600 Million – Half of India’s Population – Without Power

As India’s power grid collapses. The Wall Street Journal:

A massive power failure hit India’s north, east and northeast regions Tuesday, forcing offices and factories to shift to emergency generators and raising more questions about the state of infrastructure in Asia’s third-largest economy.

The blackout was even more wide-reaching and severe than the power failure that plunged several states in northern India into darkness Monday.

Some 20 of India’s 28 states were affected Tuesday, and as many as 600 million people – half of India’s population – reportedly impacted. Monday’s blackout, which was caused by a failure of the northern grid, affected eight states with a total population of around 370 million.

Tuesday’s power outage was caused by the failure of the power supply networks in the north, east and northeast regions at 0730 GMT, according to the National Load Despatch Center, a unit of Power Grid Corpof India Ltd. It added that work is on to restore the grid.

Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde also said that efforts are being taken to resume supply as soon as possible, especially to essential services.

The electricity failure resulted in a widespread breakdown of transport and other services. A spokesman for the Northern Railways and Eastern Railways said about 200 trains were stopped in their tracks.

Metro rail services in New Delhi and its suburbs were halted as well, a spokesman for the Delhi Metro Rail Corp. said.

At Delhi’s international airport, diesel generators were switched on quickly to ensure services were not interrupted.

Arup Roy Choudhury, chairman of NTPC Ltd., India’s largest power generator by capacity, said the company’s coal-based power plants have stopped operating.

“We are expediting [the process of restarting the plants and will supply] first to the railways within the next one hour,” Mr. Choudhury said.

The government has already announced the appointment of a three-member panel to study the causes of Monday’s power failure. The committee will submit its report in 15 days’ time.


Bible Archaeology

Seal Depicting Samson Discovered?

A small stone seal found during the recent excavations at  Tel Beit Shemesh could (!) be the first archaeological evidence of the story of the Biblical Samson.

Bible Places:

Some scholars are suggesting that the depiction on a seal found in the Sorek Valley shows the biblical hero Samson subduing a lion. From Haaretz:

A small stone seal found recently in the excavations of Tel Beit Shemesh could be the first archaeological evidence of the story of the biblical Samson.

The seal, measuring 1.5 centimeters, depicts a large animal next to a human figure. The seal was found in a level of excavation that dates to the 11th century B.C.E. That was prior to the establishment of the Judean kingdom and is considered to be the period of the biblical judges – including Samson. Scholars say the scene shown on the artifact recalls the story in Judges of Samson fighting a lion.

But excavation directors Prof. Shlomo Bunimovitz and Dr. Zvi Lederman of Tel Aviv University say they do not suggest that the human figure on the seal is the biblical Samson. Rather, the geographical proximity to the area where Samson lived, and the time period of the seal, show that a story was being told at the time of a hero who fought a lion, and that the story eventually found its way into the biblical text and onto the seal.

The story continues and explains some of the geographical connections. This discovery reminds me that while Samson’s life largely centers in the Sorek Valley, the most prominent city of that valley is never mentioned in the narrative (Judges 13-16). If the interpretation of this seal is correct, the people of Beth Shemesh remembered their local hero with some pride.

A high-resolution photo of the seal by Raz Lederman is available here.



Church of the Incarnation (ACA/TAC) to be Received into the Ordinariate

The announcement has just been made on The Anglo-Catholic:

It is my great honour and privilege to be able to announce, on behalf of the parish, that the Church of the Incarnation (formerly Cathedral of the Diocese of the Eastern United States, ACA/TAC) is to be received into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter on 16 September 2012.

This announcement is especially poignant for me as I served as Rector’s Warden of the parish at the time of the publication of the Apostolic Constitution and I led the process by which the Chapter and full membership of the Cathedral parish accepted the Holy Father’s most generous offer of full communion by means of Anglicanorum coetibus.

Since my confirmation into the Anglican Use of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, I have necessarily been out of full communion with my parish family. I am overjoyed that this separation is soon to come to an end.

I also thank God for the visionary leadership of Bishop Campese and Fr. William “Doc” Holiday (also a Contributor here on The Anglo-Catholic). Without their devotion and sacrificial ministries to the parish, this great goal could not have been achieved.

* * *

31 July 2012

Commemoration of St. Ignatius of Loyola

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Laudetur Iesus Christus!

As I have always told you, when I had some information concerning our reception into the Catholic Church, I would share it with you all straightaway. Finally, after nearly three years of prayer and preparation in the parish – with the seemingly interminable waiting, sometimes with anxiety and even anguish – I have some very important news to share with you all. Please indulge me as I make several observations as a preface to the joyous news to follow.

