Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

(CEN) American Ordinariate accused of being ”˜insufficiently Catholic’

The American branch of the Anglican Ordinariate is insufficiently Catholic, critics charge, following the announcement the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter will not use the traditional Latin mass ”“ the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.
Clergy who had been permitted to use the Latin mass by their Anglican bishops tell The Church of England Newspaper they are nonplussed in being forbidden to use the traditional rite now that they are Catholic priests.
On 30 July, Mgr Jeffrey Steenson, the ordinary of the Chair of St Peter and the former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande, released a statement clarifying the Ordinariate’s liturgical formularies after some new converts claimed he was bullying them by forbidding the use of the Latin mass.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Pope Benedict XVI, Roman Catholic

(USA Today) The Budget impasse in Washington, D.C. , darkens the Economic Outlook

Most economists surveyed by USA TODAY have little faith a divided Congress will adequately address looming tax increases and spending cuts, significantly hampering economic growth well into 2013.

The standoff in Washington, along with the global economic slowdown, threatens a U.S. economy that otherwise would be gaining steam on a strengthening U.S. housing market and improving private-sector balance sheets, economists say. The survey of 50 leading economists was conducted Aug. 3-8.

Fifty-three percent of those surveyed don’t think Congress will be able to lessen the impact of $560 billion in tax increases and spending cuts, slated to take effect at year’s end, in a way that avoids significant damage to the economy. The Congressional Budget Office says the so-called fiscal cliff would slice up to 4 percentage points off growth next year — causing the economy to contract in the first half — if all the deficit-slicing measures occur at once.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, House of Representatives, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Senate, Taxes, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

(NPR) Playing Violin on the Street In Lansing, Michigan, To Rave Reviews

“I’m actually not a music major. This is really a hobby that accidentally became a profession,” [Alexis] Dawdy says. “I’m studying linguistics, and I’m 17 credits out from graduation. My goal is to do it debt-free, and this helps a lot. This pays for books and this pays for food.”

Dawdy says she’s encountered nothing but hospitality from her neighbors in Lansing.

Read (or better listen to) it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Economy, Education, Music, Personal Finance, Women, Young Adults

(Washington Post) Aurora, Colorado, shooting victims face challenges beyond their injuries

For the severely injured victims and their families, the Colorado shooting poses challenges that go beyond physical pain and recovery. Some of the victims, like Soudani, are uninsured; others worry that they won’t be able to pay their rent and other bills. A few are likely to be permanently disabled and perhaps unable to work. Many are young adults, faced with a staggering setback.

“They have to cope with finding a new normal,” said Laura Bacak, director of case management at the Medical Center of Aurora, which treated 18 of the shooting victims. “It’s particularly difficult for a young person who is just starting their life, because they have to grieve the loss of what might have been.”

Caleb Medley, 23, an aspiring comic, has been in a medically induced coma since the shooting. Medley, who doesn’t have health insurance, missed the birth of his son, according to his friends.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology, Violence

Mark Coppenger reviews Alister McGrath's new book Mere Apologetics

McGrath’s strong emphasis is on sensitive, artful, and personalized discourse, built on careful listening for the deeper layers of concern in the hearts of those whose spirits are grieved by the brokenness of humanity. It’s a strategy we might describe as “pastoral apologetics.”

This is fine so far as it goes, but what about settings that preclude the pastoral approach? After all, many contemporary apologetic encounters take place within radio call-in shows and university debates, where the interlocutor may be a confident attacker rather than a wounded soul, and the time for spiritual probing is quite limited.
Fortunately, McGrath provides the reader with some handy, off-the-rack rejoinders. To the claim, for instance, that “we can’t be sure about anything,” one might reply: “Are you sure about that?” Still, he wants to equip readers for something beyond clashes of logic. His ambition is to communicate not only the truth, but also the “attractiveness and joy of the Christian gospel to our culture.” We should be like prisms breaking up the light of the gospel into the colors of the rainbow.

Arguably, the most common theme in the entire book is his construal of apologetics as “removing [or overcoming] barriers [or obstacles] to faith….”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Apologetics, Books, Evangelicals, Other Churches, Theology

(WSJ) Can Syria's Christians Survive?

