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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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If I read my Twitter feed correctly, Jorg Asmussen, the German representative on the European Central Bank's executive board, thinks that the ECB has already played its part as far as saving the euro is concerned with last December's LTRO intervention; it's now up to national governments to complete the process, he says, by undertaking the necessary structural reform (Mr Asmussen has been speaking at the Institute for New Economic Thinking conference in Berlin).
As is becoming ever more common when it comes to euroland, it's a view which is quite at odds with the facts. True enough, the ECB's surprise liquidity operation did succeed in dousing the crisis, at least temporarily. A Lehman's style meltdown was averted. But the idea that the ECB can now sit back and let the politicians do the rest is surely deluded.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Economics, Politics Economy Consumer/consumer spending Corporations/Corporate Life Credit Markets Currency Markets Euro European Central Bank The Banking System/Sector The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007-- * International News & Commentary Europe --European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010 Germany Italy Spain
While some of the highest numbers of new priests are in the Catholic-majority cities of Newark, N.J., and Philadelphia, ordinations in Washington, D.C. (18 last year) and Chicago (26) also are booming. The biggest gains are not only in traditional Catholic strongholds. In Lincoln, Neb., Catholics constitute only 16% of the population yet have some of the strongest numbers of ordinations. In 2011, there were 10 men ordained as priests in Lincoln.
What explains the trend? Nearly 20 years ago, Archbishop Elden Curtiss, then leader of the Omaha, Neb., diocese, suggested that when dioceses are unambiguous and allow a minimum of dissent about the male, celibate priesthood, more candidates answer the call to the priesthood. Our preliminary research on the correlates of priestly ordinations reveals that the dioceses with the largest numbers of new priests are led by courageous bishops with faithful and inspirational vocations offices.
Read it all.
"If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them," the statement says. "No American desires this. No Catholic welcomes it. But if it should fall upon us, we must discharge it as a duty of citizenship and an obligation of faith."
The document cites a number of other perceived threats to religious freedom besides the contraception policy, such as harsh immigration laws that could impede the church's social ministry and university policies targeting campus student religious groups.
The statement also makes a concerted effort to portray the Catholic campaign as bound up with the fight to defend American values from an overbearing central government.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * Economics, Politics Politics in General House of Representatives Office of the President President Barack Obama Senate * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
We need...to speak frankly with each other when our freedoms are threatened. Now is such a time. As Catholic bishops and American citizens, we address an urgent summons to our fellow Catholics and fellow Americans to be on guard, for religious liberty is under attack, both at home and abroad.
This has been noticed both near and far. Pope Benedict XVI recently spoke about his worry that religious liberty in the United States is being weakened. He called it the "most cherished of American freedoms"—and indeed it is. All the more reason to heed the warning of the Holy Father, a friend of America and an ally in the defense of freedom, in his recent address to American bishops
Read it all and ote there is a PDF version if you prefer that.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church History * Culture-Watch History Law & Legal Issues Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. * Religion News & Commentary Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI * Theology Ethics / Moral Theology
The souvenir Diamond Jubilee edition of the New Testament has been created to be given away by local churches in schools, at street parties and via other Diamond Jubilee events and initiatives. It includes eight pages of images from the Coronation and the Queen's life, linking her 60-year reign and her Christian faith. There is a suggested reading section with Bible references on various topics and a clear guide to help readers understand the significance of Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection.
Read it all.
Tech-buffs, investors, IT industrialists, and boffins alike eagerly await the day when the science of quantum computing yields practical technology. Physicists of the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ), recently published research that, they believe, has brought that pivotal day closer.
For many years, physicists have sought to create an information network far superior to today's by exploiting quantum phenomena. The team of German researchers have constructed the first vital component of such a network: a link between two atomic nodes over which information can be received, sent, and stored using a single photon. Successful exchanges of information recently took place in Garching, Germany, between two MPQ labs connected by a 60-meter fiber-optic cable. Though only a prototype, this rudimentary network could be scaled up to more complex and distanced quantum networks. The team reports their research in Nature.
Read it all.
Boko Haram formed in 2002 as a local Salafist activist group, but evidence suggests that it now collaborates and shares intelligence with al Qaeda affiliates in the region, including al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and al Shabaab in Somalia. The groups have been able to carry out increasingly sophisticated attacks on schools, churches, police stations and military bases.
