Saturday, April 04, 2009

Devotional: The only way you can be delivered...

The only way you can be delivered from that sin is to have your false expectations destroyed, once and for all. And that is precisely what happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Jesus drew the false, sinful expectations of the world unto himself, absorbed them, and bore them on the cross. His death was the death of all of our false expectations, and therefore his death was the death of sin itself. The false piety of Palm Sunday is crucified on Good Friday and buried that night, in order that true faith in God might be created on Easter through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. ...Edwin Peterman image

Breakaway congregations form new Anglican diocese

At least eight conservative congregations in Western Washington — including two that left the Episcopal Church — are forming a new Anglican diocese in the Northwest.
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

At least eight conservative congregations in Western Washington — including two that left the Episcopal Church — are forming a new Anglican diocese in the Northwest.

The Cascadia Diocese, as it's being called, is the latest local example of the deep divisions splitting the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion over issues such as Scriptural authority and church teachings. The differences erupted in 2003 when the Episcopal Church confirmed the election of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch — or province — of the 77-million-strong worldwide Anglican Communion.

The Western Washington congregations are seeking to become part of the Anglican Church in North America — itself a newly formed conservative rival to the more liberal Episcopal Church and Anglican Church of Canada. the rest

Unemployment rate bolts to 8.5 percent, a 25-year high

By Jeanine Aversa
Associated Press
04/03/2009

WASHINGTON — Unemployment zoomed to 8.5 percent last month, the highest in a quarter-century, as employers axed 663,000 more workers and pushed the nation's jobless ranks past 13 million. The hard times were only expected to get harder — a painful 10 percent jobless rate before long.

The current rate would be even higher — 15.6 percent — if it included laid-off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have had to settle for part-time work because they can't do any better. That's the highest on record for that number in records that go back to 1994. the rest

Tax Day party count nearing 2,000 U.S. cities

Mainstream media may run, but they can't hide from protest tidal wave
Posted: April 04, 2009
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

While WND has been tracking 400 individual tea parties across the nation, the American Family Association has announced its count is nearing 1,600 – for Tax Day alone.

The AFA, planned to coordinate 1,000 Taxed Enough Already, or TEA, parties to be held at 12 p.m. on April 15 in front of city halls across the nation.

But the group is pleasantly surprised as is stands to double that goal before Tax Day is here. the rest

Woman who defied Hitler ‘was inspired by Newman’

By Simon Caldwell
3 April 2009

Cardinal John Henry Newman was the inspiration of Germany's greatest heroine in defying Adolf Hitler, scholars have claimed.

New documents unearthed by German academics have revealed that the writings of the 19th-century English theologian were a direct influence on Sophie Scholl, who was beheaded for circulating leaflets urging students at Munich University to rise up against Nazi terror.

Scholl, a student who was 21 at the time of her death in February 1943, is a legend in Germany, with two films made about her life and more than 190 schools named after her. She was also voted "woman of the 20th century" by readers of Brigitte, a women's magazine, and a popular 2003 television series called Greatest Germans declared her to be the greatest German woman of all time. the rest

Friday, April 03, 2009

Devotional: Many despise warning and perish...

Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. 2 Kings 22:19

Many despise warning and perish. Happy is he who trembles at the Word of God. Josiah did so, and he was spared the sight of the evil which the Lord determined to send upon Judah because of her great sins. Have you this tenderness? Do you practice this self-humiliation? Then you also shall be spared in the evil day. God sets a mark upon the men that sigh and cry because of the sin of the times. The destroying angel is commanded to keep his sword in its sheath till the elect of God are sheltered: these are best known by their godly fear and their trembling at the Word of the Lord. Are the times threatening? Does infidelity advance with great strides, and do you dread national chastisement upon this polluted nation? Well you may. Yet rest in this promise: "Thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace: and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place." Better still, the Lord Himself may come, and then the days of our mourning shall be ended. ...CH Spurgeon image

AAC Official: Canterbury's Recognition Unlikely

April 3, 2009

The Anglican Church in North America is unlikely to be recognized by the See of Canterbury, a leader of the American Anglican Council said on April 1.

“We do not believe that Canterbury will recognize us, at least while the current archbishop is still in office,” said the Rev. J. Philip Ashey, the AAC’s chief operating officer and chaplain, in a brief speech in the suburbs of Richmond, Va.

Father Ashey spoke at a public library in Henrico County at the invitation of the Richmond Anglican Fellowship. About 70 people attended his speech.

Echoing the sentiments of the Jerusalem Declaration, Fr. Ashey suggested that Canterbury’s recognition will be less important as various provinces in the Global South recognize the ACNA. He said representatives from Kenya, Rwanda, the Southern Cone of South America, and Uganda are expected to attend a provincial assembly in Texas in June, where the ACNA will vote on a proposed constitution and canons. the rest

Binghamton, N.Y., mass shooting leaves some dead

An emergency dispatcher say some shooting victims are dead. Reports say a gunman entered a building with high-powered rifle, began shooting, and took hostages.
By Michael Muskal
April 3, 2009

People have been shot and killed in Binghamton, N.Y., when a gunman entered the civic center and opened fire, according to city authorities and reports from the scene."There have been fatalities," an emergency dispatcher for the Binghamton police said by telephone. "We can't confirm the exact the number."

Radio reporters quoting city officials said there have been perhaps 12 or 13 people killed and as many as 41 initially taken hostage. The numbers could not be confirmed as the standoff around the building continued. the rest

4 die, up to 40 held hostage in Binghamton shootings

Added 2:04 pm ET: Gunman Attack: Up To 13 Dead

Please be at prayer!

Unanimous ruling: Iowa marriage no longer limited to one man, one woman

REGISTER STAFF REPORTS
April 3, 2009

The Iowa Supreme Court this morning upheld a Polk County judge’s 2007 ruling that marriage should not be limited to one man and one woman.

The ruling, viewed nationally and at home as a victory for the gay rights movement and a setback for social conservatives, means Iowa’s 5,800 gay couples can legally marry in Iowa beginning April 24.

