Saturday, October 18, 2008

A New Anglican Province in a Culture of Death

By Briane K. Turley Ph.D
Special to VirtueOnline
October 18, 2008

The Context

In early 1938, a prominent German physician's wife requested a brief meeting with Adolph Hitler. After an exchange of greetings, she cut to the chase by asking the Chancellor if there was some way, discretely and legally, to have her child killed. The little boy was missing two limbs, was blind, and gave indications of possible mental retardation. Fascinated by her request, Hitler approached Karl Brandt, his closest friend and personal physician to seek his input.

Brandt and Hitler agreed to kill the unwanted child as something of a test case to determine what, if any, the public repercussions might be. After the little boy's extermination precipitated no significant protests, Brandt began organizing a formal program of mass murder for children with disabilities, anyone the Third Reich regarded as lives unworthy to live. These children, the German leaders dubbed as "useless eaters." Hitler appointed a team comprising politicians, military leaders, and physicians to oversee and develop what eventually became the T4 Aktion (Action) reflecting the central office's address at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin.

Hitler and his staff incorporated an elaborate selection process within the T4 Program. When any child was born in Germany, the attending nurse was required to register the infant, record his or her health status, and, most importantly, remark on any possible abnormalities. If the baby gave any indication of a disability, T4 personnel were immediately notified.

Into the 1940s, the Nazi euthanasia program expanded to include older children and adults with disabilities. In October, 1939, Hitler issued an official directive that expanded "the authority of physicians, to be designated by name, to the end that patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health, can be granted a mercy death."

the rest at Virtueonline

Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali: India must protect its Christians

Times Online
October 17, 2008
Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester

The real cause of the violence against Christians in Orissa, and now elsewhere in India, is the fear among extremist Hindu movements that many “untouchable” and “tribal” people will turn to the Christian faith because of the appalling treatment they receive from their caste-ridden communities and the love and care they are shown by Christian humanitarian organisations. Some of those who receive such care, but by no means all, become Christians of their own free will. Is this so unacceptable in secular and democratic India?

Scores of Christians have been murdered. Their homes, churches, presbyteries, convents and charitable institutions have been destroyed, allegedly in retaliation for the murder of a Hindu swami and some of his followers, probably by Maoist insurgents. During this time, it seems that the state authorities have not allowed Christians from other parts of India, let alone elsewhere, even to bring relief to fellow believers. The Federal Government also appears to have been paralysed and ineffective.

There is an outcry when a single Hindu is killed, and Christian leaders have strongly condemned any such incident. Christians in Orissa are, however, rapidly running out of cheeks to turn. Extremist Hindus are accusing Christians of deception and murder. This would be risible if it were not tragic: the disenfranchised Christians of Orissa are in no position to force anyone to convert. Such accusations must be taken as threats of further violence. the rest


October 17,2008
By Sarah O’Grady

Almost 40 per cent of British children are not living with married parents by the time they start school.

The high teenage pregnancy rate is being blamed for the growing number brought up by single mothers.

Just 63 per cent of youngsters are in “traditional” family groups at the age of five, according to a study of 15,000 youngsters born in the first two years of the millennium.

That means 37 per cent are not living with a married mother and father at home together. the rest

Deposed Bishop issues warning to Church of England

Saturday, 18th October 2008
By Toby Cohen

The deposed Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt Rev Robert Duncan, has issued a warning to the Church of England that it is heading towards the fate of the Episcopal Church, and announced the end of a Canterbury-centred Communion.

At a conference at All Souls in London, Bishop Duncan told the Church to beware coercion by powerful liberal contingents: “What begins as a liberal initiative very quickly becomes illiberal. I think you saw signs of it at your General Synod.”

The bishop is now serving under the authority of the Province of the Southern Cone. Two other Episcopal dioceses, Quincy and Forth Worth, will also vote to join the province in November.

Bishop Duncan drew comparisons between the dominance at Lambeth of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the control of the Episcopal Church by Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, but at the same time spoke of the demise of the Archbishop’s role.
the rest

Deposed bishop warns traditionalists against ‘illiberal takeover’
by Maria Mackay
Saturday, October 18, 2008

The deposed Episcopal Bishop of Pittsburgh has warned that the “illiberal takeover” of the US Episcopal Church could also happen to the Church of England.

Bishop Robert Duncan was ousted by The Episcopal Church – the US branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion – on the grounds of “abandonment of communion” after leading his diocese in realigning with the Province of the Southern Cone in South America.

Speaking at a press conference in London on Friday, Bishop Duncan accused TEC of pursuing a “totalitarian political agenda” in which opposition is either silenced or banished after he was deposed without trial. the rest

ENS: Former Pittsburgh bishop warns Church of England traditionalists against 'complacency'

Friday, October 17, 2008

Devotional: Oh, restless heart...

Oh, restless heart, that beat against your prison bars of circumstances, yearning for a wider sphere of usefulness, leave God to order all your days. Patience and trust, in the dullness of the routine of life, will be the best preparation for a courageous bearing of the tug and strain of the larger opportunity which God may sometime send you. ...Mrs. Charles E. Cowman image

Episcopalians' discontent tells a cautionary tale

October 17, 2008

WASHINGTON -- The Rev. Robert Duncan, 60, is not a Lutheran, but he is a Luther, of sorts. The former Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh has, in effect, said the words with which Martin Luther shattered Christendom and asserted the primacy of individual judgment and conscience that defines the modern temperament: "Ich kann nicht anders" -- I cannot do otherwise.

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh recently became the second diocese to secede from the U.S. Episcopal Church since, but not entirely because of, the 2003 ordination in New Hampshire of an openly gay bishop -- Gene Robinson, a classmate of Duncan's at General Theological Seminary in New York in the 1970s. Before the Robinson controversy, other Episcopalians, from South Carolina to Southern California, had disassociated from the Episcopal Church and put themselves under the authority of conservative Anglican bishops who serve where the church is flourishing -- often in sub-Saharan Africa, where most Anglicans live. the rest

Obama's Plan to Spread Your Wealth Around

Friday, October 17, 2008
by Hugh Hewitt

Thanks to the now famous Joe the Plumber, all of America has been served notice of Barack Obama's plans for the American economy.

Obama intends to spread the wealth around: From your accounts to those of his friends and supporters.

Rarely have we had candor from Obama in this long campaign, and even rarer have been the efforts of the Manhattan-Beltway media elites to tease the details out from the Chicago machine's favorite pol.

But in a matter of two minutes, Joe's objections to Obama's soak-the-small-businesses-of-America's tax plan evoked from Obama not just a rebuke about the need to take care of "the people behind Joe," but Obama's own pithy summary of his objective: To spread the wealth around.

John McCain could not have hoped for such a bit of clarity, and now that it has been delivered from The One, McCain ought to make it the one theme of the last three weeks of the campaign. the rest

Virginia Episcopalians: The underdogs are winning

October 17 2008
By Julia Duin

Who would have guessed it? A year ago, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church (the New York-based denomination) was set to roll over a group of 11 breakaway conservative churches that had deserted the diocese the year before. The denomination has hundreds of millions of dollars in its coffers. The diocese had access to some very good lawyers and the contributions of close to 200 churches.

