Daily Archives: July 24, 2014

(NYT) U.S. Religious Leaders Embrace Cause of Immigrant Children

After protesters shouting “Go home” turned back busloads of immigrant mothers and children in Murrieta, Calif., a furious Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, sat down at his notepad and drafted a blog post detailing his shame at the episode, writing, “It was un-American; it was unbiblical; it was inhumane.”

When the governor of Iowa, Terry E. Branstad, said he did not want the migrants in his state, declaring, “We can’t accept every child in the world who has problems,” clergy members in Des Moines held a prayer vigil at a United Methodist Church to demonstrate their desire to make room for the refugees.

The United States’ response to the arrival of tens of thousands of migrant children, many of them fleeing violence and exploitation in Central America, has been symbolized by an angry pushback from citizens and local officials who have channeled their outrage over illegal immigration into opposition to proposed shelter sites. But around the nation, an array of religious leaders are trying to mobilize support for the children, saying the nation can and should welcome them.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Immigration, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Tablet) Christians forced to flee Mosul on foot after death threat ultimatum from Islamists

The Iraqi city of Mosul is empty of Christians for the first time in the history of the country, the country’s most senior Chaldean Catholic said.

Patriarch Louis Sako said the city’s Christians ”“ who until last month numbered a few thousand ”“ were fleeing for the neighbouring autonomous region of Kurdistan.

Christian families abandoned homes and belongings and some were robbed of their vehicles by the jihadists and forced to flee on foot. Some Dominican nuns based in nearby Qaraqosh said that the jihadists had demanded the Christians hand over money, personal documents, passports, cars, and all valuable items.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Inter-Faith Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Religion & Culture, Violence

Archbishop Wabukala writes to Kenyan Bishops about Consecration of Women Bishops in ACK

Received by email and cleared for publication

Dear Brother Bishops,


Greetings in Jesus’ name,

Having received several media requests to pronounce our stand on the consecration of women following Church of England resolve to consecrate the same forthwith, I have stated the following; According to the Article VI of our Constitution ON THE MINISTRY; Clause 4 and 5, there is a clear demarcation between the work of a Bishop and that of a Priest. In clause 4, the Bishop is referred to exclusively as male while in Clause 5, which deals with priests, the constitution recognizes that the holder of such office could be male or female.

The ACK constitution does not address itself to the issue of consecration of lady bishops and shall do so at the appropriate time.

We had earlier requested dioceses through their bishops to make their contribution on this matter but we received only two comments. We are yet again requesting you to consult with your diocesan synod on the same.

In the meantime, the status quo remains until the Provincial Synod reviews the position.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Dr. Eliud Wabukala, EBS

cc. Provincial Chancellor
cc. Deputy Provincial Chancellor

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Provinces

[Lent & Beyond] Prayer for South Carolina Thursday July 24th

1 Chronicles 14:13-16 (ESV)
And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer.

Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,
Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers, and to be praised and highly exalted for ever; And blessed is thy glorious, holy name and to be highly praised and highly exalted for ever.
When the Philistines came against David, You guided him by the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees.
When the three young men were thrown into the fiery furnace, the angel of the Lord came down into the furnace to be with them, and drove the fiery flame out of the furnace, and made the midst of the furnace like a moist whistling wind, so that the fire did not touch them at all or hurt or trouble them.
Send the wind of Your Holy Spirit into the courtroom today in the trial between the Episcopal Church in South Carolina and the Diocese of South Carolina. Amen.
The Prayer of Azaraiah

Please pray it all if you wish and there are more prayers from Lent and Beyond for South Carolina here. We are grateful to Lent and Beyond for these daily prayers.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

Further Prayer for South Carolina Thursday July 24th

Psalm 5:11-12
let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield

Lord, you are our strong tower in times of trouble and source of peace,
bless and defend we pray the Judge, Court and all those attending the South Carolina trial
spreading your protection and righteousness over them.
May they rejoice only in you, seek truth and honor your name,
for Jesus sake. Amen

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

(BBC) Isis 'orders female genital mutilation' for women in Mosul

The UN says militant Islamist group Isis has ordered all women and girls in Mosul, northern Iraq, to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

UN official Jacqueline Badcock said the fatwa, or religious edict, applied to females between the ages of 11 and 46.

She said the unprecedented decree issued by the Islamists in control of the city was of grave concern.

Iraq is facing a radical Isis-led Sunni insurgency, with cities in the north-west under militant control.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Terrorism, Theology, Violence, Women

(Time) Mariam Ibrahim, Sudanese Christian Who Refused to Renounce Faith, Escapes Country

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim and her family landed in Italy en route to a new life in the U.S.

