Church

The Photo Of Rev Anne Robertson And Cardinal Sean O’Malley That Sent Shock Waves Through The Internet (And Church)

Not the greatest idea, Cardinal: An ecumenical baptism reaffirmation ritual (whatever that is?!)

Rev. Anne Robertson was the only female clergy member to assist at an ecumenical worship service that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the historic event when Cardinal Richard Cushing spoke at the Methodist church in Sudbury at a time of tension between Catholics and Protestants, reports The Patriot Ledger.

Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley surprised many people when he asked Rev. Robertson, a pastor in the United Methodist Church, to anoint his forehead with consecrated water in an ecumenical baptism reaffirmation ritual at Sudbury United Methodist Church, reports The Patriot Ledger. The spontaneous and genuine gesture moved Robertson almost to tears.  She told The Huffington Post that she is “grateful for those times when people can see across the divide and see our common humanity– and in this case our common faith.”

Robertson wrote about the experience in her personal blog:

Ecumenical gatherings are not always warm, fuzzy events for women of the cloth.  Most of us have experienced many types of exclusion, even within our own congregations, let alone when we try to join with Christian groups that don’t believe women are fit for ordination.  And in this group there might well be those who wouldn’t have wanted such a blessing from any Protestant, even a male one.  I was deep in thought as I received my bowl.Our exit toward the overflow room took us directly past Cardinal O’Malley.  Fortunately, Tom’s [a fellow clergy person at the gathering] brain was more engaged in the moment, and he was not about to lose out on the chance to have the man who might well be Pope someday anoint him.  Tom stopped in front of the Cardinal and asked for his blessing.  I stopped with him and Cardinal O’Malley was gracious enough to anoint me, too.

And then, as the two of us stood there together, Cardinal O’Malley looked me in the eye and asked me to anoint him.  I did.  The divorced, Scotch Protestant clergywoman anointed the Irish Catholic Cardinal in front of a pew of Catholic clergy and a Catholic Bishop, any one of whom would probably have given their eye teeth to have the honor.  I choked back sobs all the way to the overflow room.

Reactions to the photograph have been mixed…

And understandably so… ‘The divorced, Scotch Protestant clergywoman anointed the Irish Catholic Cardinal…’

Says it all.

 

Church

How Much Love Can The Human Heart Hold?


Anytime I think about adoption, I think about my spiritual adoption, about how Jesus went to infinitely grater lengths to adopt me to the family of God.  What a privilege it is in a smaller way, in a human way, live out some of the truth of the Gospel…The nurse showed us that even on his little tag that his identity was “Baby Boy”—he didn’t belong to anybody, he didn’t have a name.  But in the very instant where the nurse looked at us and said, “So what’s his name,” and we both said together “His name is Jacob”—in that very moment, instantaneously, he belonged to us, he had a name, and he was known.

HT
 

Bible Archaeology

How Many of Your Favorite New Testament Books Were Popular Among the Early Christians?

Jimmy Akin:BodmerPapyrus

Obviously, taken as a whole, the books of the New Testament were quite popular. They were Scripture, after all!

But how popular were they individually?

People today have favorite books in the Bible–ones they go to all the time, and ones they only rarely look at.

This is a phenomenon that affects both the books of the Old and the New Testament, and it’s possible to get a sense of how popular particular books were in particular time periods.

One way of doing that–before the Bible was bound as a single volume–is by seeing how many copies there are of individual books…

Continue here.

 

Church

Fairytale Wedding Pressures Putting ‘Tragic’ Strain on Marriages

The Welsh Druid speaketh:

Rowan Williams has spoken out against the trend of expensive “fantastical” weddings which he claims is threatening the future of marriages.

Speaking at a debate entitled “Marriage: Love or Law” in London, the former Archbishop of Canterbury said that the “marketisation of marriage” must be curtailed.

He labelled the idea of “the perfect relationship crystallised in the perfect wedding day” as a farce, suggesting that it was nothing more than the product of “immense economic advertising investment in this massively fantastical experience … after which, of course, nothing is ever quite so good again”.

“This is an aspect I think of the short-term, unimaginative, emotionally unintelligent climate that sometimes we seem forced to inhabit,” he said.

According to Lord Williams, who is now master of Magdalene College at the University of Cambridge, the way in which weddings have become hugely aspirational “experiences” as opposed to a simple public declaration of commitment is having a detrimental effect on the stability and longevity of marriages.

He suggested that it is symbolic of our fast-paced society that favours “rapid gratification” over long-term commitments, and seeks to emulate the excessive weddings of celebrities and the rich and famous, which, incidentally, rarely seem to stand the test of time.

Another issue highlighted by Lord Williams was a crisis of identity occurring among young men, which he referred to as “the real challenge posed in some sections of society”…

Read it all here.