Swedish Church Members ‘Don’t Believe in Jesus’

Only 15 percent of members of the Church of Sweden say they believe in Jesus, and an equal number claim to be atheists according to the results of a recent survey.

I don’t even know what to say… I mean, what’s the point? Church without Jesus?!

More than 10,000 members of the Swedish Church participated in a comprehensive membership survey carried out over the past year and dubbed “Member 2010” (Medlem 2010).

According to the survey, 15 percent of church members they are atheists, while a quarter of Swedish Church members identify themselves as agnostic.

The younger the members, the more likely they are to be atheists or agnostics.

Bromander pointed out that there is no requirement that church members believe in Jesus or any particular religious figure.

“Many are members, not for religious reasons, but because of the role the church plays in society, or because it serves as an organisation which maintains Swedish traditions,” said Bromander.

“In fact, there are many members who would rather that we focus more on our social work in Sweden than on Sunday services.”

Of the roughly 6.6 million members of the Church of Sweden, about 400,000 are active churchgoers, attending services at least once a month.

According to the survey, 90 percent of church members have a weak relationship with the Swedish Church, forcing the church to ponder whether or not it remains a relevant institution in Swedish society…

There’s more here.

They’re calling it ‘a byproduct of the secularisation’. That and the Church acquiescing, simply giving up on standing for and preaching the truth if you ask me. Biblical truth that is…


Handing her an Apple

Steve Ray posted something that put a smile on my face:

Apple.jpgI don’t remember who it was that did this, though I think it was Pope John XXIII. A woman approached him at a wedding event. The woman was very scantily clad with bosoms hanging out and a revealing dress.

Pope Paul XXIII handed her an apple. She asked, “Why are you giving me an apple?”

He replied, “It wasn’t until after Eve ate the apple that she realized she was naked!”


Falsely Accused Priest Died of a ‘Broken Heart’

Reported on the Deacon’s Bench:

I  posted on this priest’s case over at Beliefnet some months back.  But now columnist Brian McGrory tells more in today’s Boston Globe:

The first time the Rev. Charles Murphy was cleared of accusations that he improperly touched a minor, a girl 25 years earlier, everyone who ever met him said they had never doubted his innocence.

It was 2006 and priests were all over the news for every awful reason, most of them deservedly so. But Father Murphy swore his innocence, the archdiocese ruled the allegations lacked substance, and the woman dropped her suit on the eve of trial.

When Murphy triumphantly returned to the pulpit of his sun-splashed church in South Weymouth, the applause could be heard across the South Shore. Father Charlie, as he was known, was back — back cracking cornball jokes from the altar, back as a fanatical hockey fan, back as the mad plow driver clearing the parking lot at the hint of snow. He was also back ministering in prisons and helping the deaf, a man of the cloth to his core.

“He was just the same guy as before the accusation, a bubbly guy, fun, a little bit of a jokester, but a diligent priest,’’ said Joe Corcoran, the developer who befriended Murphy decades earlier at St. Agatha in Milton.

Amid so much joy, it would have been impossible to imagine the turn that Murphy’s life would eventually take.

Read the rest. And remember this man and those who loved him in your prayers.


Toward the Ordinariate…

Fr Christopher Phillips reports:

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Spring General Assembly is taking place in Seattle, and one of the topics will be the implementation of Anglicanorum coetibus. His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, will be presenting his report to the bishops. At this point we do not know exactly what time the Cardinal will be speaking, but live streaming will begin at 12 noon (Eastern)/9 a.m. (Pacific) and you can access it here or here.  I’ll post any updates as I get them.


Archbishop Dolan: Heaven Help Us If Gays Can Wed‎

At least someone has the guts (and convictions of faith) to say something!

Archbishop Timothy Dolan lashed out at the “stampede” to legalize gay marriage yesterday, even as a second Republican lawmaker flipped and brought the proposal within one vote of passage.

The state’s top Catholic leader in his weekly online column compared Gov. Cuomo’s campaign to make New York the sixth and largest state to allow gay nuptials to some communist regimes’ efforts to supplant God’s “undeniable truth” with a “chic cause.”

“Last time I consulted an atlas, it is clear we are living in New York, in the United States of America — not in China or North Korea,” said Dolan, who also leads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“God, not Albany, has settled the definition of marriage a long time ago.”…
Read more here.

The NY Daily News too has more on the above.

Heaven help indeed…


Israel: Senseless No-go Zones

It is an absurd situation when our men in blue cannot enter certain haredi and Arab neighborhoods because of extreme violence they encounter.

The Jerusalem Post has more:

A police representative announced in court last month that Jerusalem’s Mea She’arim neighborhood has become a no-go zone for the men in blue. Every time police enter, the official explained, they encounter violence from haredi extremists. And that is why they failed to arrest a criminal suspect for over a month despite knowing exactly where in the neighborhood he was.

Nor is Mea She’arim the only place where police face such problems. Many Arab towns and neighborhoods have similarly been declared no-go zones because police operations there routinely spark violence. Jewish extremists in the West Bank seem to be trying to gain the settlements such status as well: They regularly attack soldiers and policemen enforcing the planning and building laws.

But the police’s decision to deal with this problem by simply throwing up their hands and staying away is unconscionable. First, it’s a betrayal of the very people they are sworn to protect – the decent, law-abiding citizens who comprise the vast majority of residents in all of these locales. As Kalansua Mayor Mahmoud Hadija complained in October after his brother was killed, criminals “know that whatever they do, the police won’t investigate,” leaving ordinary citizens defenseless against them.

Moreover, by proving that violence works, this response merely encourages other groups of extremists to adopt the same tactic. As a result, more and more of the country is becoming a no-go zone…

Read on here.

Not a great way of maintaining law and order…