Saturday, May 01, 2010

Devotional: The mountains and the hills shall break forth...

The mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

When sin is pardoned, our greatest sorrow is ended, and our truest pleasure begins. Such is the joy which the Lord bestows upon His reconciled ones, that it overflows and fills all nature with delight. The material world has latent music in it, and a renewed heart knows how to bring it out and make it vocal. Creation is the organ, and a gracious man finds out its keys, lays his hand thereon, and wakes the whole system of the universe to the harmony of praise. Mountains and hills, and other great objects, are, as it were, the bass of the chorus; while the trees of the wood, and all things that have life, take up the air of the melodious song.

When God's Word is made to prosper among us and souls are saved, then everything seems full of song. When we hear the confessions of young believers and the testimonies of well-instructed saints, we are made so happy that we must praise the Lord, and then it seems as if rocks and hills and woods and fields echo our joy-notes and turn the world into an orchestra. Lord, on this happy May Day, lead me out into thy tuneful world as rich in praise as a lark in full song. ...CH Spurgeon image by Bob Jagendorf

Anglican bishops in secret Vatican summit

Leading traditionalist bishops in the Anglican Church have secretly told senior Vatican officials that they are ready to defect to Rome, taking clergy with them.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Religious Affairs Correspondent
01 May 2010

In a move likely to raise tensions between the two Churches, a group of Church of England bishops met last week with advisers of Pope Benedict XVI to set in motion steps that would allow priests to convert to Catholicism en masse.

They are set to resign their orders in opposition to the introduction of women bishops and to lead an exodus of Anglican clerics to the Catholic Church despite Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, urging them not to leave.

It would be the first time for nearly 20 years that large numbers of priests have crossed from the Church of England to Rome, and comes only weeks ahead of a crucial General Synod debate on making women bishops.

The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that bishops travelled to the Holy See last week to hold face to face discussions with senior members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the most powerful of the Vatican's departments. the rest

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Threatens Coasts of Four US States

May 1, 2020

Residents along the southern U.S. coast fear an environmental disaster is near as oil from a destroyed well approaches.

About 800,000 liters of crude oil per day are gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, after an unexplained explosion April 20 sank an offshore oil rig.

The oil has begun washing up on land in some coastal parts of Louisiana. An animal rescue crew there found a bird Friday covered in thick, black oil - the first known animal to be hurt by the massive spill.

The governors of Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi declared states of emergency as oil approached their states. the rest

Spanish education course similar to 'totalitarian indoctrination,' says Cuban immigrant

Madrid, Spain, Apr 30, 2010

(CNA).- A Cuban immigrant living in Spain stated this week that the Socialist government’s mandatory education course, “Education for the Citizenry,” reminds him of the indoctrination students receive in Cuba under the Castro regime.

Omar Rubio Garcia, who has objected to the fact that his daughter is required to attend the class, remarked that he found it unbelievable that 20 years after leaving Cuba he has had to confront totalitarian indoctrination once again. “Now I have to defend my daughter from indoctrination in the radical fascist culture of the left,” and ensure that it does not “undermine, manipulate or cast doubt on” the love, belief in God and upbringing Garcia has worked to provide for her.

Garcia recounted the harassment he and his daughter have received from school officials for being the only family to object to attending the course. He criticized the content of Education for the Citizenry as “provocative, morbid, anti-democratic and totalitarian,” and added that the course “divides parents and children. the rest

Hillary Clinton's abortion grenade

By Michael Gerson
Friday, April 30, 2010

The culture war is breaking out in American foreign policy. And the main culture warrior is not a ranting televangelist but America's secretary of state.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada, as host of June's Group of Eight meeting in Ontario, has been preparing an initiative to reduce maternal mortality in poor nations. At first, his government implied that neither contraception nor abortion would be part of the proposal. Under pressure, Harper's foreign affairs minister later clarified that the plan "doesn't deal with abortion" but that "it doesn't exclude contraception."

Last month, during a political controversy in Canada on the issue, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a news conference in Quebec. "I've worked in this area for many years," she said. "And if we're talking about maternal health, you cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to legal, safe abortion." the rest
Clinton's grenade did damage beyond Canada. Liberals need to understand -- however strong their pro-choice convictions -- how offensive many conservatives find the global health argument for abortion. It seems like addressing poverty by doing away with the poor; like fighting disease by getting rid of those with diseases.

Manitoba U Study Links Abortion and Mental Illness/Suicide

Friday April 30, 2010
By Patrick B. Craine
Winnipeg, Manitoba

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Researchers at the University of Manitoba have published findings of a study showing a link between abortion, mental illness and suicide.

The researchers, from the departments of psychology and psychiatry, as well as obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences, found that abortion was associated with mood disorders, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and suicide attempts.

They report that depression and drug dependence followed abortion in about half of the women studied. Additionally, women with a household income of $75,000 or more were more likely to report an abortion than those with household incomes under $25,000.

They used data from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse to look for correlations between a number of factors, including abortion, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, disruptive behaviour and suicide attempts. They then checked for evidence of mental disorders following abortions. the rest

The President’s Franciscan Ethicist

Brother-Medical Doctor Brings Pro-Life Views to Obama’s Bioethics Commission
by JOAN FRAWLEY DESMOND
REGISTER CORRESPONDENT
04/29/2010

ABOVE THEIR PAY GRADE? Newly appointed members of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues will be debating about, among other things, the human embryo. Some observers, though, see the new commission under President Obama as merely window dressing.
WASHINGTON — President Obama’s recent appointment of Franciscan Brother Daniel Sulmasy to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues has refocused attention on the commission’s specific mandate and prompted questions about its power to shape policy on issues that divide Americans.