There are no residency rules for marriage in Iowa, so the rule would apply to any couple who wanted to travel to Iowa. the rest

Provisional Bishop Named for Quincy

April 3, 2009

The Rt. Rev. John Clark Buchanan has been nominated to serve as provisional Bishop of Quincy. Bishop Buchanan and other newly appointed diocesan leaders must be confirmed by delegates to a special reorganizing convention to be held April 4 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Peoria, Ill.

Bishop Buchanan currently serves as the Parliamentarian of the House of Bishops. He was Bishop of West Missouri from 1989-1999, and recently completed a term as an assisting Bishop of Southern Virginia.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will call the special synod to order and will also officiate at a service of Morning Prayer prior to the start of the business meeting. the rest

UK Coroner slates abortion clinic after girl, 15, dies

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

A coroner has criticised aftercare procedures at a leading chain of abortion clinics after a 15-year-old girl died from infection days after undergoing an abortion.

Huddersfield schoolgirl Alesha Thomas should have left the Marie Stopes International clinic in Leeds with a course of antibiotics to combat infection.

Instead she was discharged before her prescription was issued; something which an inquest was told happened “many times” at the clinic. the rest

Not Pro-Choice, but Pro-Abortion (UPDATED)

A few days ago, following the Sanctity of Life Ministries fund-raiser her in northern Virgina, I wrote the following about pro-choice Christians:

Across the mainline denominations, as well as parachurch organizations such as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, you will find nary a person willing to say they are pro-abortion. In fact, applying that label will result in one’s getting heated and emphatic denunciations combined with the claim that as pro-choice Christians they simply ant to see abortion be legal and safe, but also rare.

I was wrong. the rest

"Abortion is a Blessing": US Episcopalian Lesbian Minister Appointed to Head Prestigious Seminary

Thursday, April 02, 2009

American Muslim-Anglican priest is deposed

Thursday, 2nd April 2009
By George Conger

The Episcopal Church’s “Muslim-Anglican” priest has been deposed from holy orders. In a statement released on April 1, the Diocese of Rhode Island said the Rt Rev Geralyn Wolf had “imposed a sentence of deposition” upon Dr Ann Holmes Redding as a “priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim.”

In a June 2007 interview with the Episcopal Voice, the Seattle-based Diocese of Olympia’s newspaper, the Dr. Redding announced she was both a Christian and a Muslim. “The way I understand Jesus is compatible with Islam,” she said. “I was following Jesus and he led me into Islam.”

The former director of Christian Formation at St Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, Redding began to study Islam in the wake of 9/11 after hearing Muslim imams speak at inter-faith events at the cathedral. A personal crisis spurred her onto a spiritual quest that ended with her publicly reciting the Shahada, the Muslim profession of faith. the rest

CANA: St George's Founded in Colorado

CANA Website
April 2, 2009

St George’s Anglican Church website here is the newest Anglican congregation in El Paso County, Colorado. It is founded by the majority of the congregation moving from Grace Church and St. Stephen’s. After a five-week court trial and two-year legal dispute with The Episcopal Church (TEC) and TEC's Diocese of Colorado, the congregation has decided that the best way forward is to leave their former historic house of worship and found St George's.

On Palm Sunday (April 5, 2009) the congregation will be worshiping at a new location for the first time in 115 years. The new site is nestled among the naturally majestic rocks and bluffs of the Mountain Shadows community at 2760 Fieldstone Road. Formerly the Renaissance Academy (a private school), the new facilities will accommodate St George’s with worship space, classrooms, and offices on a five acre campus.

“I am excited about our new location and facilities here in Mountain Shadows,” said the Rev'd Donald Armstrong, rector of the parish. “We are moving to a beautiful location situated among rocks not unlike where Jesus’ tomb was located, and like him we will be resurrected to new life as a congregation, with a new name, and a new future. This biblical similarity is not lost on us.”

Karl Weiskopf, a member of the congregation said that the new St George campus can be more efficiently operated with less overhead expenses. "With our increasing growth in membership, more monies can be freed up for gospel work. Now St George’s will be able to more fully fund local and off-shore evangelism. St George’s will supplement our members’ personal giving to finance the care of Tanzanian AIDS orphans and work more effectively with Anglican leadership in Africa and around the world to expand mission and ministry.” the rest

Declaring War on Catholics

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
by Michael Gerson

WASHINGTON -- Some friends who are loyal alumni of Notre Dame are distressed that God's alma mater is hosting a pro-choice president at commencement. For decades, they argue, Notre Dame has accommodated, legitimated and enabled pro-choice views, compromising its identity as a Catholic institution. They question the wisdom of the Obama invitation, which they believe adds to that confusion.

But some critics go further, calling President Obama's appearance "an outrage and a scandal." And that goes too far.

The office of the president has meaning and importance that transcend the views of its current occupant. Though elected by a part of America, the president becomes a symbol of its whole. The respect we accord him does not imply agreement or endorsement. It reflects our appreciation for constitutional processes. So a presidential visit is always an honor. The televised arrival of Air Force One, the motorcade, the playing of "Hail to the Chief," the audience standing as the president enters -- all these express a proper respect for democratic legitimacy. the rest

X-rated films exposed on campuses

Schools find redeeming value in pornography
Jennifer Harper
Thursday, April 2, 2009

The ivy-covered halls are tinged with scarlet this semester. And maybe a little purple too.

Some of the most hoity-toity universities in the nation are offering students an unusual distraction from the stress of academic life. In recent weeks, "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge" - an X-rated swashbuckler with hundreds of special effects - has been screened in campus theaters at the University of California at Los Angeles, Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Southern Connecticut University.

The University of California at Davis will show "Pirates" on Thursday evening, the University of Maryland at midnight Saturday.

the rest (Heads up parents: are you paying for this?)

Summary of Obama Actions Against Life, Family, Faith in First 50 Days of Presidency

Author says, Obama "represents greatest threat today, even more so than Marxist revolution of 1917 with its attack on the family"
By Father Alphonse de Valk

April 1, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Fr. Alphonse de Valk is the editor of Catholic Insight Magazine, a former university historian and a consummate archivist of articles and reports pertaining to life, family and religious issues over the past 40 years.

In the April edition of Catholic Insight magazine Fr. DeValk presents this compendium of information gathered from a variety of Internet and other sources that together paints a picture of a president and his administration that should be of grave concern to all.

