Cemetery Worker Admits to Stealing from Casket

That’s very wicked!

A Green Bay cemetery worker admits to stealing a guitar from a dead man’s casket. 39-year-old Steven Conard was arrested Saturday after police questioned him about the theft. Steven told police, “This isn’t something I normally do, I just have a respect for fine musical instruments.”

The theft was first reported on Friday when Diocese Director of Facilities Tammy Jo Basten called police to say a guitar that was place in Randall Jourdan’s casket was discovered missing.

The investigation into the theft was directed to Conard by an employee of the Diocese. He became suspicious when he overheard a comment made by Conard. Conard apparently said, “That’s a Telly, a really expensive guitar. I have to have that guitar. It’s too expensive to be in a crypt.”

On Friday morning, the suspicious employee opened the casket in the burial chamber and found the guitar missing.

The guitar was recovered from Conard’s home. Conard was arrested and incarcerated for charges of Theft from a Corpse.

Conard’s 43-year-old wife, Heather, was incarcerated for charges of Obstructing.



Differences Between Catholic and Protestant Approaches to the Bible

Catholic convert, Steve Ray, has them:

“Bible Christians”
(a misnomer, since Catholics are the real and original Bible Christians), based on their recently devised “Reformation” principle of sola Scriptura, study the Bible with the following premises:

1. There is no binding authority but the Bible alone;
2. There is no official binding interpretation or interpreter; each person ultimately is their own pope;
3. The Bible is perspicuous (i.e., easy to understand) and it can be interpreted and understood by anyone.
4. An individual can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves.

Catholics have a different set of premises that direct their study of the Bible.

1. The authority of the Apostles and the Church preceded the Bible and the Sacred Tradition of the Church is an equally infallible authority (2 Thes 2:15; CCC 80 83). The Bible is part of the Apostolic Tradition.
2. The authoritative interpretation of the Bible is the prerogative of the Catholic Church (1 Tim 3:15; Mt 18:17; CCC 85?88).
3. The Bible is not always easy to understand (2 Pet 3:15?16) and needs to understood within its historical and contextual framework and interpreted within the community to which it belongs.
4. Individuals can/should read the Bible and interpret the Bible for themselves—but within the framework of the Church’s authoritative teaching and not based on their own “private interpretation” (2 Pet 1:20?21).

These basic differences place the Catholic and Protestant worlds apart even though they are opening the pages of the same book and accepting it as an authoritative revelation from God. The Catholic position is biblical, and has been espoused from the first days of the Church. The Protestant position is unbiblical (assumed from their newly devised tradition) and is of recent origin. The Catholic is in full continuity with historical Christianity; Protestants are in discontinuity.



Only Individuals Who Convert to Rome May Apply

That’s the word on the current state of a Personal Ordinariate here is South Africa, according to Virtue Online quoting an e-mail recieved from our Bishop, Michael Gill, as a ‘news exclusive’ (emphasis mine):

The Southern Africa Bishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. Michael Gill, says there will be no Ordinariate in Southern Africa, and that the only route open to those wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church would be that of individual conversion, requiring, “…in some cases going back to Baptism…”.

Following revelations that the vast majority of traditionalist Anglicans (Anglo-Catholics) around the world do not want unity with Rome, including the majority of the Anglican Church in America (ACA), Bishop Gill wrote VOL in an e-mail to clarify his church’s position.

“In September of 2010, I met face to face with Archbishop George Daniel of the Roman Catholic Church specifically to discuss Anglicanorum Coetibus. (He is one of the senior men in Anglican/Roman Catholic conversations in Southern Africa and is himself a convert from Anglicanism). I did this precisely because of the amount of speculation that was flying around as to the implementation of the document Anglicanorum Coetibus. It is not a document open to interpretation. It is what it is.

It was made very clear from the outset that there would be no Ordinariate in Southern Africa, and that the only route open to those wishing to join the Roman Catholic Church would be that of individual conversion, requiring, and I quote, “…in some cases going back to Baptism…” I had not expected to hear anything different, having actually read Anglicanorum Coetibus.”

Bishop Gill said there was nothing uncharitable in the discussion with the archbishop, “it was simply the facts, honestly put, according to the document. I have reported on this meeting to my Diocesan Standing Committee. The matter will be raised when we next have a Synod. I think that puts ournot applying’ for an Ordinariate in perspective?

“That the Anglican Church in America has called on Archbishop John Hepworth to resign is the opinion of their Bishops and clergy meeting in their Synod. I do appreciate the pastoral tone of what could have been a far more hostile statement, but it does need to be said that Archbishop Hepworth has been making retire/resign noises for the past three years, citing a variety of reasons.

“Archbishop John Hepworth has exposed some of his deeper thoughts on Anglicanism in recent interviews and these are indeed cause for concern, as he has publically declared the Roman Church as his first love and alluded that his commitment to Anglicanism was never wholehearted. He is, sadly, no longer supplying any spiritual leadership to his Bishops or the people of the TAC, and the silence from the Office of the Primate has been deafening. Many of us have had almost no indication of life from that quarter for the past three years, let alone leadership. To resign or retire will have to be his decision, although I doubt it should be a difficult one, given his current circumstances. What is abundantly clear is that the time for new vision and drive in the Traditional Anglican Communion has come.”


To the above, I would simply like to add that ‘individual conversion’ has always been ‘open’ to anyone (and for Clergy, specifically under something similar to the pastoral provision made for former Episcopalians in the United States). It is well known that there are former Anglican Clergy who have become married Catholic priests outside of an Ordinariate and minister in Roman Catholic parishes. But the hope in this instance really was always for some kind of corporate unity.

What is however abundantly clear is that the Traditional Anglican Communion is a divided Communion globally, split and stumbling over the Ordinariate, with Bishops openly at odds with one another; which is, I suppose, befitting  those Churches born of the Reformation. And if there is no unity within such a Church, how could there ever be unity with the Church that stands as the visible, historical, One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church apart from ‘individual conversion’? To date, not one Clergyman from the Traditional Anglican Communion (in the world) has been accepted into an Ordinariate. And with the Primate (John Hepworth) now embroiled in a repulsive and embarrassing sex scandal, one doubts that there will soon be, leaving ‘individual conversion’ indeed, as the only way home to Rome.

That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

– St John 17:21

But he who is joined to the Lord, is one spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:17

UPDATE:   African Bishop Michael Gill joins John Hepworth resignation push here.


Sinead O’Connor Wants Pope Benedict XVI Shot

Clearly, she has lost her mind!

From The Catholic League:


Irish singer Sinead O’Connor is warning Pope Benedict XVI not to come to Ireland, and if he does, she wants him shot. She warned on Twitter there will be a “f***in bloodbath” if the pope visits Ireland.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on her outburst:

Sinead O’Connor has a long history of Catholic bashing, so in one sense her latest foray is not unusual. What’s new, however, is her advocacy of violence. Given her precarious condition, it is not likely she could shoot straight, but her violent appeal may trigger others to act. That is the danger.

O’Connor is not doing well. The cops were recently summoned to her home after she Tweeted about suicide. She needs long-term help. In the meantime, whatever family or friends she has would do well to get her to ramp down her rhetoric and at least pretend to be normal.

I don’t know about Irish law, but …

I understand that this deeply disturbed woman spent some time in a “Magdalen Asylum”.  Weren’t there instances of sexual abuse of children by women religious reported?  I may be wrong.

Fr Z had the above.


Bible Archaeology

Israel Returns Ancient Artefacts to Jordan

The Jordan News Agency reports:

Amman – Jordan has recovered 620 pottery artifacts from Israel that date back to the early bronze age, Acting Director General of the General Antiquities Department Faris Al Hmoud said.

