Saturday, October 04, 2008

Devotional: There are times when we do know what God's purpose is...

Thank God for the sight of all you have never yet been. You have had the vision, but you are not there yet by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the blows which must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to have the vision "batter'd to shape and use" by God? The batterings always come in commonplace ways and through commonplace people.

There are times when we do know what God's purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends upon us, not upon God. If we prefer to loll on the mount and live in the memory of the vision, we will be of no use actually in the ordinary stuff of which human life is made up. We have to learn to live in reliance on what we saw in the vision, not in ecstasies and conscious contemplation of God, but to live in actualities in the light of the vision until we get to the veritable reality. Every bit of our training is in that direction. Learn to thank God for making known His demands.

The little "I am" always sulks when God says do. Let the little "I am" be shrivelled up in God's indignation - "I AM THAT I AM hath sent thee." He must dominate. Is it not penetrating to realize that God knows where we live, and the kennels we crawl into! He will hunt us up like a lightning flash. No human being knows human beings as God does. ...Oswald Chambers

Albert Mohler: Are We Promised Prosperity?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Now that the economic "bailout" plan has been passed by Congress, expect all parties involved to claim credit if it appears to work and deny blame if the crisis worsens. Though the primary problem is a crisis in the credit markets and the financial sector, the entire economy feels the crunch. The crisis now may lie in the awareness of uncertainty -- and no one likes uncertainty when it comes to matters economic.

The public is also bracing for more bad news. Just today, the State of California announced that it might need a $7 billion bailout. The state's credit rating is not the problem, but the state has been unable to get the short-term money it needs, given the constriction of credit. Who is next?

There are a host of issues to be considered here. Many Americans are just waking up to the basic facts of economics. Most, sad to say, remain oblivious. Some among the more curious are discovering how much borrowing and lending goes on in the course of business -- and among their neighbors. the rest image

No body in exhumed in Cardinal Newman's grave

Saturday, 4 October 2008

The grave of the 19th Century Cardinal John Henry Newman did not contain his body, the Catholic Church has revealed.

The plot, at the Oratory House, Rednal, near Birmingham, was excavated on Thursday at the Vatican's instruction.

His remains were to have been moved to the Birmingham Oratory, in preparation for Newman's anticipated beatification. the rest image

Second Diocese Leaves Episcopal Church and Realigns with Southern Cone


Diocesan Website:
Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh Changes Constitution, Joins Anglican Province

Diocese Begins Process to Recall Bishop Duncan

Constitutional Changes Approved

Anglican Curmudgeon (AS Haley):
Logic Wins in Pittsburgh!

Religious Intelligence:
Pittsburgh votes to secede from Episcopal Church

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Episcopal diocese votes to leave church

AP: Pa. Episcopal diocese OKs split over Bible, gays

ENS: Pittsburgh votes to leave Episcopal Church, align with Southern Cone

Pittsburgh Diocese votes to realign

Lay votes for realignment:
119 aye, 69 nay, 3 abstentions

Clergy votes for realignment:
121 aye, 33 nay, 3 abstentions
2 spoiled ballots (corrected)

source: AnglicanTV

AnglicanTV: Pittsburgh Convention 2008 Live Stream

Friday, October 03, 2008

Devotional: Faith does the impossible...

Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us, and nothing is impossible with God. How great-without qualification or limitation-is the power of faith! If doubt be banished from the heart, and unbelief made stranger there, what we ask of God shall surely come to pass, and a believer hath vouchsafed to him "whatsoever he saith."

Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. In his cursing of the fig tree our Lord demonstrated his power. Following that, he proceeded to declare, that large powers were committed to faith and prayer, not in order to kill but to make alive, not to blast but to bless.

At this point in our study, we turn to a saying of our Lord, which there is need to emphasize, since it is the very keystone of the arch of faith and prayer.

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

...EM Bounds image

Church Court Rules for Deposition of Bishop Bennison

October 3, 2008

A nine-member church court has ruled unanimously that the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, Jr., the inhibited Bishop of Pennsylvania, should be deposed from ministry in The Episcopal Church.

The court ruled on June 25 that Bishop Bennison was guilty of conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy. The court found that Bishop Bennison failed to report that his brother, the Rev. John Bennison, had engaged in sexual relations with a female member of the youth group at St. Mark’s Church, Upland, Calif., when Charles Bennison was rector there in the early 1970s. The court also found that he failed to protect the young woman from further sexual advances by his brother, or to provide adequate pastoral care to the young woman or her family.

Brad Babbitt and Hamilton Doherty, Jr., two attorneys who helped the Court for the Trial of a Bishop conduct the trial, released the sentencing documents late Friday morning. The two documents — the sentence and an order denying Bishop Bennison’s final motions to dismiss the case — are both dated Sept. 30. the rest

Congress OKs historic bailout bill

Oct 3, 2008
Associated Press Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) - With the economy on the brink and elections looming, Congress approved an unprecedented $700 billion government bailout of the battered financial industry on Friday and sent it to President Bush for his certain signature.

The final vote, 263-171 in the House, a comfortable margin that was 58 more votes than it garnered on Monday. The vote capped two weeks of tumult in Congress and on Wall Street, punctuated by daily warnings that the country confronted the gravest economic crisis since the Great Depression if lawmakers failed to act.

Bush was poised to make a statement on the historic vote. the rest

'Jesus was a Palestinian,' claims U.S. history text

Study: American public school books have 'same inaccuracies' as Arab texts
October 03, 2008
By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

A new study reveals that if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wanted to criticize the nation of Israel before the United Nations, he could use American public school textbooks to do so.

"It is shocking to find the kind of misinformation we discovered in American textbooks and supplemental materials being used by schools in every state in the country," said Dr. Gary Tobin, president of the Institute for Jewish & Community Research and a co-author of the study. the rest

Episcopal dioceses mulling split over Bible, gays

AP Religion Writer
© 2008 The Associated Press
Oct. 3, 2008

NEW YORK — Three theologically conservative Episcopal dioceses will soon vote whether to secede from the liberal church in a dispute over how they should interpret what the Bible says on many issues, including homosexuality.

