Saturday, January 12, 2008

Northeast Ohio breakaway congregations join American Anglican church
Saturday, January 12, 2008
David Briggs
Plain Dealer Religion Reporter

Several Northeast Ohio congregations that are part of a breakaway movement from the U.S. Episcopal Church have joined an American Anglican church body.

St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Bay Village, the Anglican Church of the Good Samaritan in Cleveland, St. Luke's Anglican Church in Fairlawn, the Church of the Holy Spirit in Akron and St. Anne in the Fields in Madison this week joined the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.
the rest

Carey says Anglican Communion is in crisis
Former archbishop of Canterbury wants U.S. church to give in to demands
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
Jan. 11, 2008

The former archbishop of Canterbury wants the Episcopal Church to support an international agreement calling for a moratorium in the Anglican Church on the consecration of gay bishops and church blessing of same-sex unions.

"The Anglican Communion as such is in crisis," said the Most Rev. George Carey, who was in Houston this week to install the Rev. Russell J. Levenson Jr. as rector of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States.

The 77 million member communion, including 2.15 Episcopalians, has been in turmoil since the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.
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Presiding Bishop inhibits San Joaquin bishop
Action comes after Review Committee says Schofield has abandoned the Episcopal Church

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
January 11, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on January 11 inhibited Diocese of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield.

In the
text of the inhibition, Jefferts Schori wrote: "I hereby inhibit the said Bishop Schofield and order that from and after 5:00 p.m. PST, Friday, January 11, 2008, he cease from exercising the gifts of ordination in the ordained ministry of this Church; and pursuant to Canon IV.15, I order him from and after that time to cease all 'episcopal, ministerial, and canonical acts, except as relate to the administration of the temporal affairs of the Diocese of San Joaquin,' until this Inhibition is terminated pursuant to Canon IV.9(2) or superseded by decision of the House of Bishops."

Jefferts Schori acted after the
Title IV Review Committee certified that Schofield had abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church. the rest

Diocese of San Joaquin's Response
UPDATE via e-mail:

The following is the
Diocese of San Joaquin's statement in response to a letter sent to Bishop Schofield by Bishop Schori of The Episcopal Church today:

The Episcopal Church’s assertion that Bishop Schofield has abandoned the communion of this Church is an admission that TEC rejects the historical Anglican faith. This is why The Diocese of San Joaquin appealed to the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America for emergency and temporary protection. The majority of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion hold to the traditional faith.

It is the primary duty of bishops to guard the faith and Bishop Schofield has been continually discriminated against for having done so while Bishops and Archbishops around the world have affirmed not only his stance but the move to the Southern Cone. Bishop Schofield is currently a member of both the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church and the House of Bishops of the Southern Cone, not prohibited by either house.

Governing documents of TEC do not prohibit relationships between different members of the Anglican Communion, rather they encourage it. TEC’s action demonstrates that there is an enormous difference between their church and most of the Anglican Communion. Again, this action is a demonstration that TEC is walking apart from the faith and its expression in morality held by the rest of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church’s own identity is dependent upon its relationship with the whole Anglican Communion.

TEC should consider whether it is imperiling that relationship by taking such punitive actions.


Comments at Stand Firm

Friday, January 11, 2008

Why should the children of a king
Go mourning all their days?
Great Comforter, descend and bring
Some tokens of thy grace.

Dost though not dwell in all thy saints,
And seal the heirs of heaven?
When wilt thou banish my complaints,
And shew my sins forgiven?

Assure my conscience of her part
In the Redeemer's blood;
And bear thy witness with my heart,
That I am born of God.

Thou are the earnest of his love,
The pledge of joys to come;
And thy soft wings, celestial Dove,
Will safe convey me home.
... Isaac Watts

A Communiqué released by the Bishops of Nigeria
(January, 2008)


The House of Bishops of the Church of Nigeria, (Anglican Communion), comprising the 120 Bishops in Dioceses within Nigeria and 7 others from our mission outreaches to the Province of Congo and the United States of America (CANA), held their annual retreat at the Ibru Anglican Retreat Centre from January 7-12, 2008, with the theme OUR LITURGICAL HERITAGE, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, with the Primate, The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, DD, CON, presiding, and issued the following communiqué:

The Church of Nigeria The House of Bishops received the briefing by our Primate, The Most Revd Peter J. Akinola, CON, on the forthcoming Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem with great enthusiasm, commending his unrelenting efforts and tenacity of purpose in the Anglican cause. We are firmly resolved to seek inspiration from the biblical roots of our faith.
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A Pastoral letter from Archbishop Peter Akinola

Pa. Presbyterian church sues to avoid threat of property seizure

PITTSBURGH - A local church that voted to leave the Presbyterian Church (USA) has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar any threat of seizure of its property by the local presbytery as it joins a more conservative denomination.

