Daily Archives: November 23, 2010

Montreal Anglican Church faces wrecking ball

While many honoured the memories of Canada’s fallen soldiers this month, the city of Montreal was issuing a demolition permit for what long has been known as the city’s church for soldiers.

The Centre hospitalier de l’Universite de Montreal will use that permit to demolish the former Trinity Anglican Church, which has stood at thecornerof St. DenisSt. and Viger Ave. since 1865.

The church -rechristened Eglise St. Sauveur after the First World War -is to be torn down starting thisweek by St. Pierre Excavations, which will kick off the destruction by levelling four adjacent greystones that used to house tourist rooms and apartments on the block bounded by Viger, la Gauchetiere St., St. Denis and Sanguinet St. to make room for the superhospital.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Parish Ministry

Archbishop Rowan Williams's Presidential Address at General Synod Today

The other issue, still bitterly divisive in the Communion, is that of our approach to same-sex unions. It is inevitable that, whether in open debate or in general discussion, this will be around during the lifetime of this Synod. I shall make only a brief comment here, having said a fair amount on the subject this time last year and in other settings. And it is that this has become a cardinal example of how we avoid theological debate. The need for some thoughtful engagement that will help us understand how people who read the same Bible and share the same baptism can come to strongly diverse conclusions is getting more urgent, because I sense that in the last few years the debate on sexuality has not really moved much. It is unthinkingly treated by some as almost the sole test of biblical fidelity or doctrinal orthodoxy; it is unthinkingly regarded by others as one of those matters on which the Church must be brought inexorably into line with what our culture can make sense of. Neither side always has the opportunity of clarifying how they see the focal theological issues ”“ how one or the other position relates to our belief in a divine Saviour. And if we are not to be purely tribal about this, we need the chance for some sort of discussion that is not dominated by the need to make an instant decision or to react to developments and pressures elsewhere.

Let me be clear. I don’t in the least mean to say that there is a lack of theological work on either side. Comments I have made on this subject in communications with the Communion, in which I stressed that what had to make up our minds should be theology not social convention, have been interpreted as ignoring or dismissing the quantity and quality of existing work. This is not at all my point. Of course there is a formidable literature in this area, with much theological sophistication; but in the debates we involve ourselves in, in and out of Synod, here and elsewhere in the Communion, the prevailing tone is often rather different. If you think that there is no respectable debate to be had, or if you think that the debate is entirely over, it is unlikely that there will be a useful exchange. But this means that our disagreement will too easily become just that familiar struggle to win leverage rather than to arrive at shared understanding. I’m told fairly often that the lack of advance in nurturing this debate properly is a serious failure in the leadership of the Church and the Communion. I am bound to accept my share of reproach; but I would want to invite you all to help me do better by working with me to create the ambience where better understanding may happen. I hope that Synod will not be averse to thinking about how we can take this forward, without the pressure of feeling we have some single and all-important decision to make. Happily we can point to the methods currently being developed in the ‘Continuing Indaba’ project, with its success in creating many such spaces for face-to- face discussion across cultures. This project, which is considering a wide range of actually and potentially divisive matters, has been pursued with heroic energy and imagination by many people of profoundly diverse convictions in the Communion and needs prayer and support.

This in turn takes us to one of the more sensitive areas we have to look at ”“ how we handle the Covenant proposals. One or two things need saying here. This is by no means the first time we have discussed the Covenant in Synod or in the Church of England. Our input into the process has been considerable, and it has come from theologians of widely divergent views. The Covenant text itself represents work done by theologians of similarly diverse views, including several from North America. It does not invent a new orthodoxy or a new system of doctrinal policing or a centralised authority, quite explicitly declaring that it does not seek to override any province’s canonical autonomy. After such a number of discussions and revisions, it is dispiriting to see the Covenant still being represented as a tool of exclusion and tyranny.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE)

(Mail Online) More than half of young people have never heard of the King James Bible

More than half of younger people have never heard of the King James Bible, a survey shows.

Fifty-one per cent of under-35s did not know what the Authorised Version was, compared with 28 per cent of over-55s.

The Authorised King James Version, which will be 400 years old next year, took the English language around the world and is thought to be the biggest-selling book ever.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Young Adults

Michale Yon's New Book "Iraq: Inside the Inferno" is now Available

Check it out–it looks well worthy of consideration.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Books, Iraq War, Military / Armed Forces, War in Afghanistan

The Bishop of London asks Bishop Broadbent to Withdraw from public ministry until further notice

Read it all and pray for all involved.

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

The Royal Wedding: a public apology from the Bishop of Willesden

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

Stephen Moore and Richard Vedder: Higher Taxes Won't Reduce the Deficit

The draft recommendations of the president’s commission on deficit reduction call for closing popular tax deductions, higher gas taxes and other revenue raisers to drive tax collections up to 21% of GDP from the historical norm of about 18.5%. Another plan, proposed last week by commission member and former Congressional Budget Office director Alice Rivlin, would impose a 6.5% national sales tax on consumers.