In 2006, the Diocese of San Joaquin, based in Fresno, Calif., became the first to break away. The Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pa., plan to vote on secession during a meeting Saturday. Dioceses in Quincy, Ill., and Fort Worth, Texas, are set to cast ballots on withdrawing next month. the rest

Statements by the Presiding Bishop and other TEC Leaders on Christian Theology

October 3, 2008

Peter Frank, Director of Communications of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, has assembled chilling quotes from TEC leaders – read the PDF file (direct link) at the Coalition for Realignment’s website.

While many of these quotes have been previously circulated, it’s yet another reminder that one can never assume the gospel, but that in every generation there is a need “to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). link

(h/t Anglicans Ablaze)

Colson: God Is In Control During the Financial Crisis

God often uses adversity for his greatest blessings and the markets are his.
Charles Colson

Most of us have been badly shaken by the tumultuous events on Wall Street in recent weeks. If you have an IRA or some kind of retirement plan, no doubt you are licking your wounds. You may even be fearful. I understand. I have experienced those apprehensions myself.

But we need to remember that fear is always the enemy of faith. The financial markets are his. The world is his.

Here is something else to remember: God often uses adversity for his greatest blessings — in several ways in this case. Christians are called to do the best things in the worst of times. the rest

Iran releases two Christians held on apostasy charges

by Jennifer Gold
Friday, October 3, 2008

Iranian officials have released two Christian converts who were being held in prison on apostasy charges, one week after the Iranian Government voted overwhelmingly in favour of new legislation to introduce the death penalty for anyone who leaves the Muslim faith.

Mahmoud Mohammed Matin-Azad, 53, and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, 40, were arrested in May and charged with apostasy following their conversion to Christianity from Islam.

Andy Dipper, head of Christian persecution watchdog Release International, gave a cautious welcome to news of their release. the rest

Peggy Noonan: Palin the Populist

Joe Biden was no match for "Joe Six-Pack."
OCTOBER 3, 2008

She killed. She had him at "Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?" She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man. She was not petrified but peppy.

The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled—they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.

As far as Mrs. Palin was concerned, Gwen Ifill was not there, and Joe Biden was not there. Sarah and the camera were there. This was classic "talk over the heads of the media straight to the people," and it is a long time since I've seen it done so well, though so transparently. There were moments when she seemed to be doing an infomercial pitch for charm in politics. But it was an effective infomercial.

Joe Biden seems to have walked in thinking that she was an idiot and that he only had to patiently wait for this fact to reveal itself. This was a miscalculation. He showed great forbearance. Too much forbearance. She said of his intentions on Iraq, "Your plan is a white flag of surrender." This deserved an indignant response, or at least a small bop on the head, from Mr. Biden, who has been for five years righter on Iraq than the Republican administration. He was instead mild. the rest

The "Pit Bull" Returns

Through Sarah Palin, ordinary, non-mystical Americans may reclaim their national government


A Plausible Vice President

Schwarzenegger to U.S.: State may need $7-billion loan

In a letter obtained by The Times, the governor warns that tight credit has dried up funds California routinely relies on and it may have to seek emergency aid within weeks.
By Marc Lifsher and Evan Halper
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
October 3, 2008

SACRAMENTO -- California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson on Thursday that the state might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.The warning comes as California is close to running out of cash to fund day-to-day government operations and is unable to access routine short-term loans that it typically relies on to remain solvent.

Letter from Schwarzenegger to Paulson

The state of California is the biggest of several governments nationwide that are being locked out of the bond market by the global credit crunch. If the state is unable to access the cash, administration officials say, payments to schools and other government entities could quickly be suspended and state employees could be laid off. the rest

Gay Day' Bill Vetoed in California - CNS News

Catholic Magazine Calls For Defeat And Removal Of Prime Minister Harper

Thursday October 2, 2008
TORONTO, October 2, 2008

( - Prime Minister Stephen Harper's disturbing statements to the media that he will undemocratically not permit anyone to reopen the debate on abortion are a stark betrayal of conservative principles and should prompt his electoral defeat in Calgary Southwest in the coming federal election, says the editor of Canada's national Catholic magazine of news, analysis and opinion. In addition, Father Alphonse de Valk, editor of Catholic Insight magazine, is calling for the removal of Harper as Conservative party leader.

"For Mr. Harper to state that he would not personally support a law limiting abortion is one thing," said de Valk. "But to go so far as to strong arm his own MPs from supporting the right to life and even, as his spokesperson suggested, whip his cabinet on the matter, is unconscionable." the rest image

Episcopal Church to apologize for slavery

Philadelphia Daily News

In what has become the cause du jour this year, the Episcopal Church will publicly make amends for its part in the trans-Atlantic slave trade with a "Day of Repentance" today and tomorrow.

The two-day event at the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, at 6361 Lancaster Ave., Overbrook, was mandated by a resolution at the church's General Convention in 2006.
The event begins today at 1 p.m. with presentations on the church's role in the slave trade.

Tomorrow, the services are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will conduct the service at the church, founded in 1792 by Absalom Jones, a former slave and the first black Episcopal priest. the rest

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Devotional: It is not the glorious battlements...

It is not the glorious battlements, the painted windows, the crouching gargoyles that support a building, but the stones that lie unseen in or upon the earth. It is often those who are despised and trampled on that bear up the weight of a whole nation. ...John Owen image

Great Lakes District Formed as CANA Continues to Grow

October 2, 2008

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is announcing the formation of a Great Lakes District that includes a growing number of congregations in the area. The affirmative vote to create the new district was taken at a recent CANA Council gathering in Akron, Ohio.

“The formation of a Great Lakes District within CANA is an exciting new development. In the short time of CANA’s existence we have grown to more than 70 congregations and 150 clergy in 21 states plus the District of Columbia. We look forward to continued growth throughout the upper Midwest as our congregations shine the light for Anglicanism rooted in biblical truth and reach out in the love of Jesus Christ to the least, the last and the lost,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

The new district is comprised of 13 congregations in three states and is modeled after the Fairfax-based Anglican District of Virginia, which was the first district to be formed within CANA. The Great Lakes District will be led by CANA Suffragan Bishop Roger Ames of Akron, Ohio, and will be governed by a board and a synod council. the rest

Orissa Death Toll Rises, Leaders Appeal For Peace

October 2, 2008

NEW DELHI (ICNS) -- The death toll in the continuing anti-Christian violence in Orissa state rose to 50 as India celebrated the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, father of the nation and champion of peace.

