Daily Archives: September 20, 2012

Communique from the meeting of the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order

The Commission commends for study the work of the Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC), Belonging Together in Europe: a joint statement on ecclesiology and mission, and hopes that ACC-15 will support the renewal of AOCICC’s mandate. IASCUFO also commends the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, To Love and Serve the Lord: Diakonia in the Life of the Church, and supports proposals for developing that work. Following exploratory talks in 2011 between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, IASCUFO also hopes that ACC-15 will support the re-establishment of a formal dialogue with the Reformed Churches. IASCUFO commends the text of the WCC Faith and Order Commission, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, to ACC-15 for referral to the churches of the Anglican Communion, and itself intends to undertake further study of this text. Transitivity (the question of the relationship of different ecumenical agreements to one another) is the subject of a further report by IASCUFO to ACC-15.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, - Anglican: Primary Source, -- Reports & Communiques, Ecumenical Relations, Theology

(CNN) Free speech or incitement? French magazine runs cartoons of Mohammed

After a week of deadly international protests against an anti-Islam film, a French satirical magazine is pouring oil on the fiery debate between freedom of expression and offensive provocation.
The magazine Charlie Hebdo, which is known for outrageous humor, published cartoons featuring a figure resembling the Prophet Mohammed on Wednesday.
The issue hit the stands eight days after a video mocking the Muslim prophet triggered angry protests, including one that led to the death of the U.S. ambassador to Libya.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Foreign Relations, France, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Violence

(CNS) Papyrus fragment with reference to Jesus' 'wife' stirs debate

Father Juan Chapa, a New Testament scholar at the University of Navarra in Spain, told Catholic News Service that the “Gospels don’t mention marriage, not because they wanted to hide something, but because it was clear that Jesus did not get married, and it’s consistent in the church’s tradition.”

He also noted that the gnostic gospel genre to which the fragment evidently belongs is one of stories about Jesus that mainly take place after the resurrection, using language that is heavily allegorical. Thus, he said, the fragment’s relevant words –“Jesus said to them, ‘My wife'” — were likely not meant as a literal assertion about the life of the historical Jesus.

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Posted in Uncategorized

(Lifesite News) Most UK MPs oppose the legalisation of assisted suicide says new poll

More than seven out of ten MPs refuse to back calls to legalise assisted suicide, according to a new survey released last week….

The poll comes just a week after two newly appointed junior health ministers, Anna Soubry and Norman Lamb, suggested that assisted suicide should be decriminalised and just before the Liberal Democrat Conference where some MPs are expected to push for a change in the law.

It found that just 29% of MPs back moves to introduce assisted suicide, while 59% were opposed and 12% were undecided.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Letters in The Chatanoogan–The Meaning Of Separation Of Church And State

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church/State Matters, History, Law & Legal Issues

(Globe and Mail) Rising ”˜grey divorce’ rates create financial havoc for seniors

According to Statistics Canada, “grey divorce” has been steadily growing among those 55 and over, with rates expected to increase as more people continue to age.

While marriage remains the predominant family structure in Canada, it only represents 67 per cent of Canadian families, down from 70.5 per cent a decade ago ”” and 91.6 per cent in 1961, before the advent of the Divorce Act, Statistics Canada reported Wednesday in its latest batch of 2011 census data.

And for the first time, the number of common-law families in Canada outstripped the number of single-parent families in 2011, another sign of the declining popularity of matrimony.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Canada, Economy, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance

(ACNS) Anglican leaders condemn anti-Islam film and violence

Anglican leaders across the Communion have spoken out about The Innocence of Muslims, a film containing anti-Islam content which has so far triggered protests, violence and death in countries like Libya and Egypt.

Both Anglican and Catholic Archbishops in New Zealand have condemned the film, its message and its promotion, alongside the Federation of Islamic Associations President and the city of Wellington’s Regional Jewish Council Chairperson, Race Relations Commissioner and local Bishops.

According to Anglican Taonga magazine, the group labelled the film (which openly defames the Islamic prophet Muhammad) as “irresponsible” and “inflammatory”, saying it was dishonestly made and presented, and designed to mislead, provoke hate, and cause harm.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Movies & Television, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

(Detroit Free Press) Nuns become soldiers in the battle for the White House

As the Nov. 6 election looms, …nuns have come to represent the divide among American Catholics, both in the pews and in the voting booth. Both Obama and Romney are battling for the Catholic vote, a crucial slice of the electorate that represents about 1 out of 4 voters nationwide.

“The Obama campaign is going after Catholics who love nuns, who are social justice Catholics, who are concerned about the poor,” said the Rev. Thomas Reese, a Georgetown University Jesuit priest and Catholic commentator, referring to Campbell’s appearance.