Arrayed against them were the 11 churches that were frantically trying to raise funds for this huge legal battle. It is the largest property dispute in Episcopal Church history and this was the David-and-Goliath scenario.

That was then.

This past week, I was at the Fairfax County courthouse for the third — or fourth — round of hearings in this multi-trial case. (There have been a lot more behind-the-scenes briefings I have not covered). We've now moved to 4J, a much larger courtroom than we had in previous hearings. The courthouse itself has finished its renovations since the hearings began and its size has at least doubled.

Lawyers for the diocese are seated to the right. Lawyers for the breakaways, now under an Anglican District of Virginia (ADV), which itself is under a Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), are to the left. Blue, yellow and orange swirley carpet is on the floor.
the rest

Women Priests: The Ongoing Conversation: ‘A Code of Practice’

Anglican Mainstream
October 16, 2008
By Fr Jeffrey Steel

I have been given permission from Miranda Threlfall-Holmes to write up a brief (whatever it is I can recall) of our conversation that we had today about the future of the Church of England and its decision to ordain women to the episcopacy and the serious problem this causes Catholics sacramentally. Let me first of all say that Miranda will be coming around here as we discuss this topic to perhaps comment and so (as always) I ask that everyone be on their best behaviour if you want your comment to remain. Christian charity is essential in all we do here and at the end of the day, we remain brothers and sisters in Christ even though we disagree on what is a very important issue for both sides.

I think what was substantially agreed upon between us was the necessity for the conversation to continue in some shape or form with regards to the Church of England and its decision to ordain and to practice the ordination of women. I can honestly say that I am very happy to have had this discussion with Miranda and I hope to have more in the future and as far as I am concerned I will keep that door open between us.

Did we arrive at any further understanding of one another and is there a real spirit of generosity that will be on offer? Questions of ecclesiology and real practical issues come into question with the issue of separate diocese for Catholic Anglicans that need addressing and a serious working over. I believe we agreed on this aspect of the difficulty of the situation though Miranda would struggle to vote to give us something structurally different and independent of diocesan structures. Much to be worked out there. the rest

First Things: At Long Last: Obama, Abortion, and the Courts

By Richard John Neuhaus
Friday, October 17, 2008

I admit to being more impressed than most commentators, including those with whom I usually agree, with the Wednesday night debate between Senators Obama and McCain. Political punditry is not my main shtick, and I have no idea whether the debate will contribute significantly to, as the pundits say, “turning this around.” But it seemed to me that McCain was sharp, on point, and playing offense, while Obama was for the first time on the edge of losing his famed cool and, at points, was floundering. McCain’s quip about the comparative merits of “eloquence” and paying attention to “words” seemed to hit home.

This was strikingly evident in the responses to the abortion question, which, for the first time, was directly posed in these debates. McCain’s effort was to depict Obama as an abortion extremist, and he succeeded. On partial-birth abortion and providing medical care for infants who survive abortion, Obama was reduced to muttering about a “health exception,” which, as he surely knows, means that the abortion license is, in fact, totally unlimited since the denial of a woman’s desire to terminate the life of the infant is construed as a violation of her “psychological health.”

As abortion extremists put it, the woman has a right to a dead baby. Obama apparently agrees, even saying that it is a constitutional right. In this he goes farther than almost any reputable constitutional scholar, claiming that the abortion license is covered by a right to “privacy” that is found not only in the “penumbra and emanations” of the Constitution but in the Constitution itself. the rest

Camden Bishop: Right to Life of Unborn Must be "First Concern" in Public Square

Blankets and food sent to Christians fleeing Mosul

posted Oct. 17, 2008

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Iraqi government sent blankets and food Thursday to help thousands of Christians who have fled a violent campaign against them in the northern city of Mosul.

The recent killings in Mosul, widely blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq, coincided with stepped-up lobbying efforts by Christians to ensure their representation in upcoming provincial elections in the primarily Muslim country.

The president of the semiautonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani, said the omission of a minority quota in a recently passed elections law was a "big mistake." He called on parliament to pass a new law that would restore it. the rest

Albert Mohler: So, What's Really at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate? Part One

October 17, 2008

Human society is a complex reality, but certain constants have framed that reality for human beings. One of those constants has been the institution of marriage. The respected status of the heterosexual pairing, set apart for exclusive rights and respected for its functions for the society, is among the most important of those constants. Even where deviations from this pattern occur, they are of interest merely for the fact that they are deviations from this norm.

The legalization and normalization of same-sex marriage undermine that constant. What had been a clear picture now becomes confusing. Marriage had been universally understood to be heterosexual. Now, it is something else. The picture is further confused by alienating the heterosexual breeding and parenting function from marriage. Not only does marriage appear now to be what it never was before, the essential functions of marriage are up for grabs. the rest

Bishop Lee seeks to take control of Christ Church Alexandria property

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Or is this just the "virtual" interest that the diocese alleged Christ Church has in the Falls Church property? It appears so. The Diocese believes Christ Church owns everything (which of course includes Pohick Church as well, one of the early "Truro Parish" properties). But doesn't this then assume that congregations do own their own property when its held in trust by their own trustees? Why is this upcoming congregational vote recognized by the diocese while the others caused them to sue eleven congregations? Apparently some votes are more equal than others to the Diocese of Virginia. With TEC lawyers prowling around, other congregations in the diocese should take careful note.


Comments at Stand Firm

Reorganization Underway in Pittsburgh

The Living Church
October 16, 2008

Following the Oct. 4 vote by convention deputies in the Diocese of Pittsburgh to realign with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, one standing committee member, the Rev. James B. Simons, rector of St. Michael’s, Ligonier, was removed by the majority.

Fr. Simons and two new members he appointed were subsequently recognized by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as the ecclesiastical authority and charged with reorganizing a diocese of The Episcopal Church in that region. (The constitution and canons of the diocese permits the standing committee to appoint new members to fill vacancies.)

Bishop Jefferts Schori also wrote the other seven members of the standing committee on Oct. 9. Citing Title 1, Canon 17, Section 8, she said that she no longer “recognize[d]” them as the ecclesiastical authority. the rest

Dr Phillip Aspinall re-elected Anglican archbishop

October 17, 2008

THE Anglican Church of Australia has re-elected Brisbane Archbishop Phillip Aspinall as its leader for a further six years.

A meeting of the church's board of electors in Sydney today re-elected Dr Aspinall as Primate.

Dr Aspinall thanked his colleagues for their support and said he was humbled to again be elected to the national role.

"To hold this position is an honour and while it comes with a great deal of responsibility it is a challenge I am pleased to accept for the next six years," he said in a statement. the rest

Church of England evangelicals pledge support for GAFCON

Friday, October 17, 2008

Reform, the 1,700-strong conservative evangelical network, has pledged support for the initiatives of GAFCON at its annual conference in London.

The Rev Rod Thomas, Reform’s chairman, welcomed the "clear biblical leadership" given by the GAFCON Primates at the Jerusalem meeting in June 2008, saying that there “we saw what an Anglicanism united in the Gospel and dedicated to mission could look like”.

He highlighted two key areas for Reform in the coming year: developing alternative oversight and growing gospel fellowships.