The latest victim, Lalgi Nayak, a Protestant, succumbed to a gash on his neck and other injuries on Oct. 1. He was injured on Sept. 30, when Hindu extremists attacked his Rudangia village, UCA News reported.

Bibhu Datta Das, a legal consultant for the Church of North India, told UCA News on Oct. 2 that Nayak and others were attacked because they "heroically" resisted demands by Hindu fanatics to denounce their Christian faith. the rest

A New Front in the Abortion Wars - Banning Sex-Selection Abortions

Tuesday September 30, 2008
Commentary by Steven W. Mosher

September 30, 2008 ( - On September 23rd, 2008, two congressmen, Trent Franks from Arizona and Jeff Fortenberry from Nebraska, introduced a bill to "prohibit discrimination against the unborn on the basis of sex or race." The event was overshadowed by debate over the proposed bail-out of America's financial sector, and so drew little press attention. But those who hold pro-life sentiments should take note of the "Susan B. Anthony Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2008," for it arguably opens a new front in the abortion wars. Like the ban on Partial Birth Abortion, it will stimulate public debate on grounds favorable to the pro-life cause. Moreover, it introduces into the pro-life arena existing U.S. jurisprudence on the elimination of discrimination on the basis of sex or race. Who would gainsay that the worst form of discrimination, bar none, is to deny unborn women or Blacks the right to life precisely on account of their innate characteristics of race or gender?

Some may believe that sex-selective abortion is only found in countries with a strong preference for sons, such as India, China, and Korea. But sex-selective abortion is also practiced in the U.S. by immigrant populations who bring with them their prejudices against girls, preference for boys, and find here that the ready availability of both ultrasounds and abortions makes it easy for them to act on these prejudices. Moreover, although it is difficult to come by hard evidence, I have no doubt that selfish and secularized American couples sometimes use sex-selective abortion to give birth to their preferred sex. As far as race-based abortions are concerned, Planned Parenthood has located most of its clinics in minority neighborhoods, and has been more than willing to accept donations specifically targeting Black babies for elimination. the rest

Mere Comments: Altena's Observations on Blogging

by Jerry Janquart
October 01, 2008

James Altena, a frequent commentator on these pages, has over the years done me the great service of explaining clearly and with perfect accuracy, to those who insist on misunderstanding them, a number of things I have written. This has been an inestimable relief to me, since I thought I was being clear. James has shown many times that indeed, what I have written is perfectly apprehensible to those who read with the intention of understanding.

Recently, at the request of his wife, who is teaching a writing class, Mr. Altena compiled a list of observations about blogging, which he circulated to some of his correspondents. He made so many good points that I requested permission to reproduce his list here, which he has kindly granted.

1) Blog threads, being essentially conversational in nature, are inherently discursive and informal. They also tend to be digressive, frequently wandering off topic, as someone responds to a side point made in a previous comment, and that side point then becomes the focus of debate, and the process repeats itself. the rest

The Senate says yes to the bail-out plan

Oct 2nd 2008
The Economist

TWO days after the House had rejected the financial bail-out plan proposed by the president and his treasury secretary, the Senate on Wednesday October 1st passed a revised version of the bill by the healthy margin of 74 votes to 25. John McCain and Barack Obama, the two candidates to be president, both flew back to Washington, DC, to vote for the bill. Both spoke in its favour, warning that a failure to act would invite calamity.

Although taxpayers should eventually recoup some or even all of the bill’s cost, both candidates admitted that it might affect their fiscal plans. Mr McCain promised a freeze on all non-essential spending. Mr Obama said he might delay some of his spending plans, but excluded his tax cuts, health-care reform, infrastructure investment, alternative energy and education. That is, all the main items on his wish-list bar expanding the armed forces. the rest

Archbishop Peter Akinola cites sheep sex arrest as proof of Britain's moral decline

The Most Rev Peter Akinola, one of the most powerful figures in the Anglican Communion, has cited a man's arrest for having sex with sheep as proof of Britain's moral decline.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
02 Oct 2008

Dr Akinola, the Primate of Nigeria and a leader of traditionalists worldwide, said the alleged offences of bestiality in south London showed how "spiritual degradation" was destroying the country's soul.

He also claimed the advent of civil partnerships for homosexual couples showed that politicians are "upturning the natural order" and doing away with God and family life.

Dr Akinola referred to the alleged farmyard sex crimes in an important speech to the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria, the 18 million-strong church's governing body, last month.

He said: "As a church we cannot but continue to decry the disturbing level of moral decadence and spiritual degradation eating deep into the soul of western societies. the rest

Nigerian Synod:
Archbishop Peter Akinola"s Opening address to the Nigerian Synod here (pdf)

Message to the Nation

Pastoral Letter to the Church

Pope to lead galaxy of stars in Bible-reading marathon

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pope Benedict will this Sunday lead off a non-stop, six-day, seven-night televised reading of the entire Old and New Testaments in a Bible marathon that will bring the pontiff together with stars from the worlds of football, cinema and opera as well as more than 1,000 Italians from all walks of life.

The brainchild of Giuseppe De Carli, senior Vatican correspondent for Italian state broadcaster RAI, it has been timed to coincide with the opening this weekend of a Vatican synod (mini-parliament) entitled The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church.

Brazil and AC Milan midfielder Kaka and Italy and Juventus defender Nicola Legrottaglie will be taking part, as will the Oscar-winning actor and director Roberto Benigni, who starred in the 1999 hit film Life Is Beautiful about the Holocaust. the rest image

Colorado: Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish see hope in IRS decision

OCTOBER 2, 2008

The Rev. Don Armstrong tells nearly 100 congregants gathered Sunday morning at Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish that he won't tempt the Internal Revenue Service's wrath by making political endorsements.

He then draws quiet laughter when he comments, with apparent sarcasm, on the lengths to which he's gone to keep his political views secret.

Armstrong, of course, made political and legal noise last year when he led Grace's break from the U.S. Episcopal Church to align with an African bishop known for his anti-homosexual views. Since then, Armstrong has stayed firmly planted inside Grace's walls while facing investigation for possible theft and tax fraud.

Grace's division forced many church members into exile and triggered an ongoing legal battle about who owns the historic church property. Interestingly, exiled members are now drawing comfort from the same government agency Armstrong mentions in jest.