The Memorial Park Presbyterian Church, the largest church in the Pittsburgh Presbytery, is seeking to confirm its title to three hectares of land and ownership of buildings. The church filed suit in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court after its governing body voted unanimously to disaffiliate from the presbytery - a regional body of the denomination - following nearly a year of negotiations.

Memorial Park's congregation, which was established 64 years ago and has 1,675 members, will vote on whether to disaffiliate during weekend services Jan. 19-20.
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A Different 'Right to Life'
January 11, 2008

Today the Supreme Court will consider a petition to hear a case raising profound issues regarding the right of individuals to make their own health-care decisions. The case is Abigail Alliance for Better Access to Developmental Drugs v. von Eschenbach.

The suit claims that FDA violates the due process rights of terminally-ill patients, who have exhausted all approved options and are unable to enter a clinical trial, by prohibiting access to promising investigational drugs.
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Virginia Attorney General Validates Position of ADV Parishes
McDonnell: “As a matter of federal constitutional law, the Episcopal Church is simply wrong.”

(January 11, 2008) – Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has filed a motion to intervene and a brief in the ongoing church property litigation that is being heard by Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows involving eleven congregations that separated from the Episcopal Church in 2006 and 2007 and joined the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV). In his brief, Attorney General McDonnell defended the constitutionality of the Virginia Division Statute (Virginia Code § 57–9), thereby validating the position of the ADV churches and making it clear that there is no constitutional problem with applying the Statute in exactly the way ADV attorneys have advocated.

As stated in the Attorney General’s motion to intervene, “As a matter of federal constitutional law, the Episcopal Church is simply wrong. The Constitution does not require that local church property disputes be resolved by deferring to national and regional church leaders.”

“The Attorney General’s brief validates the position of our parishes and directly refutes arguments that were made by the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia following the November trial,” said Jim Oakes, vice chairman ADV. “Virginia has a long and rich history of deferring to congregational control of property. The Division Statute itself clearly states that majority rule should be the deciding factor in determining the ownership of church property when a group of congregations has divided from its former denomination. In his brief, the Attorney General ratified the authority of the Division Statute and noted that the interpretation of the Statute by ADV lawyers is ‘both textually and historically accurate.’”
the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Attacks on Indian Christians exploding
Reports surpass 1,000 for 2007, worst toll ever for nation

January 11, 2008
© 2008

A new report confirms what Christians in India already feared: 2007 was the worst year since their nation's independence in 1947 for attacks on Christians.

The report from Compass Direct cited statistics compiled by the All India Christian Council in confirming that the number of attacks on Christians in 2007 surpassed 1,000 for the first time in India's history.

At least 200 anti-Christian attacks, including four murders, had been documented before the recent violence erupted in Orissa State's Kandhamal district, the report said. There, at least another four Christians were killed and about 800 attacks were reported. At least 730 homes and 95 churches were burned, the report said.
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Persecution Exploded in India During 2007

Albert Mohler: Theology Matters . . . It Always Matters
Friday, January 11, 2008

Ideas drive history. Any significant conflict comes down, however eventually, to ideas, beliefs, and convictions. Take that analysis to the next level and it becomes clear that the most significant human conflicts we encounter are the most significantly tied to ideas -- and to beliefs about God. In other words, theology matters.

This is especially clear when the conflict between Islam and the West comes into view. The deeply and inescapably theological character of this collision should be apparent to all. Those most ardently determined to ignore this dimension are those who are convinced that the West has now entered a secular and post-theological age in which basic convictions and belief about God no longer matter.
the rest

Canada: Breakaway ex-bishop knocks Anglican loyalty letter
Campaigner against gay ordination berates successor for demanding clergy show allegiance

Friday, January 11, 2008

A former Anglican bishop who has led a campaign against ordaining gays and lesbians says he feels terrible that his colleagues in eastern Newfoundland are being asked to declare their allegiance to the church.

Donald Harvey, the former bishop for eastern Newfoundland, has been campaigning for several years against and is affiliated with a conservative breakaway group, the Anglican Network in Canada.
the rest

Thursday, January 10, 2008

As men cherish young plants at first and fence them about with hedges to keep them from hurt, but when they are grown they remove these things and leave them to the wind and weather, so God sustains His children at first with props of inward comforts, but afterwards He exposes them to storms and winds because they are better able to bear them. Therefore let no man think himself the better because he is more free from troubles than others; it is because God sees him not fit to bear greater. ...Richard Sibbes image

Diocese of Fort Worth: A Preliminary Report from the Bishop and Standing Committee on the Invitation to Join the Province of the Southern Cone
January 9, 2008

Commons call to disestablish church is number 666
Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent of The Times
January 10, 2008

A motion calling for the disestablishment of the Church of England has been listed in the House of Commons as 666 - the Number of the Beast.

Labour MP John Austin, who has repeatedly tabled Early Day Motions urging disestablishment, put down his latest motion last night as MPs debated scrapping Britain's blasphemy laws.