A woman in Sudan who faced the death sentence for refusing to renounce Christianity safely landed in Italy en route to the U.S. on Thursday after the international community intervened to secure her safe exit, NBC News reports.

Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was imprisoned for apostasy in February under Sudan’s strict Islamic law, after converting from Islam to marry her Christian husband, a U.S. citizen. Born to a Muslim father but raised Orthodox Christian, she refused to convert back under threat of death.

Read it all.

Update: Per Catholic News Service–#PopeFrancis spent 30mins with #Meriam&family. Thanked her for her “constant witness” to faith. She thanked him for church’s prayers,support

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --South Sudan, Africa, Children, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Marriage & Family, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Prison/Prison Ministry, Religion & Culture, Sudan, Theology, Violence, Women

(WSJ) Tragedy Fails to Quiet Ukraine

Two Ukrainian fighter jets were shot down Wednesday over separatist-held territory not far from the site of the Malaysia Airlines crash as international outrage over the tragedy has done little to slow the fierce fighting in eastern Ukraine.

While Kiev made significant advances against rebels in the country’s east in recent days, Ukrainian and U.S. officials say Russian weapons are continuing to pour over the border. The escalation in fighting suggests Russian President Vladimir Putin has no intention of dialing back his support for the separatists, denting Western hopes that international attention from the airliner crash would force him to change course.

“The fact that you have two additional planes shot down speaks to the pattern we’ve seen over the last several weeks””which is Russian-backed separatists, armed with Russian anti-aircraft [weapons], posing risks to aircraft in Ukraine,” said Ben Rhodes, a deputy White House national security adviser.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Foreign Relations, Politics in General, Russia, Theology, Ukraine, Violence

(NYT) Civilians as Human Shields? Gaza War Intensifies Debate

Militant rockets can be seen launching from crowded neighborhoods, near apartment buildings, schools and hotels. Hamas fighters have set traps for Israeli soldiers in civilian homes and stored weapons in mosques and schools. Tunnels have been dug beneath private property.

With international condemnation rising over the death toll in Gaza exceeding 650 in the war’s 16th day, Israel points to its adversaries’ practice of embedding forces throughout the crowded, impoverished coastal enclave of 1.7 million people.

“Hamas uses schools, residential buildings, mosques and hospitals to fire rockets at Israeli civilians,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Canadian counterpart in a call over the weekend, according to a statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office. “Hamas uses innocent civilians as a human shield for terrorist activity.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Israel, Middle East, Politics in General, The Palestinian/Israeli Struggle, Theology

(The Week) Michael Dougherty–Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians

Just 11 years ago, there were 1.5 million Christians living in Iraq. Since the U.S. war there, that number has plummeted to approximately 400,000 ”” and it is still falling fast. The chaos created by the U.S. invasion, occupation, and withdrawal, as well as the ongoing Syrian civil war and insurgent-fueled unrest in much of Iraq, has dramatically increased the persecution and pressure on Iraq’s Christians and other religious minorities.

ISIS, the emergent Islamist terrorist group that spans from Syria into Iraq, has already taken over Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. They painted signs on the walls of Christian homes, meant to indicate to all the presence of a minority they hate. They gave Christians a choice and a deadline: Pay an exorbitant tax, convert to Islam, leave, or be put to death. Most have fled after having their property confiscated. Five Christian families, according to The New York Times, had members too ill to flee to Kurdistan or Turkey, and so consented to a forced conversion to Islam. ISIS burned Christian churches, and dug up a shrine many Middle Eastern Christians believe is the final resting place of the prophet Jonah, along with another site said to contain the Biblical prophet Seth.

Reading these headlines and tut-tutting isn’t enough. The U.S. owes Christians and other persecuted Iraqi minorities assistance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Iraq, Iraq War, Middle East, Other Churches, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Northwest Evening Mail) Should Dying Be our Right?

The Rt. Rev. James Newcome, who speaks for the Church of England on health, has called for Lord Falconer to withdraw the Bill in favour of a Royal Commission on the subject.

The Bishop of Carlisle said: “It has brought the issues to the forefront of public discussion and highlighted what an important issue this is. Certainly, our hope as the Church of England is that the Falconer Bill will be withdrawn and that, because this is such an important issue, it could be discussed at length by a Royal Commission.”

A Royal Commission would allow the arguments to be “carefully assessed” and for expert opinion to be taken.

