Daily Archives: December 7, 2012

Mark Henninger: Alfred Hitchcock's Surprise Ending

[My friend] Tom asked whether on Saturday afternoon I would accompany him to celebrate a Mass in Hitchcock’s house.

I was dumbfounded, but of course said yes. On that Saturday, when we found Hitchcock asleep in the living room, Tom gently shook him. Hitchcock awoke, looked up and kissed Tom’s hand, thanking him.

Tom said, “Hitch, this is Mark Henninger, a young priest from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland?” Hitchcock said. “Disgraceful!”

After we chatted for a while, we all crossed from the living room through a breezeway to his study, and there, with his wife, Alma, we celebrated a quiet Mass….
Weighing one’s life with its share of wounds suffered and inflicted in such a perspective, and seeking reconciliation with an experienced and forgiving God, strikes me as profoundly human. Hitchcock’s extraordinary reaction to receiving communion was the face of real humanity and religion, far away from headlines . . . or today’s filmmakers and biographers.

One of Hitchcock’s biographers, Donald Spoto, has written that Hitchcock let it be known that he “rejected suggestions that he allow a priest . . . to come for a visit, or celebrate a quiet, informal ritual at the house for his comfort.” That in the movie director’s final days he deliberately and successfully led outsiders to believe precisely the opposite of what happened is pure Hitchcock.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Death / Burial / Funerals, Eucharist, Movies & Television, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sacramental Theology, Theology

"Same-sex blessings green lit" in the Anglican Diocese of Quebec

The Diocese of Quebec will join about a dozen other dioceses of the Anglican Church of Canada in offering blessings to same-gender couples.

Bishop Dennis Drainville signalled his intention to move forward with the blessing of committed gay and lesbian partners in his charge to the diocesan Synod, held Nov. 2-4 outside Quebec City.

“I would like to proceed in the Diocese of Quebec, as several other Canadian dioceses have done, to provide both a rite of blessing and pastoral support for persons living in committed, same-gender relationships,” the bishop told members of Synod.“This act of blessing is not the performing of a marriage but rather the blessing of civil union that has already taken place,” he added in his monthly pastoral letter….

Read it all (the article begins on page one of the pdf and continues on page eight).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Canada, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Theology

C of E Clergy Tim Storey and Jim Findlay reflect on a recent Month long visit to South Sudan

Watch the whole video (just under 7 1/2 minutes).

To find Mundri on a map of South Sudan, go here. Then find Uganda and the part of South Sudan that borders Uganda. About in the middle and slight up to the left from the border you will see the major city of Juba. Now head northwest (follow yellowish line) to the next city on the map which is Mundri (Town)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, --North Sudan, --South Sudan, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ministry of the Ordained, Missions, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Sudan, Theology, Violence

Albert Mohler–How Did This Happen? The Family Crisis as a Theological Crisis

Writing a generation ago, sociologist Christopher Lasch pointed to the weakening of the family as the most significant and dangerous development of our times. In his book, Haven in a Heartless World, Lasch described the breakdown of the natural family as a calamity for the society at large, as well as for the individuals whose lives are so directly affected.

Tellingly, he also wrote this: “The first thing to understand about the present crisis of the family is that it did not materialize overnight.” Indeed, it did not. The current crisis of the family must be traced to economic, political, social, and ideological causes. But there is another cause as well. The family crisis is a theological crisis, and this must be the church’s first concern.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(Church Times) July might be too soon to return to fray on Women Bishops, C of E Bishops warn

Campaigners who want to see a fresh Measure to admit women to the episcopate at the General Synod next July may be disappointed, two bishops have suggested….

On Tuesday… the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, suggested that the House “ought to be able to share with people a process” at the Synod in July. “That will lead in due course to fresh legislative proposals.”

