Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

Report on The Church of England and the Anglican Church in North America

15. Where then do matters currently stand concerning ACNA on each of these three issues, namely relations with the Church of England, relations with the Anglican Communion and the ability of ACNA clergy to be authorised to minister in the Church of England?

16. The Synod motion rightly began by referring to “the distress caused by recent divisions within the Anglican churches of the United States of America and Canada.” That distress, in which we share, is a continuing element in the present situation and is likely to remain so for some considerable time.

17. Wounds are still fresh. Those who follow developments in North America from some distance have a responsibility not to say or do anything which will inflame an already difficult situation and make it harder for those directly involved to manage the various challenges with which they are still grappling.

Read it all (pdf).

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

(CEN) Lambeth meeting for Mahmoud Abbas

The President of the Palestinian Authority has met with leaders of the Christian Churches of Britain in London following his talks with the British government over the stalled Middle East peace process.

The meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Dr. Rowan Williams comes at a nadir in Anglo-Israeli relations and on the same day the Israeli Foreign Ministry chided Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as being grossly “ill informed” about the conflict in the Middle East.

According to a statement released after the 17 Jan 2012, President Abbas told the church leaders that Israel and the Palestinians must resume peace talks. The Arab Spring provided a “rare opportunity” to bring peace to the region, the Palestinian leader said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Foreign Relations, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle

Notable and Quotable

More than ever we must beware of falling into the traps of fashion which may well prove much more detrimental than the malaise they claim to cure

.–Zygmunt Bauman (1925- ), from his Inaugural lecture at University of Leeds, early 1970’s (published 1972)

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

Baltimore Episcopal parish, priests to be received into Catholic Church

Representatives from the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland met for mediation on Nov. 17 with representatives from Mount Calvary and the Joseph Richey House hospice. Joseph H. H. Kaplan, a retired judge, served as mediator. Though a settlement was not reached that day, significant progress was made and negotiations continued. The agreement states that the property currently occupied by Joseph Richey House, a hospice that started as a joint ministry by Mount Calvary and the All Saints Sisters of the Poor, will be permanently deeded to Joseph Richey House along with the parking lot shared by the congregation and Joseph Richey House. The Anglican Use Congregation will be deeded the church building, adjacent offices, and rectory, will keep all furnishings and personal property, and will retain the right to use the parking lot shared with Joseph Richey House. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland will receive a monetary sum as part of the settlement, and will retain first right of refusal if the congregation vacates the property.

The Rev. Canon Scott Slater, on the bishops’ staff and part of the mediation team representing the Episcopal diocese, said, “This has been a thoughtful, prayerful, and respectful process by all three entities, and I am pleased that we have reached a solution that meets the needs of all three groups.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

Cathleen Kaveny—Ethics at the Edges of LIfe

The Roman Catholic tradition does not teach that life has to be prolonged at all costs ”” we are not a vitalist tradition. The old-school manualists would say, for example, if the only way to save your life is to get exotic treatment far from home for a prolonged period, you don’t necessarily have to do it ”” especially if you’re a homebody. It is an “extraordinary” means ”” at least for you, and you don’t need to take it.

Things are more complicated however, when we’re dealing with adult incompetent patients and with children ”” because neither group can make decisions for themselves. It’s especially complicated when we get to children with disabilities: how do we sort out legitimate medical concerns versus illegitimate devaluing of “less than perfect life”? If for example, the syndrome from which this girl suffers significantly reduces the chance that the kidney transplant will be successful, does that matter? If her life expectancy is much shorter than another child’s (whether or not she is mentally disabled) does that matter?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

David Leonhardt–Why Americans Think the Tax Rate Is High, and Why They’re Wrong

When people heard that Mitt Romney’s federal income tax rate was about 15 percent, the immediate reaction of many was to assume that their own rate was higher. The top marginal rate is 35 percent, after all, and the marginal rate on a couple with $70,000 in taxable income is 25 percent.

The truth is that most households probably pay a lower rate than Mr. Romney. It is impossible to know for sure, given that he has yet to release his tax return. What is clear, though, is that a large majority of American households ”” about two out of three ”” pays less than 15 percent of income to the federal government, through either income taxes or payroll taxes.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Office of the President, Personal Finance, Politics in General, Taxes

Zygmunt Bauman–2011 ”“ The Year of People on the Move

There is some likelihood that the year about to end will be recorded in history as a “year of people on the move”.

When people move, two questions are in order. The first is: where from are they moving? The second is: where to? There has been no shortage of answers to the first question; indeed, there was a surfeit of answers ”“ thoughtful and thoughtless, serious and fanciful, credible and chimerical. Thus far, though, we are looking for an answer to the second question in vain. All of us ”“ including, most importantly, people on the move.