Near the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Church of St. Simeon the Stylite commemorates the 5th-century ascetic who became an ancient sensation by living atop a tall pedestal for decades to demonstrate his faith. Krak des Chevaliers, an awe-inspiring castle near Homs, was a fortress for the order of the Knights Hospitaller in their quest to defend a crusader kingdom. Seydnaya, a towering monastery in a town of the same name, was probably built in the time of Justinian.

A nun there spoke about Syria’s current crisis from within a candlelit alcove this week, surrounded by thousand-year-old votive icons donated by Russian Orthodox churchgoers and silver pendants in the shape of body parts that supplicants have sought to heal””feet, heads, legs, arms, even a pair of lungs and a kidney.

“It’s not a small thing we are facing,” she said, speaking as much about the country as her faith. “We just want the killing to stop.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Syria, Violence

(Haaretz) New National Intelligence Estimate–Iran making big progress toward nuclear capability

This NIE report on Iran was supposed to have been submitted to Obama a few weeks ago, but it was revised to include new and alarming intelligence information about military components of Iran’s nuclear program. Haaretz has learned that the report’s conclusions are quite similar to those drawn by Israel’s intelligence community.

The NIE report contends that Iran has made surprising, notable progress in the research and development of key components of its military nuclear program.

The NIE reports are the most important assessments compiled by the U.S. intelligence community and are submitted to the president and other top governmental officials. This NIE report was compiled by an inter-departmental team headed by director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Its contents articulate the views of American intelligence agencies.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Middle East, Politics in General, Science & Technology

(Independent Leader) A murder trial that says much about China

In character and location, the city of Hefei in China’s Anhui province and the privileged seaside resort of Beidaihe on China’s eastern coast could not be more different. But today they will be intimately connected, as the trial opens of Gu Kailai ”“ until recently known as the Jackie Kennedy of China ”“ for complicity in the murder of a British businessman, Neil Heywood.

The link is Ms Gu’s husband, the former Communist Party boss of Chongqing, Bo Xilai, whose lineage and ambition would doubtless have qualified him for a villa at Beidaihe ”“ the traditional summer retreat of China’s politial elite ”“ this crucial year had the Heywood affair not intervened. As leader of one of China’s fastest growing cities, he was a serious player, but a contentious one, too, because of what were seen as his unfashionable ”“ and perhaps dangerous ”“ conservative views.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, China, England / UK, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

(Economix Blog) Catherine Rampell–Is This Really the Worst Economic Recovery Since the Depression?

Economists often assert that we are in the worst recovery since the Great Depression. Are we?

Not technically, but it’s still unusually bad.

Certainly the economy is in an abysmal state, and we still have about five million fewer jobs than we had when the recession began in December 2007. But the level of economic activity is so low chiefly because the recession itself was so severe; indeed, on many economic indicators, the Great Recession was the deepest (and longest) downturn since the Great Depression.

Read it all and examine the graphic.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, History, Housing/Real Estate Market, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

One Episcopal Parish's Self-Description

Welcome to All Saints’ Episcopal Church located in NE Philadelphia. We have been a worshiping and ministering presence in the Torresdale section of the city for 240 years. Since our beginning in 1772 we have evolved to address the needs of our local community, the greater Philadelphia area and the global community as well.

In this 21st century we are learning what the Apostle Paul meant in his Letter to the Galatians, “… for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Spend a Sunday with us and you will discover Paul’s words in action. People joining you in the pews come from all around NE Philadelphia. We are men and women and children. We are young and old. Some of us are white and some are black. Some have families and some are single. Some of us are straight and some of us are gay. Some of us are people of means and some of us struggle to make ends meet. But when we kneel at the communion rail, hands stretched out, we are, as Garrison Keillor described his own experience of an Episcopal church, “A real anthology of the faith.” We are, indeed, all one in Christ Jesus.

It is our Baptismal Covenant that helps us understand what community in action means. All Baptismal candidates from infancy to maturity are invited to put their whole trust in the grace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord. In the covenant we are asked to embrace life-giving commitments…

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Posted in Uncategorized

Becky Garrison–The Episcopal Church promotes the “T” in the LGBT equation

Lost in this discussion are the developments in theology, science, psychology and other disciplines around this topic that inform the work of academics like as the Rev. Dr. Cameron Partridge, a transman who is the Episcopal chaplain for Boston University and a lecturer at Harvard Divinity School. He notes how those with bodies perceived as “different” can make us feel uncomfortable about our own bodies. But transgender clergy bring embodiment into the conversation in an exploration of “what does it mean to be human?”

