Daily Archives: December 15, 2012

Terry Mattingly–How to bury a link to the Roman Catholic scandal of this age

Anyone who has followed the mainstream media’s coverage of the Catholic Church over the past decade or so knows that the biggest story out there ”” for perfectly valid reasons, let me stress ”” has been the latest wave of evidence that some members of the church hierarchy have hidden the sins and crimes of many clergy who have abused thousands of teens and children. These scandals have been drawing waves of coverage since the 1980s, although there are reporters out there who seem to think that this hellish pot of sin, sacrilege and clericism didn’t boil over until the revelations in Boston about a decade ago.

Let me stress, as your GetReligionistas have noted on numerous occasions, that this has been a scandal that has touched both the Catholic left and the right. To be perfectly blunt, quite a few Catholics on both sides of the theological spectrum have been hiding skeletons in their closets…..[so] Why did the accusations against [Bishop Walter ] Sullivan, in this crucial matter, get pushed all the way down to the bottom of this rather long wire-service report?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Media, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic

(Reuters) Tax evasion costs Greece 5 pct of GDP : EU tax chief

Greece could generate budget revenues amounting to 5 percent of national output annually if it reforms tax collection and clamps down on tax cheats, the European Union’s tax chief told a Greek newspaper.

Athens plans reforms next year to combat rampant tax evasion as it struggles to shore up public finances and achieve a primary budget surplus, both necessary to continue receiving bailout aid from international lenders.

The euro zone agreed on Thursday to provide nearly 50 billion euros ($64 billion) in long-delayed aid to Greece, averting a catastrophic default and securing its survival in the zone after months of doubt and political turmoil.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Greece, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, Taxes, Theology

Charles Stanley–In tragedy we grieve; in God, we hope

I join my fellow Americans in grieving the terrible tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary and in praying for the families involved. It is unthinkable that someone would have such anger and bitterness in his heart that he would attack innocent people in such a devastating way. Truly, it is difficult for any of us to grasp. When I think of the terrifying last moments of the children and staff members of the school, I am absolutely heartbroken for them, their families, their schoolmates, and everyone at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Certainly, there are many who are wondering why God would allow such a horrific tragedy. Where was He? Why did He allow this? Why didn’t He stop this young man from perpetrating this terrible crime? I confess I have many questions myself. But does it shake my faith in God? No. It actually makes me more grateful for Him. This is because in God, I always have hope, no matter what happens.

We may never discover the answer to our questions this side of heaven. The truth is, evil is dangerous and destructive, and it is no respecter of the innocent among us. But we also know that this tragedy grieves the heart of God very deeply….

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theodicy, Theology, Violence

John Podhoretz–Gehenna in Connecticut

Gehenna, a synonym for Hell, is a real place, or so the Bible tells us. You can see it today. It is a valley outside Jerusalem, the valley of the son of Hinnom, and it was where worshippers of the idol Moloch sacrificed children to sate their god’s hungers.

Gehenna was revived today in Newton, Connecticut, where as many as 20 children at last report were slaughtered in an elementary school this morning.

We learn in the book of Kings that in the seventh century BCE, the prophet Jeremiah demanded that King Josiah destroy the idolator’s temple in Gehenna to prevent more sacrifices to Moloch. We can presume from the newsworthiness of this act that child sacrifice was once a relatively common practice in the ancient Middle East, as we know it to have been in other pagan cultures.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Theology, Theology: Scripture, Violence

A Hartford Courant Editorial: Unimaginable Sorrow

Not again. Here. In a school.

All over Connecticut Friday, people greeted each other with downcast eyes and a few mumbled words. Many cried, churches opened for prayer, events were canceled. Some veteran police officers and news reporters found it hard to keep their composure. Even the president fought back tears while speaking of the deaths.

The day felt, to those who remember it, like the somber, chilly day in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was shot.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Marriage & Family, Rural/Town Life, Violence

Nation Reels After Gunman Massacres 20 Children at School in Connecticut

A 20-year-old man wearing combat gear and armed with semiautomatic pistols and a semiautomatic rifle killed 26 people ”” 20 of them children ”” in an attack in an elementary school in central Connecticut on Friday. Witnesses and officials described a horrific scene as the gunman, with brutal efficiency, chose his victims in two classrooms while other students dove under desks and hid in closets.

Hundreds of terrified parents arrived as their sobbing children were led out of the Sandy Hook Elementary School in a wooded corner of Newtown, Conn. By then, all of the victims had been shot and most were dead, and the gunman, identified as Adam Lanza, had committed suicide. The children killed were said to be 5 to 10 years old.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Violence

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Thou who with thine own mouth hast avouched that at midnight, at an hour when we are not aware, the Bridegroom shall come: Grant that the cry, The Bridegroom cometh, may sound evermore in our ears, that so we be never unprepared to meet him, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

–Psalm 30:11-12 (KJV)

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Statement from the Connecticut Episcopal Bishops on the Sandy Hook Shooting Today

Dear Friends in Christ:

We are shocked and overwhelmed by the horrendous tragedy of the school shooting in Sandy Hook. We hold the victims, their families, and all who are affected by the shooting in our thoughts and prayers for healing and strength. We pray that those who have died will be held in the arms of our loving God whose heart aches for those affected by this tragedy.

We bishops have been in touch with the Rev. Mark Moore, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sandy Hook which is adjacent to the school were the shooting took place. We have also communicated with the leadership of Trinity Church, Newtown, and we understand that the Rev. Kathie Adams-Shepherd, rector of Trinity Church is on the scene ministering to the bereaved.

We are departing immediately for Newtown/Sandy Hook to be of whatever assistance we can. We will be in contact when we have additional information.

We invite all clergy to open our churches for prayer.

Please keep all who have died, the one who has perpetrated the shooting, and all affected by this incident in your prayers. May the God who we await this Advent season bring us hope and new life in Jesus the Christ.

Faithfully, Ian, Laura and Jim

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens
The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, Violence

Blog Open Thread on the Newtown, Connecticut, School Massacre

Your thoughts, reactions and reflections please.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Education, Marriage & Family, Parish Ministry, Violence

(CNN) Children and adults gunned down in Connecticut school massacre

“Evil visited this community today,” Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy just told reporters in Newtown. “And it’s too early to speak of recovery, but each parent, each sibling, each member of the family has to understand that Connecticut – we’re all in this together.

“We’ll do whatever we can to overcome this event. We will get through it. But this is a terrible time for this community and these families.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Education, Violence