Saturday, April 19, 2008

Devotional: Is He not following thee with daily mercies...

Is He not following thee with daily mercies, moving upon thy soul, providing for thy body, preserving both? Doth He not bear thee continually in the arms of His love, and promise that all things shall work together for thy good, and suit all His dealings to thy greatest advantage, and give His angels charge over thee? And canst thou be taken up with the joys below and forget thy Lord Who forgets not thee? ...Richard Baxter image

Bishops lament moral malaise in South Africa

Posted by geoconger
April 19, 2008

The political, social and economic transformation of South Africa is under threat from crime and moral corruption, the Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa have warned.

In an Easter Pastoral letter released after the March 31-April 2 meeting of the House of Bishops in Cape Town the Bishops said the “social trends” confronting Southern Africa were “distressing” and must be met by the moral regeneration of society. the rest

ENS: Diocese of CNY files suit against Binghamton parish

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
April 18, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York filed a complaint in Broome County, New York, on April 15 against the Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, seeking what it called in a statement "a full accounting and delivery of real and personal property of the church to the diocese."

The diocese said the action was taken "in response to several actions enacted by Good Shepherd to sever its ties with The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Central New York."

According to the diocese's statement, the vestry, wardens and rector of Good Shepherd passed a resolution on November 8, 2007 stating that they "disassociate and end our affiliation with The Episcopal Church of the United States of America and the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York and apply for membership within the jurisdiction of the Anglican Church of Kenya." the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Benedict's Admonition to Christians: Sound Doctrine Matters, Since Christian Unity Comes Through Truth

Pope Benedict's Excellent Talk Given Friday, April 19, 2008 at an Ecumenical Prayer Service in New York -- this is a long read, but absolutely brilliant and necessary for any who are pondering the current state of Christianity

Too often those who are not Christians, as they observe the splintering of Christian communities, are understandably confused about the Gospel message itself. Fundamental Christian beliefs and practices are sometimes changed within communities by so-called “prophetic actions” that are based on a hermeneutic not always consonant with the datum of Scripture and Tradition. Communities consequently give up the attempt to act as a unified body, choosing instead to function according to the idea of “local options”. Somewhere in this process the need for diachronic koinonia -- communion with the Church in every age -- is lost, just at the time when the world is losing its bearings and needs a persuasive common witness to the saving power of the Gospel (cf. Rom 1:18-23).

Faced with these difficulties, we must first recall that the unity of the Church flows from the perfect oneness of the Trinitarian God. In John’s Gospel, we are told that Jesus prayed to his Father that his disciples might be one, “just as you are in me and I am in you” (Jn 17:21). This passage reflects the unwavering conviction of the early Christian community that its unity was both caused by, and is reflective of, the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This, in turn, suggests that the internal cohesion of believers was based on the sound integrity of their doctrinal confession (cf. 1 Tim 1:3-11). Throughout the New Testament, we find that the Apostles were repeatedly called to give an account for their faith to both Gentiles (cf. Acts 17:16-34) and Jews (cf. Acts 4:5-22; 5:27-42).

The core of their argument was always the historical fact of Jesus’s bodily resurrection from the tomb (Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30; 10:40; 13:30). The ultimate effectiveness of their preaching did not depend on “lofty words” or “human wisdom” (1 Cor 2:13), but rather on the work of the Spirit (Eph 3:5) who confirmed the authoritative witness of the Apostles (cf. 1 Cor 15:1-11). The nucleus of Paul’s preaching and that of the early Church was none other than Jesus Christ, and “him crucified” (1 Cor 2:2). But this proclamation had to be guaranteed by the purity of normative doctrine expressed in creedal formulae -- symbola -- which articulated the essence of the Christian faith and constituted the foundation for the unity of the baptized (cf. 1 Cor 15:3-5; Gal 1:6-9; "Unitatis Redintegratio," 2).

My dear friends, the power of the kerygma has lost none of its internal dynamism. Yet we must ask ourselves whether its full force has not been attenuated by a relativistic approach to Christian doctrine similar to that found in secular ideologies, which, in alleging that science alone is “objective”, relegate religion entirely to the subjective sphere of individual feeling. Scientific discoveries, and their application through human ingenuity, undoubtedly offer new possibilities for the betterment of humankind. This does not mean, however, that the “knowable” is limited to the empirically verifiable, nor religion restricted to the shifting realm of “personal experience”.

For Christians to accept this faulty line of reasoning would lead to the notion that there is little need to emphasize objective truth in the presentation of the Christian faith, for one need but follow his or her own conscience and choose a community that best suits his or her individual tastes. The result is seen in the continual proliferation of communities which often eschew institutional structures and minimize the importance of doctrinal content for Christian living.

Even within the ecumenical movement, Christians may be reluctant to assert the role of doctrine for fear that it would only exacerbate rather than heal the wounds of division. Yet a clear, convincing testimony to the salvation wrought for us in Christ Jesus has to be based upon the notion of normative apostolic teaching: a teaching which indeed underlies the inspired word of God and sustains the sacramental life of Christians today.

Only by “holding fast” to sound teaching (2 Thess 2:15; cf. Rev 2:12-29) will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world. Only in this way will we give unambiguous testimony to the truth of the Gospel and its moral teaching. This is the message which the world is waiting to hear from us. Like the early Christians, we have a responsibility to give transparent witness to the “reasons for our hope”, so that the eyes of all men and women of goodwill may be opened to see that God has shown us his face (cf. 2 Cor 3:12-18) and granted us access to his divine life through Jesus Christ. He alone is our hope! God has revealed his love for all peoples through the mystery of his Son’s passion and death, and has called us to proclaim that he is indeed risen, has taken his place at the right hand of the Father, and “will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead” (Nicene Creed). the rest image

Tomball church splinters

Episcopal priest and churchgoers leave denomination to start new church
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

TThe Rev. Stan Gerber has preached his last sermon at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tomball. On Sunday, the Episcopal priest, most of his staff and an expected majority of churchgoers will worship in a local junior high school.

Their departure is the latest casualty in the ongoing crisis in the Episcopal Church and the doctrinal debate between conservatives and liberals over sexuality and biblical interpretation. Nationwide, about 55 churches and a California diocese also have left the national denomination over its liberal stands.

From an "orthodox" point of view, Gerber said, "The culture has begun to influence the church, rather than the church influencing the culture." the rest

President Bush Lets His Love for the Pope Show at Catholic Prayer Breakfast

By John-Henry Westen
WASHINGTON, April 18, 2008

( - President George W. Bush addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast just after 8:30 this morning, in a speech filled with glowing references to Pope Benedict XVI. "It's not every day you get to be the warm-up act to the Holy Father," began the President jovially, referring to the fact that the guests would soon be viewing a live broadcast of the Pope's remarks to the United Nations.