Catholic moral theologians and pro-life advocates applauded the appointment of Brother Daniel, whose record on abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide and human embryonic stem-cell research is consistently pro-life. They suggest he possesses the perseverance and diplomatic gifts required for extended debates on ideologically charged issues.

At the same time, some Catholic bioethicists raised concerns about the political balance of the new commission and its independence from a White House whose policy on a spectrum of issues differs sharply with Catholic moral teaching. the rest

Bp. Michael Nazir-Ali: The legal threat to our spiritual tradition

The McFarlane judgment raises fundamental questions about church and state, says Michael Nazir-Ali.
By Michael Nazir-Ali
30 Apr 2010

Lord Justice Laws's judgment on the Gary McFarlane case in the Court of Appeal – that legislation for the protection of views held purely on religious ground cannot be justified – has driven a coach and horses through the ancient association of the Christian faith with the constitutional and legal basis of British society.

Everything from the Coronation Oath onwards suggests that there is an inextricable link between the Judaeo-Christian tradition of the Bible and the institutions, the values and the virtues of British society. If this judgment is allowed to stand, the aggressive secularists will have had their way.

It also raises a number of fundamental questions to which answers need to be provided. Will there be, once again, a religious bar to holding office? We have already had a rash of cases involving magistrates unable to serve on the bench because of their Christian beliefs, registrars losing their jobs because they cannot, in conscience, officiate at civil partnerships, paediatricians unable to serve on adoption panels… Will this trickle gradually become a flood, so that rather than conforming to the Church of England, the new discrimination tests will involve conforming to the secular religion as promoted by Lord Justice Laws? the rest

Hawaii lawmakers OK civil unions

By Mark Niesse
Friday, April 30, 2010
ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONOLULU (AP) -- Hawaii is a step closer to joining a small group of other states in allowing same-sex civil unions.

In a move that still needs the governor's signature to become law, the House of Representatives Thursday night approved a measure that has drawn some of the state's biggest protest rallies.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle hasn't said whether she'll reject it or sign it into law but her office said later that she will carefully review the bill. the rest

Friday, April 30, 2010

Statement from the Rt. Rev’d William H Love, Bishop of Albany, on the Restoration of the Rt. Rev’d Daniel W. Herzog

Albany Diocesan Update
(via email)
posted April 30, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As most of you are aware, shortly after his retirement as the Eighth Bishop of Albany, Bishop Herzog resigned his Holy Orders. In so doing, he made one of the most difficult decisions of his life, one that he has struggled with these past three years. He did so in obedience to his understanding of what he believed the Lord was calling him to do at the time in preparation for returning to the Roman Catholic Church, which was the Church of his youth.

For the past three years, Bishop Dan and I have maintained our friendship and have talked on several occasions about his decision to return to the Catholic Church. After much thought and prayer he has discovered that his heart is still very much with the people and Diocese of Albany whom he truly loves and committed his entire 36 years of ordained ministry serving. Earlier this Spring, Bishop Dan asked if I would be open to him returning to an active ordained ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Albany. I asked him; if possible, would he consider coming back not only as a priest, but as a bishop in order to assist me in ministering to the Diocese.

On Maundy Thursday, Bishop Dan and I went to New York to meet with the Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev’d Katherine Jefferts Shori. Bishop Dan rescinded his renunciation and the Presiding Bishop with the advice and consent of her Advisory Council, accepted and restored Bishop Herzog effective April 28, 2010.

Earlier today, while meeting with the priests of the Diocese, during the Annual Priest Retreat, I announced that Bishop Daniel Herzog has been fully restored to the Ordained Ministry of this Church, with the attendant obligations of Ministerial office, and endowed with the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority as a Minister of God’s Word and Sacraments in this Church conferred on him in his Ordinations. I invited Bishop Dan to celebrate the closing Eucharist at the retreat.

Though he has never really been absent from our common life, I invite you to join me in formally welcoming Bishop Dan and Carol back to the full communion of the diocese and the wider church. During the past three years, they have continued to support the work of the diocese and to participate in a non-ordained capacity. His restored role will be of help in carrying out the work of the Church, and I will be asking him to assist in this Diocese under my direction as is true of any retired bishop. Similarly, Bishop David Ball as been assisting me in various ways these past three years and by the grace of God will continue to do so. I am very appreciative to Bishop Ball a nd now Bishop Herzog for their willingness to join me in ministering to the people of the Diocese of Albany.

All baptized Christians, both laity and clergy, have a share in the apostolic mission the Lord holds out for the Church and I am delighted that Bishop Dan and Carol can officially take their place among us again in the Diocese of Albany. I ask your prayers for all who labor for Christ and his kingdom across these nineteen counties.

Faithfully Yours in Christ,
+Bill


Statement from the Rt Rev. Daniel W. Herzog on his restoration:

I want to extend my deep appreciation to Bishop Love and to the Presiding Bishop for their kindness and pastoral solicitude. Carol and I are grateful for the continuing opportunity to serve our Lord and His church in the Diocese of Albany. My only plan is to assist in any way Bishop Bill directs. We are honored to resume a fuller place among the clergy and laity of the diocese.

Your Brother in Christ,
+Dan

Abortion Under the New Health Care Plan?

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Joseph Bottum

I thought President Obama’s executive order was supposed to eliminate the promotion of abortion by the new health-care bill?

Comes this line, in the Detroit News:

An early sign of health care reform’s impact is Planned Parenthood’s decision to open a new Oakland County clinic within the next 18 months, adding to 15 locations, including Detroit, Warren and Livonia. Unlike other Detroit area centers, the new location is likely to include abortion services.

