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The Ministry Continues: A Position Statement from the Trustees of Anglican Mainstream

April 14th, 2014 Posted in News |

1. The coming into effect of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 may have changed English law but it has not changed Anglican Mainstream’s commitment to promote, teach and maintain the commonly agreed Scriptural truths of the Christian faith. For Anglicans these truths are expressed by the historic Creeds, the 39 Articles, and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. They provide the source of true unity and fellowship, and the basis of our mission and service to a needy world. Those truths remain and, as the Church of England’s house of bishops’ statement has explicitly confirmed, the church’s doctrine of marriage remains unchanged.

2. We recognise that the passage of the 2013 Act marks a further step away from biblical values in our national life and demonstrates the extent of the decline in the influence of the Christian churches in Parliament and public debate. In spite of much effort from the churches individually and collectively, the Parliamentary vote was substantially in favour of the measure, as was public opinion.

3. Nevertheless, the failure to win the debate about the legislation does not indicate that we were wrong; rather, that the arguments offered and the strategy adopted failed to overcome the intellectual and emotional appeals of the forces of self-centred secularism which dominates our culture. There was in fact little debate and those urging care and caution were disregarded.

4. Powerful as those forces are, we place our faith in a stronger power, that of God Himself. Our task, therefore, continues to be to fulfil our commitment, as best we can, to promote, teach and maintain the truths about marriage and family life which God has revealed to us in the Bible. Far from seeking to find ways of explaining away what the Bible says, the challenge is, rather, to obey it – and to draw on the grace and power of God’s Holy Spirit to enable us to remain faithful to it.

5. We are committed to continuing to champion the truth and wholesomeness of man/woman marriage and thus offer a choice in the public sphere for real marriage or ‘so-called marriage’. We shall therefore maintain and defend the right to state a biblically-orthodox view on marriage and sex in the public sphere.

6. We well understand that an appeal to the Bible will not in itself carry the day in our contemporary secular society. We will therefore continue to deploy four additional arguments which demonstrate why the 2013 Act is a serious mistake in public policy which needs to be reversed.

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Christian campaigning group VfJUK calls for investigation of Scottish child abuse ring, and immediate release of campaigner, Robert Green

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Injustice |

From Voice for Justice UK

On February 12, 2014, child rights’ campaigner, Robert Green, was arrested by Grampian Police at his home in Warrington and taken to Scotland. He is currently held at Her Majesty’s Prison Perth. He was not informed of any charge till five days after arrest, when it was alleged he had broken a non-harassment order.

Grampian Police do not have jurisdiction in Warrington, but some years ago Robert Green had taken up the case of Hollie Greig, a Down’s Syndrome sufferer who made allegations of serious and repeated sexual abuse while a child living in Aberdeen. As chief perpetrators, Hollie named her father and brother, but she alleged the involvement of a far wider ring, including a senior police officer, a judge, and a range of highly influential and prominent Scottish professionals. She went on to name seven other children who, she said, had also been subjected to ritual abuse at hands of the same ring.

Despite medical evidence at the time confirming Hollie had suffered sexual interference, treatment for venereal disease at the age of 9, and the reports of two independent clinical psychologists stating that Hollie had been sexually abused, the Grampian police dismissed her as a fantasist. It is reported that they interviewed only two of the named 22 suspects, and refused to interview any of the named victims. Not only that, but legal steps were taken to suppress all mention of the case in the media. Hollie was subsequently awarded £13,500 compensation by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority for sexual abuse.

Robert Green demanded an investigation, calling for justice for Hollie. He has already suffered imprisonment for this, but at the time of his current arrest had not been in Aberdeen for over a year. Since arrest he has been diagnosed with a serious heart condition and has now been imprisoned without trial for 60 days.

In recent months the country has been left reeling by the sex abuse scandals surrounding Jimmy Savile and Liberal MP Cyril Smith. VfJUK does not know whether Hollie Greig’s allegations are true or not, but previous failures by the police to investigate have resulted in major injustice for victims.

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Holy Monday: anointing, indignation, cleansing and joy

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Holy Week |

From Cranmer

And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her (Mk 14:3-9).

The Jewish commemoration of the Passover begins this evening, recalling the time the Israelites escaped slavery in Egypt by marking their doorposts with the blood of a pure lamb so that the spirit of the Lord might pass over their homes in the slaughter of the first-born. The Gospels record that six days before the Passover, Mary lavishly anointed her Lord in anticipation of His burial. Christ commends her for the deed, saying: “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mk 14:9).