"This has been a joyous week," said the President beaming and eliciting applause. "It's been a joyous time for Catholics - and it wasn't such a bad week for Methodists, either," he added. "The excitement was just palpable. The streets were lined with people that were so thrilled that the Holy Father was here. And it was such a privilege to welcome this good man to the United States." the rest

Vatican Hints at Changes in Church Laws on Abuse

April 19, 2008

After three days in which Pope Benedict XVI has persistently addressed the scandal of child sexual abuse by priests, a top Vatican official said on Friday that the church was considering changes to the canon laws that govern how it handles such cases.

The official, Cardinal William J. Levada, would not specify which canons were under reconsideration. But he suggested that they related to the church’s statute of limitations, saying that his office has frequently had to judge allegations from years before because the victims “don’t feel personally able to come forward” until they are more mature. the rest

A Human Person, Actually

A powerful philosophical case for protecting embryos
18 April 2008

Embryo: A Defense of Human Life, by Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen (Doubleday, 256 pp., $23.95)

In their bold new book, Embryo, philosophers Robert P. George and Christopher Tollefsen defend the proposition that the embryo—the organism that comes into being as the result of fertilization, the union of sperm with oocyte—is in fact a human being. And that means that an embryo has “absolute rights.” An embryo should never be used as a means to pursue someone else’s ends, however laudable or life-saving, they say. Certainly, embryos shouldn’t be killed to assist frustrated parents attempting in vitro fertilization (IVF), or even to further pathbreaking medical research. The authors stop well short of recommending all of the potential changes in law that would necessarily follow from their argument. All they ask is that scientific research that involves the killing of embryos be outlawed—or, at the very least, that it be denied public funding, and that future IVF procedures be practiced in such a way that they do not produce surplus embryos that are ultimately discarded. The authors oppose what they see as brutality motivated in part by good intentions—brutality they hope to correct with moral reasoning based in scientific knowledge. Open-minded readers should find their case powerful. the rest image

TLC: Archbishop of Canterbury Seeks Assurances From Bishops

April 18, 2008
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will write all bishops planning to attend the Lambeth Conference this summer, requesting that they support an Anglican Covenant and be prepared to abide by the recommendations of the Windsor Report.

The Windsor Report calls for a moratorium on the consecration of homosexual bishops and the blessing of same-gender relationships until a new consensus within the Communion emerges. For that reason, offering such assurances may be problematic for some bishops from The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, the Episcopal Church of Scotland, the Anglican Church of Brazil and the Church of England. Bishops from other Anglican churches, primarily in Africa, have expressed reservations about another section of the Windsor Report that condemns ministry in another geographic diocese without the permission of the local bishop.

A spokesman for Archbishop Williams confirmed to The Church of England Newspaper that the letters had not yet been mailed, but would be sent shortly. He also said the list of attendees for the Lambeth Conference continues to grow, noting that approximately 600 of the Communion’s 887 active bishops have now registered. the rest

The C of E is losing its own history

The Church is increasingly out of touch with its background, argues Jonathan Clark
18 April, 2008

The most important changes are those that go unremarked, and here is one. Books no longer control events. Forget the histories of England you read as a child. Our society’s self-image is now set overwhelmingly by film and television; and here, things are changing. Especially are they changing for society’s implicit image of the Church of England and its origins.

Once, it was Anglican historians who sustained accounts of origins. One radically Protestant version argued for a fundamental but justified break at the Reformation. Another argued for the essential continuity of the Church, reformed but not re-founded in the 16th century, extending back before the mission of St Augustine in 597. the rest

Episcopal leader: We need to talk about sexuality

by Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune

As head of the Episcopal Church, the Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori's style has been more affected by her training as a scientist than by her gender, she said Friday.

Before her ordination into the priesthood in 1994, Jefferts Schori earned a doctorate in oceanography. She learned to build from a hypothesis, test alternatives and weigh perspectives before drawing final conclusions.

That scientific approach has helped Jefferts Schori, the 2.5 million-member Episcopal Church's first female presiding bishop, maintain her composure amid increasing tension over the church's elevation of a gay bishop. It also helps her balance all the competing claims on her time. the rest

Canada: Bishops decline request from network for national talks

Apr 18, 2008
Solange De Santis
staff writer
Niagara Falls, Ont.

Bishops of the Anglican Church of Canada, at their April 14-18 meeting, declined a request for national-level negotiations over church property from the Anglican Network in Canada, a small group of parishes that have decided to leave the church over issues that include offering blessing ceremonies to married gay couples.

“As we discussed the proposal, we came to the conclusion that it is just the norm in the Anglican Church of Canada that issues of that nature are always resolved within dioceses. I don’t hold any title to property. General Synod (the national office in Toronto) doesn’t hold any title to property,” said Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Canadian church. the rest

Pope: Christian Churches must resist deviation from doctrine: urges leaders to "hold fast" against "prophetic actions"

Saturday, April 19, 2008
By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service

NEW YORK - Pope Benedict XVI on Friday strongly urged leaders from U.S. Christian churches to hold fast against "so-called prophetic actions"' and to unify under traditional Christian teachings.

Though Benedict did not single out any particular action, the remark appeared to be a subtle dig aimed at a growing acceptance of homosexuality in some U.S. churches, especially the election of an openly gay Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson in 2003.

Many who supported Robinson's election called it a "prophetic" witness for justice and inclusion, even as traditionalists and the Vatican saw it as unbiblical and damaging to church unity.
The pope also criticized Christian communities that bypass unified action, "choosing instead to function according to the idea of local options"' a phrase often invoked by those who want to reform church teachings even if the wider church won't follow.

He warned against actions that are "not always consonant with ... Scripture and Tradition," and said that "only by holding fast to sound teaching will we be able to respond to the challenges that confront us in an evolving world."

The head of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, was invited but could not attend because of a previous commitment. Episcopal Bishop Mark Sisk of New York did attend and said he would be "surprised" if the pope was targeting U.S. Episcopalians.

"I don't think he was trying to send a shot across the bow at a particular church," said Sisk, who greeted the pope personally. "This was not the place to try to do that."

The speech to Christian leaders came after Benedict arrived in New York on Friday morning and addressed the United Nations on the need to protect human rights and religious freedom around the world.

His speech to Protestant and Orthodox leaders was not the first time Benedict had injected himself into the controversy roiling the Episcopal Church. In 2003, while still Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he sent a telegram expressing his "heartfelt prayers" to conservative Episcopalians gathered in Texas. the rest image

Friday, April 18, 2008

Devotional: God brings Abraham out from among his family...

