Friday, November 13, 2009

AU Trifecta

And again with AU. Now they say Rome can't talk about marriage.
“I am amazed that church officials would threaten to stop helping the disadvantaged because they are being asked to treat all citizens of the District fairly,” he continued. “They seem to have lost all perspective. How strong is their commitment to helping the poor if they’re willing to take this hardline stance?
It seems that everybody is required to take a break from any opinions that religious persons may have, but religious people don't have the same right of reprieve?

I think the "REV" in "Rev. Barry Lynn" stands for revisionista.

AU Speaks

So they want us to keep the church from advocating for conscience bound issues in healthcare, but it's okay for the Roman Church to lobby for healthcare in general? GIVE ME A BREAK!

Keep Religious Doctrine Out of the Law | Americans United

Jail Time If You Don't Buy Health Insurance

Wow. There is now proof that the 1098 page bill (which none of these starry-eyed legislators have actually read) contains a provision to SEND YOU TO JAIL IF YOU DON'T BUY HEALTH INSURANCE.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."

What is this? Does anybody remember the STAMP ACT??? Let's not lose sight of the fact that Congress has no constitutional authority to make us buy their program. Government intervention is one of the biggest aggravating factors in this crisis, and more government intervention is not going to help.

The current health care disaster in America is not simply a problem of people refusing to buy health insurance; it's an issue of people not being able to afford to buy health insurance. When the annual insurance premium for a family of four is something above $13,000, that's a terrible financial burden that many Americans simply can't afford to pay -- especially when so many people have lost their jobs due to the faltering economy. Worse, the government says that health insurance companies can't compete across state lines for your business (and we all know that the best way to reign in costs while maintaining quality, is through market competition).

The brutal facts of the matter are inescapable: The American people are too broke to buy their own health insurance, and the American government is too broke to buy it for them. The whole nation is going bankrupt over runaway health care COSTS. Any measure claiming to be healthcare reform that does nothing to address the COSTS is completely bogus.

Marching Band Madness

And I thought our Aladdin gig was cool.

Thou Shalt Not Infect Others

Do you think the parish needs one of these?

ROME (Reuters) – An Italian inventor has combined faith and ingenuity to come up with a way to keep church traditions alive for the faithful without the fear of contracting swine flu -- an electronic holy water dispenser.

The terracotta dispenser, used in the northern town of Fornaci di Briosco, functions like an automatic soap dispenser in public washrooms -- a churchgoer waves his or her hand under a sensor and the machine spurts out holy water.

"It has been a bit of a novelty. People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy. The members of this parish have got used to it," said Father Pierangelo Motta.

Catholics entering and leaving churches usually dip their hands into fonts full of holy water -- which has been blessed by a priest -- and make the sign of the cross.

But fear of contracting the H1N1 virus has led many in Italy -- where some 15 people have died of swine flu -- not to dip their hands in the communal water font.

"It's great," said worshipper Marta Caimm as she entered the church. "Thanks to this we are not worried about catching swine flu. It is the right thing for the times," she said.

Luciano Marabese, who invented the dispenser, said he did so out of concern that fear of swine flu was eroding traditions.

And he is now blessing himself all the way to the bank.

"After all the news that some churches, like Milan's cathedral, were suspending the use of holy water fonts as a measure against swine flu, demands for my invention shot to the stars. I have received orders from all over the world," he said.

(Reporting by Eleanor Biles; Writing by Philip Pullella; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Big news from Sydney

Over at the Parish Blog!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

General Convention sermon worth reading

Posted at the Parish Blog.

How the Orthodox view the Anglican Communion

Christ’s invitation into communion is not answered when the only thing that’s mutual is our suspicion. Thus, I am deeply grateful for the work that Metropolitan Jonah is undertaking on behalf of all Orthodox Christians in re-establishing trustworthy common ground with those of us who walked the way of Orthodoxy within the realms of the Latin Rite estrangement.

By Archbishop Methodios Fouyas, 1972

As we try to see the Anglican Church with Orthodox eyes we must remember that clear-cut definitions are ruled out in advance where Anglicanism is concerned. Judged by the principles of the Orthodox Church, the Church of England had the right to proclaim itself self-governing and autonomous, provided that there were certain canonical principles, which in fact there were. The old Church of England went on without any breach in either its legal or its spiritual continuity.

It continued to profess the Catholic faith, which was once for all delivered to the Saints.