It appeared appeared on the House of Commons order paper numbered 666, the number associated with the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation. Scholars believe 666 referred to the Emperor Nero.
the rest

Public libraries increasingly become safe haven for porn
by Kim Trobee
January 9, 2008

The 2003 Children’s Internet Protection Act or CIPA requires public libraries to use filtering and blocking technology or lose federal funding. Many have complied, but the American Library Association, with the help of the ACLU, is circumventing the law. David Miller with Citizens for Community Values claims ALA has no legal authority.
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Male sex addict cases 'increase'

Albert Mohler: "A Rather Unexpected Aspect of IVF" -- Over a Million Human Embryos Destroyed in Britain
Thursday, January 10, 2008

The development of In Vitro Fertilization technologies [IVF] has produced what one key observer has called "a rather unexpected aspect" of the technique -- the destruction of well over a million human embryos in Great Britain alone.

As reported in
The Times [London], over a million embryos have now been destroyed in British fertility clinics. These embryos are produced in order to lower the net cost of pregnancies and to ensure an adequate supply of embryos for potential transfer to the womb. Given the fact that many IVF transfers do not lead to a successful pregnancy, the prevailing policy calls for the development of multiple embryos -- just in case.

This practice leads to the existence of potentially millions of "excess" or "surplus" human embryos. In some cases, the excess embryos are destroyed almost immediately after a successful transfer of other embryos. Otherwise, the embryos are frozen. But the frozen embryos are destroyed after ten years, if not before.
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Bush visits Jesus birthplace in charged W.Bank
Thu Jan 10, 2008
By Matt Spetalnick

Jan 10 (Reuters) - Passing through a tiny "Door of Humility", U.S. President George W. Bush made a pilgrimage to the traditional birthplace of Jesus on Thursday in the occupied West Bank.

Revered by Christians as a place of peace, Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity stood in contrast to symbols of conflict Bush saw earlier in a motorcade from Jerusalem to the city of Ramallah, where he met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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Anglican clergy told to declare loyalties
Nfld. bishop orders ministers to meeting

Jan 10, 2008
Stuart Laidlaw, Faith and Ethics Reporter

In what could be the start of real schism in the Anglican Church, a Newfoundland bishop is demanding clergy come to the provincial capital to declare whether their loyalties lie with him or his predecessor, the leader of a breakaway conservative movement.

"Attendance at these gatherings is mandatory," Cyrus Pitman, bishop of Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador warns in a Dec. 18 letter to clergy obtained by the Star.

Clergy from Eastern Newfoundland's 33 parishes are to be in St. John's on Jan. 21 to restate their ordination vows and to get new licences, with a date for those from the six Labrador parishes yet to be set.
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Virginia Episcopal Diocese: In Property Dispute, Litigation Drags On, And the Costs Grow
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 10, 2008

A nasty property dispute between the Virginia Episcopal Diocese and 11 breakaway congregations is likely to stretch into 2009 as a result of a judge's decision, and the two sides say they have spent more than $1 million apiece on legal fees and expect to spend at least that much again before the case ends.

The Virginia dispute is one part of a global Anglican battle over how to interpret Scripture and Jesus's view of homosexuality.

It is being closely watched, because one of the main breakaway organizations-- the Convocation of Anglicans in North America -- is based in Fairfax City, and because it could set a precedent for conservatives across the country who want to leave the Episcopal Church and hold on to church buildings and land.
the rest

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The most eloquent prayer is the prayer through hands that heal and bless. The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.
...Billy Graham image

Survey: Non-attendees find faith outside church
By Cathy Lynn Grossman

A new survey of U.S. adults who don't go to church, even on holidays, finds 72% say "God, a higher or supreme being, actually exists." But just as many (72%) also say the church is "full of hypocrites."

Indeed, 44% agree with the statement "Christians get on my nerves."

LifeWay Research, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, based in Nashville, conducted the survey of 1,402 "unchurched" adults last spring and summer. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
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Albany church panel: Is gay marriage different?
Capital-area council sponsors a discussion about what makes a marriage a marriage

By MARC PARRY Staff writer
Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ALBANY -- The Rev. Ellen Tatreau belongs to a denomination that considers homosexuality "un-Christian."

But as pastor of Albany's Emmanuel Baptist Church, Tatreau welcomes homosexuals.

The pastor took her support a step further six months ago when, for the first time, she performed a marriagelike "service of commitment" for a lesbian couple. Eight people attended.

"The first time was really a profound experience," Tatreau said. "Because I knew that the families of this couple were really struggling with this and did not see it as anything that should be sanctioned by the church."
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Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Listening Tour
January 21st - 25th - covering the entire central valley

The Rev. Canon Bob Moore, appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as an interim pastoral presence in the Diocese of San Joaquin, will make a 5-day "Listening Tour" of the central valley.
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Archbishop Hiltz clarifies Canadian situation for fellow primates
Solange De Santis and Marites N. Sisonstaff writers
Jan 9, 2008

Saying that he hoped to “dispel rumour or misunderstanding,” Archbishop Fred Hiltz, the primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, has written to his fellow leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion explaining the developments around the blessing of same-sex unions, which has embroiled Canadian Anglicans in conflict.

