Saturday, March 10, 2012

Hawaii weather brings hail, dampens vacations

For about a week, Hawaiis famous sunny weather has been replaced with thunderstorms, golf-ball pieces of hail, and the arrival of what weather officials say was the first tornado in four years to hit the islands.
Saturday, March 10, 2012

HONOLULU -- For about a week, Hawaii's famous sunny weather has been replaced with thunderstorms, golf-ball pieces of hail, and the arrival of what weather officials say was the first tornado in four years to hit the islands.

The tornado formed as a waterspout offshore. After 7 a.m., it pushed more than a mile inland, tearing off part of a roof and carrying it several hundred yards through the coastal town and Honolulu suburb of Kailua. No one was injured.

A 30-minute hail storm Friday over windward Oahu was "unprecedented," for Hawaii, said Tom Birchard, senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu. Not only is it highly unusual for hail to fall over Hawaii, but some stones that measured as large as three inches are likely record-breaking, he said.

Small stones were reported to have fallen on other islands over the course of about a week of heavy rains that closed schools, caused sewage spills, flooded homes and dampened vacations. There were landslides, power outages and roads blocked by trees, boulders and mud.

Thunderstorms were in Friday's forecast but heavy rains were expected to subside by Saturday.

It's the tail end of Hawaii's rainy season. "The rain is not all that unusual but the hail and strength of the thunderstorms are unusual," he said. the rest/photo

I am blogging this story because for the past week I have been in Hawaii with a friend who once lived here to help her get some personal business in order.  (I think I have a new ministry!)  Anyway, the weather has been unusual to say the least, but praise God, we have not been in any difficulties because of it-just limited in doing some sightseeing of course.   Starting home tomorrow-PD

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

A Mass Less Ordinary

Mar 6, 2012
Elizabeth Scalia

One of my brothers goes to mass every day of the week, but he does not attend on Sunday.

“I love the mass,” he says, “and I can’t stand missing it for a day. But I just can’t take those Sundays. I can’t.”

That is ultimately between God, my brother, and his pastor, but I sympathize, a little. He is a gregarious sort while I am an introvert, but we share a dislike for busy, noisy, overstimulated worship. Not an early-riser by nature, I will nevertheless often rouse myself of a Sunday to catch a 7 AM mass, because it is the only one offered without bellowing cantors and music being crammed into every spare second of the worship, disallowing any possibility that one might be surprised and shaped by a bit of sacred silence.

Stipulating that many will perceive a “get off my lawn” note to that—and I know this because I have been accused of not understanding that one aspect of the mass is to aid the church in “being community”—I don’t think my brother and I are particularly cranky people. We love the mass, and we are not looking for private, or impersonal worship; we get that mass is a communal endeavor. But an element of the extraordinary—of a hushed awakening to something great—has disappeared from our modern masses, and the hyperactivity that has replaced it can sometimes rub our nerves raw.

I think what my brother and I are missing is the sense of reverent anticipation that used to precede Sunday mass when, in the spare minutes before the processional, people used to kneel and collect themselves; they gathered their thoughts, remembered an intention, let go of what was frivolous and finally sighed a big, cleansing, quieting breath in preparation for the great prayer of the mass. If people spoke at all, they whispered; they were reverently aware of Christ present in the tabernacle and considerate of their neighbors at prayer. the rest image    

When yoga is more reverent than Mass

Anglican Perspective: Christian Minority

March 6, 2012

A recent report suggested that by the year 2030, Great Britain will no longer be majority Christian. Should Anglicans be concerned about this? How should we respond to the growing numbers of non-Christians in America, Great Britain and elsewhere? This week, Canon Ashey points to how early Christians handled their minority status and what Paul said about responding to the wisdom of the age.

Netanyahu: “Then too, they wanted to wipe us out”

Gives the president a gift of the Scroll of Esther.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu handed US President Barack Obama a gift on Monday that spoke volumes about Israel’s tensions with Iran – an ancient Hebrew tome about a Persian plot to annihilate Jews, otherwise known as the Scroll of Esther.

The Scroll, or the Megila, tells a tale of palace intrigue featuring a Jewish beauty, Queen Esther, who charms a Persian king into foiling an evil adviser’s genocidal plans for her people some 2,500 years ago.

“Then too, they wanted to wipe us out,” Netanyahu told Obama, according to an Israeli official.

Jews around the world will gather in synagogues on Wednesday to read the Megila, on the eve of the Jewish holiday of Purim, a celebration of salvation and of turning the tables on one’s foes. the rest

Albert Mohler: Something Deadly This Way Comes — “After-Birth Abortion”

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From the beginning of the controversy over abortion, this supposedly bright line of the moment of birth has been unstable. Abortion rights activists have even opposed efforts to restrict the gruesome reality known as partial-birth abortions. The moment of birth has never been the bright line of safety that the defenders of abortion have claimed.

Now, an even more chilling development comes in the form of an article just published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Professors Alberto Giubilini of the University of Milan and Francesca Minerva of the University of Melbourne and Oxford University, now argue for the morality and legalization of “after-birth abortion.”

These authors do not hide their agenda. They are calling for the legal killing of newborn children.

The argument put forth in their article bears a haunting resemblance to the proposal advocated by Dr. Peter Singer of Princeton University, who has argued that the killing of a newborn baby, known as infanticide, should be allowable up to the point that the child develops some ability to communicate and to anticipate the future. the rest image by Kaatje Vervoort

Catherine Foster: We Can Kill in the Womb, So Why Not Out Of It?

WSJ: Bishop Dolan's Liberty Letter

The Catholic Cardinal describes a chilling visit to the White House.
March 6, 2012

The debate over the Obama Administration's birth control mandate has been ingloriously fact-free, even more than usual. So amid demonstrably false claims about a plot to relegate women to the era of "Mad Men," if not Salem, Massachusetts circa 1692, Cardinal Timothy Dolan's letter on religious freedom deserves more readers.

"We have made it clear in no uncertain terms to the government that we are not at peace with its invasive attempt to curtail the religious freedom we cherish as Catholics and Americans," the archbishop of New York wrote in a public epistle to Catholic bishops last Friday. It's an eloquent and powerful document, though not one that received much of any media notice. "We did not ask for this fight, but we will not run from it," he continues.

Cardinal Dolan explains that "As pastors and shepherds, each of us would prefer to spend our energy engaged in and promoting the works of mercy to which the Church is dedicated: healing the sick, teaching our youth and helping the poor." The problem, and the genesis of this Catholic confrontation with Washington, is the government's "bureaucratic intrusion into the internal life of the church" and its bid "to define what constitutes church ministry and how it can be exercised." the rest
In other words, the White House's solution is merely for the bishops to shut up about the wrinkles. Cardinal Dolan writes that "there was not even a nod to the deeper concerns about trespassing upon religious freedom." White House staffers also cited some writings by vicars of the Catholic left in support of the mandate, in effect telling the bishops that they know less about church teachings than your average Washington Post columnist.
HHS mandate could close 13 percent of the nation’s hospitals

Alberta backtracks: Parents can teach beliefs on homosexuality, but homeschoolers still concerned

by Patrick B. Craine
Mon Mar 05, 2012

( – Homeschoolers say they remain gravely concerned over the Alberta government’s new Education Act, even after Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk has distanced himself from his spokeswoman’s statements that homeschoolers would be forbidden to teach controversial aspects of their religious beliefs as part of their curriculum.

After learning that the province’s new Education Act may be opening the door to “diversity” education, and that it includes homeschools under the list of schools, LifeSiteNews had asked Donna McColl, Lukaszuk’s assistant director of communications, about the controversial issue of homosexuality as a test case. In response LSN was told that faith-based schools and homeschooling families would not be able to teach that homosexual behavior is a sin in their programs. But after getting flooded with complaints over the remarks, the government is now hastening to assure parents that they can indeed teach their beliefs.

“At the end of the day, parents have the right to determine the curriculum. And yes, they can still teach whatever their beliefs are about homosexuality, one way or the other,” Janice Schroeder, Lukaszuk’s director of communications, told LifeSiteNews Thursday. the rest

Anglican Unscripted Episode 31

Posted March 6, 2012

From Natural Disasters to International turmoil your Anglican Unscripted hosts Kevin and George cover it all. There is also updated AMiA and PEARUSA News and AS Haley reflects on what happens when you lose in court. This episode starts with a great adventure in Texas and finishes with a new segment called Mailbag.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Obama Agency: Pepsi Using Aborted Fetal Cells is Ordinary Business

by Steven Ertelt

PepsiCo has come under fire from pro-life advocates because it has been contracting with a research firm that uses fetal cells from babies victimized by abortions to test and produce artificial flavor enhancers.