A letter from a case advocate within the Taxpayer Advocate Service of the IRS informs Grace members faithful to the U.S. church and the Bishop and Diocese of Colorado that they can continue using the same taxpayer identification number used by the church since at least 1965. the rest

NYT: Pittsburgh Episcopalians Weigh Division

October 1, 2008

PITTSBURGH — The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will vote Saturday on whether to secede from the national church, part of the continuing fallout from 30 years of theological disputes that boiled over five years ago after an openly gay bishop was elected and consecrated in New Hampshire.

If it does vote to secede, as expected, Pittsburgh would become the second diocese to vote to leave the American branch of the Anglican Communion, which has 2.4 million members. The diocese in San Joaquin, Calif., voted to secede last December. the rest

Robert Gagnon: A Critical Review Essay on Stacy Johnson’s A Time to Embrace

A Book Not To Be Embraced
Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of New Testament
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Completed March 2008; posted on the web on Sept. 30, 2008

I wish that I could commend William Stacy Johnson’s book, A Time to Embrace, [1] as a rigorous and fair assessment of Christianity and homosexuality from a homosexualist perspective.[2] Unfortunately, Johnson so regularly violates scholarly standards for honesty and accuracy in representing secondary literature, conceals from readers the most important counterarguments to his position, and shows gaps in logic, that I cannot embrace A Time to Embrace. Given space constraints, it is impossible to give a systematic presentation of the book’s errors in fact or argumentation. I refer readers to my website for material that could not fit here [see links at the end of the article just before endnotes]; and for a rejoinder to Johnson’s response that will appear shortly after Johnson’s response is published.

pdf version here

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Devotional: God will be constantly crossing our paths...

We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and cancelling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps - reading the Bible..... it is part of the discipline of humility that we must not spare our hand where it can perform a service and we do not assume that our schedule is our own to manage, but allow it to be arranged by God. ...Dietrich Bonhoeffer image

Priest Gets Episcopal Church Apology After Law Suit

Oct 1, 2008
By WKBW Directors

It all started at St. James Episcopal Church in Batavia in October of 2004. Then Canon or Father Simon Howson was accused of stealing church funds, forging church documents and misrepresenting himself. He was publicly removed from the church and the priesthood, no longer aloud serve. Today, 5 years later, his law suit against the church and bishop of the Buffalo Diocese is settled. Howson says he is finally publicly exonerated and the diocese is apologizing. "The bishop has stepped up and he's going to apologize in writing for what happened to Simon Howson." said attorney Andrew Fleming.

"You asked me how I feel," said Howson. "Numb. Numb." Howson filed a same sex discrimination and retaliation suit claiming Bishop Michael Garrison removed him from the church after he complained, that an admitted homosexual Episcopalian priest, now serving in Massachusetts, was sexually harassing him with unwanted advances. Howson is heterosexual. "Simon is a man of God. This was very difficult for him in a sense that this was very challenging to his faith journey." said Fleming. the rest

Fresh Violence in Orissa

In the wee hours on Tuesday, the 30th September 2008, fresh violence has been reported on Dalit Christians in Kandhamal District of Orissa. In a village called Rudangia in G. Udayagiri area of the Kandhamal district, armed miscreants from the religious fundamentalist forces have attacked Christians, and two people have died, several injured and 100 houses were burnt down. Despite the deployment of additional forces from the Centre, violence is still unabated and Christians in Kandhamal, are in utmost fear and trauma. the rest

Angry Iraqi Christians rip law stripping them of seats in parliament

Syria: Couple who fled Islam granted asylum

Schwarzenegger Signs Bill That Will Cause Deaths of Patients Via Dehydration

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 1, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is drawing condemnation from pro-life advocates who say he was wrong to sign a bill that puts vulnerable patients at risks and has physicians promoting suicide. The measure didn't legalize assisted suicide but contained suicide-promoting provisions pro-life groups opposed.

AB 2747 originally had the purpose of legalizing assisted suicide but was amended in committee to urge doctors to inform patients how they can legally end their lives.

Brian Johnston, the head of the California Pro-Life Council and someone who has served on panels helping the elderly, condemned the governor.

He tells the measure Schwarzenegger signed will result in the deaths of thousands of patients. the rest

Reservation Congregations Fight Church Closings

October 1, 2008

Members from nine congregations on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation slated for closure by the Diocese of South Dakota met Sept. 20 in Kyle to discuss their options.

Some of the congregations scheduled to close by Nov. 30 want to file injunctions in tribal court, claiming that Native American landowners long ago donated land to the diocese for the churches and, in at least some cases, there may have been extra acreage donated along with the church grounds.

“Our concern is the cemeteries, the land and the buildings,” Lydia Bear Killer, vestry president of Church of the Inestimable Gift in Allen, told the Rapid City Journal. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to maintain our church, our land and our cemeteries. Every church has a petition circulating for what it wants from the diocese,” she said. the rest

Title IV Task Force Begins 'Blue Book' Report

October 1, 2008

The task force charged with rewriting the church’s canons on discipline does not expect to release another draft until the Blue Book of General Convention legislation is published sometime after the first of the year. The Title IV Task Force Two met Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 in New Orleans.

Last January the task force released a draft of its revised disciplinary code. The group proposes among other things streamlining the inhibition and removal of a priest or bishop on abandonment charges, extending the disciplinary canons to include jurisdiction over the laity in some circumstances and a new provision for declaring a cleric impaired. The period for public comment ended June 1.

The task force was expected to discuss the submissions and to begin drafting its blue book report during the New Orleans meeting, according to Steve Hutchison, chairman of the task force and chancellor of the Diocese of Utah. the rest

Fort Worth Via Media responds to Bishop Iker: 10 Reasons Why Now Is NOT the Time to Realign

October 1, 2008


Comments at TitusOneNine

National Cathedral: Presiding Bishop is Sunday Forum Guest and Preacher

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dean Sam Lloyd and Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will explore the state of the church in the twenty-first century during a public forum this Sunday, October 5, at Washington National Cathedral.

Following the forum, the Presiding Bishop will deliver the sermon at the 11:15 service.

Katharine Jefferts Schori is the twenty-sixth presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, the first woman ever to hold those offices. Prior to her election in 2006, Jefferts Schori was bishop of the Diocese of Nevada. She spent a first career as a professional oceanographer and remains an avid airplane pilot. Her most recent book is A Wing And A Prayer: A Message of Faith and Hope.

