of Khalida Gill.

On April 24, 2006, three men entered the home of Nathanial Gill, an attorney litigating a land dispute case against the diocese of Raiwind. The intruders shot Mrs Gill, who died three days later without having regained consciousness.

Two days after the shooting, Nathaniel Gill filed a complaint with the police alleging that one Salman Shaukat had murdered his wife on the orders of Bishop Azariah and other leaders of the diocese. Gill’s complaint stated he had been the target of the assassins, who sought to kill him because of the land dispute. Not finding him home, they turned their guns upon his wife, he charged.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Latest News, Asia, Pakistan

From the Standing Committee of the Diocese of San Joaquin

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

Rough notes from Bishop Duncan's Talk at Mere Anglicanism this morning in Charleston, SC

Read it carefully and read it all .

Posted in Uncategorized

Johnny Munkhammar: Reform Lessons for the United States

Reforming is usually seen as politically difficult. Luxemburg’s then-Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker stated frankly that: “We all know what to do, but we don’t know how to get re-elected once we have done it.” Clearly, there are many opponents to reform – such as populist media, special interests and within the civil service. And reforms usually have a short-term cost, but larger long-term gains.

Reforming successfully usually demands that political leaders have the ability to stand up for what they know to be right and endure criticism in the short term. Indeed, that is what Ronald Reagan once did – and he was both re-elected and praised afterwards. In the current race for Presidential nominations in the US, there is much talk about change. But how much substance and determination is actually behind the words?

Every industrialised country in the world has launched free-market reforms during the past two to three decades. About a dozen of these countries have reformed substantially in a number of areas. The United States is one of these. But other countries have achieved more in areas where the US still has a lot do to. And the economic and social results from the reforms have often far exceeded expectations.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Economy, Politics in General

Interesting Goings on with the ACO Website

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Blogging & the Internet

Employment Drops in a Pink Slip Blizzard

In a shower of pink slips, U.S. employers cut jobs last month for the first time in more than four years, the starkest signal yet that the economy is grinding to a halt if it hasn’t already toppled into recession.

Conditions are deteriorating, according to the most up-to-date employment snapshot by the Labor Department, which showed nervous employers slicing payrolls by 17,000. The country hasn’t seen such a nationwide job loss since 2003, when employers were still struggling to recover from the last previous recession.

“We are certainly on thin ice,” said John Silvia, chief economist at Wachovia. And even President Bush, normally a cheerleader for the economy, said there were “serious signs” it was weakening.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy

Scientology Internet Hackers Plan Real-Life Protests at Church Locations

Hackers who launched a massive online attack against the Church of Scientology are now turning to real-world protests to draw attention to what they call a “vast moneymaking scheme under the guise of ‘religion.”‘

The loosely organized group of hackers, who meet up and coordinate attacks through Internet Relay Chat channels, have set Feb. 10 for a wave of protests at Scientology locations worldwide.

In anonymous postings on the group’s Web site, organizers said they are trying to raise awareness about the threats to free speech posed by the church’s lawyers, who, the group claims, aggressively try to silence critics by threatening lawsuits. The church said its lawyers follow standard procedures for protecting copyrighted materials.

The first wave of attacks began earlier this month with hackers bombarding the church’s Web site with traffic to cripple its servers. The church appears to have fortified its Web site since then, deploying technology that helps protect against so-called denial-of-service attacks.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture

Kevin Everett: A Modern Miracle

This is a super report–watch it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Sports

Gerard Baker: McCain's amazing bloodless coup

You might want to remember what happened in American politics this week for a very long time.

I’m not talking about the spectacle of the remaining members of the Kennedy dynasty jumping on to the Barack Obama bandwagon (whatever you do, Senator, don’t give Teddy the keys). I’m not talking about the historic certainty now that John Edwards, the sole remaining white guy, has quit the race, that either Senator Obama or Senator Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s nominee. I’m not thinking about the Democrats at all.

I’m talking instead about the quiet revolution that has overthrown the old order in the Republican Party. We have witnessed nothing less than a bloodless coup this week that promises to have ramifications for America perhaps even larger than the prospect of a black or a woman president.

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Posted in Uncategorized