Daily Archives: October 31, 2012

(Living Church) Mark McCall on South Carolina–Dumbing Abandonment Down

This points to the most troubling question of all concerning the disciplinary board’s decision. Among the new Title IV provisions is IV.4.1(f), which requires all clergy to “report to the Intake Officer all matters which may constitute an Offense.” This comes immediately after subparagraph IV.4.1(e) pertaining to property. It appears members of the disciplinary board scrutinized these matters for more than a year and concluded that Bishop Lawrence had violated certain canonical provisions, yet not one thought to comply with the canon requiring them to report this to the Intake Officer so that the normal canonical process could be used.

This is not a technical issue. Had they proceeded as required by canon ”” there is no exception for matters that might also constitute abandonment ”” they might have spared the church the havoc we are now witnessing. Title IV after all is said to be a more pastoral way of dealing with possible canonical violations. If Bishop Lawrence is alleged to have violated subparts (c), (e), and (g) of Canon IV.4.1, why did the disciplinary board not comply with subpart (f)? Why did it not comply with mandatory disciplinary procedures that might have permitted a pastoral response instead of pursuing a process designed solely to remove a bishop summarily from the rolls of the church? Having first concluded that the disputed actions were those of the diocese, not the bishop, the board must have known the consequences “abandonment” would entail.

How have Bishop Lawrence’s theological opponents reacted to these developments? One prominent assertion has been that the automatic response of the diocese triggered by the disciplinary board’s action proves that Bishop Lawrence “lied” and intended to leave all along. But this claim fails both the tests of logic and simple chronology.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

(AP) Jimmy Savile child sex abuse scandal puts British society on trial

Jimmy Savile was one of Britain’s biggest stars ”” and, allegedly, one of its worst sexual predators. Now the nation is asking whether there was a link between one and the other.

Was this man at the heart of the nation’s popular culture a product of the permissive 1960s and ’70s, or do the conditions that allegedly let him get away with repeated child sex abuse still exist, even as awareness of the problem is more widespread?

“We’re kidding ourselves if we think it is all hunky dory now, but obviously it was more lax,” said Sarah Nelson, a child abuse expert at Edinburgh University. “The culture among disc jockeys at the time allowed a license you wouldn’t get now.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Children, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Media, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Sexuality

Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans (FCA) Primates Council Writes in Support of Bishop Lawrence

We are grieved, however, by the attitude and actions of the leadership of The Episcopal Church and their efforts to demand canonical obedience through unjust means to their ungodly agenda. As we have made clear in the Jerusalem Declaration we reject their authority and call on them to repent and return to the Lord.

Please know that we continue to recognize you as a faithful Anglican bishop and the Diocese of South Carolina as part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), Global South Churches & Primates, Presiding Bishop, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons

Sudan: the new battlefield in Iran and Israel's covert conflict

Iranian warships have arrived in Port Sudan in an apparent show of support for the government in Khartoum, one week after it accused Israel of bombing an arms factory in the Sudanese capital.

Iran’s state news agency confirmed yesterday that two vessels, a destroyer and a helicopter carrier have docked in Sudan’s main port on the Red Sea and their commanders will be meeting Sudanese officials.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Defense, National Security, Military, Foreign Relations, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, Poverty, Sudan, Violence

(Anglican Taonga) Bishop Victoria Matthews at ACC-15 believes she sees two Anglican Covenants

[Bishop Matthews]…stressed that it was not the work of IASCUFO to promote the Covenant, but rather to monitor its reception.

“As we have sought to do that,” she told delegates in Auckland, “I have often thought that the document people discuss and the actual Anglican Covenant are two different documents.

“One is the document that people have in their mind and the other is the Anglican Communion Covenant on paper….”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Ecclesiology, Theology

[Anglican Church of Canada Bishop] Sue Moxley on ACC-15–We start with the Scriptures

Starting every day with Eucharist and Bible Study from now on. The Bible Studies are prepared by a team of scholars from this diocese and they are working with 2 Corinthians. Today we had 2 Corinthians 3: 1-6. I find it very moving to be part of a small group of 6 people from all over the globe sharing our faith journeys by considering the Scriptures each day.