As Jews come together around the Seder, Christians gather to watch Eastenders: Holy Monday is indistinguishable from last Monday, or the Monday before that. But today is day for reflecting on the greatest anointing of all – that of the Holy Spirit. Mary's worship at the feet of Jesus was audacious and extravagant, but it was an act of faith and love: all she wanted to do was worship in her own way, which the disciples met with protestation and indignation. It's a woman, you see. And not just a woman, but a mightily-sinning one.
 

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First gay church wedding held in Bournemouth

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Gay Marriage |

From BBC News

A same-sex couple have been married in Bournemouth, in what is believed to be the UK's first gay wedding ceremony held in a church.
 
Jan Tipper and Barb Burden were married at the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) on Sunday.
 
Gay marriage became legal in England and Wales last month but the move was not supported by the Church of England.
 
Reverend Dwayne Morgan, who officiated, said the church had "taken pride in celebrating diversity".
 
While many same-sex couples have married since the law changed on 29 March, he said this was the first ceremony to be conducted in a religious building.
 
The couple said it was "very significant" to them to be married in the church they had attended for 15 years.
Ms Burden said: "Even though we've been together for almost 19 years, it didn't feel right for us to have just a blessing or even a civil partnership.
 
"We've hoped for years for the opportunity to legally marry and, once it became possible, we knew it was time for us to tie the knot and to do it before God in our church with our friends and family."
 
MCC was established in Bournemouth in 1979 and is associated with the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, which has churches in over 40 countries.
 
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It’s Back — The “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” and the State of Modern Scholarship

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Theology |

By Albert Mohler

he so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” is back in the news and back in public conversation. The story first broke in a flurry of sensationalism back in September of 2012 when Smithsonian magazine declared that a papyrus fragment had been found which would “send jolts through the world of biblical scholarship.” Well, it didn’t jolt much of anything.

In 2012 Professor Karen King of the Harvard Divinity School announced that a papyrus fragment that had come into her supervision made reference to Jesus having a wife. Professor King announced that the papyrus fragment included the words, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife.’” Smithsonian, which also produced a major television program on the finding, promised that the fragment would “send shock waves through the Christian world.”
 
As might be expected, numerous major media outlets jumped on the story. The Telegraph [London] ran a headline that stated: “Ancient Papyrus Could Be Evidence that Jesus Had a Wife.” In reality, even if the fragment is authentic in terms of dating to ancient times, the fragment revealed nothing that would have jolted anyone familiar with the early centuries of Christianity. The fragment of papyrus contained only about 30 Coptic words in eight fragmentary lines of writing.
 
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Monday in Holy Week

April 14th, 2014 Posted in Holy Week |

Mon
Apr 14

am: Ps 51
pm: 27

Lam 1:1-12

2 Cor 1:1-7

Matt 21:12-17

Overturning the tables in the templeMONDAY IN HOLY WEEK

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY:  The first days of Holy Week presents us with an array of themes based chiefly on the last days of Jesus' earthly life. The story of the Passion, as told and recorded by the Evangelists, is preceded by a series of incidents located in Jerusalem and a collection of parables, sayings and discourses centered on Jesus' divine sonship, the kingdom of God, and Jesus' castigation of the hypocrisy and dark motives of the religious leaders.

 

MEDITATION OF THE DAY:  On Holy Monday, Jesus performed another provocative public act, this time in the courtyard of the temple. As Mark (and Matthew and Luke) tells the story, he overturned the tables of some money-changers. Though often called “the purification of the temple,” the gospels do not call it that. Moreover, the name is misleading – as if the issue were that the temple had become impure because it mixed “business” with worship. Jesus challenged the hypocrisy of these religious leaders, so does He challenge and confront every kind of hypocrisy and insincerity, all cheating and deceitfulness in our lives and societies. Any act that cannot stand the piercing glare of Christ has to be either purged or extricated from us. Hypocrisy is the direct opposite to purity, and thus we have to remember our Lord’s saying that only the pure in heart will be able to see God, and enter His kingdom.  Simply put, we must come face to face with the reality that we cannot serve two masters. If our desire is for holiness, we like the temple must be purified and cleansed regularly sin.

