Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Presiding Bishop is at it again – 9 TEC bishops this time

Bishops Edward Salmon, Peter Beckwith, Bruce MacPherson, Maurice Benitez, John Howe, Paul Lambert, Bill Love, Dan Martins and James Stanton charged for supporting the Constitution of The Episcopal Church

Two Breaking stories – read them all:

Anglican Ink: Bishops Salmon, Beckwith, and MacPherson charged with misconduct: Charges filed for endorsing brief filed by the ACNA Diocese of Quincy

Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against three bishops of the Episcopal Church under the provisions of Title IV for having endorsed a legal pleading filed in the Quincy lawsuit.

On 28 June 2012, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, Jr., former Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House seminary, the Rt. Rev. Peter H. Beckwith, former Bishop of Springfield, and th Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana received an email from the Rt. Rev. F. Clayton Matthews stating that the charges had been leveled against them.

The bishops have not been informed what canon they violated. But they appear to be accused of violating the canons for having filed a brief in opposition to the national church’s motion for summary judgment in the case of the Diocese of Quincy v. the Episcopal Church.

The 16 Dec 2011 Judge Thomas Ortbal of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Court in Adams County, Ill., dismissed the claim that as a “matter of law” the Episcopal Church was a hierarchical entity with dioceses being subordinate to the national church. The judge rejected the motion for summary judgment brought by the national church against the breakaway Diocese of Quincy and set the matter for trial. Read more

Anglican Ink: Seven more TEC bishops charged with misconduct: Support for ACNA pleading is grounds for discipline complaint alleges

Seven bishops have been charged with misconduct for having endorsed a friend of the court brief prepared by the Anglican Communion Institute in the Diocese of Fort Worth case.

On 28 June 2012, the Rt Rev Maurice M. Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, the Rt Rev John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt Rev Paul E. Lambert. Suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt Rev William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt Rev D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt Rev Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas were informed they had been charged with misconduct.

The bishops have not been notified with violation of the canons they have committed, but Bishop Matthews’ notice refers to the pleading they endorsed in the Diocese of Fort Worth case presently before the Texas Supreme Court.

In an amicus brief filed on 23 April 2012 the seven bishops and three scholars from the ACI ”“ the Rev. Christopher R. Seitz, the Very Rev. Philip W. Turner, and the Very Rev. Ephraim Radner — argued a Tarrant County, Texas trial court misconstrued the church’s constitutions and canons by holding that the Episcopal Church was a hierarchical body with ultimate power vested in the General Convention. Read more

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Allan Haley comments on the aggressive action taken against 9 TEC Bishops on the Eve of GC 2012

Stalinist Tactics Deployed to Silence ECUSA Bishops in Court
Needless to say, these “charges” should never have made it past the Intake Officer, and would not have done so without the implicit approval of the Presiding Bishop herself.
For Canons IV.5.4 and IV.5.5 state in part as follows (note that in the case of charges against bishops, Canon IV.17.2 (c) provides that “Bishop Diocesan” shall mean the Presiding Bishop):
[blockquote]Sec. 4. Upon receipt of such information, the Intake Officer may make such preliminary investigation as he or she deems necessary, and shall incorporate the information into a written intake report, including as much specificity as possible. The Intake Officer shall provide copies of the intake report to the other members of the Reference Panel and to the Church Attorney.

Sec. 5. If the Intake Officer determines that the information, if true, would not constitute an Offense, the Intake Officer shall inform the Bishop Diocesan of an intention to dismiss the matter. If the Bishop Diocesan does not object, the Intake Officer shall dismiss the matter…[/blockquote]
Bishop Matthew’s email does not notify the bishops that he is dismissing the charges. To the contrary: he states that he will “initiate a disciplinary process according to Title IV Canon 6 Sec. 3 & 4 …”. Those Canons spell out the offenses for which clergy may be charged, and would be irrelevant if the charges were being dismissed. Consequently, either Bishop Matthews wanted to dismiss the charges, and the Presiding Bishop objected; or else Bishop Matthews truly believes the charges may constitute an offense under the Church canons, and so he is proceeding with his investigation.

But just what does it mean to say that ECUSA is or is not “hierarchical”? In legal proceedings, such a statement is called a “conclusion of law”, reached after an inquiry into all the relevant facts. Attorneys and judges differ all the time over conclusions of law, and so it is fair to say that what the law will conclude on a given set of facts is a matter of opinion. And that is why the bishops filed their various affidavits and brief: ECUSA had given its opinion to the judges in each case that it was “hierarchical,” and the bishops simply wanted to give the contrary version of that opinion.