It preserved without any break the Apostolic Succession of its Ministry, 1 although 'many Anglicans maintain Apostolic succession primarily as a symbol and Bond of Unity.'2

Some Anglican theologians have considered Episcopacy to be not only of the bene esse of the Church, but part of its esse, as Canon Richardson says. 3 Consequently Orthodox theologians, influenced by the writings of Anglicans like Gore 4 and A. M. Ramsey, 5 have accepted that the Church of England means by Apostolic succession 'that grace is bestowed by our Lord, through the action of His whole Church. But certain actions in this work of grace are confined to Bishops, whereby the truth is taught that every local group or Church depends on the one life of the one Body.'6 We find a similar opinion to that of Archbishop Ramsey in G. W. Broomfield's book Revelation and Reunion, in which he writes: 'there seems to me to have been a general principle implicit in Apostolic practice, and underlying the evolution of Church order. This was that appointments to the official ministry are the business of those who themselves have received authority to make such appointments.'7

As Archbishop Ramsey has written recently:
Our Church has two aspects: On the one hand we claim to be a Church possessing Catholic Tradition and continuity from the ancient Church, and our Catholic Tradition and continuity includes the belief in the real Presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament; the order of Episcopacy and the Priesthood, including the Power of a priestly absolution. We possess various institutions belonging to Catholic Christendom like monastic orders for men and women. Our Anglican Tradition has another aspect as well. We are a Church which has been through the Reformation, and values many experiences derived from the Reformation, for instance, the Open Bible: great importance is attached to the authority of the Holy Scriptures, and to personal conviction and conversion through the work of the Holy Spirit.8
What we have said about the Orthodox attitude towards Rome applies to some extent also to the Orthodox attitude towards Anglicanism. The Orthodox belief that their Church is the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church on earth, gives the impression that Orthodox theology is even more exclusive than Roman Catholic. But the Orthodox Church has shown some recognition of the sacraments of other churches. For instance, her practice of receiving converts from Rome or Anglicanism by Chrismation without Re-baptism (though this has not always been the case in the past) 'is a clear indication that the sacramental limits of the Church do not coincide with its ceremonial boundaries'.9

Orthodox theologians are divided as regards the character of the Anglican Church. Some see it from the exaggerated point of view which divides it into three parties, commonly known as High Church, Low Church, Broad Church. It is this idea that leads many, not only Orthodox, but Roman Catholics also, to think that the Church of England is a sort of confederation of three separated Churches, each with its own liturgy, its own doctrinal formularies and its own separate hierarchy. This is completely mistaken.

Dr. Ramsey says that
though there is High Church and Low Church, it is all the time One Church with a single life, and all the members of the Church of England share together in the Creeds, Holy Scriptures, the Sacraments, the rule of the Bishops and the Liturgy; so do not think of High Church and Low Church as utterly separate factions but as two aspects of the life of a Church which is all the time one.10
Some Orthodox theologians judge the Church of England from the Thirty-Nine Articles alone, which prevents them from having a true appreciation of this Church from an Orthodox point of view. 11

The Articles bear little relation to the present life of the Church, but are polemical principles long ago established. The Articles do not represent the whole Faith of this Church.

In these matters the Orthodox attitude towards the Anglican Church sometimes tends to be ill-informed. 12 When the Anglican Church and its tradition is more fully understood by the Orthodox, I am sure it will be recognized that Anglicanism represents a genuine spirit of Orthodoxy so developed as to be understood by modern thought.

Anglicanism is not a Protestant Church, but a reformed Catholic Church, which maintains its unity with the tradition of the ancient undivided Church.

Professor Comnenos, in his book on Anglican orders, wrote that 'very many of the lay and clerical members of the Anglican Church are inclined to be Orthodox in mind and would gladly enter into union with Orthodoxy, or otherwise fully communicate with it, if the non-recognition of their Priesthood did not stand before them as an insurmountable obstacle.'13 A leading Orthodox personality, Germanos, Archbishop of Thyateira, speaking at the Gloucester Diocesan Conference on I June 1923, said that 'the Orthodox Church has always considered the venerable Anglican Church as a branch, in many particulars, in continuous succession with the Ancient Church'.14

By a branch, Archbishop Germanos meant not one of the parts of Catholicism, according to the Branch Theory, but a Church especially representing the Catholic Church in England. Similarly Professor Bulgakov writes that 'Anglicanism in its tendency towards the restoration of the Ancient Church, as a reaction to Protestantism, is already becoming more and more Orthodox, and this process is naturally a way to its reunion with historic Orthodoxy.'15


1 The Claims of the Church of England, Cyril Garbett (London, 1947), p. 15, 17, 55
2 The Second World Conference on Faith and Order (1938), p. 246. Such was the opinion of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Randall Davidson, cf. H. D'Espine, 'The Apostolic Succession as an Ecumenical issue. A Protestant View', E.R. iv (1952), pp. 154-155, and of William Temple, cf. F. A. Iremonger, William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, His Life and Letters (1948), p. 586.
3 C. C. Richardson, The Sacrament of Reunion (194.0). See G. K. A. Bell, Christian Unity: The Anglican Position. Okus Petri Lectures at Upsala University, October, 1946 (London, 1948), pp. 23-31. Appendix: Extracts from Anglican Writers on Episcopacy.
4 The Ministry of the Christian Church, pp. 65-109.
5 The Gospel and the Catholic Church, pp. 81-6, 216.
6 Cf. also Daniel Jenkins, in The Nature of Catholicity (1942), p. 54. Jenkins endorses Ramsey's opinion, although he thinks that such a claim comes with a shock of surprise to many modern Protestants.
7 G. W. Broomfield, Revelation and Reunion (1942), p. 185.
8 Catholic Herald, 17 Sept. 1965; cf. Gore, The Anglo-Catholic Movement, p. 7.
9 N. Zernov, H.E.M., p. 673. 10 Catholic Herald, loc. cit.
11 Such was the attitude of the Russian Orthodox Church during the Russo-Anglican discussions in Moscow, July 1956; cf. H. M. Waddams, Anglo-Russian Theological Conference, pp. 64-65. Cf. also Conferinta Romana Orthodoxa-Anglicana tinuta la Bucuresti y-Sjunie 1935 si Calatoria I.P.S. Patriarchului D. D. Dr Miron in Anglia 28junie-7 julie 1936. Bucharest, 1938.
12 e.g. Trembelas, The History of the Reformation in the Anglican Church, p. 124.
13 P. Comnenos, 'Anglican Ordinations', C.E. ii (1921), p. 113.
14 C.E. v (1924), p. 128.
15 S. Bulgakov, 'One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic', C.E. xii (1931), pp. 95-6. I do not ignore the Letter of Khomyakov to W. Palmer, where the Russian Orthodox thinker defines Anglicanism: 'It is a narrow ledge of dubious terra firma, beaten by the waves of Romanism and Protestantism, and crumbling on both sides into the mighty waters': quoted in W. J. Birkbeck, Russia and the English Church, pp. 102-3. But this extreme idea on Anglicanism has never found acceptance amongst Orthodox theologians.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An Image

can say WAY MORE than 1,000 words.

Take that, iconoclasts!

There's still time to make plans for joining us tonight at 7PM at St. Stephen Anglican Church for Evening Prayer in remembrance of veterans and soldier-saints.

Bad Day for Church Councils

On this day, in 1215, the Fourth Lateran Council (the 12th "ecumenical council" for the West) began meeting. Canons presented to the Council included:
  • Canon 1. Exposition of the faith; of the dogma of the Trinity, and of Transubstantiation
That meant that for the first time there was an official, scientific definition that required allegiance, instead of a biblical statement of the great eucharistic mystery. From that point onward, the sacrament that was meant for the unity of the church became her most scandalous division.
  • Canon 3. Declared that heretics and schismatics were to be prosecuted as traitorous criminals under the civil law (i.e., torture and death).
This led to an abandonment of the pastoral call of the church to rescue those who fall into error.

  • Canon 4. An exhortation to the Greek churches to come under absolute subjection to Rome in all matters of discipline.
This broke the synodical model of government by a parity of bishops, elevating the Roman See to universal supremacy of jurisdiction.
  • Canon 5. Proclaimed papal primacy as established by divine will, and laid out the order of precedence of the patriarchal churches: after Rome, then Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.
Again - this is a move AWAY FROM catholic doctrine. Before this time, the patriarchal sees were considered equal, though Rome had a dignity of place and an official role in presidency. From this time on, the Bishop of Rome would claim unilateral power to make doctrine.
  • Canon 14. Requires celibacy on the part of the clergy
Again - a break with catholic order - the discipline of the Roman See, which held celibacy in highest regard, was made universally and immediately applicable. While it could be argued that centuries before this the episcopate had been reserved for celibate men, to make all Holy Orders celibate de officio instead of de potesta was an innovation on sacramental theology that is STILL wrecking havoc on the church and her unity.

Later canons of the same council prohibit Jews and Moslems from holding political office, and that they wear distinctive dress so as to be singled out for hardship.

Also, today in 1992, the General Synod of the Church of England voted to abandon catholic order and permit the ordination of women to the presbyterate. At the time, I was in high school. Having grown up pentecostal (which always allowed for women as pastors), I didn't see what the big deal was. In America, women had served as deacons, priests, and even bishops for years in the Episcopal Church. I now have a different view. (ooh...looks like someone somewhere is missing pieces of a white picket fence)

Whatever the cogency of the issue itself, the unilateral decision of a bishop in 1974 in America - and of a provincial synod in 1975 and subsequently - was a complete misuse of Authority and undermines the claim of the Anglican Communion to share a common ordained priesthood with the wider Catholic Church and destroyed the very raison d'etre which made it a viable alternative to submitting to the IV Lateran Council.

It undermined the witness to the fundamental claim that the Church of England was a part of the wider One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. The genius of Anglicanism has always been that she is a Reformed and Evangelical Catholic Church. She is obedient to the claims of Scripture, and conscientious adherence to the universal practice of the church from her earliest days. Both of these mitigate against changing the doctrine of the ministry - thus safegaurding the foundations of our catholic unity with brothers & sisters from whom we are jurisdictionally separated.

Although duty-bound to do nothing which would jeopardize further that Unity which Christ wills and for which we are all to work and pray, the Church of England acted in accord with her own desires and thus committed the same over-reaching errors that Rome did in the Lateran Council. By her one action that day she demonstrated her true belief about these things and not least proclaimed that a 'local' Synod had the right and authority to change even the matter of the Sacraments which previously she had affirmed she shared with the wider Catholic Church. In the haunting words of Newman: 'the spell has been broken.' She continues to undermine her witness to biblical fidelity and catholic continuity by over-reaching to ordain women to the episcopate. Rome has called off further talks aimed at unity, and thus the Anglicanorum Coetibus.

The way Forward is not capitulation to Rome, which abandons the robust biblical faith rediscovered with such vitality in the 16th century. Nor is it to capitulate to the culture's false conceptions of egalitarianism. Rather, the way Forward is in the Faith of the Apostles delivered once for all.

Improvisation on National Anthem

God bless our native land;
Firm may she ever stand
Through storm and night:
When the wild tempests rave.
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do thou our country save
By thy great might.

For her our prayers shall rise
To God, above the skies;
On him we wait;
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To thee aloud we cry,
God save the state!

Of many a race and birth
from utmost ends of earth,
God save us all!
Bid strife and hatred cease,
bid hope and joy increase,
spread universal peace:
God save us all!

(Oh...and GStQ!)

Monday, November 09, 2009

Still Waiting

AIM recently reported that "Catholic Bishops Help Pass Pelosicare."
On Saturday, after Catholic lobbyists had finalized a deal with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most prominent Catholic in the U.S. Government, the Politico reported that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had "delivered a critical endorsement" to Pelosi "by signing off on late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions."

The Hill newspaper reported that Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) had been trying to broker a deal and appealed to the Catholic Bishops. "I would like the [U.S. Conference of Catholic] Bishops, who as I understand it want a bill, to help us work out a plan where we don't have winners and losers," Waxman was quoted as saying. "Because the losers will make us lose the bill and the winners won't have won anything."

NBC's Doug Adams reported that the Catholic Bishops were "lobbying hard."

The shocking turn of events once again demonstrates the extreme left-wing drift of the Catholic Church, which is the nation's largest religious denomination with 67 million members and run by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But their role in passing Pelosicare is not the only evidence of such a turn. The Bishops poured more than $7.3 million of parishioners' money into the corrupt left-wing organization ACORN over the last decade before publicity over the organization's scandals forced suspension of the funding.

Anybody taking bets on whether or not Barry Lynn and the folks at Americans United for Separation of Church & State are going to sue? Or is their defamation only when they also politically oppose the "meddling"?