Daily Archives: February 28, 2008

Saint Catherine's Anglican Priest suspended in same-sex dispute

The priest at a breakaway Anglican church in St. Catharines has reportedly been suspended.

Church of the Good Shepherd Rev. Gerry Brodie was suspended with pay Tuesday afternoon by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara, Church warden Pat Decker told Osprey News Network Wednesday.

She said Archdeacon of Lincoln and Rector Bruce McPetrie had been appointed administrator of the church, which voted Sunday to leave the diocese and align with the more conservative Anglican Network in Canada.

“We, at this moment in time, are conducting business as usual,” Decker said Wednesday afternoon.

“We have not vacated the premises and we have not been asked to do so … at this moment.”

McPetrie and Brodie couldn’t be reached for comment.

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

Bishop Tom Wright on ABC's Nightline: Is There Life After the Afterlife?

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Eschatology, Theology

William F. Buckley's biographer remembers him

Yet the key to Buckley is to understand that he was a rebel, but not a heretic. He fancied himself and his politics to be anti-establishment, yet he was part of the American establishment against which he rebelled. He never went so far as to be cast out, or to attempt to be cast out…

What was true on a political level was also true on a personal level. Many of Buckley’s best friends were liberals like John Kenneth Galbraith. He got along famously with Norman Mailer, with whom he debated frequently during the 1960s. When I was writing his biography, I was always puzzled by this side of Buckley, and after I had done a draft, I hold him that I couldn’t figure out how the young Buckley, who as a teenager was pretty insufferable and not well-liked, became a man of such wide-ranging and close friendships. I had gone through Buckley’s papers at Yale, which trace his political career, but at that point, he gave me a stack of letters that he had written to his mother and sisters when he was in the army at Fort Benning at the end of World War II.

What I found in those letters was a clue to the mystery that is Bill Buckley. When he was at officer’s training school, Buckley, who was only 18 at the time, couldn’t get by on his good grades and brilliance, and found himself not only disliked, but on the verge of being flunked out of officer candidates’ school. In the letters he wrote, Buckley revealed a fear and anguish about his place in the world and how people thought of him. He got his commission, but he also learned that he had to leaven his own political and intellectual convictions with a tolerance for people who didn’t share them. He would sometimes condemn their views, but he would not condemn them. By the time he arrived at Yale, he was pretty much the Buckley whom we’ve known for the last sixty years–witty, arrogant, but always with a certain restraint, even at times a gentleness and consideration. And I think that same sense of limits and boundaries–a sense of how far he could and couldn’t go–affected the way he conducted himself politically.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch

On the Presiding Bishop's Visit to South Carolina

My hope was that the audio and/or video would be able to be released publically so that people could form their own conclusions based on their interaction with the material. Unfortunately because some of the participants chose to share details of a quite personal and intimate nature that is not going to be possible. I hope to have more on this as time and schedule allows–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Presiding Bishop

From New Westminster: Don't rush the Anglican Covenant

To our minds this passage of the Windsor Report is not recommending a ten-month process; it is recommending something much more like a ten-year process.

Our present disagreements are deep; they are the result of not listening to one another for many decades. The most shocking allegation of the Windsor Report was that the Church in North America had sprung to its honoring of homosexual partnerships without having done the theological work to back it up.

But this work has been a central engagement of Anglican theology in North America for three if not four decades. The thing is that the rest of the church did not read that work; we did our theology but no one else bothered to read it.

Only in this way can the surprise of the rest of the Communion at Gene Robinson’s consecration be explained; to us, at the time, it seemed a perfectly natural development. That is why our disagreements can only be resolved “in an educative context” – there are four decades of education to catch up on, and that cannot be accomplished in ten months.

Actually the most shocking thing is that the author is shocked to be charged with not having done the theological homework necessary. Read it all.

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

An Open Letter to the Members of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church

From: The Right Reverend William C. Wantland, Bishop Retired of Eau Claire And The Right Reverend Maurice M. Benitez , Bishop Retired of Texas

This letter constitutes our final effort to obtain information from you as representing the leadership of the Episcopal Church about the amount currently being expended in the extensive litigation in which the Episcopal Church is engaged.