Republicans are targeting Catholics who are anti-abortion rights, anti-gay marriage and more conservative, said Reese, so nuns dressed in old-fashioned habits convey those values.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Dallas Copes With the Unpredictability of West Nile Virus

Jay Wortham found it under the cabinet below the kitchen sink after his mother died in August ”” a blue bottle of insect repellent.

His mother, Margorie Wortham, 91, died of West Nile virus, the mosquito-borne illness that has spread across this city and other parts of the country, killing 118 people and sickening nearly 3,000 others nationwide.

Mr. Wortham believes that his mother was bitten by an infected mosquito one hot day in July while she sat on an old wooden bench under a pecan tree in her backyard. Though she had often used the bug repellent, she was not wearing any that day.

Here in Dallas County, the West Nile outbreak’s hardest-hit county in the United States, a few missed pumps of bug spray can haunt the relatives of those who die from the virus.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Health & Medicine, Urban/City Life and Issues

(NPR) Elaine Pagels on the ancient papyrus fragment with the "Jesus, my wife…" on it

“Robert Siegel speaks with Elaine Pagels, religion professor at Princeton University, about the discovery of an ancient papyrus fragment that suggests some early Christians believed Jesus had a wife, and possibly a female disciple.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Christology, Church History, History, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NYT) Chester Finn–Why is American Public Education Neglecting so many high-ability students?

Every motivated, high-potential young American deserves a similar opportunity. But the majority of very smart kids lack the wherewithal to enroll in rigorous private schools. They depend on public education to prepare them for life. Yet that system is failing to create enough opportunities for hundreds of thousands of these high-potential girls and boys.

Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and budget priorities that concentrate on raising the floor under low-achieving students. A good and necessary thing to do, yes, but we’ve failed to raise the ceiling for those already well above the floor.

Public education’s neglect of high-ability students doesn’t just deny individuals opportunities they deserve. It also imperils the country’s future supply of scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Read it all and you can learn more about the author there.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Children, Education, Teens / Youth

Over Two-Thirds of Teens Cover Their Tracks Online to Hide Activity from Parents

Over two-thirds of teens are trying to cover their Internet tracks from their parents, and over a third of parents do not monitor their child’s Internet activity at all. These statistics should highlight the importance of Internet accountability in the home.

John Mangelaars of Microsoft EMEA said parents know their teens are tech-savvy, but this often leads parents to believe their kids don’t need ongoing advice or guidance. “It is incredibly important parents stay actively involved, talking regularly with their kids and using the parental technology tools that are available to them.”

Internet accountability is about setting this expectation of openness and honesty in the home.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Science & Technology, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of John Coleridge Patteson

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants John Coleridge Patteson and his companions to be witnesses and martyrs in the islands of Melanesia, and by their labors and sufferings didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Dear Jesus,
help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with
may feel your presence in my soul.

Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus!
Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others.

The light, O Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine.
It will be you, shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best,
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example,
by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you. Amen.

–John Henry Newman (1901-1990)

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s fetters were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family. Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.

–Acts 16:25-34

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(NY Times) Cheating Scandal Dulls Pride in Athletics at Harvard

Six months ago, the Harvard men’s basketball team was a source of uncommon athletic pride on campus. The team was ranked among the nation’s top 25 for the first time, and when it earned the program’s first berth to the N.C.A.A. tournament in 66 years, students and players spilled into Harvard Square chanting and celebrating.

The next day, Harvard’s staid campus of red-brick buildings was hardly one big pep rally, but from the Harvard bookstore, which printed commemorative basketball T-shirts, to the college’s president, who called the team “a real community building force,” the university seemed to bask in an atypical glow of sporting achievement.

But last week, days after published reports implicated the co-captains of the basketball team in a widespread academic cheating scandal that may involve dozens of varsity athletes, the mood at Harvard had shifted.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Psychology, Sports, Theology, Young Adults

What Is The Gospel Project All About? Tim Challies talks to Trevin Wax

On this week’s podcast, we’re joined by Trevin Wax, who’s packed a lot into his relatively short life: missionary to Romania (where he also met his wife), Southern Baptist associate pastor, Gospel Coalition blogger, and now Managing Editor of The Gospel Project. We take a quick run through Trevin’s bio before settling down to talk about the exciting work he’s been doing in preparing Gospel-centered curriculum for the whole church. We asked Trevin to “sell us” on the package and he did a pretty good job. He also answered some of the criticisms that a project of this nature inevitably attracts.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Blogging & the Internet, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology