Daily Archives: May 23, 2011

Michael Nazir-Ali–Was Obama’s Speech Addressed to the U.S. or to the Muslim World?

It is understood that the president’s remarks may have been made to head off a symbolic recognition of pre-1967-borders Palestine at the U.N. General Assembly and to restart negotiations between the parties. This is indeed commendable, but not at the expense of securing an agreement that is just and workable for both Israel and the Palestinian people. It would be tragic if the emergence of a Palestinian state consigned the Palestinians to Salafi-Wahabi servitude rather than leading to a true freedom for Christians as well as Muslims, women as well as men.

Finally, from a Judeo-Christian point of view, I would have welcomed an acknowledgment from the president of the Biblical basis of the idea, expressed in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, that women and men are endowed with certain inalienable rights by their Creator. This is the true basis for any struggle to have human equality affirmed and respected.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Foreign Relations, Middle East, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

Niall Ferguson Sees `Massive' Consequences on Europe Inaction

Niall Ferguson, a history professor at Harvard University and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, discusses the European sovereign-debt crisis. Ferguson speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television’s “InsideTrack.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

New Upper Michigan Episcopal Bishop Consecrated

It was a celebration of faith in the area, allowing members of different religions to come together in support of a new bishop.

The Episcopalian Diocese of Northern Michigan ordained its 11th bishop at Vandament Arena in Marquette [this past] Saturday morning. [The] Reverend Rayford Jeffrey Ray has been serving Episcopal churches in the southern U.P. for more than 20 years.

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

Thomas S. Kidd on Hell, recent Events and American Religion

American believers, then, need both clarity and humility about hell. Denying the reality of hell might suit modern tastes, but it doesn’t stand up to the overwhelming weight of the Christian scriptures and historic tradition. But confidently asserting that bin Laden is now in hell also treats this fearsome, mysterious reality with far less sobriety than it warrants.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Death / Burial / Funerals, Defense, National Security, Military, Eschatology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology

Charleston County Schools to expand use of popular Ipads

It’s literacy center time in Mary Sires’ first-grade class, and students don’t even look up when visitors enter the room.

Students are absorbed in the day’s activities, which include using iPads to write and draw comic strips and reading books they’ve written on the small, tablet computers.

This technology has seized the attention of Sires’ students, roping them into lessons every day. It’s been instrumental in helping Sires give both her high achievers and stragglers the attention they need, and she uses the device as much as she can.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Children, Education, Science & Technology

(WSJ) Robert Mundell Believes there is a Deflation Risk for the Dollar

From 2001-07, he argues, the dollar underwent a long, steady decline against the euro, tacitly encouraged by U.S. monetary authorities. In response to the dollar’s decline, investors diverted capital into inflation hedges, notably real estate, leading to the subprime bubble. By mid-2007, the real-estate bubble had burst. In response, the Fed reduced short-term interest rates rapidly, which lowered the dollar further. The subprime crisis was severe, but with looser money, the economy appeared to stabilize in the second quarter of 2008.

Then, in summer 2008, the Fed committed what Mr. Mundell calls one of the worst mistakes in its history: In the middle of the subprime crunch””exacerbated by mark-to-market accounting rules that forced financial companies to cover short-term losses””the central bank paused in lowering the federal funds rate. In response, the dollar soared 30% against the euro in a matter of weeks. Dollar scarcity broke the economy’s back, causing a serious economic contraction and crippling financial crisis.

In March 2009, the Fed woke up and enacted QE1, lowering the dollar against the euro, and signs of recovery soon appeared. But in November 2009, QE1 ended and the dollar soared against the euro once again, pushing the U.S. economy back toward recession.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Budget, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Federal Reserve, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, The United States Currency (Dollar etc), Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

Rob Roy Contests Bonnie Anderson's Statistics in her recent lecture on the Episcopal Church

Read it all and please follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), House of Deputies President, TEC Data

(Vatican Radio) ARCIC III–Old and new friendships

From here:

Building trust and friendship to tackle hard questions together is at the heart of successful ecumenical encounters. That’s why the Anglican and Catholic co-chairs of an ARCIC meeting taking place at the monastery of Bose in Northern Italy were delighted to rediscover an old friendship dating back many years. Anglican Archbishop David Moxon of New Zealand and Catholic Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham are leading the 10 day inaugural session of ARCIC III, the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, which is due to conclude next Friday May 27th. Their full programme includes plenty of prayer and worship with the Bose monastic community, lots of looking back at past ecumenical achievements, plus a focus on the crucial contemporary issues of authority, local and universal, within both churches and how they make decisions on the vital ethical dilemmas of our day.