The Sunday Forum: Critical Issues in the Light of Faith is a weekly program of honest and intellectually probing dialogue about major issues of our time. The 50-minute conversation includes questions from live and online audiences and is held between Sunday morning services, beginning at 10:10 am. the rest

Pelosi paid husband with PAC funds

$99,000 for rent, utilities, accounting fees
Jennifer Haberkorn
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Washington Times

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has directed nearly $100,000 from her political action committee to her husband's real estate and investment firm over the past decade, a practice of paying a spouse with political donations that she supported banning last year.

Financial Leasing Services Inc. (FLS), owned by Paul F. Pelosi, has received $99,000 in rent, utilities and accounting fees from the speaker's "PAC to the Future" over the PAC's nine-year history.

The payments have quadrupled since Mr. Pelosi took over as treasurer of his wife's committee in 2007, Federal Election Commission records show. FLS is on track to take in $48,000 in payments this year alone - eight times as much as it received annually from 2000 to 2005, when the committee was run by another treasurer. the rest


By Canon Gary L'Hommedieu

There's blood in the water, and the barracudas can no longer restrain themselves.

The contract on Robert Duncan has been executed. There is the matter of property still to be managed, but Duncan himself is no longer a target. He must be replaced.

The House of Bishops has shown such disdain for order that it is almost certain they will act swiftly, with even less pretense at due process, to make this most recent episode appear orderly by comparison.

Orthodox journalists and bloggers are predicting a full scale mop-up operation. Bishop Iker has declared that the succession of an orthodox episcopate is no longer possible in the Episcopal Church. There is no longer any way an orthodox candidate for bishop can be approved by the majority of Standing Committees in TEC dioceses.

Call it sacramental genocide. the rest at Virtueonline image

Episcopal property trial resumes Oct. 14

Fairfax County
By Gregg MacDonald
Fairfax County Times

At least nine of the 11 Virginia churches that broke away from the Episcopal Church and affiliated themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America in will be back in court on Oct. 14.

On Friday, Sept. 26, Fairfax County Circuit Court entered an order stipulating that the nine Anglican District of Virginia congregations that filed petitions under the Virginia Division Statute have satisfied the voting requirements of that statute.

Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows ruled April 3 that the congregations, which now comprise the ADV, properly invoked the Civil-War-era Virginia statute stating that church majorities are entitled to church property when there is a division within their denomination. the rest

Church of England law relaxes wedding rules

Wed Oct 1, 2008

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - A new British law making it easier for couples to get married in Anglican churches comes into force on Wednesday.

Previously, couples could only get married in a church if they worshipped there regularly, lived in the parish or applied for a special license.

Under the new rules, called the "Church of England Marriage Measure," couples can choose to get married in a place with a special connection for themselves or their families.

"Getting married in church just got easier," said Stephen Cottrell, the Bishop of Reading, saying it had been difficult for people in the past. the rest

African Anglican leaders call for dialogue

Monday, 29th September 2008
By George Conger

The chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has called upon the African church to put aside its differences and engage with its theological opponents within the Anglican Communion. CAPA should eschew a political solution to the divisions over doctrine and disciple Archbishop Ian Ernest said, and focus instead on the church’s transformation through Christian witness.

In his Sept 3 presidential address read to the joint meeting of primates and standing committee of CAPA in Nairobi, Archbishop Ernest, Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, said CAPA must resist becoming one interest group among many within the Anglican Communion. “The Church is going through trial times. This is nothing new, and it is certainly not the last time that our Communion faces challenges,” Archbishop Ernest said. the rest

Quincy Standing Committee Opts for Realignment

September 30, 2008

The standing committee of the Diocese of Quincy has recommended that the diocese seek realignment with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone based in Argentina, while continuing as a member of the Common Cause Partnership, according to Fr. James Marshall, president of the standing committee.

Bishop Keith Ackerman of Quincy is on sabbatical through the end of October. In the absence of the bishop, the standing committee is in charge of non-sacramental ecclesiastical duties. Bishop Ackerman will be back in time to preside at convention, which is scheduled to meet Nov. 7-8 at St. John’s Church, Quincy. the rest

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Devotional: O Lord, show your mercy to me...

O Lord, show your mercy to me and gladden my heart. I am like the man on the way to Jericho who was overtaken by robbers, wounded and left for dead. O Good Samaritan, come to my aid, I am like the sheep that went astray. O Good Shepherd, seek me out and bring me home in accord with your will. Let me dwell in your house all the days of my life and praise you for ever and ever with those who are there. ...Saint Jerome image

Patron of: archeologists, archivists, Bible scholars, librarians, libraries, schoolchildren, students, translators

PB Schori: Hobart Lecture

Tend to flock, Presiding Bishop states in Hobart lecture
"Bless the ideas that get floated in your congregation," she says
By Neva Rae Fox
September 30, 2008

[Episcopal News Service] Weaving themes of shepherding, tending to flocks and the critical nature of the ecosystem, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori addressed the importance of pastoral responsibility at the September 30 Hobart lecture.

"Pastors have a responsibility to challenge the spiritually unhealthy," she told the 150 clergy assembled in New York City for the lecture.

Sponsored by the Diocese of New York, the Hobart lecture, named for the third bishop of New York, John Henry Hobart, is an annual address that acknowledges and encourages pastoral ministry.

Jefferts Schori connected the needs of the flock to the tender ecological balance of the earth. "When communities (or flocks) begin to dig… they discover the connections between food and justice, environment and poverty, corn and starvation in sub-Saharan Africa. And another pastoral ministry ensues -- learning how to do political work, which is an essential part of building the Reign of God." the rest

Full text of the Hobart Lecture is here.

Iran Parliament Requires Death for 'Apostates' As Crackdown Continues

Son of 1990 martyr among Christians arrested last month.
Compass Direct News

Two Iranian Christians were charged with "apostasy" and several others arrested as Iran's parliament approved a bill making the death penalty mandatory for those so convicted.

The measure is part of a new penal code that easily passed in parliament in a 196-7 vote on September 9. Christian and Baha'i communities are most likely to be affected by the bill.