After all, it is for the judges ultimately to decide which view is more correct (or to modify their holding to yet another version, if they are so inclined). That is what judges are paid to do. So how can the Episcopal Church (USA) possibly charge someone with discipline for expressing an opinion? Such a right is guaranteed to everyone in America by the First Amendment.

Well, if it is not opinion in the case of the Episcopal Church (USA), then is it a matter of Church doctrine? Is the polity of the Episcopal Church (USA) truly a “doctrinal” matter?

It does not matter if it were, because then the following provisions of Canon IV.17.7 would apply:
[blockquote]Notwithstanding any provision of this Title to the contrary, no proceeding shall be brought under this Title against a Bishop in which the Offense alleged is violation of Canon IV.4.1(h)(2) for holding and teaching, or having held and taught, publicly or privately, and advisedly, any Doctrine contrary to that held by the Church unless a statement of disassociation shall have first been issued by the House of Bishops as provided in Canon IV.17.7 (a) and thereafter the consent of one-third of the Bishops qualified to vote in the House of Bishops has been received to initiate proceedings under this Title as provided in Canon IV.17.7 (b).[/blockquote]
Needless to say, no such “statement of disassociation” has been issued by the House of Bishops. Thus Bishop Matthews cannot be treating the bishops’ alleged offense as a matter of advocating false doctrine.

That takes us back to expressing a matter of opinion. One searches in vain through the new Title IV for any offense that consists of expressing an opinion at variance with the leadership of the Church. The loosest of all the provisions is for engaging in “conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy”, and if it is “conduct unbecoming” to disagree with the position that ECUSA is hierarchical, then a considerable number of clergy in the Church would have to be charged.

The idea, of course, is ridiculous on its face. And that is why these “charges” against these bishops should never have made it past the Intake Officer. In fact, if the Presiding Bishop did approve the bringing of these charges, then she herself should be charged under the provisions of Canon IV.3.1 (c):
[blockquote]Sec. 1. A Member of the Clergy shall be subject to proceedings under this Title for: (c) intentionally and maliciously bringing a false accusation . . . in any investigation or proceeding under this Title.[/blockquote]
(Emphasis added.) These charges are certainly intentionally brought, because it takes, as noted above, the concurrence of the Presiding Bishop not to have dismissed them in the first instance. And are they “maliciously” brought as well?

Those who know the history of the Presiding Bishop’s disregard for the canons will have no hesitation in answering that question.

Read it all

Posted in Uncategorized

The Latest Edition of the Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops

(Reuters) Islamist President says Egypt won't reverse course

Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Mursi opened his first public address after his inauguration on Saturday with the words “God is greatest, above everyone” and pledged to keep the country on a democratic course after Hosni Mubarak’s fall.

He spoke at Cairo University to ordinary people, politicians and generals. He told the latter they were now free to take their troops back to barracks to focus on national security.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

[Washington Post] Randy Barnett : We lost on healthcare but the Constitution won

The legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, which I advocated as a law professor before representing the National Federation of Independent Business as a lawyer, was about two huge things: saving the country from Obamacare and saving the Constitution for the country.

On Thursday, to my great disappointment, we lost the first point in the Supreme Court’s 5 to 4 ruling to uphold the health-care law. But to my enormous relief, we won the second. Before the decision, I figured it was all or nothing. But if I had been made to choose one over the other, I would have picked the Constitution.

Read it all

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[Washington Times] NAPOLITANO: Roberts unleashes vast federal power

The logic in the majority opinion is the jurisprudential equivalent of passing a camel through the eye of a needle. The logic is so tortured, unexpected and unprecedented that even the law’s most fervent supporters did not make or anticipate the court’s argument in its support. Under the Constitution, a tax must originate in the House, which this law did not, and it must be applied for doing something, like earning income or purchasing tobacco or fuel, not for doing nothing. In all the history of the court, it has never held that a penalty imposed for violating a federal law was really a tax.

Read it all

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[Reuters] Egypt's first Islamist president takes oath

Addressing the “Muslims and Christians of Egypt”, Mursi promised a “civil, nationalist, constitutional state”, making no mention of the Brotherhood’s dream of creating an Islamic order.

Mursi promised to work for the release of Omar Abdul Rahman, a blind Egyptian militant cleric jailed for life in the United States over a 1993 bomb attack on New York’s World Trade Centre.

That seemed to signal an intention to carve out a more independent line towards the United States, which provides $1.3 billion a year in military aid in support of Egypt’s 1979 peace treaty with Israel. Mursi has said he will respect his country’s international obligations, an oblique reference to the treaty.