Hmoud added in a press statement today that the artifacts which were lent to a US archaeologist during the sixties of last century were discovered in Bab Al Thira’a area in the southern Jordan Valley by the Antiquities Department.

The archaeological pieces, he said, were taken to the Albright Institute in Jerusalem for examination and scientific analysis but the 1967 war prevented their return to the Kingdom.

Hmoud said the issue was raised by archaeologists during a meeting in the US city of Atlanta, adding contacts were made between the Antiquities Department and the US side until the artifacts were restored last April.

HT:  Dr Jim West



Rowan Atkinson: Church of England Clerics are ‘Smug and Arrogant’

Rowan Atkinson has branded Church of England clerics as “smug” and “arrogant”.

The Telegraph has more:

Speaking in an exclusive interview for The Times, the actor and comedian, who has played many clerics in his career, suggested they deserved to be mocked.

But Christians have reacted angrily to those comments, describing them as “stereotypical” and unjustified.

“I used to think that the vicars that I played or the exaggerated sketches about clerics were unreasonable satires on well meaning individuals,” Mr Atkinson said in the interview.

“But, actually, so many of the clerics that I’ve met, particularly the Church of England clerics, are people of such extraordinary smugness and arrogance and conceitedness who are extraordinarily presumptuous about the significance of their position in society…

The Bishop of Bradford, the Right Rev Nick Baines responded, saying: “We take the hit and I am sorry that this has been Rowan Atkinson’s experience.

“But it takes no account of the thousands of self-sacrificial clergy who don’t fit this stereotype. I would be happy to introduce him to some.”

The Mr Bean star will have surprised many with his comments, having been brought up and Anglican, as well as attending Durham Choristers School.

A spokesman for the Church of England said: The Church of England has a Christian presence and highly valued priests in every community.”

I think that this is really a silly observation. But then again, he is a funny guy, isn’t he?


Bible Archaeology

From the Desert to the Web: Google Bring us the Dead Sea Scrolls Online

On the Google Blog today:

It’s taken 24 centuries, the work of archaeologists, scholars and historians, and the advent of the Internet to make the Dead Sea Scrolls accessible to anyone in the world. Today, as the new year approaches on the Hebrew calendar, we’re celebrating the launch of the Dead Sea Scrolls online; a project of The Israel Museum, Jerusalem powered by Google technology.

Written between the third and first centuries BCE, the Dead Sea Scrolls include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence. In 68 BCE, they were hidden in 11 caves in the Judean desert on the shores of the Dead Sea to protect them from the approaching Roman armies. They weren’t discovered again until 1947, when a Bedouin shepherd threw a rock in a cave and realized something was inside. Since 1965, the scrolls have been on exhibit at the Shrine of the Book at The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Among other topics, the scrolls offer critical insights into life and religion in ancient Jerusalem, including the birth of Christianity.

Now, anyone around the world can view, read and interact with five digitized Dead Sea Scrolls. The high resolution photographs, taken by Ardon Bar-Hama, are up to 1,200 megapixels, almost 200 times more than the average consumer camera, so viewers
can see even the most minute details in the parchment. For example, zoom in on the Temple Scroll to get a feel for the animal skin it’s written on—only one-tenth of a millimeter thick.

You can browse the Great Isaiah Scroll, the most well known scroll and the one that can be found in most home bibles, by chapter and verse. You can also click directly on the Hebrew text and get an English translation. While you’re there, leave a comment for others to see.

The scroll text is also discoverable via web search. If you search for phrases from the scrolls, a link to that text within the scroll viewers on the Dead Sea Scrolls collections site may surface in your search results. For example, search for [Dead Sea Scrolls “In the day of thy planting thou didst make it to grow”], and you may see a link to Chapter 17:Verse 11within the Great Isaiah Scroll.

This partnership with The Israel Museum, Jerusalem is part of our larger effort to bring important cultural and  historical collections online. We are thrilled…

As are we! Read on here.

Check out the Scrolls here.