Daily Archives: April 16, 2009

Gafcon leaders say not enough progress has been made

A meeting in London this week of traditionalist Anglicans has dismissed attempts to accommodate orthodox believers and says that if the liberal leaders of the North American churches sign up to the proposed Anglican Covenant ”˜in good conscience’, it will be meaningless.

The leaders of the Gafcon movement issued a communiqué after their meeting at a hotel near Heathrow Airport in which they gave recognition to dissident Anglicans in North America. They said: “The FCA Primates’ Council recognizes the Anglican Church in North America as genuinely Anglican and recommends that Anglican Provinces affirm full communion with the ACNA.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Church leaders warn that Christianity is on verge of extinction in Europe

A top Roman Catholic Cardinal and the leader of the Church of England’s mission wing have both warned that Christianity is on the verge of extinction in Europe.

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna has warned in a sombre Easter address that the time of Christianity in Europe is coming to an end. Meanwhile, Mark Russell, who heads up the Church Army in England has warned that the Church ”˜is one generation away from extinction.’

Cardinal Schonborn said: “The time of Christianity in Europe is coming to an end. A Christianity, which achieved such great things like this cathedral or the wonderful music we will hear today.”

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

Easter Week Communiqué from the GAFCON/FCA Primates’ Council

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.

We meet in the week after Easter, rejoicing again in the power of the risen Lord Jesus to transform lives and situations. We continue to experience his active work in our lives and the lives of our churches and we rejoice in the Gospel of hope.

From its inception, the GAFCON movement has centered on the power of Christ to make all things new. We have heard this week of the great progress made in North America towards the creation of a new Province basing itself on this same biblical gospel of transformation and hope. We have also envisioned the future of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a movement for defending and promoting the biblical gospel of the risen Christ.
Yet we are saddened that the present crisis in the Anglican Communion of which we are a part remains unresolved. The recent meeting of Primates in Alexandria served only to demonstrate how deep and intractable the divisions are and to encourage us to sustain the important work of GAFCON.

The GAFCON Primates’ Council has the responsibility of recognizing and authenticating orthodox Anglicans especially those who are alienated by their original Provinces. We are also called to promote the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) in its stand against false teaching and as a rallying point for orthodoxy. It is our aim to ensure that the unity of the Anglican Communion is centered on Biblical teaching rather than mere institutional loyalty. It is essential to provide a way in which faithful Anglicans, many of whom are suffering much loss, can remain as Anglicans within the Communion while distancing themselves from false teaching.

At this meeting highly significant progress was made on the following fronts.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, GAFCON I 2008, Global South Churches & Primates

Vote in Doubt as New Hampshire Senate Takes Up Same Sex Marriage

A committee of the New Hampshire State Senate plunged Wednesday into the escalating debate over same-sex marriage, hearing hours of discordant testimony on whether the state should become the fifth to allow it.

The state’s House of Representatives narrowly approved a bill last month that would legalize marriage for same-sex couples, and the public hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee came on the heels of victories for same-sex marriage in Iowa and Vermont. But with the full Senate preparing to vote on the measure as soon as next week, its chances remain uncertain.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Sexuality

Lenders Thwart Ohio Law Intended to Limit High Interest on Payday Loans

An Ohio law intended to cap interest rates on payday loans at 28 percent has been thwarted by lenders who have found ways to charge up to 680 percent interest, according to lawmakers who are preparing a second round of legislation.

The law, the Short-Term Loan Act, was enacted last spring and upheld in a statewide referendum in November. It decreased the maximum annual interest rate to 28 percent, from the previous 391 percent. Loans typically had terms of two weeks and were secured by a postdated check and proof of employment.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Personal Finance

Martin Vander Weyer: Bonuses are not immoral unless they're based on folly and greed

Those damned bankers really are incorrigible, aren’t they? No sooner does President Obama adjust his state-of-the-economy soundbite from last month’s cautious “glimmers of stabilisation” to this week’s slightly more upbeat “glimmers of hope”, and our friends in the City and Wall Street are off to the races again, looking for every possible way to maximise their pay packets.

Or at least that’s the way it looks from the headlines about Goldman Sachs, the giant investment bank that took $10 billion of US taxpayers’ money in former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s bail-out last autumn, but is now trying to repay it as fast as possible in order to get the government off its back. In doing so, it would free itself of politically imposed restraints on pay levels, and on hiring non-American staff. The bank has already increased its bonus pool for the first quarter of this year, and is promising fat pay rises to come.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Stock Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Religion thriving in Cuba, Episcopal bishop says

The idea of religion prospering in a communist country defies credibility, but, according to Bishop Frank T. Griswold III, the former head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, that’s exactly what’s happening in Cuba.

Griswold, who from 1998 to 2006 was the 25th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, has made three trips to the island nation in the past few years and finds that “there’s no overt hostility to religion.”

“Recently,” he reported, “particularly after the recent hurricanes, the [Cuban] government is realizing that the social services that many of the churches provide [and] rural projects of sustainable agriculture, that all these are positives.”

