Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

A multifaith Songs of Praise? Not on my watch says BBC religion chief

Songs of Praise is to remain Christian despite calls for it to be turned it into a multifaith programme, the BBC’s first Muslim head of religion has pledged.

Aaqil Ahmed said that it was vital that religious programming promoted “diversity” but insisted that Songs of Praise would always remain Christian.

Mr Ahmed’s appointment three years ago attracted controversy in some quarters and even complaints to the corporation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Media, Music, Religion & Culture

Lowcountry South Carolina Catholic diocese implements robust new strategy to recruit priests

It took two years, but the Catholic Diocese of Charleston has put in place a strategy where no strategy was before. It’s a special kind of outreach ”” or maybe it should be called inreach. Through aggressive use of social media, as well as regular visits to Catholic schools, parishes and other institutions in the state, diocese officials are hoping to find and encourage future priests….

[new Bishop Robert] Guglielmone made it clear early on that he would place a renewed emphasis on vocations: searching the state for people who feel called to a life as deacons, priests and women religious.

Priests are badly needed. The total number in the U.S. has declined from about 58,000 in 1965 to 39,000 in 2011, according to data compiled by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), an affiliate of Georgetown University.

Read it all from the local paper.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, * South Carolina, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

(First Things On the Square Blog) Elizabeth Scalia–Marriage: Not a Right, but an Office

If all proclaiming Christ are accepted to baptism, one might wonder, then why not all to marriage?

I think it comes down to offices, and the equality to be found therein. We talk about vocations and “one’s state in life,” but I wonder if we would not better serve both clarity and charity by considering that beyond baptism we are called to an Office. Since all Offices are callings, then all servants are equal within them and each office is lived within the fundamental calling of all baptized people, which is to chastity, first and foremost.

This brings home the barely-recognized fact that, except for those called to the Office of Marriage””who are themselves meant to be chaste within that Office””the rest of the world, the majority of humanity walking about, gay or straight, are meant to resist sexual concupiscence, whether within the Office of Singleness or Religious Consecration.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Marriage & Family

(BBC) Queen 'should remain Defender of the Faith' -Poll

Canon Anthony Kane has monitored the Queen’s Christmas broadcasts and said her personal faith remained strong.

“The fact that she speaks with a personal faith is in itself a significant action and the way that she links world events to that faith is something a preacher would want to do,” he said.

The Bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, who gave the sermon at the wedding of the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge, warned of the danger of doing away with the Queen’s title.

Read it all.

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

All 5 Harmons Together for the Last Time this Summer

Posted in * By Kendall, Harmon Family

Helen Razer on Time's "Attachment parenting"–A lack of Roman Charity in the debate on motherhood

If all representation of motherhood is to be DIY, journalists, public intellectuals or scientists can make no contribution. Frankly, having read about the paralysis “attachment parenting” seems to demand of women, public intellectuals need to get on that tout de suite.

Perhaps this revulsion for Time is evidence of a broader cultural shift toward personal narratives. Perhaps many women feel comfortable representing themselves but would prefer not to be represented. Perhaps this is evidence of the death of a professional journalism that the successful breastfeeding cover of Time has temporarily averted.

Or, perhaps, many women do believe their motherhood is sacred.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Media, Psychology, Science & Technology, Women

Time Cover Article–The growth of and debate about Attachment-parenting

“Going into this, I never would have thought we would parent the way we do,” she says. “I thought other parents who did this were crazy.”

A lot of people might use the same word to describe the child-rearing philosophy Joanne subscribes to. It’s called attachment parenting, and its rise over the past two decades has helped redefine the modern relationship between mother and baby. It’s not just staunch devotees like Joanne; the prevalence of this philosophy has shifted mainstream American parenting toward a style that’s more about parental devotion and sacrifice than about raising self-sufficient kids….
While the concept sounds simple, the practicalities of attachment parenting ask a great deal of mothers. The three basic tenets are breast-feeding (sometimes into toddlerhood), co-sleeping (inviting babies into the parental bed or pulling a bassinet alongside it) and “baby wearing,” in which infants are literally attached to their mothers via slings. Attachment-parenting dogma also says that every baby’s whimper is a plea for help and that no infant should ever be left to cry.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Psychology, Women

Peter Smith–Religious decline, family upheaval occurring in tandem

[A central subject of interest in the 21st century is] how churches are coping with a half-century of revolutionary change in Americans’ family structures and sex lives….

According to author and journalist James Haught, the crumbling of sexual and other taboos is one of the surest signs that the United States is belatedly following Europe and other industrialized nations into a post-religious era.

In his book, “Fading Faith: The Rise of the Secular Age,” Haught cites the growing lack of religious identity among young adults, the steep decline in liberal Protestant denominations and an exodus from the Catholic Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

(ACNS) Episcopal and Catholic bishops ready to "do all in their power" to realise an end to war

Episcopal and Catholic bishops from South Sudan have said that together they “stand committed to do all in [their] power” to realise an end to war between Sudan and South Sudan.