In his
four-page letter, which was sent to the other 34 Anglican primates and four moderators of the Anglican Communion’s United Churches on Jan. 9, Archbishop Hiltz, who is the national archbishop, underscored that the Anglican Church of Canada has not yet agreed upon a definitive position on the issue. “It is important to note that the Anglican Church of Canada has not altered its doctrine of marriage as outlined in our prayer books and canons (church laws).” the rest

Invading Anglican closets
Scripps Howard News Service
Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The historic Trinity Episcopal Church offers clear online guidance to those seeking a Blessing of Holy Union in its sanctuary on Boston's Copley Square.

The services are based on "A Rite for the Celebration of Commitment to a Life Together" which is used in the Diocese of Massachusetts.

"A priest may bless a same-sex civil marriage or preside at and bless a same-sex union. ... The same liturgical rite is used," say the guidelines. "In the presence of God and the couple's Christian community, the rite includes a declaration of the couple's intent to join their lives together and a celebration of their commitment to a life together."

This is precisely the kind of rite that has infuriated so many conservatives in the worldwide Anglican Communion.
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Table Touch Screen Terminals To Replace Waiters
High-Tech Interactive, Social Restaurant At Your Fingertips

Kirstin Cole

Jan 9, 2008

NEW YORK (CBS) ― From ATM's to pumping your own gas, grocery stores to airports, self-service has come a long way. With the world's technological advances taking enormous strides, what can possibly be next in the world of consumer-driven convenience?

CBS 2 HD has learned a new trend will be found at your favorite restaurants, allowing customers to place their own orders without the need of servers.

Ever find yourself unable to get the attention of a waiter? It can be frustrating. But soon that may be a problem of the past thanks to new tableside touch screens.

"It's cooler placing your own order on the computer than having a waitress come up and do it," restaurant customer Amanda Rosengarten told CBS 2 HD.
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Huge "Ethical" Embryonic-Like Stem Cell Discovery Not So Ethical After All - Fetal Cells Used
TENNESSEE, January 8, 2008

( - Children of God for Life reports that a recent stem cell breakthrough that turns adult skin cells to "embryonic" is not a pro-life solution as currently done. On November 21st and 22nd, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr James Thomson published back-to-back studies that were hailed as moral alternatives to embryonic stem cell research. Both studies involved introducing genes into adult stem cells through a lentivirus, which reprogrammed them to become "embryonic" or induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, without destroying human embryos. But pro-lifers may have celebrated too soon, without studying the methods used in the papers.

Both researchers used several versions of the 293 aborted fetal cell lines to modify the DNA of the host adult skin cells, in order to accomplish the reprogramming.
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The Ecumenism of the Abortion Clinic
Thursday, December 27, 2007

We are accustomed to seeing Evangelicals and Roman Catholics praying together outside abortion clinics and working together for pro-life legislation. But we don't think about a less pleasant ecumenism: Catholics and Evangelicals waiting together in the lobby of an abortion facility.

A front-page article in the New York Times last September featured an inside look at the daily workings of an abortion clinic in Little Rock. The piece communicated the calloused yet tortured consciences of the women involved. They don't wish to be seen, or to make contact with others in the waiting room. Even more striking, though, are their religious commitments.

One Baptist college student, having her third abortion, is quoted in the article saying: "My religion is against it. In a way I feel I'm doing wrong, but you can be forgiven. I blame myself. I feel I shouldn't have sex at all."
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Pro-gay marriage stance ends in tears
M.P. McQueen
January 09, 2008

A SMALL protestant church in Adrian, Michigan, has weathered controversies surrounding abortion, the Civil War, desegregation and Vietnam since it was established in 1836.

Now, because its denomination supports gay rights, the church has been deemed too risky for property insurance.

Brotherhood Mutual Insurance of Fort Wayne, Indiana, turned down the West Adrian United Church of Christ, citing its national governing body's approval of gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals.

"Based on national media reports, controversial stances such as those indicated in your application responses have resulted in property damage and the potential for increased litigation among churches that have chosen to publicly endorse these positions," Marci J. Fretz, a regional underwriter for Brotherhood Mutual - one of the nation's largest insurers of religious institutions - wrote in a letter to the church.
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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Chuck Colson: You Can't Fool Mother Nature

'Everything Conceivable'

Note: The following commentary contains sensitive information that may not be suitable for children.

(I/8/08)- If you haven’t thought much lately about just how rapidly the very nature of the family is changing, consider this: It is now possible for a child to have five parents. That includes egg donor, sperm donor, surrogate mother, and the mother and father who raise him. It is not only possible, but for some children, it is a fact of life.

