Saturday, November 19, 2011

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

A.S. Haley: Trojan Horse Sent Packing from South Carolina

November 19, 2011

As I have remarked on many occasions, the Dennis Canon, probably (but not definitely) enacted at General Convention 1979, is the Episcopal Church (USA)'s Trojan Horse. Sneaked in under everyone's radar at the last possible minute, it lay dormant for over twenty years before suddenly unleashing its hidden forces to go out and attack unsuspecting parishes. Unable to accomplish anything by itself, it needed the assistance of various State courts and legislatures to achieve its results. And in the process, it has cost the Episcopal Church alone over Twenty-Five Million Dollars, and tens of thousands of lost parishioners, hundreds of parishes, and four entire dioceses. A Trojan Horse, indeed!

Now comes word that the ugly beast has been definitively and decisively banished from the Church's Diocese of South Carolina. After receiving a crippling wound last September from that state's Supreme Court, the creature was sent finally packing by the Diocese and its bishop, when last week they mailed out quitclaim deeds to every single one of their incorporated parishes. The legal effect of such deeds was that the Diocese gave up and released any and all claims ("quit its claim" -- hence "quitclaim deed") it may have had, from whatever source or reason, and however long ago acquired, in those parish properties. Chancellor Wade Logan explained:

For 190 years (1789-1979) there had never been any idea that somehow the parishes did not completely and fully own their property. Our Supreme Court has now said that the attempt to change that in 1979 by the General Convention was not binding on the parish of All Saints, Pawley's Island, SC. In recognition of that ruling, and in continued pursuit of our historic unity based on common vision rather than legal coercion, the Diocesan Convention removed the relevant section from our canons in October 2010. The issuance of these quitclaim deeds lays to rest any lingering issue that may exist for some parishes when they seek to obtain title insurance or secure bank financing for parish projects. Parishes may choose to file them or not based on their individual needs. We trust this action will enable parishes to freely exercise their rights and responsibility to oversee that which God, through the faithfulness of prior generations, has bequeathed to them.

The usual suspects are muttering imprecations against Bishop Lawrence as a result of this brave deed. They of course have to see it as betraying the Episcopal Church (USA), instead of strengthening it.
the rest

Iraqi Christians ‘living in fear’

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It’s been more than a year since an attack on a church in Baghdad left 58 Christians dead, but Christians in the Iraqi capital still fear for their lives, says one church leader.

Fr Amir Jaje, Superior of the Dominican Order in Baghdad, told Aid to the Church in Need: “Living in Iraq means living in fear. There’s no feeling safe and during the last two or three weeks the situation has got worse, because of tensions among political parties.”

Despite police protection outside churches, congregations still feel anxious and fear infiltration by extremists, he says. the rest

Jefferts Schori, Presiding Episcopal Bishop, Defends Abuse Priest Rev. Bede Parry

By Daniel Burke
Religion News Service
November 18, 2011

(RNS) The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church on Thursday (Nov. 17) defended her decision to allow a former Roman Catholic monk to become an Episcopal priest even after he admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori has been under increasing pressure to answer charges that she did not properly investigate the Rev. Bede Parry's past when she was bishop of Nevada in 2004.

Jefferts Schori said she knew of only one incident when Parry, now 69, sought ordination as an Episcopal priest. She also said that Parry passed a background check and a psychological evaluation before he was ordained.

After ordination, she said, Parry was supervised by another priest and not permitted to work alone with children.

"I made the decision to receive him," Jefferts Schori said in a statement, "believing that he demonstrated repentance and amendment of life and that his current state did not represent a bar to his reception." the rest

Friday, November 18, 2011

O.C. Catholic diocese to buy bankrupt Crystal Cathedral

A bankruptcy judge sides with the Crystal Cathedral's board in ruling that Orange County's Roman Catholic Diocese can buy the campus for $57.5 million.
By Nicole Santa Cruz, Ruben Vives and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
November 18, 2011

In the end, 2,000 years of tradition carried the day.

An Orange County bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday that the Crystal Cathedral, a monument to modernism in faith and architecture, will be sold for $57.5 million to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange, which plans to consecrate it as a Catholic cathedral.

The ruling was a blow to Chapman University, which had fought bitterly down to the final moments of the bankruptcy case for the right to buy the property as a satellite campus.

It also marked the end of a remarkable chapter in the history of American Christianity, one that was written in glass and steel by the Crystal Cathedral's founder and guiding light, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller.  the rest

Anglican Perspective: Why Youth Leave Church

Week of November 18, 2011

Antibiotic-resistant infections spread through Europe

Experts blame overuse of medicines for huge rise in bacteria that are almost impossible to treat
Jeremy Laurance
Friday 18 November 2011

The world is being driven towards the "unthinkable scenario of untreatable infections", experts are warning, because of the growth of superbugs resistant to all antibiotics and the dwindling interest in developing new drugs to combat them.

Reports are increasing across Europe of patients with infections that are nearly impossible to treat. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) said yesterday that in some countries up to 50 per cent of cases of blood poisoning caused by one bug – K. pneumoniae, a common cause of urinary and respiratory conditions – were resistant to carbapenems, the most powerful class of antibiotics.

