Daily Archives: September 16, 2013

Flashback Bishop Jefferts Schori Supported the Authority of Diocesan Bishop

From the Dixon v Edwards 2001 District Court decision:

Professor Lewis Weil, Professor of Liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, has stated on affidavit that the diocesan bishop is at the “apex” of the Episcopal Church hierarchy “as the apostle, chief priest, pastor and ecclesiastical authority of the diocese””¦. “All of this, in the Court’s view, gives a conclusive quietus to any argument about the role of review panels within the Church or whether Bishop Dixon may have had certain ecclesiastical remedies that she declined to pursue before coming to court. She is the highest ecclesiastical authority of the Washington Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

Amicus brief of 26 bishops [including then Bishop Jefferts Schori]:

“Episcopal Church governance is hierarchical and governed by canon law, as found by the District Court.”

From the Mark McCall South Carolina Affidavit:

181. Finally, in 2001 Louis Weil, like Mullin a professor at a TEC seminary, submitted expert testimony on the hierarchical structure of TEC to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland in Dixon v. Edwards, 172 F. Supp. 2d 702 (D. Md. 2001). Among Weil’s conclusions were the following (emphasis added):

I am qualified to explain the hierarchical structure of the Episcopal Church, and the diocesan bishop’s position at the apex of that hierarchy as the apostle, chief priest, pastor and ecclesiastical authority of the diocese”¦.
The polity of the Episcopal Church is hierarchical. In fact, the name of the Episcopal Church itself denotes the authoritative framework of the Church, and direction in which authority flows. The concept of episcope,” from which episcopal is derived, means oversight. Oversight, within the polity of the Episcopal Church, is the responsibility of a bishop within his or her diocese.

The diocese is the jurisdictional unit of the Episcopal Church”¦.

Taken together, the role of the bishop as apostle, chief priest and pastor of a diocese, and the ordination vows taken by every priest signify the hierarchical nature of the Episcopal Church. Within this framework, it is the bishop who is the ultimate authority on issues of ministry within his or her diocese”¦.

In summary, the bishop is the cornerstone of the diocese. The history and liturgy of the Episcopal Church support the notion that the bishop is the ultimate authority over ecclesiastical matters within his or her diocese.

Weil’s expert declaration from the court’s public records is attached as Exhibit 3.

182. The district court relied heavily on Weil’s expert testimony in its decision:

Ultimately, however, Defendants’ suggestion that the Bishop is not the highest ecclesiastical authority is contradicted by every fundamental aspect of the faith, beginning with the very word “bishop,” which is derived from the Late Latin “episcopus” meaning “bishop” or “overseer,” through the Greek “episcopus,” comprised of “epi,” meaning “on or over” and “skopos,” meaning “watches””¦.Professor Lewis Weil, Professor of Liturgics at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California, has stated on affidavit that the diocesan bishop is at the “apex” of the Episcopal Church hierarchy “as the apostle, chief priest, pastor and ecclesiastical authority of the diocese””¦. “The history and liturgy of the Episcopal Church,” Professor Weil concludes, “support the notion that the bishop is the ultimate authority over ecclesiastical matters within his or her diocese””¦. All of this, in the Court’s view, gives a conclusive quietus to any argument about the role of review panels within the Church or whether Bishop Dixon may have had certain ecclesiastical remedies that she declined to pursue before coming to court. She is the highest ecclesiastical authority of the Washington Diocese of the Episcopal Church.

172 F. Supp. 2d at 717.

183. When this decision was appealed to the Fourth Circuit, two TEC bishops filed an amicus brief supporting reversal of the district court decision in a brief that argued the two bishops “strongly disagree [] with the lower court’s position on the authority of an Episcopal bishop.” This in turn prompted a second amicus brief by 26 TEC bishops in support of the trial court’s interpretation of TEC polity. They stated that their purpose was to respond to the arguments of the other amicus brief “because they believe that acceptance of those arguments would undermine and, indeed, would drastically alter the authority and the role of bishops in the Episcopal Church.” These amici concluded that “Episcopal Church governance is hierarchical and governed by canon law, as found by the District Court.” (Emphasis added.) Among the 26 bishops signing the second amicus brief was the current Presiding Bishop, on behalf of whom [Robert] Mullin prepared his testimony in this case. (See paragraph 3.)

184. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the decision by the district court, concluding that “Bishop Dixon is the highest ecclesiastical tribunal of the Church for the purposes of this dispute.” Dixon v. Edwards, 290 F. 3d 699 (4th Cir. 2002).

Posted in Uncategorized

A Marine survives a bombing mission without visible injuries, but the invisible trauma left scars

Today, [Marine Sargeant Dana] King has no visible scars from his time in combat. But his injuries are as real as any veteran hit by shrapnel. Instead of losing a limb, King lost functions in his brain that help him remember things, control his emotions and sometimes talk clearly.

He covers it up well. He said most people around him don’t know he’s suffering from the effects of a traumatic brain injury ”“ don’t know the invisible battle with his disability that he wages every day.

And King is far from alone. Since 2000, more than 270,000 troops have been diagnosed with concussions and other traumatic head injuries. Experts say the numbers are likely much higher. A Rand Corp. study in 2008 put the number of brain-injured troops at more than 320,000, and that was two years before a massive surge in improvised explosive device attacks in Afghanistan.

Read it all from the front page of the local paper.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * South Carolina, Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Theology

Eric Menees–Why I am an Anglican Part IX : Because We're International

In May of 2012, I was blessed to addend a FCA (Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans) meeting in London, where the international flavor of Anglicanism – which had always been theoretical to me – became real. How powerful it was for me to have dinner with the Archbishop of Chile, the Bishop of Iran, and a Bishop from Uganda. We shared a meal together, prayed together, and spoke of our faith in Christ. As we did, it became clear that while we came from very different cultures and backgrounds, we shared the same Christian Culture – based on a common understanding of Christ, the Church, and our Mission in the world.

We have the evangelical spirit of the English Reformers to thank for our international flavor and expression – for a truly catholic (universal) church. In short, where the English Navy and economic traders went, the Church of England went also. This missionary zeal took extra focus with the formation of the Church Mission Society in the eighteenth century, under the leadership of many evangelicals, not least of whom was William Wilberforce. In a short time, the CMS began to focus on Africa and India. They then focused on the South Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand. Today, millions of men and women have come to Christ through the efforts of those original missionaries and their successors.

However, the focus was not only calling individuals to conversion, but also engaging the culture, with the intention of transforming all of society.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Ecclesiology, FCA Meeting in London April 2012, Global South Churches & Primates, Globalization, Theology

The Episcopal Bishop of West Tennessee on Being an "Episcopal Christian"

While serving this summer as chaplain for Camp Gailor-Maxon, the lyrics of Rich Mullins song became stuck in my mind: “Faith without hope is like a song you can’t sing. It’s about as useless as a screen door on a submarine.” While the lyrics are catchy, it is that relationship between faith and works that I can’t get out of my thoughts. As I used to teach in Inquirers’ Classes, faith is about letting go, and belief is about holding on. Both are needed. Some vague letting go into an “I am a spiritual person” isn’t the same as the holding on that is implicit in being a Christian. And even this “holding on” is not the same as being an Episcopal Christian.

An Episcopal Christian: It is this theological lyric that I want my life to sing. It is this particular way of being a Christian that we as Episcopalians are both invited and expected to live out in the world. To make our faith “incarnational” requires that the holding on and letting go be done at the same time. One is about trust in God who has acted in Jesus and continues to act through the Holy Spirit “to lead and guide us into all truth.” The other is about the way we work out in the daily living of our lives the walk we make with God’s guidance in the world.

Read it all.

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

(ACNS) Anglican Communion gives thanks for Archbishop Kattey's release

The Anglican Communion has given thanks to God for the safe release of the Church of Nigeria’s second most senior cleric, Archbishop Ignatius Kattey.

Provincial Dean Abp Kattey and his wife were kidnapped more than a week ago by armed men near their residence in the southern city of Port Harcourt. Mrs Kattey was later abandoned by the kidnappers.

Statements of concern and prayers were issued around the Anglican Communion, not least from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has visited Nigeria many times.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Provinces, Church of Nigeria, Law & Legal Issues, Nigeria, Police/Fire, Religion & Culture, Spirituality/Prayer

(NPR) Calling Obesity A Disease May Make It Easier To Get Help

Under the Affordable Care Act, more insurance plans are expected to start covering the cost of obesity treatments, including counseling on diet and exercise as well as medications and surgery. These are treatments that most insurance companies don’t cover now.