Summary here

Suicide a 'marvellous possibility'

April 02, 2009
Ruth Gledhill's blog

Ludwig Minelli, head of Dignitas, the assisted dying clinic in Switzerland, believes suicide is a 'marvellous possibility' and that the mentally ill should not be dissuaded from killing themselves. It would save the NHS such a lot of money if they succeeded, he told BBC Radio 4. This man has helped more than 40 Britons to kill themselves. Now that the dark, ugly underbelly of his agenda has been exposed, let's pray that the only suicide he has assisted this time is of the campaign to legalise euthanasia. Read on for the full interview on Today, transcribed for me by City journalism student David Christopher.

Without going into too much personal detail, if Minelli's will was law and had been for the last 50 years, I would have grown up deprived of significant family members and some of my oldest friends would also be dead. Many of these people did indeed cost the NHS a lot of money before going on to live happy and joyous lives, even if they were medicated lives in some cases.

Equally, no amount of money could ever compensate for the loss of those dearly-loved friends and family members whose lives were not saved, whose suicide attempts succeeded. Is he seriously saying we should treat someone with a broken leg but not someone who is mentally ill? This man should, in my view, be in prison. the rest

Albert Mohler: Assisted Suicide and the "Balance of Harm"

From New President of Episcopal Divinity School: 'Abortion is a Blessing'

By Randy Sly
4/2/2009
Catholic Online

WASHINGTON – The announcement on Monday, March 30 that The Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale was appointed as the sixth and newest president of Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, MA, has orthodox and pro-life Episcopalians shaking their heads.

Ragsdale, who is an outspoken advocate of abortion and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender) rights, was the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees and will begin her duties on July 1, 2009.

In addition to the press release and public letter concerning the appointment, the EDS website also has a link to Rev. Ragsdale’s sermon blog. There, the first sermon is entitled, “Our Work is Not Done.” The content has been cited and circulated on a large number of pro-life and conservative Christian blogs. An excerpt follows:

“When a woman wants a child but can’t afford one because she hasn’t the education necessary for a sustainable job, or access to health care, or day care, or adequate food, it is the abysmal priorities of our nation, the lack of social supports, the absence of justice that are the tragedies; the abortion is a blessing. the rest

"Abortion is a Blessing"

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Devotional: Of all the descriptions given about Jesus...

Of all the descriptions given about Jesus, there is one that unabashedly stands out to confront us. It is a description uttered by the prophet Isaiah, prodding mind and heart at once: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. Like one from whom men hide their faces; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted” (53:3). In this season of Easter before us, with whatever sorrows we might be holding, it is a description all the more fitting to reflect upon.

Maybe you are at a time in your life when hurt is writ large upon your thoughts. The Lord Jesus is not unacquainted with your pain. In fact, he draws near particularly with a hand of love. Your wound may still bleed for a while to remind you of your weakness. But he can help carry the pain to carry you in strength. This could indeed be holy ground for you. It was most certainly for him.
...Ravi Zacharias image

Sweden Becomes 7th Country to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Apr. 01 2009

Sweden has adopted a law that legalizes same-sex marriage, making it the seventh country in the world to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in either a religious or civil ceremony.
After hours of debate, the Swedish parliament voted 261 to 22, with 66 abstaining or absent, on Wednesday to approve a gender-neutral law on marriage.

Christian Democrats opposed the legislation.

The new legislation repeals a 1987 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Sweden now joins the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa and Norway in allowing same-sex marriage. In the United States, homosexual marriage is legal in Massachusetts and Connecticut. the rest

GAFCON Primates Invite Bishop Duncan

April 1, 2009

The Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) primates’ council will meet in London April 13-18. The Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh in the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone and Archbishop-designate of the Anglican Church in North America, has been invited to attend as a guest, according to the Rev. Peter Frank, director of communications for the diocese.

link

Obama Nominee Dawn Johnsen Comparing Mothers to 'Slaves,' 'Losers in the Contraceptive Lottery' and 'Fetal Containers'

Extreme Support for Abortion on Demand
WASHINGTON

March 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today the president of the Susan B. Anthony List commented on radical pro-abortion activist Dawn Johnsen, whose nomination was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and currently awaits a floor vote.

"Dawn Johnsen does not represent mainstream America or the type of common ground abortion policy President Obama promised this nation," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List. "Her bizarre characterizations of pregnancy as 'slavery' and mothers as 'losers in the contraceptive lottery' expose an unacceptable disdain for commonsense abortion restrictions and motherhood in general. Furthermore, Johnsen's opposition to existing federal restrictions like the ban on partial-birth abortion casts doubt on her ability to perform her duties faithfully as the head of the Office of Legal Counsel."

Across the country, Susan B. Anthony List members expressed outrage at Johnsen's nomination, sending over 26,000 letters of opposition to their U.S. Senators. Johnsen was voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 19th by a vote of 11-7. the rest

Central Florida Bishop: Church’s RCRC Affiliation ‘Embarrassing’

April 1, 2009

The member of the national Executive Council who drafted and urged passage of a resolution to affiliate The Episcopal Church with the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) has asked the diocesan council of Central Florida to nullify a resolution disassociating from the abortion rights organization.

In a letter sent March 16 to the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, Bishop of Central Florida, John Vanderstar, of Washington, D.C., said he understood that Episcopalians hold varying political positions on the morality, legality and necessity of abortion, and that “this is a sensitive subject for many people. But the board’s harsh language with regard to RCRC is neither fair nor accurate. Moreover, the action of the council was squarely supported by positions adopted by General Convention that date back some 40 years.”

Accompanying Mr. Vanderstar’s letter were several documents which he said provided a more balanced view of the subject “than is reflected in the quoted remarks of your diocesan board,” and he urged Bishop Howe to share the information with the members of the diocesan board. the rest

Episcopal Priest Ann Holmes Redding has been defrocked

The Episcopal Church has defrocked Ann Holmes Redding, the Seattle Episcopal priest who announced in 2007 that she is both Christian and Muslim.
By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter
April 1, 2009

The Episcopal Church has defrocked Ann Holmes Redding, the Seattle Episcopal priest who announced in 2007 that she is both Christian and Muslim.

Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, who has disciplinary authority over Redding, informed the priest of her decision in a letter today.

Wolf found Redding to be "a woman of utmost integrity and their conversations over the past two years have been open, honest and respectful," according to a press release from the Diocese of Rhode Island.

"However, Bishop Wolf believes that a priest of the Church cannot be both a Christian and a Muslim." the rest

NY State budget draws growing backlash over taxes and fees

Spending is up 8.7% over previous year
By Matthew Spina
NEWS STAFF REPORTER

New Yorkers howl every year about their state budget. This year it’s more visceral.
State leaders are about to assault the nation’s highest-taxed state with a new round of taxes and fees. In the middle of a recession, no less.

“It’s just a sad commentary on New York State that our local representatives aren’t listening to their constituents,” said Colleen C. DiPirro, president and chief executive of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, a group with an ear to effects on the upstate economy.

“I can assure you this much,” said Michael Johnson, president of the Buffalo Niagara Association of Realtors, “drastic spending, increases in taxes and eliminating the middle-class STAR program is not the answer to New York State’s deficit.” the rest

Pro-Lifers Want Sebelius' 'True' Abortion Record Revealed

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Apr. 01 2009

Confirmation hearings for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Kathleen Sebelius opened on Tuesday much to the disappointment of pro-lifers who want the Kansas governor's abortion record spotlighted.

In a hearing chaired by Sen. Ted Kennedy, Sebelius pledged to make healthcare reform her mission. That same day, she revealed that she recently paid more than $7,000 in back taxes.

Little was revealed about her abortion stance.

"Americans – and women in particular – deserve answers about Governor Sebelius' ties to the abortion industry," said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life network. "As Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sebelius will wield great influence with regard to national abortion policy, particularly the use of taxpayer funds to provide and promote abortion on-demand." the rest

Added: Sebelius vs. Archbishop Naumann

Diocese of Ottawa appoints committee to consider blessings

Two B.C. parishes vote to leave
Apr 1, 2009

The bishop of the diocese of Ottawa, John Chapman, has appointed a doctrine and worship committee to determine whether same-sex unions can be blessed on a limited basis in the diocese.

If the committee recommends that such blessings be allowed “in the spirit of experiential discernment,” Bishop Chapman said it would only be offered in one parish, St. John the Evangelist, an inner city parish that has long advocated for the rights of gays and lesbians.

“In the event that I instruct the parish of St. John the Evangelist to proceed, this is as far as I am prepared to move on the matter until General Synod 2010,” he said in his March column in the diocesan newspaper, Crosstalk. Bishop Chapman said that he has asked the committee to “create a liturgy, appropriate protocols and procedures, and an evaluative process.” The process “will determine whether or not the blessing of same-gender couples civilly married will become a practice among supportive parishes within the diocese of Ottawa, as requested by the 2007 synod of the diocese of Ottawa.” the rest

The Shut Up and Swallow Congress

Wednesday, April 01, 2009
by Michelle Malkin

Deliberation in Washington is dead. We don't have legislators. We have lemmings. We don't have debates. We have high-speed hysteria sessions. After ramming through stimulus legislation that no one read and bailout bills that no one understood, Congress is now poised to stuff down taxpayers' throats a deficit-exploding $3.5 trillion budget that enshrines the largest tax increase in American history. the rest

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Devotional: It is not you who shape God...

It is not you who shape God; it is God that shapes you. If then you are the work of God, await the hand of the Artist who does all things in due season. Offer the Potter your heart, soft and tractable, and keep the form in which the Artist has fashioned you. Let your clay be moist, lest you grow hard and lose the imprint of the Potter's fingers. ...Irenaeus image

Future Present

March 29th, 2009
by Scipio

Our archeologist, while rummaging among the ruins of our fallen civilization, met a ghost from the long dead race of Americans. The wraith boasted much about what we had been as a people...

...The archeologist asked, “If you accomplished all of this, then why did your nation collapse?” The ghost answered, “Because we went insane.”

“Please explain.”

The ghost took a breath and said, “We traded beauty for ugliness, truth for lies, liberty for comfort, love for indifference, responsibility for frivolity, duty for entertainment, history for sound bites, and children for pleasure. We had gold, but we tossed it aside and replaced it with cleverly designed dross. We turned men into women and women into men and marveled at our new creative power. We stopped looking up to Heaven and began to keep our gaze firmly fixed on the ground. We abandoned the old God for a host of hip, cool and slick new ones.”

full story image

German family seeks U.S. asylum to homeschool kids

Rose French
Associated Press Writer
3/31/2009

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - Homeschooling is so important to Uwe Romeike that the classically trained pianist sold his beloved grand pianos to pay for moving his wife and five children from Germany to the Smoky Mountain foothills of Tennessee.

Romeike, his wife Hannelore, and their children live in a modest duplex about 40 miles northeast of Knoxville while they seek political asylum here. They say they were persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory.

When the Romeikes wouldn't comply with repeated orders to send the children to school, police came to their home one October morning in 2006 and took the children, crying and upset, to school. "We tried not to open the door, but they (police) kept ringing the doorbell for 15 or 20 minutes," Romeike said. "They called us by phone and spoke on the answering machine and said they would knock open the door if we didn't open it. So I opened it." the rest

Gay clergy's hopes dashed by Presbyterian decision

The church uses a technical ruling to block a lesbian deacon's longtime attempt to become a priest. She might appeal.
Times Staff And Wire Reports
March 30, 2009

March was a busy month for courts weighing issues affecting churches and clergy in California and across the nation.Three rulings -- one from a church body, two from secular courts -- involved a California lesbian who hopes to become a priest, a dispute over church property in Colorado and whether children in Texas should observe a minute of silence before starting their school day.

In California, a Presbyterian Church commission issued a ruling Wednesday that essentially halted a lesbian deacon's candidacy for ordination as a priest. the rest

Buddhist Bishop-Elect’s Line-by-Line Denial of the Nicene Creed

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Stand Firm

Up to now we've focused mainly on Forrester's association with and practice of Zen Buddhism, and no reasonable survey of his history, writings or statements can support the conclusion that he is not, in fact, a Zen Buddhist. But there has been some discussion among Episcopal "progressives" to the effect that, while Forrester may indeed "walk the path of Zen Buddhism," that fact in and of itself is not reason enough to deny him consent as the next bishop of Northern Michigan. The "reasoning" goes that so long as Forrester is "sufficiently" Christian, that is enough. So now we turn to that question.