God brings Abraham out from among his family
and sets him on a certain path. When it comes down to it, every- one has to undergo his own exodus. He not only has to leave the place that nurtured him and become independent, but has to come out of his own reserved self. He must leave himself behind, transcend his own limits; only then will he reach the Promised Land, so to speak-the sphere of freedom, in which he plays his part in creation. ...Pope Benedict XVI image

Battle Hymn of the Republic - US Army Chorus
At the White House reception for Pope Benedict

April 16, 2008

The head of the Episcopal Church preached love for neighbors on the last day of her South Florida visit

Fri, Apr. 18, 2008

The first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church experienced the multicultural world of South Florida firsthand Thursday, with stops at three churches including the oldest Haitian Episcopal congregation in the United States. full story

Quote: ''When it's paying attention to the needs of the people in its own community and communities around the world, arguments about relatively minor things get put back in perspective,'' she said firmly when asked about rifts in the church. ``We're here to love our neighbors, not to worry about internal conflicts.'' -Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Pope champions human rights, multilateralism in UN speech

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) — Pope Benedict XVI Friday launched a spirited defense of human rights and multilateralism, and called for greater dialogue between cultures in a landmark address to the UN General Assembly.

Dressed in his white robes, the 81-year-old pontiff reminded all 192 UN member states of their duty to protect their people from human rights abuses.

"Every state has the primary duty to protect its own population from grave and sustained violations of human rights," he told a packed assembly on his first visit to UN headquarters since becoming pope three years ago.

"If states are unable to guarantee such protection, the international community must intervene with the juridical means provided in the United Nations Charter," he said. the rest image

Full Text

Time: The Pope's Quiet Case for the UN

Matt Kennedy+: Letter to the People of Good Shepherd

Update April 18, 2008

Dear Good Shepherd,

As you know by now, the Diocese of Central New York has filed a lawsuit laying claim to our property and assets.

This is, to put it mildly, a disappointment. We had hoped that our negotiations would prove successful even as late as last month.

Our last meeting with the bishop was on February 27th. Don Dean, John Chaney and I had been scheduled to meet with the bishop and his Canon to the Ordinary, Karen Lewis. You may remember that our first two proposals to the Standing Committee of the diocese were turned down and, subsequently, the tension had been somewhat heightened. We had hoped that the late February meeting would result in a breakthrough and, possibly, a new sense of trust, mutual respect, and charity.

But instead of the amicable meeting we had requested, the bishop met us in his conference room with two of his attorneys. He presented a document entitled “Stipulation of Settlement” that gave Good Shepherd a six month window to vacate the building, the rectory, and relinquish all of our assets. After the initial six months, the Stipulation of Settlement indicated that if we had not yet moved, we might be permitted to stay on a month to month basis, subject to the will of the diocese, for a second (and final) six month period but only if we paid $1700.00 in rent each month. the rest

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Make Your Own Tripod Substitute With String and Washer

New ultimatum to Lambeth bishops

April 18, 2008
George Conger

Bishops attending the Lambeth Conference will be asked to affirm their willingness to abide by the recommendations of the Windsor Report and work towards the creation of an Anglican Communion Covenant.

A spokesman for the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams told The Church of England Newspaper that letters affirming support for Windsor and the Covenant process had not yet been mailed, but would go out presently.

Bishops attending Lambeth must have a “willingness to work with those aspects of the [Lambeth] Conference’s agenda that relate to implementing the recommendations of [the Windsor Report], including the development of a Covenant,” Dr. Williams wrote in his Dec. 14 Advent pastoral letter. the rest

Comments at Stand Firm

Albert Mohler: Values and Moral Truth are Not the Same

Friday, April 18, 2008

The shift from morals to values in the church is a sign of the Christian abdication of moral leadership. When the church joins in the affirmation that all moral issues are matters of purely individual concern, the salt has lost its savor. The reduction of morality to values was a hallmark of the 1980s, when progressivist educators pushed this agenda in the public schools. Throughout the educational world, "values clarification" exercises became the order of the day, with children and teenagers encouraged to invent their own individualistic systems of morality and to "develop" their own values. Since these are individually determined, no one can be right and no one can be wrong.

That generation of young people is now well into adulthood, and we can see the moral damage inflicted by those who instructed students to look only within themselves for a system of values, and to doubt or defy traditional morality. Values reflect only a subjective dimension with no objective moral truth. A generation raised in the incubator of moral relativism is groping for enduring truth in the moral wilderness.
the rest image

Archbishop Benjamin Kwashi: Response to alleged attacks on Changing Attitude leaders in Nigeria

April 18th, 2008

The early church quickly discovered that although persecution by pagan world powers was deeply painful and distressing, a far bigger and more dangerous threat was posed by ungodly arguments and divisions within the Christian community. The first documented instance of this is in Acts 6, when a disagreement stemming from tribal sympathies arose. The apostles saw the danger and acted quickly to find a positive and creative solution. Throughout the centuries the story has been the same. Schism, heartbreak and unhealed wounds have been caused by arguments emanating from within the church, rather than from persecution from outside.

The church in Nigeria knows much about suffering from persecution, but the stories have not generally been brought to the attention of the world’s media. We are now, however, faced with vilification, bullying and unfounded accusations from fellow Christians, and while we struggle to understand why this should be, these stories are blown up into world headlines. the rest

ACNS: Archbishop of Canterbury - Society still needs religion

April 18, 2008 11:08

The Archbishop of Canterbury gave a lecture in which he acknowledges the rise in interest in spirituality, particularly in the Western World, but underlines the crucial role traditional religious allegiance continues to play in a genuinely plural society.

Dr William's lecture entitled "The Spiritual and the Religious: is the territory changing?", is the third in a series "Faith and Life in Britain" being given at Westminster Cathedral.

Acknowledging the contribution that increased spiritual awareness can make to social and corporate life, Dr. Williams argues for the continued relevance of traditional religious commitment in developing and sustaining some of the deepest resources needed in a responsible plural society. the rest image

Dutch registrars banned from refusing to perform gay weddings

Friday, 18th April 2008
By: George Conger

Marriage registrars may not cite reasons of conscience or religious belief as grounds for refusing to solemnize gay marriage, the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission (CGB) ruled on April 15.

The CGB ruled in favour of a town council that had advertised for a marriage registrar but set a requirement that applicants must be prepared to perform gay weddings. A local authority was "not violating the equal treatment law if it refuses to appoint a marriage registrar who does not wish to marry persons of the same sex on grounds of religion,” the CGB held. the rest

Joint US-Vatican statement

Friday, April 18,2008

At the end of the private meeting between the Holy Father Benedict XVI and U.S. President George W. Bush in the Oval Office of the White House, the Holy See and the Office of the President of the United States of America released a joint declaration, the text of which is as follows: statement

NYT has a great slide show of the Pope's visit: here

Videos of the Pope's visit

France Unable to Save Crumbling Churches

By Angela Doland
Associated Press Writer
Fri, Apr. 18 2008

GESTE, France (AP) — Mayor Jean-Pierre Leger was married and baptized his children at Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens church in this village in western France. Not without sadness, he is now planning to bulldoze the 19th century building.