Then we moved on to our final workshop with a Network. I chose the Peace and Justice Network in which we were asked to list the issues in our country. We heard about war, internal fighting, interfaith strife, destruction of environment by transnational companies, lack of drinkable water, and many other problems. This network is now resetting its agenda for future work. After morning coffee, we changed our seating to be in regional groups, to listen to the work of the Anglican Alliance. The alliance was formed by the ACC three years ago at the meeting in Jamaica. It is headed by Sally Keeble, a very able person with background in development and government.

Read it all and check out the Anglican Church of Canada ACC blog for other material.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Provinces, Theology, Theology: Scripture

Statement from The Anglican Consultative Council concerning those affected by Hurricane Sandy

The members of the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Auckland, New Zealand, today expressed their concern, compassion and prayers for all those caught up in the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Members heard of the scale of lives lost in the Caribbean, in the eastern USA and Canada, and of the devastation wrought in the wake of the hurricane
Condolences were expressed to the Anglican Province of the West Indies, the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Cuba.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Consultative Council, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Spirituality/Prayer

(Ed West) Only a free market in religion will save Anglicanism

I propose disestablishment because I want Christianity to flourish in England, and renew itself, and the best way to do this is through a free market ”“ but when you have a powerful state tied to a weak church, you get a statist church pushing a statist agenda. See how Anglican (and Catholic) charities, subsidised by the state, increasingly bury any Christian identity they have in favour of the state’s ideology of “equality and diversity”. The Big Society, as its heart, was an attempt to push the state out of those areas in which it has no real business, such as the charitable, volunteering and caring sectors. The churches should be leaping at this opportunity.

So here’s a possible solution. The Church of England is disestablished, and becomes just another independent church. The government passes a law that no religious building can change function, while taxpayers stop funding church maintenance through groups like English Heritage (which costs £15 million a year). Therefore if a congregation feels that they are sick of Canterbury and want to break off to join a breakaway liberal or evangelical or Anglo-Catholic church they can do so, so long as they can raise the money to buy the building, which since it cannot change function and costs a lot of money to maintain is not much.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Church/State Matters, England / UK, History, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

(Martin Bashir) As Rowan Williams prepares to leave, farewell to a foggy-minded, feeble failure

Yet Dr Williams’s greatest failing has concerned the one thing all sides of the Church might have agreed on: a clear and coherent articulation of the essential doctrines of Christianity. This has been his greatest sin of omission.

Here’s an example of his failure to articulate one of the key tenets of the faith.

When it was announced that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged, journalists around the world requested an interview with the Archbishop. It seemed a perfect opportunity for him to present the case for Christian marriage…

But he wouldn’t agree to be interviewed..

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology

(First Things) Edward Peters–Fencing the Altar

The Eucharist is central to the identity, doctrines, and practices of the Catholic Church. As canon 897 of the Code of Canon Law puts it, “The most august sacrament is the Most Holy Eucharist in which Christ the Lord himself is contained, offered, and received and by which the Church continually lives and grows. The eucharistic sacrifice . . . is the summit and source of all worship and Christian life, which signifies and effects the unity of the People of God and brings about the building up of the body of Christ.”

Canon 898 adds: “The Christian faithful are to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in highest honor, taking an active part in the celebration of the most august sacrifice, receiving this sacrament most devoutly and frequently, and worshiping it with the highest adoration….”

Participation in Holy Communion is achieved by two related but distinct acts: the action of a member of the faithful in seeking Communion (reception) and the action of the minister in giving Communion (administration). These two actions are not only performed by different persons, they are governed by different canon laws. Virtually all confusion over Communion can be traced to the failure to keep these two actions distinct.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ecclesiology, Eucharist, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Independent) In pictures: the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

There are 42 in all, check them out (autoplay slideshow option available).