Listen to it all as Philippa Hitchen’s interviews Bernard Longley and David Moxon.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Anglican-Catholic dialogue considers how its work impacts, informs relationships 'on the ground'

(ACNS) The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCICIII) has completed the introductory part of the agenda for its first meeting. On Friday and Saturday it discussed background papers on the history of ARCIC I and II (Bishop Christopher Hill, Anglican Diocese of Guildford in England); how ARCIC I and II addressed matters of ecclesiology (Bishop Arthur Kennedy, Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Boston in the USA; Canon Dr Nicholas Sagovsky, England) and ethics (Fr Adelbert Denaux, Dean of Tilburg School of Theology, Utrecht; Dr Charles Sherlock, retired professor from Melbourne, Australia). Sadly, Dr Sherlock’s paper was read by another member of the Commission as he had returned home for the funeral of his mother.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(FT) Euro falls to two-month low on debt fears

Derek Halpenny at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ said probably the most worrying development for the euro was the surge in Italian government bond yields in response to S&P’s move.

He said: “Italy has the largest government bond market in the eurozone and continued rising yields there over the coming weeks would have a very destabilising impact on the eurozone debt markets.

“With the authorities still seemingly divided over how to proceed with the debt crisis there remains considerable short-term risks for the euro.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Greece, Italy, Politics in General, Spain, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(CEN) Faith-based groups ”˜should be encouraged in adoption plans’

[In the House of Lords] Bishop James said: “A significant number of faith-based children’s agencies are still providing adoption services in compliance with the Equality Act, while others are now restricted in that area to providing services after adoption.”

He asked children’s minister Lord Hill of Oareford: “Do you agree that, taken together, all these faith-based children’s agencies provide a key service to vulnerable children ”“ one that could be further extended?”

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

John Allen–Four titles from a bumper crop of Italian books

On a per capita basis, Italy probably churns out more books on the Catholic church each year than anyplace else on earth. Given the boost created by the May 1 beatification of Pope John Paul II, this spring has been an especially busy period for the Italian market, generating several titles that will likely make their way into translations and shape Catholic conversation around the world….

First up is Andrea Riccardi’s Giovanni Paolo II: La Biografia (“John Paul II: The Biography”), published by Edizioni San Paolo. By now there’s a vast John Paul II literature, but this biography — more than 600 pages long, abundantly documented, and written by someone who enjoyed insider’s access throughout the papacy — joins the elite group of works that really matter in terms of shaping John Paul’s legacy.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Books, Church History, Europe, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

Benedict XVI's Address Yesterday on the Main Task of the Church

St. Augustine says that “it was necessary for Jesus to say: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’ (John 14:6) because once the way was known, it remained to know the goal” (Tractatus in Ioh,, 69, 2: CCL 36, 500), and the goal is the Father. For Christians, for each one of us, hence, the way to the Father is to allow ourselves to the guided by Jesus, by his word of truth, and to receive the gift of his life. Let us make our own St. Bonaventure’s invitation: “Open, therefore, your eyes, lend your spiritual ear, open your lips and dispose your heart, so that you will be able to see, hear, praise, love, venerate, glorify, honor your God in all creatures” (“Itinerarium mentis in Deum,” I. 15).

Dear friends, the commitment to proclaim Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth and the life” (John14:6), is the main task of the Church. Let us invoke the Virgin Mary so that she will always assist the pastors and those who in the different ministries to proclaim the happy message of salvation, so that the Word of God is diffused and the number of disciples multiplied

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Independent) Afghanistan and Libya top of agenda as Obama flies in for UK visit

Barack Obama will pressure David Cameron this week not to begin scaling back British forces’ involvement in Afghanistan later this year.

The American president, who arrives at London Stansted tomorrow to begin a full state visit to Britain, after a quick stop-off in Ireland today, will seek the Prime Minister’s backing for a tougher stance on a range of international and security issues from “AfPak” (Afghanistan-Pakistan) and combating homegrown terrorism to missile defence in the former Soviet Union. Mr Cameron will, in return, seek deeper American commitment for Nato action in Libya, where Britain and France seek help towards an exit strategy from the conflict.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Ireland, Libya, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, War in Afghanistan

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast gone to the Father to prepare a place for us: Grant us so to live in communion with thee here on earth, that hereafter we may enjoy the fullness of thy presence; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter, Spirituality/Prayer