Daily Archives: August 5, 2014

(RNS) Italy expels imam for preaching hatred against Jews

Italian officials on Tuesday (Aug. 5) moved to expel a Moroccan imam who was caught on video inciting violence against Jews during Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.

Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said he had ordered the imam, Raoudi Aldelbar, to be expelled “for seriously disturbing the peace, endangering national security and religious discrimination.”

The imam was filmed during a Friday sermon in a mosque near Venice last month calling for Jews to be killed “one by one,” according to the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute, which published the video on its website.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Europe, Inter-Faith Relations, Islam, Italy, Judaism, Law & Legal Issues, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Religion & Culture

Canberra Area Anglicans to lament those they have hurt this Sunday

The Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Stuart Robinson, has announced this Sunday will be a day of lamentation and a will feature a public apology “to those hurt by the Anglican Church”.

On behalf of my Episcopal colleagues and the leadership of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, I wish to convey our deep and genuine sadness in relation to the pain and brokenness that people have experienced as a result of their engagement with our Church.

I take this opportunity to apologise for any abuse or mistreatment that those sharing in this event may have experienced by individuals or groups connected with our Church.

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

(Bloomberg) Scarce Cemetery Space Creates Prices to Die For in Many Cities

Even in death, you can’t escape the property bubble.

From New York to London, growing populations are competing with the deceased for land, driving up real-estate costs well into the afterlife. In Asian megacities, where cremation is the norm, even space for urns is in short supply.

“At the end of the day, it’s like any other piece of real estate,” says Amy Cunningham, a New York state licensed funeral director. “Prices have conspired to put burials out of the range of most people’s budgets.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Death / Burial / Funerals, Economy, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Theology

Church of England legally Recognized in Italy

The President of Italy has formally signed a decree which recognizes seven years of preparation by the Church of England to have official status in the country and be recognised as a denomination. It was granted after careful and detailed examination of the Ministero dell’Interno (Italian Home Office) the Direzione Centrale degli Affari dei culti (central department for religious affairs) and Consiglio di Stato (advisory body of the Italian government on administrative matters and their legal implications, with the approval of the Consiglio dei Ministri (Italian Cabinet). It gives legal status to the association Chiesa d’Inghilterra and accepts its statutes.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Europe, Italy, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture

WWI Centenary: Archbishop Justin Welby writes in the Sunday Express

The Great War set its mark on the 20th century. Many people suggest that it was the beginning of a conflict that did not end until 1989. What an author called Philip Bobbitt called ”˜The Long War’. Four empires collapsed as a direct result, and two more were so enfeebled that they began to decline, although they were unaware of the fact for some years.

The Great War unleashed forces that dominated most of the 20th century. It sowed the seeds of the Nazi regime in Germany and it opened the way to the horrors of Stalinism and the Communist regime of the Soviet Union, with its evil spread over Eastern Europe.

Everyone was conscripted in one way or another. Of course huge numbers of mainly men were conscripted into the armed services. There was a doctrine of attrition, meaning that if our army is bigger than their army, we can lose troops at the same rate but they will run out of troops first. Civilians were co-opted into famine and hunger, into refugee carts and dispersion and loss of families. Even in places where the war did not physically come, as in much of the United Kingdom, there was conscription into hatred and bitterness.

Even God was conscripted.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Defense, National Security, Military, England / UK, History

A New arts-focussed parish for Crewe in the Diocese of Chester

A new Christian community has started up in Crewe. ”˜Restore’ is part of the ”˜Fresh Expressions’ movement. The Revd Tim Watson is the leader of ”˜Restore’, which will have a focus on the arts and has an ambitious plan to open an arts centre in Crewe.

The group currently meets twice a week ”“ 8pm on Tuesdays at 30 Oakhurst Drive, Wistaston; and 10am on Sundays in Costa Coffee in the town centre.

In the months ahead, Tim and the team have also set themselves the task of restoring the old Christ Church site in the town centre, to turn it into an arts centre and café.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Provinces, Art, Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

(CNS) An Anglican priest discusses an Ecumenical gardening project in the heart of Rome

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), Ecumenical Relations, Energy, Natural Resources, Europe, Italy, Other Churches, Roman Catholic, Theology

(BBC) Ethics panel set up for Greater Manchester Police to help in moral 'grey areas'

An ethics committee has been set up to tackle moral issues faced by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) and the area’s police and crime commissioner.