The claim here, echoed by endless purveyors of conventional wisdom in Washington, is that these added revenues””potentially a half-trillion dollars a year””will be used to reduce the $8 trillion to $10 trillion deficits in the coming decade. If history is any guide, however, that won’t happen. Instead, Congress will simply spend the money.

In the late 1980s, one of us, Richard Vedder, and Lowell Gallaway of Ohio University co-authored a often-cited research paper for the congressional Joint Economic Committee (known as the $1.58 study) that found that every new dollar of new taxes led to more than one dollar of new spending by Congress. Subsequent revisions of the study over the next decade found similar results.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Budget, Economy, History, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate, Taxes, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(Wash. Post) Michael Gerson on the Pope's recent remarks: A dose of realism at the Vatican

No effective AIDS prevention strategy can ignore the role of condoms – or the role of behavior change that is often related to religion. Both are necessary because human beings are neither angels nor beasts, as Christian theology would attest. People need institutions that oppose the banalization of sexuality, as well as institutions that recognize and accommodate the realities of sexuality and disease.

During a visit to South Africa, I asked a very conservative Christian pastor engaged in an HIV/AIDS ministry how he views the condom issue. “When I’m dealing with 10- and 12-year-old girls,” he answered, “I tell them to respect themselves and delay sex. When I’m dealing with sex workers, I give them condoms, because their lives are at stake.”

The best AIDS prevention programs are idealistic about human potential and realistic about human nature. This seems to be where the pope is heading. Given his unquestioned standing as a theological conservative, perhaps only he could make the trip.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

BBC Radio Four Today Programme: What is the church's role in the Big Society?

Should the church take a major role in the Big Society?

Bishop of Leicester the Right Reverend Tim Stevens and author Cole Moreton discuss the relationship between the church and the state.

Listen to it all (about 5 3/4 minutes).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Telegraph–Church of England braced for fresh row over same sex partnerships

Homosexual couples could be allowed to register their civil partnerships in traditional religious ceremonies under reforms currently being considered by ministers.

Liberal Anglicans are likely to press for civil partnership registrations to be held in churches, according to William Fittall, secretary general of the Church of England’s parliament, the General Synod.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of the newly elected Synod by the Queen, Mr Fittall said: “The gay issue will not go away.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Pageantmaster gives a very Helpful Set of Links for Anyone Interested in Following C of E Synod

Check it out.

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

BBC–Queen opens Church of England General Synod amid signs of change

After a special service at Westminster Abbey later, the Queen is to open the Church of England’s General Synod.

The synod gets the honour of a royal inauguration because this is the established, state church and the Queen is its supreme governor.

The synod – the Church’s legislative body – is the only institution outside parliament that can make laws, even if it does have to get its decisions approved by a special parliamentary committee.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ministry of the Laity, Parish Ministry

Columbia University Tries an Idea to Get Students to Talk to one Another face to Face

Maybe money can’t buy happiness. But can it buy friendliness?

Columbia University is hoping it can. The Office of Residential Programs at the university, sensing that its campus had grown too introverted, this week has tried to encourage casual interactions among students with a game, called “The Social Experiment,” aimed at getting campus strangers to talk to each other. The winner gets $500.

Here’s how it works: Each day of the week all students on campus are given a random word as a prompt. A subset of students is assigned to keep one of several passwords, which they disclose to any student who addresses them with the prompt word. At the end of the week, the person who has collected the most passwords wins the cash. The idea is that in the process of foraging for passwords, seekers will be forced to interact with fellow students whom they do not know.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Education, Psychology, Young Adults

(WSJ) Episcopalians Launch Search For N.Y. Leader

New York Episcopalians will begin a year-long process to pick a new religious leader after the diocese’s two highest-ranking priests announced plans to step down earlier this month.

The Episcopal Church””the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion””has about 66,000 members in the New York diocese, which covers Manhattan, the Bronx and several upstate counties including Westchester. While overshadowed by the larger, more influential Roman Catholic Church, the diocese boasts a long history and landmarks like Trinity Church, which stands at the foot of Wall Street, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a giant gothic-style cathedral on the Upper West Side.

The Rt. Rev. Mark Sisk, who has served as bishop of New York for the past decade, called for a special election to pick his successor at the diocese’s annual convention Nov. 13. The election, slated for October 2011, doesn’t require the 68-year-old Rt. Rev. Sisk, to immediately depart. He could continue to serve alongside the winner for as long as three years.

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

(USA Today) Chuck Raasch–Thanksgiving can still be saved

We’ve become numb to the obscenity of a religious holiday being dragged out for months as a marketing strategy. Year after year, Christmas becomes more of an orgy of materialism and a bow to the bottom line.

Christ threw the money changers out of the temple; today, he might have a tougher time throwing the retailers out of his own birthday party.

Many of us celebrate Christmas despite all this, not because of it.

Amidst this trend, Thanksgiving is in danger of becoming overwhelmed, of being turned into a one day football-and-turkey diversion from Christmas commerce. What was once a prelude to a season of goodwill is becoming a mere day of rest before Black Friday.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Religion & Culture