[Planned Parenthood President Cecile] Richards and Lori Lamerand, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan, are ramping up for a boom in birth control and other reproductive services—what Lamerand calls “an onslaught” of women poised to gain new access to reproductive health care.


An onslaught of women, poised to gain. An onslaught. What a word to use...the rest

Albert Mohler: NARAL’s Daughters-The Abortion Rights Crowd is Concerned

NARAL’s daughters are not where their mothers (and even grandmothers) were on the issue of abortion. That is a sign of hope — and a sign that the conscience of a culture can indeed be changed.
Friday, April 30, 2010

Nancy Keenan is worried. The current president of NARAL, Keenan detects a loss of fervor in support of abortion rights among younger women, and she talked openly to Newsweek about her concern. Are we witnessing a major shift of momentum on the issue of abortion?

Keenan’s group is officially known as NARAL Pro-Choice America. It was founded in 1969 as the National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws and NARAL is the oldest abortion-rights advocacy group in the United States. The group may have changed its name after Roe v. Wade, but it hasn’t changed its agenda — NARAL is committed to an all-out defense of abortion rights.

All this comes to light in an report by Sarah Kliff of Newsweek. In the magazine’s April 26, 2010 edition Kliff outlines the challenges facing the abortion rights movement. In the aftermath of the health care reform signed into law by President Obama, abortion rights groups are licking their political wounds. As Kliff explains, the movement woke up to the fact that a significant number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate are pro-life. the rest image

Military Is Muzzling Chaplains and Others Who Support ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Policy

Thursday, April 29, 2010
By Christopher Neefus

(CNSNews.com) – A group of retired military chaplains and lawyers gathered at the conservative Family Research Council on Wednesday to speak out against repealing the military policy on homosexuality, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), and suggested that current chaplains were being kept from doing the same.

Arthur Schultz, a former Army chaplain who now is legal counsel to the National Conference of Evangelical Chaplain Endorsers, told reporters that servicemen overseas have been told not to speak in support of DADT.

“One of the chaplains . . . spoke to me, who recently came back from overseas from a major command, and he said that the word is out to chaplains: don’t speak about this and particularly, don’t raise issues about why you can’t support it,” Shultz told reporters. “And so that’s the unofficial, ‘official’ language to say, ‘Keep your mouth shut, or else.’ the rest

French church recruits young priests via Facebook

By KATIE KING (AP)
posted April 30, 2010

PARIS — As he sat in Church last Sunday afternoon, Guillaume Humblot found himself troubled by the declining number of Catholic priests in France, and asked himself if he was ready to join the cloth.

"There are almost none left," the 31-year-old Humblot said.

On Facebook, Humblot discovered a forum dedicated to people who, like him, are considering the priesthood. The page was part of a campaign, launched by the Catholic Church this month, to attract young people to the priesthood following decades of dwindling ordainments — and amid waves of sexual abuse allegations that have darkened the reputation of the Catholic priest.

There are around 24,000 priests in France today, down from 42,000 in 1975. The number of Catholics entering the diocese has declined as well, from 116 ordainments in 1999 to 89 in 2009. the rest

UK: Church warned that flag of Jesus is 'religious advertising'

A vicar has been warned by council officials about flying a flag depicting Jesus Christ outside his church because it was deemed to be “religious advertising”.
By Richard Savill
29 Apr 2010

Rev Mark Binney, vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Hampton, Worcs, said he had been told he needed planning permission if he wanted to fly a flag “advertising Christianity” in future.

The flag was put up outside the church in the week preceding Easter Sunday displaying the words 'This is Holy Week' and an image of Jesus on the cross.

Mr Binney said the warning was “appalling”, and he felt it was part of a gradual erosion of Christianity in Britain. the rest image

New York Proposes 'Presumed Consent' Organ Harvesting Law

Thursday April 29, 2010
By Kathleen Gilbert
NEW YORK

(LifeSiteNews.com) - Citing the shortage in organs available for transplant, a state assemblyman in New York has proposed that all citizens of the state become automatically enrolled as candidates for organ harvesting.

New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has introduced a new bill in Albany that aims to enroll all New Yorkers as organ donors unless they take action to opt out.

If passed, Brodsky's bill would become the first such law the U.S. However, a similar bill was also introduced in Illinois earlier this year.

"We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system," Brodsky said, according to CBS News 2. Brodsky pointed to other nations who have passed similar laws that now are in force "without a lot of controversy." the rest
Despite the altruistic goal of such legislation, the current practice of organ harvesting has increasingly alarmed the pro-life community, as evidence continues to surface that the prerequisite "brain death" is often defined to ease the process of collecting fresher organs, rather than according to whether a person has actually died. The prestigious New England Journal of Medicine confirmed these fears in a 2008 article that backed up the notion that "brain dead" patients are often, in fact, still alive.

Rev. Julian Dobbs: Where 'millennials' stand on biblical teachings

Allie Martin
OneNewsNow
4/30/2010

An official with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) says a new survey showing that churches are losing young adults gives another sign that many pastors are preaching a watered-down version of the gospel.

The survey by LifeWay Research of the Southern Baptist Convention found that two-thirds of American "millennials" -- those born between 1980 and 1991 -- consider themselves Christian, but few of them regularly pray, read the Bible, attend weekly worship services, or hold to historical positions on the Bible and its teachings.Reverend Julian Dobbs is canon missioner for CANA, an organization which represents conservative Anglicans in North America.