Read it all

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[New Zealand Herald] Anglican debate on gays risks splitting church

Read it all

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[Dominion Post] Wellington's new Anglican Bishop ordained

People crowded the aisles and craned their necks from all angles to see Wellington’s new Anglican Bishop ordained today.

About 2000 people packed Wellington Cathedral to see Justin Duckworth installed as the capital’s new bishop.

……As someone who has always shied away from the mainstream church, Mr Duckworth acknowledges he would not have been on many people’s list of likely contenders but believes he now has a mandate to shake things up.

“I’m just there to help them do that. I think we recognised that we needed to, in some sense, re-engage with younger generations and work out how to make sure that the church doesn’t die in the next few generations. It is a little bit of pressure but it is also a lovely generous thing.”

Read it all and check out the 3 News video report here

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A Prayer for Saturday 30th June 2012

Almighty God, you have broken the tyranny of sin
and have sent the Spirit of your Son into our hearts whereby we call you Father:
give us grace to dedicate our freedom to your service,
that we and all creation may be brought to the glorious liberty of the children of God;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Reading for Saturday 30th June 2012

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:1-11

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[CS Monitor] In fleeing Colorado Springs fire, tales of kind neighbors…

The fire that started in the popular hiking destination of Waldo Canyon west of town has consumed more than 19,000 acres and 346 houses. It has taken the efforts of 1,008 firefighters to reach only 10 percent containment. Now, tragically, it has claimed a life, as well as led to some 32,000 people being evacuated.

I am one of them, and I can tell you what it is like.

Read it all

Also: CNN: Colorado city looks to Obama for aid as fire turns deadly
and White House: President Obama Signs Colorado Disaster Declaration
Please pray for those affected including the response teams

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[Anglican TV] Anglican Unscripted Episode 44 (One Year Anniversary)

In this week’s Anglican Unscripted Kevin and George discuss the Arab Apocalypse and the effects on the Anglican Church in Egypt. Also, the two June Birthday boys discuss General Convention and the illogical musings of Rowan Williams. Alan Haley delves into the mess we call the Supreme Court and special guest Bishop Dan Martins gives us a sneak peak on GC2012. #AU44
from here

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[Church Times] Ordinariate pays back £1 million to Anglican charity

The Ordinariate has paid back a £1-million grant it received from the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament (News, 8 July 2011) after the Charity Commission ruled that the payment was “unauthorised”.

The Commission announced the conclusion of its investigation of the grant yesterday. Its statement says that the decision to make a grant to the Ordinariate, a Roman Catholic body for former Anglicans, “was taken at an inquorate meeting, the majority of the trustees having a (financial) personal interest in the decision” and was “in breach of the charity’s governing document”.

Since the meeting was inquorate, it says, the decision to award the money was “invalid. There was no valid exercise of the power to make a gift to the Ordinariate and the payment was unauthorised.”

Read it all and the Charity Commission case report is here

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[JMECA] News from the Episcopal Diocese of Egypt

On Thursday the 24th of May, Bishop Mouneer met with former President of the United States Jimmy Carter. They discussed the situation in Egypt, and Bishop Mouneer shared about the role and ministry of the Anglican Church in Egypt.

Bishop Mouneer presented President Carter with a booklet about the new Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat City (see below). President Carter gave Bishop Mouneer a copy of his book “Through the Year with Jimmy Carter” a book of reflections drawn from his 30 years of experience teaching Sunday School classes.

After this meeting, Bishop Mouneer and President Carter went to the Coptic Orthodox Patriachate in Abbasiyia to meet with leaders of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Presbyterian Church, and the Coptic Catholic Church.

Peace and Reconciliation
The Story Began Here…Two people (President Sadat of Egypt, and President Carter of USA) committed to reconciliation and who were ready to put their lives at risk to bring peace. One of the outcomes of the 1979 Camp David Accord, the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, was the creation of Sadat City, the city of peace.

The Fruits of this Peace are”¦.

Harpur Memorial Hospital in Sadat City; a practical interfaith dialogue and a tool to bring peace among faith communities.

Read it all

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New Bishop of Accra ordained, but election of Primate still to come

The Venerable Dr Daniel Silvanus Mensah Torto was ordained the ninth Anglican Bishop of the Diocese of Accra this weekend, but the Church of the Province of West Africa is yet to elect a new Primate.

Commenting on erroneous media reports that Bishop Torto would automatically become Primate on the current Archbishop’s retirement, the Provincial Secretary the Revd Canon Fr Anthony Eiwuley told ACNS that the election of a new Archbishop would take place in September.