“Seeking alternative oversight is not necessarily a confrontational act,” he said. “Many Reform members work well with their bishops, and they need our support not our rebuke.” the rest

McCain, Obama Bring Down House At Al Smith Dinner

GOP Presidential Hopeful Delivers Laugh-Out-Loud Speech
Obama Follows With Talk Of His Home Planet Of 'Krypton'

October 17, 2008
By JEFF CAPELLINI Senior News Producer

NEW YORK (CBS) ― If only John McCain had more nights like Thursday. The Republican presidential hopeful walked into the 63rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan as a clear underdog, not just in the polls, but also in a room filled with an overwhelming number of powerful New York Democrats. By the time he was through with his near-14-minute speech, he probably made a lot more friends and earned more respect than he'd had previously.

For his part, Barack Obama had plenty of his own funny moments, but following McCain on this night proved to be much more difficult than most out on the campaign trail.

McCain has been criticized for being combative and a bit of a bully in debates, but was anything but on Thursday night.

McCain brought down the house, lighting up faces and shedding a room full of tears with a speech that put a fun touch on countless issues that have been leading the news over the last few weeks. the rest

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Devotional: A quiet spirit is of inestimable value...

A quiet spirit is of inestimable value in carrying on outward activities; and nothing so hinders the working of the hidden spiritual forces, upon which, after all, our success in everything really depends, as a spirit of unrest and anxiety.

There is immense power in stillness. A great saint once said, "All things come to him who knows how to trust and be silent." The words are pregnant with meaning. A knowledge of this fact would immensely change our ways of working. Instead of restless struggles, we would "sit down" inwardly before the Lord, and would let the Divine forces of His Spirit work out in silence the ends to which we aspire. You may not see or feel the operations of this silent force, but be assured it is always working mightily, and will work for you, if you only get your spirit still enough to be carried along by the currents of its power.

...Hannah Whitall Smith

UK Traditional Wing of Anglicans to Leave Church of England

Thursday October 16, 2008
By Hilary White

LONDON, October 16, 2008 ( - There are effectively two religions being practised in the Church of England, a leader of the evangelical or traditionally Protestant wing of the Anglican Church said this week. On one side are the theologically ultra-liberal leadership who support not only women's ordination but homosexuality, while on the other are those who hold to traditionally Christian and biblical principles.

The Rev. Rod Thomas was speaking to the annual conference of the Reform movement in London this week. Thomas said that at least twenty-five parishes, representing up to 3000 practising Anglicans in the UK, are already seeking alternate oversight from bishops not associated with the ultra-liberal theological trends that dominate the Church of England.

"We are actively going to take forward the agenda of alternative episcopal oversight. We are no longer able to sit back and wait to see what happens," Rev. Thomas said. the rest

Doctors warn of rash from mobile phone use

Thu Oct 16, 2008

LONDON (Reuters) - Doctors baffled by an unexplained rash on people's ears or cheeks should be on alert for a skin allergy caused by too much mobile phone use, the British Association of Dermatologists said on Thursday.

Citing published studies, the group said a red or itchy rash, known as "mobile phone dermatitis," affects people who develop an allergic reaction to the nickel surface on mobile phones after spending long periods of time on the devices.

"It is worth doctors bearing this condition in mind if they see a patient with a rash on the cheek or ear that cannot otherwise be explained," it said. the rest

Four more churches vote to leave

Marites N. Sison
staff writer
Oct 16, 2008

Four more congregations have voted to leave the Anglican Church of Canada and to join the Anglican Network in Canada (ANiC). They will fall under the episcopal oversight of Bishop Donald Harvey, moderator of the ANiC, and under the primatial authority of Archbishop Gregory Venables, primate of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

The departures of the congregations of St. Aidan’s in Windsor, Ont.; St. George’s Ottawa; the Church of St. Peter, Hamilton, Ont.; and St. Bede’s, Kinosota, Man., bring to 14 the number of congregations that have left the Anglican church amid clashing views on the blessing of same-sex unions. (There are about 2,800 congregations in the Canadian church, which is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion of churches.) the rest

DioCNY: “Financial Realities” Forcing “Staff Reorganization”

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Judging by this memo from Bishop Gladstone "Skip" Adams, it looks like All is Well™ in Central New York:

In the development of the proposed 2009 Diocesan Budget, it became clear that the financial realities of today's economy are creating challenges for our congregations in terms of assessment and investment revenue.

Translation: Parishes aren't sending us as much jack as they used to.

the rest/comments at Stand Firm

Comments at TitusOneNine


AnglicanTV: Interview with JI Packer


AnglicanTV: Interview with Jim Oakes


Bp. Schofield: Bishop makes his own moves

By Dave Newhouse
Oakland Tribune

The bishop and I have known each other since we were children, and classmates, in Menlo Park. I still remember bobbing for apples, and only getting wet, at his 10th birthday party.

He was David Schofield then, but now he's John-David Schofield, having added another first name through his rise in the Episcopal Church to his current title as Bishop of San Joaquin.
The deposed Bishop of San Joaquin.

At least, that's how the U.S. church voted in March when its House of Bishops ousted Schofield as head of his Fresno-based diocese and replaced him with Bishop Jerry Lamb.

But it's possible to be deposed and not lose power, at least in the Episcopal Church. Schofield continues to sermonize throughout his vast diocese, which stretches from just below Sacramento to just above Los Angeles. the rest

Aledo High seniors pick classmate with Down syndrome as homecoming queen

Saturday, October 11, 2008
By MICHAEL E. YOUNG / The Dallas Morning News

Never has the selection of a homecoming queen sent so many tears falling so freely.

Kristin Pass, an 18-year-old senior with Down syndrome, became Aledo High School's homecoming queen Friday to a joyous standing ovation and the flutter of a thousand tissues on a remarkable night for an amazing young woman. the rest/image

BBC boss says Islam should be treated more sensitively than Christianity

Islam should be treated more sensitively by the media than Christianity, according to the director general of the BBC.
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
15 Oct 2008

Mark Thompson claimed that because Muslims are a religious minority in Britain and also often from ethnic minorities, their faith should be given different coverage to that of more established groups.

His comments come after the comedian Ben Elton accused the BBC of being scared of making jokes about Islam, while Hindus have claimed it favours Muslims over other religions. the rest

Nurse Who Exposed Infanticide-Based Abortions: Obama Lied During Debate

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 15, 2008

Chicago, IL ( -- The Chicago-area nurse who exposed the practice of life-birth abortions that led to he bill Barack Obama repeatedly opposed in the Illinois legislature says Obama lied about his record during the final presidential debate. Jill Stanek says Obama again misrepresented his position and record before the American people.

As reported, John McCain took Obama to task during the debate when the topic turned to abortion.

“Sen. Obama, as a member of the Illinois State Senate, voted in the Judiciary Committee against a law that would provide immediate medical attention to a child born of a failed abortion. He voted against that,” McCain said. the rest

NT Wright: Anglican bishop is a star of the show

Oct 16, 2008

In any Synod of Bishops, the real star is, of course, the pope. In second place typically come high-profile Catholic prelates from around the world, as well as the bishops of dioceses of particular interest – such as Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly of Iraq – and, of course, powerful Vatican officials.