He does not feel that churches should sacrifice the gospel to reach young people."I would ensure firstly that there is a good Bible teaching available for 18- to 29-year-olds...so that when the challenges and circumstances and opportunities of life present other circumstances and faiths and religions to them, then they are certain about what the Bible says," Dobbs suggests." the rest

Gulf Oil Spill Could Eclipse Exxon Valdez Disaster

by NPR Staff and Wires
April 30, 2010

An oil spill that threatened to eclipse even the Exxon Valdez disaster spread out of control and drifted inexorably toward the Gulf Coast as fishermen rushed to scoop up shrimp and crews spread floating barriers around marshes.

The spill was both bigger and closer than imagined — five times larger than first estimated, with the leading edge just three miles from the Louisiana shore.

"It is of grave concern," David Kennedy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press.

"I am frightened. This is a very, very big thing. And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling." the rest image-NASA
U.S. Calls in Navy to Help With Containment Effort; BP Chief Predicts New Regulations

Kenyan Anglicans reject draft Constitution

BY ANTHONY KAGIRI
NAIROBI, Kenya
Apr 29, 2010

The Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) has formally declared its opposition to the draft Constitution, ending weeks of speculation that it would break ranks with other churches.

After a day-long meeting, the House of Bishops (ACK’s top organ), said it could not endorse a draft that fails to protect the life of the unborn and which favours one religion by including Kadhis courts.

“We say No to the proposed Constitution as it is, unless amendments are made before the referendum,” said Dean of Bishops Stephen Njehia who read part of the statement at the All Saints Cathedral. the rest

New US House Bill Would Overturn Last Meaningful Restrictions on International Abortion Funding

April 29, 2010
By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

(NEW YORK – C-FAM) Last Friday, a Congresswoman from Brooklyn, New York introduced a bill in the United States (US) House of Representatives that would greatly expand international funding for abortion, contraception, and sex education, and would effectively eliminate the long-standing Helms Amendment prohibiting the use of US foreign assistance funds for abortion.

The Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Act of 2010, sponsored by Representative Yvette Clarke and co-sponsored by at least 17 other House members, appears to be linked to the US statement at the recently concluded United Nations (UN) Commission on Population and Development (CPD). That statement touted that “President Obama has requested $715.7 million for bilateral and multilateral reproductive health, including family planning, in 2011. If approved later this year by Congress, this amount will represent the single largest U.S. contribution in history for international reproductive health programs.”

The stated purpose of the bill is the “advancement of sexual and reproductive health is necessary to meeting most of the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs),” with its findings based almost entirely on the controversial UN report entitled “Adding It Up." That report was authored and sponsored by the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and was also cited prominently in the US statement to the CPD. It advocated increased family planning and access to abortion as the primary means of reducing maternal mortality worldwide. the rest

Proposed Law in Mexico Would Send Doctors Who Don't Suggest Abortion to Jail

April 29, 2010
By Jana Winter
FOXNews.com

Doctors who fail to inform their pregnant patients that they have the legal right to have an abortion -- or who refuse to refer women to doctors who perform abortions -- could be thrown into the slammer for up to four years, if the dominant political party in Mexico City's legislature has its way.

Doctors who fail to inform their pregnant patients that they have the legal right to have an abortion -- or who refuse to refer women to doctors who perform abortions -- could be thrown into jail for up to four years, if the dominant political party in Mexico City's legislature has its way. the rest

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Now Animals Have a Right to Privacy?

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wesley J. Smith

It all gets to be too much: Animals don’t have the same sense of privacy or modesty that we have. But a university professor–of course!–claims that nature documentaries violate animals’ putative “right to privacy.” Story image by jefsegal

Obama Sniper Teams Ordered to Rooftops To Quash Radical Tea Party Protest


Jim Hoft
Thursday, April 29, 2010

UNBELIEVABLE!
Earlier today Team Obama called in the riot squad to deal with the Quincy Tea Party patriots outside the the Oakley-Lindsey/Quincy Community Center.
Team Obama ordered the riot police to march in and contain the violent tea party protesters. the rest

Gone South: The abuse scandals won't kill the Catholic Church—but it will make it look a whole lot different.

Philip Jenkins
April 29, 2010

These are obviously dark days for the Roman Catholic Church. For over a decade, the U.S. church has been assailed by abuse charges and devastated by the resulting litigation. The Vatican used to console itself with the belief that this was a peculiarly American crisis, but, this year, similar abuse cases have arisen all over Europe—most agonizingly in Ireland, one of the world's most faithfully Catholic countries. Across the continent, bishops are facing demands to resign, while critics are urging Pope Benedict himself to consider standing down. Some media commentators are even asking if the Church can survive the crisis.

But most evidence suggests that the Church will endure and even enjoy a historic boom--just not in places it has flourished historically. For years, its core has been migrating away from Europe, heading southward into Africa and Latin America. Some Church observers have remarked that the Vatican is now in the wrong location: It’s 2,000 miles too far north of its emerging homelands. The recent abuse scandals will accelerate this radical shift, discrediting older European elites and opening the door to new generations of leaders who are more attuned to the needs and concerns of believers in the southern hemisphere. Literally, the Catholic world will turn fully upside down. the rest

Christian Legal Society v. Martinez

Chris Fabry Live! - Religious Freedom
April 26, 2010

Summary
There are many legal wrangling going on in the courts these days—one case in particular. We talk with an attorney from the Alliance Defense Fund and get an update on the U.S. Supreme Court case Christian Legal Society v. Martinez in which Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco refused to recognize the group because the it requires its officers and voting members to subscribe to its basic Christian beliefs. Plus Franklin Graham talks about the National Day of Prayer and President Obama's visit to his father's home on Sunday.