But one source told Compass Direct News that when he discussed the apostasy section with some members of parliament, they said they were unaware of it. The source argued that the Iranian government was trying to bury the bill in the 113-page penal code. the rest

Statement by the Primates’ Council of GAFCON on the alleged deposition of the Bishop of Pittsburgh

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The fact, timing and manner of the action taken by the American House of Bishops toward Bishop Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh has filled us with dismay. He is a Bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion, and is guilty only of guarding his people from false teaching and corrupt behaviour as he promised to do. Once more the upholders of the orthodox faith are made to suffer at the hands of those who have introduced new teachings.

However, the action has also had the effect of clarifying matters even further. It is now impossible to believe that the exhortations of the Lambeth Conference and the Windsor Continuation Group will be heeded. No Pastoral Forum has been established. We remain convinced that the faithful Anglicans of North America need to have their own Province recognised by the Communion as a whole. We are determined to stand with Bishop Duncan and those who, like him, have protested in the name of God against the unscriptural innovations which have caused such divisions amongst us.

In the absence of other substantive provision from the historic structures of the Communion, the Primates' Council gives its full support to Archbishop Greg Venables in receiving Bishop Duncan as a Bishop in good standing in the Province of the Southern Cone. Stand Firm

French Muslims Find Haven in Catholic Schools

September 29, 2008

MARSEILLE, France — The bright cafeteria of St. Mauront Catholic School is conspicuously quiet: It is Ramadan, and 80 percent of the students are Muslim. When the lunch bell rings, girls and boys stream out past the crucifixes and the large wooden cross in the corridor, heading for Muslim midday prayer.

“There is respect for our religion here,” said Nadia Oualane, 14, a student of Algerian descent who wears her hair hidden under a black head scarf. “In the public school,” she added, gesturing at nearby buildings, “I would not be allowed to wear a veil.” the rest

Albert Mohler: You Must Be Born Again

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When Jesus told Nicodemus, "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," Nicodemus was confused. "How can a man be born when he is old," he asked. "He cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born, can he?"

Jesus's answer in John 3 was conclusive:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Nicodemus's confusion was understandable. The revolutionary character of the Gospel broke through old traditions and understandings. The new wine of the Gospel could not be contained in the old wineskins. Still, Jesus chided Nicodemus. "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not understand these things?" the rest image

The Economist: Into the land of the unknown

Global market turmoil continues after the rejection of the mortgage-rescue plan in America
Sep 30th 2008

HOW many votes in Congress will the latest financial upheaval change? That is the calculus underway in Washington, DC, after the House of Representatives defeated the proposed $700 billion mortgage-rescue plan by 228 to 205 on Monday September 29th. Democrats backed it by 140 votes to 95, while Republicans opposed it by 133 to 65.

Bankers had been under no illusions that the tweaked Paulson plan would cure all the financial system’s ills. But most had seen it as a step in the right direction, and had expected it to pass. Its rejection sent stockmarkets into freefall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down by 7%, and suffered its biggest-ever points loss. Perhaps fittingly in an economy that is in danger of sliding into depression, the only stock among the 500 in the S&P index that finished higher was Campbell’s Soup. The S&P closed 29% below its peak. Reflecting fears that consumer demand will wilt, shares of Apple Computer, creator of the iPhone, fell by 18%. The rout continued in Asia, but shares rebounded in Europe on Tuesday morning on hopes that the bill would eventually pass. the rest image

MarketWatch: Bush says it's critical to pass financial rescue soon

NYT: Mixed Markets Reflect Hope for Bailout

Reuters: U.S. turmoil fails to carry through to Europe

Boston Globe: Public angry, anxious

Washington Post: Analysis: House vote against bailout wounds McCain

Boston Globe: Unknown terrain for economy

BBC: Failure of US rescue plan hits European shares

AnglicanTV: Syndication Program

AnglicanTV is announcing a new program in our online content delivery system. Starting today we our offering syndication products for news services, websites, and broadcast media. This will be the best way to move our content onto more computer screens and televisions around the world.

If you would like more information please contact Kevin Kallsen at AnglicanTV. link

Newest videos:
Anglican District of VA Press Conference with JI Packer

JI Packer in VA Q&A

JI Packer in VA

HERNDON, VA: Canadian Theologian J.I. Packer Talks Up Future of Anglicanism

Covenant Dead on Arrival. New NA Province a Must. Williams Must Resign. Future of Anglican Communion in Doubt
By David W. Virtue

You would think that British-born theologian Dr. J. I. Packer - a man with impeccable Anglican credentials, multiple accolades, numerous books and now in his 82nd year -- might just be permitted to kick back and listen to Jazz music (his favorite), write more theological tomes and exempt himself from the current culture wars in the Anglican Communion.

Not a chance.

The distinguished octogenarian Canadian, Anglican, theologian, teacher, author and priest, has experienced the culture wars first hand. At the age of 81 and with more than 60 years as a priest in the Church of England and the Anglican Church of Canada, he experienced the shock of being defrocked by a revisionist Canadian Anglican bishop and then re-ordained by an orthodox Anglican Archbishop from another jurisdiction.

A lesser man might have had heart failure and shuffled off to glory.

But this thoughtful, quiet, seemingly under-stated theologian has a rod of iron spine and a clarity of vision and purpose about the gospel and church that shines forth from the pages of his books, from his life, from the pulpit and from within the sometimes messy confines of a press conference.

In Virginia, this past weekend, he was the keynote speaker at the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) ( a division of CANA's) second annual Synod Council at the Church of the Epiphany in Herndon. Packer ripped a proposed covenant that would include "heretics" as an unworkable solution to holding the Anglican Communion together, saying that a North American Anglican Province was absolutely necessary for orthodox Anglicans in the US and Canada.

Interview here


Midwest Conservative Journal
Monday, September 29th, 2008

Western Louisiana’s Stephen Henthorne thinks the Episcopal inside strategy has failed:

One might assume, and we can only assume because Bishop MacPherson has never clearly confirmed or denied, that his vision of the role for this Diocese is that of taking the steady course, the middle of the road course, serving as the good example and guiding light to the extreme elements in the Episcopal Church; now locked in mortal combat. Bishop MacPherson’s and others’ hope possibly being that all sides will see their light shining forth, repent of their extremist ways, fully reconcile, sing “Kum By Ya,” have a group hug and re-establish the Episcopal Church as that comfortable spiritual sanctuary it once was.