Excerpt:
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

"One of the amazing insights I have found in the interfaith dialogue is that, no matter what you name that source, from which all life comes—you can name that source God, Abba; you may name that source Yahweh; you may name that source Allah; you may name that source “the great emptiness;” you can name that source many things, but what all the faiths in their wisdom have acknowledged in the interfaith dialogue is that, you and I, we’re not the source." (Trinity Sunday sermon, May 18, 2008)

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God,

"Everyone is the sacred word of God, in whom Christ lives." (Already One in God, response to Dar es Salaam communiqué, to which KTF is a signatory, The Church in Hiawathaland newsletter, Sept 2007)

"We affirm the sacramental gift of all persons, their Christ-ness..." (Already One in God, response to Dar es Salaam communiqué, to which KTF is a signatory, The Church in Hiawathaland newsletter, Sept 2007)

"In other words that we might learn to be still and know that we are in the presence of God. We might learn to be still and know that God is present in us and as us." (Eucharist sermon, April 6, 2008) the rest

Honda connects brain thoughts with robotics

Mar 31, 2009
By YURI KAGEYAMA

TOKYO (AP) - Opening a car trunk or controlling a home air conditioner could become just a wish away with Honda's new technology that connects thoughts inside a brain with robotics.

Honda Motor Co. (HMC) has developed a way to read patterns of electric currents on a person's scalp as well as changes in cerebral blood flow when a person thinks about four simple movements - moving the right hand, moving the left hand, running and eating.

Honda succeeded in analyzing such thought patterns, and then relaying them as wireless commands for Asimo, its human-shaped robot.
the rest

Bishop Michael Nazir Ali – ‘Enough is Enough’

Charles Raven
30th March 2009

Two very different interpretations of Bishop Michael Nazir Ali’s resignation have emerged in the British press today.

Melanie Phillips offers a careful assessment based on the facts of Dr Nazir Ali’s ministry and sees it as a shocking indictment of the Church of England that a bishop should have to resign in order to defend the teaching of the Church and its members effectively.

In contrast the Daily Telegraph’s George Pitcher speculates that the bishop mistakenly gambled on GAFCON becoming predominant and his departure signifies its demise as an effective movement in the Anglican Communion. “The traditionalist schism” we are assured “has fizzled out”.

While I have no privileged access to the thinking behind Bishop Nazir Ali’s decision, in retrospect we can see that even some two years ago he gave a strong hint that he might take such action, and for reasons which seem to have totally eluded George Pitcher.

In an address of 2nd April 2007 (subsequently published by Latimer trust as ‘Truth and Unity in Christian Fellowship’, Latimer Briefing 7), well before GAFCON was under consideration, he warned of a point where it would be no longer possible with integrity to work with the grain of the Church of England because of its chronic tendency to capitulate to the surrounding culture. There will come a time when “we will have to say ‘Enough is enough. We need now to bear prophetic witness to the culture around us, to the state, even within the church.’” (Latimer Briefing 7, p12)

It seems that Dr Nazir Ali has himself now come to that point where ‘Enough is enough’ the rest

Study: Abortions Cause Future Relationship Problems, More Domestic Violence

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 30, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- Some women decide to have abortions because they think having a baby will contribute to problems in their relationship with their husband or boyfriend.

However, a new national study finds abortion causes more future relationship problems than carrying the pregnancy to term and parenting.Dr. Priscilla Coleman, a professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Bowling Green State University headed up the study with Vincent Rue of the Florida-based Institute for Pregnancy Loss and post-abortion researcher Catherine Coyle.

"For both men and women the experience of an abortion in a previous relationship was related to negative outcomes in the current relationship: perceptions of improved quality of life if this relationship also ended and intimate partner violence," they write. the rest

Albert Mohler: Does Your Pastor Believe in God?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A news report from the Netherlands points to a form of theological insanity that is spreading far beyond the Dutch. Ecumenical News International reports that church authorities in the Netherlands have decided not to take action against a Dutch pastor who openly declares himself to be an atheist.

The pastor, Klaas Hendrikse, serves a congregation of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. In 2007 he published a book described as a "manifesto of an atheist pastor." In the book Hendrikse argues for the non-existence of God, but he insists that he does believe in God as a concept.
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First Things: Barack Obama and Notre Dame: Juris Doctor Honoris Causa?

By Francis J. Beckwith
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

If you have not heard yet, President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation from the University of Notre Dame—not only to address its graduates at its May 17 commencement exercises but also to have bestowed upon him at this event an honorary doctorate of laws.

The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic university, which means that it affirms the truth of Catholic moral theology and all that it entails about liberty, community, and the dignity of the human person. According to Catholic moral theology, a regime whose laws sequester a group of human beings from its protections for reasons that are capricious and gravely immoral is a regime whose laws on this matter are not really laws at all. In fact, we need not even consult a Catholic theologian, philosopher, or legal scholar to receive clarity on this question. We can cite the words of a Baptist minister, who made generous use of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas in what has become one of the most important epistles in American political discourse. On April 16, 1963, in his “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned these words:

I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all.” Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. the rest

Malkin: Tea Party progress report

Michelle Malkin
March 30, 2009

Just 15 days until the Tax Day Tea Party protest! 300 cities and counting. Your places for all the latest planning developments, as always:



Tax Day Tea Party
TCOT Report
DontGoMovement
Smart Girl Politics

Check out the full list of TDTP sponsors and supporting organizations here.

Get some Tax Day Tea Party gear here.
(Just ordered the iTeaParty t-shirt.) More image

Why the Democrats Can't Govern

Look who's killing Obama's agenda now
by Jonathan Chait
Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The last Democrat who held the White House, Bill Clinton, saw the core of his domestic agenda come to ruin, his political support collapse, and his failure spawn a massive Republican resurgence that made progressive reform impossible for a decade to come. The Democrat who last held the White House before that, Jimmy Carter, saw the exact same thing happen to him.