Washington Post reporter Liza Mundy explains this and much more in her book Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Men, Women, and the World. I cannot recommend this book strongly enough, especially for would-be parents who may face difficult decisions about childbearing in the near future. the rest

Pastor Allyn Benedict delivers his final sermon at Christ Church Parish in Watertown, CT. Two days later the church and the property where given to the Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut.

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Recordings Show Iran-US Clash in Gulf
Jan 8, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Video and audio recordings clearly show Iranian boats confronting U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, and a voice speaking in heavily-accented English can be heard threatening that the American vessels were going to explode, military officials said Tuesday.

The incident, which President Bush denounced Tuesday as a "provocative act," was videotaped by a crew member on the bridge of the destroyer USS Hopper, one of the three ships that faced down five Iranian boats in a flare-up early Sunday.
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Segregation: Muslim style
By Cal Thomas

BELFAST, Northern Ireland —Where there are large concentrations of Muslims in England, "no-go" zones are being established and, according to the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Church of England's Bishop of Rochester, non-Muslims who "trespass" in such neighborhoods risk attack.

Nazir-Ali, a native of Pakistan and convert to Christianity, writes in The Sunday Telegraph that a spiritual vacuum in Britain, along with its indifference to the rise of Islamic extremism and a growing "multi-faith" society, is robbing the nation of its Christian identity and putting its future in jeopardy. He is not alone. A poll of the General Synod — the Church's parliament — shows that its senior leaders also believe that Britain is being damaged by uncontrolled immigration.
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Watch out YouTube -- Here Comes Christian Family Tube

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 6 /
Christian Newswire/ -- Where can you find a Christian internet social networking community that features uplifting and inspirational videos, audios, games, and ministry websites - all for free? The answer is, the premier Christian is quickly becoming the Christian parent's go-to "safe place" on the Internet for themselves and their families. Here they can gather around the computer to talk, build websites, play games, and share their videos with friends, families and other Christians.

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Myths Exposed on Charismatic Christianity in America
By Jennifer Riley
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jan. 07 2008

Charismatic churches are growing in number in the Unites States, but many Americans still have inaccurate assumptions about the particular brand of Christianity, according to surveys released Monday.

Many people believe that charismatic Christianity is almost exclusively a Protestant phenomenon, but research shows that one-third of all U.S. Catholics (36 percent) fit the charismatic classification, according to the new Barna study. And nearly one-quarter of all charismatics in the U.S. (22 percent) are Catholics.
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Anti-Abortion Bill Imperils Italy’s Governing Coalition
January 5, 2008

ROME (Bloomberg News) — The
Vatican is backing an Italian opposition proposal to make it harder to end pregnancies, threatening to open new divisions in Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s coalition.

The proposal by Sandro Bondi, a lawmaker in Forza Italia, the party of former Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi, was welcomed this week by the current and previous heads of the Italian bishops’ conference. Mr. Bondi has called for a law to ban abortion after the 90th day of pregnancy. the rest

Canada: Regulators' assault plan puts church in crosshairs
Proposal considers taxes, fees, restrictions on numbers, sizes
January 6, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008

A regulatory plan being considered by a Toronto suburb would put churches in the crosshairs of an assault that would include dramatically higher taxes and fees as well as restrictions on the sizes and numbers of worship centers.

A series of reports by the
No Apologies website featuring WND columnist Tristan Emmanuel has revealed the stunning proposals in Brampton that one source confirmed would be used in multiple cities should the Brampton effort prove successful.

WND already has reported how many Biblical standards of behavior are under attack by the "bastardized courts" of Canada, where activists who claim they have "hurt feelings" are demanding – and getting – penalties imposed against those who oppose the homosexual lifestyle. the rest

Muslims test press freedom limits in Canadian case

Transgender woman sues Catholic hospital, claiming discrimination
Monday, January 7, 2008
San Francisco

(AP) -- A transgender woman is suing a Catholic hospital in Daly City, claiming medical officials blocked her from getting surgery there because she had a sex-change operation.

Fifty-seven-year-old Charlene Hastings already had one major surgery she needed to become a woman. But she says when she called Seton Medical Center to inquire about breast enlargement surgery, an official told her it wasn't "God's will" for her to get that treatment.

Hastings says her plastic surgeon told her Seton wouldn't allow him to operate on transgender patients there.
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Top Vatican Cardinal Tells the Jesuits to Clean Up their Act
Repeatedly spoke about his "sorrow and anxiety" at the state of the Jesuit order in terms of infidelity to the teachings of the Church.

By John-Henry Westen

ROME, January 7, 2008 ( - The top Vatican official who deals with religious orders, Cardinal Franc Rode, addressed the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) today. Cardinal Rode who was installed by Pope Benedict XVI as Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life spoke repeatedly about his "sorrow and anxiety" at the state of the Jesuit order in terms of infidelity to the teachings of the Church.