At this synod on the Bible, however, one of the “fraternal delegates," meaning a representative of another Christian confession, has more star power than most Catholic prelates in the hall: Anglican Bishop N.T. “Tom” Wright, the bishop of Durham in England, and one of the world’s best-known New Testament scholars.

In a room full of people who devour Biblical commentaries the way others churn through spy novels, heads turn when Wright walks in the room.

Though a committed member of the Church of England, Wright belongs to that wing of the Anglican Communion that stresses the grand tradition of Christian orthodoxy shared with Rome. He’s known for respectful, but firm, clashes with liberal Biblical scholars such as Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan on matters such as the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection. the rest

How Catholic religious communities are trying to attract young people again.

Harold Fickett
Posted Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2008

The Catholic Church has always seen the contemplative life as the "Air Force" in its spiritual struggle, as the Rev. David Toups of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops commented—a conduit of spiritual power. Though the number of young people entering monasteries, convents, and the priesthood has drastically dropped from the mid-20th century, some new approaches to religious vocations have inspired some young people in America to embrace this idea, replenishing several of the older religious orders and filling new ones. One such community with a young population, nestled in the Ozarks, is a place that could symbolize Catholicism's true hope for renewal in our time. Founded in 1999, the Clear Creek Monastery has grown from 13 to 30 monks who are intent on building a community that will "last for a thousand years." Clear Creek is also part of the "reform of the reform," a rethinking of Vatican II that has led a number of religious orders—such as the Dominican Sisters in Nashville, the Sisters for Life in New York, and Benedict Groeschel's Franciscan Friars of the Renewal—to rediscover their original mission and flourish. the rest image

Proposition 8: News Media At A Loss For Words

by Sonja Eddings Brown
Deputy Communications Director
October 15th, 2008

Honestly, the news media is at a bit of a loss. It’s hard to write bad news about something that is so clearly a big success. Several reporters were so skeptical that a “million lawn sign grassroots effort” would really materialize. We could easily have used two million! So many supporters are calling in trying to get more signs, more bumper stickers, more wave signs, that the campaign is hustling to meet demand.

In the Latino community, ad campaigns are sweeping through on the big networks and throughout television stations statewide. Radio campaigns will also be heard, with well-respected Latino figures standing up for the sacred tradition of marriage. Religious leaders will be heard from as well. the rest

Poll shows huge support in WV for a marriage amendment

Political discourse turns uncivil on campus

Michael Drost
Thursday, October 16, 2008

College conservatives say the excitement of a historic presidential election - which could send the first black American to the White House - has become clouded by an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility on campus.

"People on campus who say they're the most tolerant, they simply do not walk the walk," said Brand Kroeger, chairman of the George Washington University College Republicans and head of the D.C. Federation of College Republicans. the rest

US rate of infant death worsens to 29th in world

By John Lauerman
Bloomberg / October 16, 2008

Infant deaths in the United States continue to surpass most other rich nations, stalling at the same level from 2000 through 2005 while other countries improved, government researchers said.

Latest international data show the US ranking in infant mortality worsened to 29th worldwide, down from 27th in 2000 and 23rd in 1990, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Md. the rest

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Devotional: Oh, thrice fools are we...

Oh, thrice fools are we, who like new-born princes weeping in the cradle, know not that there is a kingdom before them; then, let our Lord's sweet hand square us, and hammer us, and strike off the knots of pride, self-love, and world-worship, and infidelity, that He may make us stones and pillars in His Father's house. ...Samuel Rutherford image

The True Cost of Episcopal Property Battles

Jim Oakes
Vice-chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia
October 14, 2008

This week, a judge in Faifax County, Va., will hear the last round of arguments in a church property case that has drawn national attention. As a member of Truro Church, one of the parishes being sued by The Episcopal Church and Diocese of Virginia, I'd like to reflect on how we got to this point and what we could be doing with the money that has been spent on legal fees.

This journey started two years ago, when ten congregations, formerly part of the Diocese, voted to sever our ties with The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, a new denomination affiliated with the Anglican Church of Nigeria, thereby remaining with the worldwide Anglican Communion. These congregations are now part of the Anglican District of Virginia, which has grown to include 23 Virginia congregations in its short history.

We made that decision soberly and prayerfully, based on actions of The Episcopal Church to walk away from what we see as the basic tenets of the Christian faith. Our decision was not about issues of lifestyle or minor differences of opinion. We simply could not continue to be led by a church body that would not affirm the authority of Scripture. the rest

England's 'Pittsburgh' unfolds as parishes seek new bishop

Ruth Gledhill's blog
October 14, 2008

Evangelicals from Reform are at present meeting in London at their annual conference. I'll be popping in for a coffee tomorrow morning, before going on to Lambeth Palace for a briefing on the important Common Word conferencethat has been taking place at Cambridge. But I've just received chairman Rod Thomas' address to the conference which makes it clear that an 'English' version is being worked out of the solution to the present Anglican crisis, an English version of the 'solution' adopted so dramatically in Pittsburgh a few days ago. Rod, pictured here in Jerusalem during Gafcon, indicated that English parishes who have a bishop embracing 'unbiblical teaching' will seek alternative oversight. And they will go ahead with this, even if the Church, through its General Synod, cannot find a way to 'accommodate' it, he warned.

Only reluctantly will they head southwards for Greg Venables' Southern Cone, joining Pittsburgh and San Joaquin in his 'safe haven' of Latin America. the rest

Evangelical leader urges Anglicans to break away

Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
The Guardian
Wednesday October 15 2008

English churches opposing the ordination of women and homosexuals are planning to defect from the Church of England to join the Global Anglican Future Conference, a breakaway movement launched earlier this year.

Rod Thomas, chair of the conservative evangelical group Reform, warned that orthodox figures such as Michael Nazir-Ali, the bishop of Rochester, were increasingly sidelined in favour of liberals and called on congregations to support the development of a UK wing in Gafcon, an international network for Anglicans that disagrees with progressive agendas.

Endorsing and promoting the network in this country would allow access to alternative spiritual leadership from conservatives here and overseas, he said. Thomas was speaking at Reform's annual conference, ending today, and told hundreds of delegates that Reform was an "ardent supporter" of the movement, raising more than £65,000 to fund the attendance of bishops from the developing world. the rest

US bishops to ponder excommunication of pro-abortion legislators

October 14, 2008

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, revealed in an interview with John Allen on Monday that the US bishops will discuss in November whether voting for pro-abortion legislation entails automatic excommunication. ‘I think there are several issues’ to be discussed, Bishop Kicanas said. ‘One is, what is the level of cooperation involved in a legislator voting for legislation that encourages, or allows, intrinsically evil acts? Is that formal cooperation, or isn’t it? That’s a critical question, because if it is formal cooperation, then serious consequences flow from it.’ When Allen asked, ‘You mean automatic excommunication?’ Bishop Kicanas answered, ‘Right. That’s one question that has not been answered.’ Bishop Kicanas made clear there was no consensus in the conference about that issue or about the related issue of withholding Holy Communion from pro-abortion Catholic politicians. link

Synod: Interview with Bishop Gerald Kicanas

Albert Mohler: The Abortion Question and the Future

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

For the better part of four decades, some have attempted to find a middle ground between these two positions, but to no avail. The reason quickly becomes clear. If abortion is to be understood as a fundamental right, no woman can be denied the exercise of that right. If abortion is the taking of innocent human life, no justification can be offered for abortion as a means of ending an unwanted pregnancy -- none at all. Middle ground would be possible only if we can assume that the right to abortion is not fundamental, but merely provisional, and that the unborn child does not have an intrinsic right to life, but only a provisional right. Efforts to frame the issue in this way fail because neither of these assumptions can qualified in this way and remain coherent.

