Prayer Toward the Unknown

O Lord, You who steadied the hand of Peter as he began to sink on the stormy sea, if you are with me, no one is against me. Grant to me the shield of faith and the mighty armor of the Holy Spirit to protect me and guide me to do Your will. The future I put into Your hands, O Lord, and I follow You to a life in Christ. Amen.



Bringing Soldiers ‘a Sense of Hope of the Resurrection’

How can soldiers deal with grief and loss in a time of war, yet still hold fast to their faith?   That’s a subject a Catholic bishop addressed in a recent interview:

The role of military chaplain is a challenging one, providing spiritual care, a sympathetic ear or simple words of comfort for those serving in situations of combat in countries around the world. Although military chaplains are highly valued and still much in demand, there is now a severe shortage of priests willing to take on this demanding task – that’s according to the Catholic Bishop of the Forces in Great Britain, Richard Moth, who recently appealed for prayers for new vocations to the military chaplaincy.

As he prepares to mark the silver jubilee of the military ordinariate in Britain on September 29th, Bishop Moth talked to Vatican Radio’s Philippa Hitchen about this unique form of ministry and the many difficulties facing those who share their faith on the front lines….

“We are (experiencing shortages) in all three services, particular in the Royal Air Force …I’ve a very real sense that military chaplaincy is a ‘vocation within a vocation’….

It’s not at all an easy task….we have chaplains ‘in theatre’ in Afghanistan and with the Royal Navy particularly in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean, piracy operations off the African coast….

They are hugely valued by personnel and families: even if you might have service personnel who don’t have great faith themselves, they really recognise the value of the chaplain and the support they give, somebody outside the chain of command to whom they can go with their problems, somebody who’ll pray with them and be with them in those difficult moments and really bring them a sense of hope of the Resurrection…..”

Check out the audio of the complete interview.  




Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (TAC) Ad Clerum

[In via e-mail.]

Ad Clerum

16th July 2012


The Vicar General & Administrator

The Very Reverend Owen Buckton FSSM

Dear Fathers

Thanks be to God, we continue to move forward toward stability for the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and I would like to thank you for your loyalty to all we have built upon when we gathered and worked harmoniously and honourably with our First Bishop Albert Haley, continuing the patrimony of our much loved Anglican expression of the Catholic Faith through the ACCA. You will be aware that we are in damage control, and much work remains to be done to restore real confidence and regain the respect that was partially lost… I ask your prayers and your continuing support over the coming months.

The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC)

I have personally been very grateful over the past few months for the support and encouragement of Acting Primate Archbishop Prakash and Bishop Gill, who are honourable and holy men who uphold us in their prayers. Further, we are constitutionally bound to the TAC, according to the provisions of clause 3.4(a) of our Constitution:

This Church is and shall remain in communion with all Churches admitted to the Traditional Anglican Communion under the terms of the Concordat as amended at the meeting of the College of Bishops of the Traditional Anglican Communion on August 27, 1992, so long as such communion is consistent with the Fundamental Declarations set forth in this Constitution.

Further, clause 10 of the Constitution provides that clause 3 may only be amended by a special canon of National Synod ratified by each of the State synods. Therefore, until we have virtually unanimous agreement around Australia, we are effectively stuck in the TAC—and I’m grateful to God that we are…


As we move from damage control mode to ‘open for business’ and ‘rebuilding’, it is necessary to announce appointments to positions made necessary by the Constitution for the good governance of the church. These appointments are made on an interim basis until such time as Synod has had the opportunity to discuss management in the long term.

Clause 7.5 of the Constitution provides:

There shall be a Registrar of the Diocese (who may be a clergyman or lay person) who shall be custodian of those documents of the Church which merit permanent preservation.

Since ‘shall’ has the same meaning as ‘must’, we need a Registrar, and I am delighted to announce the appointment, or, should I say, re-appointment of Fr Graeme Mitchell FSSM, who is, I expect, well known to you all. I have charged him with looking into the issue of your registration as marriage celebrants…

Fr Graeme is also something of a technological whiz, and in that capacity is reactivating the ‘OzTAC’ Yahoo Group, which you and your Synod lay representatives should all join…

Clause 7.3 of the Constitution provides:

There shall be a Chancellor of the Diocese, who shall be a solicitor or barrister admitted to practise by the Supreme Court of a State or Territory of Australia, or a graduate in law from a recognised University. The Chancellor shall be appointed and may be dismissed by the Bishop unless by canon the National Synod determines otherwise.

Accordingly, I announce the appointment as Chancellor of Dr Sandra McColl, BMus (Hons), LLB (Hons), MA, PhD (Melb), MLitt (Oxf), Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the High Court of Australia, who practises as a solicitor with an old firm in central Melbourne. Sandra is also a Member of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Australia, and counts among her friends in professional circles liquidators and forensic accountants. I do hope you will get to know Sandra and her unique sense of humour in the OzTAC group or by email on

I for one don’t envy her lot, spending her business hours with lawyers and liquidators and her after hours among clergy. I do therefore ask you to uphold her in your prayers.