He added that the Church of England is in favour of the law on assisted suicide to remain unaltered as it provides a “good balance” between compassion and protection of the vulnerable.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Death / Burial / Funerals, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

(Gallup) Americans Still Oppose Lowering the Drinking Age

Thirty years after federal legislation established 21 as a uniform minimum age to drink alcohol in all states, Americans are widely opposed to lowering the legal drinking age to 18. Seventy-four percent say they would oppose such legislation, while 25% would favor it. The level of opposition is similar to what Gallup has measured in the past….

Despite the progress made in reducing traffic deaths involving alcohol, drunk driving remains a factor in many automobile fatalities. Also, one of the major concerns with alcohol today is binge drinking among young adults, and it is not clear that having a higher drinking age helps in that regard. Rather, some experts suggest lowering the drinking age, and teaching teens and young adults to drink responsibly at a younger age, would help to reduce the allure of alcohol to those forbidden by law to possess it.

But Americans are either not aware of or not persuaded by such arguments, given that public support for a minimum drinking age of 21 seems pretty solid and consistent over the past three decades.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Alcohol/Drinking, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General, State Government, Teens / Youth, Theology, Young Adults

Diocese of SC Day 12: TEC Uses Bishop vonRosenberg to Claim Dioceses Can't Leave

”“ On the 12th day of the trial of the Diocese of South Carolina vs. The Episcopal Church and its local subsidiary, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina, TEC attorney David Beers attempted to introduce the concept of church hierarchy once again into the trial, ignoring Judge Diane S. Goodstein’s repeated rulings that church hierarchy plays no role in this case.

Beers asked the first provisional bishop of TECSC, Charles vonRosenberg, to tell the court why the Bishop of San Joaquin, Ca., the Rt. Rev. John David Schofield had been removed as bishop of that diocese.

Judge Goodstein said, “It’s not relevant. For this reason: I don’t know what [that] state’s position is regarding the analysis of church disputes. I don’t really care. What I care about is the state of South Carolina. My Supreme Court tells me what I do when I analyze church disputes.’

She added, “In terms of whether or not the parishes in SC and the Diocese in SC were allowed to leave the national church ”“ I’m going to make that determination on the basis of neutral principles of law under South Carolina law. I don’t care what happened any where else.”

Read it all.

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

(LA Times Op-ed) Steve Trumble–How to escape the medical care debt trap

The single biggest cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States isn’t job loss or irresponsible use of credit. It’s medical expenses.

An analysis this year by NerdWallet Health found that about 60% of all bankruptcies are health related. And a comprehensive study by Harvard researchers who examined a large sample of 2007 bankruptcy filings found that, “using a conservative definition, 62.1% of all bankruptcies ”¦ were medical.” That research, published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that most of these “medical debtors were well educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.”

And although access to health insurance can help stave off medical debt, it doesn’t solve the problem. About 10 million insured Americans have medical bills they are unable to pay. The Harvard researchers found that three-quarters of the medical debtors they studied had health insurance.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Personal Finance, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Thomas a Kempis

Holy Father, who hast nourished and strengthened thy Church by the writings of thy servant Thomas a Kempis: Grant that we may learn from him to know what we ought to know, to love what we ought to love, to praise what highly pleaseth thee, and always to seek to know and follow thy will; 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

Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–Romans 15:4-6

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

(ABC Aus.) Euthanasia advocate Philip Nitschke suspended by the Australian Medical Board

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anthropology, Australia / NZ, Death / Burial / Funerals, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Law & Legal Issues, Life Ethics, Parish Ministry, Politics in General, Science & Technology, Theology

(AP) Seniors Share Homes for Cost Saving, Companionship

t’s not exactly “The Golden Girls,” but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it’ll do.

Rosenfeld is among thousands of aging Americans taking part in home-sharing programs around the country that allow seniors to stay in their homes and save money while getting some much-needed companionship.

“It’s a wonderful arrangement,” said the white-haired Rosenfeld, who when asked her age will only say she’s a senior citizen. “The way the rents are these days, I couldn’t stay here without it.”

She shares her two-bedroom, $1,000-a-month Brooklyn apartment with Carolyn Allen, a 69-year-old widow who has suffered two strokes and no longer wants to live alone.

Agencies that put such seniors together say the need appears to be growing as baby boomers age and struggle to deal with foreclosures, property taxes and rising rents. The typical situation involves an elderly woman, widowed or divorced, who has a house or an apartment with extra room and needs help with the upkeep.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Aging / the Elderly, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Housing/Real Estate Market, Personal Finance, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, Theology

Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony from Glasgow Live

You may be able to watch it here – Click on ‘Live Coverage’ and left image here or listen here

Posted in Uncategorized