Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Altar of St. Andrews, Syracuse NY

“Unless God has raised you up for this very thing, you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils. But if God be for you, who can be against you? Are all of them together stronger than God? Oh, be not weary of well-doing. Go on in the name of God and in the power of His might.”
—John Wesley to William Wilberforce (Thank you, Nancy!)

A quote from the last letter that John Wesley wrote to William Wilberforce, a man who had been converted under Wesley's ministry and who was a member of Parliament. The letter concerns his opposition to slavery and encouragement for Wilberforce to take action for change. Parliament finally outlawed England's participation in the slave trade in 1807.
Written February 24, 1791 (Feast of St. Matthias!)

Please pray for St. Andrews Church in Syracuse NY as Bishop Skip Adams' lawyers and Bishop Schori's lawyers litigate to seize our church.
Court proceedings begin at 10:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2007.

Bishop Gladstone Adams III (Central New York): Regarding the Communique
February 28, 2007
Via E-Mail

Dear Clergy of Central New York,

You are aware of the recent Communique from the primates of the Anglican Communion. During this last week I have prayed and pondered over its contents, not wanting to be merely reactive. Furthermore, I leave for the House of Bishops meeting on March 14th when I will be able to hear more from our Presiding Bishop and be in discussion with the rest of the bishops about a possible way forward in response to the Communique.

As I am sure is true for you, the Communique has some things in it which I find encouraging as well as things which cause me great concern. As I share a few thoughts with you I am not going to make a point-by-point response. I am also offering a time for the clergy to come together to discuss the Communique and how it effects us as a Diocese after the March House of Bishops meeting. This meeting will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon on Wednesday, April 18th at St. David’s, Dewitt. A reminder will be sent out closer to that date.

I would alert you to my expectation that this March meeting will almost certainly not produce a specific response from the House of Bishops to the primates. What I believe will happen is the opportunity will be given for a broad consideration of the Communique, the seeking of clarification of its expectations, and an encouragement to take the conversation back to each diocese in order to inform the subsequent September House of Bishops meeting.

the rest at Stand Firm


Stand Firm

Showdown in Africa
Religion: A midnight session narrowly averts a divide between The Episcopal Church and worldwide Anglicans
Edward E. Plowman

A new round of turmoil is sweeping through the leadership ranks of The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the aftermath of the meeting of the world's top Anglican leaders (primates) last month in Tanzania in East Africa.

If the primates are "asking us to undo what we have already done, that is a step many of the [U.S.] bishops would be unwilling to take," Connecticut liberal bishop Andrew Smith told a reporter.

Smith was referring to the official response TEC made last June to the Anglican Communion's request in the 2004 Windsor Report.
the rest

Just Give It Up
February 27, 2007

A few days ago Jim Kushiner was kind enough to point you to my
The Dust of Adam, an exegesis of the traditional Ash Wednesday rite. At the end of the first week of Lent, which is a little late but better than never, I'd like to say something in favor of the traditional discipline of giving things up for Lent.

It is a discipline I would urge upon you, whatever your tradition. You can start now, and treat the free week as the spiritual equivalent of being able to hit from the lady's tee just this once. Giving things up for Lent has, in my experience, two obvious benefits.

The first is that you very quickly find out how much a hold the world has on you. This is a lesson to which I give intellectual assent but I don't think I often really see what it means. We like to think of ourselves being happy to give up anything for the Lord just like that, even our lives, but most of us find it hard to give up something that really doesn't matter.
the rest

'Cloning to kill' bill on way to Iowa governor's desk
Jim Brown and Jody Brown
February 28, 2007

An Iowa pro-life group is lamenting the fact that, in the wake of a bill's approval in the State House, human cloning will soon be legal in the state. The state's Democratic governor has indicated he plans to sign the legislation when it crosses his desk. Pre-vote lobbying apparently included a phone call from pro-abortion rock star Sheryl Crow to a member of the Iowa House.

The Iowa House and Senate have passed a bill that repeals the state's human cloning ban that was established in 2002. The House vote was a close one, 52-46, and followed an even closer Senate vote (26-24). The measure permits "somatic cell nuclear transfer," also known as human cloning for the purpose of destroying human embryos. Iowa Governor Chet Culver says he looks forward to signing the bill.
the rest

What Bones of Jesus?
By Brent Bozell III
Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Excerpt: "Other than a syrupy boost -- an embarrassingly syrupy boost -- from an "exclusive" appearance on NBC's "Today" show, the national media for once aren't buying into this cheap publicity stunt and have found a load of skeptics to denounce the film, maybe because the list of experts, both scientific and religious, is endless.

Perhaps the most important debunker is professor Amos Kloner, who oversaw the original archaeological dig of this tomb in 1980. "It makes a great story for a TV film," Kloner told the Jerusalem Post. "But it's completely impossible. It's nonsense."
the rest photo

Scholars and clergymen in Jerusalem slam new Jesus Documentary

Some Vitamin Supplements Increase Death Risk Say Researchers
28 Feb 2007

Vitamin supplements taken by millions of people every day for their health could be increasing their risk of death a new Danish-led study suggests.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The international research team reviewed the published evidence on beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin E, Vitamin C and selenium. The team was led by Dr Goran Bjelakovic, from Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark.

These dietary supplements are marketed as antioxidants and people take them in the hope they will improve health and guard against diseases like cancer and heart disease by eliminating the free radicals that cause "oxidative stress" and damage and kill off cells. Antioxidants are also marketed as anti-aging products because they are thought to slow down the aging process. the rest

Homosexual Activists Consider Targeting Private Christian Schools for "Homophobia"
Want provincial ministry of education to exert “more control" over curriculum and staff hiring
By Gudrun Schultz
OTTAWA, Ontario, February 27, 2007

( - Ontario private schools are coming increasingly under the lens of homosexual activist groups for "homophobic" teaching stemming from the schools' primarily religious foundations, a report in Ottawa's homosexual news media indicated earlier this week.

In an article warning about the increasing trend toward private and religious schools in the province, Ottawa's Capital Xtra objected to religious schools that teach children "only their own values."