Audio featuring Greg Baylor and Franklin Graham: Here

LI hospital issues abortion apology to nurses

ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 28, 2010

A New York hospital has admitted it was wrong when it disciplined eight nurses for refusing to participate in an abortion.

Nassau University Medical Center on Long Island apologized to the nurses and said they did nothing wrong.

The nurses cited moral reasons for not taking part in the procedure involving a patient whose water broke prematurely on March 31. The doctor told her she possibly faced a life-threatening infection if her pregnancy wasn't terminated. the rest

Baby boy survives for nearly two days after abortion

A baby boy abandoned by doctors to die after a botched abortion was found alive nearly a day later.
By Simon Caldwell
28 Apr 2010

The 22-week infant died one day later in intensive care at a hospital in the mother's home town of Rossano in southern Italy.

The mother, pregnant for the first time, had opted for an abortion after prenatal scans suggested that her baby was disabled.

Mother has healthy baby boy despite abortion warning by doctorHowever, the infant survived the procedure, carried out on Saturday in the Rossano Calabro hospital, and was left by doctors to die.

He was discovered alive the following day – some 20 hours after the operation – by Father Antonio Martello, the hospital chaplain, who had gone to pray beside his body. the rest

Devotional: Radiating Christ...

Dear Jesus,
Help me to spread Your fragrance everywhere I go.
Flood my soul with Your spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
that all my life may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me and be so in me
that every soul I come in contact with
may feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me but only Jesus!

Stay with me and then I shall begin to shine as You shine,
so to shine as to be a light to others;
the light, O Jesus, will be all from You;
none of it will be mine:
it will be You shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise You in the way You love best:
by shining on those around me.
Let me preach You without preaching,
not by words, but by my example,
by the catching force,
the sympathetic influence of what I do,
the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for You. Amen.
...by John Henry Cardinal Newman image
This prayer was a favorite of Mother Teresa of Calcutta and recited by her and her sisters daily after Mass. -PD (Thanks Catherine in Australia!)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Archbishop Peter Jensen responds to the Global South to South Encounter

April 28, 2010

The Global South to South Encounter

The Fourth Blast of the Trumpet


The image of the trumpet blast seems to be an over-dramatic description of the communiqué issued from the latest Global South Encounter. In fact, the response to it has been somewhat muted. But as a guest at the conference, I believe that it fully deserves the title ‘trumpet’ and will in time be regarded as an historic statement.

One reason why it fails to create a strong reaction is that it simply confirms the obvious. The crisis moment has now passed. Many of the Global South provinces have given up on the official North American Anglicans (TEC and the Canadian Church) and regard themselves as being out of communion with them. They renew the call for repentance but can see that, failing something like the Great Awakening, it will not occur. The positive side to this is that they are committed to achieving self-sufficiency so that they will cease to rely on the Western churches for aid. That is something the Global South has been working on for some time, with success.

In my judgment, the assembly was unresponsive to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s video greetings. I don’t think that what he said was obscure. It just seemed to be from another age, another world. His plea for patience misjudged the situation by several years and his talk of the Anglican covenant was not where the actual conference was at. He seemed to suggest that the consecration of a partnered lesbian Bishop will create a crisis. In fact the crisis itself has passed. We are now on the further side of the critical moment; the decisions have all been made; we are already living with the consequences. And it was in working out the consequences that the communiqué may eventually be seen to be historic.

The Global South Encounter could not in itself recognize the authenticity of churches. But the communiqué goes as far as is possible to recognizing the authenticity of the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA) and declaring this body to be the true heirs of the Anglican tradition on that continent. This is precisely what the GAFCON/FCA Primates Council did in 2009, and it really means that the leadership of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion regards itself as being in communion with ACNA and out of fellowship with the other North Americans. This was symbolized by the part played by Archbishop Bob Duncan at the conference, especially when he presided at Holy Communion. Furthermore the welcome accorded to the two bishops from the Communion Partners demonstrated the Global South commitment to Biblical standards as a test of fellowship. the rest

TV for Tots: Not What You Remember

Even the cartoon characters are stand-ins for adult socio-political obsessions.
APRIL 22, 2010
By JONATHAN V. LAST

These days the personal is the political, even on children's television. Not content to simply teach lessons about the alphabet or sharing, nearly every show has a worldview or a message to push.
In recent years, for instance, children's entertainment has struggled with the idea of manliness.

To some extent, TV is just reflecting changes in the outside world, which over the past 40 years has been, to a large degree, feminized. This has been partly for good and partly for ill. To take just one example, it is undeniably good that bullying has become (at least officially) forbidden. Bullying is a very bad thing.

But as bullying was put away, so were ideas about physical courage and manliness. Not knowing how to handle such subjects in this new era, the creators of children's television choose to present strange visions of men. the rest image

The men on kids' shows tend to be either aged, and hence harmless, or young, and vaguely effete.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Devotional: The many contradictions in our lives...

The many contradictions in our lives-such as being home while feeling homeless, being busy while feeling bored, being popular while feeling lonely, being believers while feeling many doubts-can frustrate, irritate, and even discourage us. They make us feel that we are never fully present. Every door that opens for us makes us see how many more doors are closed. But there is another response. These same contradictions can bring us into touch with a deeper longing for the fulfillment of a desire that lives beneath all desires and that only God can satisfy. Contradictions, thus understood, create the friction that can help us move toward God. ...Henri Nouwen image by dospaz

Has Noah's Ark Been Found on Turkish Mountaintop?


April 27, 2010
FOXNews.com

The remains of Noah's Ark have been discovered 13,000 feet up a Turkish mountain -- according to a sensational claim by evangelical explorers.

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say wooden remains they have discovered on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey are the remains of Noah's Ark.

The group claims that carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old, meaning they date to around the same time the ark was said to be afloat. Mt. Ararat has long been suspected as the final resting place of the craft by evangelicals and literalists hoping to validate biblical stories.

Yeung Wing-Cheung, from the Noah's Ark Ministries International research team that made the discovery, said: "It's not 100 percent that it is Noah's Ark, but we think it is 99.9 percent that this is it." the rest

Jennifer Knapp & Larry King: Why We Always Lose this Debate

By Trevin Wax
Apr 26, 2010

After viewing Friday night’s Larry King Live with Jennifer Knapp, pastor Bob Botsford, and Ted Haggard, I was struck with the question:

Why is it that whenever a proponent of Christianity’s historical view of sexuality goes head to head with an advocate for gay rights, the traditional Christian almost always loses the argument?

Read the transcript from Friday’s roundtable discussion here. Watch as the traditionalist pastor seeks to be loving and gentle, and yet still gets pelted with the pejorative term “judgmental.” Why is this so?

I’m convinced that we continue to lose the argument about homosexuality and Christianity because the traditionalist almost always makes his case within a conversation that has been framed by the opposing viewpoint. The Christian doesn’t lose the argument at the micro-level. The argument is lost from the beginning because of how the discussion is framed. the rest

Dog versus Deer

Obama’s Budget Director: Powerful Rationing Panel (Not Doctors) Will Control Health Care Levels

Albert Mohler: The Pill-The Human Pesticide

Monday, April 26, 2010

Anniversaries and commemorations come and go as history unfolds, but few dates are as significant as May 9, 1960. On that day the Food and Drug Administration approved the sale and use of Enovid — the first mass pharmaceutical form of what is now simply known as “The Pill.” Quite simply, the world has never been the same since.

The 50th anniversary of the Pill will surely draw a great deal of media and cultural attention. TIME magazine devoted its My 3, 2010 cover story to the meaning of the Pill after a half-century. Executive Editor Nancy Gibbs wrote the main story, entitled “Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill.” The magazine’s cover trumpeted the significance of The Pill with three short sentences: “So small. So powerful, And so misunderstood.” Misunderstood? Managing Editor Richard Stengel seemed to get the basic story just about right: “It was a medical breakthrough many years in the making, the most convenient and reliable form of birth control ever invented — but it quickly became much more. Arriving at a moment of social and political upheaval, the Pill became a handy proxy for wider trends: the rejection of tradition, the challenge to institutions, the redefinition of women’s roles.”
the rest image

The Pill turned pregnancy — and thus children — into elective choices, rather than natural gifts of the marital union. But then again, the marital union was itself weakened by the Pill, because the avoidance of pregnancy facilitated adultery and other forms of non-marital sex. In some hands, the Pill became a human pesticide.

Most Americans Say Judges Are Anti-Religious

Mon, Apr. 26 2010
By Nathan Black
Christian Post Reporter

Sixty-four percent of Americans believe that rulings by judges in recent years have been more anti-religious than the Founding Fathers intended, a new poll shows.

Only 21 percent of adults think the judges' rulings regarding religion in public life have correctly interpreted the U.S. Constitution, according to Rasmussen Reports.

Among evangelical Christians, 87 percent say the rulings have been too anti-religious. Those who practice other religions are evenly divided on the question.

Meanwhile, 51 percent of those who rarely or never attend a religious service believe the courts have correctly interpreted the Constitution. the rest

The heart disease trifecta

Nearly half of all adult Americans have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, all of which boost the risk of cardiovascular disease, the CDC says. One in eight has two or more.
By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
April 26, 2010

Nearly half of all adult Americans have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, all conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, researchers from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

One in eight Americans has at least two of the conditions and one in 33 has all three, sharply increasing their risk. Of those with at least one condition, 15% have not been diagnosed, according to the report released online."

The number that really surprises me is the penetration of these conditions into the U.S. population," said Dr. Clyde Yancy of Baylor University Medical Center, president of the American Heart Assn. "When that number is nearly 50%, that's a huge wake-up call." It means there are a large number of people "who think they are healthy…but are working under a terrible misconception." the rest image

Bishop N.T. Wright to leave diocese

27/04/2010

The Bishop of Durham, Dr N. T. Wright, has announced that he will be retiring from the See of Durham on August 31.

Dr Wright, who will be 62 this autumn, is returning to the academic world, in which he spent the first twenty years of his career, and will take up a new appointment as Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

Announcing his move, Bishop Tom said, ‘This has been the hardest decision of my life. It has been an indescribable privilege to be Bishop of the ancient Diocese of Durham, to work with a superb team of colleagues, to take part in the work of God’s kingdom here in the north-east, and to represent the region and its churches in the House of Lords and in General Synod. I have loved the people, the place, the heritage and the work. But my continuing vocation to be a writer, teacher and broadcaster, for the benefit (I hope) of the wider world and church, has been increasingly difficult to combine with the complex demands and duties of a diocesan bishop. I am very sad about this, but the choice has become increasingly clear.’ the rest

Singapore: Key Anglican Leaders Sad Yet Hopeful About Future

Tuesday, Apr. 27, 2010

As a watching world wonders if Anglicanism is falling apart, major players in the Anglican Communion are assured of unity. But it is an assurance that is mingled with a deep sorrow.

These were recurrent themes in conversations The Christian Post had with most of the Global South archbishops and representatives. This paper had met them at a significant summit held last week at St. Andrew’s Cathedral.