Across Europe, the percentage of carbapenem-resistant K. pneumoniae has doubled from 7 per cent to 15 per cent. The ECDC said it is "particularly worrying" because carbapenems are the last-line antibiotics for treatment of multi-drug-resistant infections.  the rest

Military Chaplains May Suffer Deeper Emotional Wounds

Ginny Grimsley

Among the thousands of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan coming home by the end of the year, about 450 are military chaplains, most serving in the U.S. Army. Their experience in the field is unique among soldiers, so when they return they may face unique emotional burdens.

Armed with only their faith and a calling to help others, they serve alongside troops in the battlefield, notes Tony Scott Macauley, an ordained minister, former U.S. Army Ranger and author of A Dream Before Dying.

“They’re subject to the same emotional and physical injuries as the soldiers they’re there to serve,” says Macauley. “Sometimes the stress can be even greater because they have to balance their very deep-rooted sense of duty with a need to guard their own safety.”

 the rest

Diocese of Adelaide: New Anglican Bishop welcomes homosexual ministry

ADELAIDE'S new Anglican Bishop supports homosexual clergy as long as they follow church guidelines that forbid gay sex.
by David Jean
November 19, 2011

The Venerable Dr Tim Harris will be ordained tomorrow as Bishop for Mission and Evangelism at St Peter's Cathedral.

His newly created role is essentially to help recruit and retain worshippers and establish new parishes in the Diocese of Adelaide.

The appointment comes in a period of unrest for the church. Reverend Ali Wurm, an openly gay priest from St Bede's parish at Semaphore, quit her post in June after ongoing "persecution" from within the church about her sexuality. Days earlier the first female Dean of Adelaide, Sarah Macneil, resigned less than two years after taking up the post.

The resignations came amid tensions in the diocese on how to respond to a global moratorium imposed by the church on same-sex unions and the ordination of clergy in same-sex relationships. the rest

Dozens hurt as Christian march attacked in Cairo

 posted November 18, 2011

CAIRO — Hundreds of Coptic Christians marching in Cairo on Thursday came under attack by assailants throwing stones and bottles and 25 people were lightly injured in subsequent clashes, a security official said.

They were marching to demand justice for the Christian victims of a clash with soldiers in October that left at least 25 people dead, most of them Christians.

The official said the Copts were attacked in the northern Shoubra neighbourhood with stones and bottles, and that some among them responded in kind.

He said supporters of an Islamist candidate for upcoming parliamentary election joined in the attack on the Copts. the rest

Jordan: Man cuts sister throat to cleanse family honour

Syria Tortures Children-Infants Called "Terrorist Infiltrators"

Many Americans say they will have to work until they're 80

November 16, 2011

Forget about retiring at age 55. Or 65. Or perhaps even 75.

One-quarter of middle-class Americans fear they will have to work until they're at least 80 years old to afford a comfortable retirement (if "retirement" is even the right word, given that many of these people may never actually retire).

That conclusion, in a survey released Wednesday by Wells Fargo & Co., found that nearly three-quarters of Americans expect to continue working into what long has been retirement age. A little more than half of those said they'll need to work to pay their bills, while the rest said they want to keep working.  the rest
The survey was the latest of many showing that Americans are dangerously unprepared for retirement. With only limited savings, many people are realizing they must work much longer, must dramatically scale back their lifestyles, or both.

Nearly 2 million now are 90 or over...

Why Millennial Women Are Burning Out At Work By 30

Larissa Faw

Young professional women may not relate to the financial struggles their Millennial peers are protesting against during the Occupy New York movement. After all, these ambitious go-getters are working as doctors, lawyers, engineers, and advertising executives, blessed with great salaries, health benefits, and paid vacation.

But these women understand the protestors’ frustration and unhappiness over the fact that their lives aren’t supposed to turn out this way. This is why a growing number of young professional women who seem to “have it all” are burning out at work before they reach 30.

These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage. One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal wellbeing at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.”  the rest

(It's amazing that this article gives only a passing nod to the desire to raise children:  Also, while earlier generations may have opted out of the workforce through marriage or motherhood, these paths aren’t viable for these self-sufficient women, who either are still single or unwilling to be fully supported by men.  ...and there are only a few comments from women who say it was motherhood they really wanted and where they felt fulfilled. -PD)

Planned Parenthood Abortion Director Fired, Becomes Pro-Life

by Steven Ertelt

Thousands of pro-life advocates on Monday night were introduced to the latest Planned Parenthood official to quit working for the abortion business and become a pro-life advocate.

Sue Thayer, former Planned Parenthood manager from Storm Lake, Iowa, shared her conversion story with thousands of pro-life people who participated in a webcast sponsored by 40 Days for Life to wrap up its latest successful campaign resulting in more than 500 unborn children saved from abortions.

“Sue spoke out publicly about her 17 years of working inside Planned Parenthood and witnessing — first hand — how the organization was aggressively striving to increase their abortion numbers,” said Shawn Carney, the director of 40 Days. “As someone who had believed the lie that Planned Parenthood was all about “preventing abortions,” Sue voiced her concerns about this within Planned Parenthood … and they promptly fired her.” the rest

Late-Term Abortion Business in California Shuts Down

by Steven Ertelt

The late-term abortion business in southern California founded by the abortion practitioner who invented the partial-birth abortion procedure has closed down for good.

The California Catholic newspaper first reported on the shuttering of the Eve Surgical Center in Los Angeles, which has a message on its answering machine saying the abortion business, which first opened in the 1980s, is now closed. James McMahon, who once boasted that he developed the partial-birth abortion procedure, first ran the abortion facility, though he quickly came under heat from the California Medical Board, which repeatedly accused him of putting the health of women at risk. the rest

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Supreme Court rules Prop 8 supporters can defend the law

By Howard Mintz

The California Supreme Court on Thursday handed supporters of Proposition 8 the legal right to defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage, sending the case back to a federal appeals court to resolve the broader questions at the heart of the constitutional showdown.

In a unanimous ruling, the justices sided with Proposition 8 sponsors, who've argued they should be able to appeal a federal judge's decision last year striking down the same-sex marriage ban because the governor and attorney general have refused to defend the voter-approved law. The state Supreme Court overwhelmingly agreed that Proposition 8 backers can go it alone in trying to preserve the gay marriage ban.

The Supreme Court was emphatic that it would "undermine" the California ballot initiative process if the governor and attorney general can trump the voters by declining to defend such laws in the courts.
the rest

Sponsors of Proposition 8 celebrate court's decision

The Daily Show Destroys OWS Better Than Any Evil Banker Could

Statement from the first Divine Commonwealth Conference

In the name of God: the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

The first Divine Commonwealth Conference was held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja, from Monday 7th to Friday 11th November 2011. It was an international, non-denominational spiritual conference initiated by the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) under the leadership of the Most Reverend Nicholas D Okoh, Primate.

We, the participants, numbering over 5,000 Bishops, Clergy and Laity, deeply appreciated words of encouragement and goodwill from notable leaders from Nigeria, other parts of Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, including the retired Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Primates of West Africa and Kenya, the Methodist Archbishop of Abuja and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

1 We gathered as the People of God and members of the Divine Commonwealth determined to celebrate our oneness in Christ and reaffirm our unity around the fundamentals of the Christian faith; recognizing that we have been called into 'One body … one Spirit … one hope … one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.' 1 We reaffirmed our commitment to uphold our faith, loyalty and obedience to the Sovereign Lord of Heaven and Earth, and to prove ourselves faithful in season and out of season as His worthy disciples in all places and circumstances.

2 We are thankful for our Christian legacy established through the European missionaries who brought back the Gospel to Africa and the many African Evangelists who, like Bishop Ajayi Crowther, spread it far and wide. We hereby renew our own commitment to make disciples of all nations and our determination to reach out to the ends of the earth with the Good News of God's transforming love through Jesus Christ our Saviour, the Sovereign Lord of the Divine Commonwealth.

3 We applaud the commitment of the GAFCON Primates to hold fast to 'the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints'2 and to stand against the erroneous teachings that have infiltrated our beloved Communion. We also join them in declaring our refusal to be bogged down by relentless debates about matters we consider settled. Instead we move forward in proclaiming the whole counsel of God and doing all that we can to establish His Kingdom throughout the world. We reaffirm the faith articulated in the Jerusalem Declaration and its reminder that we have a rich heritage in Scripture and the historic tradition of the Church.  the rest

DIVCON website

Middle-Class Areas Shrink as Income Gap Grows, New Report Finds

November 15, 2011

WASHINGTON — The portion of American families living in middle-income neighborhoods has declined significantly since 1970, according to a new study, as rising income inequality left a growing share of families in neighborhoods that are mostly low-income or mostly affluent.

The study, conducted by Stanford University and scheduled for release on Wednesday by the Russell Sage Foundation and Brown University, uses census data to examine family income at the neighborhood level in the country’s 117 biggest metropolitan areas.

The findings show a changed map of prosperity in the United States over the past four decades, with larger patches of affluence and poverty and a shrinking middle. the rest
But the shift is more than just changes in income. The study also found that there is more residential sorting by income, with the rich flocking together in new exurbs and gentrifying pockets where lower- and middle-income families cannot afford to live.

At long last, Dutch doctors draw a line in the sand

Euthanasia is OK, but circumcising male babies is a bridge too far.
Michael Cook
Thursday, 17 November 2011

There seems to be no end to the creative energy of the right-to-die movement in the Netherlands. The latest innovation is a proposal for a euthanasia flying squad. The lobby group Right To Die wants mobile vans to buzz around the streets so that patients can die at home, not in hospital.

At the moment this is no more than a proposal, but proposals have a way of becoming policy in the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia.

Unlike most other countries, where euthanasia is still taboo, in the Netherlands doctors are constantly expanding the circle of eligibility for a lethal injection. A recent position paper from the Royal Dutch Medical Association (KNMG) reminded its members that they are obliged to take seriously all requests for euthanasia, even if patients are demented, mentally ill, suicidal, or merely tired of living.

Perhaps in response to this encouragement, registered euthanasia deaths rose by 12 percent in 2010 to 3,136 -- and this figure does not include the numerous deaths for which harried doctors did not do the paperwork or deaths by terminal sedation -- slow euthanasia by withdrawing food and water from heavily sedated patients.  the rest

U.S. National Debt Surpasses $15,000,000,000,000

Thu, Nov. 17 2011
By Napp Nazworth

Two days before the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, and one week before the “supercommittee” is supposed to propose a bill to reduce future deficits by at least $1.2 trillion, the national debt passed the $15 trillion mark.