Abortion is back front and center in the 2008 presidential race. Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party Platform call for a reversal of Roe v. Wade and against any notion of abortion as a fundamental right. Both the candidate and the platform call for specific measures to curtail access to abortion and to lead, eventually, to the end of abortion on demand.

Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party Platform call for a stalwart and enthusiastic defense of Roe v. Wade and for expanded access to abortion. In the case of Sen. Obama, his advocacy of abortion rights goes considerably beyond where any major candidate has ever gone before.

In a recent essay, Professor Robert P. George of Princeton University makes the case that Sen. Obama is "the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States." Further: "He is the most extreme pro-abortion member of the United States Senate. Indeed, he is the most extreme pro-abortion legislator ever to serve in either house of the United States Congress" Full Essay image

The End of 'We the People'

Tuesday, October 14, 2008
by Cal Thomas

Anyone desiring a preview of what the federal judiciary would look like under a Barack Obama administration need look no further than a narrow ruling by the Connecticut Supreme Court allowing same-sex "marriage."

By a 4-3 margin, the high court deprived Connecticut citizens of the right to limit marriage and, thus, societal approval, to the legal and covenantal relationship between a man and a woman.
The ruling cannot be appealed, in keeping with the dictatorial mind-set of the majority. the rest
Dennis Prager: There Are Two Irreconcilable Americas

Obama's Infanticide Lie

New York ads to focus on lives of GLBT seniors

October 13, 2008

NEW YORK - Portraits of gay and lesbian seniors will soon adorn New York City subways and buses as part of an advocacy organization's campaign.

The $350,000 campaign is backed by Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders. the rest

Catholic voters split on abortion, gay marriage

By Ashley Gipson, Religion News Service
posted October 15, 2008

WASHINGTON — U.S. Catholic voters are split on the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage between those who attend church at least twice a month and those who attend church less often, according to a survey released Tuesday (Oct. 14) by the Knights of Columbus.

The survey found that both Catholics (73 percent) and non-Catholics (71 percent) agreed that America needs a "moral makeover." Non-practicing Catholics — defined as those who attend church less than twice a month — were more likely to support abortion rights and same-sex marriage than the American population at large. the rest

Randall Terry Arrested at Thomas More Cathedral

Video: Christians under attack in Orissa, India

Thousands of Christians in the Indian state of Orissa have fled their homes because of ongoing religious violence.

The unrest between Hindus and Christians began in August sparked by the murder of a Hindu leader. Chris Morris reports.


Chambers' suit against God tossed out

October 15, 2008

You can't sue God if you can't serve the papers on him, a Douglas County District Court judge ruled in Omaha Tuesday.

Judge Marlon Polk threw out Nebraska Sen. Ernie Chambers' lawsuit against the Almighty, saying there was no evidence that the defendant had been served. What's more, Polk found "there can never be service effectuated on the named defendant."

Chambers had sued God in September 2007, seeking a permanent injunction to prevent God from committing acts of violence such as earthquakes and tornadoes. the rest

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Devotional: Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men...

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32

Gracious promise! It is a great joy to me to confess my Lord. Whatever my faults may be, I am not ashamed of Jesus, nor do I fear to declare the doctrines of His cross. O Lord, I have not hid Thy righteousness within my heart.

Sweet is the prospect which the text sets before me! Friends forsake and enemies exult, but the Lord does not disown His servant. Doubtless my Lord will own me even here and give me new tokens of His favorable regard. But there comes a day when I must stand before the great Father. What bliss to think that Jesus will confess me then! He will say, "This man truly trusted Me and was willing to be reproached for My name's sake; and therefore I acknowledge him as Mine." The other day a great man was made a knight, and the Queen handed him a jeweled garter; but what of that? It will be an honor beyond all honors for the Lord Jesus to confess us in the presence of the divine Majesty in the heavens. Never let me be ashamed to own my Lord. Never let me indulge a cowardly silence or allow a fainthearted compromise. Shall I blush to own Him who promises to own me? ...CH Spurgeon

Virginia Ruling Bolsters Breakaway Parishes

Former Episcopal Groups Organize
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Five years after the consecration of an openly gay bishop, conservatives who have left the Episcopal Church have organized into a cohesive movement, creating a de facto, if small, separate Anglican church in the United States.

This month, the Diocese of Pittsburgh became the second diocese, after San Joaquin, Calif., late last year, to decide to leave the 2.2 million-member national Episcopal church. The dioceses of Quincy, Ill., and Fort Worth will vote next month. Those moves followed 15 Virginia parishes -- including the large and well-known Truro Church and The Falls Church -- that over the past two years have left their diocese because they view it as too liberal. the rest

Court rules church's land belongs to departed parish
Washington Times
Julia Duin
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Fairfax County judge ruled Tuesday that a piece of church property involved in a lawsuit pitting conservatives against liberals in the Episcopal Church belongs to the Truro Church in Fairfax, a leading traditional parish that left the denomination nearly two years ago.

Holy Lures: The Incredible Story of Mother Angelica and St. Peter’s Fishing Lures

By Dr. Todd E.A. Larson

One of the most amazing fishing tackle stories of all-time centers on a group of Franciscan nuns in Ohio who decided to go into the tackle business. Calling their lures “St. Peter’s Fishing Lures,” they manufactured and sold a line of 16 different lures, ranging from worms and jigs to bucktails and plugs. Their amazing story, and the life of one of the most influential women of the 20th century, is told here.

Synod: Poll finds practicing, non-practicing Catholics in America are worlds apart

Oct 14, 2008

In reporting on American Catholics, the head of the Knights of Columbus today argued, media outlets should distinguish between “practicing” and “non-practicing” Catholics – because new polling data he presented shows these two groups are, in many ways, worlds apart.

Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, spoke this evening at a Rome news conference to release a new survey of Catholic voters, commissioned by the Knights and carried out by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion in late September and early October.

Anderson is in Rome attending the Oct. 5-26 Synod of Bishops on the Bible. His news conference this evening was also beamed live via satellite to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The Marist College poll found that 65 percent of American Catholics are “practicing,” defined as attending Mass at least once or twice a month, while the 35 percent who don’t attend that often were defined as “non-practicing.” the rest

Synod: For the first time, the pope speaks

Fairfax Judge Rules in Favor of ADV Member

Ruling Confirms That Truro Church Owns Land Given by Christ the Redeemer Episcopal
October 14, 2008
(via email)

FAIRAX, Va. (October 14, 2008) – The Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) responded to the Fairfax County Circuit Court ruling issued today that found that a parcel of property that once belonged to Christ the Redeemer Episcopal Church was properly deeded to Truro Church trustees, and as a result, is covered by the Virginia Division Statute.

