Tuesday, May 27, 2003

From A conservative blog for peace correspondent Samer al-Batal
The Palestinian struggle is about property rights

From The Onion
Terrifying bill passed during NBA playoffs
Panem et circenses.

The things people throw away

Pope John Paul II hails progress in ties with Bulgarian Orthodox

Friend of the blog Joe Oliveri observes that 'a number - for the sake of argument, let's say most - traditionalist RCs raised a hue and cry over the Pope's "gift" of Sts. Vincent and Anastasius church to Rome's Bulgarian Orthodox community recently.'

In the 1920s, Catholic Archbishop McNeil in Toronto helped build a Russian Orthodox church in that city and gave the Orthodox priest a chalice - back in the good old days before such gestures were debased by false ecumenism with Protestants. (Source: They Called Her the Baroness, about Catherine de Hueck Doherty.)

From David Virtue
Indian Anglican primate slams same-sex blessings
'Western Provinces should go their own way'
Exclusive Report

GRAMADO, BRAZIL-The Moderator of the Anglican Church of South India has
come out blasting those who would perform and participate in same-sex

In a letter obtained by Virtuosity, the Most Rev. K. J. Samuel wrote,
"Attempting to bless and affirm behaviours that are proscribed by the
Scriptures is a mistake. It is wrong. It is sin."

Archbishop Samuel, who could not be with his fellow Primates in Brazil,
wrote praising the efforts of his fellow Primate Drexel Gomez (West
Indies) for his study True Union in the Body? that condemned such
blessings, and warned of schism and broken communion if acted upon.

"Every person is precious to Jesus Christ, the Lord of the Church. This
does not mean that all behaviours are helpful. It would be foolish to
suggest that all previous centuries of Christian teaching has risen out
of ignorance and been motivated by less than love. While there may be
people who have acted in less than a loving way or in less than a
faithful way, the 'traditional' position of the church has risen out of
the clear teaching of the Bible and out of concern for people."

Samuel said there were many examples of men who had close friendships
and strong relationships. "It seems to me to be a creation of modern
western culture that these relationships could only exist without
limits of propriety. Outside the libertine environment of the West,
many other cultures know what it means to have limits on behaviour."

"Enthusiasm for the innovation of individualism in the Northern and
Western cultures and churches is not shared in the South. Instead, it
is a prime contributing factor to distress and has led to a serious
departure from established Biblical norms."

Samuel said it that because the message of the Church is one of grace,
"it is important that we address movements away from God's grace.
Attempting to bless and affirm behaviours that are proscribed by the
Scriptures is a mistake. It is wrong. It is sin."

Samuel said that the book "True Union" touches on Natural Law. "We can
see in the order of creation being abrogated by same-sex intimacy. The
offence is only compounded when the church attempts to bless behaviour
that is so broadly held to be out of bounds. While boundaries and
limits of any kind are often viewed suspiciously in the West, it has
not been so through history or even today in the majority of the
communion in the Global South."

Acknowledging that the Anglican Communion is not organized under an
agreed constitutional or juridical system, "that does not mean it is
powerless to speak. Instead, it means that we have a covenant
relationship that we will live together under agreed principles of
theology and life."

Recognizing that the Communion does not have the legal right to tell
them what to do, the Indian Primate nonetheless argued, "We have a
moral right-even a responsibility-to speak the truth in love."

"Here is the truth: Because the Western Church, particularly in North
America (USA and Canada) has utterly rejected the request from Anglican
leaders of other provinces to abandon the pursuit of the divisive
agenda of attempting to bless and normalize homosexual behavior, the
consequence is that we are at a great and historic fork in the road. If
Western provinces do not wish to continue in fellowship with us around
a series of historically agreed positions, we will not force them to do
so. Neither can we be forced to continue an association that is leading
people away from Jesus Christ and the Anglican Way."

Samuel said that the responsibility to approve innovations rests not
with those who seek change. Assurance that changes will not be
disruptive must come from the rest of the community, he said. "The
Bishop and Synod of New Westminster seem determined to proceed. It also
appears that other dioceses are on a similar path (Pennsylvania,
Michigan, and others)."

Samuel launched a broadside against The Episcopal Church USA. He
highlighted three situations that undermined the [Anglican] Communion.

First. Dioceses taking it upon themselves to change biblical teaching
and overthrow well established limits of history.

Second. The timing of the election for Bishop of New Hampshire and the
possibility that an active homosexual candidate could be elected and
confirmed by the General Convention. "This is a serious change to the
church's teaching."

Third. The inclusion of a measure to be voted on at General Convention
that would allow the development of a service for blessing same-sex
unions as an "optional" service.

"There can be no place for the church to affirm destructive behaviours,
even if they are deemed to be optional. The position of this province
is clear. If the innovations proceed, it will be at the cost of
separation from us."

UK Life League
Rules OK

The Fathers
From The Catechism Explained, a Catholic book:
The chief sources of Tradition are the writings of the Fathers, the decrees of Councils, and the Creeds and prayers of the Church. (To which Eastern Orthodox would add that the Bible is part of Tradition, a perspective not out of harmony with western Catholicism.)

The Fathers of the Church were those who were distinguished in the early ages of the Church by their great learning and holiness. Such are St. Justin, the philosopher and zealous defender of the Christian religion (AD 166), St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons (AD 202), St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, etc. Many of these were disciples of the apostles, and are termed apostolic Fathers, as St. Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch (AD 107). The Doctors of the Church were those who in later times were distinguished for their learned writings and their sanctity. There are four great Greek Doctors, Saints Athanasius, Basil, Gregory, and John Chrysostom; and four Latin, Saints Ambrose, Augustine, Jerome, and Pope Gregory, called Gregory the Great.

Defending the right to have private parties
by Pat Buchanan

The dark side of British foreign policy
In roughly the same position as the Greeks in the Roman Empire - 'Airstrip One', America's sidekick

Fun with spam
(cue 'Monty Python' song*)
In the spamtrap this morning are these subjects:

Earn $2000 Weekly Working from Home Stuffing Envelopes
Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy - now I can quit my adequately salaried job and just roll in the dough - thank you, complete stranger on the Internet!

'Lucia' and 'Charmaine' seem to take turns with this pitch - I seriously doubt either lady provides this service personally. Quel dommage (kidding).

Из Больгарии от Георгия Далакова
'Try to contact'. Well, somebody has succeeded - must have been the recent postings about the Bulgarian Orthodox in Italy that got Mr Dalakov's attention.

Rats - nothing from Africa today from some deposed official's son or widow offering me, out of the blue, big bucks if I send a cash advance. One can always hope for tomorrow. (Most of these scammers are operating out of Lagos, Nigeria's lone Internet café with no overhead and enough gullible 'newbies' in the First World to make their business very lucrative indeed.)

Oh, wait - hello, what's this?

From;Sister Sandra Jones,Lome Togo.
'Dear, Greeting in Jesus Name ! Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into a relationship with you,I got your contact from a wedsite on the internet.'

Uh, wouldn't that go against your vows?

Funny how all these messages are in broken English when Nigeria's official language and lingua franca is... English.

One of those resusci-dummies would look cool sitting in the corner of my living room.

Pre-Order Mary Fahl & Get A Signed Photo!
You mean I get to drag home the real Mary Fahl and get an autographed pic? Wowee!

25-Piece Martha Stewart Cookie Decorating Kit - no cost!
Sorry, no - but I could direct her to a sex-offender online nemesis who'd probably declare it 'faaaaaaabulous!'

Your crusade info. from Team Delta Force
Guess Chuck Norris is keeping busy this way.

More on the spam epidemic

*Disclaimer: I'm an anglophile but not one of those naff ones who recites or sings whole 'Monty Python' bits, in an accent, at the drop of a hat.

Kasper the unfriendly cardinal
Friend of the blog Joe Oliveri: His Eminence (Walter Cardinal Kasper) made the following statement in an address at an Anglican church recently, during an ecumenical get-together. The other two speakers were the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Revd Elizabeth Welch, a former Moderator of the United Reformed Church. Given the context, consider the insidious nature of the Cardinal's remarks:

'How can we overcome this problem [of Apostolic Succession]? As I see the problem and its possible solution, it is not a question of apostolic succession in the sense of an historical chain of laying on of hands running back through the centuries to one of the apostles - this would be a very mechanical and individualistic vision, which, by the way, historically could hardly be proved and ascertained.' [End of quotation.]

Problem? Problem? The italicized bit sounds like heresy to me, in any context.

'The Catholic view is different from such an individualistic and mechanical approach. Its starting-point is the collegium of the apostles as a whole. Together they received the promise that Jesus Christ will be with them till the end of the world (Matthew 28.20).

'So after the death of the historical apostles they had to co-opt others who took over some of their apostolic functions. In this sense, the whole of the episcopate stands in succession to the whole of the collegium of the apostles.

'To stand in the apostolic succession is not a matter of an individual historical chain, but of collegial membership in a collegium, which, as a whole, goes back to the apostles by sharing the same apostolic faith and the same apostolic mission. The laying on of hands is, under this aspect, a sign of co-option in a collegium.' [End of quotation.]

All true. Not only is this fine but it resonates with the 'the Church - all or nothing' theology of Eastern Orthodoxy, doing away nicely with vagantes' games tracing their personal 'lines of succession' outside of any real church. But:

'This has far-reaching consequences for the acknowledge-ment of the validity of the episcopal ordination of an other Church. Such acknowledgement is not a question of an uninterrupted chain, but of the uninterrupted sharing of faith
and mission, and as such is a question of communion in the same faith and in the same mission.' [End of quotation.]

The rubbish here is a lot like Edward Schillebeeckx saying that since the whole Church is a sacrament, anybody coming into communion with it by fiat without the sacraments beforehand automatically gets them - a dodge to declare non-episcopal ministers priests in the event of a merger (such as the proposed Anglican-Methodist one in 1968, defeated narrowly by Anglo-Catholics). As one Anglican put it, this is very bad theology indeed - one could declare Quakers instantly baptized simply through an administrative merger.

Joe Oliveri: Why in God's name is this man a 'Prince of the Church', when he cannot even get the simple yet critical definition of Apostolic Succession right?

Why indeed. Very, very disappointing coming from a cardinal, and one appointed under a putatively conservative Pope's watch, too.

On the US and the Iraq war: is there anything left that matters?
The stopped-clock paradigm again.

Regarding the infinite-monkeys analogy, now it's been scientifically proved they probably couldn't write Shakespeare:
Give six monkeys one computer for a month, and they will make a mess

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