Following a three-day meeting in Yei, South Sudan, lead by Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro and Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, the 14 bishops issued a ”˜Message of Peace’ which laid out their hopes and plans for an end to conflict.

Referencing the famous Martin Luther King speech, the bishop’s said: “We dream of two nations which are democratic and free, where people of all religions, all ethnic groups, all cultures and all languages enjoy equal human rights based on citizenship. We dream of two nations at peace with each other, co-operating to make the best use of their God-given resources, promoting free interaction between their citizens, living side by side in solidarity and mutual respect, celebrating their shared history and forgiving any wrongs they may have done to each other….”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Politics in General, Sudan, Violence

Merkel tells Greece to back cuts or face euro exit

Greece may be forced to leave the euro if the country refuses to implement spending cuts agreed with the European Union, Angela Merkel warned.

Raising the spectre of a Greek exit, the German chancellor said “solidarity for the euro” was threatened by the ongoing political crisis in Athens.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Greece, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

(Telegraph) Roger Bootle–The final death throes of the euro?

The euro crisis is entering its final stages. Economic pain is now interacting with political resistance to produce intense financial pressure. I expect Greece to leave the euro ”“ and perhaps very soon.

It could happen voluntarily, but both the Greek people and Greek politicians are still clinging to the idea that they can put an end to austerity yet still stay in the euro. In order to try to achieve that, a new government may call the eurozone’s bluff.

At that point, the other eurozone members would face an awkward choice. Doubtless there would be voices in favour of providing the money, willy nilly. That might well be the French position. But if the eurozone gives way on this, what chance would there be of painful austerity being continued, not just in Greece but also in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland? The northern countries would face the prospect of pouring money into a bottomless pit.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Politics in General, Portugal, Spain

(NY Times Well Blog) Watching TV Linked to Poor Diet in Students

A national survey of more than 12,000 students in grades 5 to 10 has found that television viewing is associated not only with unhealthy snacking while watching, but also with unhealthy eating at all times.

Researchers asked the children how much TV they watched; how often they snacked while watching; how often they ate fruits, vegetables and candy and drank soda; and how often they skipped breakfast.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Movies & Television

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Lift up our hearts, we beseech thee, O Christ, above the false show of things, above fear, above laziness, above selfishness and covetousness, above custom and fashion, up to the everlasting truth and order that thou art; that so we may live joyfully and freely, in faithful trust that thou art our Saviour, our example, and our friend, both now and for evermore.

–Charles Kingsley (1819–1875)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

–1 Timothy 2:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(News Letter) Church of Ireland bishops split on marriage vote

Two Church of Ireland bishops have taken the highly unusual step of publicly voting against a motion brought by other bishops which re-stated the church’s traditional teaching on marriage.

The liberal bishops of Cork and Cashel and Ossory opposed a General Synod motion which attempted to clarify the church’s teaching on same-sex relationships by stating that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

In a public display of the disagreements within the Church of Ireland’s leadership on the issue of homosexuality, Bishops Michael Burrows and Paul Colton voted against the motion at the church’s general synod in Dublin, while the 10 other bishops supported it.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Parish Ministry, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

C of I Article on Synod's Passing of the Motion On Human Sexuality for Christian Believers

Proposing the revised motion the Archbishop of Dublin said he appreciated the willingness of Synod to deal with the topic of Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief. He apologised to those who felt that the original motion was “bounced” on them just days before Synod saying this was simply due to pressure of time and was not intended to cause hurt or insult.

The Archbishop explained that the term ”˜normative’ was used theologically in the motion “to give voice to God’s perfect loving will for, in and through the creation”. “Normative is not used in any such way as to make anyone: abnormal, in the context of human sexuality or of anything else,” he stated.

Explaining the terminology of the resolution the Archbishop said the term sexual intercourse was necessary because: “It is a term which has a legally defined meaning, and it complements and sheds light on the term: chastity which is to be found in the Catechism. That is why it has to be used here, reticent though anyone might be about it”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

Text of the motion on Human Sexuality passed in Church of Ireland General Synod

It is entitled “Human Sexuality in the Context of Christian Belief.” Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

(Living Church) The Message of the Mission in TEC's Latest Budget

I have two main missiological concerns with the proposed 2013-15 triennial budget of the Episcopal Church approved (though there is some dispute about this) by Executive Council at its January meeting and now in the hands of the Program, Budget, and Finance Committee, a joint body of General Convention.

One is the understanding of missiology, or lack thereof, that has guided some of these budgetary decisions. It should be clear to most people that we are living in a time of profound transition in our society and in our churches. There are fundamental shifts in American society and American Christianity affecting all religious organizations. As a result of these and other realities, difficult choices must be made. What kind of structures should we have, what should we be doing, and how should it all be funded? What are the theological and missiological reasons for the choices made?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Missions, Parish Ministry, Stewardship