Firstly, I would like to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Through these months turned to years, you have been faithful in your prayer and your commitment to the vision of a fully Catholic Church of the Incarnation. No doubt, at times, many of you have felt as the Israelites wandering the desert wilderness.

Many of us also recognize that our journeying caravan has been continuously harried and harassed by the Devil and his unrelenting hosts. Navigating our way out of the shambles of the Continuing Church and gathering up the crumbs with the Pro-Diocese of the Holy Family, we have paid a heavy price. The Evil One has pitted brother against brother, demoralized both clergy and laity alike, and caused many to fall away from our mission – that same mission given to us by Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and recounted in the Seventeenth Chapter of the Gospel of St. John.

Now for the news! The congregation of the Church of the Incarnation is to be received into the full communion of the Catholic Church on the Sixteenth Day of September, a Sunday. There will be only one Mass at Ten Fifteen o’ clock that morning. As this reception entails both corporate and individual aspects, it is imperative that you keep this date. The Mass will be the setting for your entrance into communion with the Holy See and your enrollment into the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. We must have you there on this occasion of what will surely be profound joy!

As we are still working out the specifics, I have few details to share as this time, but I can say that Monsignor Jeffrey Steenson, Ordinary, will preside over the Celebration. His Excellency John Noonan, Bishop of Orlando, and a tremendous and invaluable resource and advocate for our cause, will also be in attendance. I have also invited the membership of some of our smaller missions to join us as well.

* * *

Now an update on the circumstances of our individual clerics:

Bishop Campese:

As you all know, my goal from the very beginning has been to lead the people under my care to a safe harbor in the Catholic Church. Above all, this is what matters to me. I am still discussing future options with my counterparts in the Catholic Church. At the moment, neither the Personal Ordinariate nor I have made any decision with respect to my personal future. Anyway, this is not about me. As many of you are aware, I recently turned 78 years of age. So far, the Good Lord has provided me with good health, but I have a number of considerations about which to think. Regardless of what clerical role I may play in the future of the Church of the Incarnation, I will remain here until I die. This is my parish, and I will serve it and Holy Church in whatever way God calls me to do, just as I have striven to do from the very beginning of my ministry in His Church.

Fr. William “Doc” Holiday:

Fr. Doc has received a nulla osta from Rome. This letter means that there is no canonical bar to his ordination in the Catholic Church. We do not yet know when he will be ordained deacon and priest; we are working out the details presently.

Fr. Scott Whitmore:

Fr. Scott has attached a personal letter with regard to his life decisions at this time. But do not worry, Fr. Scott is not going anywhere; he will remain in our parish family.

Fr. Jason McCrimmon:

We have been greatly blessed to have Father McCrimmon and his beautiful family as a vital part of our parish life for many years now. Father Jason is pursuing his ministry as a Military Chaplain and it has been an arduous journey for him, especially hard as he has also given sacrificially, ministering to our church family.

I am sorry to have to report that Father Jason will be leaving us soon, to continue the ministry to which he believes he has been called. He will preach his last sermon on the Fifth Day of August, and I hope that you will be in attendance to support him. The United States Navy will be getting an excellent chaplain.

* * *

Finally, I wish to entrust this last leg of our race toward Catholic Unity in a most special way to the Great Mother of God, Mary most Holy. I know that she has guided our way closer to Her Divine Son thus far; she will not abandon us now. May all the Angels and Saints of heaven watch over us these next several weeks.

In Dno,

Bishop Campese

The Church’s website is here:


On Msgr Jeffery Steenson and The Anglo-Catholic

Writes Deborah Gyapong on her own blog:

it is time for me to take another hiaitus from the Anglo-Catholic blog as the moderator seems to be taking an editorial stance that makes me uncomfortable.

Our experience of Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson in Canada has been good so I want to distance myself from that stance. He is also my Ordinary and thus issues of loyalty also apply. That doesn’t mean I will never be critical of something he may say or do but that I will do my best to be fair and not to pre-judge things know nothing about. I do not know enough about the American situation to comment further except to say I pray for the success of the Ordinariates and for wisdom and discernment from God for Msgr. Steenson.

And I for one am glad she has distanced herself from that blog. It is so filled with disillusionment and slandermongering.

I mean, just look at the damage Christian Clay Columba Campbell has actually caused now that Fr Z picked up on his malicious post  (and of late, over at the opinionated Rorate Caeli too). Some of the comments there are simply horrible. 

However a comment by Ignatius (over at Fr Z’s) seemed to put it all into perspective for me:

Mr. Campbell has a history of posting unsubstantiated allegations against Fr. Steenson and the US Ordinariate in The Anglo Catholic site. At least one of those, announcing the utter failure (!?) of the Ordinariate have been deleted from the site. Therefore, I do not consider him personally a trustworthy source on issues regarding Fr. Steenson. There seem to be some personal issues at play there.