Now, the Obama administration is set to face more criticism because an agency has declared that Pepsi’s use of the company and its controversial flavor testing process constitutes “ordinary business.”

In a decision delivered February 28, the Security and Exchange Commission ruled that PepsiCo’s use of aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under “ordinary business operations.” the rest image
“We’re not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use – we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit,” she said. “Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations

Breakaway Anglicans ordered to return property by April 30

Breakaway Anglicans ordered to return property by April 30
Mar 05, 2012
by Daniel Burke

 A Virginia judge has ordered seven congregations that broke from the Episcopal Church to return all property to the local diocese -- from valuable land to sacred chalices -- by April 30.

The Diocese of Virginia had wanted the properties returned by March 30, a week before Easter. But Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge Randy Bellows agreed to give the breakaway congregations more time.

In a closely watched case that reached the Virginia Supreme Court, Bellows ruled in January that congregations had the right to leave the Diocese of Virginia, but not to take church property with them.

The conservative congregations must return an estimated $40 million worth of property, according to The Washington Post, including several large, historic churches. They must also return chalices, prayer books, crosses and some of the money they had on hand before they left the Episcopal Church. Breakaway Anglicans ordered to return property by April 30. the rest

PEARUSA Communiqué: March 1, 2012

Former AMiA churches move closer to ACNA
March 2, 2012

At the conclusion of the January, 2012 Sacred Assembly in Raleigh, NC, Archbishop Onesphore Rwaje established a temporary Steering Team on behalf of the Anglican Church of Rwanda to serve in directing its ongoing missionary efforts in North America. The Steering Team was commissioned to both respond to immediate needs and also to prepare the way for future long‐ term mission and structure. The immediate task of the team was to provide pastoral care and oversight for clergy canonically resident in Rwanda, as well as those congregations desirous of continuing affiliation with Rwanda, all under the auspices of an interim organization known as PEARUSA (Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda en USA). In preparing for the future, the team was charged to explore and develop plans for long‐term ecclesiastical structures. Toward this end, a working group of laity, clergy and bishops met in a retreat center outside of Washington, DC, on Feb 26‐28, 2012, to consider future possibilities. This communiqué reports the outcomes of this working group retreat.


States must choose -- sharia or Constitution?

Chad Groening

A pro-national defense activist says the recent decision by Pennsylvania judge Mark Martin to throw out an assault charge against a Muslim man based on sharia law is the perfect illustration of why states must enact statutes banning foreign law from American jurisprudence.

Martin recently dismissed charges brought against an Islamic man who attacked an atheist who was marching in a Halloween parade dressed like Mohammed. Martin has been accused of basing his decision on Islamic sharia law rather than on the U.S. Constitution.

Brigitte Gabriel, founder and president of ACT for America and author of They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It, says the Pennsylvania case is hardly an isolated incident.

"Actually [there are] 51 cases in American court rooms where Islamic law was considered above the Constitution of the United States," Gabriel says, "especially in domestic law and in family law. And that's simply unacceptable." the rest

The Gospel of Barnabas ‘hoax’

Until now not one media organisation has reproduced the exact words attributed to Christ
Marco Tosatti

Much has been written in the past few days, particularly in Muslim newspapers, on the discovery of a bible in Turkey, a bible that was apparently written in Aramaic – the language Jesus spoke – approximately 1,500 years ago. The bible is written on leather pages in gold letters. The cover has inscriptions in Aramaic and a cross, drawn in a rather rudimentary way. What has attracted the most attention – from the media point of view – is a number of statements made by Jesus where he apparently predicts the coming of Muhammad. Nevertheless, up to now no media organisation has published the exact words attributed to Christ.

But alas, this extraordinary discovery is probably a hoax, the work of a forger who, according to some, could have been a European Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages. The most factual criticisms have come from the Syriacs. Indeed, anyone who speaks modern Assyrian (also known as neo-Aramaic) will find the inscription on the so-called ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ easy to read. However errors are just as easy to make out. Apparently, the main inscription, in a modern transliteration, reads: ‘b-shimmit maran paish kteewa aha ktawa al idateh d-rabbaneh d-dera illaya b-ninweh b'sheeta d-alpa w-khamshamma d-maran’. This apparently means: ‘In the name of the Lord, this book is written by monks of the high monastery in Nineveh in the 1500th year of our Lord.’ There is not enough space here to go through the grammatical and conceptual errors in detail, but experts in modern Assyrian assure us that they are obvious and quite significant. Apart from anything else, the inscription says ‘book’, but one never refers to a bible in Assyrian with the word ‘book’. The Bible is either referred to as New or Old Testament, or Holy Book. It is quite unlikely that monks could have made such obvious mistakes. the rest

Albany: RC Clergy-abuse reporting under fire from DAs

Hubbard signs memorandum of understanding on handling abuse claims against clergy
By Brendan J. Lyons
Updated Monday, March 5, 2012

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that a 2002 letter from 14 district attorneys to the Albany diocese had not been made public at the time.