Cardinal Rode recalled the founder of the Society of Jesus, St. Ignatius and his primary formula for the order: "To serve the Lord and his Spouse the Church under the Roman Pontiff".
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Virginia Diocese opens $2 million line of credit
By Julia Duin
January 8, 2008

The Diocese of Virginia, embroiled in the largest property dispute in the history of the Episcopal Church, is taking out a $2 million line of credit to finance lawsuits against 11 churches that left the denomination a year ago.

The announcement, made in the pages of this month's Virginia Episcopalian, is the latest in a series of legal battles that is draining the Episcopal Church of millions of dollars. The denomination has filed lawsuits in at least 12 states against churches leaving over disputes on biblical authority and the 2003 election of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, who lives with a homosexual lover.

The diocese says it will sell off "non-strategic" diocesan properties to raise the money needed to win back $30 million to $40 million worth of real estate and assets.
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4 candidates named for Episcopal diocese
Additional nominees may be named through end of Feb.; new bishop elected March 29

By Michael Hill
Sun reporter
January 8, 2008

Four candidates from across the country have been chosen by a search committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland to replace retired Bishop Robert W. Ihloff. the rest

Monday, January 07, 2008

"This is the blessed life--not anxious to see far in front, nor eager to choose the path, but quietly following behind the Shepherd, one step at a time. The Shepherd was always out in front of the sheep. He was down in front. Any attack upon them had to take him into account. Now God is down in front. He is in the tomorrows. It is tomorrow that fills men with dread, God is there already. All the tomorrows of our life have to pass Him before they can get to us." ...F. B. Meyer image

Seven Churches Bombed in Iraq
By Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Jan. 07 2008

At least seven churches in Iraq were bombed Sunday in what appears to be coordinated attacks on Orthodox Christians celebrating New Year’s Eve.

Mortar shells, explosive devices and car bombs were used in attacks targeting churches and monasteries in Baghdad and Mosul, according to Dubai-based Khaleej Times newspaper. At least six people were wounded, including two guards, reported Voices of Iraq news agency.

In the explosion at Saint Maskinta Church in Mosul, the bomb destroyed the external wall of the church and caused panic among children and nuns inside where the church had an orphanage for girls.
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Changing abortion's pronoun
'We had abortions,' say men whose lovers ended pregnancies. It isn't just a women's trauma, they insist. But critics see a political calculation.

By Stephanie Simon, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 7, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Jason Baier talks often to the little boy he calls Jamie. He imagines this boy -- his son -- with blond hair and green eyes, chubby cheeks, a sweet smile.

But he'll never know for sure.

His fiancee's sister told him about the abortion after it was over. Baier remembers that he cried.

The next weeks and months go black. He knows he drank far too much. He and his fiancee fought until they broke up. "I hated the world," he said.Baier, 36, still longs for the child who might have been, with an intensity that bewilders him: "How can I miss something I never even held?"
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CANA Oversight by Bishop of Bolivia
New Anglican Church Movement Continues to Grow

(via email)

HERNDON, Va. (January 7, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) has welcomed ten new congregations into its membership. The Rt. Rev. Francis R. Lyons, the Bishop of Bolivia, commended these U.S. Anglican congregations and their clergy to the oversight of CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with these churches that have been blessed by the leadership in Bolivia and will continue to be blessed by the Holy Spirit. CANA is eager to welcome them on their Christ-centered and faithful mission to serve God and to honor the worldwide Anglican Communion,” said Bishop Minns.

Originally under the ecclesiastical leadership of the Church of Bolivia, the ten U.S. congregations were given CANA oversight “with a profound desire to promote unity in Jesus Christ which issues from his reconciling work on the Cross and an abiding trust in the power of God’s Word written, and with a genuine commitment to support the emerging ecclesiastical structure of faithful Anglicans in North America,” said the Rt. Rev. Francis R. Lyons of Bolivia in a letter to Bishop Minns.

The newest CANA congregations are St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Fairlawn, OH, Church of the Holy Spirit (Anglican), Akron, OH, Anglican Church of the Good Samaritan (Fairhill), Cleveland, OH, St. Barnabas Anglican Church, Bay Village, OH, St. Anne in the Fields, Madison, OH, Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Milan, OH, Christ the King Anglican Church, Columbiana, OH, Christ Our King Anglican Church, Lexington, MI, St. Michael the Archangel Anglican Church, Indianapolis, IN, and The Shepherd Church, Evansville, IN.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America ( currently consists of approximately 60 congregations and 100 clergy in 20 states. About a fifth of the congregations are primarily expatriate Nigerians. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in the USA, who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church, could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. CANA is part of the Common Cause partnership that includes representatives of more than 250 Anglican congregations that are connected to the rest of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide fellowship of some 70 million, through various pastoral and missionary initiatives. For more information, please visit CANA at

44 percent find marriage 'unnecessary'
Jeff Johnson
January 7, 2008

Half of Americans 20 to 69 years of age believe marriage is not necessary -- according to a new study.