This move is a response to the increasing number of health advocates and medical groups that say obesity should be classified as a disease.

Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. But this summer, the American Medical Association determined that . They followed in the footsteps of the , a health advocacy group that called obesity a disease back in 2008.

Read or listen to it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Anthropology, Budget, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Politics in General, Science & Technology, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government, Theology

(FT Weekend Magazine) Desmond Tutu talks about God, Syria, the Mandela legacy and other matters

Soon after Mandela took office, Tutu chided him for increasing MPs’ salaries and for not closing down the apartheid arms trade. When Mandela accused him of being a “populist”, he hit back, typically, though, tempering his attack with an affectionate critique of Mandela’s colourful shirts. Tutu had made his point. The ultimate pastoral interventionist was not going to let Mandela’s stature inhibit him from speaking his mind. To the irritation of the ANC he would retain his independence.

As the ANC became rather accustomed to the perks of power, so his critiques sharpened. In 2004 he lamented that only “an elite few” had reached the “promised land”. Just four months ago, he said that he would no longer vote for the ANC, citing inequality, violence and corruption as among the reasons for his loss of support. When I ask for his current thinking on the party, he turns to “a lovely quote in Isaiah”.

“”˜Look to the rock from which you are hewn.’ We were hewn from a rock of people who were ready to lay down their lives for freedom”¦ We have very many good things that are happening but you long for us to remember why we were in the ­struggle and what kind of South Africa we would love to see. We have accomplished a part of the dream”¦ and some things subvert that dream.”

Read it all (if necessary another link may be found there).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Anglican Provinces, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Middle East, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, South Africa, Syria, Theology, Violence

(SHNS) Terry Mattingly–Syria presents us with a choice among evils

For days, Christians with ties to Syria waited for news about the fighting in Maaloula, a village near Damascus that is famous for being one of three in existence in which the locals still speak ancient Aramaic, the language of Jesus….

During the siege, an American bishop of the ancient Antiochian Orthodox Church ”” based in Damascus for centuries ”” was called by Metropolitan Saba Esper of southern Syria, who in turn had just reached Mother Belagia, abbess of the famous St. Thekla monastery in Maaloula.

The Syrians wanted to know: Was anyone paying attention?

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Middle East, Orthodox Church, Other Churches, Religion & Culture, Syria, Theology, Violence

(NY Times Business) Taste-Testing a Second Career, With a Mentor

Only half of all small businesses survive five years, according to the Commerce Department ”” the number is much lower for food establishments. But at his original location, Mr. [Duncan] Goodall said, he’s figured out some rules for indie coffeehouses. These are rules that he has now evangelized to all the mentees, “about 20,” who have found him on the Web.

“You have two types of people” who come for mentorship, Mr. Goodall said. “People who love coffeehouses, and people who love coffee. But there’s no requirement for either of those groups to know anything about business.” So what he offers mentees is like a quickie M.B.A. for people whose background is in ”” to use the Owens’ example ”” preaching or nursing.

Mr. Goodall is emphatic about Rule No. 1: “Figure out your niche.” If you’re attracting the artsy crowd, don’t worry if your employees have crazy tattoos ”” it might be better if they do.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Middle Age, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Ninian of Galloway

O God, who by the preaching of thy blessed servant and bishop Ninian didst cause the light of the Gospel to shine in the land of Britain: Grant, we beseech thee, that, having his life and labors in remembrance, we may show forth our thankfulness by following the example of his zeal and patience; 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

Let thy mighty outstretched arm, O Lord God, be our defence; thy mercy and lovingkindness in Jesus Christ, thy dear Son, our salvation; thy all true word our instruction; the grace of thy life-giving Spirit our comfort and consolation, unto the end and in the end; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

–Matthew 4:1-4

Posted in Uncategorized

Barry Ritholtz–Translated into Truth: On Larry Summers Withdrawing from Fed Chair Consideration

Earlier today, I spoke with Larry Summers and accepted his decision to withdraw his name from consideration for Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Larry was a critical contributor to the radical deregulation that was one of many causes of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. It was in no small part because of his lack of expertise, false wisdom, and inept leadership that the economy crashed and burned and even today is still failing to be to back to its full growth potential.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Federal Reserve, History, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, Stock Market, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The U.S. Government, Theology

Cyber Security: The new arms race for a new front line

In the eastern New Jersey suburbs, a train carrying radiological material is barreling toward a small town, and it is up to Pentagon cyber-operators to derail it. The town is the kind of idyllic whistle-stop hamlet where residents socialize at a cafe with complimentary Wi-Fi while surfing FaceSpace, a social networking site.