ALBANY -— Fourteen district attorneys whose counties are within the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese have called on Bishop Howard J. Hubbard to reshape the diocese's handling of sexual abuse complaints against clergy and other employees.

Citing "concerns about how these cases are being handled," the district attorneys all signed a proposed memorandum of understanding that was presented to Hubbard early last month. Hubbard, who has been bishop since 1977, signed the document Friday, a day after the Times Union asked the diocese questions about it. He declined a request for an interview. the rest

Smashing Icons

File:Trinity tikhon filatiev.jpg
posted March 5, 2012

The first Sunday of Great Lent, on the Orthodox calendar, is set aside to remember the restoration of icons to the Churches during the reign of the holy Empress Theodora (9th century). It commemorates as well the gift of the entirety of the Orthodox faith.

I offer these thoughts in honor of the day. The opening quote is from an earlier posting.
We have to renounce iconoclasm. In so doing, we inherently set ourselves against certain forces within modernity. The truth is eschatological, that is, it lies in the future, but we also believe that this eschatological reality was incarnate in Christ, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. We do not oppose the future in embracing the Tradition we have received. We embrace the future that is coming in Truth, rather than the false utopias of modern man’s imagination.

There is a strange spirit of iconoclasm (the Greek for “icon smashing”) and it breaks out now and again across human history. It is not just a short period in Byzantine history successfully resisted by the Orthodox but a strange manifestation of human sin that has as its driving force and hence allurement, the claim that it is defending the honor of God.

The icon smashers are as varied as certain forms of Islam or certain forms of Puritanism (and some of its Protestant successors). Some icon smashers direct their attention to pictures or statues, per se, while others turn their attention to even ideological icons such as honoring certain days and holidays. Those Christians who rail against the date of Christmas belong to this latter group of iconoclasts.

What is striking to me is that iconoclasm has almost always accompanied revolutions. I suppose those who are destroying the old and replacing with the new have a certain drive to “cleanse” things. Thus during China’s Cultural Revolution, books, pictures, older faculty members, indeed a deeply terrifying array of unpredictable things and people became the objects of the movement’s iconoclasm. As in all of these revolutions – iconoclasm kills.

In Christian history the first recorded outbreak of iconoclasm was the period that gave the phenomenon the name – during the mid-Byzantine Empire. Like later incarnations of this spirit of destruction, the icons themselves were only one thing to be destroyed – those who sought to explain and defend them became objects of destruction as well. Thus we have the martyrs of the Iconoclast Heresy. the rest image

Too funny: The Dems "Big" Cause

Saint’s 8-century-old heart stolen from Dublin cathedral

Relic kept in wooden box, iron cage
March 4, 2012

DUBLIN — Somewhere in Ireland, a burglar has the heart of a saint.

Officials at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin said Sunday they’re distraught and perplexed over the theft of the church’s most precious relic: the preserved heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, patron saint of Dublin.

O’Toole’s heart had been displayed in the cathedral since the 13th century. It was stored in a heart-shaped wooden box and secured in a small, square iron cage on the wall of a chapel dedicated to his memory. On Saturday someone cut through two bars, pried the cage loose, and made off with the relic. the rest

Expert on Child Spirituality Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Professor from Wheaton, Biola, Vanguard, and Toccoa Falls is known for his work on the spiritual formation of children.
March 2, 2012
Morgan Feddes

A Wheaton College professor noted for his work on the spiritual formation of children was arrested Thursday for allegedly possessing child pornography.

Donald Ratcliff, the Price-Lebar Professor of Christian Education at Wheaton, was charged after an investigation that tracked Web users trading child porn. Investigators say they found pornographic images of preteen children on at least six computers seized from Ratcliff’s home.

Police also seized two guns and 1,600 rounds of ammunition from his home. Ratcliff did not have a firearm owner’s identification card and faces charges for possession of the munitions. Ratcliff’s attorney told The Daily Herald the guns are “family heirlooms,” but added no further comment on the case. the rest