 

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The Most Influential Essay You’ve Never Heard Of

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty |

By Joe Carter, Canon and Culture

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
 
This frequently cited quote is often misattributed to John Maynard Keynes or Winston Churchill. But since no one knows the originator, I’ll claim it as my own. Sometimes when the facts change, I change my mind. Such is the case with this article.
 
This is not the article I set out to write. The facts – or at least my recollection of the facts – changed and I had to change with them. My original thesis was that several years ago LGBQT activists gave assurances that their agenda did not have to conflict with religious liberty rights and that they rejected any claims that opposing homosexual rights was akin to racial discrimination. I thought they too had once claimed, as law scholar Doug Kmiec said nine years ago, that it was “inconceivable” that “a successful analogy will be drawn in the public mind between irrational, and morally repugnant, racial discrimination and the rational, and at least morally debatable, differentiation of traditional and same-sex marriage.”
 
I had thought the claims that those who opposed homosexual behavior were “bigots” and “essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws” was a recent change in radical rhetoric. But I was wrong.
 
For several weeks I searched to find a single prominent LGBQT activist who supported religious conscience exemptions for individuals. I could not find a single one. The closest I could find was the view expressed by Chai Feldblum, an LGBT rights activist and current Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2006, Feldblum said:
 
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My Song Is Love Unknown – King’s College, Cambridge

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Holy Week |

My song is love unknown,
My Savior's love to me;
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take
Frail flesh, and die?

He came from His blest throne
Salvation to bestow;
But men made strange, and none
The longed-for Christ would know:
But oh, my Friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need
His life did spend.

Sometimes they strew His way,
And His sweet praises sing;
Resounding all the day
Hosannas to their King:
Then "Crucify!"
Is all their breath,
And for His death
They thirst and cry.

They rise and needs will have
My dear Lord made away;
A murderer they save,
The Prince of life they slay.
Yet cheerful He
To suffering goes,
That He His foes
From thence might free.

In life, no house, no home
My Lord on earth might have;
In death, no friendly tomb,
But what a stranger gave.
What may I say?
Heav'n was His home;
But mine the tomb
Wherein He lay.

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days
Could gladly spend.

 

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Sunday Worship

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Worship |

WORSHIP

1. The bells of St. Mary Magdalene, Mortehoe in DevonBBC Radio 4

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040h47n

 

2. Choral Evensong from Birmingham Cathedral – BBC Radio 3

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0400b0m

 

3. Sunday Holy Communion livestreamed from St Helena's Church, Beaufort, South Carolina at 10:15 am Eastern Time, 3:15 pm London Time

http://www.sthelenas1712.org/

 

4. Palm Sunday Worship from the Church of God of Prophecy, Winson Green, BirminghamBBC Radio 4

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040h47z

 

5. Choral Services from the Chapels of King's College, Cambridge

http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/choir/webcasts.html

and Trinity College, Cambridge

http://www.trinitycollegechoir.com/webcasts/listen-again/

and St John's College, Cambridge

http://www.sjcchoir.co.uk/webcasts

and New College, Oxford

http://www.newcollegechoir.com/webcasts.html

 

6. Sunday Hour – BBC Radio 2

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b040lfs2

 

PALM SUNDAY, LENT and EASTER

7. On Palm Sunday, Jesus Rides into the Perfect Storm – Bishop Tom Wright

http://tinyurl.com/pxkf3sy

Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass – Glen Scrivener

http://tinyurl.com/p2a5b8v

Archbishop of York's Daily Reflections

http://www.archbishopofyork.org/pages/lent-calendar-2014.html

Anagnorisis Lent 2014 – 24-7 Prayer

http://www.24-7prayer.com/podcasts

A Reflection on the Cross – Gillan Scott

http://tinyurl.com/po7e2so

 

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A prophet on a donkey?

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Holy Week |

From Cranmer

Benedictus qui venit in nomine domini.

There is something majestic, exhilarating and timeless about the Latin rendering of this supreme moment of joy, as the Son of God, Messiah, the Hope of Israel enters Jerusalem on a donkey.

A prophet on a donkey.

As we enter this Holy Week – the most solemn and intense period of worship in the Christian calendar – it is important to remember that it does indeed begin with supreme joy as Jesus entered Jerusalem as the fulfilment of the long-promised salvation of Israel.

To the Romans, palm leaves were a symbol of victory and of military prowess. The Jews who greeted their Messiah were simply echoing this practice, perhaps drawing on 1 Maccabees where it is recorded that the people waved palm branches to celebrate the independence of Jerusalem and Judæa.