A view of the 19th century church of Geste, in the Anjou region, on Nov.5, 2007. The church was shuttered and deemed a safety hazard, and a demolition permit was delivered several weeks ago. France is struggling to keep its tens of thousands of churches in good repair _ especially the chapels in the countryside, many of which host Mass for their dwindling parishioners only once every few weeks.

The dilemma of what to do with churches that have fallen out of favor — and into disrepair — is facing towns and villages across France and other European countries. Some communities have dynamited churches deemed too expensive to maintain. Others have taken a less radical approach, selling them as housing. the rest image

Student warned of 'failing grade' if absent from 'Day of Silence'

April 16, 2008

A coalition of Christian organizations is encouraging students to stay home when their schools recognize the "Day of Silence" homosexual-lifestyle promotion this year – and the reaction has started coming in.

Liberty Counsel reports it has had complaints from parents and students about a wide range of misbehaviors or misrepresentations presented by schools.

For example, in one school district a principal told a father if his son was not at school on the "Day of Silence," the student would be given a failing grade for the year. In Indiana, parents were told by public school officials it was "against the law" for them to cancel the program or excuse absences that day. And in Iowa, a school board member said a student refusing to speak throughout a school day was no more disruptive than a "Christian wearing a cross." the rest

5.4 earthquake rocks Illinois, shakes Chicago skyscrapers

Associated Press
April 18, 2008

WEST SALEM, Ill. - A 5.4 magnitude earthquake that appeared to rival the strongest recorded in the region rocked people up to 450 miles away early Friday, surprising residents unaccustomed to such a powerful Midwest temblor.

The quake just before 4:37 a.m. was centered six miles from West Salem, Ill., and 66 miles from Evansville, Ind. It was felt in such distant cities as Chicago, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, and Des Moines, Iowa, 450 miles northwest of the epicenter, but there were no early reports of injuries or significant damage.

"It shook our house where it woke me up,'' said David Behm of Philo, 10 miles south of Champaign. "Windows were rattling, and you could hear it. The house was shaking inches. For people in central Illinois, this is a big deal. It's not like California.'' the rest

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Devotional: The human race-every one of us-is the sheep lost in the desert...

The human race-every one of us-is the sheep lost in the desert which no longer knows the way. The Son of God will not let this happen; he cannot abandon humanity in so wretched a condition. He leaps to his feet and abandons the glory of heaven, in order to go in search of the sheep and pursue it, all the way to the cross. He takes it upon his shoulders and carries our humanity; he carries us all-he is the good shepherd who lays down his life for the sheep. ...Benedict XVI image

Pope meets with Boston abuse victims

April 17, 2008
By Michael Paulson
Globe Staff

WASHINGTON _ Pope Benedict XVI, in a dramatic move likely to alter forever the image of his pontificate, met this afternoon with five victims of clergy sexual abuse from Boston.

The private meeting, which was first reported by the Globe this afternoon and has since been confirmed by the Vatican, was brokered by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston.

The meeting took place at the papal nunciature, which is the home of the pope's ambassador to the United States. The meeting did not appear on the pope's schedule, but took place during the window between a Mass this morning at Nationals Park and a talk that he is to deliver later this afternoon to Catholic educators gathered at Catholic University of America. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: A commitment to keep faith in the public space

TLC: Western Louisiana Bishop: 'Two Sets of Rules for One Church'

April 17, 2008

The recent deposition of bishops John-David Schofield and William J. Cox lends credence to those who say two sets of rules govern The Episcopal Church, according to Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson of Western Louisiana.

At a diocesan standing committee meeting on April 14, all six members approved a statement that noted that the deposition votes of the House of Bishops on March 12 failed to achieve the canonically required number of votes for enactment. A pastoral emergency prevented Bishop MacPherson from attending the standing committee meeting, but he endorsed the statement and urged its approval the following day at a meeting of diocesan council. All 19 members of council present also approved the resolution.

“The purpose is to express displeasure and concern, to encourage everyone to obey the canons” Bishop MacPherson told The LivingChurch. “Right now there is a disparity. It appears there are two different sets of rules for one church.” the rest

Will some at church in Vero be forced to leave?

By Elliott Jones
Thursday, April 17, 2008

VERO BEACH — Trinity Episcopal Church officials and parishioners who want to break from the national Episcopal denomination have two weeks to leave their church in Vero Beach, the bishop of the Central Florida Diocese said Wednesday.

The parish's multimillion-dollar church will remain in Episcopalian hands, said Bishop John Howe, in announcing his answer to a six-month controversy within the local church. the rest

CNY Diocese sues former Episcopal church in Binghamton to gain control of property

By William Moyer
Press & Sun-Bulletin
Thursday April 17, 2008

BINGHAMTON -- The Diocese of Central New York is attempting to order a former Episcopal Church in Binghamton to vacate its buildings and turn over legal title of the property to its regional office.

In a lawsuit filed this week, the diocese asked the State Superior Court to force Church of the Good Shepherd, on Conklin Avenue, to leave the facility as well as account for all money -- including an endowment fund -- because the congregation withdrew from the Episcopal Church and joined the Anglican Church of Kenya.

"It's a David-versus-Goliath situation; the Episcopal Church has deep pockets. This is a powerful and wealthy institution that is trying to crush a local church, only to put it on the auction block and sell it for cash," attorney Raymond J. Dague said Thursday from his Syracuse office. "It's a sad thing that a bishop who's supposed to protect sheep is trying to crush them."

Dague, who represents Good Shepherd, said the diocese is trying to "seize" the church's property because the congregation and regional Bishop Gladstone A. Adams are "on the opposite sides of a controversy over homosexual bishops and authority of Scripture."

The attorney for the diocese, Jonathan B. Fellows of Bond, Schoeneck and King in Syracuse, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. the rest

Mike Huckabee announces new Political Action Committee

April 15, 2008

Little Rock, AR - Former Governor Mike Huckabee (AR) has started Huck PAC, a Political Action Committee to raise funds for Republican candidates and continue promoting the principles and ideas of conservative, smaller and more responsible government, it was announced today.

"During the course of our campaign, we saw something happen that went beyond the campaign for President. It was a COMMUNITY that was devoted to a CAUSE that is bigger than any of us and not just about the next election, but the next generation. Our goal is to secure a better future for our country by changing our punitive tax system, standing firm for the sanctity of life and traditional marriage, and protecting our borders and giving our veterans the blood-bought benefits they deserve. We launch the new website today as we formally push the lift-off button for HUCK-PAC, which will enable us to help Senator McCain become our next President, and to assist conservative, pro-life and pro-family candidates to Senate and House seats. The website will not only preserve our online community, but enlarge it and encourage it to be a force for freedom, faith, and family!" Huckabee said today.
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Benedict XVI's Address to US Bishops

"The People of This Country Are Known for Their Great Vitality and Creativity"
APRIL 16, 2008

( Here is the text of the address Benedict XVI gave today to the bishops of the United States at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. At the end he answers three questions posed to him by the prelates.