This is not at all surprising. This is what was to be expected in times dubbed in advance by Antonio Gramsci as “interregnum” (the term unduly and for much too long sunk into oblivion, but fortunately excavated recently and dusted-off thanks to Professor Keith Tester): times at which the evidence piles up almost daily that the old, familiar and tested ways of doing things work no longer, while their more efficient replacements are nowhere in sight ”“ or too precocious, volatile and inchoate to be noticed or to be taken seriously when (if) noted.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, History, Politics in General, Sociology

(ACNS) Nigerian is new curate for Church of Ireland parishes

A man born in Nigeria and resident in Italy for a number of years, will be introduced by the Bishop of Clogher, the Rt Revd John McDowell, as diocesan curate with responsibility for the Devenish and Boho Group of Parishes at a service of introduction on Thursday 2nd February 2012 in Devenish Parish Church, Monea commencing at 7.30pm.

Mr Sampson Ajuka studied at the Queens Foundation for Theological Studies in Birmingham, was ordained in the Church of England, and served the Church in Venice, Padova and Trieste in the Diocese in Europe. Commenting on his move to the Church of Ireland, he said “moving into a new place with different culture is not an easy thing, it is like a school boy starting his primary education.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Nigeria

The Latest South Carolina Numbers from Intrade on the Republican Primary

As I write this, Romney is at 39.8 and Gingrich is at 62.0 These are the numbers to watch into tomorrow. Read all the data there.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Office of the President, Politics in General

(AP) Fiery debate tops bizarre GOP campaign day in South Carolina

The race for the Republican presidential nomination took a turn toward the South Carolina surreal Thursday as Rick Perry dropped out, Newt Gingrich faced stunning allegations from an ex-wife and Mitt Romney struggled to maintain a shaky front-runner’s standing.

An aggressive evening debate capped the bewildering day.

Former Sen. Rick Santorum played aggressor for much of the night, trying to inject himself into what seemed increasingly like a two-way race with little more than a day remaining until the South Carolina polls open on Saturday. He accused Gingrich and Romney of “playing footsies with the left” when it came to health care. Both men rejected the allegations.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Office of the President, Politics in General

(Church Times) C of E policy on appointing bishops may face legal test

The present moratorium on openly gay bishops, formally imposed last year by the House of Bishops, is facing a legal challenge….

The first stage of a challenge under employment legislation is the issuing of a questionnaire. It is un­derstood that this took place some time in the autumn of 2010. The church authorities reacted de­fensively: in December of that year, a briefing was issued to the Bishops by the Church House legal office giving a retrospective list of reasons why a priest in a civil partnership, as Dr John is, could be barred from the episcopate without falling foul of employment laws.

The list includes such questions as whether the candidate has expressed repentance for past sexual activity, and whether the appointment “would cause division and disunity within the diocese”.

Read it all.

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

(Vatican Radio) Working for unity between Catholics and Anglicans

During this week of prayer for Christian unity, the different denominations present here in Rome are hosting a full programme of liturgical and other events that can foster greater understanding of the common values and unique heritages of each tradition.
On Thursday, Rome’s Centro Pro Unione and Lay Centre are holding a lecture by the editor of America Magazine, Jesuit Fr Drew Christiansen, followed by an ecumenical Celebration of the Word presided over by the director of the Anglican Centre, Canon David Richardson. The preacher at that service is Msgr Mark Langham, in charge of relations with the Anglican and Methodist Churches at the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Philippa Hitchen spoke with him about progress in these dialogues and about the theme for this annual week of prayer……..

Read it all and listen to it all.

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

(Christianity Today) David Neff–Why Jan. 14 Political Conclave of Evangelical Leaders Was Dangerous

The 150 evangelical leaders who met behind closed doors on January 14 to anoint a Republican candidate for President were wise not to have invited me.

I believe that Christians have an urgent duty to engage the social, economic, and moral threats to a healthy society. That requires a wide variety of political action. However, one thing it doesn’t call for is playing kingmaker and powerbroker.