But what kind of prophet of God or victorious king parades in triumph on a donkey?

The One who was born of a woman?

The One who was lain in a manger?

The One who emptied Himself in humility?

The one who was soon to die on a cross, where Christ's grace simultaneously fuses the joy of his triumph with the profound sorrow of his death. The Passion Gospel is forever in the background of the Hosannas of the people – a people who could never have foreseen what would befall their Messiah just a week later. They yearned for a king who would proclaim Israel’s independence from Rome; they wanted a Messiah who would be their religio-political hero; they wanted a Jesus who would fulfil their religious expectations and affirm their political agendas.

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US pro-family activist detained by Canadian customs for alleged violation of ‘hate’ law

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Civil Liberty, Freedom Of Speech |

Peter LaBarberaBy Patrick B Craine, LifeSite News

A prominent U.S. pro-family activist was detained by the Canadian Border Services Agency Thursday for alleged violations of Canada’s “hate propaganda” law.

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, had flown into Regina International Airport to speak at the Saskatchewan Pro-Life Association provincial conference this weekend.

LaBarbera had been targeted by a makeshift group known as “Intolerance Free Weyburn,” which pressured the government to deny him access to the country. LaBarbera believes he was flagged by customs as a result.

LaBarbera provided LifeSiteNews with a formal document issued by CBSA agent Darren Banick that cites section 319(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code and says Banick believed LaBarbera "may commit acts which would be against the Criminal Code of Canada."

Section 319(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code bars “public incitement of hatred … against any identifiable group where such incitement is likely to lead to a breach of the peace.” Breaching the law carries a punishment of up to two years imprisonment.

He was allowed to spend the night in Saskatchewan and will appeal the decision to Banick’s supervisor, Penelope Ulmer, at a hearing today at noon Central Standard Time.

LaBarbera said the customs agent went through his luggage, his phone and laptop, and played a DVD of a speech he had given Wednesday. He then reviewed AFTAH’s website, pulled up the “about page,” and said, according to LaBarbera, “So you’re targeting an identifiable group of people based on sexual orientation.”

LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews that he was asked for details about the talk he was scheduled to give. He said the agent asked, for example, “What percentage of your talk is going to be about homosexuality versus life?” He said the agent seemed unconcerned by the pro-life aspect of his talk.

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Gay Anglican priest marries his boyfriend. He’ll be the first of many

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage |

By Damian Thompson, Telegaph

Well, that didn't take long. As my colleague Edward Malnick reports, a gay Church of England priest – a canon, no less – today married his boyfriend. Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, a divorced hospital chaplain and father of five, wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington, 51. We're not told where, but obviously it wasn't in a C of E church. That's against the law. But they may well be able to have their marriage blessed in church because that's only "against the rules" as opposed to illegal.
 
Campaigners predicted that Canon Pemberton would be the first of many. I think they're right. After all, it's not as if Mr Pemberton's boss, the Bishop of Lincoln, Christopher Lowson, is handing him over to the Inquisition. Over at the Mail, my old friend Jonathan Petre reports that "Bishop Lowson confirmed he had told Canon Pemberton of the House of Bishops’ statement [telling gay priests not to marry] but would not say if he was planning disciplinary action".
 
I'm no expert on Anglican canon law, but I'd guess that the punishment facing Mr Pemberton is the withdrawal of his licence to officiate at services (he doesn't have a parish). Technically he could be defrocked, but that would involve a messy legal process… by which time other priests will have tied the knot. The Rev Andrew Cain, for example, who was the first clergyman to declare his intention to marry, and who explained why in our Telegram podcast (click here).
 
That will be an interesting case. Mr Cain is the Vicar of St Mary with All Souls in Kilburn and St James in West Hampstead and known to parishioners as "Father Andrew" – ie, he's an Anglo-Catholic. North London is full of High Church priests with same-sex partners. If only a few of them defy their bishop and get married, then the Diocese of London faces a public relations as well as a legal nightmare.
 
Likewise, Chichester. I once went to a party in Brighton where a bishop turned up with his much younger Italian boyfriend. None of the other clergy present were bishops but they were all gay. Those were the days of the "gin, lace and backbiting" subculture, which wasn't a great advertisement for gay men or the C of E. The culture now is more open, but many homosexual clergy are still uncomfortable about their relationships – they feel that the General Synod forces them to be hypocritical or secretive. This is a Church, after all, that enjoins celibacy on gay priests but not gay laity, a compromise that I can't see surviving for much longer.
 