The independent committee is one of the first of its kind in the country and aims to make recommendations on moral and ethical dilemmas.

It will look at issues such as surveillance operations and the use of body cameras and water cannon.

Members of the public can make referrals to the committee.

The panel of 13 is chaired by the Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Rev David Walker.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Church of England (CoE), City Government, CoE Bishops, England / UK, Law & Legal Issues, Police/Fire, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology

(WSJ) Hospitals Cash In on the Newly Insured

A rush of newly insured patients using health services has boosted hospital operators’ fortunes but has racked up costs that insurers didn’t anticipate, corporate filings and interviews with executives show.

People are getting more back surgeries, seeking maternity care and showing up at emergency rooms more frequently, executives say, boosting income for hospital operators.

At Tenet Healthcare Corp….patient volumes rose 4% in the second quarter compared with a year earlier, while uninsured inpatient admissions slid 22%….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, Theology

(NYT) Lax Quarantine Undercuts Ebola Fight in Africa

Alarmed by the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola, West Africa leaders have declared extraordinary measures to fight the disease, including closing schools, authorizing house-to-house searches for infected people and, at least on paper, sometimes vowing to go beyond the standard international controls for halting the virus.

Here in Sierra Leone, the nation with the most cases of the disease, the government has decreed a broad state of emergency ”” telling families to stay at home on Monday for “reflection, education and prayers” ”” and has ordered strict new measures, like bans on many public gatherings and the quarantine edict.

“The very essence of our nation is at stake,” President Ernest Bai Koroma said in a televised speech Monday morning.

But that tough stance is being accompanied by loose enforcement that is deeply worrying to doctors and health care workers trying to stem the rapid spread of the virus.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Church faces legal challenge after blocking job offer for priest who choose same-sex marriage

The first priest to marry his same-sex partner is to issue a legal challenge to the Church of England after his offer of a job as an NHS chaplain was withdrawn when his bishop refused the necessary permission.

The Rev Jeremy Pemberton, who married Laurence Cunnington in April, was informed on Friday that Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS trust had withdrawn its offer of a job after Bishop Richard Inwood had refused him the official licence in the diocese of Southwell and Nottingham.

“It this is not challenged,” Pemberton said on Sunday, “it will send a message to all chaplains of whom a considerable number are gay and lesbian. This is an area of law that has not been tested and needs to be.”

Read it all from the Guardian.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --Civil Unions & Partnerships, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Marriage & Family, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology

(America) Flannery O'Connor in 1957–The Church and the Fiction Writer

We lost our innocence in the fall of our first parents, and our return to it is through the redemption which was brought about by Christ’s death and by our slow participation in it. Sentimentality is a skipping of this process in its concrete reality and an early arrival at a mock state of innocence, which strongly suggests its opposite. Pornography, on the other hand, is essentially sentimental, for it leaves out the connection of sex with its hard purposes, disconnects it from its meaning in life and makes it simply an experience for its own sake.

Many well-grounded complaints have been made about religious literature on the score that it tends to minimize the importance and dignity of life here and now in favor of life in the next world or in favor of miraculous manifestations of grace. When fiction is made according to its nature, it should reinforce our sense of the supernatural by grounding it in concrete observable reality. If the writer uses his eyes in the real security of his faith, he will be obliged to use them honestly and his sense of mystery and his acceptance of it will be increased. To look at the worst will be for him no more than an act of trust in God; but what is one thing for the writer may be another for the reader. What leads the writer to his salvation may lead the reader into sin, and the Catholic writer who looks at this possibility directly looks the Medusa in the face and is turned to stone.

By now anyone who has faced the problem is equipped with Mauriac’s advice: “purify the source.” And along with it he has become aware that while he is attempting to do that, he has to keep on writing. He becomes aware, too, of sources that, relatively speaking, seem amply pure but from which may come works that scandalize. He may feel that it is as sinful to scandalize the learned as the ignorant. In the end, he will either have to stop writing or limit himself to the concerns proper to what he is creating. It is the person who can follow neither of these courses who becomes the victim, not of the Church’s dogmas, but of a false conception of their demands.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., History, Other Churches, Poetry & Literature, Religion & Culture, Roman Catholic, Theology

(Irish Times) Archbishop Clarke says war is the ”˜abject failure of humanity'

War must always represent the abject failure of humanity, the head of the Anglican church in Ireland has said. Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke said commemoration of the first World War could not be spiritually separated from carnage in Gaza and other contemporary trouble spots.

He addressed a Belfast service marking Britain’s declaration of hostilities against Germany. The Duke of York read a lesson and lit a candle.

“War must always represent the abject failure of the human spirit and of humanity itself,” Dr Clarke said. “It can never be other and we should never pretend it is other.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Religion & Culture

Archbp Richard Clarke at service on the Centenary of the Outbreak of WW1

In the Great War, we see heroism and cruelty standing side by side, we see cynical disillusionment and moral determination intertwining, and we see hope and despair in equal measure, and on every side. This was the first time that the weaponry of war could be fully industrialised and it was, also for the first time, that the phrase ”˜total war’ was coined to indicate that civilians were to be regarded as being as much part of the war as the military.

But there are of course also the myths to be debunked. It was not only foot soldiers who died in battle. Indeed, if one was an officer, one’s chances of dying on the western front were fifty percent greater than for those in other ranks. The British generals were for the most part not the total incompetents they are presented as being in popular mythology. Many of them too died in battle; they were not relaxing in beautiful chateaus miles behind the front lines. And personally I can well remember as a child knowing a number of veterans of the First World War whose memories of the conflict were not uniformly terrible.

For all of this, however, the 1914”“18 War undoubtedly changed the history of the twentieth century. Three European empires had disappeared by the end of the War in 1918, and we can also trace to this war the beginnings of the sunset on a fourth empire, the British Empire. Also emerging from the Great War are the seeds of the development of two ”˜super”“powers’ ”“ the United States of America and Soviet Russia ”“ that would come to dominate the world for almost half a century after the ending of the Second World War, that further titanic war that in many respects cannot be totally separated from the First. The course of history changed, brutally, dramatically and forever.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Anglican Provinces, Church of Ireland, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Religion & Culture

A Prayer to Begin the Day

O God who hast given us the good news in thy Son Jesus Christ: So fill our hearts with thankfulness, that we may tell abroad the good tidings which we have received; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.Ӣ

O God, who hast sent thy servants to prepare thy way; fill our hearts with love and strengthen our hands to work, that we may make ready the way of our King; for Jesus Christ’s sake.”¢

Bless, O Lord, all who bear witness in thy name, by teaching, by healing, by leadership, in the far outposts of the world; and set our hearts on fire to serve thee, and to spread thy Kingdom; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

–The Pastor’s Prayerbook

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

From the Morning Bible Readings

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at that gate of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms of those who entered the temple. Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked for alms. And Peter directed his gaze at him, with John, and said, “Look at us.” And he fixed his attention upon them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and walked and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

–Acts 3:1-10

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen: Read by Christopher Eccleston

Watch and listen to it all; especially fitting on this day.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Defense, National Security, Military, History, Poetry & Literature

(Detroit News) Pentecostals will showcase 'a different side of Detroit'

Detroitis the destination this weekend for Pastor Stephen Shaw and more than a dozen members of his Alabama church.

They’re joining an estimated 7,000-10,000 visitors expected at the 99th annual convention for the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World Inc., which begins Saturday at Cobo Center.

The mission is to learn, pray, find fellowship and more. But for Shaw and others, it’s also an opportunity to lift the city with spiritual support.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Other Churches, Pentecostal, Religion & Culture, Urban/City Life and Issues

Archbishop Justin Welby prays for reconciliation at WWI centenary event in Belgium

The Archbishop joined Royal Family members and the Prime Minister at a solemn commemoration in Belgium tonight remembering Britain’s entry into WWI.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, joined members of the Royal Family and Britain’s Prime Minister at an event in Belgium this evening to remember the entry of British soldiers into World War One in August 1914.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, History, Spirituality/Prayer