The article quotes Tony Lovink, a homosexual Christian teacher in the Ottawa public school system, as saying, "All private schools tend to be at least implicitly homophobic. And I would say all religiously formed independent schools are definitely homophobic."
the rest

New GA Bill Mandates Ultrasounds Before Abortions
Submitted by Monica Lorraine on Wed, 02/28/2007

A bill requiring that a woman would have to beoffered a look at an ultrasound image of her fetus beforeundergoing an abortion is on its way to the full Senate after being approved by a committee.

The bill sponsored by Senator Nancy Schaefer of Turnervillewould mandate that ultrasounds be offered on women seekingabortions. The woman would then be given the chance to see theimage. The bill is a top legislative priority for anti-abortion activists in Georgia this session. Schaefer said yesterday that she hopes that women viewing the images would decide against having an abortion.
the rest

Episcopal divisions long in coming, visiting Bolivian bishop says
By Lori Arnold

Six years ago Bishop Frank Lyons left the United States to do missionary work with the fledgling Anglican Church in Bolivia.

These days he finds himself back in America from time to time on a different type of mission—ministering to a well-established, but fractured, denomination.

In late January, he spent a week in San Diego guiding several congregations that have left the Episcopal Church over such issues as the inerrancy of God’s Word, the divinity of Christ, and the ordination of homosexual priests and women. Similar struggles are emerging across the country as the denomination pushes forward with a more liberal interpretation of the faith.

Several of those congregations have retained their ties to the Anglican Church, which has 38 independent yet connected provinces worldwide. The U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church, is one of the more liberal provinces in the Anglican community. The majority of the provinces, especially in Africa and South America, are conservative and oppose ordination for homosexuals and women.
the rest

Anglicans to vote on issues regarding gays and lesbians
The Associated Press
February 27, 2007

LONDON: The Church of England's assembly votes Wednesday on an issue that has deeply divided the global Anglican Communion: how members should interpret Scripture on sexuality.
Two motions, both of which regard lesbian and gay Christians, will be considered at the General Synod, the parliament of the Church of England, which is meeting this week to discuss church business.

Neither motion, including one by a member of an evangelical group, would change church law. But both seek to alter the atmosphere of the debate.

The motions were put forward early last year, but they are widely seen as a continuation of the last installment of the debate: a meeting by Anglican leaders earlier this month in Tanzania, which included Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion.
the rest

Bishops raid funds to pay for palaces
Ruth Gledhill
February 28, 2007

Bishops have been accused of raiding cash set aside for the Church’s mission in order to fund their own palaces and houses.

Papers circulated at the meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England in London show that £20.7 million was spent on supporting bishops in 2005. By 2007 this figure will have risen nearly 50 per cent to £29.5 million, largely because of spending on bishops’ houses. There are 44 diocesan bishops in the Church of England and 69 suffragan and area bishops. This compares with 9,500 stipendiary clergy.

The parish mission fund, which this year received £4.6 million from the Church Commissioners, is regarded as one of the Church’s success stories. Most of the cash goes to small projects around the country. Examples include churches in pubs, rollerskate parks and youth centres.
the rest

Chancellor: Cessation of Lawsuits Must be Part of Comprehensive Agreement

The Episcopal Church will not suspend or withdraw from property lawsuits it initiated unless there is a comprehensive agreement that takes into consideration “all the other recommendations of the primates’ communiqué,” said David Booth Beers, chancellor for the Presiding Bishop.

Mr. Beers responded Feb. 26 to a proposal to suspend property litigation that was made by lawyers representing some of the 11 congregations which voted in December to disassociate from the Diocese of Virginia. In their Feb. 19 communiqué, the primates had unanimously “urge[d] the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation.”

In his reply Mr. Beers noted that the leadership of the departing congregations have not made any effort to come into compliance with the requests made by the primates in their communiqué.
the rest

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

From time immemorial men have quenched their thirst with water without knowing anything about its chemical constituents. In like manner we do not need to be instructed in all the mysteries of doctrine, but we do need to receive the Living Water which Jesus Christ will give us and which alone can satisfy our souls. ... Sadhu Sundar Singh photo

The Episcopal Church and the Rift over Homosexuality
Talk of the Nation,
February 27, 2007

In the civil war over homosexuality in organized religion, the Episcopal Church faces division over its acceptance of gay bishops and same-sex couples. It's one of the most divisive issues to major religions since slavery. Guests debate the issues surrounding homosexuality in the church community.


Gay bishop weighs in on Anglican debate
Updated 2/27/2007
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY

As the Anglican Communion and its U.S. branch, the Episcopal Church, battle over a potential split this year, the openly gay Episcopal Bishop whose election in 2003 ignited the controversy said Tuesday that his God would prevail in a battle over control of the church. the rest

Gene Robinson: A Word of Hope
February 27th, 2007

More from +Gene: A Response to "A Season of Fasting"
February 27, 2007

Video: Venables predicts two-tier communion

Ruth Gledhill blog

Judge asks diocese to hold off on bankruptcy
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
February 27, 2007

A judge attempting to fashion a settlement between the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese and plaintiffs who have alleged sexual abuse by priests asked Monday that the diocese not file for bankruptcy before a session set for Friday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Anthony Mohr made the request after a negotiating session between lawyers for the diocese and the plaintiffs. Bishop Robert Brom has said the diocese might file for Chapter 11 reorganization in the face of lawsuits by 150 people.
the rest

Samuel Gregg: 'One more Christian, one fewer Chinese' tenet dying
Religious freedom is not yet a reality in China, but thanks partly to free markets its dawn seems less far off

February 28, 2007

COMMUNIST regimes rarely advertise their failures. This makes all the more striking the recent report about religion's resurgence in China on the front page of the Chinese Communist Party's English-language flagship, China Daily.

Basing its comments on a poll of 4500 people by Shanghai university professors which found that 31.4 per cent of people over 16 considered themselves religious, the newspaper reported that extrapolating these results across China indicated that about 300 million Chinese regard themselves as religious. Of these, about 40 million are Christian, far higher than the 2005 official estimate of 16 million.