In addition to the over $15 trillion in current debt, the federal government has over $116 trillion in unfunded liabilities, according to Unfunded liabilities are obligations that the federal government has committed to paying, but will not have the revenue to pay for. They are Social Security, Medicare and the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which are funded through payroll taxes.

The U.S. has over 312,000,000 people and over 112,000,000 taxpayers. This means the total debt per taxpayer is over $133,000 and total liability per taxpayer is over $1 million. the rest

Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to birth -- visualized

ENS: Presiding bishop explains role in receiving Nevada priest Bede Parry

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Nov. 17 that she received a Roman Catholic priest into the Episcopal Church despite him admitting an incident of sexual misconduct because she believed "he demonstrated repentance and amendment of life.
Questions about Jefferts Schori's decision, made in 2004 when she was bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, arose in June after a plaintiff listed as John Doe 181 filed a lawsuit against Conception Abbey, a Roman Catholic monastery in Missouri. The Rev. Bede Parry was a monk at the abbey in the 1980s and directed a choir. The plaintiff, now an adult, alleged that Parry had sexual contact with him during a 1987 summer choir camp at the abbey.

Parry, 69, served All Saints Episcopal Church in Las Vegas since 2000 as organist and later as an assisting priest, but resigned after the lawsuit was filed. Parry was renouncing his Episcopal Church priestly orders in July. It is not clear if that process is now complete.

The complete text of the presiding bishop's statement is here.

 the rest

Women bishops and the Church of England

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
by George Conger

How knowledgeable is your audience? What can a writer assume and what must be explained. One of the arts of journalism is the ability to gauge readers’ interests and abilities — to write not too much nor too little in setting the background of a story. When I write a story for the Church of England Newspaper, the Jerusalem Post or an American newspaper, I have an idea of what needs to be said and left unsaid for that particular audience.

A wire service reporter does not have that luxury. A recent Reuters story on the controversy over women bishops in the Church of England illustrates this question. In less than 400 words Reuters had to summarize the issues and arguments and offer insights into what lies ahead. And it must do so using non-theological language that is accessible to their readers. Sometimes it works, but in the article entitled “Church regions back women bishops,” it fell short. the rest

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Devotional: A great many people do not pray...

A great many people do not pray because they do not feel any sense of need. The sign that the Holy Spirit is in us is that we realize that we are empty, not that we are full. We have a sense of absolute need. We come across people who try us, circumstances that are difficult, conditions that are perplexing, and all these things awaken a dumb sense of need, which is a sign that the Holy Spirit is there. If we are ever free from the sense of need, it is not because the Holy Spirit has satisfied us, but because we have been satisfied with as much as we have. "A man's reach should exceed his grasp." A sense of need is one of the greatest benedictions because it keeps our life rightly related to Jesus Christ. ...Oswald Chambers image by Peter Heilmann

Power Line Productions Presents: Occupy DC!

November 16, 2011
by Steven Hayward

So with the various Occupy encampments being taken down before they completely collapse, I thought I ought to pay a visit to McPherson Square, the primary venue for Occupy DC–especially after reading this preposterous Washington Post article about Occupy DC over the weekend. The result is this six minute Power Line exclusive video–worth watching to the end, I promise. the rest

Superhydrophobic spray-on coating

This superhydrophobic coating is truly stunning
...At first glance, the mind-bending NeverWet comes across as a liquid repellent, but it is much more than that. Surfaces that are sprayed with NeverWet repel ice, corrosion, and even bacteria. The company behind the product, Ross Nanotechnologies, says on its Web site that the material does not fade in strength from blasts of high pressure. In fact, it even states that NeverWet-infused materials "have remained under seawater for over a year and reemerged completely dry." ...

Alternative episcopal ministry in Montreal

November 16, 2011
by George Conger

The Bishop of Montreal has agreed to allow the former Bishop of Western Newfoundland to provide alternative episcopal oversight to conservative clergy and congregations in the diocese. Proposed by the Windsor Report, “shared episcopal ministry” was endorsed by the Canadian House of Bishops in 2004. However, last week’s announcement from Montreal marks its first trial use in Canada.

In his opening address to the diocesan synod meeting on 27 Oct 2011, Bishop Barry Clarke of Montreal said a tentative agreement had been reached whereby Bishop Leonard Whitten would offer episcopal ministry to conservatives . While legal jurisdiction would remain with the Bishop of Montreal, the diocese was offering a “pastoral response to a need that needs to be addressed,” Bishop Clarke said.

“I would continue to be the diocesan bishop of both the bishop and the parishes,” he explained.

Conservative clergy and congregations have been at odds with Bishop Clarke since the 2007 meeting of synod requested the bishop authorize rights for the blessing of same-sex marriages. On 31 Oct 2008, Bishop Clarke announced he would go ahead with the blessings, even though the Canadian House of Bishops had requested the church honour the wishes of the 2008 Lambeth Conference and not proceed with the innovation. the rest

Facebook Flooded With Porn and Violent Images, Company Warns

November 15, 2011

Facebook is investigating reports of a massive wave of pornographic and violent images being posted to its website.

The content -- in the form of links, videos, and images -- began to appear Monday and includes doctored photographs of celebrities such as Justin Bieber in compromising situations, acts of violence and self-mutilation and even bestiality.