All very laudable goals, no doubt; perhaps in year one, maybe in year two, encouraged by some positive sign from the extreme parties, but not in year five with no sign of change. To continue to take the “wait and see,” middle of the road approach is extremely naïve, and dangerous. The Episcopal Church, as we knew it and loved it, is gone. The train has left the station, and it is on a one way journey. Sitting quietly in our pews, in the middle of the road, with our historical memorials gathered around us, and looking through our stained glass windows, isn’t going to bring it back; and the day will come when what happens outside our Parish Church doors will effect us—profoundly; even more than it already has.

I can say that my wife, my flock, has come to me as the spiritual head of the household, and told me that as long as the Episcopal Church remains apostate that she can not return to it. Please note here that as much as I miss the Episcopal Church, she loves it and misses it more. She was brutalized and crushed at St. Tim’s, and she prays daily for the souls there that are in mortal danger, because of their close association with the Episcopal Church Apostate. We both pray for Bishop MacPherson daily as well. We both deeply regret that we can’t continue to follow Bishop MacPherson down the middle of the road. We pray that he will understand, and forgive us, for that decision.

To put it bluntly, if you have not left the Episcopal Organization by now, you will never leave it. If TEO’s wholesale abandonment of orthodox Christianity, its fawning prostration before the secular culture, five years worth of deceptions and lies designed to advance the interest of its Homosexual Party and the cowardly refusal of Lambeth Palace to do anything at all about any of it have not convinced you to move on, nothing ever will.

the rest-don't miss this!

Local churches align with deposed Bishop Duncan

By Frances Borsodi Zajac, Herald-Standard

Two Fayette County churches are uniting themselves with their recently deposed Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

"He's standing firm and the diocese is going to stand with him,'' said the Rev. John T. Cruikshank, rector at St. Peter's Church in Uniontown.

Cruikshank and the Rev. Keith Pozzuto, rector of Christ Church in Brownsville, said both churches will send delegates to Saturday's diocesan convention in Monroeville to vote to realign the diocese with the South American-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, which made Duncan a bishop-at-large after U.S. bishops voted Sept. 18 in Salt Lake City to remove him.

Pozzuto said, "Concerning the vote, Christ Church is unanimous to go with Bishop Duncan in the realignment. That's a wonderful thing. Many churches in the diocese are split. This is terribly difficult for some churches. It's not difficult for us. We know where we stand.'' the rest

Monday, September 29, 2008

Devotional: Pope Benedict on the Holy Angels

"The invisible presence of these blessed spirits brings us great help and consolation: they walk at our side and protect us in all circumstances, they defend us from danger, and to them we can turn at any moment. Many saints established bonds of real friendship with the angels, and numerous episodes testify to their assistance on particular occasions. Angels are sent by God 'to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation' as the Letter to the Hebrews says, hence they are a real help to us on the pilgrimage towards the heavenly homeland". ...Pope Benedict image

Planned Parenthood Accused of Overcharging Govt by Millions, Probe Sought

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 29, 2008

Washington, DC ( -- The head of a pro-life philanthropic firm is calling for a federal government probe of Planned Parenthood. The call for an investigation comes after Planned Parenthood affiliates in California were accused of overcharging the state by millions for birth control.

The accusation came in March, when P. Victor Gonzalez, a former Planned Parenthood official, filed a lawsuit against its affiliates in California saying they overcharged the state hundreds of millions of dollars on birth control.

Gonzalez says his own internal audit estimates that Planned Parenthood overcharged California taxpayers for purchasing birth control by at least $180 million. the rest

Bishop Mark Lawrence Reports on the House of Bishops' Meeting

All of this leads me to believe that the challenges that lie before a predominately conservative diocese like South Carolina have now been enormously increased if only because of the perception of our parishioners and clergy—but, more pertinently from what I fear is a failure of the present House of Bishops to realize just how far from historic Christianity our church has drifted. To many of our minds this, far more than Pittsburgh’s present challenge to TEC’s discipline and polity, is what has led to this current crisis. Beyond this the checks and balances previously given to us in the Constitution & Canons seem profoundly weakened. Phrases long understood as clear apparently can be spoken of as ambiguous. If what appears to be the plain meaning of a canon can be dismissed with apparent ease and with no recourse; if the request from such a monumental gathering as Lambeth 2008 urging greater dialogue and forthright conversation within the body of Christ seems to count for so little here in the first action of the House—even after so many TEC bishops report being profoundly moved by the grace exhibited toward us from those provinces grieved and hindered by our prior actions; and when there seems to be so little recognition that it has been the very actions of our General Convention and HOB in recent years that has so alienated dioceses like San Joaquin, Pittsburgh and others that their laity and clergy vote in such large majorities to remove accession clauses—judicious governance and Christian unity will drain like water from an opened hand. One might have wished for a more generous spirit and greater patience toward our own aggrieved members. Indeed one has to wonder where such tone deafness and purblindness come from.

I hesitate to write such words because I have been treated with respect within the House of Bishop since my first meeting in March 2008, then again at Lambeth, and most recently at this last meeting. But since to hold my words on such a crucial matter will serve no one well, including my own diocese of South Carolina, I try to present these concerns respectfully and for the purpose of more forthright conversations within the House of Bishops and the Church at large. the rest

The Rt. Reverend Mark J. Lawrence
Bishop of South Carolina

Comments at TitusOneNine

House ignores Bush, rejects $700B bailout bill

Associated Press Writer
posted 9/29/08

WASHINGTON - In a stunning vote that shocked the capital and worldwide markets, the House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue for the nation's financial system, ignoring urgent warnings from President Bush and congressional leaders of both parties that the economy could nosedive without it.

Stocks plummeted on Wall Street, beginning their plunge even before the 228-205 vote to reject the bill was officially announced on the House floor. The Dow Jones industrials sank nearly 700 points for the day.

Democratic and Republican leaders alike said they were committed to trying again, though the Democrats said GOP lawmakers needed to provide more votes. Bush huddled with his economic advisers about a next step. the rest image

+Iker: 10 Reasons Why Now Is the Time to Realign

Stand Firm
September 29, 2008

Our 26th annual convention is approaching, and a momentous decision is before us as a diocese. At last year’s convention, your clergy and elected delegates voted by majorities of around 80 percent each to remove language in our Constitution that affiliates us with the General Convention of The Episcopal Church (TEC). This year, clergy and delegates will be asked to ratify that decision to separate.