We directed our last letter to the Executive Council. We received our answer in a letter from two attorneys, who are members of the Council, writing on behalf of the full Council. Conveyed in a three page letter, their answer to us is:


We then wrote to the two lawyer members of the Executive Council to get a specific response to our questions about the funding of the litigation. In late January, they replied, stating that no funds for litigation have come from either the Pension Fund or Trust Funds. However, they refused to disclose the amounts being expended on litigation.

We now ask you, the Executive Council, why do you feel the necessity for refusing to furnish information on the cost of litigation? You have lawyers. You clearly know that there is NO provision in Federal, State or Canon law for the Executive Council to withhold from members and officials of the Church, information on money being spent on behalf of the Church and presumably for the benefit of the Church. You cannot point to a single legal basis for concealing such information. Your answer is simply, “IT’S A SECRET”.

Such an answer is not acceptable. If there is nothing wrong with these expenditures, then why do you refuse to reveal the amount? It should not be a secret, and you owe the Church and its membership the courtesy of an honest answer.

+William C. Wantland ( signed ) + Maurice M. Benitez (signed)

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

Roman Catholic Church faces new crisis ”” Ireland is running out of priests

Ireland, a country that used to export its Catholic clergy around the world, is running out of priests at such a rate that their numbers will have dropped by two thirds in the next 20 years, leaving parishes up and down the land vacant.

The decline of Catholic Ireland, for decades the Pope’s favourite bastion of faith in Europe, has been regularly predicted, as the economic successes of the Celtic Tiger brought growing secularisation. But new figures have starkly set out the fate of the Irish priesthood if action is not taken by the Church to reverse the trend.

One-hundred and sixty priests died last year but only nine were ordained. Figures for nuns were even more dramatic, with the deaths of 228 nuns and only two taking final vows for service in religious life.

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Posted in * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Michael Gerson: Faith Without a Home

I have seen the future of evangelical Christianity, and it is pierced. And sometimes tattooed. And often has one of those annoying, wispy chin beards.

Those who think of evangelical youths as the training cadre of the religious right would have been shocked at Jubilee 2008, a recent conference of 2,000 college students in Pittsburgh sponsored by the Coalition for Christian Outreach. I was struck by the students’ aggressive idealism ”” there were booths promoting causes from women’s rights to the fight against modern slavery to environmental protection. Judging from the questions I was pounded with, the students are generally pro-life ”” but also concerned about poverty and deeply opposed to capital punishment and torture. More than a few came up to me between sessions in anguished uncertainty, unable to consider themselves Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative ”” homeless in the stark partisanship of American politics.

Many observers have detected a shift ”” a broadening or maturation ”” of evangelical social concerns beyond the traditional agenda of the religious right. But does this have political implications?

Perhaps. Recent Zogby polls in Missouri and Tennessee found that about a third of white evangelicals who showed up on primary day voted Democratic. The sample sizes were small. Yet John Green, a senior fellow with the Pew Forum, finds the results interesting. “These results are higher than usual. Typically these numbers would be about a quarter.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Religion & Culture

Abu Dhabi investment fund shifting balance of power in financial world

Abu Dhabi has about 9 percent of the world’s oil and 0.02 percent of its population. One result is a surfeit of petrodollars, much of which is funneled into a secretive, government-controlled investment fund that is helping to shift the balance of power in the financial world….

ADIA is the largest of the world’s sovereign wealth funds, giant pools of money controlled by cash-rich governments, particularly in Asia and Middle East. But Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the seven Arab emirates, says little about its fund. Few outsiders know for sure where ADIA invests, or even how much money it controls. And secrecy breeds hyperbole; some estimates of the fund’s size exceed $1 trillion.

Before long, ADIA will certainly reach that mark. But for now bankers, former employees and analysts familiar with the fund peg it at $650 billion to $700 billion – an amount that is still more than 15 times the size of the Fidelity Magellan Fund. In all, sovereign wealth funds in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Singapore, China and Russia together control more than $2 trillion, a figure that could approach $12 trillion by 2015, analysts say.

Such riches, coupled with the more-aggressive stance being taken by ADIA and other sovereign funds, has raised concern that these investors will wield their wealth for political as well as financial reasons.