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Holy Week Meditations: 13 April – Palm Sunday

April 13th, 2014 Posted in Lent |

Apr 13

am: Ps 24, 29
pm: 103

am: Zech 9:9-12
pm: Zech 12:9-13:9

1 Tim 6:12-16

Luke 19:41-48

PALM SUNDAY

LITURGICAL THEME FOR THE DAY: This festival has early roots in the Eastern Church. St. Cyril of Jerusalem writes about annual commemoration of this great event as recorded in the Scriptures, with the custom also being observed by the desert fathers of Egypt and Syria. The first evidence we find in the West is in the 7th Century through the Sacramentary of St. Gregory, that is, at the end of the sixth, or the beginning of the seventh, century. In many Christian churches, Palm Sunday includes a procession of the assembled worshipers carrying palms, representing the palm branches the crowd scattered in front of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. The difficulty of procuring palms in unfavorable climates led to their substitution with branches of native trees, including box, yew, willow, and olive. The Sunday was often designated by the names of these trees, as in Yew Sunday, or by the general term Branch Sunday.

MEDITATION OF THE DAY: Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, when we are all called to relive and to celebrate the events, which went before and surrounded Christ’s death and resurrection, the source of our salvation. Today we begin by recalling Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, where the regional custom called for kings and nobles arriving in procession to ride on the back of a donkey. The donkey was a symbol of peace; those who rode upon them proclaimed peaceful intentions. The laying of palm branches indicated that the king or dignitary was arriving in victory or triumph.

When we consider all that is being said in the lessons today we are reminded that Jesus for many is a sign of contradiction in the span of a few days he is acclaimed and then reviled. The fact of the matter is that we are part of that crowd that flips and flops.

Will we chose rightly and embrace Jesus the Son of God, or will give lip service and find ourselves in the universe of Judas or Barabbas. These are very different persons to be aligned with. Will be aligned with the servant of servants or the way of beings elf serving? Will we seek the Father’s will or seek to our own will. Who and what will we chose?

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Ride On ! Ride On In Majesty

April 13th, 2014 Posted in News |

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Are Christians Obsessed with Sex?

April 12th, 2014 Posted in pro-life/abortion, sex |

By Nathaniel Givens, First Things

From time to time a member of the Christian left will admonish the Christian right to stop obsessing about sex. This is a clever move because in addition to undercutting traditional sexual morality it also suggests that those who are concerned with the topic are acting on some secret ulterior motive. Voyeurism? Projection? Repression? Whatever the precise cause, it definitely sounds unhealthy.

Tom Ehrich is one of the most recent to advance this case. His post, an excellent example of what C. S. Lewis termed “bulverism ,” largely takes for granted that Christians are obsessed with sex and speculates that this is the result of some kind of perpetual adolescence . The substance of his contention is that:

We obsess about sex, a topic that Jesus himself ignored. Our public presence has narrowed to questions around abortion and homosexuality. The “Christian” political agenda has become nothing more than electing candidates who will deal correctly with abortion and homosexuality.

One could suggest quite a few things that Jesus Christ had nothing to say about, but sex would not make the list. He reaffirmed the central moral teaching of fidelity in telling the woman caught in adultery to “leave your life of sin” (John 8:11, NIV), but then went much farther and stated that “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28, NIV). Some rather stern language about plucking out eyes and cutting off hands followed thereafter and then further discussion of divorce and fornication. So much for the supposed silence of the Savior on the subject of sex.
 
Just as puzzling, however, is the assertion that abortion is a sexual issue for pro-life Christians. There are a lot of ways that the pro-life movement views abortion. The folks at Feminists for Life view it as a women’s issue. The folks at Secular Pro-Life view it as a secular civil rights issue. The common thread for all pro-life groups, including religious ones, however, is the issue of life. Not sex.
 
Read here
 
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Church of England faces ‘crisis’ as gay priest weds

April 12th, 2014 Posted in Church of England, Gay Marriage |

By Edward Malnick, Telegraph

A priest has become the first in Britain to defy the Church of England’s ban on gay clergy marrying.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, 58, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term partner Laurence Cunnington, 51, on Saturday afternoon.