So do please go and support Deborah as she takes a stand for the good, by following her edifying blog: Foolishness to the world.  



The Liturgy of the Ordinariate and the Latin Mass

In response to certain questions that have been asked about the use of the Latin Mass in its Extraordinary Form in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Monsignor Jeffrey N. Steenson, Ordinary, issued this statement:

“We rejoice in the liturgical richness of the Catholic Church. We in the Anglican tradition certainly welcome the Holy Father’s concern that the Mass be understood as a living, continuous tradition. The communio sanctorum compels us to read and engage with the Church’s tradition with a hermeneutic of continuity.

“The particular mission of the Ordinariate is to bring into the fuller life of the Catholic Church those enduring elements of the Anglican liturgical patrimony which are oriented to Catholic truth. This liturgical identity seeks to balance two historic principles — that Christian prayer and proclamation should be offered in the vernacular and that the language of worship should be sacral. This is what Anglicans understand when they speak of the prayer book tradition.

“The liturgy of the Ordinariate is superintended by an inter-dicasterial working group (of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW)). At the time the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter was established, the CDW provided important guidance for our liturgical use: The Book of Divine Worship Rite I should be amended to bring it into conformity with the Roman Missal 3rd edition, particularly the words of Consecration. For those congregations that prefer a contemporary idiom, the Roman Missal 3rd edition could be used.

“We have therefore asked that the congregations of the Ordinariate follow this direction. Some of our clergy want to learn also how to celebrate according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. They are certainly encouraged to do so, under the provisions of Summorum Pontificum and under the supervision of the local bishop, to assist in those stable communities that use the Extraordinary Form. But as the Extrordinary Form is not integral to the Anglican patrimony, it is not properly used in our communities. The Ordinariate will remain focused on bringing Christians in the Anglican tradition into full communion with the Catholic Church. We also are pleased that the Church has provided for the continuing use of the Extraordinary Form, particularly as a pastoral response to traditional Catholics, and regard all of this as a well-ordered symphony of praise to the Blessed Trinity.”




Three Ages of the Interior Life in Relation to the Jewish Temple

Dr Taylor Marshall:

The great saints and masters of the mystical life in the Catholic tradition often speak of the three ages of the spiritual life. These stages correspond to the three areas of Solomon’s Temple:

1) Purgative (outer court)
2) Illuminative (holy place)
3) Unitive (holy of holies)

1) The purgative way is when a Christian truly examines his life and seeks to root out sin and seek personal sanctity. This entails frequenting the sacraments (especially Holy Communion and Penance), beginning a life of penance and charitable deeds, a growing hatred for venial sins, a love for Scripture (particularly the Psalms), an awareness of predominant faults, a purification of the intellect and will.

2) The illuminative way begins with a “dark night of the senses” (not the dark night of the soul), which leads to a passive purification of the senses. This journey includes a growth in the virtues, particularly the virtues of humility and charity. The soul has great confidence and hope in God. True devotion to Mary develops. Infused prayer begins.

3) The unitive way is the stage of Christian perfection and begins with the dark night of the soul. The soul now willingly suffers for God and loves God in all circumstances. The soul delights in spiritual childhood and simplicity as we see in St Therese and other great saints. These souls practice heroic virtue, which are the kind of virtues that we find in the canonized saints. Those in the unitive way accept divine abandonment and love Christ crucified. They practice reparation for the sins of others that wound Christ. They experience mystical union and other mysteries that cannot be explained.

These three ages of the mystical life are found in Solomon’s temple.

1) The stage of purification is the outer court where the altar of fire is found and also the basin for cleansing. Here, water and fire purify those who approach the temple of God’s presence.

2) The stage of illumination is the holy place within the Temple were the hallowed lamp stands giving light. Also present there is the altar of incense representing true and fruitful mental prayer and infused prayer. There is found the bread of presence which signifies a love for the Eucharist.

3) The stage of union is the holy of holies which is dark, black cubic room cut off from the eyes of most men. There is the ark of the covenant and the propitiatory. Here is the presence of God. Here is divine intimacy.

As Catholics, we should seek to be near to God. The old temple gives a simple plan. Begin with years of purification. Prayer. Penance. Daily examination of conscience.

PS: According to Saint Isidore and Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, a priest must be in the unitive way before he should allow himself to be consecrated as a bishop. Also a man must first be in the illuminative way before being ordained a priest. You will find similar things said by the Saint Denys the Areopagite.