Church

On Becoming a Catholic…

A comment with regards to a previous post that I blogged on is worthy of both reflection and serious consideration:

The question was posed:

“if you’re convinced the Catholic Church is what She claims to be, why not convert? Why remain in Anglicanism at all?”

It needs to be kept in mind that throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s there was great hope that the Anglican Church would be reunited with the Catholic Church. It was not an empty gesture when Pope Paul VI gave his ring to Archbishop of Canterbury Michael Ramsey. That that reunion is not in fact imminent came to people at different times.

Many Episcopal/Anglican priests become convinced of the claims of the Catholic Church, but they also have in mind the flock they have been shepherding.  Many attempt to bring the flock they have been shepherding to the same realization about the Catholic Church that they have come to. Only when they’ve done all they can do they come, often leading others.

(The validity of their orders has nothing to do with the validity of their pastoral instincts and responsibilities. After all, ordination is not a requirement to be a shepherd… abbots and abbesses are just as responsible for their monastics as any parish priest, even though not in orders.)

Very well put.

Blessed John Henry Newman, pray for us!

Bible Archaeology

Arab Spring No Reason to Cancel Holy Land Trips

Pilgrims Are Safer Than Ever, Says Jerusalem Bishop.

Zenit reports:

There is nothing to fear in the Holy Land and no reason to halt pilgrimages, according to the Franciscan Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa.

Father Pizzaballa stressed safety when he made an appeal on Vatican Radio on Wednesday to increase the number of pilgrimages to the land of Jesus’ birth.

The Franciscan recalled that a large percentage of Christians of the region depend on religious tourism, so pilgrimages are not only an experience of faith for the pilgrim, but also a sign of solidarity with the local Church, which “as everyone knows, is a very small community in need of help.”

There has been a marked decrease in the number of pilgrims over the past four months, the priest reported.

He proposed that the reasons for this can be traced to the global economic situation, but also to false perceptions linked to the political instability in Arab countries.

“Despite what is happening in the Arab world, the Holy Land and pilgrimages to the Holy Land are absolutely safe,” he explained. “There is no danger, no risk of any sort and, as in the past, there must be no fear of coming to have this experience.”

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of the Latin Patriarchy of Jerusalem echoed Father Pizzaballa’s appeal.

“The Holy Land and the pilgrims’ sites are safer than ever,” he said.

He added that to go on pilgrimage to the Holy Places implies “a sign of solidarity with all the inhabitants, because a pilgrim is a figure of peace, a welcome figure, loved by all — Muslims, Christians and Jews. And I can say, without exaggerating, that the figure of the pilgrim is a bridge between all: He carries out a work of peace, not only with his prayer, but also with his presence.”

Church

Priest (or Bishop) Who Must Leave Episcopal Church Parish, Wants to Become a Catholic

The Traditional Anglican Communion Bishop David Moyer, who refused to step down as Rector (Priest), and that after having been deposed by the Episcopal Church, has now finally now been ordered by a civil court of law to leave and vacate the Episcopal premises:

A defrocked Episcopal priest must step down as rector of his Rosemont  parish and vacate the premises after 21 years there, a Montgomery  County Court judge has ruled.

The Rev. David Moyer, 60, said  Wednesday that he was saddened by Judge Stanley Ott’s decision but would  abide by his order to leave the Church of the Good Shepherd. He said he  hopes to become a Roman Catholic priest.

An outspoken critic of  liberal trends in the Episcopal Church, Moyer was defrocked in 2002 by  the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania after he agreed to become a bishop  in a small, conservative Anglican denomination.

Bishop Charles E. Bennison, head of the 55,000-member local diocese,  ruled that Moyer had “broken communion” with the diocese and the  Episcopal Church by that decision.

Moyer had for years denounced  Bennison’s acceptance of same-sex marriage and gay clergy, and barred  the bishop from preaching or conducting confirmations at his parish.  Moyer also rejects the ordination of women.

With the support of  his vestry, or church board, Moyer refused to step down as rector after  his deposition and continued to preach, say Mass, administer the affairs  of the parish, and reside in its rectory with his wife, Rita.

In  2008, he unsuccessfully sued Bennison in Philadelphia Common Pleas  Court over firing him under what he alleged were false pretenses.

In February 2009, the diocese filed a motion in Montgomery County Court  asking it to remove Moyer and the members of the vestry who refused to  recognize the authority of the Episcopal Church as rightful owner of the  property.

Ott, a judge of Orphans’ Court, ruled Aug. 25 that  under the laws of the church, parishes are the property of their  dioceses and the national church.

Moyer said Wednesday that he  was relieved to have the matter ended, but would ask the diocese to  allow him and his wife to reside in the rectory until they can find a  new home. The diocese did not respond to requests for comment.

Moyer said he hoped to remain in the Philadelphia area should he become a Catholic priest.

He is seeking to become part of a new, semiautonomous structure  within the Catholic Church that permits disaffected Anglicans to become  Catholics while retaining some of their Anglican prayers and liturgies.

Anglican clergy, including married priests, must petition Rome if they wish to serve as Catholic clergy.