Campaigners expressed delight that the couple had taken advantage of Britain’s newly-introduced gay marriage laws and urged bishops to “bless” their partnership. They predict he will be the first of many gay clergy to marry.

But a leading member of the Church’s conservative evangelical wing called for “discipline” of any clergy seen to be breaking the rules. He warned of a “crisis” if the leadership failed to take action.

Canon Pemberton, who has five children, is a chaplain at Lincoln hospital and also works in the Church’s Southwell and Nottingham diocese. In 2012 he was a signatory to a letter to The Telegraph from dozens of clergy warning that if the Church refused to permit gay weddings in its own churches they would advise members of their congregations to marry elsewhere.

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Officials look for ways to fast-track women into Lords

April 12th, 2014 Posted in Church of England, Women Bishops |

by Madeleine Davies, Church Times

CHURCH officials and advisers are considering ways to speed up the entry of women bishops into the House of Lords, the Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Tim Stevens, confirmed on Monday.

Episcopal admission to the House of Lords is determined by the Bishopric of Manchester Act of 1847. This limits the number of places for Lords Spiritual to 26. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Bishops of Durham, London, and Winchester are ex-officio members of the House of Lords. The remaining places on the Bishops' Bench are held by the 21 diocesan bishops who have been in post the longest.

On Monday, Bishop Stevens, the convener of the Bishops in the Lords, said: "The discussion is about whether it would be helpful to the Church, and, indeed, to Parliament, for the Bishops' Bench to be both male and female in rather quicker time than the present process would naturally allow. . .

"We have started to consult about this, including consulting with some senior ordained women about what their views would be about some positive affirmative action."

The proposals will not be put before the General Synod. Rather, both Houses of Parliament would have to pass an amendment to the Bishopric Act.

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Stolen Childhood Conference

April 12th, 2014 Posted in Children/Family |

A conference to explore the dangers to which our children are increasingly exposed in society today, and the reasons for this, putting forward strategies for change at both government and family levels.

Hosted by the Lords and Commons Family and Child Protection Group

Date: Wednesday, 30th April 2014

Venue: The Emmanuel Centre

9-23 Marsham Street

Westminster SW1P 3DW

Time: 10 am – 5 pm (Registration from 9:30am)
 

Cost: £20 Registration Fee

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Belgian intensive care doctors back involuntary euthanasia

April 12th, 2014 Posted in Euthanasia |

By Michael Cook, Bio Edge

Involuntary euthanasia is acceptable medical treatment, according to a recent official statement by the Belgian Society of Intensive Care Medicine.
 
Although voluntary euthanasia is legal is Belgium under some circumstances, involuntary euthanasia is basically illegal. But the Society wants to be able to euthanase patients who do not appear to have long to live.
 
The Society spells out its policy very carefully. It is not about grey areas like withdrawing burdensome or futile treatment or balancing pain relief against shortening a patient’s life. It clearly states that “shortening the dying process by administering sedatives beyond what is needed for patient comfort can be not only acceptable but in many cases desirable”.
 
“Shortening the dying process” is a euphemism for administering a lethal injection.
 
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The Rise Of The Same-Sex Marriage Dissidents

April 12th, 2014 Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage |

by Mollie Hemingway, The Federalist

Just days after being named CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich was forced out because he is an opponent of same-sex marriage. After declining opportunities to recant his views, he “voluntarily” decided to step down. Responses have been all over the map.
 
A writer at Slate actually tried to justify the termination as a good thing. Libertarian Nick Gillespie said he was “ambivalent” about Eich’s removal but that Eich’s resignation simply “shows how businesses respond to market signals.” And even conservatives weren’t rallying behind Eich on the grounds that marriage is an institution designed around sexual complementarity so much as by saying that even if he’s wrong, conscience should be protected.
 
At the end of the day, they’re all wrong. Or at least not even close to understanding the problem with Eich’s firing. Political differences with CEOs, even deep political differences, are something adults handle all the time. Most of us know that what happened held much more significance than anodyne market forces having their way. And Eich shouldn’t be protected on the grounds that one has the right to be wrong. See, Eich wasn’t hounded out of corporate life because he was wrong. He was hounded out of corporate life because he was right. His message strikes at the root of a popular but deeply flawed ideology that can not tolerate dissent.
 
 
Read also:  The Hounding Of A Heretic by gay activist Andrew Sullivan, and an update here
 
 
 
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