"We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes told "We are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms. Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us."

The flood of explicit material appears to be linked to some sort of spam virus that propagates when unknowing users click on infected content, according to tech site ZDNet.  the rest

Facebook tracking is under scrutiny

The end of Illinois Catholic Charities

Charlie Butts and Bob Kellogg

After 90 years of assisting in providing foster care for children, Catholic Charities of Illinois has been forced to cease services.

The problem began with passage of the Illinois civil unions law for same-gender pairs, which led the state to force Christian foster care and adoption organizations to consider homosexual couples, even though that is contrary to basic Christian doctrine. Catholic Charities filed suit, but the state has already begun transferring the children out.

"Unfortunately, the clock has run out on the Catholic Charities case because the state has begun the transition process for the children under the care of Catholic Charities in the foster care," reports Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society. "And so we are going to move to dismiss the appeal, unfortunately. But again, due to the action of the state of Illinois, we have now come to a point with this case where it's become moot."  the rest

Spiritual Decay

Washington's new Episcopal bishop is candid about the church's decline, but won't acknowledge the cause.
By Jeff Walton

It's commonly remarked that obfuscation is a job requirement for liberal bishops in the Episcopal Church. Never content with reading scripture's plain meaning, they often explain away parts of the Bible that sound unpleasant to today's supposedly enlightened ears. As if out of habit, this practice carries over into church operations, where decaying Mainline Protestant houses of worship situated near booming evangelical churches rarely lead to straightforward discussions about church vitality.

It may come as a surprise, then, that Washington, D.C.'s new bishop is being heralded for her candor in acknowledging the Episcopal Church's decline, even as she fails to identify the underlying reasons for the decline that traditionalists argue got the church into such dire straits in the first place.

Mariann Budde, the first woman to be installed as Washington's top bishop (another briefly led on an interim basis), comes to the diocese acknowledging years of decline and a culture of Episcopalians who, she told the Washington Post, have lost focus on the core missions of worship and evangelizing. Statistics released in October by the U.S.-based church reveal it has lost over 40 percent of its churchgoers since the mid-1960s. Budde replaces John Bryson Chane, who famously said he was "so sick and tired of reading reports about the statistical decline of The Episcopal Church" that he no longer reads them. In selecting a replacement, the diocese sought a candidate who did not fatigue as quickly. the rest
In Budde, Washington Episcopalians see an official who acknowledges with candor the failings of the church in evangelism and hospitality, but who does not make theological demands that would compromise the Episcopal Church's new gospel of indiscriminate inclusion and ultimately steer the church back onto a path of renewal.

Cardinal announces establishment of US Anglican ordinariate

November 16, 2011

Cardinal Donald Wuerl has announced that Pope Benedict XVI will establish an ordinariate for American Anglicans who wish to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. Two Anglican communities--one in Texas, the other in Maryland--have entered into full communion in recent months and are expected to become part of the ordinariate.

The Pontiff established the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in England and Wales in January 2011.

The US ordinariate will be established on January 1, and “at that time, I assume that an Ordinary will be named,” Cardinal Wuerl said at the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “If the Ordinary of the new Ordinariate is married, then he can be ordained a priest, but not a bishop.” the rest

U.S. Catholic Church prepares to accept disaffected Episcopalians

Following The Canons To Bede Parry

Written by:
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

In 2004 the Bishop of Nevada, Katharine Jefferts Schori, received a former Roman Catholic priest, Bede Parry, as a priest in TEC. What made this instance of a relatively common phenomenon remarkable is that Parry had sexually abused minors under his care as a Catholic priest, he had been barred from exercising his ministry in the Catholic Church, and this was known to the Bishop of Nevada when she received him into TEC.

The question of how a former Roman Catholic priest who has admitted to repeated abuse of minors under his care and who agreed to be laicized could have been received into TEC as a priest has been much discussed. It is startling that the Diocese of Nevada acknowledges that it was aware of his past misconduct, including a police report, prior to his reception, but proffers the reassurance that the Bishop and Commission on Ministry
did not decide to put children at risk. By accepting Fr. Bede as a priest, they were determining that he was not a threat to children.
Few have found this very reassuring, especially since a near-contemporaneous psychological evaluation made by the Roman Catholic Church shortly before Parry began his process of reception into TEC found that he had a “proclivity to re-offend with minors.” Indeed, notwithstanding the prior determination of safety by the diocese, Parry immediately tendered his resignation as a priest in TEC—characterized by ENS as Parry’s “renouncing his orders”—the moment his past conduct became public knowledge.  the rest

Company Halts First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Trial

by Rebecca Taylor

This is gigantic news that should be on the front page but is instead relegated to the business section. (I am telling you. You want accurate stem cell news without all the hype? Read the business news.) Geron, the California company that was the first to get FDA approval for human trials with cells derived from embryonic stem cells has decided to shut down the trial and leave embryonic stem cells behind. From the New York Times:

The company conducting the world’s first clinical trial of a therapy using human embryonic stem cells said on Monday that it was halting that trial and leaving the stem cell business entirely.

The company, Geron, said that its move did not reflect a lack of promise for the controversial field. Rather, it said, with money scarce, it had decided to focus on its experimental cancer therapies, which are further along in development.

the rest

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Police Clear Zuccotti Park of Protesters

November 15, 2011

Hundreds of police officers early Tuesday cleared the park in Lower Manhattan that had been the nexus of the Occupy Wall Street movement, arresting dozens of people there after warning that the nearly two-month-old camp would be “cleared and restored” but that demonstrators who did not leave would face arrest.