Zogby International and AOL surveyed more than 7,000 Americans in that age bracket and found 44 percent who said marriage is not necessary in order to have a committed, fulfilling, life-long relationship. Mike McManus, president of Marriage Savers -- a group that works to help churches reduce divorce rates, finds that number shocking.

"People who are married live longer, they're healthier, they're happier; they're wealthier," he points out. "A man who's single, for whatever reason, will live ten years less than a married man; a woman, about four years less."
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Nearly one in three in Arab world illiterate: report
Jan 7, 2008

Nearly one in three people in the Arab world is illiterate, including nearly half of all women in the region, the Tunis-based Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation said Monday.

Three-quarters of the 100 million people unable to read or write in the 21
Arab countries are aged between 15 and 45 years old, the Arab League group, known by its acronym ALECSO, said in a statement. the rest

Albert Mohler: The Twilight of the Books?
Monday, January 07, 2008

Years ago, Walter Ong argued that our civilization is returning to a condition of "orality" in which the text gives way to the tongue. Actually, Ong argued that this condition is actually a form of "secondary orality" since the culture had once been literate -- but willingly gave up reading. The great civilizational achievement of literacy was being surrendered to a new non-literate age, fueled by television and mass electronic culture.

The bare fact is that reading is not an important part of the lives of many persons -- including millions who can read. Americans have far more leisure time then ever before, but they fill those hours with everything from television to video games to surfing the internet. These media often use words, but they may also be the great enemies of literacy.

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Harshest persecution likely to occur in Saudi Arabia and North Korea
Monday, January 7, 2008

According to persecution watchdog Release International, some of the harshest persecution endured by Christians in 2008 is likely to take place in states where Christianity is illegal - North Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere, millions of Christians this coming year will face varying degrees of harassment, persecution and repression simply because of where they live.“Imprisonment, torture and even summary execution continue to be a fact of life for secret Christians in North Korea,” says Tim Peters of Helping Hands Korea, which supports refugees escaping the repressive regime of Kim Jong-Il.
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A Clutter Too Deep for Mere Bins and Shelves
January 1, 2008

After the holidays, many shoppers load up their carts with storage bins, shelving systems and color-coded containers, all in a resolute quest to get organized for the new year.

The country’s collective desire to clean up is evident in the proliferation of organization-oriented businesses like the Container Store and California Closets. Reality shows like “Mission Organization” on HGTV and “How Clean is Your House?” on Lifetime feed a national obsession to declutter. The magazine Real Simple has even created a $13 special issue on cleaning house.

Getting organized is unquestionably good for both mind and body — reducing risks for falls, helping eliminate germs and making it easier to find things like medicine and exercise gear.

“If you can’t find your sneakers, you aren’t taking a walk,” said Dr. Pamela Peeke, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Maryland and the author of “Fit to Live” (Rodale, 2007), which devotes a section to the link between health and organization. “How are you going to shoot a couple of hoops with your son if you can’t even find the basketball?”
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Holy Cross congregation splits
Majority say Episcopal Church wrong about homosexuality


The majority of Holy Cross Church’s members left the Episcopal Church Sunday to form Faith Anglican Fellowship, saying they believe the Episcopal Church had strayed from its core doctrine and Scripture on the role of Christ and homosexuality.

The Rev. Frederick Richardson, who has led the Murfreesboro Episcopal mission since December 2000 and will head the new Anglican fellowship, said his church and the national Episcopal church were going in opposite directions.

“We felt like it was the healthiest option for our congregation,” Richardson said. “We do not feel that continuing with the Episcopal Church would help us fulfill the mission God has called us to do.”

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Pope calls for continuous prayer to rid priesthood of paedophilia
Richard Owen in Rome
January 7, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI has instructed Roman Catholics to pray “in perpetuity” to cleanse the Church of paedophile clergy. All dioceses, parishes, monasteries, convents and seminaries will be expected to organise continuous daily prayers to express penitence and to purify the clergy.

Vatican officials said that every parish or institution should designate a person or group each day to conduct continuous prayers for the Church to rid itself of the scandal of sexual abuse by clergy. Alternatively, churches in the same diocese could share the duty. Prayer would take place in one parish for 24 hours, then move to another.
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Canadian Anglican leaders are ‘rude’ and ‘politically-correct’
By: Christian Today Australia
Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The current attitude of the Canadian Anglican leaders is ‘rude’ and ‘like a parent disowning a son,’ said an Anglican leader who had broken away from the Canadian mainstream Anglican Church, describing them as being ‘political-correct.’