But danger lurks all around. Terrorists are using the open Wi-Fi connection to hack into the laptop of a patron who works at the hospital down the street. They plan to find the hospital codes stored in his computer to access the mayor’s medical records, in which they will change the dosage of a prescription the mayor refills regularly in an effort to poison him.

They have other nefarious future schemes, too: They will cut the power grid with a nasty cybervirus and destroy the local water supply by engineering a program to make it appear as though the reservoir is polluted. When employees dump chemicals into the water to fix the problem, they will inadvertently be doing just what the terrorists want: contaminating the water supply.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Science & Technology, Theology

A Fascinating Local Paper Profile of a College of Charleston Junior with Asperger's Syndrome

Alix Generous just turned 21. If she wanted to, she could buy a beer.

Instead, the College of Charleston junior has been a bit busy. In just the past year or so, she has presented her own coral reef research to the United Nations in India, studied neuropathic pain at MUSC and is now examining childhood epilepsy at a prestigious Boston medical school.

And on Saturday, she presented a TED talk in Albuquerque, N.M. The event featured physicists and educators, CEOs and techies, writers, a doctor, a folk healer ”” and her. She discussed the need to tap people’s unique minds to solve the world’s complex problems.

She discussed it by way of personal experience.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * South Carolina, Education, Globalization, Health & Medicine, Science & Technology, Women, Young Adults

The Economist on the German Election–One woman to rule them all

Ever since the euro crisis broke in late 2009 this newspaper has criticised the world’s most powerful woman. We disagreed with Angela Merkel’s needlessly austere medicine: the continent’s recession has been unnecessarily long and brutal as a result. We wanted the chancellor to shrug off her cautious incrementalism and the mantle of her country’s history””and to lead Europe more forcefully. She is largely to blame for the failure to create a full banking union for the euro zone, the first of many institutional changes it still needs. She has refused to lead public opinion, never spelling out to her voters how much Germany is to blame for the euro mess (nor how much its banks have been rescued by its bail-outs). We also worry that she has not done enough at home: in recent years no country in the European Union has made fewer structural reforms, and her energy policies have landed Germany with high subsidies for renewables and high electricity prices.

And yet we believe Mrs Merkel is the right person to lead her country and thus Europe. That is partly because of what she is: the world’s most politically gifted democrat and a far safer bet than her leftist opponents. It is also partly because of what we believe she could still become””the great leader Germany and Europe so desperately needs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010, Credit Markets, Currency Markets, Economy, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, Foreign Relations, Germany, Globalization, Politics in General, The Banking System/Sector, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--

PBS ' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly–Birmingham Church Bombing 50th Anniversary

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: It’s Sunday morning at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Sunday school has finished, and the 11 o’clock worship service has just gotten underway. Today, the youth choir is singing. This is how things were supposed to go on that Sunday morning 50 years ago as well. Then a bomb made of at least ten sticks of dynamite exploded, killing four young girls inside the church.

FREEMAN HRABOWSKI (Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County): It shook the very fabric of our society broadly, not only in Birmingham but in the country. Because if four little girls dressed in white for Sunday school can be blown to pieces because of hatred, everyone has to stop and think, where are we going as a society?

LAWTON: The bombing came amid ongoing racial turmoil in Birmingham and across the US. At the beginning of 1963, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had decided to make Birmingham the center of a new non-violent campaign to end segregation. For years, many Birmingham churches had been fighting segregation under the leadership of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth. But the largely middle class Sixteenth Street Baptist Church had not taken an active role in that effort. Glenn Eskew is professor of history at Georgia State University and author of the book But For Birmingham.

Read or watch and listen to it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Church History, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture