Daily Archives: March 11, 2012

(Sunday [London] Times) Catholics step up attack on same-sex marriage law

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the leader of the Church of England, has said the law should not be used as a tool to bring about social changes such as gay marriages.

But Ben Summerskill, from the lesbian and gay charity Stonewall, said most people who heard the letter would ignore its contents.

He said: “It’s a shame Catholic church leaders are so deeply opposed to a 21st-century balance of rights that they’re not reading out letters about serious issues such as the Aids crisis in Africa or the 2.5m children who live in poverty in this country….”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Children, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(RNS) Episcopalians release same-sex marriage rites

After several years of study, the Episcopal Church has released a draft of what same-sex marriage rites would look like. An important caveat: these are just drafts, and it will likely be years before any final liturgy is approved for official use across the church.

Episcopalians in states that allow same-sex civil marriage (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and others) already have the option to bless same-sex marriages but there is no formal churchwide liturgy. Same-sex commitment ceremonies are permitted elsewhere in the church at the discretion of the local bishop.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Irish Roman Catholic Bishop investigated for ”˜hate crime’ for upsetting humanist

A Roman Catholic Bishop in Ireland is being investigated under ”˜hate crime’ laws for delivering a homily that upset a humanist.

The Bishop’s unremarkable comments warned of “the arrows of a secular and godless culture” and that only believers “know in general terms that their life will not end in emptiness”.

Humanist John Colgan complained about the remarks to the police. Now prosecutors are investigating the Bishop of Raphoe, Dr Philip Boyce, under Ireland’s ”˜incitement to hatred’ laws.

Read it all (another from the long queue of should-have-already-been-posted material).

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Law & Legal Issues, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Secularism

The Irish Times A history of Ireland in 100 Objects–The Book of Common Prayer, 1551

The Book of Common Prayer, 1551

This object is doubly resonant. It is the first book printed in Ireland and, as such, marks the island’s rather belated acquisition of one of the defining features of modernity. The revolutionary process of printing on a press with moveable type was pioneered by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany almost exactly a century earlier. The delay in catching up with this new technology says much about Ireland’s absence from the mainstream of the Renaissance.

But if the advent of the first printed book brings a key aspect of modernity to Ireland, that modernity arrives in a form that is unwelcome to a substantial majority of the population….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of Ireland, England / UK, History, Ireland, Liturgy, Music, Worship

Thomas Friedman on Taiwan–Pass the Books. Hold the Oil.

Every so often someone asks me: “What’s your favorite country, other than your own?”

I’ve always had the same answer: Taiwan. “Taiwan? Why Taiwan?” people ask.

Very simple: Because Taiwan is a barren rock in a typhoon-laden sea with no natural resources to live off of ”” it even has to import sand and gravel from China for construction ”” yet it has the fourth-largest financial reserves in the world. Because rather than digging in the ground and mining whatever comes up, Taiwan has mined its 23 million people, their talent, energy and intelligence ”” men and women. I always tell my friends in Taiwan: “You’re the luckiest people in the world. How did you get so lucky? You have no oil, no iron ore, no forests, no diamonds, no gold, just a few small deposits of coal and natural gas ”” and because of that you developed the habits and culture of honing your people’s skills, which turns out to be the most valuable and only truly renewable resource in the world today. How did you get so lucky?”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Education, History, Politics in General, Taiwan

Faithful and Diligent use of the Divinely Ordained Means of Grace

From here:

Since it is only through the external means ordained by Him that God has promised to communicate the grace and salvation purchased by Christ, the Christian Church must not remain at home with the means of grace entrusted to it, but go into the whole world with the preaching of the Gospel and the administration of the Sacraments, Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16. For the same reason also the churches at home should never forget that there is no other way of winning souls for the Church and keeping them with it than the faithful and diligent use of the divinely ordained means of grace. Whatever activities do not either directly apply the Word of God or subserve such application we condemn as “new methods,” unchurchly activities, which do not build, but harm the Church (my emphasis).

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Lutheran, Other Churches, Pastoral Theology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Eternal God, who through thy Son our Lord hast promised a blessing upon those who hear thy Word and faithfully keep it: Open our ears, we humbly beseech thee, to hear what thou sayest, and enlighten our minds, that what we hear we may understand, and understanding may carry into good effect by thy bounteous prompting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

–Euchologium Anglicanum

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

The earth is the LORD’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein; for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.

–Psalm 24:1

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island Announces Preliminary Slate for Bishop

The Search and Nomination Committee has selected five priests to stand for election as the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils

Human Sexuality Conference Statement by the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin

Over the past 24 hours, 450 General Synod members of the Church of Ireland (together with several ecumenical guests) have come together from across the island and all the dioceses of the Church to engage with each other on this subject in innovative ways. It has been a substantial conversation reflecting strongly held convictions characterised by clarity of expression without judgmentalism. The conference enabled interactive engagement by participants from a wide range of different perspectives, focusing on complex and sometimes contentious issues. The climate was one of respectful dialogue, all the more valuable for its structured mixing of people who have not before come together or conversed in such depth….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Vatican Radio's Philippa Hitchen interviews Rowan Williams on his visit to the Pope

Asked about Saturday afternoon’s celebration of Vespers with the Pope in the church of San Greglorio al Celio, Dr Williams says “The fact that 3 successive archbishops have been to San Gregorio is an acknowledgement of historical fact, that the mission to England began here and it’s good to touch the soil on which you are nurtured, to honour the memory of St Gregory and St Augustine of Canterbury…and by going back to our common roots to affirm a communion that is still in us…….”

“A monastic community is a community assembled around the word of God, that identifies together with the prayer of Christ…that says something about the deepest roots of ecumenism …but also about mission and I’ll be speaking on Monday in Montecassino more specifically about the mission dimension of monastic life….”

Take the time to listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

Archbishop Rowan William's homily at Papal Vespers, San Gregorio Magno al Celio

And here lies the heart of Gregory’s monastic vision, the vision which the brothers and sisters of Camaldoli””whose millennium we celebrate with sincere joy here today””still seek to live out. To be immersed in the sacramental life of Christ’s Body requires the daily immersion of contemplation; without this, we cannot see one another clearly; without it we shall not truly recognize and love one another, and grow together in his one holy catholic and apostolic Body. The balance in the monastic life of solitude and common work and worship, a balance particularly carefully worked out in the life of Camaldoli, is something that seeks to enable a clear, even ”˜prophetic’ vision of the other ”“ seeing them, as the Eastern Christian tradition represented by Evagrius suggests, in the light of their authentic spiritual essence, not as they relate to our passions or preferences. The inseparable labour of action and contemplation, of solitude and community, is to do with the constant purification of our awareness of each other in the light of the God whom we encounter in silence and self-forgetting.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ecumenical Relations, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pope Benedict XVI, Preaching / Homiletics, Roman Catholic