At this early date, nobody can know whether or not Barack Obama will escape this fate. But the contours of failure are now clearly visible. In Obama's case, as with his predecessors, the prospective culprit is the same: Democrats in Congress, and especially the Senate. At a time when the country desperately needs a coherent response to the array of challenges it faces, the congressional arm of the Democratic Party remains mired in fecklessness, parochialism, and privilege. Obama has made mistakes, as did his predecessors. Yet the constant recurrence of legislative squabbling and drift suggests a deeper problem than any characterological or tactical failures by these presidents: a congressional party that is congenitally unable to govern. the rest

PB Schori's Easter Message

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church

The light returns and the days lengthen, even if it remains startlingly dark as we rise these days -- daylight savings time is not always a blessing so early in the year! Christians, however, look for light even in the midst of darkness, for we know that darkness will not overcome it. The rising of the Son brings light into lives filled with grief, agony, and despair. Are you searching for the light of new life?

Easter recollects us and reorients us toward God's eternal light of truth and peace and love. The resurrection is the ultimate proclamation that nothing can separate us from that light, not despair or destruction or death. We see hints of that resurrection all around us once our eyes have learned to look, and we continue to hope for its fullness, for the blessing of a light so encompassing that there can be no darkness or separation. Lent has been a willingness to experience the darkness of our current separation and tune our yearning for that light. Carry that yearning into Eastertide, and beyond, that we and the world around us may know the blessing of the light of Christ. link

Easter 2009

Obama nominee sees no "reason why sharia law would not be applied to govern a case in the United States"

March 30, 2009

On top of that, this Obama pick believes that "America's focus on the War on Terror [is] 'obsessive.'" And his list of countries that flagrantly disregard international law highlights North Korea, Iraq, and the U.S.A. -- which he collectively calls "the axis of disobedience."

"Obama's most perilous legal pick," by Meghan Clyne for the New York Post, March 30 (thanks to Doc Washburn):

JUDGES should interpret the Constitution according to other nations' legal "norms." Sharia law could apply to disputes in US courts. The United States constitutes an "axis of disobedience" along with North Korea and Saddam-era Iraq.

Those are the views of the man on track to become one of the US government's top lawyers: Harold Koh.
the rest

Monday, March 30, 2009

EDS Chooses Abortion-Rights Leader as Next Dean

March 30, 2009

The Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, vicar of St. David’s Church, Pepperell, Mass., was named president and dean of Episcopal Divinity School by unanimous vote of the board of trustees.

Brett Donham, chairman of the EDS board of trustees, made the announcement March 30. She will assume her new responsibilities effective July 1.

“Katherine’s gifts, skills, and experience are an excellent match with the criteria established by the search committee, both in terms of the current challenges and opportunities at EDS, and the personal attributes we are looking for in a new leader,” Mr. Donham said.

Dr. Ragsdale has served as vicar of St. David’s since 1996. Since 2005, she has also served as president and executive director of Political Research Associates, a progressive think tank dedicated to building a more just and inclusive democratic society by exposing movements, institutions, and ideologies on the political and Christian Right “that undermine human rights,” according to information published on the organization’s website. During her tenure at Political Research Associates, Dr. Ragsdale helped the organization successfully broaden its donor base as part of a transition from a founder-led institution.

She has also been a passionate advocate and author on abortion from a Christian perspective. She served for 17 years (eight as chairwoman) on the national board for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). As chairwoman, she oversaw a sweeping reorganization that included a change of name and mission. During her tenure, the RCRC doubled the size of both its staff and budget. She also serves on the board of NARAL: Pro-Choice America, The White House Project, the Progressive Religious Partnership, and the advisory board of The Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence. She is a widely sought speaker on public policy issues affecting women, professional ethics as well as lesbian and gay rights. the rest

Father Cantalamessa: There Is a Very Close Relationship Between Conscience and the Holy Spirit

Lenten Sermon
VATICAN CITY
MARCH 27, 2009

Excerpt:
Up to now we have dealt with the conscience, the first area in which guidance of the Holy Spirit is exercised. There is a second area, which is the Church. The internal witness of the Holy Spirit should be combined with the external, visible and objective witness, which is the apostolic magisterium. In the book of Revelation, at the end of each of the seven letters, we hear the admonishment: "Let anyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches" (Revelation 2:7).

The Spirit also speaks to the churches and the communities, not just to individuals. In the Acts of the Apostles St. Peter brings the two testimonies of the Holy Spirit together, the interior and exterior, the personal and the public. He has just finished speaking to the crowd about Christ put to death and resurrected, and they feel "cut to the heart" (Acts 2:37). He spoke the same words in front of the heads of the Sanhedrin, and they became irate (cfr. Acts 4:8). The same words, the same preacher, but an entirely different effect. How could this be? The explanation is found in these words that the Apostle said at that time: "We are witnesses to this, we and the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him." (Acts 5:32)

The two testimonies need to come together so that the faith can flower: the apostle's who proclaims the word and the Holy Spirit's that allows it to be accepted. The same idea is expressed in the gospel of John, when, speaking about the Paraclete, Jesus says: "he will be my witness. And you too will be witnesses" (John 15:26).

It is just as deadly to try to forego either of the two guides of the Spirit. When the interior testimony is neglected, we easily fall into legalism and authoritarianism; when the exterior, apostolic testimony is neglected, we fall into subjectivism and fanaticism. In ancient times the Gnostics refused the apostolic, official testimony. St. Irenaeus wrote these famous words in apposition to them:

"For this gift of God has been entrusted to the Church, as breath was to the first created man… of which all those are not partakers who do not join themselves to the Church… Alienated thus from the truth, they do deservedly wallow in all error, tossed to and fro by it, thinking differently in regard to the same things at different times, and never attaining to a well-grounded knowledge".[9]

When everything is reduced to just the personal, private listening to the Spirit, the path is opened to a unstoppable process of division and subdivision, because everyone believe they are right. And the very division and multiplication of denominations and sects, often contrasting each other in their essential points, demonstrates that the same Spirit of truth in speaking cannot be in all, because otherwise he would be contradicting himself.