For now, this appears a question that those commenting about the changes transpiring in the church don’t appear willing to address. After a slight flurry of articles about these trans friendly resolutions in outlets such as the Chicago Tribune and Anglican newspaper Church Times , once a trial rite for same-sex blessings passed, the media coverage shifted to focus solely on this particular LGBT related resolution.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Psychology, Science & Technology, Sexuality, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NPR) Episcopal Church Courts Latinos

In Oregon, the number of Latino Episcopalians has increased more than five-fold over the past decade. Church leaders say the influx is, in part, because the denomination’s worship services look and sound familiar to Hispanics raised in the Catholic Church. But Northwest Episcopal Churches are luring Latinos with a focused marketing campaign.

The 10 o’clock high mass at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Oregon probably sounds a lot like it did when the congregation was founded nearly a century ago.

Father Kurt Neilson leads the liturgy, as he has for the past 17 years. He says attendance at the two morning services has been relatively flat. The real growth is in the afternoon.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Jeremy Taylor

O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we beseech thee, like thy servant Jeremy Taylor, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of human life; and let thy Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Provinces, Church History, Church of England (CoE), Spirituality/Prayer

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Come, Lord, and reign over us as our rightful King. Rule in our hearts and fill them with thy love; rule in our minds and bring every thought into captivity to thyself; rule in our lives and make them holy like thine own; for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, for ever and ever.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

I will sing of thy steadfast love, O LORD, for ever; with my mouth I will proclaim thy faithfulness to all generations. For thy steadfast love was established for ever, thy faithfulness is firm as the heavens.

–Psalm 89:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Nigeria army 'kills 20 Boko Haram Islamists'

Nigerian troops have killed 20 suspected members of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in the north-east of the country, the army says.

One government soldier also died in a shootout in the town of Maiduguri.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Terrorism, Violence

Archbishop John Sentamu–Zimbabwe – Don't Give Up Now

Whilst the British Government seem to be considering easing some sanctions against Mr Mugabe and his personal allies, I am not convinced that the time has come to weaken international opposition to the President of Zimbabwe’s irresponsible, undemocratic, lawless, and at times brutal regime. I certainly won’t be placing an order for a new clerical collar at Wippells just yet.

We cannot allow Robert Mugabe off the hook. When I cut up my clerical collar, I said I would not put it on again until Mr Mugabe had gone from office ”“ we need to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe and not forget the abuses and exploitation they have suffered at the hands of that administration.

The reason given by Her Majesty’s Government for this ”˜step change’ in relations with Zimbabwe is the work going in to drafting a new constitution for that country. The recent meeting of European Union foreign ministers, which agreed to lift these restrictions on Mr Mugabe’s colleagues, have made this decision dependent only upon whether a ”˜credible’ referendum is held on the new constitution. Perhaps if they had read the draft constitution they might have taken a different view.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, - Anglican: Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Foreign Relations, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Violence, Zimbabwe

(LA Times) Afghan worker kills three U.S. troops on Helmand base

An Afghan worker on a military base in southern Afghanistan opened fire and killed three U.S. troops, military officials said Saturday, bringing the toll to six American military fatalities in 24 hours at the hands of allies.

The NATO force said the attack took place late Friday in Helmand province, the Taliban movement’s heartland, where a turncoat shooting hours earlier claimed the lives of three elite special-operations U.S. Marines.

Compounding the carnage, a rogue Afghan police officer in Nimruz province turned his weapon on fellow Afghan officers Saturday, killing 10 of them, Afghan officials said. The assailant was believed to be a Taliban infiltrator, provincial spokesman Fazel Omer Baloch said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Afghanistan, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Violence, War in Afghanistan

(Guardian) Egyptian defence chief Hussein Tantawi ousted in surprise shakeup

The Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, has dismissed his military chief as part of a sweeping set of decisions that includes the appointment of a vice-president and the rescinding of a military order that curbed presidential powers.

Presidential spokesman Yasser Ali announced the retirement of Hussein Tantawi, head of the armed forces, and the chief of staff, Sami Anan. They have been appointed as advisers to Morsi.

The president also cancelled the complementary constitutional declaration issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf), announced days before he was declared the victor in June’s elections. The addendum had curbed presidential power and kept much of it in the hands of the military council.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Middle East, Politics in General