Posted in * General Interest, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

C.S. Lewis on the "Historical Point of View" from The Screwtape Letters

Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so. We have done this by inculcating The Historical Point of View. The Historical Point of View, put briefly, means that when a learned man is presented with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true. He asks who influenced the ancient writer, and how far the statement is consistent with what he said in other books, and what phase in the writer’s development, or in the general history of thought, it illustrates,and how it affected later writers, and how often it has been misunderstood (specially by the learned man’s own colleagues) and what the general course of criticism on it has been for the last ten years, and what is the “present state of the question”. To regard the ancient writer as a possible source of knowledge””to anticipate that what he said could possibly modify your thoughts or your behaviour””this would be rejected as unutterably simple-minded. And since we cannot deceive the whole human race all the time, it is most important thus to cut every generation off from all others; for where learning makes a free commerce between the ages there is always the danger that the characteristic errors of one may be corrected by the characteristic truths of another. But thanks be to our Father and the Historical Point of View, great scholars are now as little nourished by the past as the most ignorant mechanic who holds that “history is bunk…”

–Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape (Screwtape Letters, Chapter 27)[emphasis mine]

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Books, History, Philosophy, Religion & Culture

(NPR) Decision Time: Why Do Some Leaders Leave A Mark?

“The very best decisions, the decisions that go down in history, [the ones where] we look back at that person and think, ‘wow, they’re a genius,’ is when they say, you know, ‘we’re going to do this,’ and all the experts say, ‘no, that’s an awful idea, you know, don’t do that’ and they do it anyways and it works and it works out,” [Gautam] Mukunda says.

Mukunda has just completed a detailed analysis of 40 U.S. presidents. He’s found that the greatest presidents didn’t just make the right calls. The reason we think of them as indispensable is because the calls they made? Everyone around them thought those decisions were terrible mistakes.

Think of it this way: If the right decision is obvious, it doesn’t really matter who the leader is. The next person in line would make the exact same decision.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, Psychology, Theology

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O Son of God, who by thy lowly life hast made manifest the royalty of service: Teach us that it is better to give than to receive, better to minister than to be ministered unto, after thine own example, who now livest and reignest in the glory of the eternal Trinity, world without end.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth, in anguish for delivery. And another portent appeared in heaven; behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems upon his heads. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, that he might devour her child when she brought it forth; she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which to be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

–Revelation 12:1-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Hurricane Sandy: The hidden costs

Make no mistake – the storm will lead to historic levels of financial damage, not to mention dozens of lives lost. It has claimed 69 lives in the Caribbean.

Apart from the physical destruction of property, there are additional costs to governments, businesses and individuals. These are often more about the human cost and less to do with the physical wealth destroyed by a storm.

Read it all.

Posted in * General Interest, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc.

Phil Ashey–Update from ACC [Anglican Consultative Council]-15

While there is much to commend in this message on the extravagant love of God, the world’s desperate need to know this love and our need to share his love with the world, the message was confusing. Was the Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that everyone will be saved by the mysterious love of God which embraces all from the beginning? Would this not be offensive to those who reject Jesus Christ and his way, to be co-opted against their will? And how does this square with our identity as Anglican followers of Jesus Christ, who in the same Gospel of John makes it clear that he alone is the way, the truth and the life and that salvation is through Him alone? (John 14:6)

Currently, the work of the Anglican Communion appears to be driven by a new, non-Biblical global ethic that focuses on the needs of communities rather than the person and power of Jesus Christ. As I have written recently, the work of the Anglican Alliance on economic empowerment continues to focus on the secular development of skills for “inclusion,” “consultation and governance,” “protection of vulnerable people,” and “principles of financial planning”– all from their report today, all very worthy efforts and all utterly lacking in any Biblical and universal truths rooted in the person and power of Jesus Christ.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Rowan Williams, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Consultative Council, Anglican Covenant, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Christology, Church of England (CoE), Theology

The Episcopal Bishop of Western Louisiana (Jake Owensby)–Hearing Bartimaeus

Jesus teaches us to be merciful: to hear with our hearts the cries for help around us and to respond with the same help that Jesus has already given us. We have received mercy so that we can show mercy. A vital congregation is known for its works of mercy.
Jesus’ healing of blind Bartimaeus teaches us some helpful things about being a merciful congregation. That story invites us to explore three questions:
What is mercy?
What are the works of mercy?
What effect do works of mercy have on the believing community?

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture