Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Nicene Creed sung by Orthodox Church Choir

What happened to global warming?

Friday, 9 October 2009
By Paul Hudson
Climate correspondent, BBC News

This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998.

But it is true. For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures.

And our climate models did not forecast it, even though man-made carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise.

So what on Earth is going on? the rest

Abortion Foes Tell of Their Journey to the Streets

By DAMIEN CAVE
October 9, 2009

OWOSSO, Mich. — Action means many things to abortion opponents. Lobbyists and fund-raisers fight for the cause in marble hallways; volunteers at crisis pregnancy centers try to dissuade the pregnant on cozy sofas.

Then there are the protesters like James Pouillon, who was shot dead here last month while holding an anti-abortion sign outside a high school. A martyr to some, an irritant to others, Mr. Pouillon in death has become a blessing of sorts for the loosely acquainted activists who knew him as a friend: proof that abortion doctors are not the only ones under duress, proof that protests matter, and a spark for more action.

“Jim suffered the persecution for us,” said Dan Brewer, who recalls swearing at Mr. Pouillon during one of his one-man protests in the ’90s, only to join him later after becoming a born-again Christian. “Now we just have to go out and do it.” the rest

Behind the Scenes: Picturing Fetal Remains

U.S. Lawmakers Urge India to Bring Justice to Christians

By Babu Thomas
Christian Today Reporter
Sat, Oct. 10 2009

A group of U.S. lawmakers have written to the Chief Minister of India's eastern state of Orissa, calling for action against those who have carried out attacks against Christians.

"Such attacks on the fundamental freedom of religion threaten not only India's reputation for religious diversity, but also the very stability of India's secular democracy," the 21 lawmakers, led by Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), state in the letter addressed to Naveen Patnaik.

Just over a dozen people have been convicted so far for the anti-Christian violence that erupted last year and many remain at large.
the rest

A Look at Christianity, Through a Buddhist Lens

By PETER STEINFELS
October 9, 2009

Five decades ago, Paul F. Knitter, then a novice studying to become a Roman Catholic priest, would be in the seminary chapel at 5:30 every morning, trying to stay awake and spend time in meditation before Mass.

Last Wednesday, at the same hour, he was sitting on his Zen cushion meditating in the Claremont Avenue apartment he occupies as the Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions and Culture at Union Theological Seminaryin New York.

A few hours later he was talking about his pointedly titled new book, “Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian” (Oneworld). The book is the outcome of decades of encounters with Buddhism — and of struggles with his own faith. the rest

Day in court: Churches facing legal battles over property

Churches facing legal battles over property remain dependent on state-by-state rulings
Edward E. Plowman
posted October 10,2009

If your denomination-affiliated congregation bought land, erected a church building, and maintained it for years, all with its own money, but has decided to withdraw from its denomination to join another or none, who owns the church property now?

It depends on which state and which denomination your church is in— even if your church's name is on the property title deed and everything is in order.

Some denominations have imposed a unilateral trust on the property of their member churches: If a congregation leaves, the property stays with the denomination.

Denominations like The Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Presbyterian Church (USA) have been hauling an increasing number of dissident congregations into court. They are spending millions and going to the mat to protect their trust-clause franchises. TEC's Colorado diocese alone spent $2.9 million battling successfully for the property of just a single church in Colorado Springs, according to a diocesan report.
the rest

Conservative Episcopalians prepare for their exodus

Worshipers who split from the national church prepare to turn over the keys to the diocese after losing a property battle.
By Duke Helfand
October 10, 2009

The people of St. Luke's Anglican Church have called their La Crescenta parish home for 85 years. Generations of families have grown up within its historic stone walls.

On Sunday, the Rev. Rob Holman will deliver his final sermon there, an epitaph to a bruising legal fight the congregation waged and lost to practice its conservative brand of Christian theology and hold on to the church.

On Monday, St. Luke's leaders will hand over its keys to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
the rest

Friday, October 09, 2009

Brain Waves Surge Moments Before Death

Irene Klotz, Discovery News

Oct. 6, 2009 -- A study of seven terminally ill patients found identical surges in brain activity moments before death, providing what may be physiological evidence of "out of body" experiences reported by people who survive near-death ordeals.

Doctors at George Washington University Medical Faculty Associates recorded brain activity of people dying from critical illnesses, such as cancer or heart attacks.

Moments before death, the patients experienced a burst in brain wave activity, with the spikes occurring at the same time before death and at comparable intensity and duration. the rest

Pope Benedict: Western world ‘is exporting its spiritual toxic waste’ to Africa

Robert Mickens
10 October 2009

Pope Benedict XVI has opened a three-week Synod for Africa at the Vatican by comparing the continent to an “enormous spiritual lung” in the midst of a faithless and hope-deprived world.

But during Mass in St Peter’s Basilica on Sunday he warned that “practical materialism” and religious fundamentalism were like “two dangerous pathologies” that were infecting the continent where the Catholic Church is experiencing its greatest growth.

The Catholic population of Africa has shot up from 1.9 million in 1900 to almost 165 million today, and more than 40 per cent of all adult baptisms in the world take place in Africa.

During the synod’s opening liturgy, which featured more Latin and Gregorian chant than African languages and hymns, the Pope blamed the “so-called First World” for continuing to “export its spiritual toxic waste” to the continent.

“In this sense, colonialism, which is over at a political level, has never really entirely come to an end,” he said in a lengthy homily delivered entirely in Italian. the rest

Editorial: Amen, Pittsburgh

The Living Church
October 9, 2009

The Episcopal Church’s Diocese of Pittsburgh achieved something extraordinary on Oct. 5: It showed grace to more than 100 clergy who have followed their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert W. Duncan, out of the Episcopal Church and into what is now the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The diocese’s eight-member standing committee has offered these priests and deacons the option of renouncing their ministry rather than being deposed. Further, the standing committee clarified that these renunciations applied only to ministry within the Episcopal Church. In the most important sentence of a two-page letter to their former brothers and sisters in ministry, members of the standing committee wrote this: “This does not affect your ordination, which you may register with whatever entity you choose.”

In writing this, the standing committee addressed the primary concern of clergy who must consider the terms of Canon III.9.8: A lack of clarity about whether they are renouncing the entirety of their holy orders or merely acknowledging that they no longer wish to be clergy of the Episcopal Church.

No wonder the Rt. Rev. Kenneth Price, who awaits the diocesan convention’s affirmation as provisional bishop, found this decision moving. “As the standing committee worked through this necessary action,” he said, “I was painfully aware that they were not just talking about a list of clergy, but friends of long standing.” the rest

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion..."

"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love, and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even his life to love us. So the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love - that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. " ...Mother Teresa image

Batavia NY: Local Anglicans (CANA) celebrate milestone with special guest

by Billie Owens
October 9, 2009

It's been a good year for the Anglican Community Church in Batavia. Several months ago, the congregation was accepted as a member of the Convocation of Anglicans of North America (CANA), and to top it off, this month the church is hosting a VIP.

That would be Bishop David Bena.

The local Anglican church was established in 2004 and since then, its goal has been to become a member of CANA. And so sanctioned, it now has oversight by bishops, much to the Anglicans' delight.

"After being in sort of limbo, to become members of CANA, it is a great joy to have Bishop Bena come so far to meet us," said parishioner Onolee Grower. "It is a strong visible sign of our inclusion into a wonderful church. Knowing there is a real person -- not just a name at some distant place -- to turn to for guidance and help is a real comfort." the rest

Covenant would not be Anglican, says Selby

By Simon Sarmiento
9 October, 2009

BASING full membership of the Anglican Communion on compliance with the text of a covenant may send unintended messages about exclusion, Dr Peter Selby, the former Bishop of Worcester, said this week.

Speaking at the Inclusive Church conference, Dr Selby offered a detailed critique of Communion, Covenant, and our Anglican Future, the statement issued by Dr Rowan Williams after the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the United States. (News, 31 July,)Dr Selby said that both of the main arguments made in the Archbishop’s paper had a two-edged character.

The requirement that, in order to be recognisable, Anglicans needed patterns and convictions such as those proposed in the Anglican Covenant, raised the fundamental biblical question “recognisable to whom?” Being recognisable to “the least of the brothers and sisters” (Matthew 25) mattered at least as much as being recognisable to other provinces, Dr Selby contended. the rest

Scotland: Sex education for four-year-olds

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Children as young as four are to become the youngest in Scotland to be given sex education lessons under a new curriculum from Glasgow City Council.

Lessons begin in P1 with children being taught about body parts and conclude in S6 with classes on sexually transmitted infection, especially HIV and Aids.

However, the Scottish Conservative Party said there would be "massive concerns" about the scheme. the rest

Hate crimes bill - law by the weekend?

Allie Martin
OneNewsNow
10/8/2009

A spokesman with the American Family Association says the hate crimes bill passed Thursday afternoon by the House could have a chilling effect on free speech and religious freedoms in the nation. If the bill passes the Senate, federal prosecutors will be able to intervene in cases of violence against people because of gender, sexual orientation, "gender identity," or disability. (See Associated Press story below)

Bryan Fischer is director of issues analysis for the American Family Association. The bill passed by the House, he says, is alarming.

"For the first time in American history we are criminalizing thought," he laments. "Thomas Jefferson said the reach of legislation should extend to actions only and not to opinions -- and now we are punishing people not just for what they did, but what they were thinking when they did it. the rest

House Votes to Expand Hate Crimes Definition

Plan for women bishops put on ice to avoid defections from Church of England

The Times
October 9, 2009
Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

Plans to consecrate women bishops in the Church of England have been delayed by at least four years in an attempt to avoid mass defections by opponents of women’s ordination.

Church legislators have backtracked on a decision made by the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, last year to consecrate women bishops with minimal concessions to opponents.

The Church will now be asked again to approve the plans for “super bishops”, which were rejected in July last year and which will create a new class of bishop, operating in traditionalist zones “untainted” by the spectre of women bishops. the rest

Church removes power from women bishops

Women bishops may not be equal to men under controversial new Church of England proposals

Anglicans, in row, may cut women bishops' powers

Komen for the Cure Races as Research Shows Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 7, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- With October as breast cancer awareness month, Komen for the Cure is sponsoring races and events across the country to raise awareness of the potentially fatal disease. However, Komen isn't providing women with information on a way to help prevent breast cancer by not having an abortion.

Although abortion advocates, and Komen, dismiss the research, experts have clearly shown an abortion-breast cancer link.

The upshot? Having an abortion increases a woman's risk of having breast cancer while carrying a pregnancy to term lowers it. the rest

Stats:
-A July study done on women in Turkey who had abortions found a 66 percent increased risk of contracting breast cancer as a result.

-In 2007, a study published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found abortion is the best predictor of whether women will contract breast cancer.

-A study by Harvard University researchers in April 2007 contained confirmation that carrying a pregnancy to term helps reduce a woman's risk.

-Also, researchers at the German Cancer Research Center found a woman's risk of contracting breast cancer is lowered and the decrease is more substantial the more pregnancies a woman has had.

Albert Mohler: Abortion and the American Conscience

Thursday, October 08, 2009

America has been at war over abortion for the last four decades. When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, the court's majority attempted to put an end to the abortion question. To the contrary, that decision both enlarged and revealed the great moral divide that runs through the center of our culture.

Most Americans seem completely unaware of the actual contours of the abortion debate as it emerged in the early 1970s. In 1973, the primary opposition to abortion on demand came from the Roman Catholic Church. Evangelicals -- representative of the larger American culture -- were largely out of the debate. At that time, a majority of evangelicals seemed to see abortion as a largely Catholic issue. It took the shock of Roe v. Wade and the reality of abortion on demand to awaken the Evangelical conscience. the rest

President Obama Receives Nobel Peace Prize. War on the Womb Continues

By Deacon Keith Fournier
10/9/2009
Catholic Online

God spoke through the Prophet Jeremiah in warning many centuries ago 'Peace, Peace! they say, though there is no peace.'

The news this morning is nothing less than extraordinary. President Barrack Obama has just been awarded the “Nobel Peace Prize”. The Associated Press was the first to break the story. In announcing the Award the committee said that it was being given to the President for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." They specifically pointed to his efforts to reach out to the Muslim world and bring an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. What makes the giving of this globally prestigious award most astounding, and what, in the words of the AP release “shocked Nobel observers” is that this new President had only been in office for two weeks before the Feb.1 deadline for nominations...

... On this day when we have heard the news that President Barack Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize, let us pray that the Lord would open his heart to see the TRUTH - confirmed by medical science, written on every human heart by the Natural Law and, yes, confirmed in the very Christian Revelation which he claims to profess as his own - that the Child in the womb is our neighbor. Sadly, I have concluded that this President who rode into office calling us to “love our neighbor” is a walking contradiction. It simply is always wrong to kill our innocent neighbor.

It is not the path to peace. By failing to hear the cry of all of these children who are being killed daily under the violence unleashed by the public policy of abortion on demand in America, we have, in effect, turned an entire segment of our human family into property to be used, abused or killed at any time, while all the while calling these evil acts of war “choices”, as if true freedom could ever properly choose what is always wrong and always destroys peace.

Mother Teresa is ABSOLUTELY right. The greatest destroyer of Peace is Abortion. The Living God spoke through the great Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah in warning to His people many centuries ago “"Peace, Peace!" they say, though there is no peace.” In this announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize Recipient today, October 9, 2009, I hear the echo of those sobering words. President Obama Receives the Nobel Peace prize while the War on the Womb Continues Unabated.
Full Essay

President Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Oct 9, 2009
By KARL RITTER and MATT MOORE
Associated Press Writers

OSLO (AP) - President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation. the rest

Obama peace prize win polarizes Web
News that U.S. President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize has been as polarizing as his embattled healthcare reform plans.

Praise and Doubt for Obama’s Nobel Prize
Obama won for his diplomatic efforts—and he remains popular overseas—but reactions about the merits and timing of the honor were immediate. Obama is the third and youngest president to win the award. He has been in office for 262 days.

Obama won the Peace Prize, but for what?
The prize seems to be more for Obama's promise than for his performance. Work on the president's ambitious agenda, both at home and abroad, is barely underway, much less finished. He has no standout moment of victory that would seem to warrant a verdict as sweeping as that issued by the Nobel committee.

TIME: Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: The Last Thing He Needs
The last thing Barack Obama needed at this moment in his presidency and our politics is a prize for a promise.

Times Online: Absurd decision on Obama makes a mockery of the Nobel peace prize
The award of this year’s Nobel peace prize to President Obama will be met with widespread incredulity, consternation in many capitals and probably deep embarrassment by the President himself.

Obama Peace Prize win has Americans asking why?
"It looks less like an objective award than it does a political endorsement"



Arab Reaction Overwhelmingly Positive to Obama Nobel Prize
Initial reaction in the Arab world - among leaders and the public at large - has been overwhelmingly positive to the news that President Obama is the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

That's Nobel-Prize Winning Teleprompter to You...
...If you need a look on the lighter side...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Devotional: It was no exceptional thing for Jesus to withdraw Himself...

It was no exceptional thing for Jesus to withdraw Himself “into the wilderness to pray.” He was never for one moment of any day out of touch with God. He was speaking and listening to the Father all day long; and yet He, who was in such constant touch with God, felt the need, as well as the joy, of more prolonged and more quiet communion with Him... Most of the reasons that drive us to pray for strength and forgiveness could never have driven Him; and yet He needed prayer. ...GH Knight image by Argenberg

Worst Volcanoes Even More Dangerous Than Feared

Brian Handwerk
for National Geographic News
October 7, 2009

Some of the world's most dangerous volcanoes can erupt much more quickly than scientists had suspected, according to a new study of the massive 2008 eruption of Chile's Chaitén volcano.

Normally scientists can track the seismic rumblings that precede most volcanic eruptions for weeks or even months, as magma in the volcano slowly rises to the surface.

But when townspeople at the base of the Chaitén volcano first felt earthquakes on April 30, 2008, they had only 30 hours to get out before the long-dormant volcano began to blow its top. the rest image

The Bishop's Ax Falls on Obama. And on the Vatican Curia

In a bombshell article published in Rome, the bishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, criticizes the American president and the churchmen who praise him, curia cardinal Cottier first among them. But the Vatican secretariat of state is also under fire
by Sandro Magister

ROME, October 8, 2009 – "I will always forcefully defend the right of the bishops to criticize me," Barack Obama pledged just before his meeting with Benedict XVI last July 10.

Indeed. About 80 of the Catholic bishops of the United States are in open disagreement with him on crucial questions, in primis the defense of life. Among these is Cardinal Francis George, president of the bishops' conference and archbishop of Chicago, Obama's city.

And there's also the bishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, 65, member of a Native American tribe and a Capuchin Franciscan. Last year, he published a book that starts getting its point across right from the title: "Render unto Caesar. Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life." It is right to give Caesar that which belongs to him. But one serves the nation by living one's own Catholic faith in political life.

Chaput does not like the fact that in Rome, at the Vatican, they turn a deaf ear to the criticisms of Obama made by the American Church. He especially didn't like the effusive praise heaped on the American president last July – in conjunction with Obama's meeting with the pope – by a venerated cardinal of the curia, Georges Cottier of Switzerland, theologian emeritus of the pontifical household, in an article published in the magazine "30 Days." the rest

NASA Moon "Bombings" Tomorrow: Sky Show, Water Expected

John Roach for National Geographic News
October 8, 2009

With its "bombing" of the moon early tomorrow, NASA's LCROSS mission may beat a telltale signature of water out of a shadowy crater—and all you may need to see it is a good backyard telescope.

LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) and its rocket will begin slamming into the South Pole just after 4:30 a.m. PT.

The LCROSS collision should reveal how much water ice exists in the permanently shadowed craters of the moon. Some theories suggest the lunar pits hold vast stores of water. the rest NASA image

FCC chairman warns of 'looming spectrum crisis'

By ELLIOT SPAGAT (AP)
Posted Oct. 8, 2009

SAN DIEGO — The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission warned Wednesday of "a looming spectrum crisis" if the government fails to find ways to come up with more bandwidth for mobile devices.

Julius Genachowski said the government is tripling the amount of spectrum available for commercial uses. The problem is that many industry experts predict wireless traffic will increase 30 times because of online video and other bandwidth-heavy applications.

Genachowski promised "a full-throated, strategic look" at how to close that gap between demand and supply, declaring it one of the FCC's highest priorities. The review will consider reallocating existing spectrum now used for other purposes, and encouraging development of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently. He said the FCC is open to ideas. the rest

FCC Looks to Add to Airwaves for Wireless

ENS: Executive Council expresses concern with covenant's disciplinary section

Response to communion outlines divergent views on current draft
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
October 08, 2009

[Episcopal News Service] The Episcopal Church's Executive Council said October 8 that the majority of the General Convention deputations and individual deputies that expressed an opinion do not support the disciplinary process outlined in the latest draft of a proposed Anglican covenant.

The comment came in the council's official response to the Ridley Cambridge Draft, which the members said addresses "some of the most difficult matters and substance relating to such a covenant."

The Anglican Communion's provinces were asked for specific comments on the draft's Section Four, which contains a dispute-resolution process.

"One [General Convention] deputation stated that Section Four is 'disturbing' because it creates a system of governance contrary to our understanding of Anglicanism and establishes a punitive system executed by a select committee," the council said. "On the other hand, a deputation felt that the fourth section is important because a governance section is needed to maintain a covenant." the rest

American troops in Afghanistan losing heart, say army chaplains

From The Times
October 8, 2009

Excerpt:
The chaplains said soldiers were seeking their help in unprecedented numbers. “Everyone you meet is just down, and you meet them everywhere — in the weight room, dining facility, getting mail,” said Captain Rico. Even “hard men” were coming to their tent chapel and breaking down.

The men are frustrated by the lack of obvious purpose or progress. “The soldiers’ biggest question is: what can we do to make this war stop. Catch one person? Assault one objective? Soldiers want definite answers, other than to stop the Taleban, because that almost seems impossible. It’s hard to catch someone you can’t see,” said Specialist Mercer.

“It’s a very frustrating mission,” said Lieutenant Hjelmstad. “The average soldier sees a friend blown up and his instinct is to retaliate or believe it’s for something [worthwhile], but it’s not like other wars where your buddy died but they took the hill. There’s no tangible reward for the sacrifice. It’s hard to say Wardak is better than when we got here.”

Captain Masengale, a soldier for 12 years before he became a chaplain, said: “We want to believe in a cause but we don’t know what that cause is.” the rest

Diocese of Atlanta to Take Part in Gay Pride Parade/ Gay Pride Eucharist

Source: Diocese of Atlanta
October 7, 2009

Atlanta's Pride Festival is Oct. 31 - Nov. 1 and, for the sixth year in a row, Episcopalians from throughout the Diocese of Atlanta will take part. Members of Episcopal churches will staff a booth in Piedmont Park, march in a Midtown parade and distribute water at St. Luke's Episcopal Church on Peachtree Street.

"Everyone is invited to participate, at whatever level you can, and help to spread the message that the Episcopal Church welcomes everyone!" said the Rev. Mac Thigpen, rector of St. Bartholomew's, Atlanta.
the rest-AAC

Vatican ruling on disputed Medjugorje shrine expected soon

October 7th, 2009

Has the Virgin Mary been appearing daily for many years in the once obscure Bosnian village of Medjugorje to share religious messages with a few local believers? Is the site visited by over 30 million pilgrims a hoax? The question has long divided Catholics who have debated whether the visions are a modern-day miracle, wishful thinking or the result of an elaborate fraud.

After observing events sceptically for many years, the Vatican may soon issue firmer guidance for Catholics on the claim that the mother of Jesus has been visiting the Balkans, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, head of the bishops’ conference in Bosnia, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. That guidance, if it clearly expresses the scepticism the official Church has long shown towards the Medjugorje phenomenon, could deal a serious blow to a site some Catholics see as a “new Lourdes.” the rest

Taking the pill for past 40 years 'has put women off masculine men'

By David Derbyshire
08th October 2009

It ushered in the 1960s sexual revolution and gave women control over their own fertility.

But the Pill may also have changed women's taste in men, according to a study.

Scientists say the hormones in the oral contraceptive suppress a woman's interest in masculine men and make boyish men more attractive. Although the change occurs for just a few days each month, it may have been highly influential since use of the Pill began more than 40 years ago. the rest

Canada: Anglican diocese in 'crisis'

By Lisa Weighton
Victoria News
October 07, 2009

The global economic crisis hit car manufactures, slammed the housing market and now, not even God can escape its economic wrath.

The Anglican Diocese of B.C. is in "crisis" and planning "drastic action," to make up for dwindling revenues, declining attendance and increased deficit within its parishes totalling about $1 million.
The economy and declining attendance is likely to blame. the rest

Atheist clubs are springing up in American high schools, warns head of US Catholic bishops

By Damian Thompson
October 7th, 2009

A “triumphalistic, self-righteous atheism” inspired by the work of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris is winning a following among American young people, leading to “atheist clubs” in high schools, according to Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

The cardinal, who is President of the US Catholic Bishops’ Conference, says that unbelief among young people is more than a question of stopping going to church: it is part of a fashionable “new atheism” which is every bit as intolerant as Christian fundamentalism. He told John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter:

“In Chicago, we now have atheist clubs in high schools. We didn’t have those five years ago. Kids I would have confirmed in the eighth grade, by the time they’re sophomores in high school say they’re atheists. They don’t just stop going to church, they make a statement. I think that’s new. That’s perhaps a bit more like Europe.” the rest

NH Christians arrested, asked: ‘Where is your God now?’

State law against ‘unreasonable or loud’ noise used to arrest Christians sharing gospel but not enforced against town-sponsored concerts
Wednesday, October 07, 2009

HAMPTON, N.H. — Alliance Defense Fund allied attorneys filed suit Wednesday in federal court on behalf of two Christians arrested for sharing their faith and singing worship songs on a public sidewalk in the Hampton Beach area. Police arrested the two men, charging them under a state law against “unreasonable or loud” noise, but the law has not been used against other much louder activities in the very busy beach district, including bands sponsored by the village precinct to increase business in the area.

Criminal charges against the two men were dismissed, clearing the way for a civil suit challenging the vague state law.

“Christians shouldn’t be arrested for expressing their beliefs. Arresting someone simply because he chooses to exercise his First Amendment rights in a public place is unconstitutional,” said ADF Senior Counsel Joseph Infranco. “These young men wanted to tell those who passed by about their faith. They were singled out and arrested for sharing their faith and worshipping God while much noisier activities have not undergone the same scrutiny. It is our hope that this suit will result in a more properly worded state statute.” the rest

Roman Polanski, Hollywood, and the Mystery of the Missing Outrage

Oct 8, 2009
Carson Holloway

The arrest in Switzerland of Roman Polanski, and his possible extradition to the United States to stand trial for the rape of a minor, has stirred a surprising public controversy. While many commentators have expressed satisfaction that he might be called to account for his crime, others, especially those in Hollywood, have come to Polanski's defense. The controversy itself is not so surprising as the character of the defense. After all, it is no shock that many would celebrate the prospect of a long delayed reckoning in the case of a child rapist. At the same time, it is not unheard of that Polanski would have his defenders, given the long time that has elapsed since his misdeed, the distinguished nature of his career as a director, and the fact that he seems to have kept out of serious trouble with the law for the last three decades.What is surprising, however, is to find Polanski's partisans reacting with indignation to his arrest and possible prosecution, as if he were a victim of some great injustice. It is understandable that some would feel pity for him. Here is a prominent and accomplished man, who committed a terrible crime many years ago, and who finds that it has, near the end of his life, finally caught up with him.

Stated in this way, Polanski's story sounds like the outline of a tragedy, and tragedy, as Aristotle observed, tends by its nature to evoke pity in the audience. Such pity need not be rooted in moral complacency, but in an admirable appreciation of the human frailty that we share with the wrongdoer—in our sense that we, too, might have been capable of such things, and might have come to face a similar punishment. Indeed, confronted with the spectacle of Polanski's arrest, we might be moved to pity, and to a profitable self-reflection, by the realization that we all have done things for which a just reckoning is due, and that we will have to face that reckoning here or hereafter. the rest

Worship Site Demolished, Pastors Arrested in China

Officials put on alert to use military force against potential “unrest” by churches.

LOS ANGELES, October 7 (CDN) — Following a mob attack on a church in northeastern China and the demolition of their worship site last month, the government put officials on alert to use military force against churches to quell potential “unrest,” according to a leading advocacy group.

Citing reliable government sources, China Aid Association (CAA) reported that the central government on Sept. 26-27 ordered officials in “all relevant government agencies” to prepare to use military force against Christians who might react to the attack on a Fushan Church branch congregation in Linfen city, Shanxi Province. In the wee hours of Sept. 13 some 400 uniformed police and civilians bearing shovels, batons, bricks, iron hooks and other weapons beat members of the church who were sleeping at the nearly finished factory building used as a worship site.

With several Fushan County officials involved in the attack, dozens of Christians were seriously injured among the more than 100 who were hurt, CAA reported. According to the Epoch Times, a church member’s relative obtained a license to build the shoe factory and was allowing the group to meet there, as the church was growing too large to meet in homes and the building could hold up to 400 people. the rest

Africa bishops speak of Obama in religious terms

Oct 7 2009
By DANIELA PETROFF
Associated Press Writers

VATICAN CITY (AP) - African bishops attending a Vatican meeting are speaking about the election of Barack Obama in divine terms—putting them very much at odds with many of their U.S. counterparts.

Archbishop Gabriel Charles Palmer-Buckle of Accra, Ghana said Wednesday that there was "a divine plan behind" Obama's election.

"It's like the biblical story repeating itself," he told reporters, citing the Old Testament figure Joseph, who after being sold into slavery in Egypt ends up becoming a top official. the rest

Abandoning the Most Vulnerable

Britain moves closer to legalizing assisted suicide.
by Wesley J. Smith
10/12/2009

On July 4, 1995, Myrna Lebov, age 52, committed suicide in her Manhattan apartment. The case generated national headlines when her husband, George Delury, announced that he had assisted Lebov's suicide at her request because she was suffering the debilitations of progressive multiple sclerosis.

Delury became an instant celebrity. He was acclaimed as a dedicated husband willing to risk jail to help his beloved wife achieve her desired end. The assisted-suicide movement set up a defense fund and renewed calls for legalization. Delury made numerous television appearances and was invited to speak to a convention of the American Psychiatric Association. He signed a deal for a book, later published under the title But What If She Wants to Die? Delury soon copped a plea to attempted manslaughter and served a few months in jail.

Had Delury acted in England or Wales today--rather than in New York in 1995--he almost surely would not have been prosecuted. Even though assisted suicide remains a crime in the U.K., newly published British guidelines have effectively decriminalized some categories of assisted suicide by instructing local prosecutors when bringing charges in such deaths is to be deemed "not in the public interest." the rest

Obama picks openly gay lawyer for ambassadorship

By PHILIP ELLIOTT, Associated Press Writer
Wed Oct 7, 2009

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said Wednesday he planned to nominate an openly gay lawyer as the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa. If confirmed by the Senate, David Huebner would become the third openly gay ambassador in U.S. history and the first pick by this administration. In a statement released from the White House, Obama said he looked forward to working with Huebner and is confident he will represent the United States well in the Pacific region. the rest

Kevin Jennings' twisted terminology
For twenty years until 2008, Jennings succeeded on a massive scale at pro-homosexual propagandizing of school children. His adeptness and accomplishment at semantic deception are extraordinary.

Obama's HRC appearance will 'alienate' Americans
The president of an organization dedicated to exposing the homosexual activist agenda believes President Barack Obama will alienate many Americans when he speaks this weekend at a meeting of the largest homosexual-rights group in the nation.

Obama's elusive 'safe schools czar'
Kevin Jennings hasn't come clean. There are still many unanswered questions about how he handled a high-school sophomore who he said confessed to a homosexual relationship with an older man.

Media Bias? What Media Bias? AP Laughably Claims Obama Has 'Silent Majority' on Health Care
Let's face it. Obama and the Democrats have been unable to sell their radical plan to annex 1/6th of the American economy and their only recourse is to shove it down our throats. To see a supposedly unbiased "news" organization prostitute itself to promote this is just shameful.

Episcopal PB Schori says ‘stay grounded’

By Carol Crump
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rt. Rev. Katherine Jefferts Schori is the first woman to preside over the 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses that make up the Episcopal Church. But the church’s 26th presiding bishop and primate wasn’t chosen for her gender, according to Wyoming Episcopal Bishop Bruce Caldwell. The members of the far flung Anglican Communion saw her “compelling confidence about life, her centeredness and balance,” he said.

Jefferts Schori was in Casper from Oct. 1-3 as a special guest at the annual convention of several hundred members of the Episcopal Diocese of Wyoming. During her nine years as presiding bishop, she’ll visit each of the 110 dioceses under her care, in the U.S., Taiwan, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. the rest

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Devotional: In the secret of God's tabernacle...

In the secret of God's tabernacle no enemy can find us, and no troubles can reach us. The pride of man and the strife of tongues find no entrance into the pavilion of God. The secret of his presence is a more secure refuge than a thousand Gibraltars. I do not mean that no trials come. They may come in abundance, but they cannot penetrate into the sanctuary of the soul, and we may dwell in perfect peace even in the midst of life fiercest storms. ...Hannah Whitall Smith image by Max Wolfe

Powerful earthquakes off Vanuatu trigger warning of tsunami

Eleven countries in south Pacific put on alert, but no immediate reports of injury or damage
Thursday 8 October 2009

A tsunami warning issued for 11 countries and territories, including the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Kiribati, after three powerful earthquakes struck off Vanuatu in the south Pacific was cancelled early this morning.

A tsunami watch, a lower level of alert, had been in effect as far away as Australia and New Zealand. All were cancelled about two and a half hours after the initial earthquakes struck. the rest

Archbishop Duncan Issues Pastoral Letter

Archbishop Robert Duncan released the following pastoral letter to the clergy and people of the Diocese, in response to yesterday's ruling in the Calvary lawsuit (also available in PDF):

7th October, A.D. 2009

A pastoral letter to be read in all the churches on Sunday, October 11th, A.D. 2009 and in Saturday services preceding.

TO ALL THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE:

Beloved in the Lord,

We lost. In human terms we lost. Bishop and Standing Committee, together with Board of Trustees, thought we understood the document that was signed on our behalf in 2005 that ended the first phase of the Calvary lawsuit. But yesterday, the judge found against us on the basis of that document.

The team that has provided extraordinary legal counsel to us, and to others in similar cases across the country, has issued the following statement: "We believe the opinion and order is contrary to applicable law, disregards the agreed assumption of valid withdrawal by the Diocese from TEC, violates the assurances given us that the issue of the 'true diocese' was not part of this proceeding and denies us due process of law." Accordingly we reserve all of our rights to appeal.

We will take a time for further counsel and prayer, seeking God's guidance on whether to file an appeal. After that, we will, of course, fully comply with the court's order to facilitate an orderly transfer of DIOCESAN assets to the Episcopal Church Diocese. We have mostly lived without benefit of these assets since January. We have demonstrated that we can live without them. It will be sad not to have the resources left by previous generations to draw on, but God will be faithful. Two hundred and fifty years ago the first Anglicans at Fort Pitt had nothing. One hundred and forty five years ago the Anglicans who first organized our diocese had nothing. God was faithful to them. He will be faithful to us.

The court's decision has nothing to do with PARISH property, including the funds held in trust for you. The stipulation of 2005 spelled out a mediated process for parishes wishing to leave the "diocese." Your bishop, your standing committee, your diocesan council and your board of trustees will all work with your parish leadership toward this end. We invite the leadership of the Episcopal Church Diocese into working with us for the good of all congregations, both Episcopal Church and Anglican Church congregations.

  The gospel for this Sunday is Mark 10:17-31, the rich young man. In the passage Jesus promises that those who are willing to leave everything to follow him "will receive back a hundredfold." Jesus is speaking to us and to our situation. Now is the moment we are called to trust Him at His word. I am willing. Your leadership is willing. Are you?

Our future is so bright in the Anglican Church in North America: Converted individuals, in multiplying congregations, fueled by the Holy Spirit. Do not despair. "He who has called you is faithful, and He will do it." (I Thessalonians 5:24)

On Friday night November 6th I invite as many of you as can to join together, physically or by internet or in spirit, in St. Stephen's Church in Sewickley (beginning at 6 p.m.) to thank God for his goodness to us, to offer up the immense transition of this last year, and to celebrate the prospect of our life in our new Anglican Province. The best is still ahead. Our God reigns.

Faithfully in Christ,
[Signature]
Bishop of Pittsburgh
Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America
link

A.S. Haley on the Pittsburgh Decision

Judge James Goes off the Deep End
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Up until now, I have reserved judgment about the legal abilities of Judge Joseph M. James of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. Based on the transcripts of the arguments before him, he had seemed to maintain an open mind in the proceedings, which placed at issue the ability of the Diocese of Pittsburgh headed by the Rt. Rev. Robert A. Duncan to hold the assets it had acquired for the benefit of the parishes which made up its membership.

The rest here

How 4-year-old boy mastered 'Miracle' speech in YouTube hit


Story

Why We Don't Have Revival

Joe McKeever
posted October 7, 2009

Ask any church leader why America--or the churches in general or a denomination in particular or all Christians--does not (do not) have revival and the answers will usually come out to something like: "We're not praying," or "We're not praying hard enough," or "This takes prayer and fasting."

Today, I spent an hour on the internet reading some of the hundreds of websites on the subject of revival. Those that attempt to cover the subject of why we are not experiencing revival usually attribute it to sin, complacency, or prayerlessness.

Maybe they're right, but it seems to me those answers are missing the point.

The reason we're not having revival may indeed be that we're not praying for one. After all, Scripture assures us that "you have not because you ask not." (James 4:2)

But that just leads to the question of why we're not praying for revival. The answer, I strongly suggest, is simple: we don't want a revival. We like things the way they are. the rest

The light bulb goes … off

October 6, 2009
by Ed Morrissey

I blame all of our woes on Thomas Edison. If he hadn’t insisted on creating the first practical incandescent light bulb, why, we all would still be living in a Luddite paradise, albeit a dark one. We could still burn oil lamps — er, no, that throws off carbon, too. How about candles? Better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness, after all. And that’s true, as long as it’s a single candle, and not a bunch of them, or your carbon footprint might equal that of Godzilla, or Al Gore, whichever is bigger.

Nick Gillespie at Reason takes a critical look at the abolitionist movement aiming at Edison’s world-changing invention, and the poor replacement that bureaucrats will leave us: the rest image by mattbjrs

Obama and the General

The White House finds a four-star scapegoat for its Afghan jitters
OCTOBER 7, 2009

Democrats have found someone worth fighting in Afghanistan. His name is Stan McChrystal.

The other night, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went after the commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan, "with all due respect," for supposedly disrespecting the chain of command. Around the Congressional Democratic Caucus, we're told Members refer to General McChrystal as "General MacArthur," after the commander in Korea sacked by Harry Truman.

White House aides have fanned these flames with recent leaks to the media that "officials are challenging" his assessment asking for more troops. In the last two days, the White House National Security Adviser and the Secretary of Defense have both suggested that the general should keep his mouth shut. President Obama called him in Friday for a talking-to on the tarmac at Copenhagen airport. the rest

Approval of Congress Falls to 21%.

Planned Parenthood Used Underage Girls in Clinical Trials Pushing Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
October 6, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new report from a Planned Parenthood watchdog group finds the abortion business used underage girls in at least 10 clinical trials over the last two decades to push abortion, birth control, and STD testing.

The news comes at a time when Planned Parenthood is facing criticism for videos showing it ignoring potential statutory abuse cases.

Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League and the head of its STOPP Planned Parenthood effort, released the details in a statement to LifeNews.com. the rest

High school teacher keeps job after handing out pornographic 'banned book'

Planned Parenthood Group Holds Fundraiser at Museum Featuring 'Sex Life of Robots' Exhibit

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Devotional: Strive to be as a little child...

Strive to be as a little child who, while its mother holds its hand, goes on fearlessly, and is not disturbed because it stumbles and trips in its weakness. So long as God holds you up by the will and determination to serve Him with which He inspires you, go on boldly and do not be frightened at your little checks and falls, so long as you can throw yourself into His arms in trusting love. Go there with an open, joyful heart as often as possible; if not always joyful, at least go with a brave and faithful heart. ...Francis de Sales image by tamakisono

Pittsburgh Loses on Property Decision

Stand Firm
October 6, 2009

Decision-PDF

Comments at Stand Firm

Envoy sketches vision for U.S.-Vatican relations

October 5, 2009
by Francis X. Rocca
Religion News Service

The new American ambassador to the Holy See met the press on Monday (Oct. 5), for the first time since his nomination was announced in May.

Miguel H. Diaz received a group of 10 American and Italian reporters at the official ambassador's residence on Rome's Janiculum Hill, three days after presenting his credentials to Pope Benedict XVI.

Stressing the priorities that he said the Obama administration has in common with the Vatican, Diaz sketched out an agenda of collaboration against terrorism, religiously inspired violence, HIV/AIDS and human trafficking, and in favor of interracial, intercultural and interreligious dialogue.

"The points where we have coordination today between this president and the Holy See are more than just one," he said, speaking in Italian as he did for much of the meeting. "We have the possibility of collaboration on so many points." the rest

American Library Association Urged to Include Ex-Gay Books in Banned Books Week

CHICAGO, Oct. 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- In recognition of the goals of Banned Books Week by the American Library Association (ALA), Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX) is requesting the ALA to include ex-gay books in its annual promotion of ALA's "celebration of the freedom to read" program.

"For several weeks, PFOX has attempted to secure a statement from the ALA opposing the censorship of ex-gay books," said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX. "According to Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, ALA policy recommends diversity in book collection development by libraries, regardless of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. However, Caldwell-Stone refuses to state whether that diversity policy includes ex-gay books."

"Books about leaving homosexuality are censored in most high school libraries, although gay affirming books for youth are readily available," said Griggs. "For example, Charlie Makela, supervisor of library services for Arlington County, Virginia public schools, rejected PFOX's donation of ex-gay books although she accepts books from gay groups. Ms. Makela is also the chair of the ALA's Supervisors' Section of the American Association of School Librarians. Shouldn't the ALA enforce its own diversity policy?" the rest

Pope Awards Highest Honor to EWTN Founder Mother Angelica and Chairman

EWTN has consistently given high priority to uncompromising support for Catholic moral principles and the pro-life movement.
IRONDALE, AL
October 5, 2009

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI has awarded EWTN foundress, Mother Mary Angelica, and Deacon Bill Steltemeier, Chairman of EWTN's Board of Governors, the Cross of Honor for distinguished service to the Church. The medal, officially known as "Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice" (literally "For the Church and the Pope"), is the highest honor that the Pope can bestow upon laity and religious.

The acknowledgement of Mother Angelica's work by the Pope is highly significant in light of high profile criticism that the EWTN foundress has sustained over her unwavering fidelity to the faith. Mother Angelica had to endure crushing criticism and even attempts to take over her station by various left-leaning Catholic bishops in the United States. the rest

Egyptian Police Arrest Christian Father for Attempting to Free Kidnapped Daughter

10-5-2009

Alexandria, Egypt (AINA) -- At dawn on Saturday, October 3, 2009, Egyptian State Security forces arrested a group of Christian Copts in different parts of the city in Alexandria, after severely assaulting them in front of their neighbors. Their wives were also arrested, but because of intense objection protests by neighbors at the way they were handled and of the screams of their terrified children, they were released. The men who were arrested are relatives of Rafaat Girges Habib, a man who helped a Coptic father free his kidnapped daughter from her Muslim husband's home. The arrests continued until Habib turned himself in to the police. the rest

Germany: Publisher cancels book on Islamic honor killing over safety fears

House Republican calls for special prosecutor to investigate ACORN

By Molly K. Hooper
10/05/09

A top-ranking Republican lawmaker is calling for a special prosecutor to investigate the Association for Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).

In a letter sent to Attorney General Eric Holder and obtained by The Hill on Monday, House Judiciary Committee ranking member Lamar Smith (R-Texas) argues that President Barack Obama’s political ties to the scandal-plagued community-activist group and its affiliates will “taint” any potential Justice Department investigations.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not announced whether it has launched a probe of ACORN, but Smith said any such investigation could be compromised. the rest

Acorn Woes Hit Union, Democrats
Democratic lawmakers in a handful of states are facing pressure from Republicans to distance themselves from the Service Employees International Union as a result of its ties to Acorn.

ACORN scrubs its website to eliminate SEIU links.

Gay clergy vote dividing Lutherans

Some Lutheran congregations withholding financial support
By Mary Garrigan
Journal staff
Monday, October 05, 2009

Some area Lutheran congregations are withholding financial support to the national Evangelical Lutheran Church in America while they explore their future in the ELCA.

Christ the King Lutheran Church in Newcastle, Wyo., quit sending money to ELCA headquarters in Chicago in September. Earlier this year, the small eastern Wyoming congregation voted to financially support the reform group, Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, which plans to reconfigure Lutheranism in North America because of the ELCA's recent vote to approve of homosexual clergy in committed same-sex relationships. the rest

Obama to speak to gay audience

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
posted October 6th, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama plans to address the nation's largest gay rights group this weekend in an effort to mollify an uneasy Democratic constituency frustrated with the White House's slow pace.

Obama plans to address Saturday's Human Rights Campaign fundraising dinner gala, the organization and the White House announced Monday afternoon.

"It is fitting that (Obama) will speak to our community on the night that we pay tribute to his friend and mentor Sen. Edward Kennedy, who knew that as president, Barack Obama would take on the unfinished business of this nation — equal rights" for the gay community and for "every person who believes in liberty and justice for all," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

The dinner falls on the eve of the National Equality March, expected to draw thousands of gay and lesbian activists to the National Mall. Many have been critical of Obama's slow pace on redeeming campaign promises to end a ban on gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military and pushing tough nondiscrimination policies. the rest

National Coming Out Day features National Equality March on Washington
Obama's speech to the HRC dinner will be only the second time a sitting president has addressed the group, following President Bill Clinton's address in 1997.

TBN Theme Park Targeted for Gay Day
Members of the gay and lesbian community plan to visit the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday with hopes of bringing "a message of equality."

White House's botched 'op'
In a heavy-handed attempt at reviving support for health-care reform, the White House orchestrated a massive photo op to buttress its claim that front-line physicians support Obama.

Does Obama Get It?
The big question on the domestic front right now is whether President Obama understands the gravity of the employment crisis facing the country. Does he get it? The signals coming out of the White House have not been encouraging.

Obama's Liberalism Boosts Republicans
In nine months, he [Obama] has breathed life into the Republican party, boosted pro-lifers, tarnished the reputation of regulation, bolstered traditional values, increased the public's desire for immigration restriction, and shifted independent voters rightward.

Sowell: A Letter from a Child
Recent videos of American children in school singing songs of praise for Barack Obama were a little much, especially for those of us old enough to remember pictures of children singing the praises of dictators like Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

Exposing Obama
Naked Emperor News reveals the truth about the president one YouTube video at a time

Court won't review Fla. Pledge of Allegiance law

Oct 5, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal to review a Florida law that requires public school students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day unless they have their parents' written permission excusing them.

The justices declined Monday an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida on behalf of a high school student removed from his math class because he remained seated during the pledge.
the rest image by respres

New religious artefacts found on Skellig Michael

Monday, September 28, 2009
LORNA SIGGINS
Western Correspondent

A previously hidden staircase has been discovered on Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, along with an unidentified cross, hewn from rock.

The discoveries were made by archaeologist Michael Gibbons during recent field research as part of a project on pilgrimage mountains and islands.

The staircase is part of an uncharted route above the lighthouse road on an isolated part of the rock’s precipitous flanks. Mr Gibbons believes that it may have linked up to two of the three known routes up to the sixth century monastery. the rest

Episcopal diocese allows graceful exit of former clergy

Monday, October 05, 2009
By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh will not take action against the clergy who left the Episcopal Church.

This is the diocese that remained in the Episcopal Church after the 2008 diocesan convention voted to secede from the denomination with Archbishop Robert Duncan.

The decision was announced today, a day after the one-year anniversary of the split. Instead of removing their clergy credentials, the Episcopal diocese will "release" them to become licensed in any church they choose.

Both bodies still call themselves the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. The diocese that remained in the Episcopal Church has 28 parishes, while the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh (Anglican) has 57 parishes and is affiliated with both the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone in South America and the new Anglican Church in North America.

The decision affects about 100 priests and deacons. Archbishop Duncan was deposed -- stripped of his clergy credentials -- by the Episcopal House of Bishops in September 2008, so this doesn't apply to him. the rest

Monday, October 05, 2009

FTC to Regulate Blogging

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Federal Trade Commission will try to regulate blogging for the first time, requiring writers on the Web to clearly disclose any freebies or payments they get from companies for reviewing their products.

The FTC said Monday its commissioners voted 4-0 to approve the final Web guidelines, which had been expected. Violating the rules, which take effect Dec. 1, could bring fines up to $11,000 per violation. Bloggers or advertisers also could face injunctions and be ordered to reimburse consumers for financial losses stemming from inappropriate product reviews.

The commission stopped short of specifying how bloggers must disclose conflicts of interest. Rich Cleland, assistant director of the FTC's advertising practices division, said the disclosure must be "clear and conspicuous," no matter what form it will take. the rest

St. James Church’s Property Rights Battle: U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition

October 05, 2009

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Supreme Court of the United States today denied a petition by St. James Church, Newport Beach, CA to hear its church property rights battle with the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and the national Episcopal Church (TEC). However, the property rights case is far from over and the case continues in the Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana, CA.

St. James’ Senior Pastor, the Rev. Richard Crocker, said, “While it is obviously disappointing, we always felt the court might prefer to wait until the trial proceedings were final. Our battle is far from over. We look forward to having the trial court rule on a written promise from the Episcopal Church in 1991 that they would never lay claim on our property. Our members have engaged in much prayer in order to discern God’s will for our congregation and what His call might be for us. We believe God has asked us to stand steadfast for His Gospel as well as to remain steadfast on this legal battlefield.” the rest

A.S. Haley: Supreme Court Denies (for now) St. James Petition for Review

Court refuses to get involved in church dispute

Stand Firm: St. James Newport Beach Responds to SCOTUS Development

Bible Verse Ban at Football Field Angers Town

They Really, Really Want To Kill For Organs

Saturday, October 3, 2009
Wesley J. Smith

I reported the other day that Nature editorialized in favor of loosening the rules to allow living patients to be killed for their organs (more about which, soon). And now, we see more advocacy for lethal medicine in The Journal of Medical Ethics, an international publication. From the article by Dr. F.G. Miller (No link, here’s the abstract):

Revisiting the still-provocative essays of Jonas on brain death and organ donation helps in mapping present and future ethical and policy options. Four options seem most salient. First, we can follow the lead of Jonas by adopting a stance of deontological rectitude that abandons vital organ procurement from brain-dead, but still-living patients. This position is logically tidy and unassailable if its major premise is endorsed: (1) doctors must not kill patients; (2) brain-dead patients are alive; (3) procuring vital organs from brain-dead patients would cause their death; therefore, (4) this practice is wrong and must cease. However, the validity of the first premise is debatable; and if applied consistently, it would have drastic consequences. For not only would it put a stop to the life-saving practice of vital organ transplantation using the organs of brain-dead individuals; it also arguably would rule out the routine practice of deliberately stopping life-sustaining treatment, assuming the reasonable, but unorthodox, view that this practice involves causing death. the rest

Governmental Capriciousness Rising

October 04, 2009
Aaron Gee

There is a troubling pattern of capriciousness that has emerged from our current government. No one can take for granted that our government will do as it says. The word of the US government used to be something that world leaders, companies, employees, and the citizens of this great land could bank on. The breadth of the current administration's instability is unprecedented. From CIA interrogators to the Eastern European missile shield, keeping up with the number of on-again-off-again promises requires a full time staff to keep count.
the rest

Breaking: Obama's White House ACORN Operative Fined $775,000 For Election Violations- Used Rapists & Burglars in Door-to-Door Registration Drives

Now will Congress investigate ACORN?

You Can't Say That: At the UN, the Obama administration backs limits on free speech.

The Kerala Exception. A Trip to India's Most Christian and Peaceful State

There are ten times more Catholics there than elsewhere, but they live in peace with the Hindus and Muslims. Education is generalized, with equality between men and women. The only threat to this miracle comes from a Marxist government
by Sandro Magister

ROME, October 5, 2009 – The synod of bishops on "The Church in Africa," which runs from yesterday until October 25, calls attention back to the continent that over the past century has seen the most explosive missionary expansion of Christianity.

The Christian fertility of Africa contrasts with that of another continent, Asia, which instead shows itself to be much more impervious to the Gospel.

In Asia, the Philippines is the only nation with a Christian majority, and South Korea is the only nation in which Christianity is growing. Elsewhere, Christians are a more or less scant minority, in many cases busy resisting persecution, oppression, hostility of every kind. the rest

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Pope Benedict calls for revolution of holiness in Africa

Vatican City
Oct 4, 2009

(CNA).- In St. Peter’s Basilica, during Sunday’s Opening Mass for the Synod of African Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI preached holiness as a means to societal reconciliation and peace. The Holy Father also called for a new evangelization of Africa, highlighting the primacy of God, marriage and protecting children from violence as the areas most in need of the Gospel.

Benedict XVI, who visited Cameron and Angola in March of this year, began by stating the unity between this Synod and the first one opened in 1994 by Pope John Paul II.

This “spiritual lung” that is Africa risks two “dangerous diseases,” he warned. "First, a disease that has spread throughout the Western world, namely practical materialism, combined with relativistic and nihilistic thinking.” The second, he said, is “religious fundamentalism. Mixed with political and economic interests, groups claiming different religious affiliations are spreading in Africa.” the rest

Will small business "Going Galt" be Obama's downfall?

Sunday, October 4, 2009
By Helen Smith

As I read about the unemployment numbers going up, now to 9.8%, I can't help but wonder if small businesses will be the catalyst that brings down this administration. The commenters to a blog post at Don Surber's Daily Mail blog seem to be on the right track in understanding why small businesses are not hiring:

Commenter Sean says:

Businesses aren’t hiring because no one knows what in the hell our economic system is going to look like 5 years, or even 5 months, from now.
Will “Cap and Trade” get implemented as the Democrats hope?
How much of an upheaval will “Healthcare Reform” end up being?
Is the administration and Congress done overhauling regulation of the Financial Industry?
No prudent investor is going to bet their money (i.e., invest in growth) when it is conceivable that the government is going to radically alter how 50% of this nation’s economy functions.
the rest

Queen 'appalled' at Church of England moves, claim Vatican moles

When Pope Benedict visits this country next year, he is expected to stay at Buckingham Palace as a guest of the Queen. The warmth of her welcome will come as no surprise to the Pontiff, if senior sources at the Vatican are to be believed.
By Richard Eden
03 Oct 2009

According to informants quoted in The Catholic Herald, the Queen has "grown increasingly sympathetic" to the Catholic Church over the years while being "appalled", along with the Prince of Wales, at developments in the Church of England.

The usually well-informed newspaper adds that the Queen, who is the Supreme Governor of the C of E, is "also said to have an affinity with the Holy Father, who is of her generation".

In July, The Sunday Telegraph disclosed that the Queen had told the heads of a traditionalist group, formed in response to the liberal direction of some parts of the Anglican Communion, that she "understood their concerns" about the future of the 80 million-strong global church. the rest