“Why now?” someone might ask. “Why is this the time for our diocese to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church and realign with another Province of the Anglican Communion?”

Here are a few of the thoughts that come to mind:

1. This is God’s time – our kairos moment – and it has been coming for a long time. We believe that God the Holy Spirit has guided and directed us to this particular time and moment of decision. Some might well ask, “Why has it taken us so long to take definitive action, given the past 30 years of the shenanigans of The Episcopal Church?” We have explored every avenue and exhausted every possibility. Now is the time to decide to separate from the moral, spiritual, and numerical decline of TEC. The rest at Stand Firm

Out of hiding, some Kosovars embrace Christianity

Sun Sep 28, 2008
By Fatos Bytyci

KLINA, Kosovo (Reuters) - Hundreds of Kosovar Albanians gather on Sundays to attend religious services in a still unfinished red-brick church in the Kosovo town of Klina.

Turning away from the majority Muslim faith imposed by the Ottoman Turks centuries ago, these worshippers are part of a revival of Catholicism in the newly independent Balkan state.

"We have been living a dual life. In our homes we were Catholics but in public we were good Muslims," said Ismet Sopi. "We don't call this converting. It is the continuity of the family's belief." the rest

Australia: Doctors warn of abortion law exodus

Julia Medew
September 30, 2008

VICTORIA could face an exodus of health professionals if the Government's proposed abortion law goes ahead in its current form, a new coalition of doctors opposed to the bill has warned.

The group of more than 100 doctors - "Doctors in Conscience Against Abortion Bill" - said some health professionals were considering early retirement or moving interstate if the state's proposed law, due to be debated in Parliament's upper house next week, is passed.

A spokesman for the group, pediatrician Brian Conway, said members were particularly concerned about the anti-conscience clause, which requires that doctors with a conscientious objection to abortion refer a woman to someone with no such objection. the rest

WINDSOR, ON: Parish votes unanimously to join Anglican Network in Canada

Anglican Network in Canada
September 28, 2008

The congregation of St Aidan's in Windsor, Ontario voted decisively today to come under the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, Moderator of the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC) and under the Primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

By a unanimous vote, St Aidan's became the 19th ANiC parish and the 11th former Anglican Church of Canada parish to vote to join ANiC this year. All 109 votes cast were in favour of aligning with ANiC. the rest at Virtueonline

Welsh Church ‘will not cater for traditionalists’

Monday, 29th September 2008
By George Conger

The Church in Wales will not appoint a new “flying bishop” for traditionalists, Archbishop Barry Morgan said on Sept 17, saying the position was no longer necessary nor was such a post consistent with Anglican ecclesiology. Those opposed to the ordination of women still had a place with the Church in Wales, he said and asked traditionalists to trust the bishops to look after their interests.

The decision comes as a repudiation of the work of Dr Rowan Williams, traditionalists charged, as the former Bishop of Monmouth was instrumental in creating the post of “flying bishop” 12 years ago, and marks a hardening of positions in the Welsh Church.

Traditionalist leaders took little comfort from the bishops’ assurances of continued support. The Rev Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith Wales said “this is a disappointing and sad statement.” the rest

African Anglican leaders call for dialogue

Monday, 29th September 2008
By George Conger

The chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) has called upon the African church to put aside its differences and engage with its theological opponents within the Anglican Communion. CAPA should eschew a political solution to the divisions over doctrine and disciple Archbishop Ian Ernest said, and focus instead on the church’s transformation through Christian witness.

In his Sept 3 presidential address read to the joint meeting of primates and standing committee of CAPA in Nairobi, Archbishop Ernest, Primate of the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean and Bishop of Mauritius, said CAPA must resist becoming one interest group among many within the Anglican Communion. “The Church is going through trial times. This is nothing new, and it is certainly not the last time that our Communion faces challenges,” Archbishop Ernest said.

But what was new at this “critical juncture” was a “process of profound change. Our deliberations at this meeting will not only affect our lives today, but will contribute to shape the future of the Anglican Communion worldwide. Future generations will read the minutes of this meeting. These are both exciting and challenging times, and we must act with utmost responsibility,” he said. “Our large family of love — the Anglican Communion” had been “distressed by unilateral decisions” taken by the North American churches which “threaten the unity of our communion,” he said. the rest

Faith in God can really relieve pain

London (PTI): "Religion is the opiate of the people" -- Karl Marx had famously said. But can one's faith in God really ease pain? 'Yes', say scientists.

A team at Oxford University has based its findings on an experiment, in which 12 Roman Catholics and 12 atheists were "tortured" with electric shocks as they studied two paintings -- Virgin Mary and Leonardo da Vinci's Lady with an Ermine.

The subjects spent half-an-hour inside an MRI scanner, receiving a series of 20 electric shocks in four sessions and each time they had to rate how much it hurt on a scale of 0 to 100 as they looked at the paintings. The scientists found that the Catholics seemed to be able to block out much of the pain. the rest

How China has created a new slave empire in Africa

28th September 2008

It is my view - and not just because I was so nearly killed - that China's cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.

China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.

For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools - in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa's rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.

For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.

Persuasive academics advised me before I set off on this journey that China's scramble for Africa had much to be said for it. They pointed out China needs African markets for its goods, and has an interest in real economic advance in that broken continent. the rest

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The fight against Futurechurch: Ecumenism

By Damian Thompson
Sep 28, 2008

The misguided ecumenism of the English Catholic bishops is causing "meltdown" in the Church, according to a brilliant essay by one of England's up-and-coming Catholic philosophers.

Dr Thomas Pink of Kings College, London, is one of the first lay Catholic academics to attack the policies of the Bishops' Conference, which is still tied to a model of Futurechurch that is in some respects indistinguishable from "liberal Catholic" Anglicanism.

In his essay The toils of ecumenism, Pink accuses the bishops of "a grand process of de-Catholicisation" that has done nothing to bring Anglicanism closer to Rome. On the contrary: English Catholic bishops are busy suppressing the traditional culture of the faith in order to make it more acceptable to their Anglican "brother bishops". the rest