Daily Archives: October 19, 2010
Shortly after eight o’clock one spring morning in 2007, an earthquake struck the parish church of St Peter in Folkestone, bringing down the gable-end of the south transept.
Three years later, the 19th-century church, which opened as a chapel for local fishermen, has caused tremors of its own, becoming the first parish in England to declare its intention to defect to Rome. Within hours of the news emerging last Friday, the Bishop of Fulham announced that he, too, will take up the Pope’s offer to join a new structure within the Roman Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans.
Some are now talking openly of an “exodus” from the Anglican Communion next year, with thousands following Folkestone’s lead. The Archbishop of Canterbury, from whose back yard the revolt has sprung, can be in little doubt about the seriousness of the threat.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has deplored attempts by governments in Europe to prohibit Muslim women from publicly wearing the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body.
“Governments should have better things to do than ban the burqa,” Williams, the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, told an interfaith meeting organized by the National Council of Churches in India at its headquarters in Nagpur, during a visit to India.
France’s constitutional court on 7 October approved a law banning full-face veils in public, which would prevent women wearing garments such as the burqa.
The first Anglican vicar to take up the Pope’s offer of conversion to Catholicism over the issue of women bishops has said there is nothing left to fight for in the Church of England.
Father Stephen Bould told the BBC that he will probably follow some of the congregation of St Peter’s in Folkestone into the Roman Catholic Church.
Nearly 17% of U.S. medical costs can be blamed on obesity, according to new research that suggests the nation’s weight problem may be having close to twice the impact on medical spending as previously estimated.
One expert acknowledged that past estimates likely underestimated the costs and said the new study ”” which places obesity-related medical costs at around $168 billion ”” probably is closer to the truth.
“I think these are the most recent and perhaps statistically sound estimates that have come out to date,” said Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy researcher at Emory University who has focused on the cost of health care.
A rash of mysterious killings by gun-wielding motorcycle assassins of policemen, politicians and others in this city near the desert has led authorities to declare that a radical Islamic sect thought to have been crushed by Nigerian troops last year has been revived.
Soldiers have been deployed here again, a curfew has been imposed and many residents worry about bold daylight attacks that officials call a renewal of the anti-Western sect’s strikes on police stations and soldiers that took place last year.
An outright challenge to the Nigerian government appears to be under way, with an audacious twilight prison break last month in Bauchi that freed over 700 ”” including many jailed sect members ”” the firebombing of a police station in Maiduguri last week and the killing of numerous police officers and other leaders in recent months.
A funny thing happened when Howard Jacobson won the Man Booker Prize last Tuesday. Instead of the traditional audience reaction ”” euphoria from the winner’s entourage, anemic clapping underpinned by envy and bitterness from everyone else ”” the announcement, over dinner at the Guildhall here, was greeted by loud, sustained applause. A smattering of people who were not even related to Mr. Jacobson stood and cheered.
“I think it’s that I’m someone who’s been around for a long time,” Mr. Jacobson, exhausted but excited, said in an interview two days after. “There was also the feeling that, ”˜Thank God an old man’s won it.’ ” (He is 68).
The winning book, “The Finkler Question,” is Mr. Jacobson’s 11th novel; it was published in the United States as a paperback original by Bloomsbury on the same day that the prize was announced. It is an unusual Booker choice, both because it delves into the heart of the British Jewish experience, something that few contemporary British novels try to do, and because it is, on its surface at least, so ebulliently comic. It tells the story of three friends, two Jewish and one, Julian Treslove, who longs to be.
Police and youth have clashed in a dozen cities reports the Independent, and the country has been forced to tap its crisis fuel supply says the New York Post.
Yet what’s most shocking about the strikes is the modest pension reform they are opposed to. The French government is merely increasing the age of retirement to 62 from 60, by 2018, which is nothing compared to the far harsher austerity measures people are protesting in places such as Greece and Spain.
With three suits pending in two Texas counties, members of the minority that chose to stay in The Episcopal Church (TEC) two years ago have launched another assault on much the same grounds as the first three. Today All Saints’ Episcopal Church on Crestline Road in Fort Worth has sued Bishop Jack Iker personally, in federal court.
There can no longer be any doubt that this litigation is intended to harrass, intimidate, bankrupt, and divert the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, its Corporation, and its leadership ”“ particularly Bishop Iker ”“ from carrying out the mission of the Church.
Ironically, only this weekend Bishop Iker made several comments in jest to a gathering of clergy and laity of the Church of England in London, saying that he had “not checked the Internet today” to see whether he had been sued again.
In dispute now is the right of the Bishop to recognize a parish in the Diocese as All Saints’ Episcopal Church.
We live in a culture of fear, and since 9/11 we have grown increasingly anxious about terrorism, pandemics, environmental disasters and nuclear annihilation ”” anything that can injure or kill us. Our method of coping is to make an idol out of any activity, agency or technology that will promise us security.
Sociologist Robert Wuthnow has written a new book Be Very Afraid that examines how we respond to the constant threats we see around us. His conclusion: Instead of freezing when they face a threat, Americans get busy and buy duct tape. Nothing frustrates us more than terrorism alerts such as the one recently issued by the U.S. State Department for travel to Europe. It warns us of potential danger but gives no specific guidance.
I believe that this idolatry of safety is a very unfaithful response. Whether one is Christian, Jewish or Muslim, the challenge of faith is to put trust in God, not in security precautions….
O God of the nations, who didst give to thy faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart, and a gift for languages, that he might translate the Scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia: Inspire in us, we beseech thee, a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to thee who gavest them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
O Lord, renew our spirits and draw our hearts to thyself, that our work may not be to us a burden but a delight; and give us such a mighty love to thee, who thyself didst work as a craftsman in wood, as may sweeten all our obedience. O let us not serve thee in a spirit of bondage, as slaves, but with cheerfulness and willingness, cooperating with thee in thy work of creation; for the glory of thy holy name.
After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
He was a square-jawed Canadian Air Force officer with a brilliant future, a man entrusted with flying prime ministers and Queen Elizabeth II. On Monday, he was exposed as a serial killer with a shocking fetish for girls’ panties that he documented in a trove of twisted photos of himself.
At a hearing that reduced victims’ relatives to tears, the lurid photos were shown one by one in court as Col. Russell Williams, 47, pleaded guilty to murdering two women, sexually assaulting two others and committing dozens of break-ins in which he stole underwear from the bedrooms of girls as young as 11.
He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison with no possibility for parole for at least 25 years.
In recent times economics has been a religion ”“ and a remarkably silly one ”“ rather than a type of intellectual inquiry, and now that this cheap little creed has been exposed by events it is worth asking what genuine faiths can do to increase our understanding of economic life. In one form or another, this is the question addressed by all the contributors to this timely volume.
Larry Elliott introduces Crisis and Recovery with a wide-ranging analysis of the historical context of the crash, making it clear that: “There is no more chance of ‘business as usual’ than there was of the war that started in August 1914 being all over by Christmas.” The long Edwardian summer of the 1990s and early 2000s, which passed in the shade of the crumbling edifice of American power, is definitely over. History is on the move, and the crude beliefs about how human beings think and act that prevailed in recent times are no longer viable.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, makes the point that the contribution of theology to the debate is not just to add another dimension to the world of fact ”“ rather, it is to expose the assumptions that are hidden underneath our existing understandings. Simple-minded conceptions of rational choice are pretty useless in most areas of life, so why should anyone think these crude notions could enable us to understand markets? The answer is that human agency has been reduced to a process of calculation, leading to an ethically impoverished and deeply unrealistic view of society.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Reverend Rowan Williams on Monday met the Prince of Arcot Nawab Mohammad Abdul Ali at his ancestral home “Amir Mahal”.
Crystal Cathedral filed for bankruptcy on Monday in Southern California after months of trying to overcome mounting debt.
The megachurch, birthplace of the Hour of Power televangelist broadcast, announced its filing as it deals with a $55 million debt.
Church spokesman John Charles said the church owes about $7.5 million to a host of vendors for services such as advertising and providing the use of live animals for Easter and Christmas services.
It is no longer possible, it would seem, to leave the Catholic Church. Although the church in Ireland has been accepting applications to defect, many on foot of applications printed from the user-friendly CountMeOut website, it said on Tuesday that it would no longer process them. The website, which has helped disillusioned Catholics leave, has suspended offering the defection papers “until the situation has been clarified”.
In a somewhat ambiguously worded statement the Dublin archdiocese set out the situation for all dioceses: “The Holy See confirmed at the end of August that it was introducing changes to canon law and as a result it will no longer be possible to formally defect from the Catholic Church.” But, it continued: “This will not alter the fact that many people can defect from the church and continue to do so, albeit not through a formal process. This is a change that will affect the church throughout the world.”
It said the archdiocese planned to maintain a register “to note the expressed desire of those who wish to defect”. Last year, it said, 229 people had defected formally from the church through the archdiocese; the figure for this year so far is 312.