The protesters, about 200 of whom have been staying in the park overnight, initially resisted with chants of “Whose park? Our park!”

The massive operation in and around Zuccotti Park was intended to empty the birthplace of a protest movement that has inspired hundreds of tent cities from coast to coast. On Monday in Oakland, Calif., hundreds of police officers raided the main encampment there, arresting 33 people. Protesters returned later in the day. But the Oakland police said no one would be allowed to sleep there anymore, and promised to clear a second camp nearby.

The police action was quickly challenged as lawyers for the protesters obtained a temporary restraining order barring the city and the park’s private landlord from evicting protesters or removing their belongings. It was not immediately clear how the city would respond. The judge, Justice Lucy Billings of State Supreme Court Judge in Manhattan, scheduled a hearing for later Tuesday. the rest

Monday, November 14, 2011

Devotional: Mercy is like the rainbow...

Mercy is like the rainbow, which God hath set in the clouds; it never shines after it is night - If we refuse mercy here, we shall have justice in eternity.  ...Jeremy Taylor
 image by Martina Rathgens

Americans With Religious Faith Have Fled the Democratic Party

by Gary Bauer

Of all the divisions between Democrats and Republicans, the deepening religious divide may be the most important.

Knowing someone’s religion doesn’t necessarily predict which party he supports. But increasingly, knowing how devout that person is does. Devout Americans are abandoning a Democratic Party whose deepest devotion is to Big Government.

According to a new Gallup poll, for the first time a majority of Democrats, 52%, say they never or seldom go to church. Only about one-quarter of self-identified Democrats, 27%, say they attend weekly or more...

...These data confirm an ongoing trend of people of faith abandoning the Democratic Party and people of no faith flocking to it.

The Democratic presidential nominee’s share of the atheist vote has increased in each of the last four elections. the rest

150 Presbyterian Ministers Threaten to Resign in Scotland Over Gay Ministers

Mon, Nov. 14 2011
By Luiza Oleszczuk
Christian Post Reporter

Up to 150 conservative and evangelical ministers are reportedly threatening to resign in Scotland, where the Church of Scotland is about to become the first Presbyterian church in the world to allow the ordination of openly gay ministers.

The 450 year-old Christian establishment and cradle of Presbyterianism famously voted for allowing gay ministers in May, causing mass protests of current ministers.

Presently, as many as 150 serving ministers are considering resignation, The Guardian reported Monday. In addition, at least six ministers have left the church since May. One minister and his entire congregation, a church at Gilcomston South in Aberdeen, even reportedly threatened to leave as a group.  the rest

A.S. Haley: "A Call to the Light": The Case for Inhibiting the Presiding Bishop

Monday, November 14, 2011

With the extremely disturbing news about the long-standing cover-up that went on over sexual abuse of young men by an assistant coach at Penn State University, it is very instructive to compare the reaction of the University after the story came out to that of the House of Bishops concerning the revelations, on numerous blogs (Catholic and Episcopalian), concerning the Presiding Bishop's own cover-up of her actions while serving as the Bishop of Nevada.

Let me be perfectly clear: the two situations are not precisely parallel, because the sexual abuse of young men went on under the noses of the responsible officials at Penn State University, who studiously ignored bringing the abuser to account, or reporting him to the police. In contrast, and at least as far as we now know, Father Bede Parry did not commit any sexual abuse of minors under the nose of Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

But there -- with one big exception, as I note below -- the dissimilarities between the two cases end. For it is now undisputed that Bishop Jefferts Schori learned early on, from Bede Parry's own former Abbot, that he was a multiple-count abuser who could not continue to function as a Catholic priest (or monk) because he had "a proclivity to reoffend with minors." And she learned of this fact before she decided to receive him into her Diocese as an Episcopal priest. the rest

Supreme Court will hear health care case this term

 Associated Press
November 14, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court said Monday it will hear arguments next March over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul — a case that could shake the political landscape just as American voters are deciding if Obama deserves another term.

The decision to hear arguments in the spring allows plenty of time for a decision in late June, just over four months before Election Day. This sets up an election-year showdown over the White House's main domestic policy achievement that aims to extend medical insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans.

The case could become the high court's most significant and political ruling since its 5-4 decision in the Bush v. Gore case nearly 11 years ago effectively sealed George W. Bush's 2000 presidential election victory.

The justices announced they will hear more than five hours of arguments, an extraordinarily long session, from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the 2010 law and other related questions about the act. The central provision in question is the requirement that Americans buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty. the rest

Anglican Perspective: Cover-up

Week of November 9, 2011

Anglican Unscripted Episode 18: November 14, 2011

Kevin and George bring more news from Rwanda/ Pawleys Island and shed light on Documents they have received.. They also discuss the end to the Anglican Covenant and the Parable of the Talents. Allan Haley talks about Penn State and how it is handling last weeks tragic news. Also this week there is an interview with Bishop Dobbs.

The Discipline of Going to Church

Daniel Darling
posted November 14, 2011

Going to church can become routine. I know it, because I grew up going to church three times a week (at least). It was not a choice my parents gave me. It was something we did, part of our regular routine.