(HT)

I have no idea how a man can (could) function as a Priest in one Church and yet be a Bishop in another! It is lunacy. Total lunacy. But if anything, it really shows split-minded Churchmanship, devoid of any proper ecclesiological or clear doctrinal thinking, and one can but only end up questioning the real motives (or his own individual thinking) behind the acceptance of a Call to the Episcopal Office (as well as, if I my add, that of those who saw it fit to ‘Consecrate’ him in the first place). If he were a Priest in both, it might (maybe) be more palatable (or imaginable), but a Priest in one and a Bishop in another?

It is exactly this sort of thing that helps me to see the shallowness of the Traditional Anglican Communion, and understand why the Roman Catholic Church would be (is) so hesitant in dealing with us. Now we all know of the apostacy and heresy that exists within the Episcopalian Church (and the Anglican Church greater). That should be reason enough for any God-fearing person to flee to the hills! Very recently here is South Africa, some Orthodox Church actually pronounced an anathema upon the Anglican Church of Southern Africa because ‘the Church allows gay pastors and grants a blessing to two homosexuals and two lesbians living in a perverse same-sex union’:

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has thus rejected God’s laws and the authority of God the Creator and Supreme Lawgiver. It no longer calls evil evil, a sin a sin, an abomination an abomination. It exchanged the truth for a lie and turned the Church of God into an assembly of Satan (Rev 2:9).

The apostatical Anglican Church of Southern Africa has ceased to be a blessing for the nation and brings down a curse and self-destruction upon it as well as upon all Africa…

Such things have long plagued her sister Church in America. Those who cannot take these things should submit to a Church where the Truth is taught and proclaimed. You cannot be part of both. You have to be either one or the other.

And so it is, now, that the Rev (or the Rt Rev (?)) David Moyer seeks to become a Catholic Priest. Without wanting to sound cynical, I’m convinced that a lot of discernment will have to go into that wish – not only from the Catholic Church, but from him himself. And for goodness sake, let him start off (if accepted to Holy Orders) as a Deacon! His days of being a Priest in one Church and subsequently being Consecrated as a Bishop in another are over for good!

Mercifully the Archdiocese of Philadelphia gets one of the best Catholic Bishops around in the form of Archbishop Charles Chaput this week coming… And he will know exactly what to do.

Church

To BC or BCE?

The terms BC, Before Christ and AD, Anno Domini, remain in common usage but   have been expunged from the secular language of officialdom and academia.

Now right from the start let me say that I for one habitually still use BC, and that, without any compunction whatsoever.

The Telegraph reports:

While they may not be the language of everyday life, the new terms BCE, Before Common Era and CE , Common Era (first invented in the sixth century AD) are now the rule in order to express politically correct sensitivity to non-Christians.

Earlier this year, the first print run of a four-volume Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization was pulped by its American academic publishers following an outcry that it was biased in favour of Christianity, evidenced by its use of BC and AD instead of BCE and CE.

But, whether it’s BC or BCE, both systems take as the Gregorian calendar as their starting point .

As the Telegraph’s Christopher Booker noted: “The trouble with this politically-correct effort to spare offence to Muslims, Jews, atheists or other non-Christians from the use of a dating system tied to Jesus, is that it prompts any child to ask ‘So what is this Common Era based on?’, and brings up the very point it seeks to avoid.”…

There is apparently some controversy raging in Australia over the proposed change. You can read about it further here.

Culture

10% of Suicides Involve Illness

Secondhand Smoke:

Is anyone surprised? According to the British Medical Association Journal 10%–a likely under count–of suicides involve people with physical illnesses.  The Telegraph has this excerpt:

At least 10 per cent of suicides that take place in England involve people with either a chronic or terminal illness. It is likely that this figure may be a significant underestimate, as we also found anecdotal evidence that some coroners currently choose not to include relevant health information within their inquest records, which are frequently the main input to PCTs’ suicide audits. We found that there was an average figure of 2.1 per cent of suicides involving terminal illness across the PCTs that responded, and an average of 10.6 per cent involving chronic illness, there was also an average of 21.4 per cent involving ‘some specific form of physical illness or health condition’. These figures cannot simply be added together, as some PCTs informed us that they had included the same suicide case within more than one category. However, they do indicate that our estimate of at least 10 per cent of suicides nationally involving some form of serious physical illness (either chronic or terminal) is a robust and conservative one.

Here’s a link to the extract (BMJ 2011; 343:d5464:

Do we want to increase this appalling number?  If so, we couldn’t do a better job than we are, what with assisted suicide advocates, law enforcement, and media increasingly winking at–and even endorsing–suicide to alleviate physical suffering.  Unless we reverse course and aggressively engage in suicide prevention no matter what the cause–not just some so-called “irrational suicides”–this woeful count will only grow.

Culture

Trying to Become the ‘Fattest’ Woman Ever

From the Telegraph:

Susanne Eman, 32, and her two sons, Brendin and Gabriel, do their weekly shopping trip at the local supermarket in Casa Grande, Arizona. She is trying to become the fattest woman ever. Already 50 stone, she aims to reach a whopping 115 stone by guzzling more and more food every day…

Oh dear! There is something very wrong with this gluttonous individual I’m afraid.