Even more striking are the demographics associated with China's religious growth.
the rest

Philipines Pro-Life Youth Rally Sees 10,000 Teenagers Oppose Abortion
by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 27, 2007

Manila, Philipines ( -- Over the weekend, more than 10,000 pro-life young people attended a rally in the Filipino capital. Organized by the nation's leading pro-life group, the youth who attended made commitments to abstain from sexual relations until marriage and to fight to keep abortions illegal in this island nation.

Pro-Life Philippines coordinated the rally along with pro-life groups at various colleges and universities and Ali Atienza, who heads inner city development in Manila, spoke to the crowd.

His father, Lito Atienza, is the mayor of Manila and also the president of Pro-Life Philippines.

The teenagers gathered in the San Andres sports center and complex and pledged their support for upholding pro-life principles and leading upstanding lives.
the rest

US Christians Continue to Welcome Anglican Communiqué on Episcopal Church
US Christians continue to respond to the communiqué released by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Tanzania which asks that the US Episcopal Church "make an unequivocal common covenant" by September 30 that it will not authorise same-gender blessings or consecrate gay bishops.

by Maria Mackay
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is the latest US Christian body to welcome the communiqué released by the Primates of the Anglican Communion at the end of their meeting in Tanzania earlier in the month.

The communiqué issues an ultimatum to The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States over its position on human sexuality. In particular, the Church is given seven months (until September 30, 2007) to convey its definitive position on the blessing of same-sex unions and the elevation to episcopal orders of a candidate living in a same-sex relationship.

IRD Director of Anglican Action, Ralph Webb, said, “We commend the Primates for their strong reaffirmation of the Anglican Communion’s standard of teaching on marriage: that it is a permanent union between one man and one woman, and that Christians are to be abstinent outside of marriage.”
the rest

Kendall Harmon–Reflections on the Significance of the Dar es Salaam Primates Communique (I): Closing the Jim Naughton-Bishop Sisk Loophole

A week ago Monday,
in an interchange with USA Today, I wrote this:

…the American church has turned weaseling out of what words mean into a high art form and that may still be an issue….

Well, soon thereafter the weaseling began. It was very fast.

the rest at titusonenine

Virginia property litigation to continue, church's attorneys say
By Mary Frances Schjonberg
Monday, February 26, 2007

[Episcopal News Service] Lawyers for the Episcopal Church have told two attorneys representing some of the 11 Diocese of Virginia congregations involved in a legal dispute over possession of church property that "there is no basis at this time" to put that litigation on hold.

Washington, D.C. attorneys Mary A. McReynolds and Steffen N. Johnson asked by letter on February 22 that the litigation be put on hold after the communiqué issued at the end of the recent Primates' Meeting "urge[d] the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation."
the rest

Bishop Schori Says One Thing, but Does the Opposite
Commentary by Raymond Dague,

Attorney for St. Andrews Church in Syracuse, New York
Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It took Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori less time to go back on her word this year than it did for the former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold to go back on his word in 2003.

On February 19, 2007 Bishop Schori as one of the primates at the Dar es Salaam meeting in Tanzania signed a communique which said that:

"We are deeply concerned that so great has been the estrangement between some of the faithful and The Episcopal Church that this has led to recrimination, hostility and even to disputes in the civil courts.

"The Primates urge the representatives of The Episcopal Church and of those congregations in property disputes with it to suspend all actions in law arising in this situation. We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations."

At the exact moment she and the other primates penned those words, Mrs. Schori’s lawyers in Washington, D.C. were seeking to intervene in lawsuits pending in New York and Virginia in attempts to seize the local parishes from the worshipers who built and paid for them, and who worship in them on every Sunday. What a perfect time this was to drop her attempts to seize these local churches, and in doing so demonstrate that she was a woman and bishop of integrity who meant what she said!

Alas, it is apparently not to be. Yesterday, Mrs. Schori’s lawyers sent 91 pages of papers to be filed today in the state supreme court in Syracuse in their attempt to seize one parish. Those papers are part of her attempt to intervene in the lawsuit that the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York brought last summer against St. Andrews Church in Syracuse at the behest of Bishop Gladstone “Skip” Adams, III. In this lawsuit the Diocese, and now the Episcopal Church, seeks to seize the local church of St. Andrews in Syracuse, New York from its parishioners.

With the papers of her lawyers dated February 26, 2007, Mrs. Schori can give no excuse for her behavior, other than to admit the obvious: She signed the Dar es Salaam communique only to get along with the other primates. She never meant what she said, and never intended to do what she said. The pious words of her statements were just for show. They cannot be taken seriously, because it took her only seven days between her saying one thing, and have her lawyers do the exact opposite.

There is nothing in the legal papers sent to me by her attorneys seeking “to suspend all actions in law.” The papers contain nothing to allow the people of St. Andrews the use of its property, despite her communique that she would not “deny the use of that property to those congregations.” The legal papers do the exact opposite. They are part of a well funded legal campaign which is being prosecuted against parishes nationwide to take the church buildings from those who have worshiped in them.

Perhaps it is strangely appropriate that this little parish in snowy upstate New York be the first one against which she displayed her contempt for her fellow primates and the communique to which she solemnly affixed her signature. After all, when her lawyers filed legal papers against St. Andrews Church in Syracuse in mid-January, it was the first parish in the country to be targeted by the new presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in her struggle to enforce her rule over a parish which refuses to accept her theology.

The last presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold, completely destroyed his credibility with the primates of the Global South when he did something similar. On October 16, 2003 Bishop Griswold signed a primates statement which told the Episcopal Church that to proceed to consecrate a man as bishop living in a relationship with his same-sex partner would
“tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level,” “tear the fabric of our Communion at its deepest level,” and warned the American church not to do it. Yet 17 days later Frank Griswold was the man who was the principal bishop to do that which he himself said should not be done. He consecrated a homosexual bishop for the Diocese of New Hampshire as that new bishop’s male partner proudly watched the ceremony.

It took Frank Griswold 17 days to go back on his word. It took Bishop Schori only 7 days. Will the bishops of the Anglican Communion, or for that matter will anyone, take Bishop Schori’s word seriously after this? Only the most gullible should believe her at this point.

The case is on for the argument of motions on Thursday, March 1, 2007 in Syracuse, including Bishop Schori’s motion to intervene in this lawsuit on the side of Bishop Adams and the Diocese of Central New York. Her lawyers will be up from Washington to try to convince the judge to let them into the case. The people of St. Andrews Church in Syracuse covet the prayers of all as the Central New York Diocese and the Episcopal Church tries to take their church away from them.

Raymond Dague is the attorney for St. Andrews Church in Syracuse, New York and is defending the lawsuit brought against it by the Diocese of Central New York and the Episcopal Church.

Monday, February 26, 2007

To wait open-endedly is an enormously radical attitude toward life. So is to trust that something will happen to us that is far beyond our imaginings. So, too, is giving up control over our future and letting God define our life, trusting that God moulds us according to God's love and not according to our fear. The spiritual life is a life in which we wait, actively present to the moment, trusting that new things will happen to us, new things that are far beyond our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction. That, indeed, is a very radical stance toward life in a world preoccupied with control. ...Henri J. M. Nouwen photo

Christian persecution on the rise throughout India
Allie Martin
February 26, 2007

Five Bible college students were recently attacked by militants in India, and officials with the ministry Gospel for Asia say violence against Christians in that country is ongoing and on the increase.

The five students were from a Gospel for Asia (GFA) Bible College in the Indian state of Maharashtra, in the state capital of Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) sharing their faith on the streets of a local village. Reportedly, as they arrived at the village, the five were approached by an anti-Christian mob that threatened to kill them.

According to GFA's sources, the Bible College students were severely beaten by the militants. All five of the assaulted Christians were taken to a local hospital and treated, and two of the men are listed in critical condition with severe head wounds.

GFA founder K.P. Yohannan says the students' classmates are standing strong, despite the current climate of anti-Christian oppression and violence. "The entire [body of GFA] Bible School students are saying the same thing," he notes, namely that they are taught "that Jesus sent us out as sheep among wolves, and this is what the Lord said would happen."
the rest

Matt Kennedy: Reading the Dar Es Salaam Communique Part 2
February 26, 2007

Excerpt: "In recent days some dispute has arisen with regard to the intent of the primates. Do they seek a commitment from the Episcopal Church not to permit public rites for same sex blessings to take place at all or do they seek a commitment from the bishops of the Episcopal Church that they will not personally authorize such rites?"
the rest

Archbishop of Canterbury: Presidential Address at General Synod
Monday 26th February 2007

After the debates at the American General Convention last summer, I wrote directly to all the primates of the Communion to ask about their reaction and the likely reaction of their provinces as to whether the resolutions of Convention had met the proposals of the Windsor Report for restoring something like normal relations between the Episcopal Church and others in the Communion. The answers were instructive. About eleven provinces were fairly satisfied; about eleven were totally dissatisfied. The rest displayed varying levels of optimism or pessimism, but were not eager to see this as a life and death issue for the Communion. Of those who took one or the other of the more pronounced view, several on both sides nonetheless expressed real exasperation that this question and the affairs of one province should be taking up energy to the near-exclusion of other matters.

The public perception, as we’ve been reminded by several commentators in the last week or so, is that we are a Church obsessed with sex. The responses I received to my letter to Primates suggests that this is what many within the Church feel as well – and I’d be surprised if many in this chamber did not echo that. It feels as though we are caught in a battle very few really want to be fighting; like soldiers in the trenches somewhere around 1916, trying to remember just what were the decisions that got everyone to a point where hardly anyone was owning the conflict, just enduring it (we don’t of course have to go as far back as 1916).
the rest

Jesus' Family Tomb Discovery is a Titanic Fraud
February 26, 2007

( - "Titanic" director James Cameron and Canadian TV-director Simcha Jacobovici are claiming they have evidence of a Jerusalem tomb that allegedly houses the remains of Jesus and his family. However the foremost archaeologists in Israel have slammed the claims as totally without foundation.

Israeli archeologist Amos Kloner, who was in charge of the 1980 investigation of the tomb which is the subject of the new claims by Cameron-Jacobovici, said "The claim that the burial site has been found is not based on any proof, and is only an attempt to sell." Kloner added, "I refute all claims and efforts to waken a renewed interest in the findings. With all due respect, they are not archeologists." Kloner said that while "it makes a great story for a TV film," there is "no likelihood" that Jesus and his relatives had a family tomb, and dismissed the claims as "impossible" and "nonsense."
the rest

Time to re-open abortion debate

Eamonn Holmes

25 February 2007

THOSE images of 22-weekold Amillia Taylor, the most premature baby ever, will have had an enormous impact across the world.

Nobody could fail to be moved by her tiny but perfectly-formed feet and her little body, barely longer than a ballpoint pen.

Her survival - and the fact that she has every chance of developing normally with no serious health issues - could become the most important story of the year.

Why? Because in law Amillia had no rights. Everybody else seems to have but, according to the law, Amillia did not exist.
the rest

Church seeks unity on gay rights
By Robert Pigott Religious Affairs Correspondent,
BBC News

Monday, 26 February 2007

When the Synod of the Church of England meets this week the shadow of another meeting thousands of miles away on the shores of the Indian Ocean will be hanging over it.

That is because the same chill wind of division that preoccupied the archbishops in Tanzania will be blowing through Church House in Westminster.

At last week's gathering, the leaders of the world's 38 independent Anglican churches achieved what had seemed an improbable consensus.
the rest

Statement from Bishop William Love
Diocese of Albany

I applaud the Archbishop of Canterbury and all the Primates of the Anglican Communion for their willingness to meet and work together in an attempt to bring reconciliation within the Anglican Communion and to sustain the life of the Communion around its biblical and apostolic core.

