Saturday, April 26, 2014

Pope Francis Addresses Issue Of Married Priests, Encourages Bishops To Be 'Courageous' In Their Reforms

From Huffington-

Pope Francis likes to say that he prefers to raise questions rather than issue edicts or change doctrine, and he has certainly generated plenty of debate with his off-the-cuff remarks about gays and his cold-call chats on topics like divorce and Communion, as happened recently with a woman in Argentina.

Now a recent conversation between the pope and a bishop from Brazil about the priest shortage may be moving the issue of married clergy onto the pontiff’s agenda.

It began when Bishop Erwin Krautler, an Austrian-born bishop who heads a sprawling diocese in the Brazilian rain forest, had a private audience with Francis on April 4 in the Vatican.

During the meeting, Krautler and Francis compared notes on how much the priest shortage affects the church, especially in the Southern Hemisphere. Krautler’s diocese, geographically the largest in Brazil, has just 27 priests for 700,000 Catholics, most of whom might attend Mass a couple of times a year.

More here-

Archbishop of Wales: We ‘have evolved’ from the Bible’s teaching on divorce, why not gay ‘marriage’?

From Life Site News-

The Anglican Church’s “views have evolved and changed” on the nature of marriage “a subject which Jesus pronounced very clearly,” the head of the Anglican Church in Wales said this week; therefore, it can also change its teaching on homosexuality.

In an address to the governing body of the Church in Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, the Anglican Archbishop of Wales warned of the danger of the Anglican Churches being “seen as homophobic.” Morgan said that the Church’s views “evolve and change” as it responds to the changes in the secular world.

“The State allowed the possibility of divorce and remarriage for a long time before we did as a Church. Not only do we now bless such unions, we actually remarry divorced people in our churches,” he said.

More here-

Friday, April 25, 2014

Cautious support for Cameron’s Christian country

From The Church Times-

CHRISTIAN MPs in the Labour Party have given qualified support of the Prime Minister after he called for people to be "more confident about our status as a Christian country" (Comment, 17 April).

On Tuesday, the Shadow Employment Minister, Stephen Timms, said: "The Prime Minister's comments are clearly correct. It is remarkable that some people take exception to them."

He added, however: "I am also interested in why he made them. The Prime Minister recognises the electoral importance - much greater than a simplistic reading of church attendance figures would suggest - of people with a strong faith commitment. A large group of these voters invariably voted Conservative. They no longer trust the Tory Party, and David Cameron is trying to repair the damage."

More here-’s-christian-country

Clarkesville minister, professor on Time's list of world's 100 most influential people

From Georgia-

As if being featured on the cover of Time magazine was not enough, the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor of Clarkesville has also been named to Time’s annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World.”

The current issue of Time features Taylor’s newest book, "Learning to Walk in the Dark," which is already on its way to becoming a runaway best seller. (See earlier story. First link below.) Then Time announced that the May 5 issue (which goes on sale April 25) will include Taylor in its list of the world’s 100 most influential people. (Second link.)

For the Time 100 List, correspondent Elizabeth Dias writes that “Few souls are as synched to the world’s mysteries as Barbara Brown Taylor’s. An acclaimed Episcopal preacher and best-selling author, Taylor lives quietly on her farm in northern Georgia, writing spiritual nonfiction that rivals the poetic power of C.S. Lewis and Frederick Buechner.” 

More here-

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Allison Pearson: Wishy-washy Anglicans like me should speak up for the Church

From The Telegraph-

The Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul in Aldeburgh was packed on Easter morning. At least half of the Church of England’s depleted membership seemed to be present in the pretty flint church, just up the hill from the sea. Not only was it the day of Christ’s Resurrection, it was the last chance to hear a sermon by Nigel Hartley, the departing vicar.

Latecomers, instead of being invited to sit behind a penitential pillar, were ushered to the pews at the very front where the righteously early were asked to budge along. The rest of the congregation looked on, thinking: “Oh, great, Mr and Mrs 10.31! Stroll in late and bag the best seats in the house, why don’t you?” Then we remembered: “Oops, we’re supposed to be Christian. And Jesus said the last shall be first, and the first last, so really it’s absolutely brilliant that these people who hold things up for everyone else should get a better seat than us.”

More here-

Coptic Pope opens art exhibition in Egypt's Anglican Cathedral

From Anglican News-

At the invitation of The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis of the Episcopal / Anglican Church in Egypt, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark inaugurated an art exhibition “The Way of Salvation” curated by Dr. Farid Fadel at the All Saints Cathedral Hall in Zamalek.

“The visit is historical,” Bishop Mouneer said, “because it comes three days before we celebrate the Feast of St. Mark on which All Saints Cathedral was consecrated.

The visit coincides with our 75thAnniversary of All Saints Cathedral which was first consecrated in 1938. This reminds us of the agreement that was signed by The Pope of Alexandria and the Archbishop of Canterbury early in the 19th Century when the Anglican Church started its ministry in Egypt.

More here-

By boat or by bike, NetsforLife reaches communities to endmalaria

From Anglican News-

NetsforLife®, Episcopal Relief & Development’s award-winning, flagship malaria prevention program, stands with its partners and participating communities to call for international action on World Malaria Day, April 25.

Since NetsforLife® launched in 2006, the program has distributed over 11.2 million nets and trained nearly 93,600 Malaria Control Agents.  Overall, the program has reached 32 million people in 17 countries across sub-Saharan Africa.  The NetsforLife® methodology has been adopted as national policy by five countries, and the program is currently targeting seven more to make this shift.  As a member of CAMA (the Corporate Alliance on Malaria in Africa, a coalition led by GBCHealth), the program is positioned to continue its advocacy for corporate and private sector engagement in malaria prevention.

More here-,-netsforlife-reaches-communities-to-endmalaria.aspx

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Anglican-Roman Catholic theological consultation releases landmark document

From Anglican News-

The Anglican-Roman Catholic Theological Consultation in the U.S.A. (ARC-USA) has released a keynote document, Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Moral Witness.

Ecclesiology and Moral Discernment: Seeking a Unified Moral Witness was approved at the ARC-USA meeting February 24-25 at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. The meeting was chaired by Bishop Bauerschmidt; the Roman Catholic co-chairman, Bishop Ronald Herzog of Alexandria, Louisiana, was unable to attend for health reasons.

ARC-USA prepared the document with a preface signed by co-chair the Rt. Rev. John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, and the Most Rev. Denis Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

More here-

Arrest made in Ramona church break-in

From San Diego:

A man suspected of ransacking a Ramona church last week is in custody, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

Christopher Szumski, 34, was arrested Tuesday morning during a traffic stop on Interstate 8 near Main Street in El Cajon. A passenger in the vehicle, identified as 19-year-old Brandon Tye, was also taken into custody.

Sheriff's officials found stolen property in the vehicle, and both men were booked into Central Jail on two counts of burglary and possession of stolen property.

During interviews with detectives, Szumski and Tye allegedly admitted to burglarizing the church as well as committing a home burglary in San Marcos.

More here-

Ben Avon Episcopal priest sentenced in child pornography case

From The Pittsburgh Tribune- (Note of clarification: Charlie hasn't been an Episcopal priest for maybe a decade. He resigned his orders).

Correction is here-

An Episcopal priest known in the Mon-Yough area for his work as a Pittsburgh oldies disc jockey was sentenced to five years in prison for downloading child pornography.

In Pittsburgh on Tuesday Chief U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence as well as a 10-year probation to follow on the Rev. Charles W. Appel Jr., 72, of Ben Avon.

Appel pleaded guilty to receiving video depicting sexual exploitation of minor boys from a Canadian firm, Azov. He was indicted on Sept. 26, 2013, on charges of receiving such videos on 29 occasions.

More here-

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The unifying power that inspires our nation

From The Telegraph-

The Order of Precedence for England and Wales sets out the exact rank of what used to be called “the highest in the land”. In this order, the monarch comes first, and after her, various senior members of her family. The highest non-royal personage is always the Archbishop of Canterbury.

After he has been enthroned in Canterbury next spring, Justin Welby will rank four places above David Cameron. Even the Archbishop of York takes precedence over a mere Prime Minister. Roger Scruton does not mention this apparently minor fact, but it illustrates the point his book makes very well. England (let us leave the trickier question of the whole United Kingdom for another day) was defined by its monarchy and its Church well before anyone had thought of parliamentary democracy.

If we want to understand England and its religion, we need to work out what this means. It means that the Church has always been seen as an essential part of our social and political order — much more important than party politics.

More here-

Supreme Court of Canada deals final blow to Anglican parishioners

From Windsor-

A breakaway group of Anglican parishioners has been dealt a deathblow in their legal battle over ownership of a Riverside church.

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant St. Aidan’s parishioners leave to appeal, dismissing their case with costs.

The group of about 100 parishioners broke away from the Anglican Church of Canada in 2008 over the church’s acceptance of  same-sex marriage and other disagreements over interpretations of Scripture. The group joined the Anglican Network in Canada and went to court over ownership of the church building on Wyandotte Street East.

The Superior Court judge who heard the case in 2011 ruled the church assets belong to the Diocese of Huron, not the parishioners who amassed them. The parishioners appealed, but last year had their case dismissed by the Ontario Court of Appeal.

More here-

Cardinal: dedication to God links John XXIII, John Paul II

From Catholic News Agency-

The papacies of John XXIII and John Paul II are connected in their dedication to God and to lives of priestly service, a cardinal who worked with both of the pontiffs stressed.

“The two Popes are linked above all by the fact that they were Popes, and Saint Popes, and this is connected with the deepness of their ministry, of a life totally dedicated to their priestly service,” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Cardinal Poupard worked at the Secretariat of State beginning in 1959, the second year of John XXIII’s papacy.

In 1980, John Paul II appointed him head of the Secretariat for Non-Believers, and he was president of the Pontifical Council for Culture from 1988 to 2007.

In an April 15 interview with CNA, the cardinal stressed the deep spirituality of both Popes.

More here-

Monday, April 21, 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby says Anglican Church cannot support same-sex marriage

From Indepedant-

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said that the Church of England cannot give its backing to same-sex marriage, but noted that “there are different groups around the place that the Church can do - or has done - great harm to.”

"You look at some of the gay, lesbian, LGBT groups in this country and around the world - Africa included, actually - and their experience of abuse, hatred, all kinds of things. We must both respond to what we've done in the past and listen to those voices extremely carefully,” Most Rev Justin Welby said in an interview with the Telegraph.

Earlier in the month, Archbishop Welby said on LBC radio that he had visited the grave of 369 Christians in South Sudan, whose killers believed that homosexuality was spread by the faith.

More here-

Easter services continue as planned at Ramona church despite break-in, theft earlier this week

From California-

A Ramona church carried on with Easter services as planned despite the thief who ransacked the place earlier this week.

It is supposed to be the holiest time of the year, but it was not an easy week for Reverend Gwynn Freund of St. Mary's of the Valley Episcopal Church in Ramona or anyone in her congregation.

On Monday, someone was caught on camera kicking in their office window. Surveillance video shows a suspected thief rolling out a safe but going back for more. The reverend says the person stole offerings, Sunday school supplies and priceless sacred items.

"I wouldn't want this to happen to any other church," Freund said. 

While deputies continue working to track down the person who did it, church members are trying to move forward.

More here-

Outdoor Church invites homeless in on Easter

From Boston-

On a concrete plaza in Porter Square on Easter morning, the Rev. Thomas Hathaway talked about how frantic Jesus’ disciples became when they arrived at the cave where he had been buried and found that the body was missing, not yet aware of his resurrection.

People today can live with the same frantic energy, Hathaway said to his congregation of homeless men and women, whose lives on the streets or in shelters are often marked by instability.

The Outdoor Church of Cambridge is in the city every week, ministering to people who may not feel comfortable in more traditional churches, said the Rev. Jedediah Mannis, who cofounded the church.

“Being outdoors is a chaotic life, and we try hard to keep it calm, predictable,” Mannis said. “People have made it their church, and they have a proprietary feeling about it.”

More here-