Church

President Vladimir Putin at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

During the night of June 26, 2012, while on a working visit to Israel, President Vladimir Putin visited the Church of the Lord’s Sepulchre. At the church entrance, the head of the Russian State was welcomed by His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of the Holy City of Jerusalem and All Palestine, together with members of the Brotherhood of the Holy Sepulchre. Among the welcoming party were also Archbishop Mark of Yegoryevsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s office for institutions abroad, Archimandrite Isidore (Minaev), head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, as well as his deputy, Hegumen Feofan (Lukyanov) and secretary of the Mission, Hieromonk Anthony (Gutnik).

Entering the church, Vladimir Putting kneeled at the Stone of the Anointing. It was at this place that Righteous Joseph and Nicodim laid the lifeless body of Jesus after taking Him down from the Cross and anointed Him with incense and wrapped Him in the Shroud.

After that the president was taken to the Kuviklia, the chapel erected at the place of the three days-long burial of the Saviour. Then Mr. Putin ascended Golgotha, the place where the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified and after that descended to the cave in which St. Helen Equal-to-the-Apostles found Christ’s Life-Giving Cross.

President Putin presented Patriarch Theophilos with an icon of the Saviour.

In the morning of June 26, Mr. Putin came to the Church of the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem, a Byzantine basilica with the 5th century mosaics built over the cave in which Jesus Christ was born.

In the church the head of the Russian State was welcomed by Archbishop Theophylactos of Jordan (Patriarchate of Jerusalem), who told him the story of the basilica.

Then Mr. Putin was presented with a token, a copy of the Star of Bethlehem executed by Palestinian masters. The president lighted a candle at the place where Christ was born.

Source (and more).

 

Church

A Priest to Pray Against this Plague of Plagues?

From Stand Firm:

Reading and praying this morning, I was arrested by the lesson from Numbers 16:

…and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Get away from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces. Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, put fire on it from the altar and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them. For wrath has gone out from the LORD; the plague has begun.” So Aaron took it as Moses had ordered, and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague had already begun among the people. He put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped. (vv. 44-48)

Aaron reminds us that Jesus is our High Priest, standing between us and the judgment our race goes out of its way to merit.  Incense represents a pleasing offering to God, and only the perfect offering of Christ on the cross can make up for the way we live life on our own terms rather than as an offering to our Creator.  Incense also symbolizes prayer, and Jesus is the High Priest who “…is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”  (Hebrews 7:25 ESV)

After offering the morning “Suffrages” (a short litany for the church and the world), I found myself praying them again later, with that picture of Christ standing between those who will draw near to God through him and the many plagues that are upon us in this fallen world.  I prayed something like this:

Show us your mercy, O Lord;  And grant us your salvation. Jesus, stand betwen our self-centered, sin-enthralled race and the judgment we deserve.

Clothe your ministers with righteousness; Let your people sing with joy. Jesus, stand between all the flaws and falsehood in our churches and the rejection we deserve.

Give peace, O Lord, in all the world; For only in you can we live in safety. Jesus, stand between our corruption of your creation and the disasters that afflict us through it.

Lord, keep this nation under your care; And guide us in the way of justice and truth. Jesus, stand between this abundantly blessed yet ungrateful nation and the calamity we risk.

Let your way be known upon earth; Your saving health among all nations. Jesus, stand between misguided peoples and the spiritual forces that deceive them.

Let not the needy, O Lord, be forgotten; Nor the hope of the poor be taken away. Jesus, stand between suffering people and the despair that can engulf them.

Create in us clean hearts, O God; And sustain us with your Holy Spirit. Jesus, stand between our flesh and the “second death” it courts.

Churches fret and strive about so much – too much, really.  If we neglect the proclamation of the true High Priest, the only one who can stand in mercy between humanity and unsparing divine justice, we are truly disposable.  Plague infested, toxic waste.

May we be thankful that he lives and stands in prayer for us.

 HT

 

Church

Ordinariate Returns £1m Grant to Charity after Ruling

Oh dear.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has returned a £1 million grant to an Anglo-Catholic charity after the Charity Commission ruled that it was invalid.

The Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, founded in 1862, gave the money a year ago to ensure that the ordinariate’s priests would not be left penniless. It represented almost half of the charity’s assets.

The Charity Commission, however, said the grant was invalid because most of the trustees who agreed to it had a “personal financial interest” in it. Five out of six of its trustees had already been ordained as priests in the ordinariate.

The commission also ruled that there was “substantial doubt” over whether use of the money would be consistent with the charity’s objects – ”the advancement of the Catholic faith in the Anglican tradition”.

The ruling contradicts the advice lawyers gave to the charity before it approved the grant.

The Charity Commission concluded: “We have been informed that the grant has been returned in full (with interest) by the ordinariate of its own volition.”

The Confraternity has about 120 priest members in England and 1,500 worldwide. It was founded by the Rev T T Carter, a prominent Anglo-Catholic.

UPDATE:   Statement

A grant of funds from the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham has been returned.

The grant was awarded by the Trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament following extensive legal advice in 2011.

Subsequently the grant was challenged and, as the result of an investigation by the Charity Commissioners, the Ordinariate has returned the funds of its own volition.

Until the conclusion of the investigative process undertaken by the Charity Commissioners, the charitable aims of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham precluded the return of the funds.

It is deeply regrettable that this generous benefaction is to be returned, but our sincere hope is that the conclusion of the legal process regarding this grant may now lay this issue to rest.

ENDS

Note: No further comment will be made regarding this statement. For specific enquiries or clarifications, please contact the Communications Officer.

Bible Archaeology

Leeches Invade Sea of Galilee

Sad news this.

From Haaretz:

Leeches have invaded Lake Kinneret’s [the Sea of Galilee’s] shores – for the second time in seven years.

Standing in the water for as little as two minutes will cause your legs to be covered in hundreds of leeches. These particular types are not blood-suckers, making them relatively easy to remove once one is out of the water.

They are found on the lakebed, at depths of 0.5 to one meter, at two spots over the last few days: near the Sapir visitors center and along the western coastline. They live off snails and other invertebrates.

The leeches first overran the shores of the lake seven years ago.

Four types of leeches are known to live in the Kinneret, but they are usually present only in small numbers. This year, however, huge quantities have been detected.

The rest of the story suggests some explanations, including human activity and the rapidly changing water level.

Clouds over Sea of Galilee, tb102904607

Sea of Galilee

Church

Confusion in Australia (ACCA – TAC)

Perhaps someone can help this genuine enquirer?

The Acting Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, according to his most recent Ad Clerum, mentioned a Tribunal to investigate the serious allegations against John Hepworth and/or Cheryl Woodman of financial mismanagement/ irregularities/fraud/theft within the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia. Who are the members of this Tribunal, and what are its findings? Is Peter Slipper involved/implicated – as Chancellor? What is the current status/title/role of these three people in ACCA/TAC?

Authority/responsibility for the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia was given by the Acting Primate to David Robarts and Owen Buckton. What part (if any!) will these men have in the ‘purported’ Synod  next week? Where is to be held?

This is not the first enquiry received in this regard and people are now really wanting to know just what is going on Down Under.