The extensive prayer, discussion and generosity of the Primates, seems to have borne fruit. Next month the House of Bishops will meet in Texas to review all the dimensions of the agreement which was supported and signed by all of the Primates in Dar es Salaam, including the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The Primates agreement can be read in its entirety at: ACNS

The Diocese of Albany, as demonstrated by the results of the Primates’ meeting, stands in the mainstream of Anglican life and teaching. By the grace of God, we will continue to do so. Keeping our focus on Jesus Christ, it is imperative that we reach out to one another in Christian love and charity, treating all people with dignity and respect. As Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we are called by our Lord to be obedient to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with all who will receive it.

I ask for the prayers of each member of this Diocese as we continue to move forward in answer to our Lord’s call. May God use each one of us as an instrument of His love and healing grace in this torn and broken world.

Faithfully Yours in Jesus Christ,

+ William H. Love
Bishop of Albany

By email-Albany Priests and Deacons update
February 26, 2007

Anglican Head Reveals Efforts for Unity, Makes Homosexual Stance Clear
Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Feb. 26 2007

The issue in the Anglican Communion right now has nothing to do at all with the place of the Bible, the head archbishop of the denomination said.

The current divide in the 77-million member Communion is rather due to "the fact that some people in the church, a minority, especially in the United States, have chosen to read the Bible in a new, very controversial way," Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams told UK's The Guardian newspaper.

Theological differences, particularly on the issue of homosexuality, have divided the majority of the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church, which consecrated an openly gay bishop in 2003 - an action that most Anglican leaders call a departure from Scripture and from Anglican teaching. As the U.S. Anglican wing faces a deadline to clarify their stance on homosexual ordination and blessing same-sex unions, Williams made it clear that the Communion has always stood against the ordination of active homosexuals.
the rest

Events in Africa affect Minnesota Episcopalians
As U.S. Episcopalians face a Sept. 30 deadline to comply with Anglican Communion demands to back off on gay bishops and same-sex unions, Twin Cities churches are standing by their points of view.
Pamela Miller, Star Tribune
February 24, 2007

As the conflict between theologically liberal U.S. Episcopal parishes and the worldwide Anglican Communion over same-sex unions and gay bishops intensified yet again this past week, Minnesota Episcopalians were paying close attention -- and standing by their points of view.

At St. Mark's Cathedral in Minneapolis, which welcomes gay worshipers, the news that top church leaders meeting in Tanzania had taken the hardest line yet on those issues bred disappointment -- but not defeat.

"It's folly to think that a pronouncement will stifle this conversation," said the Rev. Spenser Simrill, St. Mark's dean. "We will continue to offer same-sex blessings here. the rest


US Christians Continue to Welcome Anglican Communiqué on Episcopal Church
US Christians continue to respond to the communiqué released by the Primates of the Anglican Communion in Tanzania which asks that the US Episcopal Church "make an unequivocal common covenant" by September 30 that it will not authorise same-gender blessings or consecrate gay bishops.
by Maria Mackay
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2007

The Institute on Religion and Democracy is the latest US Christian body to welcome the communiqué released by the Primates of the Anglican Communion at the end of their meeting in Tanzania earlier in the month.

The communiqué issues an ultimatum to The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States over its position on human sexuality. In particular, the Church is given seven months (until September 30, 2007) to convey its definitive position on the blessing of same-sex unions and the elevation to episcopal orders of a candidate living in a same-sex relationship.

IRD Director of Anglican Action, Ralph Webb, said, “We commend the Primates for their strong reaffirmation of the Anglican Communion’s standard of teaching on marriage: that it is a permanent union between one man and one woman, and that Christians are to be abstinent outside of marriage.”
the rest

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I lay my head upon Thy infinite heart,
I hide beneath the shelter of Thy wing;
Pursued and tempted, helpless, I must cling
To Thee, my Father; bid me not depart,
For sin and death pursue,
And Life is where Thou art!
Anonymous photo

Gay-Rights Advances Likely in Congress
Sunday, Feb. 25, 2007

Anti-gay bias has flared up in Hollywood and pro basketball recently, and soon the topic will be thrust dramatically into a new forum — a reshaped Congress likely to pass the first major federal gay-rights bills.

Wary conservative leaders, as well as gay-rights advocates, share a belief that at least two measures will win approval this year: a hate-crimes bill that would cover offenses motivated by anti-gay bias, and a measure that would outlaw workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Also on the table — although with more doubtful prospects — will be a measure to be introduced Wednesday seeking repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military.
the rest

Pope speaks out against "designer babies"
Sat Feb 24, 2007

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Saturday condemned genetic engineering and other scientific practices that allow people to select so-called "designer babies" by screening them for defects.

In a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Church body of experts, the Pope also attacked artificial insemination and the widespread use of medical tests that can detect diseases and inherited disorders in embryos.

"In developed countries, there is a growing interest for the most sophisticated biotechnological research to introduce subtle and extensive eugenics methods in the obsessive search for the 'perfect child'," the Pope said.

He said the right to life was increasingly under attack in the world, citing pressures to legalize abortion in Latin America, and euthanasia in the richest countries.
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Episcopalians Not Ready to Swallow 'Bitter Pill'
By Lillian Kwon
Christian Post Reporter
Sat, Feb. 24 2007

Conversations over the issue of homosexuality are not going away within the Anglican churches, said the U.S. Episcopal head on Friday. But all the while, the U.S. church body believes it has a gift that it does not want to let go of.

Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori spoke to church leaders at the Episcopal Church Center in New York saying that the Anglican Communion has given them a "hard and bitter pill" for them to swallow as to whether to remain in full communion with the worldwide denomination or become autonomous in its stance of fully supporting homosexual ordination and the blessing of same-sex unions.

"It's an enormous cost and price that's being asked of us," Schori told Episcopal leaders, "and I don't think we can or should pay that price." Schori supports the full inclusion of homosexuals.
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DAR Anglican Report Interviews

Interviews from Tanzania

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Rivals walk legal tightrope to expand freedoms in China
By Joseph Kahn
February 25, 2007

BEIJING: Li Jinsong and Li Jianqiang are Chinese trial lawyers who take on difficult political cases, tangle with the police and seek solace in the same religion, Christianity.