By conspiring to throw their weight behind a single evangelical-friendly candidate, they fed the widespread perception that evangelicalism’s main identifying feature is right-wing political activism focused on abortion and homosexuality. In truth, it is hard to imagine the Religious Left in 2008 doing something similar: holding a conclave to decide whether they would throw their collective weight behind either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, unwilling to leave the Democratic primary results to the voters.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(First Things) Stephen Webb–Mormonism Obsessed with Christ

The eternal embodiment of the divine is metaphysically audacious, and it explains why Mormonism is so inventive. Mormon metaphysics is Christian metaphysics minus Origen and Augustine””in other words, Christianity divorced from Plato. Mormons are so materialistic that they insist that the same unchanging laws govern both the natural and the supernatural. They also deny the virgin birth, since their materialism leads them to speculate that Jesus is literally begotten by the immortal Father rather than conceived by the Holy Spirit.
By treating the spiritual as a dimension of the material, Smith overcomes every trace of dualism between this world and the next. Matter is perfectible because it is one of the perfections of the divine. Even heaven is merely another kind of galaxy, far away but not radically different from planet earth. For Mormons, our natural loyalties and loves have an eternal significance, which is why marriages will be preserved in heaven. Our bodies are literally temples of the divine, which is why Mormons wear sacred garments underneath regular clothing.

This should not be taken lightly. The Mormon metaphysic calls for the revision of nearly every Christian belief. Still, not all heresies are equally perilous. If Gnosticism is the paradigmatic modern temptation””spiritualizing Jesus by turning him into a subjective experience””Mormonism runs in the exact opposite direction. If you had to choose between a Jesus whose body is eternal and a Jesus whose divinity is trivial (as in many modern theological portraits), I hope it would be an easy choice.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Mormons, Other Faiths, The Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Fabian

Almighty God, who didst call Fabian to be a faithful pastor and servant of thy people, and to lay down his life in witness to thy Son: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and aided by his prayers, may in times of trial and persecution remain steadfast in faith and endurance, for the sake of him who laid down his life for us all, Jesus Christ our Savior; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Church History, Europe, Italy, Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Lord, who hast brought us through the darkness of night to the light of the morning, and who by thy Holy Spirit dost illumine the darkness of ignorance and sin: We beseech thee, of thy loving-kindness, to pour thy holy light into our souls; that we may ever be devoted to thee, by whose wisdom we were created, by whose mercy we were redeemed, and by whose providence we are governed; to the honour and glory of thy great name.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who curses you I will curse; and by you all the families of the earth shall bless themselves.” So Abram went, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sar’ai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions which they had gathered, and the persons that they had gotten in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram, and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Thence he removed to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

–Genesis 12:1-8

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Guardian) Syma Mohammed–Why British Muslim women struggle to find a marriage partner

[We are speaking about]…the growing Muslim spinster crisis, which has been brewing for some time and is rooted in cultural, rather than religious, trends.

First, there has always been a tradition for British men originating from the Indian subcontinent to marry women from their country of origin. Families encourage their sons to do so for a host of reasons, including the cultural expectation that girls from “back home” will stay with and look after their in-laws.

The second trend is for Muslim men to marry “women of the book” (Christian or Jewish women), which is permissible in Islam. Men are more likely to work and socialise with British Christian women than their female Muslim counterparts, which leads to a higher chance of such marriages occurring….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, England / UK, Islam, Marriage & Family, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Women

(RNS) Beloved Hymns Carried Martin Luther King Through Troubled Times

At 87, the Rev. C.T. Vivian can still recall the moment, decades after the height of the civil rights movement.

As he stood to conclude a meeting in his Atlanta home, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. joined his activist colleagues in song, his eyes closed, rocking back and forth on his heels.

“There is a balm in Gilead,” they sang, “to make the wounded whole.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Race/Race Relations

(The State) [South Carolina] Evangelicals weigh their GOP choices

Sherry Hampton spent much of Wednesday weighing the virtues of the five Republican presidential candidates, attending an afternoon town hall meeting for Rick Santorum, then venturing with her four children and mother to a pro-life forum that featured Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and, via satellite, Ron Paul.

But at the end of this day, the Laurens nurse practitioner was still mulling her decision in Saturday’s GOP primary, not quite content with GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney and perhaps leaning slightly toward Santorum.

“We are going in with an open mind,” she said before attending the forum sponsored by the grass-roots anti-abortion organization Personhood USA. Romney’s absence from the forum ”” deftly noted by the forum organizers and his opponents ”” troubled her. But she came away impressed by Santorum’s anti-abortion stance as well as his overall demeanor.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Evangelicals, Office of the President, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Senator Lindsey Graham open to revised piracy bill

Graham said the opposition to PIPA and SOPA “have raised some really legitimate questions.”

“I consider intellectual property real property, but I do believe the content part of the debate has been very resistant to technological changes,” he said of the film and recording businesses. “And if this bill can be made better, let’s do it.”

Graham supports wide and inexpensive distribution of mass media, “but there’s got to be a revenue stream or you’re going to destroy the creative content providers.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Blogging & the Internet, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Senate