Friday, August 21, 2015

Good Friday Denied to Cranston Teachers

For the first time this year, the Cranston Rhode Island school committee eliminated Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Good Friday as school holidays. Instead, it negotiated a collective bargaining agreement that allows teachers to take up to two days off each school year if they are required to attend religious services during the school day.

AP reports that on Monday the union filed suit because the school system has denied requests from some 200 teachers to take Good Friday off, even though they allowed teachers who requested it to take Rosh Hashanah off last fall. School Superintendent Judith Lundsten says that the Good Friday requests are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement because Good Friday does not require attendance at religious services during school hours. According to the Cranston Patch, the suit claims that the discriminatory denial of religious leave here is a breach of the collective bargaining agreement and a violation of the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act.”

The reasoning of the school committee is flawed. Good Friday is properly a full day of fasting and prayer. It may or may not involve a church service, but it does involve fasting, prayer and quiet contemplation of the Lord's Sacrifice. These activities cannot be done in the context of a routine work day.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Population Increases and Hunger Decreases

Contrary to the fear mongering of population alarmists, the world isn’t heading for a demographic catastrophe. The latest data on world population from the UN Population Division reveal a number of trends that indicate otherwise. The following is PRI’s brief overview of some of the findings from the recently released 2015 Revision of the World Population Prospects.

According to the UN Population Division’s medium variant projection, world population is estimated to be 7.3 billion today. That number is expected to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100. In the past two and a half decades, world population has increased by 2 billion people. Yet despite the rapid rise in world population, the percentage of people living with hunger in developing countries has actually dropped from 24% to 14% over the same time period. Welcoming another 4 billion to the human family, if that in fact actually happens, does not necessitate a demographic catastrophe.

Read it all here.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lord Weidenfeld Repays a Debt

A Jewish peer who fled occupied Austria as a child is funding the rescue of up to 2,000 Christians from Syria and Iraq as a way of showing his gratitude to the religion whose members saved him from the Nazis.

Lord Weidenfeld says he has “a debt to repay” to Christians fleeing Isis, because the Quakers and the Plymouth Brethren fed and clothed him and helped him to reach Britain in 1938.

The publisher is spearheading Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund, which last week supported the flight of 150 Syrian Christians to Poland on a privately chartered plane to allow them to seek refuge, making them the first beneficiaries of the resettlement project.

Read it all here.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Ms Cotton on behalf of WATCH

Female clergy of the Church of England
Back row, left to right:
Rachel Treweek, Nicola Sullivan, Annette Cooper, Joanne Grenfell

Front row:
Libby Lane, Jane Tillier, Vivienne Faull, Christine Wilson

Ms. Cotton on behalf of Women and the Church (WATCH) wrote:

"Anyone who ministers within the Church of England must be prepared to acknowledge that the Church of England has reached a clear decision on the matter; [Indeed this decision was a parliamentary one and there remains no real consensus on women priests and bishops.]

Since it continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and those provinces of the Anglican Communion which continue to ordain only men as priests or bishops, the Church of England acknowledges that its own clear decision on ministry and gender is set within a broader process of discernment within the Anglican Communion and the whole Church of God; ..." [The church of England's decision to have women bishops has defined that Church as no longer having the "historic episcopate."]

Ms Cotton argues that the provision of alternative chrism masses for parishes that do not accept the decision of the Church of England emphasises division and is “a cause of much pain to clergy women and their supportive male colleagues.” The continuation of such events is “a thoughtless challenge to mutual flourishing.” [How can there be mutual flourishing? Only the Church that upholds Apostolic teaching, Patristic consensus, and the authority of Holy Scripture can flourish. The other will wither and fade away in time.]

The dispute arose over chrism masses. Chrism masses involve the blessing of holy oils and renewal of priestly vows, and "are an essential part of the sacramental ministry of the bishops concerned to the clergy and people who have been placed by the House of Bishops’ Declaration under their oversight and care." - Statement of Bishop of Wakefield, a bishop of the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda, an ecclesial community dedicated to maintaining catholic teaching and practice within the Church of England.

Read more about this dispute here.

Related reading: Women Priests and the ACNA; The Question of Women Priests Must Be Addressed; C.S. Lewis on Women Priests; Why Women Were Never Priests; Alice C. Linsley's Address to the ICCA (July 2015)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Growing Tension in the South China Sea

Statue of the Virgin Mary in Bohol fishing waters

A recent letter from a Filipino friend concerning the growing tension in the South China Sea.

Good day Madame Alice Linsley,

Thank you for this attached article. It is sad that this territory has been left unattended by our government for so long. The government of the Philippines which was constituted as an independent republic by the USA in July 4, 1946 have failed to properly protect this territory.

Historically, in the 13th century a Chinese Admiral of the Emperor"s War Fleet, a Hui Muslim by the name of Admiral Zeng He from Yunnan China, have established diplomatic relations with Kingdom states in South East Asia. His exploits have helped to cement a treaty of friendship and alliance with the Sultanate of Malacca, and with the Kingdoms in what is now Philippines.

In 1600 the Chinese Emperor have entered into a Treaty of Friendship and Alliance with the Sultan Muhammad Dipatuan Nasseruddin Qudratullah, Kudarat I, the Sultan of Maguindanao who was a descendant of the Sultan of Malacca on his mothers side.

The sultanate of Maguindanao which has its territory as Mindanao have fought against Spanish intrusion for more than 300 years without being subjugated. When Spain through its leaders in Mexico, which governs the Philippines, sell the subjugated territory in the far east to America in 1898, without ownership right by conquest or subjugation, have included Mindanao, the territory of Sultan of Maguindanao, to the USA, and in 1946 against the three documented manifestos of the Sultans of Maguindanao and Sulu against inclusion of Mindanao and Sulu to the then created republic of the PHilippines, have forcely annexed Mindanao and Sulu (territories of Sultans of Sulu and Maguindanao) to the Republic of the Philippines.These Sultans are what you have identified as of Kushite ethnicity.

The sale of Spanish territory, which is Luzon and Visayas, to USA in 1898 was facilitated by brother Masons of government of Mexico to the Brother Masons of the government of the United States of America and with Brother Masons of the Filipinas, members of Traditional Institution of Freemasonry. Free Masons in Europe have supported the Traditional Institution of Kingships, even British Masons Sir Thomas Stamfor Raffles have supported the Tradition of Kingships in subjugated territories in South East Asia, but in the the Philippines they have violated the tradition of kingship.

This violation of the right of free state of the Sultanate of Maguindanao and Sultanate of Sulu, against the Statutes of Liberty as enshrined in the US Constitution, have effectively foreclosed the historical and sovereignty rights of the Sultanate of Maguindanao to what is now West Philippines Sea, the disputed area. The fact that China Emperor, the Dutch Government, the British Government, even the United States of America have entered into treaties with the Sultan of Maguindanao and Sultan of Sulu in the past have proven that such disputed territory now is not owned by China as what they are now claiming, that they have historical right over it. It was the Kushites Sultanates of Mindanao and Sulu who has historical ownership right over the disputed area.

Even in the 10th Century our history books told that the Kingdom of Butuan in Mindanao have Treaty of Friendship and Alliance with the Emperor of China. Therefore, being kingdoms it has prior right over the seas around it.

The Republic of the Philippines which constituted by USA in 1946 only, have claimed sovereignty over this disputed territory by citing a claim of a certain Filipino by name of Mr. Cloma made in 1950's, a very late claimant.

There are pains in our heart but we pray Almighty God will correct this injustices in his time.

Thank you very much for your prayers and concerns.

Very sincerely yours,

Mr. Jose Bulang

Mr. Jose Bulang lives in Bohol where dynamite fishing is illegal because it destroys an ecosystem, and the smaller fish. Because of the fear of God, people in Bohol decided that the best way to stop dynamite fishing would be to put a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary underwater so that the fishermen will see the statue pleading with their good hearts and conscience. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Quote of the Week - Archbishop Michael Ramsey

"The faith to which we are called will always be folly and scandal to the world, it cannot be in the usual sense of the word popular; it is a supernatural faith and it cannot adapt itself to every passing fashion of human thought. But it will be a faith alert to distinguish what is shaken, and is meant to go, and what is not shaken and is meant to remain." -- Archbishop Michael Ramsey

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Quote of the Week- Statement of the ICCA

This International Congress invites all Anglicans throughout the world (a) to a reexamination of the doctrine of the Church and (b) to a further consideration of areas of continuing ecclesial contention, for instance, the ordination of women, deemed by some to be a first order issue. This is necessary so that there may be a revival of Catholic Faith and Order, and a return to a biblical, credal, and conciliar fidelity. Only through honest discussion, ongoing prayer, and ultimate agreement will faithful Anglicans discern fully what God is doing in the great realignment taking place globally. This International Congress prays also that in God’s good providence there will be a truly Ecumenical Council of the whole Church to address contentious issues facing Christians and churches and to strengthen the faith of the Church.

Statement of the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans. Read the full statement here.