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

Star-Telegram: National Episcopal Church sues Fort Worth group over split

Hoping to reclaim several pieces of church property and millions of dollars in endowed funds, the national Episcopal Church has sued a local group that split from the church in November.

The lawsuit, filed late Tuesday in Tarrant County court, follows months of negotiations after a bitter split between the two groups over what the local group, led by Bishop Jack Iker, considers the national church’s abandonment of orthodox principles.

The Iker-led group has opposed the Episcopal Church for accepting a gay bishop and same-sex unions and for its ordination of women as priests.

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

Strip search review tests limits of school drug policy

Eighth-grader Savana Redding was scared and confused when an assistant principal searching for drugs ordered her out of math class, searched her backpack and then instructed an administrative aide and school nurse to conduct a strip search.

“I went into the nurse’s office and kept following what they asked me to do,” Savana, now 19, recalls of the incident six years ago that she says still leaves her shaken and humiliated. “I thought, ‘What could I be in trouble for?’ ”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Education, Teens / Youth

The Bishop of Olympia explains why He Voted no on Northern Michigan

Finally, what troubles me the most about this situation is Thew Forrester’s revision of liturgical texts, most especially the Baptismal Liturgy, the very core vow and liturgy of our faith. In a document circulated for the House of Bishops from Thew Forrester, he states that he and his congregation have “explored” the Baptismal liturgy, removing the reference to “Satan” and “accepting [Christ] as the way of Life and Hope.” This action was to “complement the BCP ”( Liturgy and Community, The Diocese of Northern Michigan , Kevin Thew Forrester, Lent 2009). In the same document, he states that he uses the Book of Common Prayer as a “primary resource.” This brought me full circle. The very basis of Total Common Ministry and our very call to life as a Christian””the baptismal vow and liturgy””was being revised, and this is a concern.

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

Anglican Journal: Anglican Consultative Council to meet in Jamaica early May

At this year’s meeting, scheduled May 1 to 13 in Kingston, Jamaica, Canadian and American delegates are joining representatives from 36 other provinces of the Anglican Communion, but the issue that brought about their exclusion in 2005 remains very much on the radar. The meeting is expected to discuss the report of the Windsor Continuation Group (WCG), including the proposal for a new province made by conservative Anglicans who have left their churches in North America over the issue of sexuality. The WCG was created by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2008 to find a way forward for the Communion, which has been deeply divided over the place of gays and lesbians in the Anglican church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Instruments of Unity

Doug Glanville on Harry Kalas RIP

I don’t know how the game goes on without his input and, more importantly, the way he provided his input. There was no emotion left on the table with Harry Kalas ”” you heard, you felt, you understood everything that was happening on the field. If there was ever someone who could relay to the fans what it is like to be a major league baseball player, it was “H.K.”

Harry framed my connection to the Philadelphia Phillies, from my childhood excitement when the Phillies won the 1980 World Series to my game-winning, walk-off home run to beat the Expos in the first year at Citizens Bank Park. He was my full circle, and I suppose his circle became complete, in a way, when the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

My friend, the baseball expert Jayson Stark, said it well: when Harry didn’t get that chance to put his signature on a play, it was “as if it never happened.” He was the most important bridge to the player experience for a fan of this game. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a word from Harry Kalas painted a thousand pictures.

His was the voice I listenened to when I grew up in central new Jersey. he actually came to my elementary school. I was genuinely impressed. I will always love the sound of his voice. Read it all[/i]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Sports

Genes Show Limited Value in Predicting Diseases

The era of personal genomic medicine may have to wait. The genetic analysis of common disease is turning out to be a lot more complex than expected.

Since the human genome was decoded in 2003, researchers have been developing a powerful method for comparing the genomes of patients and healthy people, with the hope of pinpointing the DNA changes responsible for common diseases.

This method, called a genomewide association study, has proved technically successful despite many skeptics’ initial doubts. But it has been disappointing in that the kind of genetic variation it detects has turned out to explain surprisingly little of the genetic links to most diseases.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Science & Technology

A N Wilson: Why I believe again

My departure from the Faith was like a conversion on the road to Damascus. My return was slow, hesitant, doubting. So it will always be; but I know I shall never make the same mistake again. Gilbert Ryle, with donnish absurdity, called God “a category mistake”. Yet the real category mistake made by atheists is not about God, but about human beings. Turn to the Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ”“ “Read the first chapter of Genesis without prejudice and you will be convinced at once . . . ”˜The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life’.” And then Coleridge adds: “”˜And man became a living soul.’ Materialism will never explain those last words.”

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

Eve Birch: The Art Of Being A Neighbor

I used to believe in the American dream that meant a job, a mortgage, cable, credit, warranties, success. I wanted it and worked toward it like everyone else, all of us separately chasing the same thing.

One year, through a series of unhappy events, it all fell apart. I found myself homeless and alone. I had my truck and $56.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A.