For the Global South archbishops, there is no question about whether there will be a split in the largest Protestant communion. the rest

The hypocrisy of child abuse in many Muslim countries

Child marriage and pederasty are tolerated in Muslim societies where homosexuality is strictly condemned
Saturday 24 April 2010

Some Muslims are fond of condemning western morality – alcoholism, nudity, premarital sex and homosexuality often being cited as examples. But Muslims do not have a monopoly on morality. In the west, child marriages and sex with children are illegal. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Muslim countries.

I recently saw the documentary on the Dancing Boys of Afghanistan. It exposed an ancient custom called "bacha bazi" (boy for play), where rich men buy boys as young as 11 from impoverished families for sexual slavery. The boys are dressed in women's clothes and made to dance and sing at parties, before being carted away by the men for sex. Owning boys is considered a symbol of status and one former warlord boasted of having up to 3,000 boys over a 20-year period, even though he was married, with two sons. The involvement of the police and inaction of the government means this form of child prostitution is widespread.

The moral hypocrisy is outrageous in a country where homosexuality is not only strictly forbidden but savagely punished, even between two consenting adults. However, men who sodomise young boys are not considered homosexuals or paedophiles. The love of young boys is not a phenomenon restricted to Afghanistan; homosexual pederasty is common in neighbouring Pakistan, too. In my view, repression of sexuality and extreme gender apartheid is to blame. the rest

Anti-Catholicism, Again

The permanent scandal of the Vatican
BY Joseph Bottum
May 3, 2010

The day the Antichrist is ripped from his papal throne, true religion will guide the world. Or perhaps it’s the day the last priest is gutted, and his entrails used to strangle the last king, as Voltaire demanded. Yes, that’s when we will see at last the reign of bright, clean, enlightened reason—the release of mankind from the shadows of medieval superstition. War will end. The proletariat will awaken from its opiate dream. The oppression of women will stop. And science at last will be free from the shackles of Rome.

For almost 500 years now, Catholicism has been an available answer, a mystical key, to that deep, childish, and existentially compelling question: Why aren’t we there yet? Why is progress still unfinished? Why is promise still unfulfilled? Why aren’t we perfect? Why aren’t we changed? the rest
An irony of the outraged European reaction to the scandals is that the continent is already one of the least Christian places on earth.

Scotland: Anger as teenagers give school kids sex ed lessons

Friday, 23 April 2010

Scottish children as young as eleven are receiving sex education from 14-year-olds in a bid to cut teenage pregnancies, but critics have described the scheme as “flawed”. the rest

A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland ridiculed it, saying: “The legal age for sexual intercourse is 16. This initiative is the equivalent of having 15-year-olds teach younger children how to drive a car.
Church of Scotland in new move over gay ministers

Europe: Hundreds Of Parents Sue Over Anti-Christian School Curriculum

By SUSAN BRINKMAN, For The Bulletin
Sunday, April 25, 2010

More than 300 parents have filed a lawsuit with the European Court of Human Rights challenging a compulsory anti-Christian curriculum in Spain’s public and private schools that promotes liberal sexuality with graphic imagery while openly bashing the Catholic Church.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian legal alliance, and Professionals for Ethics, a Spanish pro-family group, announced that they have filed suit with the European Court on behalf of 300 parents and 105 children regarding a controversial curriculum known as “Education in Citizenship.”

More than 54,000 parents have already registered complaints with the government about the program which is mandatory for all 10- to 16-year-old students attending public and private schools. Parents are not permitted to opt children out of the class. the rest

New Jersey School Shouldn't Have Barred Student From Pro-Life Event Court Says

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 26, 2010

Camden, NJ (LifeNews.com) -- A court ruled last Thursday that a New Jersey student should not have been prevented from participating in a national pro-life event along with hundreds of thousands of her peers. A federal court ruled the Bridgeton Board of Education shouldn't have interfered with the Bridgeton High School student.

The student hoped to participate in the sixth annual Pro-life Day of Silent Solidarity, which took place in October.

But, the student was prohibited from participating in the Stand True Ministries-sponsored event by distributing pro-life literature during non-instructional times. the rest

School blocks flyer, lawsuit follows

Monday, April 26, 2010

Infantile and horribly offensive - the FO's insult to the Pope is a dismal reflection of what Britain's become


By Melanie Phillips
26th April 2010

Has someone been slipping some kind of illegal substance into the Foreign Office officials’ tea?

In preparing for the Pope’s visit to Britain later this year, British diplomats circulated a memo which put forward a bizarre and highly offensive list of ‘ideal’ ways in which Benedict XVI might occupy his time in Britain, as well as other events to mark his visit.
These included launching a range of ‘ Benedict’ condoms and inviting the Pope to open an abortion clinic or bless a gay marriage.

The diplomats also suggested he might launch a helpline for abused children, apologise for the Spanish Armada or sing a song with the Queen for charity. the rest

Nicholas Okoh: Nigeria's New Anglican Primate

AllAfrica
26 April 2010

Lagos — Most Reverend Nicholas Okoh became Primate-elect in September 2009. He took over from Primate Peter Akinola who retired from service early this April.

He was ordained as a priest in 1979.

Before his elevation to the topmost job in the Church of Christ (Anglican Communion), Okoh, 57, had been a Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army who voluntarily retired when he was invited to become a Bishop in 2001. He became Archbishop in 2005 and is currently chairman of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission.