As a second-generation Christian, I know full well the dangers of making spirituality overly routine. I have experienced long stretches of dryness where I was "going through the motions" and filling a pew. This can be dangerous to spiritual health. Traditionalism can become legalism. We can be satisfied with doing what we are supposed to do and avoiding spiritual introspection and growth.

However, I have come to appreciate the discipline of merely going to church. I used to say that "you shouldn't just go to church to go to church." But I've reconsidered this. The discipline of going to church every week for the majority of your life is in itself an act of worship, of sacrifice. You're saying to yourself and to the world that assembling with the called-out people of God, that the story of Christianity, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus matters so much that you're willing to dedicate at least one day a week to it. the rest image

Occupy Crackdown: Beginning of the End for Protests?

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Iowahawk: With Apologies to Allan Sherman

EEG finds consciousness in people in vegetative state

10 November 2011
by Chelsea Whyte

Signs of consciousness have been detected in three people previously thought to be in a vegetative state, with the help of a cheap, portable device that can be used at the bedside.

"There's a man here who technically meets all the internationally agreed criteria for being in a vegetative state, yet he can generate 200 responses [to direct commands] with his brain," says Adrian Owen of the University of Western Ontario. "Clearly this guy is not in a true vegetative state. He's probably as conscious as you or I are."  the rest
"The diagnostic criteria for vegetative state have to change," he adds. The official diagnosis for PVS was formulated in the 1970s, before neuro-imaging was widely used, says Owen. The last update was made in 1995, but the criteria for declaring someone conscious is still based on whether an outside observer believes the patient is trying to communicate.

Killing For Organs

November 13, 2011
By Mark P. Moster

Furthermore, altruism alone is being questioned as the only way to procure organs from living or dead donors. Several alternatives to altruism are currently being discussed and it should surprise nobody that these incentives revolve around money or the demolishing of ethical standards.

In fact, things are taking a decidedly darker turn.

First is the burgeoning illegal trafficking in human organs where people are prepared to pay handsome black market prices for a no-questions-asked kidney, liver, or heart. Unscrupulous middlemen prey not only on the potential recipient, but also on the poor and vulnerable who are often cheated out of organs for a pittance. Nowhere is this practice more odious than in China, where organs are harvested from the corpses of freshly killed prisoners and sold to recipients anxious to survive at any cost...

Second, some countries are looking at the bottom line of cost. Recently, the UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics floated an idea to monetarily incentivize organ donors by suggesting that the funerals of dead donors be paid for by the state. Financially, everyone wins. It's way cheaper for the government to pay for a funeral than for the extensive medical care for someone who can't get a kidney, for example. However, reducing an altruistic act to a cold-hearted financial contract in and of itself may well change the motivations of both potential donor and recipient...

Another more chilling alternative has been offered recently by several Belgian doctors attempting to increase the number of organs available for transplantation: Harvesting the organs of euthanized patients. Euthanasia is legal in Belgium and most often occurs in the patient's home. However, the Belgian doctors saw an opportunity to determine the exact moment of death, thereby providing optimum conditions for removing the euthanized patient's organs. They describe in detail their procedure from admission of the patient about to be euthanized, how the living patient was medically prepared for organ harvesting after death, how the patient was killed and how the organs were removed by a waiting surgical team in an operating theater adjoining the death room...

The Belgian example also touches on another area: When is a patient really dead? There are two types of recognized definition of death. One is cardiac death, where the heart has stopped beating. The other is brain death, where all brain function is lost. What is problematic, though, is the time between cardiac death and brain death because even if the heart has stopped brain activity occurs at some level. Waiting for brain death takes quite a bit longer than cardiac death. The longer the wait, the more likely it is that the organs for donation will begin to deteriorate. the rest

Does Dutch Euthanasia for Patients with Dementia Expose a Threat to U.S. Patients?

Doctors see surge in newborns hooked on mothers' pain pills

By Donna Leinwand Leger, USA TODAY
posted November 14, 2011

Medical authorities are witnessing explosive growth in the number of newborn babies hooked on prescription painkillers, innocent victims of their mothers' addictions.

The trend reflects how deeply rooted abuse of powerful narcotics, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, has become. Prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem, classified as an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I'm scared to death this will become the crack-baby epidemic," says Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. Last month, she asked the state Legislature to establish a task force to compile data on drug-exposed babies and develop prevention strategies.

National statistics on the number of babies who go through withdrawal are not available, and states with the worst problems have only begun to collect data. the rest

Bay Village church loses building, plans weekend move

Friday, November 11, 2011
By Bruce Geiselman, Sun News

BAY VILLAGE – The congregation of St. Barnabas Anglican Church will hold services in their 61-year-old building for the final time Nov. 13 after losing a legal battle with the Episcopal Church over ownership of the property.

About 250 parishioners will leave the colonial-style church at about 10:30 a.m., following an abbreviated worship service, to walk nearly one-mile to the Bay High School auditorium, which will serve as their sanctuary beginning Nov. 20. Once there, they will hold a reception to introduce the congregation to their new home. The auditorium may serve as the church’s primary place of worship for the next three to five years as the congregation looks into constructing a new church building.

The church’s offices and some weekday services will be housed temporarily at Bay Presbyterian Church, located at Lake and Columbia roads.