They may also be working to expand their reach. The Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank, published a report this month showing that al Qaeda is using its African partnerships to regroup and extend its propaganda and recruiting efforts, including in Britain. U.S. Congressmen Peter King and Patrick Meehan wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last month urging the State Department to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization for legal and intelligence-gathering purposes.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life Church Year / Liturgical Seasons Easter * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues Police/Fire Religion & Culture Violence * Economics, Politics Politics in General Terrorism * International News & Commentary Africa Nigeria
Video games are a prevalent and increasingly expressive medium within modern society. In the forty years since the introduction of the first home video game, the field has attracted exceptional artistic talent. An amalgam of traditional art forms—painting, writing, sculpture, music, storytelling, cinematography—video games offer artists a previously unprecedented method of communicating with and engaging audiences.
The Art of Video Games is one of the first exhibitions to explore the forty-year evolution of video games as an artistic medium, with a focus on striking visual effects and the creative use of new technologies. It features some of the most influential artists and designers during five eras of game technology, from early pioneers to contemporary designers. The exhibition focuses on the interplay of graphics, technology and storytelling through some of the best games for twenty gaming systems ranging from the Atari VCS to the PlayStation 3. Eighty games, selected with the help of the public, demonstrate the evolution of the medium. The games are presented through still images and video footage. In addition, the galleries will include video interviews with twenty developers and artists, large prints of in-game screen shots, and historic game consoles. Chris Melissinos, founder of Past Pixels and collector of video games and gaming systems, is the curator of the exhibition.
Read it all and check out the many links. Also, PC World had an article about this there.
...talk about landmark status for the perpetually unfinished Episcopal church is starting to percolate again, as developers ready plans for a new apartment building on leased cathedral property along 113th Street in Morningside Heights.
Real-estate firm Equity Residential hopes to start construction on the 15-story apartment building next year. The new structure's footprint would be some 70 feet north of the cathedral itself, replacing large metal sheds and parking spaces in the area now.
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Nikolai Bukharin's mistake, and the mistake of many people, then and now, is to treat the Christian faith like an ideology. Looking for Jesus Christ among the dead.
But the truth of Easter is not to be found in the grave of past experience, of pre-conceived expectations, it’s in the joy and constant surprises of new life, which Jesus brings us.
But will we recognise him when he turns up – unexpectedly – drying our tears, as he dried Mary’s in the garden by the tomb; when he breaks through the barriers we - like the frightened disciples - build around ourselves?
Read it all.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says Back to Church Sunday is "essential" in a new videocast going live as registrations open for Back to Church Sunday, 30th September 2012.
In a speech to diocesan and denominational Back to Church Sunday champions at Lambeth Palace, the Archbishop said: "We have been in danger of forgetting just how much we still have in the 'bank', just how much… wish there is for connections to be made in the minds and hearts of a lot of people. What Back to Church Sunday has more than anything demonstrated is that you don't have to dig too far to find that desire for connection."
Read it all and see what you think of the video and website.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Archbishop of Canterbury --Rowan Williams Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Evangelism and Church Growth * Culture-Watch Media Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Attendance at cathedrals has increased by 30 per cent since 2001, figures released by Church House last week suggest.
In 2001, 21,100 adults and 5700 children attended Sunday and mid-week services at cathedrals. In 2011, 28,000 adults and 6800 children attended Sunday and mid-week services. Attendance has grown on average by three per cent each year.
There was also increased attendance at Easter and Christmas services.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Religion & Culture * International News & Commentary England / UK
Any "success" in new nuclear talks between Iran and world powers will depend on bridging a trust gap that has widened since the last round of talks failed 15 months ago.
In that time, Iran has advanced its uranium enrichment expertise and material stockpiles, and not resolved questions about possible past nuclear weapons-related efforts.
Though Iran's supreme religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declares that having nuclear weapons is a "sin," and vows that the Islamic Republic will never pursue them, the US and some other nations demand incontrovertible proof.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Culture-Watch Science & Technology * Economics, Politics Defense, National Security, Military Foreign Relations Politics in General * International News & Commentary America/U.S.A. England / UK Europe Middle East Iran
O God, who by the glorious resurrection of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast destroyed death, and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, being raised together with him, may know the comfort and strength of his presence, and rejoice in hope of thy everlasting glory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be dominion and praise for ever and ever.
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Mag'dalene and Jo-an'na and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
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