“We are pleased with today’s ruling, which found that the intent of Christ the Redeemer Church , a former mission of Truro , was to give its property, a parcel of vacant land, to Truro Church . This ruling confirms that Truro Church owns the land, and that it is to be considered under the Virginia Division Statute, which our congregations have successfully invoked in our defense,” said ADV Vice-Chairman Jim Oakes. Christ the Redeemer and Truro Church are both ADV members.

On April 3, 2008, Judge Bellows issued a landmark ruling that acknowledged a division within The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Virginia and the larger Anglican Communion, and that the Anglican congregations in Virginia could invoke the Virginia Division Statute (Virginia Code § 57-9) in their defense. The Virginia Division Statute states that the majority of the church is entitled to its property when a group of congregations divide from the denomination. On June 27, 2008, Judge Bellows issued a ruling that confirmed the constitutionality of Virginia Division Statute.

The Episcopal Church and the Diocese abruptly broke off settlement negotiations in January 2007 and filed lawsuits against the Virginia churches, their ministers and their vestries. The decision of The Episcopal Church and the Diocese to redefine and reinterpret Scripture caused the 11 Anglican churches to sever their ties.

The Anglican District of Virginia ( is an association of Anglican congregations in Virginia . Its members are in full communion with constituent members of the Anglican Communion through its affiliation with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a missionary branch of the Church of Nigeria and other Anglican Archbishops. ADV members are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a community of 77 million people. ADV is dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples while actively serving in three main capacities: International Ministries, Evangelism, and Strengthening Families and Community. ADV is currently comprised of 23 member congregations.

3,000 Church of England worshippers may defect to overseas provinces, Reform warns

Up to 3,000 worshippers may defect from the Church of England to become part of more traditional Anglican provinces overseas, a leading conservative has warned
By Martin Beckford, Religious Affairs Correspondent
14 Oct 2008

The Rev Rod Thomas, chairman of the Reform network of evangelicals, said some clergy and congregations may make the "radical" move of secession from the established church because of the liberal direction in which it is moving on women bishops and homosexuality.

He claimed the differences are now so great that there effectively two religions within the church, one liberal and one conservative, and that at least 25 parishes are already seeking "alternative oversight" because their bishop does not share their beliefs in tradition and the Bible.

He said he hoped this could be provided by creating new "religious communities", by getting conservative bishops from other dioceses to provide oversight, or by employing retired English bishops to take over the care of those who did not want to be led by a liberal prelate.
the rest

India: Prayer Team Badly Beaten, Arrested

Two Christians in Chhattisgarh forced to beat fellow believer unconscious under threat of death
Shireen Bhatia
Compass Direct News
October 14, 2008

NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – The Christian community of Chhattisgarh state is rattled after a gruesome mob attack and torture in Surguja district.

At midnight on Oct. 3 in Dumarbhavna village, 110 kilometers (68 miles) from Premnagar, three jeeps full of Hindu nationalists broke open the door of a house where a three-day prayer meeting was taking place and attacked participants as they slept – ultimately forcing two Christians to beat one of their own prayer partners unconscious under threat of death.

The mob from the Hindu extremist Dharma Sena (Religious Army) beat the participants in the prayer meeting, including women, and dragged three of them from the house of Parmeshwar Beik, dumping them into the jeeps.

“We thought that they were taken to the police station, but instead they were taken to a secluded place where they were beaten all night,” Yahoshu Kujur, pastor of Blessing Church of God, told Compass. the rest

Church of England schism over gays

Two religions, one church: pro-gay versus strictly biblical
October 14, 2008
Ruth Gledhill

The schism over gays that has seen two dioceses vote to “leave” the US Episcopal Church is threatening to split the Church of England.

On October 14 parishes were urged to seek alternative oversight from another bishop if their own diocesan bishop expounded “unbiblical” teaching.

Evangelicals at a conference in London were told that the Church of England now consists of “two religions”, one liberal and pro-gay and the other, conservative and strictly biblical.

The Rev Rod Thomas, chairman of Reform, the conservative evangelical grouping that represents dozens of Anglican congregations, told parishes they should go ahead and seek alternative oversight, even if the Church of England fails to “accommodate” this solution through its General Synod. the rest

Diocese of Los Angeles: Court Hears Church Affiliation Case

October 14, 2008

Justices for the California Supreme Court probed weaknesses in the legal arguments of lawyers from The Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Los Angeles, and the majority of members at a congregation formerly affiliated with the diocese during a one-day hearing on Oct. 8.

In questions to Eric Sohlgren, the lawyer for St. James’ Church, Newport Beach, Associate Justice Carol Corrigan asked about language in St. James’ articles of incorporation which “forever bound” the parish to the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church. Mr. Sohlgren responded that the documents referred to a “spiritual promise” similar to a marriage contract and were never meant to convey ownership of real estate to the diocese. This prompted additional sharp questioning from several other justices.

The seven-member court also pressed James Shiner and Heather Anderson, the lawyers for the diocese and the national church respectively, as to why the State of California should treat church property disputes differently than others. “Why should we hearken back to a different time when religion had a different place in society?,” Justice Corrigan asked Ms. Anderson. “Why not treat everyone equally?” the rest

Iraqi Christian: We Took Only Our Souls

By Michelle A. Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Oct. 14 2008

Iraqi Christians set up tents for displaced Christian families in a soccer stadium of Burtulla, 30 kilometters (18 miles) east of Mosul, 360 kilometers (225 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2008. Hundreds of terrified Christian families have fled Mosul to escape extremist attacks that have increased despite months of U.S. and Iraqi military operations to secure the northern Iraqi city, political and religious officials said Saturday.

At least 744 Christian families, or about 3,750 people, fled the city dubbed by U.S. and Iraqi commanders as the last urban stronghold of Al-Qaeda for refuge with relatives in churches and at Christian centers in several towns and villages to the north and east of Mosul, according the U.K-based persecution watchdog ministry Barnabas Fund.

Some are even sleeping in their cars.

These displaced Iraqi Christians are said to be in desperate need of food, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene items and other basic necessities.

“We left everything behind us. We took only our souls,” said Ni’ma Noail, 50, a civil servant who was forced by the violence to abandon his home in Mosul and is now living in a church, according to Barnabas Fund. the rest

Church of England Evangelical Council expresses support for Bishop Bob Duncan and the Diocese of Pittsburgh

October 14th, 2008 Posted in News

The Church of England Evangelical Council issued this statement after their meeting on October 10th.

CEEC deplores the recent deposition of Bishop Bob Duncan and expresses full support for him and sends warm greetings and prayers to him, the Diocese of Pittsburgh and their new home in the province of the Southern Cone.

We endorse the following two statements from six diocesan bishops of the Church of England and Anglican Mainstream.

"We declare that we continue to believe that Bishop Bob is a bishop in the Church of God and a bishop in good standing in the Anglican Communion." the rest at Anglican Mainstream

Also here

Pro-Life Movie Touted for Potential Impact on Election, Abortion Views

By Aaron Leichman
Christian Post Reporter
Tue, Oct. 14 2008

A pro-life movie, largely produced by over 40 homeschooled students, is being praised for presenting solid legal arguments against the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision while captivating audiences with an engaging storyline that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

"Come What May" follows the story of Caleb, a recent transfer to Patrick Henry College who teams up with fellow student Rachel to lead the college to the National Moot Court Championship. Along the way, Caleb is caught in a moral tug-of-war between his parents – a “Audience survey card responses were tremendous,” reported Valley Family Forum Director Dean Welty after one of several sold-out preview screenings for the full-length feature “Come What May” in Harrisonburg, Va., and Grants Pass, Ore.