“The reports were incorrect. The journalists just assumed that whoever is Bishop of Accra also becomes the new Primate. We are yet to elect an Archbishop,” he said. “We will meet in September to do this and the Primate steps down in October.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Province of West Africa, Anglican Provinces

Friday Mental Health Break–An Amazingly Active Bowl of Noodles

A short stop motion film by Tyler Nicolson, music by Chris Adriaanse–Watch it all.

Posted in * General Interest

[Vatican Today] Westminster Abbey choir sings in St Peter's Basilica

A return visit
…the world famous Westminster Abbey choir is here in the Vatican this week to sing alongside the Sistine Chapel choir at the Papal Mass for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul on Friday morning. In issuing the invitation, Pope Benedict stressed that such an event may serve to encourage the enriching mutual exchange of gifts between the two liturgical and cultural traditions.

To find out more about the choir’s history and about the programme of events for this visit, Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen spoke to the Dean of Westminster Abbey, Rev Dr John Hall”¦..

Read and listen to it all

Update: Westminster Abbey Choir in St Peter’s this morning with the Sistine Chapel Choir

from here where there are more videos

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(Der Spiegel) How Italy and Spain Defeated Merkel at the EU Summit

Angela Merkel took a tough stance ahead of the EU summit, insisting she would not make concessions. But Italy and Spain broke the will of the iron chancellor by out-negotiating her in the early hours of Friday morning. Germany caved in to demands for less stringent bailouts and direct aid to banks.

Mario Monti was so relieved that he even spoke about football. He is proud and happy that the Italian national team defeated Germany in the semi-finals of the European Football Championship, the Italian prime minister said in the early hours of Friday morning after the marathon night of European Union summit meetings. Given that Monti isn’t much of a soccer fan, Italian journalists saw his comments as a veritable emotional outburst.

With good reason. Monti emerged from the late-night negotiations as a clear victor, having broken Chancellor Angela Merkel’s resistance just as Italian striker Mario Balotelli cracked the German defense on the pitch in Warsaw earlier in the evening. In 15 hours of negotiations in Brussels, Monti together with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy secured easier access to the permanent euro-zone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)….

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, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector

Kendall Harmon–Did Anyone Notice What the Supreme Court Actually Achieved Yesterday?

They kept their decision confidential. Not one leak, Not one semi-sliver of a little detail released prematurely. Lips sealed.

It has a role, and, yes, it can be done–even today. Confidentiality, secrets, limits that should not be breached–these things matter.

Hooray for them–it is one of the reasons there is so much surprise.

Say what you want about the actual decision, but this aspect of its handling deserves real praise–KSH.

Posted in * By Kendall, * Culture-Watch, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues

A Prayer for the Feast Day of St. Peter and St. Paul

Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified thee by their martyrdom: Grant that thy Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by thy Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God, who hast willed that the gate of mercy should stand open to the faithful: Look on us, and have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; that we who by thy grace are following the path of thy will may continue in the same all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Uncategorized

From the Morning Bible Readings

And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there. Now there was no water for the congregation; and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people contended with Moses, and said, “Would that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come up out of Egypt, to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and fell on their faces. And the glory of the LORD appeared to them, and the LORD said to Moses, “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water; so you shall bring water out of the rock for them; so you shall give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?” And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. And the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” These are the waters of Mer’ibah, where the people of Israel contended with the LORD, and he showed himself holy among them.

–Numbers 20:1-13

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Italy Beat Germany to Advance to the Euro 2012 Finals on Sunday

Congratulations to them they played well; Buffon is quite the goalie.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Europe, Germany, Italy, Men, Sports

Health-care reform law: How Supreme Court ruling affects families

For the roughly 50 million uninsured Americans, the court’s ruling has the biggest implications. For the majority of citizens who currently have insurance, the ruling could mean some important changes as well, such as to their health plans or their personal tax rates.

Many less affluent Americans who do not qualify for Medicaid may now gain health coverage as the program is expanded.

For others among the ranks of some 50 million uninsured Americans, the law creates a system of tax subsidies ”“ designed to help more Americans afford health coverage ”“ plus the mandate to buy insurance or pay a fine.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Economy, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance

Full Document of Supreme Court Health Care Decision(s) [PDF]

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues

(Allan Haley) Supreme Court Does the Unexpected

Article Updated 9:30 pm 28th June – see the full article on the Anglican Curmudgeon link
The Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, that the individual health care mandate passes constitutional muster as a tax, even though it is invalid under the Commerce Clause:

Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.

In other words, if you don’t want to follow the mandate, you pay the tax (penalty/fine … whatever). Chief Justice Roberts sided with the liberals in upholding it as a tax, and joined the conservatives in finding that it violated the Commerce Clause, and could not be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause. (That is actually a big win, because it puts a limit on Congress’ ability to enact future social welfare laws.)