But like many who devote themselves to expanding freedoms and the rule of law in China, the two of them spend as much time clashing over tactics and principles as they do challenging the ruling Communist Party.

The two lawyers are part of a momentous struggle over the rule of law in China. Young, well-educated and idealistic, they and other members of the so-called weiquan, or rights defense, movement, aim to use the laws and courts that the Communist Party has put in place as part of its modernization drive to constrain its own power.

The informal network of rights defenders may be the only visible force for political openness and change in China at a time when the surging economy and the country's rapidly expanding global influence have otherwise strengthened party leaders. The authorities have refrained from suppressing it entirely, at least partly because it operates carefully within the law and uses China's judicial system, as well as the news media, to advance its aims.
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Meaningful meetings
February 25, 2007

U.S. Episcopal Church reaches a crossroads

Two meetings set two worlds apart might have a profound effect on the religious life of thousands of Episcopalians living in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

The first meeting took place Feb. 10 at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Lodi.
The meeting was presided over by the president of the Episcopal Church House of Deputies, the second-highest ranking officer of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

It's one of 38 Anglican communions that make up the world Anglican Church.

The meeting was held to assure local church leaders and members in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin that the national Episcopal Church is taking steps to make sure they're supported in case the San Joaquin Diocese at the next convention decides to pull away from the national church to become a non-Episcopalian diocese.
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Schism tears at church’s fabric
By Mary Garrigan, Journal staff
February 24, 2007

RAPID CITY — As his beloved Episcopal Church inches toward schism with the global Anglican Communion, the Rev. Ron Hennies watches the debate from a new distance now.

After 47 years as an Episcopal priest, Hennies was ordained by the Orthodox Church in America in November. That conversion allows him to leave behind the conflicts over same-sex unions and gay ordination that threaten to splinter the Episcopal Church in America.

“It’s a church I still love, but I’m interested in being a traditional Christian,” Hennies said by phone last week. He is a longtime area Episcopal priest.
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U.S. churches divided over homosexuality
Published: February 25, 2007

SLAVERY divided not only the United States, but also its churches. The Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists and others all split North from South, and some did not reunite for more than 100 years. Others, like the Southern Baptist Convention, never did.

Now some of these same churches are facing a rift over homosexuality that is proving more intractable than any social issue since slavery. It is not an explosion, but a slow burn that has been smoldering in some denominations for about 30 years — longer than the battle over women's ordination.
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Episcopal bishop apologizes to gays
Gulick cites vote on ordinations
By Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal
Sunday, February 25, 2007

Bishop Ted Gulick of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky yesterday apologized to gay and lesbian church members for the "pain and alienation" they feel following his vote last year not to consent to the further ordination of homosexual bishops.

Gulick, in his annual report at the diocese's convention yesterday in Anchorage, said he's doing what he can to keep the Episcopal Church together and to maintain ties with its overseas partners amid controversies over homosexuality.
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Bishop Duncan's Report to the Diocese on Feb. 24

Bishop Robert Duncan of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh speaks about the recently completed meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion.

Courtesy of AnglicanTV

Saturday, February 24, 2007

O Thou who art my quietness, my deep repose,
My rest from strife of tongues, my holy hill,
Fair is Thy pavilion, where I hold me still.
Back let them fall from me, my clamorous foes,
Confusions multiplied;
From crowding things of sense I flee, and in Thee hide,
Until this tyranny be overpast,
Thy hand will hold me fast;
What though the tumult of the storm increase,
Grant to Thy servant strength, O Lord,
And bless with peace.
..Amy Carmichael photo

The Force of Wilberforce
By Jen Waters
February 20, 2007

When Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, declared his candidacy for president last month, he referenced the inspiration of a little-known British parliamentarian named William Wilberforce.

In 1787, Wilberforce, a committed Christian, presented a bill to Parliament to abolish the slave trade. He fought for 20 years in what seemed like an impossible battle. Finally in 1807, the slave trade was outlawed. Four days before his death in 1833, Parliament passed a bill emancipating the slaves in the British Empire and outlawing slavery.

If Wilberforce were a politician today, fighting to end abortion and renewing the family and culture would be on his to-do list, Mr. Brownback says.

"He was the best public-policy expression of the renewal of faith in their society," Mr. Brownback says. "He did it in such a beautiful way on important topics that lined up with his faith. His faith drove him."

Mr. Brownback apparently isn't the only one taking notice of Wilberforce's heroic efforts. On Friday, Walden Media releases "Amazing Grace," a feature film directed by Michael Apted that chronicles Wilberforce's campaign against the slave trade.
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News from The Living Church

Presiding Bishop Outlines Discernment Process, Schedules Webcast

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori delivered a 24-minute briefing on Feb. 23, telling members of the staff at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City that The Episcopal Church will lose its prophetic voice within the councils of the Anglican Communion if it is unable to give the reassurances requested of it by the primates.

“The reality is that the entire communion is caught up in our controversy in one way or another,” Bishop Jefferts Schori said in a
presentation that was recorded and made available by Episcopal News Service. “I believe it is The Episcopal Church’s charism or gift to the wider Communion and the world that this conversation that’s been going on here for at least 40 years won’t go away. God won’t let us let go of this. We would, I think most of us, like to have it finished and done with, but it doesn’t go away. God keeps bringing it back to us. It is a part of our mission as a Church.” the rest

Parish Unrest for 'Windsor Bishop' in Northwest Texas

The release of the primates’
communiqué on Feb. 19 appears not to have dissuaded the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Bishop of Northwest Texas, from pursuing litigation against a congregation which recently voted to leave The Episcopal Church. But the communiqué has injected a new ray of hope into another diocesan congregation which began a 40-day period of discernment regarding its future. the rest

Anglican Mainstream Statement on the Outcome of the Primates’ Meeting at Dar es Salaam
Friday February 23rd 2007

We thank God for this unanimous Communique.

We agree with Archbishop Orombi’s assessment that this Primates’ meeting has not solved the current crisis in the Anglican Communion but has ‘clarified the steps needed for trust to be restored, healing to take place, and for our full bonds of affection to once again flourish’.

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LA Times: closer look at Anglican debate on gay issues
The Episcopal Church's presiding bishop asks for patience as the church -- and the denomination -- tries to forge a compromise.

By Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writer
February 24, 2007

Top Anglicans at a crucial meeting in Tanzania this week sternly rebuked their communion's American branch on issues involving sexuality and biblical interpretation. The decisions now facing the U.S. Episcopal Church and the global Anglican Communion may push them further down the road toward schism.

Who attended the Dar es Salaam gathering, and what happened?
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Same-sex teaching upheld
Lexington parents say they'll appeal

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff
February 24, 2007

A federal judge yesterday dismissed a suit by two couples who contended that the Lexington public school system violated their constitutional rights by teaching their young children about same-sex couples, but the ruling is unlikely to end a controversy that has roiled the district for nearly two years.

The lawyer for the two couples said they would appeal the ruling, which was praised by Lexington educators and civil libertarians but skewered by supporters of the parents. The controversy has made the affluent town a lightning rod on talk shows and on blogs and prompted the school superintendent to defend the curriculum on national television and radio programs.

In his 38-page decision, Chief Judge Mark L. Wolf of US District Court said that under the US Constitution, public schools are "entitled to teach anything that is reasonably related to the goals of preparing students to become engaged and productive citizens in our democracy."

"Diversity is a hallmark of our nation," he said.
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Judge orders 'gay' agenda taught to Christian children

Vermont May Be the Next State to Legalize Assisted Suicide
Gov. Jim Douglas opposed to the change

By Gudrun Schultz
February 23, 2007

( - The Vermont legislature is set to begin a week of debate on assisted suicide, following the introduction of a House bill that would see Vermont follow Oregon in authorizing doctors to prescribe lethal medication.

A bill mimicking Oregon’s physician-assisted suicide law was presented in the House early in the 2007-2008 legislative session. Entitled “Patient Choice and Control at End of Life,” House Bill 44 was signed by five sponsors including two Democrats, a Republican, a Progressive and an independent.

Debate on the volatile issue will open Friday with presentations from leaders on both sides of the argument before a House committee, the Associated Press reported earlier today, as well as a public hearing to gain a sense of public opinion on the issue.
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Episcopal leader: Bishops can't dictate policy to American church
Anglican primates have demanded that U.S. church step back from its support of gay clergy, unions
Saturday, February 24, 2007

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- With the Episcopal Church in trouble again -- or still -- with the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Rev. Michael Delaney will tell his parishioners tomorrow not to worry.

"This is going to work itself out," predicted Father Delaney, pastor of the Church of St. Andrew in Richmond and dean of Staten Island's Episcopal clergy.
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Moderate Virginia bishop illustrates Episcopal divide
By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post
Sat, Feb. 24, 2007

WASHINGTON – If the Episcopal Church has been a rocky boat in recent decades, Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee has been one of its anchors.

Liberals and conservatives alike have described the white-coiffed Southerner – one of the most senior bishops in the U.S. church – as a moderate statesman. When a conservative group of parishioners split from his North Carolina church in the 1970s over women’s ordination, he was in the front pew when members opened their new church. Although he wouldn’t approve same-sex commitment ceremonies in Virginia, he encouraged clergy to bless couples’ homes instead.

But as the genteel bishop prepares to retire after almost 40 years, he has become a national lighting rod while leading the diocese in a bitter property dispute with a handful of breakaway conservative congregations. Suddenly a foe of traditionalists and the commander of an unsightly legal battle, Lee, a 68-year-old former newspaper reporter, is facing an unexpected closing chapter to his legacy.
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Friday, February 23, 2007

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.

Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive
that the valley is the place of vision.

LORD, in the daytime stars can be seen from the deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Valley of Vision

Poll: More Americans Prefer Focus on Personal Faith Over Changing Society
Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Feb. 23 2007

Highly religious Americans are almost evenly split on whether it is best to live the best possible personally religious life or it is also necessary to spread their beliefs, a recent Gallup Poll found.

Polls conducted last fall found that the largest percentage of Americans label themselves as "somewhat religious" (39 percent). Those who classify themselves as "extremely" or "very religious" constituted 37 percent of polled Americans. And 23 percent say they are "not too religious" or "not religious at all."

Among the highly religious people, 48 percent say it is sufficient to live the best possible personal life based on their religious beliefs and principles without having to spread their faith.

An earlier study by the Barna Research Group had found similar figures with 46 percent of those who claim to be evangelicals being less likely to say they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs with others.

Still, the Gallup Poll found that 49 percent believe it is necessary to attempt to spread their beliefs and principles to other people.
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Amazing Grace
Review by Russ Breimeier
posted 2/23/07

Similar to Chariots of Fire and Shadowlands in tone, Amazing Grace balances faith and filmmaking in a historical drama that depicts an ordinary Christian doing extraordinary things because of his beliefs.

For those unfamiliar with the lead character, William Wilberforce was elected to British Parliament in the late 18th century at the age of 21. Some years after that, he underwent an experience that brought him back to the Christian faith—to the point where he was prepared to leave politics behind to fully devote his life to God as a clergyman or monk. His friend from college (and future Prime Minister) William Pitt tries to convince Wilberforce to stay in Parliament because he's such a gifted orator, as seen in several debates on the floor. Pitt asks, "Will you use your beautiful voice to praise the Lord or change the world?"
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Colson: The Wilberforce Strategy

American Anglican Council Statement on the Primates’ 2007 Communiqué
AAC Press Release
February 23, 2007

The American Anglican Council (AAC) expressed this week its gratitude for the work of the Anglican primates during their meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, held Feb. 14-19, 2007, and applauded the strong stance taken in their final communiqué as well as the progress made on developing an Anglican Covenant.