Full text

Pope resolution passes after "life" language removed

Major Pro-Life Group Vows to Photograph Pro-Abortion Politicians as they Receive Communion at Papal Masses

CANA Responds to Diocese of Connecticut’s Attempt to Seize Control of Bishop Seabury Church

(via email)

HERNDON, VA (April 17, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) issued a response to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut’s attempt to seize control of Bishop Seabury Church in Groton, Conn. Earlier this week, the Diocese demanded the key to the building, financial records, and appointed a new priest-in-charge.

“Sadly, the Diocese of Connecticut seeks to undermine the faithful work of the parishioners at Bishop Seabury Church, which unanimously voted to affiliate with CANA since the Diocese and The Episcopal Church decided to walk apart from the Anglican Communion by choosing to redefine and reinterpret Scripture,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

“Despite our continued willingness to settle this matter amicably, the Diocese of Connecticut has refused as long as we remain with CANA . We are sorry the Diocese and The Episcopal Church have chosen to go their own way. We hope they understand that their choice to be a prodigal church does not give them the right to take our house of worship with them,” said The Rev. Ronald S. Gauss, senior associate rector of Bishop Seabury Church .

At each annual meeting from 2004-2007, the Bishop Seabury Church congregation had unanimously, in total parish unity, given its vestry full authority to stay in the Anglican Communion, to stay in the church property and to affiliate with CANA.

“There is clear division between The Episcopal Church and the rest of the Anglican Communion. Recently, a Virginia court affirmed that a division does indeed exist within The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. Pitting Christian against Christian in court does nothing to save one soul, strengthen one family, or help one person in need and CANA parishes keep getting pushed into this situation,” said Bishop Minns.

“We will continue to share the life-transforming power of the Gospel in mission and ministry with our community and beyond. We hope and pray that the Diocese and The Episcopal Church will work with us instead of against us,” Fr. Gauss said. CANA Website

Episcopal Priest denied Access To church In Groton

Archbishop Peter Jensen: Is it smart to forget God's wrath?

By Peter Jensen
April, 2008

ONE OF THE GRAVEST weaknesses of contemporary Christianity is the little attention paid to the wrath of God. We have become sentimental and have so stressed the love of God as to become unwilling to talk about his wrath.

In part this is because the culture will not let us do so. There is an outcry whenever the clear teaching of the Bible is given in public. Church members have to live in this world. They do not want their minister to talk about unpopular or divisive subjects. The minister is aware of this and he is tempted to soft-peddle on matters which are scriptural. Among them is the subject of God's wrath.

There is an even deeper reason. Many false teachings (or lack of true teaching) begin with an inadequate idea of human sin. In the twentieth century, there were significant advances made in psychology. We learned more clearly than ever before the effect of the brain on human behaviour, the shaping we experience through our parents, and the sort of things which motivate and explain the way we operate. Much of this has been for the real betterment of people. the rest

CDC: Flu season worst in 3 years; vaccine didn't work well

Apr 17,2008

ATLANTA (AP) - This year's flu season has shaped up to be the worst in three years, partly because the vaccine didn't work well against the viruses that made most people sick, health officials said Thursday.

The 2007-2008 season started slowly, peaked in mid-February and seems to be declining, although cases are still being reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on adult deaths from flu and pneumonia, this season is the worst since 2003-2004 - another time when the vaccine did not include the exact flu strain responsible for most illnesses. the rest image

Warning on Storage of Health Records

April 17, 2008

In an article in the New England Journal of Medicine, two leading researchers warn that the entry of big companies like Microsoft and Google into the field of personal health records could drastically alter the practice of clinical research and raise new challenges to the privacy of patient records.

The authors, Dr. Kenneth D. Mandl and Dr. Isaac S. Kohane, are longtime proponents of the benefits of electronic patient records to improve care and help individuals make smarter health decisions.

But their concern, stated in the article published Wednesday and in an interview, is that the medical profession and policy makers have not begun to grapple with the implications of companies like Microsoft and Google becoming the hosts for vast stores of patient information.
The arrival of these new corporate entrants, the authors write, promises to bring “a seismic change” in the control and stewardship of patient information. the rest image

Tony Seel+: Three Strategies, Same Result

Three parishes that were formerly in the Diocese of Central NY have left, albeit in different ways. St. Andrew's in Syracuse was the first to leave and they were sued. After some preliminary legal work the parish and diocese settled out of court. St. Andrew's in Vestal negotiated with the diocese and when the negotiations proved fruitless the parish abandoned the parish facilities. Good Shepherd also negotiated with the diocese and has this week been sued by the diocese.

St. Andrew's, Syracuse had an antagonistic relationship with the diocese for a long time and the aftermath of their departure has included the birth of a new fellowship from St. Andrew's, Westside Anglican Fellowship. St. Andrew's, Syracuse is part of the Anglican Mission in America and Westside is part of CANA.

St. Andrew's in Vestal got to the point where it was clear that the diocese was not negotiating in good faith, we voted to join CANA and left before we were sued. It was obvious that the diocese was avoiding our calls, lying to us when they were talking to us, and doing everything they could to stall. I don't think it's possible to have an honest negotiation with dishonest negotiating partners, which is why we left our properties before we are sued.

Good Shepherd had the most amicable relationship with the diocese. The negotiations were done quietly with little public comment. Good Shepherd was unfailingly charitable in their dealings with the diocese. They too were lied to and they were deceived (or at least the diocese attempted to deceive them). Now they are sued.

Three strategies ending in the same place - three parishes outside of pecusa.

Please pray for the Church of the Good Shepherd, the Kennedy's, the Vestry and the people of our sister parish. DCNY blog

Comments at Stand Firm

Settlement Allows Presbyterian Church to Leave Denomination

By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Apr. 17 2008 10

The Pittsburgh Presbytery and a large breakaway congregation reached a settlement that will allow the church to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) along with its property.

Memorial Park Presbyterian Church, formerly Pittsburgh Presbytery's largest church, is to become the sole owner of their $7 million property on Thursday, when presbytery officials are expected to approve a $575,000 out-of-court settlement. The approval also dismisses Memorial Park to the smaller and more conservative Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination. the rest

Council of Europe Declares Unlimited Abortion an Unconditional Right for all of Europe

Amendments seeking to make the resolution less extreme were rejected
By Hilary White
STRASBOURG, April 16, 2008

( - The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has passed a resolution to declare unlimited legal abortion an unconditional right. The Assembly passed the resolution with 102 to 69 votes with 14 abstentions. Amendments seeking to make the resolution less extreme in its promotion of abortion were rejected.

