Church

The World's Most Polite Robber

Could this be the world’s most polite robber?

It doesn’t make what he did any better, but this could be the world’s most polite and apologetic armed robber.

The elderly man had walked into a Shell petrol station in Seattle and made a purchase before asking the cashier to do him a ‘favour’.

As this CCTV footage shows he then produced a gun and told the man “Could you empty that till for me please … I’m robbing you sir.”

Retaining impeccable manners throughout the raid the man said he was committing the crime to feed his family and repeatedly apologised for what he was doing.

Taking $300 he even said he’d return the money if was ever back in a better financial position… but after being arrested he we first have to show how polite he can be to judge.

Church

Update: Anglicans Are Moving Forward With Changes to Baptisms

I was called an ‘idiot‘ by a Church of England minister for blogging on this. Well as an update, we have the Guardian (which I’m assuming is better than the Daily Mail, since I’m not British?)…

The Church of England is to offer shorter, snappier baptisms in “BBC1 language” after its governing body voted overwhelmingly in favour of a more accessible service.

Bishops, clergy and laity attending the General Synod in London heard how the religious language of existing texts sawthe shutters come down among the unprepared guests“.

The Rev Tim Stratford, who proposed the idea, said the pictures and metaphors in the baptism service – “slavery in Egypt” or “brought to birth by water and the Spirit” – did not resonate with the experience and knowledge of lapsed Anglican parents.

He told the synod: “It sounds as if the church wants an entirely religious response – removed from our behaviour, actions and conversation.”

It was not a request for “christenings without Christianity” but making “culturally relevant references readily understood by the majority of Britons“, he explained.

The number of babies baptised fell to 83,800 in 2009, from 86,500 in the previous year. However, the number of child and adult baptisms increased to 43,500 and 11,000 in 2009 from 42,300 and 10,400 respectively in 2008.

The archbishop of Canterbury supported Stratford’s proposal, conceding how the “wordiness” of baptisms might lead to “eyes glazing over”.

One member to oppose the move was the Rev James Dudley-Smith, who suggested simplifying the language of baptism might be like “taking a recording of the Beatles and putting the singing voice of [footballer] Steven Gerrard” on top.

Stratford denied he was “asking for the language of Steven Gerrard” and said that “the language of BBC1was fine. He added, however, that you could not “make EastEnders out of a Shakespearean tragedy without changing the language” – an indication that sacrifices would have to be made for the proposal to be effective.

It was not just the cultural relevance of baptism that concerned synod members; it was also its online accessibility.

Sally Muggeridge said the Church of England website was “extraordinarily unhelpful” in this respect. “I had to print off 60 pages of Common Worship in order to find out what a baptism service looked like.”

She said there was “no inspiration” as to what one might expect and there was “nothing to encourage adults” who were considering baptism because there was only the image of a baby in that section.

The proposal will go to the House of Bishops for approval before being sent to the Church of England’s liturgical commission, which will devise alternatives, with a simpler baptism service ready for use in about two years.

As I said then, the language here is not theologically too complexed, it’s simply unfashionable to the fallen mind, and that’s the problem… I’ll add:

Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…

(Rom 12:2)

Church

Catholics ‘Cannot Confess via iPhone’

Contrary to much of what is being said, The Telegraph has:

Catholics cannot confess by iPhone, the Vatican has said, after the launch of a ‘confession app’ sanctioned by the US Catholic Church.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said technology was not a substitute for being present when admitting sins to a priest.

One cannot speak in any way of confessing via iPhone,” Father Lombardi said, adding that confession required the presence of the penitent and the priest.

“This cannot be substituted by any IT application,” Lombardi added.

Confession: A Roman Catholic app, thought to be the first to be approved by a church authority, walks Catholics through the sacrament and contains what is described as a “personalised examination of conscience for each user.”

The application is not designed to replace going to confession but to help Catholics through the act.

Some reports on its approval by the Catholic Church in the US suggested confession would now be possible via iPhone.

For a background to the above, click here.

UPDATE I:   The Telegraph has today a news video under the heading: Vatican bans iPhone God app.

UPDATE II:

Church

270 New Christian Martyrs Every 24 Hours!

Absolutely Deplorable!

If this statistic doesn’t shock you then frankly I don’t know what would:

The report estimates that there were, on average, 270 new Christian martyrs every 24 hours over the past decade, such that “the number of martyrs [in the period 2000-2010] was approximately 1 million.” Compare this to an estimated 34,000 Christian martyrs in 1900…

The eChurch Christian blog has more.

Church

New Custom Domain Name Suffixes

The pillar of the basic Web address – the trusty .com domain – is about to face vast new competition that will dramatically transform the Web as we know it. New Web sites, with more subject-specific, sometimes controversial suffixes, will soon populate the online galaxy, such as .eco, .love, .god, .sport, .gay or .kurd.

The Washington Post:

This massive expansion to the Internet’s domain name system will either make the Web more intuitive or create more cluttered, maddening experiences. No one knows yet. But with an infinite number of naming possibilities, an industry of Web wildcatters is racing to grab these potentially lucrative territories with addresses that are bound to provoke.

Who gets to run .abortion Web sites – people who support abortion rights or those who don’t? Which individual or mosque can run the .islam or .muhammad sites? Can the Ku Klux Klan own .nazi on free speech grounds, or will a Jewish organization run the domain and permit only educational Web sites – say, remember.nazi or antidefamation.nazi? And who’s going to get .amazon – the Internet retailer or Brazil?

The decisions will come down to a little-known nonprofit based in Marina del Rey, Calif., whose international board of directors approved the expansion in 2008 but has been stuck debating how best to run the program before launching it. Now, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, is on the cusp of completing those talks in March or April and will soon solicit applications from companies and governments that want to propose and operate the new addresses…

The Internet has 21 generic domains such as .com, .net., .edu or .org and hundreds of others for countries, such as .de for Germany. The most prevalent generic domains are .com and .net, which account for about half of the world’s 202 million Internet addresses…

Since 2000, ICANN has expanded the number of “generic top-level domains” only twice, and only in tiny doses to such sites ending in .biz, .jobs, .museum, or .mobi (for mobile sites). Those domains have so far yet to attract huge audiences.

But many entrepreneurs expect that the new expansion of Web addresses – the first of which won’t go live until early 2012 – will catch on with users and make money…

More here.

Church

Catholic Church Approves iPhone Confession App

 c.net News:

Get ready for the iPhone spiritual coach. The Catholic Church in the U.S. has approved an app that prepares Catholics for confession.

Confession: A Roman Catholic App is designed to make confession easier for Christians. Developer Little iApps bills it as “the perfect aid for every penitent.”

It offers users a step-by-step guide to the Rite of Penance and is meant to be used in a church confessional. It’s not a substitute for a priest.

Users create password-protected profiles and then go through a series of soul-searching questions related to the Ten Commandments. For the First Commandment, for example, the app asks, “Have I been involved with superstitious practices or have I been involved with the occult?”

The app was designed in collaboration with a Church official and approved by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend as the first officially sanctioned iPhone/iPad app, according to Little iApps.

Confession also lets users create “custom examinations of conscience” and log “custom sins.” It also coaches penitents on responses to a priest’s exhortations such as “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.”

Prayers stored in the app include such classics as the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, and Hail Mary.

Confession: A Roman Catholic App is available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch for $1.99 on iTunes. According to Chip Leinen of Little iApps, a portion of the revenues will go to two charities.

 

See also: Catholic Church gives blessing for iPhone app for confession or has it?  here.

UPDATE:   The Telegraph: Catholics ‘cannot confess via iPhone’.

Catholics cannot confess by iPhone, the Vatican has said, after the launch of a ‘confession app’ sanctioned by the US Catholic Church.

Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said technology was not a substitute for being present when admitting sins to a priest.

“One cannot speak in any way of confessing via iPhone,” Father Lombardi said, adding that confession required the presence of the penitent and the priest.

“This cannot be substituted by any IT application,” Lombardi added.

More here.