Daily Archives: August 16, 2013

(WSJ) Andy Crouch: Saints Be Praised””Officially or Otherwise

Saints, whether formally recognized by Catholicism or informally regarded as such by other denominations, are bracing reminders that the transformation of spirit promised by religion””so elusive for most of us””is possible in this life. Christians of any kind can appreciate the remarkable lives of the two men the Catholic Church will canonize later this year.

Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli, born a peasant in Lombard, became in 1958 the wise and generous “Good Pope” John XXIII, opening up the Catholic Church to the modern world. Karol Wojtyla, a young playwright living under the harsh rule of communist Poland, eventually played a pivotal part as Pope John Paul II in the collapse of that degrading system.

Saints like these suggest that there is more to life, and to faith, than most of us dare to know. A century-old aphorism attributed to the French essayist Charles Péguy perhaps says it best: “Life holds only one tragedy, ultimately: not to have become a saint.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(NBC) Egypt may avoid civil war ”” but bloody conflict could continue for years

“You wouldn’t have a civil war unless there were people who were really willing to fight the army with arms,” [ Elliott] Abrams said. “It’s not, I think, going to look like Syria.”

Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, added that because the military controls 35 to 40 percent of the economy, it was unlikely the military would splinter like it did in other countries.

“In Egypt, you don’t have a huge armed population, and the chance of the military splitting the way it happened first in Libya and later in Syria is less likely because the role of the military in Egyptian society has been very separate from the population, and very privileged.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Egypt, History, Middle East, Politics in General, Violence

(Anglican Ink) New Sydney archbishop will not authorize lay celebration of the Eucharist

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Eucharist, Sacramental Theology, Theology

Frank Bruni on the Persistent Problem of Sexual Violence and how to Move Forward

Steubenville. The Naval Academy. Vanderbilt University. The stories of young men sexually assaulting young women seem never to stop, despite all the education we’ve had and all the progress we’ve supposedly made. There are times when I find myself darkly wondering if there’s some ineradicable predatory streak in the male subset of our species.

Wrong, Chris Kilmartin told me. It’s not DNA we’re up against; it’s movies, manners and a set of mores, magnified in the worlds of the military and sports, that assign different roles and different worth to men and women. Fix that culture and we can keep women a whole lot safer.

I contacted Kilmartin, a psychology professor and the author of the textbook The Masculine Self, after learning that the military is repeatedly reaching out to him. Right now he’s in Colorado, at the Air Force Academy, which imported him for a year to teach in the behavioural sciences department and advise the school on preventing sexual violence.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Men, Movies & Television, Psychology, Sexuality, Theology, Violence, Women

(Telegraph) 'Persecuted' British Christians need to 'grow up', says former Archbishop Rowan Williams

Lord Williams said religious believers should be wary of complaining about their treatment in the Western world, with those claiming they are “persecuted” making him “very uneasy”.

He added the level of “not being taken very seriously” or “being made fun of” in Britain and the United States is not comparable to the “murderous hostility” faced by others in different parts of the world.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he urged those who complain of ill-treatment for their beliefs in Britain to “grow up”.

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

(Church Times) Change in Church of England teaching expected

The nature of the debate on women bishops at the General Synod meeting last November has “finally shocked most bishops into the realisation that conservative demands can never be met”, a report of “a series of confidential conversations” with bishops by the gay-rights group Changing Attitude (CA) suggests.

The group has already met nine bishops that are “affirming” of their stance, and will meet another eight shortly.

“The absolute confidentiality we guarantee means that bishops have been very open and trusting,” the director of CA, the Revd Colin Coward, said, in an interim report of the conversations, A Vision of the Future, that was distributed to supporters this week. “We have learnt much from the conversations. With each new encounter the narrative has evolved.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Theology

(Reuters) Syrian rights group says rebels killed Italian Jesuit priest

Al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Syria have killed an Italian Jesuit priest who disappeared in the east of the country late last month, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Paolo Dall’Oglio, a vocal supporter of the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and some Islamist rebel groups, disappeared in the rebel-held city of Raqqa on July 29.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Middle East, Religion & Culture, Syria, Terrorism, Violence

(Wash. Post on Faith) Mark Tooley–Drone policy can be moral policy

Where there is competent and willing local law enforcement, the U.S. is not launching drones. Where such law enforcement is impossible, what then?