“This is the most important decision taken by the global Anglican Communion since the last Lambeth Resolutions were issued in 1998,” said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson, AAC president and CEO. “The clock is now running on The Episcopal Church, and it is running fast.”

The primates’ communiqué, issued later than expected on Monday, Feb. 19 due to last-minute deliberations, issues an ultimatum to The Episcopal Church (TEC) in the United States with regard to its stances on human sexuality. In particular, the church is given seven months (until Sept. 30, 2007) to convey its definitive position on the blessing of same-sex unions and the elevation to episcopal orders of a candidate living in a same-sex relationship.
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Bishop Duncan's Pastoral Letter Regarding the Primates' Meeting
23rd February, A.D. 2007
First Friday in Lent
Eve of St. Matthias


Beloved in the Lord,

We continue in an extraordinary moment in church history. It is my conviction, with St. Paul, that “He who has begun a good work in [us] will complete it to the end.” [Phil. 1:6]

Resolution III.6 of the 1998 Lambeth Conference authorized the Primates’ Meeting to include among its responsibilities both “intervention in cases of exceptional emergency which are incapable of internal resolution within provinces, and giving of guidelines on the limits of Anglican diversity in submission to the sovereign authority of Holy Scripture and in loyalty to our Anglican tradition and formularies.” At Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the Primates Meeting of 15-19 February exercised these mandates in most significant fashion.

Following up on the historic appeal for intervention 20 other bishops and I made on August 5, 2003 – and responding directly to the Appeals for Alternative Primatial Oversight (or Relationship) lodged by eight Network dioceses between July and November of 2006, as well as to requests from the Windsor coalition of Bishops conveyed in a letter of January 2007 – the Primates Meeting acted to address the crisis in our Province, The Episcopal Church. The result can surely be described as an answer to prayer.
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Sarah Hey: Fake Marriage between Usual Suspects in Los Angeles Described: Dog Bites Man

"So, what happens when there are two brides? Does that double the potential for a nuclear wedding meltdown? Should wedding planners run in fear from lesbian clients? Are lesbian weddings a recipe for disaster? Really, it depends on the lesbians; when the two women in question are both Episcopal clergy, that certainly changes things a bit."

the rest at Stand Firm

Americans given deadline to repent
Jeremy Halcrow
23 February 2007

Dr Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, has described an ultimatum sent to the US Episcopal Church as an ‘answer to prayer’.

The Anglican Communion has given the Americans a September deadline to stop blessing same-sex unions. It is likely they won’t be invited to Lambeth – the key Anglican decision-making meeting – if they do not comply.

“It offers a chance to restore communion but on a biblical basis,” Dr Jensen said. “It doesn’t fudge the issue but calls on The Episcopal Church to take concrete action to restore the damage done.”

The Primates of the world’s 38 Anglican Provinces met in Tanzania from February 15 to 19 to resolve the tensions provoked by the consecration of openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003 and more recent decisions to bless same-sex unions.
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African bishop optimistic on unity
By Wangui Kanina
Thu 22 Feb 2007

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Nigeria's Anglican archbishop on Thursday said he was hopeful talks between the Catholic and Anglican churches would lead to unity, but said it would take a long time to mend a split more than five centuries ago.

Issues surrounding a possible reuniting of the Catholic and Anglican churches are contained in a document due for publication later this year.

Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola said dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church had been going on for more than 40 years, and that much progress had been made in terms of finding ways to work around the divisive issues.
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Williams gives stark warning over Church unity
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent

The Anglican Communion may still fall apart over homosexuality in spite of the eleventh-hour truce agreed by its leaders in Tanzania this week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, warns today.

But the effort to keep the worldwide Church in one piece was worthwhile, even though it might look like a dysfunctional family heading for the divorce courts, Dr Williams said in an article for The Daily Telegraph.

The Archbishop said that the "painful intensity" of the talks, which very nearly ended in a split, had not represented the "easy option".
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Winds of change
R. William Franklin
24 February 2007

Rather than be split by a much-trumpeted schism, the Anglican Communion emerged from its meeting in Tanzania this week as a new kind of twenty-first-century Church, reflecting changes in ecclesial and geopolitical power.

Will the Anglican Communion survive? Before the Primates' Meeting in Africa this week there was much discussion of schism, and an atmosphere of crisis prevailed. At the heart of the problem is how Anglicans reconcile the value they place on diocesan and provincial structure of autonomy at the national level with the legitimacy given to a comprehensive range of practices and positions with the bonds of ecclesial communion that allow the Communion coherence as one effective, united, interdependent worldwide body of Christians. Given that, what does the Anglican Communion mean? Is it a fellowship of independent national churches with historical roots in the Church of England that worship through a provincial expression of the Book of Common Prayer, or is it a hierarchical system with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the top as a sort of mini-Pope?
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Sex Symbols: Messages Hidden In Jewelry
February 22, 2007

Jewelry may hide a secret message about some child molestors.

Some pedophiles are wearing symbols of their sexual attraction to kids as part of a bigger movement to justify who they are and what they want.

Pendants in the shape of a heart, for young girls, or a triangle, for young boys, are being worn by some pedophiles to show their preference as part of a pro-pedophile movment.
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An Anglican future, made in Africa
The biblical drama of sin, mercy, healing, salvation and liberation will reassert itself

Father Raymond J. De Souza, National Post
Thursday, February 22, 2007

It has been remarked for a long time that the centre of gravity in the Christian world is shifting from north to south, from North America and Europe to Africa and Asia. The meeting of Anglican Primates this past week in Tanzania might be marked as the moment when that shift made its first global impact.

The Anglican Communion has been facing an insurmountable challenge these past few years. The small and getting smaller Anglican churches in the United States and Canada have decided, for the most part, that homosexual acts should be judged morally licit, and even sacramental. The big and getting bigger Anglican churches in Africa have kept to the constant Christian teaching that such acts are sinful. Between the two, the Archbishop of Canterbury has valiantly attempted to fashion a compromise. But of course something cannot be both a sacrament and a sin, so matters had to be resolved one way or the other.
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