In preparation for what is being described as a rushed vote, the Assembly restricted plenary session speeches to three minutes, amendment speeches to 30 seconds and denied the Assembly's legal affairs committee any scrutiny. Only 185 of the 318 members of the Assembly were present for the vote. the rest

Pope Benedict XVI tells bishops to fight sexual abuse

The crisis has been mishandled, the pontiff acknowledges during his visit to Washington.
By Tracy Wilkinson and Rebecca Trounson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 17, 2008

WASHINGTON -- On a day filled with pageantry and prayer, Pope Benedict XVI focused Wednesday on the sexual-abuse scandal afflicting the Roman Catholic Church, offering an unflinching acknowledgment that the crisis was mishandled by church officials and that victims deserve care and compassion.

The pope, speaking to Catholic bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in North America, used some of his strongest language to date to condemn the sexual-abuse scandal and its enduring damage. the rest

Pope Celebrates Mass With Message of Hope

Added: First Things: Benedict in America: As of Thursday

Anglican school formal gay couple ban 'illegal'

Thu Apr 17, 2008

Authorities say it would be unlawful for New South Wales schools to follow a top Brisbane boys' school's lead in barring gay couples from its formal.

Opinion is divided in Queensland over the decision by Anglican Church Grammar School, or 'Churchie', to knock back a gay student's request to bring a male partner to the school formal.

The director of student welfare at the NSW Education Department, David McKay, has told ABC's NewsRadio schools in the state would be acting unlawfully if they tried to bar gay couples from school events. the rest

Papal Visit May Have Reversed Censorship of Pro-Life Speaker

By Kevin Mooney Staff Writer
April 16, 2008

( - Just before Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United States Tuesday, a Catholic university in Minnesota that had previously blocked a pro-life speaker from appearing on campus reversed its position.

The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul has previously hosted left-of-center activists who are hostile to church teachings, so conservative students questioned why the school would bar someone who endorses church teachings.

Jason Mattera, a spokesman with the conservative Young America's Foundation (YAF), said the timing of the pope's visit may have prompted the school to change its mind. the rest

Yale Student Induces Abortion On Herself For Art Project

Art major Aliza Shvarts '08 wants to make a statement.

Beginning next Tuesday, Shvarts will be displaying her senior art project, a documentation of a nine-month process during which she artificially inseminated herself "as often as possible" while periodically taking abortifacient drugs to induce miscarriages. Her exhibition will feature video recordings of these forced miscarriages as well as preserved collections of the blood from the process.

The goal in creating the art exhibition, Shvarts said, was to spark conversation and debate on the relationship between art and the human body. But her project has already provoked more than just debate, inciting, for instance, outcry at a forum for fellow senior art majors held last week. And when told about Shvarts' project, students on both ends of the abortion debate have expressed shock — saying the project does everything from violate moral code to trivialize abortion. the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury: Christians victims of UK and US foreign policy

By Tom Peterkin

Christians in the Middle East are suffering because of British and American foreign policy, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

Against a backdrop of rising Islam extremism, Dr Rowan Williams said Christian groups were increasingly seen as a "foreign and aggressive presence" as a result of Western policies.

Speaking before he addressed an audience in Westminster Cathedral on Thursday night, Dr Williams highlighted the plight of Christians who had been forced to flee the Holy Land.

The Archbishop said that Christians had traditionally played a leading role in social, cultural and intellectual change in the Middle East.

But, he said, those historic communities now risked becoming "museum pieces" in a "theme park" region as a result of persecution. This was partly because of an extremist form of Islam filling the void left after the peak of Arab nationalism, he claimed. the rest

Legalising prostitution in Las Vegas

By Rosie Goldsmith

Nevada is the only state in the US that allows legal prostitution, but in its largest city, Las Vegas, prostitution is illegal. When the mayor suggested changing the law, it sparked a huge debate.

Mayor Oscar Goodman grabs the headlines whatever he says or does - and he relishes it. He is proud of Las Vegas' image as "Sin City" and happily calls it "an adult playground".

He boasts about his love of gin, cigars and pretty women and calls himself "the happiest mayor in the universe". the rest

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Devotional: Genuine outrage is not just a permissible reaction...

Genuine outrage is not just a permissible reaction to the hard-pressed Christian; God himself feels it, and so should the Christian in the presence of pain, cruelty, violence, and injustice. God, who is the Father of Jesus Christ, is neither impersonal nor beyond good and evil. By the absolute immutability of His character, He is implacably opposed to evil and outraged by it. ...Os Guinness image

The Pope and U.S. Catholic Universities

How hard will Benedict push them to enforce orthodoxy?
By Eve Conant and Daniel Stone
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Apr 16, 2008

Freshman Rebecca De La Garza isn't so different from many of her fellow students at Georgetown—and that may be the problem. Georgetown is the oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit university in America and is meant to serve as a Catholic institution. "But I don't feel aligned with the traditional church," De La Garza confesses without much guilt. She's Catholic but not deeply devout, and she didn't come to Georgetown to deepen her faith; she came because she liked the location and its art history department. She says campus convenience stores don't sell condoms but that students drink and engage in premarital sex "like at any other college." Most of her peers don't go to mass every Sunday, but they must take two semesters of theology, including one required class, "THEO-001: The Problem of God," in which her class has debated such questions as whether it's reasonable to have faith in God and whether there is reason present in the Bible. She didn't come away with any firm answers, but she's sure of one thing: "I think the Vatican would take issue with things at Georgetown, and I think the pope would have some apprehension about things here." the rest

Mormons say polygamist sects a head ache

Wed Apr 16, 2008
By Ed Stoddard

DALLAS (Reuters) - The mainstream Mormon church renounced polygamy over a century ago, but it says the breakaway sects that practice plural marriage are giving it a public relations head ache.

Attention has once again been drawn to the issue by the raids this month on a Texas compound run by followers of jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. More than 400 children were removed in the raids sparked by an abuse complaint and their fate remains in legal limbo.the rest image

Remarks by Pope Benedict XVI at White House

By The Associated Press – 1 hour ago
Remarks by Pope Benedict XVI at the White House on Wednesday, as transcribed by the White House.

Mr. President, thank you for your gracious words of welcome on behalf of the people of the United States of America. I deeply appreciate your invitation to visit this great country. My visit coincides with an important moment in the life of the Catholic community in America: the celebration of the 200th anniversary of elevation of the country's first Diocese — Baltimore — to a metropolitan Archdiocese and the establishment of the Sees of New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Louisville.