By his election, Okoh, a civil war veteran, becomes the first non-Yoruba to become the head of the Anglican Church. He follows a line of distinguished former Primates like Olufosoye Adetiloye and Akinola who were all giants of the church. It is the foot-prints of these men that Primate Okoh would now follow and possibly surpass. the rest

Obama visits Billy Graham -- 'a real treasure for our country'

by David Jackson
Apr 25, 2010

No pool coverage of today's visit by President Obama to Billy Graham, just White House statements about the meeting first arranged when Obama called Graham in November to wish him a happy 91st birthday.

"The president had a private prayer and conversation with Rev. Graham," said White House spokesman Bill Burton. "He is extraordinarily gratified that he took the time to meet with him."

In an e-mail, long-time Graham spokesman A. Larry Ross said their discussion ranged from the loneliness of the presidency to their mutual love of golf and the city of Chicago, reports our colleague Cathy Lynn Grossman on her Faith & Reason blog. the rest

Sunday, April 25, 2010

'Homosexuality and the Church Crisis'

By Matt C. Abbott
The following is a lengthy research paper written by Brian W. Clowes, Ph.D., director of research for Human Life International.


Homosexuality and the Church Crisis
By Brian W. Clowes

Abstract: Due to clergy sex abuse scandals centered primarily in the Northern hemisphere, the moral authority of the Roman Catholic Church has been subjected to an opportunistic siege by prominent individuals and organizations who see the chance to advance their goals, including the ordination of women and the suspension of the requirement for priestly celibacy.

There is also a strongly defensive element to this strategy. Opponents of the Church know that there is a well-documented and strong correlation between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse, but claim that there is no evidence supporting this connection.

And, of course, those who are currently attacking the Church hope that they can undermine its moral authority to preach on the sinfulness of homosexual behavior and weaken its opposition to ersatz homosexual "marriage."

This paper demonstrates that there is indeed a very strong link between male homosexuality and child sexual abuse. It also shows that there is a similar rate of child sexual abuse among other very large groups of adult males (e.g., Protestant clergy, who are usually married), thus proving that celibacy is not the root of the problem — homosexuality is.

Paper
In summary, there are many attacking on the Pope specifically and the Roman Catholic Church generally because of the sex abuse crisis. However, these individuals and organizations are not motivated by a desire to enlighten mankind or protect the innocent, since the crisis has already largely subsided, and stringent means have been enacted to prevent the abuse from reoccurring. Rather, the motivation appears to be more one of bigotry and a desire to muzzle and sideline the Church's moral opposition to the "gay rights" movement.

Lawmakers want university explanation for expulsion of Christian

Plan demands accountability over honoring students' beliefs
April 24, 2010
By Bob Unruh
© 2010 WorldNetDaily

Lawmakers in Michigan are preparing to call on the carpet leaders of taxpayer-supported universities across the state after top officials at Eastern Michigan University expelled from a counseling program a Christian student who refused to argue in support of the homosexual lifestyle.

As WND reported, trouble began for master's-program student Julea Ward when she refused to accept a client whose issue concerned a homosexual relationship.

The school expelled her from the counseling program March 12, 2009, for refusing to abrogate her own personal religious beliefs and support the homosexual lifestyle. the rest

Nurses who refused to assist in abortion disciplined

April 14, 2010
BY PETE SHEEHAN

EAST MEADOW — Eight nurses who refused to participate in an abortion at Nassau University Medical Center here March 31 are resisting disciplinary action levied on them by hospital officials.

“This is a horrendous situation,” said one of the labor/delivery nurses disciplined who asked that her name not be used. She and the others, she said, had signed paperwork at the time they began working there stipulating that they would not be required to assist in abortions but have often faced pressure to do so.

Some of the nurses involved have lost vacation time and others have their cases still pending, union officials report. the rest

Poll of Ireland shows overwhelming support for continued abortion ban

Dublin, Ireland
Apr 20, 2010

(CNA).- A survey of the Republic of Ireland shows that 70 percent of Irish people support the constitutional protection for the unborn, including the prohibition of abortion. One pro-life leader said the “hugely reassuring” results show “overwhelming public support” for unborn children and their mothers.

The survey, commissioned by the Pro-Life Campaign, asked respondents if they favor or oppose “constitutional protection for the unborn that prohibits abortion but allows the continuation of the existing practice of intervention to save a mother’s life in accordance with Irish medical ethics.”

Seventy percent supported the constitutional protections while only 13 percent opposed it. Another 16 percent of respondents did not know or had no opinion. the rest

Majority Anglican Bloc Unites Against Western 'Innovations'

Monday, Apr. 26, 2010

Archbishops representing three-quarters of the Anglican world are rallying for firm action against two Western Churches for ‘celebrating’ homosexuality.

The decision by the top leadership of the Global South of the Anglican Communion was prompted by the recent election by The Episcopal Church (U.S.) of a partnered lesbian as a bishop.

Heads of Churches in the Anglican Global South will be persuading their representative assemblies to reconsider communion with the North American Churches. This is “until it becomes clear there is genuine repentance,” in the words of a communiqué. The ‘Fourth Trumpet’ was released Friday after an Anglican Global South summit held throughout the week at St. Andrew’s Cathedral. the rest

Ministers apologise for insult to Pope

The Government has apologised to the Pope over official documents that mocked his forthcoming visit to Britain by suggesting he should bless a gay marriage and even launch Papal-branded condoms.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Religious Affairs Correspondent
24 Apr 2010

The astonishing proposals, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, were contained in secret papers drawn up earlier this month by civil servants following a 'brainstorm’.

The ideas, included in a memo headed The ideal visit would see ...’ , ridiculed the Catholic Church’s teachings including its opposition to abortion, homosexual behaviour and contraception. Many appeared to be deliberately provocative rather than a serious attempt to plan an itinerary for the September visit. the rest