Tony Copple, the president of the Anglican Essentials Ottawa, and Brian De Visser told the The Ottawa Citizen Canadian news publication that there were many disaffected Anglicans unhappy at the liberal trend that is permeating into the Church hierarchy.
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US Episcopal Leader: There Are Secret Gay Partnered Bishops
By John Jalsevac

NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) - The head of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Bishop Jefferts Schori, shocked listeners of a BBC Interview when she announced that Gene Robinson - the controversial Episcopalian bishop who was consecrated bishop despite his being an openly practicing homosexual - is not the only homosexual and partnered bishop in the Anglican Church.

"[Robinson] is certainly not alone in being a gay bishop," Schori said in response to a question from her interviewer. "He is certainly not alone in being a gay partnered bishop. He is alone in being the only gay partnered bishop who's open about that status."
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Bishops to protest Anglican liberal tilt
By Julia Duin
January 7, 2008

A coalition of conservative Anglican and Episcopal bishops has announced an eight-day conference in Jerusalem in mid-June to register their disenchantment with the liberal direction of the Anglican Communion.

It will be six weeks before the once-per-decade Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops, scheduled for July 20-Aug. 3 at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Although more than 800 bishops are invited to Lambeth, up to one-third may boycott it to protest the 2003 consecration of the openly homosexual New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

Bishop Robinson has not been invited to the Lambeth gathering, but the 18 active bishops who helped consecrate him in November 2003 were invited, sparking furious reactions from Anglican conservatives, who declared they would not attend the same conference.
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Sunday, January 06, 2008

God trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service. He makes them ford through streams, and swim through rivers and climb mountains, and walk many a weary mile with heavy knapsacks on their backs. Well, Christian, may not this account for the troubles through which you are passing? Is not this the reason why He is contending with you?
...C. H. Spurgeon image

Kenyans turn to God for end to violence
Kenya's conflict-weary Christians are turning to God for an end to the post-election violence that has left hundreds dead and thousands displaced from their homes.

by Maria Mackay and agencies
Sunday, January 6, 2008

After almost a week of intense post-election violence and rioting, Kenyans on both sides of the political divide are turning to God for His grace to save Kenya.

Conflict-weary Christians across the deeply religious Kenya filled churches on Sunday to pray that God would intervene to bring peace where the political leaders have failed.

Jane Riungu, leading her five children in their best clothes to a hilltop church outside Nairobi, said, “Our leaders have failed us. They have brought this catastrophe upon us. So now we are turning to the Almighty to save Kenya.”
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Spanish Abortion Rate Skyrockets to over 100,000 Annually
Coinicides with large increase in use of contraceptives and morning after pill

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman
SPAIN, January 7, 2008

('s annual surgical abortion rate, which has increased dramatically since the socialist government's decriminalization of the practice in 1985, has now reached over 100,000 annually, according to recently-released government figures. The increase represents a doubling of the number of surgical abortions since 1997, when the rate was a little less than 50,000.

As the Spanish pro-family website "Forum Libertas" observes, this increase has occurred despite the promotion of contraception and the introduction of the "morning after pill", which are touted by their promoters as a means of avoiding the "necessity" of a later abortion. the rest

Jerusalem Readies for Bush's Arrival
Jan 6 2008
Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - With hundreds of hotel rooms booked and municipal crews unfolding red, white and blue flags, Jerusalem is getting ready for its highest- profile visitor in years: President Bush.

Jerusalemites are accustomed to waiting in
traffic jams as convoys of black sedans shuttle visiting dignitaries around the city, the seat of Israel's government. But Bush, who arrives for three days beginning Wednesday, constitutes a VIP of a different order.

Israel is pulling out all the stops to impress a man who is perhaps its staunchest foreign ally in his first visit as U.S. president.
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Jefferts Schori plays the England card
Posted by tmatt
January 6, 2008

That sound you heard the other day in England was nervous coughing. It seems that the leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, is determined not to let gays, lesbians and bisexuals in England sit on the sidelines while traditionalists in the rest of the world take shots at her troubled flock.

But her move raises real questions for reporters. More on that in a minute. Here is the top of
a BBC report by Christopher Landau that shows you what is going on:

The head of the Anglicans in the United States has accused other churches, including the Church of England, of double standards over sexuality. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Katherine Jefferts Schori, told the BBC her church is paying the price for its honesty over sexuality. . . .
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Trinity Anglican gets ready to mark a year in existence
January 05. 2008

Though it was founded a mere 12 months ago, the traditions and beliefs of Trinity Anglican Church of Port Charlotte are steeped in religious history.

Margo Lang, whose late husband served as rector at St. Paul's Anglican Church, joined forces with Ed and Joy Robedee to found the new church on Jan. 14, 2007, after the membership of St. Paul's had dwindled, and the church disbanded.

The retired Rt. Rev. Stanley Lazarczyk, bishop ordinary, agreed to lead the fledgling church, which meets at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County on Sundays and holy days.

Lazarczyk made it clear that Anglican Catholic Church is not to be confused with the Episcopal Church.
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