Yet I am happy to be here as a guest of all Americans. I come as a friend, a preacher of the Gospel, and one with great respect for this vast pluralistic society. America's Catholics have made, and continue to make, an excellent contribution to the life of their country. As I begin my visit, I trust that my presence will be a source of renewal and hope for the Church in the United States, and strengthen the resolve of Catholics to contribute ever more responsibly to the life of this nation, of which they are proud to be citizens. the rest

13,500 greet pope at the White House

April 16, 2008

Washington D.C. - The crowd burst into a spontaneous round of "Happy Birthday." The pope gave a hearty, "God bless America!"

And with that, Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the United States officially kicked off at the White House, his first stop on a six-day visit that coincided with his 81st birthday today.

His remarks to a crowd of 13,500 on a sunny South Lawn -- far exceeding what the White House originally expected -- were both grateful and serious, laying down a foundation for his visit to address 67 million Catholics he views as struggling to balance unlimited freedom with a need to stay true to the Church's teachings. the rest

White House crowd sing Happy Birthday to Pope

5 Supreme Court justices on White House guest list

Brazilian Government Seeks Identities of "Homophobic" Bloggers

Uses secret court decision, intimidation to block access to thousands of sites
By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman

SAO PAULO, April 15, 2008 ( - The Brazilian government has begun to prohibit access to websites that are condemned for violating "human rights", including sites that are deemed "homophobic". The government is also demanding that hosting services divulge the identities of users who post offensive material.

The Google Corporation has reportedly received a court summons with a dossier of 150 pages documenting "homophobic" material on its "Orkut" service, a social networking system popular in Brazil.

Federal Prosecutor Sérgio Suiama has proposed an information-sharing system for Google that will give the government access to identifying information of posters who violate its restrictions.
the rest

Bush, big White House crowd to greet pope on his birthday

Apr 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush has quite a birthday present for Pope Benedict XVI: at least 9,000 excited guests gathered on the White House's South Lawn for a 21-gun salute, a famed soprano's rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" and an emotional presidential welcome.

The pontiff turns 81 on Wednesday, the first full day of his first trip to the United States as leader of the world's Roman Catholics. He'll spend most of the day at the White House, only the second pope to do so and the first in 29 years. the rest

Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians Warned Against Receiving Communion During Papal Visit

Britain's Christians must support Holy Land believers - Archbishop

by Jennifer Gold
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has urgently appealed to Christians in the UK to become better informed of the crisis affecting fellow believers in the Holy Land, who he says "feel ignored or forgotten" by Western Christians.

Dr Williams was commenting ahead of a conference at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday, to be joined by BibleLands, a Christian charity providing financial support to the Holy Land. The conference is being held to address ways in which Christians in the UK can support Christians in the Middle East. the rest

Ruth Gledhill: Our absenting-minded Archbishop

April 15, 2008

While I was schussing down the slopes of Serre Chevalier, a world away from the unending bad dream of contemporary Anglican polity, one of my absolute top favourite blogs, BabyBlueOnline, picked up Bishop Tom Wright's speech to Fulcrum where he said that the Archbishop of Canterbury had written to non-Windsor bishops suggesting they might wish to 'absent themselves' from Lambeth. These letters had been written with 'apostolic pain and heart-searching but also with apostolic necessity,' said Dr Wright. 'This is what he promised he would do, and he is doing it,' said the good Bishop of Durham. Well guess what. According to Lambeth Palace, he hasn't written any such letters. He might have 'promised' to do it but he hasn't done it. Yet. the rest

U.S. Episcopal Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori visits Bethesda-by-the-Sea parish in Palm Beach

Daily News Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Katharine Jefferts Schori's biography notes that the 54-year-old is an instrument-rated pilot, a former oceanographer, the wife of a retired theoretical mathematician and mother of a grown daughter, who is also a pilot.

But tellingly, The Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori defines herself as a peacemaker. the rest

Pictures: Pray for the Kennedys and Good Shepherd Binghamton

Matt+ and Anne+ Kennedy and their four children in front of the altar of Good Shepherd Binghamton at Easter less than a month before their church was sued.

Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton NY

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Devotional: For the people of Good Shepherd...

He has not made us for nought; He has brought us thus far, in order to bring us further, in order to bring us on to the end. He will never leave us nor forsake us; so that we may boldly say, "The Lord is my Helper; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me." We "may cast all our care upon Him who careth for us." What is it to us how our future path lies, if it be but His path? What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him? What is it to us what He puts upon us, so that He enables us to undergo it with a pure conscience, a true heart, not desiring anything of this world in comparison of Him? What is it to us what terror befalls us, if He be but a hand to protect and strengthen us? ...John Henry Newman image

Lord, we lift up the people of Good Shepherd, Binghamton and ask You to bless and protect them in this time of trial. Guard their unity and keep them in love and fellowship with one another. We pray that the enemy of our souls not gain a foothold and that You, O Father, may be glorified through their present circumstances. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Central New York Episcopal Diocese Sues Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton

April 15, 2008
Contact: Raymond J. Dague 315-422-2052

The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York filed a lawsuit today against Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, New York seeking the seizure of the church building, the parish hall, and the rectory. This is the third church which Episcopal Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams of Syracuse has moved against to seize since 2006, and the second church he has actually sued. The priest at Good Shepherd is Fr. Matt Kennedy who is a commentator on the internationally known Stand Firm website.

The Church of the Good Shepherd was a small struggling congregation when Bishop Adams took over the diocese as its new bishop. One of the first priests he ordained was Fr. Kennedy, who then went to Good Shepherd and raised it to be a vibrant congregation doubling its Sunday morning attendance. Since taking the church in Binghamton, Fr. Kennedy has acquired a reputation as one of the most widely read and respected commentators of church news in the Anglican Communion. Today, however, that same bishop who ordained him has sued his church, and refuses to even to acknowledge that Fr. Kennedy is a priest, referring to him as "Mr. Kennedy" in correspondence. In a cover letter to the summons, the lawyer for Bishop Adams likewise followed suit, and addressed the priest as "Matt Kennedy" and "Mr. Kennedy."

The lawsuit was filed in the Broome County clerk’s office today. The legal papers ask the court to declare that the Episcopal diocese, which is headquartered in Syracuse, owns all of the property of the Binghamton church based on a so-called Dennis Canon trust theory. In 1979 the Episcopal Church, in an effort to stop congregations from leaving the denomination, enacted a church law which claims a "trust" on any congregation which seeks to leave the denomination. This trust claim is the basis of the lawsuit against the local Binghamton congregation.

One of the other churches which surrendered its property to the bishop rather than face a lawsuit was St. Andrew's Church in nearby Vestal, New York. That church building was taken over by the Episcopal diocese shortly before Christmas of 2007 and is now vacant and for sale, while the congregation is worshiping elsewhere and thriving.

