Archive for December 5th, 2012
The Grinch Atheist who stole Christmas.
Via Fox News:
A Little Rock church has cancelled a student matinee performance of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” after critics complained the show was too religious and therefore violated the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
“It is not our desire to put hard-working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harm’s way,” said Happy Caldwell, pastor of Agape Church, in a statement to Fox News. “While we regret the loss of students who will not get this particular opportunity right now, we have taken the school matinees off the table.”
The cancellation came as the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers told television station KATV they had received legal advice on pursuing a possible lawsuit against the Little Rock School District.
“We’re not waging a war,” said LeeWood Thomas, a spokesman for the group. “We’re basically calling a foul against the separation of church and state.”
A spokesperson for the school district told Fox News they had absolutely nothing to do with the cancellation of the performance. They said they had consulted with their legal team and determined the field trip was appropriate.
An interesting BBC podcasts:
It was once the case that Brazilians worshipped as one in the thousands of Catholic churches spread around this vast country. But a religious revolution is taking place, and a new dynamic form of charismatic Evangelical Christianity is taking over.
A quarter of Brazilians now worship in Evangelical churches, many of them practicing the Prosperity gospel which promises them happiness and fulfilment in return for a proportion of their wealth. And its wealth, along with power and influence, which the Catholic Church previously claimed as its own, is the result of this increased membership. Paulo Cabral investigates why Brazilians are turning from the Catholicism which has had a presence in Brazil for over 500 years, and how the charismatic churches have become so popular changing the way many Brazilians in some of the poorest areas of the country profess their faith and accumulating this vast wealth and political power along the way.
Give it a listen here (Mp3).
It is with great sadness that we report that His Beatitude Ignatius IV (1920-2012), Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, fell asleep in the Lord today, December 5th, 2012, at St. George Orthodox Hospital in Beirut Lebanon, after having suffered a stroke earlier this week. There are no details yet available regarding services or the funeral, but these will be announced as soon as they are known.
We ask the Lord to grant rest to the soul of His servant Patriarch Ignatius IV – May His Memory be Eternal!
[Please don’t bite my head off again Deborah, these are just my simple observations.]
I read, with interest, a report by former ACCC priest [Fr] Michael Birch on the recent gathering in Houston as part of the formation program of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St Peter, that was posted by Deborah Gyapong on her blog, Foolishness to the World. Today, she has:
By Susan Gibbs, who handles communications for the Ordinariate.
The reason is possible sensitivities regarding individuals who attended the formation weekend who may be at different stages in the process.
I am happy to oblige as it is not my intention to spook anyone or get them in trouble with their present ecclesial superiors.
I hope my readers who have reposted my Houston posts will consider the sensitivities.
Wanting to join the Ordinariate has always be fraught with danger. One tends to run the very real risk of incurring the wrath of your current denomination (for lack of a better word). Compounding that risk is the possibility of being turned-down by the Catholic authorities that be. Look no further than the devastating consequences that a Catholic ‘no’ held, for example, say, Archbishop John Hepworth and Bishop David Moyer, who simply overplayed their hands!
Is this right? Is it right to be clandestine in your aspirations? Well, it may not be right, but it would certainly appear to be occupationally necessary, very necessary – in order to save your ecclesiastical hide, that is. Few and far between are the Churches who would wish their brethren wanting to leave any love or support. Even fewer (are there any?) are those who would welcome back stragglers, men who Holy Church measured, and found wanting in places. This is sad, I mean, for Christians… Actually, quite an indictment…
There were apparently some 69 candidates at the meeting in Houston, from throughout the United States and Canada, who are applying to become Catholic priests for the Ordinariate.