Clause 7.4 provides:

In the event of both the Bishop and the Vicar-General being absent from the Diocese for a period exceeding one month or of both the Bishop and the Vicar-General being unable through illness or other serious disability or incapacity to act, the Chancellor shall assume the management of the Diocese pro tem, and may appoint a priest as Acting Vicar-General who shall share with him responsibility for taking whatever measures may be necessary to maintain the good order and continuity of the life of this Church…

We need to hold a National Synod in order to discuss and formalise issues including those raised in this letter, and to make provision for future, long-term management by those who do not plan to join the Ordinariate…

Further, this Ad Clerum is not confidential and I encourage you to share it with your congregation and especially your wardens and Synod representative.


I hope that the revival of the OzTAC Group will promote communication throughout the diocese…

It is also my sincere prayer that those who have left us over the past few years may seek to rejoin us in order to assist in the rebuilding process and to co-operate in doing the Lord’s work among the people of Australia. There are many souls in this country hungry for the knowledge of God without knowing it, and for those of you who are truly lovers of souls there is a large harvest to be reaped if only we can turn our focus from our recent difficulties back to our God-given purpose.

I want you to know these have been long and difficult times for both Bishop David Robarts and myself as Administrator of our diocese as well as for the Acting Primate of the TAC, Archbishop Samuel Prakash, and Secretary to the College of Bishops, Bishop Michael Gill, and indeed for the College of Bishops of the TAC.

Your prayers and those of the faithful throughout the whole TAC have sustained us.

May Our Blessed Lord keep you in His tender love.

Father Owen Buckton FSSM

Vicar General and Administrator.

Best wishes and prayers to them as they embark on the rebuilding process ‘down-under’. And a special congratulations to Sandra, a long-time commenter on this blog, and a lady who likes to keep me on my blogging toes!



Fr Jurgen Liias and the Anglican Ordinariate

Summary of today’s show: In January 2012, Pope Benedict XVI created an ordinariate for North America as a way to welcome former Anglicans, their priests, and their parishes into communion with the Catholic Church. On the North Shore of Massachusetts, a group of former Episcopalians is preparing to do just that with their priest, Fr. Jurgen Liias. Scot Landry talks with Fr. Liias and Fr. David Barnes, pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly, about Fr. Liias’ spiritual journey and what the new ordinariate means for resolving the rift in Christianity caused by the Protestant Reformation and Henry VIII.

Listen (mp3) here or download it here.

Fr Jurgen Liias has a blog here.



Are the Gospels Historical?

Fr Dwight Longenecker writes:

Anyone who wishes to engage in a thoughtful and intelligent exploration of the Christian faith will have to ask whether the gospels are historically reliable. Can we believe that the stories in the gospels are a true and accurate account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth?

In answering this question the first thing to understand is what kind of documents the gospels are. To do this we have to first say what they are not. The gospels are not factual news reports. They are not a bald list of events and eyewitness testimony as might be compiled, say, in a police report: “Just the facts ma’am.” They are not typical biography or the work of a professional historian. Neither are the gospels academic historical documents which are cross referenced with multiple documentary, archeological and anecdotal evidence. They don’t pretend to be this kind of document, so it is ridiculous to blame them for not being so.

The gospels are actually totally unique documents. They are recorded accounts of personal experiences of multiple individuals from within a faith community. They are the written record of the stories told and sermons preached by the immediate followers of Jesus Christ about his life, teaching and death. They were recorded by the faith community that followed the teaching of Jesus and his disciples.

They differ in this respect, not only from every other type of historical document, but also from every other type of religious document. The Book of Mormon and the Koran purport to be dictated by an angel to the founder of the religion. Virtually every other book-based religion bases their religion on a book written by its founder. Jesus Christ never wrote a word. He didn’t leave a book with his teachings. Why this is important will become clear momentarily.

Read more.



Anglican Priest Joins Atheists Calling for End to Bible Study in School

In New Zealand:

Rev. Clay Nelson wants to put a stop to Bible study in schools because it violates the students’ human right to “freedom of religion”.

From here:

An Anglican leader is urging state schools to ditch the Bible in Schools programme as he believes it is trying to create a loophole around the New Zealand Bill of Rights.

St Matthew in the City Reverend Clay Nelson has joined the atheist run-Secular Education Network in a bid to get the religious education programme out of the country’s primary and secondary schools.

Nelson said the programme is an imposition on the human rights of children as it restricts the freedom of other religions which is protected under the Bill of Rights.

“The biggest reason is the issue of human rights,” Nelson told TV ONE’s Breakfast.

“We believe in freedom of religion and to have Bibles in public schools is in an imposition on the religious freedom of others. To have religious freedom you have to have freedom from the religion of others.”

In the video below Clay declares that he is a “non-theist”, doesn’t believe in the divinity of Jesus and doesn’t believe any of the historic creeds; his faith, he says, thrives on “uncertainty”.

Oddly enough, he still insists on calling himself a Christian; nevertheless, as Kierkegaard pointed out, it doesn’t matter how many times you call a cow a horse – it remains a cow.

See, it’s next to impossible to remain, in good conscience, an Anglican. Pretty soon, it’ll be like saying you’re a non-Christian: One and the same thing.