Daily Archives: January 28, 2016

Royal commission Down Under hears of clergy who 'shared secret understanding of attraction to boys'

Senior Anglican clergy shared a secret understanding of each other’s attraction to young boys, a royal commission has been told.

The inquiry into the Church of England Boys’ Society being held in Hobart heard evidence on Thursday from the convicted child sexual offender Louis Daniels, 68, a former archdeacon who was one of Tasmania’s top-four church leaders in the early 1990s.

Daniels has since been jailed for pleading guilty to abusing 12 boys.

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I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Provinces, Australia / NZ, Children, Law & Legal Issues, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Violence

Anglican Unscripted 215 – Mark Your Calendar

With thanks to Kevin Kallsen and George Conter at Anglican TV

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Primates Gathering in Canterbury January 2016

(RNS) Bishop warns: Lord’s Resistance Army re-emerging in Central African Republic

A senior Roman Catholic bishop in the Central African Republic is warning that the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel force that killed more than 100,000 people in northern Uganda in the 1980s and ’90s, is rising up again in his country.

Bishop Nestor Desire Nongo-Aziagbia said the LRA, led by self-declared prophet Joseph Kony, has become one of the biggest threats to peace in his country and in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.

“They continue to enslave villagers, making them load carriers and sex slaves,” he said. “They are also burning down villages.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Central African Republic, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Theology, Violence

For 1st 2 sets against Federer, Djokovic committd just 6 unforced errors in today's match

The crowd on Rod Laver Arena were stunned into near-silence by Djokovic’s performance in the first two sets of his 45th meeting with Federer. In his finest performance of the tournament so far, the Serb was worlds away from his fourth-round battle with Gilles Simon, in which he made 100 unforced errors. For the first two sets against Federer, Djokovic committed just six unforced errors and gave the Swiss no break point opportunities.
Once the Serb had the first set, it was always going to be an uphill battle for Federer, who had only once before in 22 wins against Djokovic come from a set down.
“I know how important the first set is against Novak, especially at this time right now when he’s World No. 1. When he gets on a roll, it’s tough to stop. He’s always played very well throughout his career with the lead. Even more so now when his confidence is up…[said Roger Federer]

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Australia / NZ, Men, Sports

Morning Quiz–what are the 10 books every child should read before they leave school

You need to come up with your own list first then see what you make of the list at the link.

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

(Ch Times) C of E Bishop of London Richard Chartres traces the theological significance of beards

Beards are fashionable again, but the subject of facial hair and the clergy stirs strong emotions. The bearded King Edward VII, in enjoining Archbishop Cosmo Gordon Lang to “stop curates wearing moustaches”, gave voice to the general hostility of the Christian tradition to hair confined to the upper lip; but there the consensus ends.

The discovery that two of the most energetic priests in east London had recently grown beards of an opulence that would not have disgraced a Victorian sage prompted me to look again at the barbate debate throughout Church history. The two priests work in parishes in Tower Hamlets. Most of the residents are Bangladeshi-Sylheti, for whom the wearing of a beard is one of the marks of a holy man. This view is shared among many Eastern cultures, but it was not so for much of the history of the West.

Alexander the Great was clean-shaven, and this was the fashion also in the Roman Republic and early empire, until the reign of the Emperor Hadrian in the second century. Early representations of Christ in Western European art, such as the Hinton St Mary mosaic on display in the British Museum, show the Saviour also clean-shaven, and portrayed as some Classical hero.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Anthropology, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Health & Medicine, History, Men, Pastoral Theology, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Theology

(ABC Aus.) Khaled Diab–Egypt's Revolution: What Has Really Changed?

When the revolution first erupted, I argued that a political revolution would fail without an accompanying social (r)evolution, to dethrone the million “mini-Mubaraks,” weed out endemic corruption, promote equality and egalitarianism, create a meritocracy and more. While the political revolution has stalled, the social and cultural one is in full swing. It has been spearheaded by workers demanding their rights, women struggling for equality, and the growing assertiveness of previously discreet minorities, such as atheists.

Young people have perhaps been the greatest agitators for change and have given their elders lessons in courage, determination and grit – schools have become breeding grounds for rebels.

Whether or not Egyptians heed the call of the shrunken ranks of activist to take to the streets once again, it does not mean they never will again. Egyptians have discovered their latent ability to move immobile mountains and have broken the fear barrier. When they do eventually rise again, a deep social revolution may enable them to unleash their creativity – perhaps even reinventing democracy to suit their needs.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Defense, National Security, Military, Economy, Egypt, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Middle East, Politics in General, Religion & Culture, Theology, Violence

For Thomas Aquinas’ Feast Day– Archbishop Michael Miller Speaks on Aquinas and Universities

Authentic Christian faith does not fear reason “but seeks it out and has trust in it”. Faith presupposes reason and perfects it. Nor does human reason lose anything by opening itself to the content of faith. When reason is illumined by faith, it “is set free from the fragility and limitations deriving from the disobedience of sin and finds the strength required to rise to the knowledge of the Triune God”. The Holy Father observes that St Thomas thinks that human reason, as it were, “breathes” by moving within a vast horizon open to transcendence. If, instead, “a person reduces himself to thinking only of material objects or those that can be proven, he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God and is impoverished”. Such a person has far too summarily divorced reason from faith, rendering asunder the very dynamic of the intellect.

What does this mean for Catholic universities today? Pope Benedict answers in this way: “The Catholic university is [therefore] a vast laboratory where, in accordance with the different disciplines, ever new areas of research are developed in a stimulating confrontation between faith and reason that aims to recover the harmonious synthesis achieved by Thomas Aquinas and other great Christian thinkers”. When firmly grounded in St Thomas’ understanding of faith and reason, Catholic institutions of higher learning can confidently face every new challenge on the horizon, since the truths discovered by any genuine science can never contradict the one Truth, who is God himself.

Read it all from 2010.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Theology

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Saint Thomas Aquinas

Almighty God, who hast enriched thy Church with the singular learning and holiness of thy servant Thomas Aquinas: Enlighten us more and more, we pray thee, by the disciplined thinking and teaching of Christian scholars, and deepen our devotion by the example of saintly lives; 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 from Saint Benedict

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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

From the Morning Scripture Readings

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High; and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.

–Psalm 50:14-15

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Archbishop Justin Welby's message for Holocaust Memorial Day

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is Don’t Stand by. It’s a call not just to remember, but to act. But in order to act, we must remember. Remembering enables us to see that the Holocaust did not happen suddenly and it did not happen through the acts of a few. It happened through the silent collaboration of the many.

It’s never been acceptable to claim that we don’t know because we can’t see. We cannot walk on by on the other side oblivious to the needs of our neighbours.

In the world we inhabit, the searchlight of an active media illuminates the dark recesses of the caricature, simplistic criticism and ridicule that leads inexorably to the dehumanising and degrading treatment of others. History shows clearly that, unopposed, this can lead to violent persecution and genocide.

But we’re not called to be passive observers and silent accomplices to discrimination.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, --Justin Welby, Anglican Provinces, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, History, Inter-Faith Relations, Judaism, Other Faiths, Theology

(CTG) Morocco Declaration: Muslim Nations Should Protect Christians from Persecution

For years, Texas megachurch pastor Bob Roberts has been building relationships with Muslims. Last year, after Franklin Graham argued that the US government should ban Muslims from immigrating to America, the NorthWood Church leader joined Muslim leaders in denouncing the comments. In October, he and imam Muhammad Magid hosted the Spreading the Peace Convocation, which was attended by nearly 200 imams and evangelical pastors.

This week, Roberts traveled to Marrakesh, Morocco, alongside more than 250 Muslim religious leaders, heads of state, and scholars, for a groundbreaking summit. On Wednesday, the Muslim leaders released the Marrakesh Declaration: a 750-word document calling for religious freedom for non-Muslims in majority-Muslim countries [full text in the linked full article].

“I’m blown away,” Roberts told CT from Morocco. “This is a Muslim conference put together by the top sheiks, ministers of religion, the grand muftis of the top Muslim majority nations, and they came up with a declaration, literally using the language of religious freedom to declare that violence cannot be done in the name of Islam.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Africa, Islam, Law & Legal Issues, Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, Other Churches, Other Faiths, Politics in General, Psychology, Religion & Culture, Violence

(BBC) Astronomers discover largest solar system

Astronomers have discovered the largest known solar system, consisting of a large planet that takes nearly a million years to orbit its star.
The gas giant is one trillion kilometres away, making its orbit 140 times wider than Pluto’s path around our Sun.
Only a handful of extremely wide pairs of this kind have been found in recent years.
Details appear in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, History, Science & Technology

[Christian Today] Senior bishop speaks out against fixing the date of Easter

Dr Nazir-Ali told Christian Today: “There have been a number of reports in the press about the Archbishop of Canterbury announcing ecumenical agreement for the date of Easter to be fixed for the second or third Sunday in April.

“There are two issues here. There has been lengthy discussion between Eastern and Western Churches, which follow different calendars, about a common method of calculating the date of Easter.

“If such an agreement were to be reached, the date of Easter would still vary but it would be the same for all the churches. The other proposal is to fix the date for a particular Sunday to facilitate civil holidays etc.”

He opposed the change because of the festival’s Biblical links with the Jewish Passover.

“Whilst the first proposal has much to commend it, the second would effectively separate Easter from the Jewish Passover to which it is closely connected both theologically and historically,” he said.

“This would be highly undesirable as it will further distance Christians from their Jewish roots and also affect their understanding of ‘Christ our Passover who has been sacrificed for us’ (1 Corinthians 5:7).

“In many languages, Pasch or Passover remains the usual term for Easter. This link should not be broken. It is my hope that church leaders are considering the first, not the second proposal.”

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Church Year / Liturgical Seasons, Easter