“Moviegoers were excited or agitated on both sides because the movie shows in dramatic fashion just how flimsy the legal footing stands for Roe,” he added, according to Patrick Henry College’s Office of Communications.

Produced with local cast and crewmembers, as well as approximately 40 homeschooled students from across the country, “Come What May” is the maiden project of Advent Film Group (AFG), a faith-based film production and distribution corporation founded by filmmaker George Escobar. the rest

'Eugenic Abortion’: With Pre-Natal Testing, 9 in 10 Down Syndrome Babies Aborted

Monday, October 13, 2008
By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

( – In 1972, a year before the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion on demand nationwide, virtually all children with trisomy 21, or Down syndrome, were born. Less than a decade later, with the widespread availability of pre-natal genetic testing, as many as 90 percent of women whose babies were pre-natally diagnosed with the genetic condition chose to abort the child.

The practice has been described by one physician as “eugenic abortion.” the rest

Breakaway Anglican congregations in B.C. go to court over church property

Chad Skelton, Canwest News Service
Monday, October 13, 2008

VANCOUVER - Three Anglican congregations that split from the Vancouver-area diocese over its support for same-sex blessings have gone to court to avoid being kicked out of their churches.
The three congregations - St. John's Shaughnessy in Vancouver, St. Matthias/St. Luke in Vancouver and St. Matthew's in Abbotsford, B.C. - argue in court documents that they should be allowed to remain because their opposition to same-sex blessings is consistent with "historic, orthodox Anglican doctrine."

However, the Diocese of New Westminster and its bishop, Michael Ingham, argue that church doctrine evolves and there is no legal basis for congregations that leave the diocese to take church property with them. the rest

The Stealth Candidate

by David Limbaugh

Democrats assume Republicans are raising Obama's many questionable relationships in a desperation effort to salvage the election. You might think this is splitting hairs, but I believe the reason is that these relationships scare the daylights out of us.

Conservatives were very much opposed to Bill Clinton for myriad reasons, but with decades in elective office in Arkansas, at least he wasn't a stealth candidate. Though rumors and mysteries abounded, Clinton was hardly a blank slate who emerged out of nowhere.

Obama is different. He burst onto the political scene and has risen with such alacrity that even many of his supporters don't have a clue what he's about or where he would take America. the rest

Monday, October 13, 2008

Devotional: We have ceased to lay down our lives...

Our society is filled with runaways, dropouts, and quitters. The epidemic of walking away has hit our land with effects as devastating as the bubonic plague, and it has destroyed millions of effective lives and relationships. We are so self-centred that we have ceased to lay down our lives for others. We have seen others faint or walk away and we have followed in their weakness. We have fainted when we could have persevered by exchanging our strength for His! With His strength, not only could we have kept on walking, we could have run! ...Kay Arthur image

Fort Worth: Clergy Discussions on Conflict Produce No Solution

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Bishop of Fort Worth
October 13, 2008

In late January, I asked 12 of the senior, most respected priests of the Diocese to begin meeting together as a clergy discussion group to assist me in addressing the tensions and conflicts involved in the life of our Diocese as we move toward a Diocesan Convention vote in November to separate from the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. I am sorry to report that after several meetings over the months, they have been unable to agree on any proposed remedy for the divisions that face us.

Canon Hough served as moderator for the discussions. The other participants were the three clerical members of the Standing Committee, Dean Ryan Reed, Fr. Christopher Cantrell and Fr. Thomas Hightower; and four rectors known to favor continued affiliation with the General Convention and four known to be for realignment. They are Fr. Fred Barber, Fr. Chris Jambor, Fr. Sam McClain, Fr. Bill Stanford, Fr. Bill Crary, Dr. Bill Dickson, Fr. Tim Perkins, and Fr. Stuart Smith. I am deeply grateful to each of them for their willingness to engage in this difficult task. the rest

Western Louisiana Condemns Bishop Depositions

October 13, 2008

The annual convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana met Oct. 10-11 at a hotel in Alexandria with the theme “Holy Partners in a Heavenly Calling.”

The Rev. Canon Gregory Cameron, deputy secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council, was a guest speaker. He spoke to the convention about the Anglican Covenant process, and praised the diocese for its mission work and for going the extra mile with the national Episcopal Church, the Windsor Report, and in seeking richer fellowship within the Anglican Communion through Communion Partners.

Canon Cameron said he hopes the covenant will be adopted by the Anglican Consultative Council in May 2009, which would then place the covenant before the provinces. He stated that by March 9, 2009, the provinces of the Anglican Communion were expected to report on three aspects of the covenant, including:

--whether a province is willing to give an in-principle commitment to a covenant;

--what changes are needed to the St. Andrew’s Draft to get a reasonable chance for a province to sign it; and

--what a province needs to do to commit to the covenant. the rest

Muslims rebuffed over sharia courts

October 12, 2008
Jonathan Oliver, Political Editor

Gordon Brown's new minister for race relations has attacked sharia courts, insisting that the Muslim community in Britain is not “advanced” enough to have its own legal system.

Sadiq Khan, whose comments will have added impact because he is a Muslim himself, has also warned that the growing number of tribunals based on Islamic codes could entrench discrimination against women.

Khan, who became minister for community cohesion in the government reshuffle this month, said: “The burden is on those who want to open up these courts to persuade us why they should do it.” the rest

interview with Bishop Bob Duncan: The Comeback Bishop

Ousted conservative Bob Duncan sees a new center emerging in the Christian West
Interview by Timothy C. Morgan

Bob Duncan, the once and future bishop of Pittsburgh, has been at the forefront of evangelical efforts to turn the Episcopal Church away from so-called revisionist theology. Christianity Today deputy managing editor Tim Morgan spoke with Bishop Duncan, who was removed from office by his fellow bishops in early September just before the Diocese of Pittsburgh voted by strong margins to pull out of the Episcopal Church. In a few weeks, the diocese is expected to meet again and officially reinstall Duncan as its top leader with the oversight of Anglican Archbishop Gregory Venables from Argentina.


Defending the Faith: Conservatives face huge obstacles in putting Anglicanism back together.

Timothy C. Morgan in Canterbury and Jerusalem

The walls are crumbling and the roof is leaking at Canterbury Cathedral, one of Western Christianity's most renowned worship spaces. Two years ago, church leaders began to raise £50 million ($100 million) to restore the historic cathedral where Archbishop Thomas Becket was martyred on December 29, 1170.

So far, the cathedral has only raised $15 million. But it is asking individuals to donate as little as $10 per month to sponsor blocks of newly quarried Caen stone, which was used in the original construction. Earlier modern renovations were made with cheaper, less durable stone that quickly eroded. This summer, during the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference for Anglican bishops, attendees could hear the sound of masons hand-sawing and hand-chiseling large blocks outside the cathedral.