Full sermon Image

Navy Secretary Nominee Drew Notice Over Divorce

By JIM RUTENBERG
March 29, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s nominee for secretary of the Navy was involved in a divorce that drew national attention for his secret taping of a conversation between his wife and his family priest that he used against her in court proceedings.

The nominee, Ray Mabus, is a former governor of Mississippi and a former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and he served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Mr. Mabus, a Democrat, was a strong supporter of Mr. Obama in the campaign last year.

In 1998, as Mr. Mabus and his wife, Julie (now Julie Hines), sought to work out their marital problems, he surreptitiously recorded a meeting the couple had with the Rev. Jerry McBride, a mutual friend. the rest

Keeping watch

There has long been uneasiness about the degree to which we are scrutinised by the authorities, but with innovations like Google's Street View we are being urged to spy on each other. Advances in technology are not being matched by any heightening of scruples
Melanie McDonagh
28 March 2009

My paternal granny used to spend hours every day in the upstairs room looking out across the street on the neighbours at the other side. There was one house in particular that she used to scrutinise closely and there was little they got up to in the way of coming and going that she was not privy to. I have no notion whether the inmates of the house had any idea whether they were being observed, and whether, as cells under observation are said to do, they subtly altered their behaviour to take account of the fact there was an interested party just opposite.

Little did I know it at the time, but my granny was ahead of the herd. We are gradually acquiring the means to monitor each other in a number of interesting ways. The latest development is Google's Street View, which offers the opportunity to examine a particular house in a particular street in the towns that the site covers. Like half the population I've been working through my address book, typing in postcodes and seeing for myself where others live. The novelty wears off in about a minute, but I got to see that one journalist of my acquaintance lives in an impossibly grand house but I didn't care for the look of one former editor's address. My own mansion-block flat did not feature in Street View; it's on the top floor. the rest image

Bishop of Rochester’s surprise resignation

Monday, 30th March 2009
By George Conger

The resignation of the Bishop of Rochester has come as a surprise to leaders of the conservative wing of the Anglican Communion, American, Australian and Pakistani church leaders tell Religiousintelligence.com.

On March 28, a diocesan press statement said the Rt. Rev. Michael Nazir Ali would stand down on Sept 1 as Bishop of Rochester to “work with a number of church leaders from areas where the church is under pressure, particularly in minority situations, who have asked him to assist them with education and training for their particular situation.”

Dr. Nazir Ali appended a personal note to the announcement saying he and his family thanked “God for his blessings and for friends we have made in the Diocese in the past 15 years. I am so grateful to God for the friendship and loyalty of those around us and ask for people’s prayers as we take this step of faith ‘not knowing where we are going’ (Heb 11:8).” the rest

Tax Day Tea Party Site Hit By Denial of Service Attack

29 March 2009

The coalition organizing the February 27 and April 15 Tea Parties has been under an orchestrated, coordinated distributed denial of service (ddos) attack since Friday, March 27. Efforts to thwart the attack continue.

The attacks prevent the public from reaching the organization’s main site and prevent administrators and volunteers from updating information on the site.

While the attacking IP addresses indicate locations in Russia, China, and other European and Asian locations, the attack is most likely being conducted by a United States citizen or political group opposed to the Tea Party concepts of smaller government, lower taxes, strict adherence to the rule of Constitutional law, and fiscal responsibility.
the rest

2009 Tea Parties

Bishop Love of Albany on the Recent HoB Meeting; Votes ‘No’ on Forrester

Excerpt:
The most controversial discussion during the HOB meeting centered on the election of the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester, Bishop-Elect of Northern Michigan. A number of bishops spoke both for and against the consent of Bishop-Elect Forrester. Concern was expressed over the election process itself which resulted in Rev. Forrester being the only nominee; the controversy surrounding his connection with Zen Buddhism; several of his liturgical practices to include his rewriting the Baptismal Covenant and Eucharistic prayers; and his teachings on the Trinity. Bishops with jurisdiction and all Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church will be asked to vote for or against the consent of his election. It is too early to know what the final outcome will be. The consent process can last up to 120 days. I voted NO to his consent.

The Mission Funding Initiative was another topic that generated a great deal of debate and expressed concern by several bishops. The stated intent of the MFI is to provide supplemented support of TEC’s mission efforts which have traditionally been funded by assessment income. Large and substantial gifts will be solicited reportedly to support the following five Funds: The Fund for Congregational Development; Leadership in Ministry; Communications; Spiritual Enrichment; and Global Ministry. An additional use of the funds, not formally listed among the five Funds of the Mission Funding Initiative identified above, but verbally mentioned by one of the presenters was the establishment of a legal fund to support future legal actions taken by TEC. I expressed my grave concern to the House of Bishops over all the ongoing law suits dealing with property disputes within The Episcopal Church. I am very much aware of all the arguments and rationale for the law suits, however, I firmly believe that regardless of who wins in court, ultimately everyone loses. There has to be a better, more pastoral and Christ-like way of dealing with these issues than the current actions being taken. The Lord calls the Church to rise above the ways of the world in dealing with disputes. We need to conduct ourselves in such a way that the love and Good News of Jesus Christ shines forth, building up the Kingdom of God, not tearing it down.

Full Letter at Stand Firm

The church’s lost leader

Melanie Phillips
Daily Mail
30 March 2009

The resignation of Michael Nazir-Ali as Bishop of Rochester is a terrible blow, not just for the Church of England but for Britain.

The bishop says he is resigning so that he can work for endangered or beleaguered Christian minorities both abroad and in the UK.

What a shocking rebuke to the church, that he has to leave his post of influence and authority as a bishop in order to carry out the church’s core duty to defend its own against attack.

Shocking — but hardly surprising. Across the world, in countries such as Nigeria and Sudan, millions of Christians are being persecuted at the hands of militant Islam, with forced conversions, the burning of churches and widespread violence.

Yet in the face of this global onslaught, the Church of England makes scarcely a peep of protest.
Worse still, when Dr Nazir-Ali warned last year that Islamic extremists had created ‘no-go areas’ across Britain where non-Muslims faced intimidation, he was disowned by his fellow churchmen who all but declared that he was a liar - even though he was telling the truth. the rest

Obama seeks Muslims for White House posts

45 Ivy League grads, Fortune 500 execs, government officials submitted for look
March 28, 2009
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama is conducting his own affirmative action program to get more Muslims in the White House.

The move began with Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn, who took his oath of office with a hand on the Quran, to solicit the resume of what he considered to be the nation's most qualified adherents of Islam.

According to the Denver Post, when White House officials heard about the program, it was put on overdrive. the rest

Obama Expected to Engage in Fence-Mending With Islamic Nations at Meeting in Turkey - CNS News

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Devotional: Lord, at Thy mercy seat...

Lord, at Thy mercy seat, humbly I fall;
Pleading Thy promise sweet, Lord, hear my call;
Now let Thy work begin, oh, make me pure within,
Cleanse me from every sin, Jesus, my all.

Tears of repentant grief, silently fall;
Help Thou my unbelief, hear Thou my call;
Oh, how I pine for Thee! ’Tis all my hope and plea:
Jesus has died for me, Jesus, my all.

Still at Thy mercy seat, Savior, I fall;
Trusting Thy promise sweet, heard is my call;
Faith wings my soul to Thee; this all my song shall be,
Jesus has died for me, Jesus my all.
...Fanny Crosby
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Jesus Wasn’t Always Nice

Mar 26, 2009
BY BISHOP THOMAS J. TOBIN

Jesus wasn’t always nice. I had to remember that in responding to some letters I received from readers who were disappointed by my recent article, My Interview with President Obama. Some folks didn’t like the rhetorical device I employed, namely the fictional interview I composed. Others felt that I was too hard on the President when I criticized him for using tax dollars to fund abortion overseas. They said that I was not being charitable as Jesus would have been.

For example, one letter writer complained that I presented the President as a clown. “I resent the insult to our President,” she said. One of my fans from Ohio wrote, “Wow! The venom really drips on this [column] . . . Easy to blast away from the comfort and security of your cemetery hermitage . . . What did you expect to accomplish?” And a third instructed me that “the Bible teaches us to love and pray for our enemies and to turn the other cheek and not attack them . . . Charity is patient and kind. It is not arrogant or rude.”

First I should note that I am seldom offended by people criticizing the things I’ve written. Inspiring healthy dialogue in the Church is one of the goals of my columns. I hope, though, that critics can always distinguish between my personal opinions and the essential teachings of the Church which, as Catholics they are obliged to accept.

I do find it intriguing, though, that the critics of the Obama column were more offended by my writing than the fact that the President is using their tax dollars to destroy unborn children. (And now to engage in the destruction of human embryos in stem cell research.) But it still seems to me that if the President’s anti-life actions don’t stir up moral outrage in you, nothing; if they don’t offend your conscience, you need a conscience transplant, my friend. the rest image

Study: [Adult] Stem cell treatment effective in heart patients

March 28, 2009

A stem cell treatment designed to regenerate the heart led to less discomfort and an "improved tolerance" for exercise in patients suffering severe heart disease and chest pain known as angina, a study announced today that is led by Northwestern University and sponsored by Baxter International Inc. shows.

Nearly 170 adult patients were studied for six months after having their own stem cells injected into their hearts. Although still early in research, researchers conducting the trial say the results are significant enough that research will continue into a critical final stage with a larger group of patients studied.

"The six-month, phase II data provide the first evidence that a patient's own stem cells could actually be used as a treatment for their heart disease," said Dr. Douglas Losordo, director of Northwestern University's Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute. the rest

Archbishop confronts BBC Director General over its treatment of religion

The Archbishop of Canterbury has complained to the Director General of the BBC about the decline of religious programming at the Corporation.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones,
Religious Affairs Correspondent
29 Mar 2009

Dr Rowan Williams warned Mark Thompson at a meeting at Lambeth Palace that the broadcaster must not ignore its Christian audience.

His intervention comes amid mounting concern among senior members of the Church of England that the BBC is downgrading its religious output and giving preferential treatment to minority faiths.

The corporation recently sacked its head of religious programmes, Michael Wakelin, a Methodist preacher.

The emergence of a Muslim as the front-runner to succeed Mr Wakelin, along with the recent appointment of a Sikh to produce Songs of Praise, has raised fears within the Church that the Christian voice is being sidelined. the rest

Married Catholic priests gain acceptance

Family used to questions, but mainly they find they're accepted
BY PATRICIA MONTEMURRI
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
March 29, 2009

There are few women who can say they are married to a Roman Catholic priest. And few people who can say their dad is the man whom Catholic churchgoers address formally as "Father Steve."

But Cindy Anderson and her three sons can, and they were among the rush of congregants who gathered for 10 a.m. mass on a recent Sunday at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Goodrich.

The parish priest is Cindy's husband and the father of Austin, 24, Steven Jr., 14, and Christian, 11. The Rev. Steve Anderson has been a Catholic priest since 2003, when he became the second priest in Michigan to be ordained under an exception to the Catholic Church's celibacy rule for married ministers serving some Protestant denominations.

About 100 married men, mostly ministers in Episcopal churches in the United States, have sought permission from the Vatican to be ordained as Catholic priests since Pope John Paul II allowed it in 1980. the rest

The Secret of Benedict XVI's Popularity. In Spite of Everything

Despite being rocked by criticism, this pope continues to enjoy the trust of the masses. His trip to Africa and a survey in Italy prove this. The reason is that he speaks of God to a humanity in search of direction
by Sandro Magister

ROME, March 27, 2009 – On the flight back from his trip to Cameroon and Angola, Benedict XVI told the journalists that two things in particular had been ingrained in his memory:

"On the one hand, the almost exuberant hospitality and the joy of a festive Africa. In the pope, they saw the personification of the fact that we are all children of God and his family. This family exists, and we, with all of our limitations, are in this family, and God is with us."

On the other hand, there was the spirit of recollection at the liturgies, the strong sense of the sacred: in the liturgies, there was no self-representation of groups, no self-promotion, but the presence of the sacred, of God himself. Even the movements, the dances, were always respectful and cognizant of the divine presence.

"Popularity and presence of God. The interweaving of these two elements is the secret of Joseph Ratzinger's pontificate.
the rest-don't miss this!