ADIA’s secrecy is also drawing scrutiny. The fund has no internal communications department, although it says it is setting one up. When sovereign fund leaders from around the world descended on Davos, Switzerland, in February for the World Economic Forum, no one from ADIA saw fit to show up.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Middle East

House OKs New Taxes on Big Oil Companies

The House has approved $18 billion in new taxes on the largest oil companies.

The money collected over 10 years is intended to provide tax breaks for wind, solar and other alternative energy sources and for energy conservation.

The measure passed by the House by a 236-182 vote Wednesday as lawmakers cited record oil prices and rising gasoline costs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Energy, Natural Resources, Law & Legal Issues

Pastor says U.S. has role to play in Kenya

Accounts of violence in Kenya are more than just news stories to Joseph Ngotho; they are the latest news about the fate of his homeland and his dispossessed family.

“They had homes and businesses. Now they are living in churches or communal compounds,” Ngotho said.

Democratic stability in this African nation disintegrated last year when a power sharing agreement between political rivals fell apart.

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

Bishop Paul Moore's Daughter Writes about Her Father

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I will consider posting comments on this article submitted first by email to Kendall’s E-mail: KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

In New Westminster Two More parishes ask permission to perform same sex blessings

Two parishes in the Diocese of New Westminster have voted to ask to be added to the list of places where same sex blessings may take place.

St. Mary’s Kerrisdale in Vancouver, and the Church of the Holy Spirit in Whonnock, Maple Ridge (formerly St. John’s Whonnock), by large margins voted to ask Bishop Michael Ingham to grant his permission for the parish to conduct services for persons in committed, monogamous same sex relationships.

At present, same sex blessings may take place only in eight parishes of the diocese.

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

Southern Cone Primate to visit Fort Worth Diocese

From the diocese of Fort Worth website:

Archbishop Gregory Venables, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, has accepted an invitation from Bishop Iker to make a pastoral visit to the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth during the first weekend of May. He will be accompanied by his wife, Sylvia.

On Friday, May 2, Archbishop Venables will meet with all the clergy of the Diocese at the Church of the Holy Apostles, and then on Saturday, May 3, he will address a specially-called Convocation of the 2008 convention delegates at St. Vincent’s Cathedral. The purpose of the convocation is to provide information: Archbishop Venables will answer questions from the delegates, but no legislation will be considered.

On Sunday, May 4, Archbishop Venables will preach in the morning at the Cathedral, and on Sunday evening at St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Fort Worth. Question-and-answer forums will follow the services at both churches.

Archbishop Venables was born in England and grew up near Canterbury.

After he and Sylvia were married in 1970, the two felt called to serve as lay missionaries in Paraguay, where they moved to in 1978, sponsored by the South American Mission Society (SAMS.) According to a biographical sketch in a recent issue of the San Joaquin Star, it was while serving in Paraguay that Archbishop Venables felt called to the ordained ministry, and he was ordained a priest in 1984. He was consecrated to serve as Auxiliary Bishop to Peru and Bolivia in 1993 and elected Presiding Bishop of the Province in 2001. He has also served as the Diocesan Bishop of Argentina since 2002, and he and Sylvia reside in Buenos Aires. They have a son, two daughters and two sons-in-law, all of whom are serving in ministry within South America.

The Diocese of Fort Worth is considering aligning with the Province of the Southern Cone, and this visit will help clarify the practicalities, benefits, and possible drawbacks of such a move.

Posted in Uncategorized

Anglican Dean in Ireland quit Roman Catholic Church 'over celibacy rules'

A priest has told how compulsory celibacy was part of his personal journey away from the Catholic “church of his youth” towards the Anglican ministry.

The Very Reverend Dermot Dunne also spoke of his concerns over the Catholic Church’s teaching against birth control, on not allowing divorce to couples in broken marriages, as well as its refusal to admit women to the priesthood.

He was speaking in Dublin yesterday at the announcement of his appointment as Dean of the Church of Ireland’s Christ Church cathedral.

Currently the Church of Ireland Archdeacon in the diocese of Ferns, Dean-elect Dunne becomes Christ Church’s first Dean since the 16th Century Reformation to have received his theological education in a Catholic seminary, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

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