Also this week, the Bishop of Chester, Dr Peter Forster, called for a “concentrated period of reflection”. There were “good reasons” why the legislative group and Synod had not pursued a single-clause Measure or “stronger safeguards”, and “the greatest problem would be if we started the process quickly and ended up with another mess.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women

The Editorial from (the Jesuit weekly) America 71 Years Ago Today

Japan declared war on the United States and Great Britain, as of dawn, December 7. On that day, Sunday, Japanese dive-bombers and naval craft, without waming, attacked Pearl Harbor Naval Base and Hickam Field, Hawaii, and other American possessions in the Pacific. That same day, in Washington, at the same time as the assault, Ambassador Nomura and Special Envoy Kurusu were delivering in person to Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, the rejection by the Japanese Government of the American demands…. At once, following the Japanese assault, the American fleet in the Pacific, and the American air-force went into action against the Japanese aggressors. On Monday, December 8, one half hour after high noon, the President of the United States addressed a joint session of Congress. His address lasted little more than five minutes. After enumerating the series of attacks made by Japanese war forces on American possessions during the past forty-eight hours, he declared very plainly, that he asked that Congress declare that a state of war has existed since December 7, between the United States and Japan. Such are the facts in the final stages of the war with Japan that has, through long years, and in the past month, been regarded as inevitable.

The United States has been left no choice but to prosecute war against Japan with the full power of naval, air and army forces….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Japan, Other Churches, Roman Catholic

FDR's Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan December 7, 1941

Mr. Vice President, and Mr. Speaker, and Members of the Senate and House of Representatives:

Yesterday, December 7, 1941””a date which will live in infamy””the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that Nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its Government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American Island of Oahu, the Japanese Ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Asia, Defense, National Security, Military, History, House of Representatives, Japan, Office of the President, Politics in General, Senate

From the Only in America Department–Companies Turn Departed Pets Into Gems

Americans have a long tradition of pampering and memorializing their pets. Now, technology lets precious friends become precious gems.

The idea of turning the carbon in ashes into man-made diamonds emerged a decade ago as a way to memorialize humans. Today, departed pets are fueling the industry’s growth, with a handful of companies selling diamonds, gemstones and other jewelry out of pet remains, including hair and feathers.

Some gems start at about $250, while pet diamonds cost at least $1,400, with prices based on color and size. The diamonds have the same physical properties as mined diamonds, purveyors say.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Economics, Politics, * General Interest, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Animals, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Parish Ministry

More from A.S. Haley on South Carolina–But sue, TEC certainly will

Please note that it will be the pseudo-diocese and its so-called “provisional bishop” who will instigate any lawsuits that are to be brought. Neither Bishop Lawrence nor any part of his diocese will resort first to court to protect the diocese’s real and personal property: they have no need to sue, as existing law gives them the upper hand, and besides, as we have just seen, Scripture teaches that it is wrong for Christians to go to secular court against fellow Christians.

But sue ECUSA will, and so also its pseudo-diocese, in a case of the latter being the blind led by the halt and the lame. For during that entire time period that they are in court, they will be consumed by their object of recovering so-called “ECUSA” property, by arguing and seeking to apply the precedents from other States, while they ignore the binding precedent which in no way is favorable to them under existing South Carolina law.

So we are in for much more folly and wheel-spinning before the pseudo-diocese of South Carolina can ever get to first base, let alone score a run.

Read it all (at the bottom).

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

(Anglican Ink) South Carolina's sorrow and pity for Katharine Jefferts Schori

The Bishop of South Carolina has received the news of his removal from the ordained ministry with sorrow, and a little pity. On 5 Dec 2012 the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church announced that she had accepted the voluntary renunciation of the ministerial orders of the Bishop of South Carolina. However, Bishop Mark J. Lawrence reports the presiding bishop’s actions have no canonical significance.

On the fourth anniversary of her deposing Bishop Jack Iker by the same canonical maneuver, Bishop Jefferts Schori announced she had deposed Bishop Lawrence. The Episcopal News Service reported that pursuant to Title III, Canon 12, Section 7 the Presiding Bishop “has accepted the renunciation of the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church of Mark Lawrence as made in his public address on November 17 and she has released him from his orders in this Church.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

Phil Ashey–Some Thoughts on Archbishop Rowan Williams' 2012 Advent Letter

The crisis of gospel truth that has polarized the Anglican Communion and continues to separate Anglicans stems from a willful, premeditated and deliberate violation of Anglican Communion teaching on human sexuality and Holy orders (see Lambeth Resolution 1.10). For almost 15 years, TEC and other “progressive” Anglican churches in the mostly Western and Global North provinces have openly defied these settled Communion teachings.