Religious critics of drones rarely offer specific alternatives. Instead, they morally fault drones for imprecision, susceptible to harming innocents, and impersonally guided by desk-bound pilots who, with their bureaucratic overlords, may be cavalier because they are themselves not at risk. The anti-drone letter from Mainline Protestants cited “remote, technical warfare,” which has the “potential to encourage overuse and extension of the policy to more countries and more perceived threats.” But almost all forms of modern warfare are “remote” and “technical.” Combatants no longer typically battle each other with swords and lances.

Absent the option of effective law enforcement against terrorists, the range of options include conventional aerial bombing or cruise missiles, both of which are pretty “remote,” or a military personnel excursion similar to the U.S. Navy SEAL mission that dispatched Osama bin Laden.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Theology

Bob Woods, TEC priest, chimes in on the Bakersfield, California Anglican/TEC Debate

Per the Prayer Book and personally, I accept the Holy Scriptures as the “inerrant Word of God” which “contains all things necessary for salvation,” and I also accept (as does The Episcopal Church USA, or ECUSA) the historic Creeds (Apostle’s, Nicene and Athanasian) as “a sufficient statement of the faith.” All that in turn means I and ECUSA believe in the Virgin Birth, that Christ was the only Son of God and so on, period.

For a non-Episcopalian to state that I believe otherwise is the result of ignorance, arrogance or something worse.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

A Prayer to Begin the Day

Teach us, O God, to walk trustfully today in thy presence, that thy voice may encourage us, thine arm defend us, and thy love surround us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to thee! Do not hide thy face from me in the day of my distress! Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!

–Psalm 102:1-2

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(C of E) Bishop of Wakefield deeply concerned at Egypt violence

“The state of emergency in Egypt following the carnage and increasing death toll of recent days is a matter of grave concern for those within and outside the region. The heavy loss of life is deeply disturbing and points to the urgent need for resolution and restraint from Government forces.

Of equal concern are the reports that several Churches across Egypt were attacked, including St Saviours Anglican Church in Suez. These unprovoked attacks are part of an all too familiar pattern that we see repeated across the region where Christian and other minority communities find themselves as collateral casualties in a wider struggle between two increasingly illiberal and repressive forces….

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, Middle East, Theology, Violence

Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki will meet tomorrow to elect a new Bsihop

Representatives from throughout the Anglican Diocese of Waikato and Taranaki will meet from tomorrow, Friday August 16th to elect the 7th Bishop of Waikato.

Ten names have been proposed to the Electoral College, five men and five women. The majority of the candidates are from within the Diocese. The gathering is a significant step in the life of the church as it is 20 years since the last Bishop of Waikato was appointed.

Known as an Electoral College, the gathering of approximately 200 laity and clergy meets until a decision is made. The successful nominee must achieve a majority of the votes of both laity and clergy. The gathering at Southwell School is only the first part of a three stage process, during which time the name of the nominee remains confidential.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces

(Inside Higher Ed) A Reversal at Dartmouth as Bishop James Tengatenga not to be put forward as Dean

Dartmouth College’s new president on Wednesday rescinded a job offer to an African bishop who was to have been dean of the institution’s Tucker Foundation, which promotes ethical leadership, spiritual development and social justice at the college. The appointment of James Tengatenga, a bishop of the Anglican church in Malawi, as dean set off a debate on campus and beyond because of his past anti-gay statements.

Philip J. Hanlon, the president, met with Tengatenga and announced that the college was taking back the job offer. In a statement, Hanlon said that there was much to praise in Tengatenga’s “inspiring life of service.”

Hanlon added: “However, following much reflection and consultation with senior leaders at Dartmouth, it has become clear to me that Dr. Tengatenga’s past comments about homosexuality and the uncertainty and controversy they created have compromised his ability to serve effectively as dean of Tucker. The foundation and Dartmouth’s commitment to inclusion are too important to be mired in discord over this appointment. Consequently, we have decided not to move forward with the appointment of Dr. Tengatenga as dean of the Tucker Foundation.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Education, Malawi, Politics in General, Sexuality, Young Adults

Christchurch New Zealand's Cardboard Cathedral is now open

After countless earthquakes and a two year rebuild, a new symbol of Canterbury has finally opened this evening.

It is the only cathedral in the world made substantially of cardboard.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * General Interest, Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, Anglican Provinces, Natural Disasters: Earthquakes, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, etc., Parish Ministry