The diocese sued Good Shepherd because the Binghamton church and the bishop are on the opposite sides of a controversy over homosexual bishops and the authority of Scripture which has engulfed the Episcopal Church for the last few years. Good Shepherd adheres to the traditional teaching of the church that sex outside of marriage is prohibited by the Bible, while the Bishop and the leaders of the diocese have been outspoken supporters of the homosexual bishop of New Hampshire who divorced his wife to live with his male partner. Good Shepherd recently switched its affiliation to an American bishop who is under the Anglican episcopal jurisdiction of Kenya in Africa. The Episcopal Diocese then broke off negotiations for a peaceable resolution of the dispute and filed this lawsuit.

CANA Ordained Rev. Crippen at Grace Church and St. Stephen’s

HERNDON, Va. (April 15, 2008) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is pleased to celebrate the ordination of The Rev. Alan R. Crippen II, as a priest in CANA . Rev. Crippen was ordained by the Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns, Missionary Bishop of CANA, on Sunday, April 13 during the 9:00 am worship service at Grace Church and St. Stephen’s in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“The ordination of Rev. Crippen is a step forward in the growth of orthodox Christianity here in the U.S. We are pleased to welcome him into the priesthood. I am grateful for his leadership and diligence in honoring the authority of Scripture and to preserve the historic Christian faith. Rev. Crippen is a blessing to Grace Church and St. Stephens,” said Bishop Minns.

Rev. Crippen is founder and president of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society and Law. He previously served for nine years as founding rector of the Witherspoon Fellowship, a leading civic and cultural leadership development program for college-age students based in Washington , D.C. He has two decades of experience in non-profit executive management and college level teaching. His military service includes platoon and battery command as well as various battalion staff operations and planning positions in the U.S. Army Field Artillery.

“I am excited to align with CANA , which is clearly providing a way for Christians to remain faithful to the word of God. As we move forward in mission and ministry, I pray that my brothers and sisters at Grace and St. Stephen’s will continue to remain steadfast in their orthodox faith and to joyfully serve our community. I am delighted to be a part of this,” Rev. Crippen said.

Rev. Crippen’s vocational passion is for the formation of young leaders who aspire to public life. He is particularly inspired to prepare them with the contours of a worldview, knowledge, and piety requisite for faithful Christian service in the public square. Rev. Crippen holds degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary (M.A.R.) and Philadelphia Biblical University (B.S.) and is an ordained deacon in the Anglican Communion. He, his wife, Michelle, and their five children make their home in Colorado Springs and worship at Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish (Anglican - CANA ).

CANA Website

Pope Benedict XVI begins first U.S. tour

April 15, 2008

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United States Tuesday afternoon to start the six-day, two-city journey that will take him from the White House to the halls of the United Nations.

Benedict will receive a private greeting from President Bush and first lady Laura Bush.

This is the first U.S. papal visit since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and Benedict's first visit to the United States.

There will be a welcoming ceremony for the pope on the South Lawn of the White House Wednesday. Benedict is to speak before meeting later in the day with U.S. cardinals and bishops. the rest

CONNECTICUT: Priest Threatened With Ouster. "I am not going anywhere," Says Fr. Gauss

By David W. Virtue

GROTON, CT --- The Jewish born evangelical Episcopal priest of Bishop Seabury Church, named for the First Bishop in America, has had his parish declared vacant even though he has not been inhibited and has the full support of his vestry and congregation to stay.

Fr. Ron Gauss, a priest for nearly 35 years at this high profile 800-member Episcopal parish, told Virtueonline that even though he retired from The Episcopal Church, the parish, at their annual meeting, renewed his Annual Civil Contract, re-elected the same vestry and has no intention of moving and will fight for the property. "I was ordained using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. I am in total agreement with Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan who said that he is only living up to his ordination vows."

The diocese made a grab for the church this week. Seabury church received letters informing them that Bishop James Curry, acting as ECC (Bishop Andrew Smith is on sabbatical) had appointed a Priest-in-Charge who would take over the parish immediately. "Bishop Smith terminated the Vestry because," Curry said, "they could not fulfill their canonical obligations to The Episcopal Church." The bishop appointed the Rev. Canon David Cannon as priest-in-charge of the orthodox evangelical parish. the rest at Virtueonline

Fuel Choices, Food Crises and Finger-Pointing/Suffering in Haiti

April 15, 2008

The idea of turning farms into fuel plants seemed, for a time, like one of the answers to high global oil prices and supply worries. That strategy seemed to reach a high point last year when Congress mandated a fivefold increase in the use of biofuels.

But now a reaction is building against policies in the United States and Europe to promote ethanol and similar fuels, with political leaders from poor countries contending that these fuels are driving up food prices and starving poor people. Biofuels are fast becoming a new flash point in global diplomacy, putting pressure on Western politicians to reconsider their policies, even as they argue that biofuels are only one factor in the seemingly inexorable rise in food prices.

In some countries, the higher prices are leading to riots, political instability and growing worries about feeding the poorest people. Food riots contributed to the dismissal of Haiti’s prime minister last week, and leaders in some other countries are nervously trying to calm anxious consumers. the rest image

Haiti: world reacts to protests

Haiti's food crisis crumbles into instability

Let Them Eat Ethanol!

Idaho Becomes First State to Criminalize Coercing a Woman to Have an Abortion

Female advocate of law calls it "pro-woman"
By Michael Baggot

BOISE, ID, April 14, 2008 ( - Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter signed a bill into law on Thursday that makes Idaho the first state to legally forbid individuals from forcing a woman to have an abortion.

House Bill 654 criminalizes any physical harm or threats used with the intention of inducing an abortion. the rest

Study reveals shocking content on BET, MTV

Apr 14, 2008 by Erin Roach

LOS ANGELES (BP)--Children who watched certain daytime shows on cable's MTV and BET were exposed to adult content -- including that of a sexual, violent, profane or obscene nature -- once every 38 seconds, according to a study by the Parents Television Council.

"We thought we'd seen it all, but even we were taken aback by what we found in the music video programs on MTV and BET that are targeted directly at impressionable children," said Tim Winter, president of the pro-family watchdog group.

Delman Coates, an African American pastor and founder of the Enough is Enough Campaign to push for change and accountability from networks like MTV and BET, asked the Parents Television Council to conduct the study in order to increase awareness of the destructive images on television that are negatively impacting society. the rest image

Facing Decline, an Effort to Market the Priesthood

Todd Heisler/The New York Times
April 15, 2008

The banners hanging in the main corridor of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers declare, “Through Faith We Grow.” The class portraits that line that very same corridor tell the opposite tale. Half a century after the halcyon days when several hundred men at a time studied to be ordained as priests for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, only 22 are enrolled.

Even more alarming to Catholics, although six men expect to be ordained in May, none are entering the first-year theology program. While seminary officials attribute the sudden drop to extra preparatory course requirements that went into effect this year, it is nonetheless a jarring development. the rest