Restoring Canterbury Cathedral may prove to be easier than restoring orthodoxy and unity to the 78-million-member Anglican Communion. This summer, global Anglicanism faced enormous controversy over homosexual ordination, same-sex blessings, and ongoing disagreements about ordaining women as priests and bishops. At least 617 of the world's 880 bishops attended Lambeth at the University of Kent, about two miles from the cathedral. Though not invited to Lambeth, Bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson, an actively homosexual bishop whose 2003 consecration drew a firestorm of criticism, was on campus to meet with top Anglicans, as were many other gay activists. the rest image

BBC 'horror film' faces religious outcry

The BBC is likely to face a Christian backlash over a new drama series featuring a graphic murder, homosexual sex and the exorcism of Mother Teresa.
By Duncan Gardham
12 Oct 2008

The series, which has been likened to a horror film, depicts a man possessed by the devil and being skinned alive in a gay sauna.

Another episode shows a father threatening to sexually assault his daughter while in another, Mother Teresa is seen on her death bed.

In other scenes blood drips from the eyes of those supposed to be possessed by the Devil. the rest

Hindu Threat to Christians: Convert or Flee

October 12, 2008

BOREPANGA, India — The family of Solomon Digal was summoned by neighbors to what serves as a public square in front of the village tea shop.

They were ordered to get on their knees and bow before the portrait of a Hindu preacher. They were told to turn over their Bibles, hymnals and the two brightly colored calendar images of Christ that hung on their wall. Then, Mr. Digal, 45, a Christian since childhood, was forced to watch his Hindu neighbors set the items on fire.

“ ‘Embrace Hinduism, and your house will not be demolished,’ ” Mr. Digal recalled being told on that Wednesday afternoon in September. “ ‘Otherwise, you will be killed, or you will be thrown out of the village.’ ” the rest

Pregnant women bear the brunt of Orissa violence
The relentless persecution of Christians in Kandhmal, forcing them to remain in relief camps scattered across Orissa, is now presenting a new problem — unsafe deliveries by women. Stranded without access to doctors, hospitals or medical kits, most women are delivering in relief camps with the help of fellow refugees and — if they are fortunate — some anganwadi workers.

Indian Prime Minister Calls for Tough Steps to Stem Growing Violence
Voice of America - By Anjana Pasricha
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is calling for tough action to stem a surge of terrorist and communal violence that has claimed hundreds of lives in recent months across the country. Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, much of the violence is blamed on radical groups, both Muslim and Hindu.

India's PM blames wave of violence on extremists

Anglican property dispute to resume

Allie Martin

Nine Virginia churches that broke away from the Episcopal Church over the denomination's liberal leanings will be back in court this week over a property dispute involving the congregations and the diocese.

The case centers on 11 orthodox Anglican churches in Virginia that voted to leave the national church over the authority of scripture. The parishes are now aligned under the Anglican District of Virginia and were sued by the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of Virginia.

Jim Oakes, vice chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia, says the churches did not want a costly legal battle, but had no choice. the rest

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola: Homosexuality is totally unacceptable

Sunday, 12 October 2008

EMINENT Nigerian Christian clerics have continued to comment on the controversial House of Rainbow, purportedly a church organisation piloted by a self-confessed homosexual, Reverend Rowland Jide Macaulay.

The church is described as the first sponsored attempt by any Nigerian cleric to openly counter efforts of Most Rev. Peter Jasper Akinola, Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), who had led other Anglicans to vehemently oppose the ordination of Gene Robinson, an openly confessed gay bishop, in November 2003.Akinola, as the bishop of Abuja, is the current Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He is the chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa and chairman of the South-South Encounter of the Anglican Communion which has continued to insist on Bible principles and the teachings of the apostles (apostolic tradition) in a particular way. the rest

Revd Michael Kimindu ejected from Nairobi clergy chapter meeting

First Graders Taken to San Francisco City Hall For Gay Wedding

SAN FRANCISCO, October 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- In the same week that the No on 8 campaign launched an ad that labeled as "lies" claims that same-sex marriage would be taught in schools to young children, a first grade class took a school-sponsored trip to a gay wedding. Eighteen first graders traveled to San Francisco City Hall Friday for the wedding of their teacher and her lesbian partner, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The school sponsored the trip for the students, ages 5 and 6, taking them away from their studies for the same-sex wedding. According to the Yes on 8 campaign, the public school field trip demonstrates that the California Supreme Court's decision to legal same-sex marriage has real consequences.

"Taking children out of school for a same-sex wedding is not customary education. This is promoting same-sex marriage and indoctrinating young kids," said Yes on 8— Campaign Co-Manager Frank Schubert. "I doubt the school has ever taken kids on a field trip to a traditional wedding," Schubert said. the rest

The Economist: A light at the end of the tunnel?

Concerted action is taken around the world to rescue the financial system
Oct 13th 2008

THE dithering has ended. After a week in which the financial system almost ground to a halt, governments of the industrialised world seem at last to have found the right tools to get credit markets moving again. At the weekend and early on Monday October 13th officials in Europe, America and Asia announced unprecedented and comprehensive plans to prop up failing banks, guarantee their loans and flood the world with cash by providing unlimited dollar funds through central banks. At first blush—and in contrast to previous failures after half-hearted efforts—the new plans seem to be working. Stockmarkets rose in Europe and Asia on Monday, although the real sign that the situation is improving will come in the credit markets this week.

All the actions are aimed at dealing with the three related problems that have blocked credit markets and the banking system. These are that banks have been unable to raise enough money in the frozen short-term money markets; that banks are unable to take out loans for three-to-five years to make up the shortfall between deposits and lending, because markets for longer-term borrowing are also shut; and, last, that they are struggling to win the trust of lenders because they do not have enough capital as a cushion against losses. the rest

Markets surge after crisis talks

U.S. gasoline price marks biggest drop ever

Western Louisiana: Full Text of Bishop MacPherson’s Convention Address

October 13, 2008
Drell's Descants


Muslims and Christians do not fully understand each other says Rowan Williams

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent
October 13, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, admitted yesterday that the Christian and Muslim faiths are so fundamentally different that both sides are still unable to understand each other properly.

Dr Williams, speaking at an interfaith conference in Cambridge, said that it was possible for Islam and Christianity, two of the three Abrahamic faiths, to agree around the imperatives to love God and "love your neighbour". Muslims and Christians agree about the need to alleviate both poverty and suffering, he said.

But at a theological level there was still massive disagreement. Dr Williams contrasted the "self-emptying" aspect of Christianity, a faith built on the failure and weakness of its founder through his death on the cross, to the Islamic narrative of "trial and triumph". the rest

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Frugal Teenager, Ready or Not

October 10, 2008

WHEN Wendy Postle’s two children were younger, saying “yes” gave her great joy. Yes to all those toys. The music lessons. The blowout birthday parties.

But as her son and daughter approached adolescence, yes turned into a weary default. “Sometimes it was just easier to say, ‘O.K., whatever,’ than to have the battle of ‘no,’ ” said Mrs. Postle, a working mother who lives in Hilliard, Ohio, a middle-class suburb of Columbus.

This year her husband’s 401(k) savings are evaporating. Medical bills are nipping at the couple’s heels. Gas prices are still taking a toll. Mrs. Postle recently decided that although she and her husband had always sacrificed their own luxuries for Zach, 13, and Kaitlyn, 15, the teenagers would now have to cut back as well. the rest