At the same time, the conservatives (again with the Chief Justice) managed indirectly to limit the application of, but not invalidate entirely, the Medicaid provisions. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan would have upheld the Medicaid provisions just as Congress wrote them, including the discretion granted to the Secretary of Health and Human Services to withhold “all or any part” of a State’s Medicaid reimbursements unless it provided the expanded coverages that Congress added through the Act. Chief Justice Roberts viewed the grant of this discretion as too coercive

Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.

The four dissenters agreed, but regarded the rest of the Medicaid provisions as non-severable. For them, accordingly, the invalidity of the discretion granted to the Secretary meant the invalidity of all of the Medicaid expansion provisions. This would have left the rest of the Medicaid provisions in limbo, with four voting to strike them down in toto, four voting to uphold them in their entirety, and the Chief Justice wanting only to limit the application of one particular part. By concurring in part IV.B of his opinion (agreeing to keep the rest of the Medicaid provisions intact), therefore, the liberals led by Justice Ginsburg produced five votes in favor of keeping the other provisions as enacted, while the Chief Justice and the conservatives constituted five votes to curb the Secretary’s discretion. And that, dear readers, is an instance of the politics of the Supreme Court in action.

Bottom line: we are stuck with Obamacare largely as passed. The vote of Chief Justice Roberts saved most of the Act, 5-4, and limited (by the same margin, 5-4) the one part of the Act he did not like. He voted with the four liberals to uphold the mandate, but with the four conservatives to limit the conditions that Congress can attach to Medicaid funding……….

Read more here and [the unofficial but well informed] SCOTUS liveblog is recorded here with links to press coverage and articles.

Also Lyle Denniston: “Don’t call it a mandate – it’s a tax” SCOTUSblog (Jun. 28, 2012, 11:07 AM EDT)

and Kevin Russell Court holds that states have choice whether to join medicaid expansion SCOTUSblog (Jun. 28, 2012, 11:16 AM EDT)

The SCOTUSblog menu of links for the day are here and see also the Special Feature: Post-decision Health Care Symposium]

NPR: Interactive: Inside The Health Care Ruling

Posted in Uncategorized

A Preliminary Report on the Episcopal Diocese of Maine's Mutual Study of Ministry

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Parishes, Theology

Bishop Mouneer Anis Writes his People about his recent visit with Mohammed Mursi

(Via email–KSH).

Dear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

Yesterday I received a phone call from the Presidential Palace asking me to meet with the new President of Egypt, Dr. Mohammed Mursi. The President also invited the heads of other the Christian denominations for the meeting.
We were received with a warm welcome from the President. Each one of us gave congratulations to the President and he assured us that Christians are equal citizens in Egypt and it is his duty to make sure that every citizen receives his or her rights. The President also told us stories from the history of Islam of how Muslim leaders were very keen to ensure the right of citizenship of all Christians in Egypt.

I assured the President of our prayers for him and also asked him to make the topic of “National Unity” a priority. By “National Unity” I mean, of course, equality between Christians and Muslims and applying the rule of law on all citizens. He immediately responded that there were attempts to disrupt this National Unity in the past and create a strained relation between Christians and Muslims. He promised to do his best to ensure the rights of Christians, especially in regard to building churches.

I also asked the President to consider attending one of the meetings of “Beit el Aila” the House of the Family, which is an initiative of the Grand Imam to bring Christian and Muslims leaders together to discuss ways to enhance the religious harmony. He immediately agreed to host one of these meetings.

I shared this news with the Grand Imam who was happy to hear that the President will give a serious attention to “Beit el Aila.”

I came out of the thirty-five minute meeting very encouraged. I must say that this initiative of the President carries in itself the desire to assure Christians that he will be the President of all Egyptians.

We will continue to pray for him and for our beloved country Egypt.

May the Lord bless you!

Yours in Christ,

–The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican Diocese of Egypt
with North Africa and the Horn of Africa
President Bishop of the Episcopal / Anglican
Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Egypt, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East

(Washington Post) The Supreme Court’s Unusual moment in the spotlight

The first Monday in October and the last week of June, the bookends for each session, are always moments in the spotlight for the Supreme Court. But this is no ordinary time.

The court has rarely occupied so prominent a place in the public consciousness as now: deciding the constitutionality of a health-care plan that would touch every American, ruling on the president’s bitterly fought signature domestic achievement, issuing an opinion that will immediately affect election-year politics.

“More people have paid attention to this case than any other case in recent memory, probably with the exception of Bush v. Gore,” Paul D. Clement, who argued the case on behalf of the law’s challengers, told reporters last week.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Law & Legal Issues