Who Were the Magi?

Fr Christopher Phillips is helpful here:

Who were the Magi?  They were the first Gentiles to believe in Christ, and were guided by a mysterious star which led them from the East to the village of Bethlehem, where they found the Infant Jesus.  They are called “sages” or “wise men” in the New Testament, but the idea that they were kings first appears in Christian tradition in the writings of Tertullian, who called them “fere regis,” or “almost kings.”  This became generally accepted by the sixth century, because of the implication of Psalm 72, which speaks of the kings of Tarshish, Arabia, and Saba, “who shall bring presents.”  The New Testament says nothing of how many there were, although the traditional number of three was first ascribed by Origen, based upon the gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Their names (Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar) are first mentioned in the sixth century, and are also included in the writings of the Venerable Bede.  In the Middle Ages the Magi were venerated as saints, and their relics are enshrined in the cathedral in Cologne.

But what do the Magi teach us?  Surely, the overwhelming lesson is the absolute importance of complete and utter adoration.  These three had travelled great distances, and risked both physical danger and the wrath of Herod himself, just to kneel before the Incarnate Word of God.  All we need to do is to go to the nearest Catholic Church, where the same Christ waits for us in the tabernacle.  O come, let us adore Him: Christ the Lord.



Press Statement: South Carolina Files Suit Against the Episcopal Church

Press Statement from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina:

One of America’s Oldest Dioceses Files Lawsuit to Prevent The Episcopal Church from Seizing Local Parishes and ‘Hijacking’ their Identities Lawsuit filed to defend more than $500 million in property from ‘blatant land grab’ as TEC seeks control of Diocesan holdings and parishes.

“Like our colonial forefathers, we are pursuing the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, not as it is  dictated to us by a self-proclaimed religious authority who threatens to take our property unless we relinquish our beliefs.” Bishop Mark Lawrence

St. George, SC, January 4, 2013–The Diocese of South Carolina, the Trustees of the Diocese and congregations representing the vast majority of its baptized members today filed suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against The Episcopal Church to protect the Diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.

The suit also asks the court to prevent The Episcopal Church from infringing on the protected marks of the Diocese, including its seal and its historical names, and to prevent the church from assuming the Diocese’s identity, which was established long before The Episcopal Church’s creation. We seek to protect more than $500 million in real property, including churches, rectories and other buildings that South Carolinians built, paid for, maintained and expanded – and in some cases died to protect – without any support from The Episcopal Church,” said the Rev. Jim Lewis, Canon to the Ordinary.

“Many of our parishes are among the oldest operating churches in the nation.  They and this Diocese predate the establishment of The Episcopal Church. We want to protect these properties from a blatant land grab.” The Diocese of South Carolina was established in 1785 as an independent, voluntary association that grew from the missionary work of the Church of England. It was one of nine dioceses that voluntarily joined together to form The Episcopal Church in October 1789, which eventually became an American province in the worldwide Anglican Communion, also a voluntary association. When the Diocese disassociated from The Episcopal Church we didn’t become a new entity,” Canon Lewis explained…

Read more.

Also, for those interested:

A Message to Clergy in the Diocese of South Carolina Regarding the Declaratory Judgment

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

By now you are aware that today the Diocese of South Carolina, the Trustees of the Diocese and congregations representing the vast majority of its baptized members filed suit in South Carolina Circuit Court against The Episcopal Church to protect the Diocese’s real and personal property and that of its parishes.

We have developed a number of background resources you may find helpful in explaining this situation to your parish. These items include:

A letter from Bishop Lawrence – in the form of a bulletin insert

Stewardship of the Gospel – Stewardship of the Diocese (a theological reflection)

A Media Release

List of Plaintiffs Participating

Glossary of Terms

Timeline of Events

Letters of Support/Articles of Interest

These may all be found here.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me.

In Christ’s service,
–(The Rev. Canon) Jim Lewis is Canon to the Ordinary of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina


Priests in Same-sex Relationships May Become Anglican Bishops

Well, there you have it:

(CNN) – Men in a civil union will now be allowed to become bishops in the Church of England, but they are not allowed to have sex.

Intercourse between two men – or two women – remains a sin.

“Homosexual genital acts fall short of the Christian ideal and are to be met with a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion,” according to Anglican doctrine.

Men and women in same-sex unions were already allowed to serve as priests in the Church of England, but there was a moratorium on advancement to the episcopate – becoming a bishop – while the church considered the issue.

The church announced Friday that if men in celibate civil unions may be priests, then there is no reason for them not to be bishops, as long as they are “living in accordance with the teaching of the Church on human sexuality.”

Rest here.

In other words, the ban on gay male clergy who live with their partners from becoming bishops has been lifted and that with some the flimsy conditions.