It continues to be a sad commentary on the leadership of the current Archbishop of Canterbury that he seems unwilling even to acknowledge the doctrinal issues, much less the crisis, that has consumed so much of his tenure-especially with fellow bishops whose office is to guard the faith and order of our beloved Communion, and among whom are many from the largest Anglican provinces in the Global South who, in the face of this crisis of Gospel truth, found it necessary to provide refuge and oversight for faithful Anglicans in North America. “Some challenges” indeed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Rowan Williams, Anthropology, Archbishop of Canterbury, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Ambrose

O God, who didst give to thy servant Ambrose grace eloquently to declare thy righteousness in the great congregation, and fearlessly to bear reproach for the honor of thy Name: Mercifully grant to all bishops and pastors such excellency in preaching, and fidelity in ministering thy Word, that thy people may be partakers with them of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

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

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Make us, we beseech thee, O Lord our God, watchful and heedful in awaiting the coming of thy Son Christ our Lord; that when he shall come and knock, he shall find us not sleeping in sin, but awake and rejoicing in his praises; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Advent, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Spirituality/Prayer

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from unchastity; that each one of you know how to take a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like heathen who do not know God; that no man transgress, and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we solemnly forewarned you. For God has not called us for uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedo’nia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.

–1 Thessalonians 4:1-12

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

AnglicanTV Interviews South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence about Recent Developments

Watch it all carefully.

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

(The State) Major South Carolina News Today–Jim Demint Stepping Down from the Senate

U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, the Greenville archconservative, said today that he will resign from the Senate in January to become president of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Gov. Nikki Haley will name DeMint’s successor who will serve until 2014, when a special election would be held to fill the final two years of Republican DeMint’s six-year term, the same time U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham is up for re-election.

Immediate speculation turned to U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston, who, like DeMint, is a Tea Party favorite. Scott also is the only Republican African-American in the U.S. House.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Politics in General, Senate, State Government

(RNS) Exhibit highlights Tiffany’s lasting impact on American church design

Louis C. Tiffany is perhaps best known for his intricate glass lamps, but a new exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art reveals a spiritual side to the master designer and craftsman whose studio single-handedly shaped the image of American churches.

“Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion,” which runs through Jan. 20, 2013, centers on the religious memorials and decorations that Tiffany and his firm created for American congregations for about a half century, beginning in the 1880s.

“We know Tiffany for his lamps, but what we overlook is that Tiffany was most prolific for his work in houses of worship,” said curator Patricia Pongracz, the museum’s acting director.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Art, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Parishes

(CSM) Tanks deploy to Egypt's presidential palace amid lull in deadly protests

After a night of violent protests across Egypt that left at least five dead and hundreds injured, Egyptian tanks deployed this morning to protect the presidential palace, marking the first time since Mohamed Morsi’s power grab that the military has gotten involved….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Politics in General, Theology, Violence

Bishop (of Ebbsfleet) Jonathan Baker–The General Synod vote on Women Bishops

After the General Synod failed to give Final Approval to the draft legislation on the ordination of women to the episcopate, I had hoped for a period of calm, prayer and reflection all round; and perhaps some sense of regret, on the part of the proponents of the Measure, that they had not got the legislation right. Of course, as we now know, this was very far from the case: instead, a media furore, and a sense from some quarters that those who had voted against the Measure need to be punished in the future for daring to step out of line.

We need to say very clearly, that we understand, and deeply regret, the pain, hurt and anger felt on the part of many women clergy and their supporters; that we value the huge contribution of ordained women to the life of the Church of England; and that we recognise the gifts which God has given in and through their ministries.

However, we also need to challenge some errors and misunderstandings which have been widespread since the vote was taken….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Women