Saturday, October 31, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
To: Disaffected Anglicans
Subject: Fed up?
Greetings from Vatican City!
If you're reading this letter, you're probably a lifelong Anglican. You've worked hard at your faith and always played by the rules. But lately you haven't been happy with certain developments. Maybe you're even on the fence about your religion. Sometimes you drive past a Catholic church and wonder, "What goes on in there?"
Consider this your official invitation to find out. Since the Reformation almost 500 years ago, people have tended to emphasize the differences between Anglicans and Catholics. But there are a lot of similarities, too. For example, both Catholics and Anglicans consider themselves adherents of the one true faith, whereas people of other religions generally consider themselves in the top 10.
You're probably saying to yourself, "Changing religions sounds like a lot of work." But we want to assure you we're committed to helping make your transition as smooth as possible. You can even keep driving to your former Anglican church, and we'll pick you up with our free weekend shuttle service. It's all part of the Catholic Church's plan to broaden its earthly ranks, using state-of-the-art technology calibrated to poach top talent from all faiths. (For example, our shuttle service outreach program targeted Ivy League Buddhists with driver's licenses.) For years, we've been sending undercover scouts to churches, temples and mosques, getting the e-mail addresses of decent choir sopranos (we're low on sopranos) and anyone who cringes when something remotely gay happens.
The Vatican has issued a blanket statement recently "welcoming" disaffected Anglican priests into the Roman Catholic Church. This has long been done on a case-by-case basis but now the "Almost Welcome" mat is out. Oddly Canterbury has issued statements spinning this as a positive move toward unity.
Bishop Leo Frade of the Diocese of SE Florida, recently in the news for welcoming Father Cutie (If my Spanish serves me that's Coo-tee-ay', though he is a cutie as well) from the RC tradition, has released a wonderful letter to his Diocese on this. I picked it up from The Lead - Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
"I have always said that the road between Rome and Canterbury and between Canterbury and Rome gets a lot of traffic. For centuries we have been exchanging clergy, and today the Episcopal Church has many priests—and several bishops–who once were Roman priests. Among our diocesan clergy are six former Roman priests, and we have two who are in the process toward being received as Episcopal priests.
"We have not created a special Roman prelature, or provided them with a lamination of their Roman rites over our Episcopal liturgies; but instead we fully welcome them, married or celibate, as clergy in our Communion. They are not ineligible to be called to the episcopate simply because they came from Rome. They are not second-class clergy, but priests in good standing, with all the benefits and full participation in the life of our Church.
"Let me end by expressing my disappointment with the lack of ecumenical love that the Vatican statement shows. I do not criticize them for receiving our clergy and laypersons, just as we receive theirs, but for their fanfare and promotion of this invitation.
“'Ut unum sint' doesn’t mean that we all may be one under the authority of the Bishop of Rome, but that we all may be one under the ultimate authority of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us continue to pray for that unity."
- The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade
Friday, October 23, 2009
Anti-gay religious Web site LifeSiteNews has posted several articles about the claims made by various African Archbishops, who have accused the West of importing "moral relativism," encouraging promiscuity by promoting condom use to stem the African rate of HIV infection, and giving young men supplies of lubricants so that they might have gay sex.
An Oct. 21 article referenced an interview between a National Catholic Reporter reporter and Archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle of Ghana, in which Palmer-Buckle, when asked whether "there really [is] a Western campaign to corrupt African values?" declared, "We don’t only suspect that there is a campaign, we think it’s deliberate."
Read it all at EDGE
"We now know it can be done successfully on short notice and for little money. That means a couple of things: We need to continue making a lot of noise — online, but also getting into the streets and protesting everywhere. And we need to march again on Washington — or at least let them know we’re prepared to do so if we don’t see some real action, real soon."
- SiriusXM radio host and activist Michelangelo Signorile, from a lengthy Advocate opinion piece on the ramifications of the National Equality March.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Last week, retired Episcopal bishop, John Shelby Spong, issued a manifesto titled, "The Time Has Come!" In that essay Spong essentially said that for him, enough was enough, especially when it comes to Christian responses to homosexual issues based on a certain reading of the biblical texts and a certain understanding of Christian ethics and how they play out in church life. "I will no longer debate, " he wrote, "the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone." Period.
I've been mulling over his essay, or as I earlier characterized it, "broadside," for several days. And I've been reading the reactions of others to it, as well. Some agree. Some disagree. Some do both, kind of an "agreement, but..." sort of thing. Statements have appeared like:
"...the battle is NOT won."
"I hate to see him leave the debate..."
"No, the battle is not won!"
"...we must engage people in order to change hearts and minds."
Or, like those words penned by my fellow Presbyterian blogger, John Shuck at "Shuck and Jive" (http://www.shuckandjive.org), "We need more people to follow the lead of Bishop Spong and speak clearly. This clear speech is what is required to penetrate the fog of homophobic propaganda and the hand wringing of the weak-kneed who unwittingly corroborate with it."
The priest of the small Episcopal church I briefly attended a while back was quick to label Spong as a heretic and sometimes, jokingly I trust, call for his burning — along with the Presiding Bishop, et al.
Spong is, by certain standards, a heretic. But then, so am I. And that has nothing to do with his, or mine, view of homosexuality. That view, that understanding, flows from a theological journey. For Spong, traditionally understood theism is a woefully inadequate conception of what we term "God." The Bible is a collection of theological reflections which can inform our own reflections and no more. It is not, in any way typically understood, the Word of God.
read the whole blog here
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
"Big News! The front page of the New Times has the story. The Pope says that priests who are unhappy with the Episcopal Church can come on over and stay married. Y'all need to say, 'If your tired of your money going to lawyers for pedophiles and promoting the spread of HIV/AIDS come on over [to the Episcopal Church]. We're having a Fire Sale.'"
Monday, October 19, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Three years ago, on September 21, 2006, Raymond J. Lahey, the Catholic Bishop of Antigonish in Nova Scotia, Canada, sent a letter to his parishioners urging them to speak out against same-sex marriage:
I would encourage every adult Catholic to contact your Member of Parliament on this issue and express to him or her your views on the nature of marriage. You can do this by phone or in writing, and you can do it in your own informal and respectful words.Now that same Catholic Bishop, Raymond J. Lahey, is in custody on child porn charges.
Today, we have so many problems with our social structures that the second chance to correct one of them by reaffirming the specific nature of marriage is a wonderful opportunity for us. We can express ourselves both as Canadians who are not uncaring for the range of persons who comprise our society, and as people who at the same time want to do the right thing.
A former Roman Catholic bishop in Nova Scotia turned himself in to Ottawa police Thursday afternoon and was in custody in the central station cellblock.
Raymond Lahey, 69, who stepped down abruptly on Saturday as the bishop of Antigonish in Nova Scotia, faces charges of possession and importation of child pornography.
Wearing a collared shirt and sweater under a tan jacket, a grim-faced Lahey said nothing as he entered headquarters with his lawyer, Michael Edelson.
Edelson also gave no comment.
An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday for Lahey, who is well known in Nova Scotia for having orchestrated a high-profile apology and a $15-million, out-of-court settlement to victims who were sexually abused as children by a former priest in the Diocese of Antigonish.