St. Barnabas was founded as an Episcopal church, but the congregation voted about four years ago to separate from the Episcopal Church over disputes regarding interpretation of the Bible and certain basic tenets, including details of Jesus’ resurrection. the rest

“We couldn’t even agree on who God is,” said the Rev. Gene Sherman, who leads the local congregation.

15 Surprising Side Effects of Rising College Costs

November 13, 2011

It’s hard to miss talk about rising college costs these days. It’s plastered all over newspapers and websites, and has been at the center of much political debate over the past month, especially in response to President Obama announcing a new plan to help grads better cope with student debt. And it’s not a discussion that’s likely to go away soon. Over the past few decades, college tuition has been rising at a breakneck pace, almost three times as fast as inflation. Incomes haven’t kept up with college costs, and that’s made it a challenge for many students to pay their way through school, often accruing tens of thousands of dollars of debt in the process.

The effect these rising costs have had on young adults hasn’t always been predictable, however. Here, we explain some of the more surprising ways higher tuition is affecting the way current students and recent grads work, play, and live.
  1. Enrollment in two-year colleges has risen.
    Rising college costs haven’t necessarily driven students away from pursuing a degree, but many are chasing that goal in a new ways. Community colleges have seen a steady increase in enrollment as economic troubles and sky-high tuition fees have put traditional schools out of many students’ reach. Two-year colleges are often much cheaper and offer students more flexibility in working while they attend classes. For some, they’re a great way to get basic courses out of the way before moving on to a bigger, more prestigious school. Whatever the reason, community colleges are playing an increasingly large role in higher education, a fact highlighted by President Obama in a 2010 speech on education and an accordant $12 billion dollar program to fund two-year schools.

    2. Fewer young people are able to afford to buy a home.When you’re carrying tens of thousands of dollars in school debt, saving up the money to buy a home often just isn’t a possibility. As tuition rises and students are forced to take out bigger loans to pay for school, fewer young people are able to fulfill the long-standing American dream of home ownership. Only 57% of people between 25 and 44 own a home today, a 4% decrease since 1980. While overall ownership has increased, young people are increasingly unable to purchase a home, and the current economic crisis and the income uncertainty it brings haven’t helped matters. Add to that the nearly $30,000 in debt many college grads carry and you have a recipe for an extended period of renting.
the rest

Obama says U.S. has been 'lazy' about attracting business

By Peter Nicholas
November 12, 2011

Reporting from Honolulu— Does President Obama believe the country he leads has the right stuff?

Every now and then Obama lets slip that he doesn't believe his countrymen are all that tough.

Back in September he told a TV station that the U.S. had “gotten a little soft’’ when it came to competing in international markets.

On Saturday, speaking at a business forum on the sidelines of an economic summit in Honolulu, he said the U.S. had been “lazy’’ when it came to enticing businesses to invest in America. the rest

A foretaste of heaven...

My aunt and Godmother died last Wednesday after years of patient suffering with many physical problems.   The funeral liturgy was at  St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church here in Syracuse, where my immigrant grandparents were among the founding members. Raymond took this picture and as you can see, the church is incredibly beautiful.  A foretaste of heaven!   -PD

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ghazni: mother and daughter stoned to death for adultery 300m from govt offices

Sources tell AsiaNews that Sharia is the only law in Afghanistan. In ten years, the international community has done nothing to teach the population respect for human rights.

Kabul (AsiaNews) – “Ten years after the fall of the Taliban, the West has not been able to teach Afghans respect for human dignity. Sharia is the law that is enforced, not the laws of civilised countries,” sources told AsiaNews in reference to the stoning of two women, mother and daughter, accused of adultery. The two were killed yesterday in Ghazni, 138 km southeast from Kabul, a few hundreds of metres from government offices. Although the area was recently handed over to Afghan authorities, international forces are still in control. “Everyone knows such violence goes on,” sources said.

Yesterday, a group of armed men entered the house where a young widow lived with her daughter. After accusing them of adultery, they took them out to the yard, where they were stoned and then shot dead. The attack was carried out only 300m from the governor's office in Ghazni city, but police arrived too late on the scene of the crime.

Despite the sound of screams and gunshots, neighbours did not help or inform the authorities.

Officials says that a number of religious leaders in the city have been issuing fatwas, asking people to report any one who was "involved in adultery".

Sources told AsiaNews that some imams, even in the capital, have also been stirring up people against foreigners and demanding everyone submit to Sharia to the letter. the rest

Yemen: Young man dies after his hand was amputated for theft

Young [mostly Muslim} women face forced marriage in Germany

Christian Persecution Intensifies in Nigeria: Terror Sect Boko Haram Linked to Al Qaida?

Occupy Wall Street costs local businesses $479,400!

November 13, 2011

It makes no cents.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has cost surrounding businesses $479,400 so far, store owners said.

A Post survey of a dozen restaurants, jewelry shops, beauty salons, a chain store and mom-and-pop establishments tallied almost a half-million dollars lost in the 53 days since the Zuccotti Park siege began on Sept. 17.

“We’re done with them!” barked one Broadway business owner. The restaurateur -- who requested anonymity for fear of reprisals -- said his profits drained as soon as campers moved in.

“My customers used to take food to eat in the park, but now they can’t,” he lamented. the rest