Posted by Kendall Harmon

As the General Synod of the Church of England faces the vote on women bishops, its most important decision in recent decades, the Archbishop of Canterbury's head of reconciliation has outlined the keystones of his path to peace.

Canon David Porter, who has been working for month behind the scenes in the Church of England to broker new relationships between the factions divided over the consecration of women, told an international audience of church leaders that bad religion too easily triumphs over good, and that reconciliation is elusive.

Canon Porter, a leading peacemaker behind the scenes during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, made six "pertinent and provocative" observations of his experience of being a "religious peacemaker" in a situation of conflict where religion has often been said to be the cause and part of the problem rather than the solution.

Read it all from Christian Today.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Theology

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Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh Dr Richard Clarke says the Anglican Church must take a long-term approach to its mission in Ireland over the next twenty years which should be based on reality rather than wishful thinking.

The Primate made the comments as the results of a parish-based census, commissioned by the General Synod in 2012 and carried out last November, were released.

The survey shows that average attendance at worship on a ‘usual’ Sunday was 58,000 people – 15 per cent of those reporting as Church of Ireland in the 2011 national Censuses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted June 19, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

From an early RNS story--The Roman Catholic archbishop of Dublin, regarded as among the most influential church leaders in England and Ireland, has added his voice to those calling for an urgent inquiry into the discovery of nearly 800 babies and children buried in a septic tank at Tuam, a home for unwed mothers in western Ireland.

The scandal is just the latest among many to come to light involving the suffering of children in Ireland’s history, and it may be among the factors that have contributed to a big fall in church attendance in recent years.

“If a public or state inquiry is not established into outstanding issues of concern surrounding the mother-and-baby homes, then it is important that a social history project be undertaken to get an accurate picture of these homes in our country’s history,” said Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

Read it all. But please see this important article which came out later: Tuam mother and baby home: the trouble with the septic tank story.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted June 7, 2014 at 7:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The inaugural Ecumenical Bible Week takes place from June 8 to15, starting on Pentecost Sunday. This new initiative, involving all the main churches, is a different kind of celebration. It is not a congress or an assembly but a series of events which will move around Dublin and the wider area.

With a highly ecumenical engagement, this new initiative has great potential for the coming together of Christians from all backgrounds around the Word of God which we all share.

The Ecumenical Bible Week is a direct fruit of the International Eucharistic Congress of 2012. If it proves a success, it may become an annual event. The churches and movements involved so far are: Scripture Union, the Evangelical Alliance, the Orthodox Church, the Church of Ireland, the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted May 22, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Manchester Diocese has over 140 women serving as clergy in the Church. Some were among the first to be ordained priest in 1994.

Bishop Pat said: "It is such a privilege to be invited to speak at such an auspicious occasion as this. It is amazing how, twenty years later, we have taken so much for granted, and it is good on occasion to look back and see how far we have come.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)Church of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchWomen* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted May 22, 2014 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As I recall—my memory is anything but faultless, but I'm relatively confident about this—the primary conclusion that I drew from this statement was that, as a member of the Church of England, Lewis was neither Methodist, Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, nor Anglican. Which even now seems to me a reasonable conclusion, given the information I had and did not have at the time. How was I to know that "Anglican" was somehow related to "Church of England"? And if you had told me that Episcopalians—of whose existence I believe I had some nebulous awareness—were also Anglicans, I would have had no idea what that could possibly mean.

In any case, as a new inquirer into Christianity, I thought that the book seemed worth reading, and bought it, along with another one chosen with even less knowledge: a paperback commentary on Paul's letter to the Romans by one F. F. Bruce. And on the choice of those two books hangs quite a tale, as far as the course of my own life is concerned.

I do not want to be careless in generalizing from my own experience in gauging Lewis's religious position, but if, as I suspect, it is indeed relatively common, I want to suggest that one significant reason for Lewis's widespread positive reception in the U.S. involves simple ignorance on the part of American audiences of what it means to be a layman of the Church of England. That is, Lewis did not fit into the known landscape of American religious life: the ordinary American Christian had to evaluate his work on the basis of what information was available—primarily that he was a scholar at a prestigious university and a bestselling author—and on the ideas themselves. And it may be that such readers were better positioned to hear what Lewis had to say than people, like Hugh Trevor-Roper and the readers of Sheed & Ward advertising and J. R. R. Tolkien, who for very different reasons believed that they had knowledge external to the writings that helped them to place and fix Lewis in a field of possibilities already known to them. This is what I mean by my title: "the uses of ignorance."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicalsRoman Catholic* TheologyApologetics

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Posted May 21, 2014 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A large congregation gathered in St Eunan’s Cathedral in Raphoe on Saturday 3 May for the installation of the new Dean, Canon Arthur Barrett.

Dean Barrett was joined by his wife Brigid, his family and many friends. As well as many from the diocese of Derry and Raphoe there was a strong representation from his former parish of Rossory. People had also travelled from as far afield as Dublin for the Service.

The preacher at the Service was Archbishop David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Following the installation there were refreshments and speeches of welcome in the modern parish hall.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish Ministry* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted May 6, 2014 at 11:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Think of Jesus. His words are few. He is exhausted and in pain. Two words however remain: a word of mercy to the criminal who repents; a word of fidelity, handing himself to his Father, his mission completed.

Lord we live in a world filled with words. Perhaps never in history have there been so many words: spoken, printed, electronically stored or moving invisibly. Help us to realise that few words are necessary. Empty words foster empty hearts. There are realities which do not need words. Give us Lord the words to ask for forgiveness, the words which touch those things in our hearts we would not want anyone to hear, but things that keep us entrapped in sinfulness and isolation. Give us words to forgive, to be generous and loving.Open our heart in mercy to those who long for freedom. Keep us faithful like Jesus to what we are called to, to what is most noble and good in our lives.

In a world where everything has a shelf-life and what we dislike can be quickly discarded, help us to learn that singular characteristic of God: being faithful. The events of Good Friday realise something that has been spoken of throughout the history of God’s encounter with his people. God remains faithful to his people, even when his people generation after generation fail him and fail him and betray him and betray him[.]

True goodness is not a passing emotion. It is not about feeling good. It is about being faithful to goodness when it is easy, when it is challenging, and even when it leads to our annihilation in the eyes of those who seek their only own interest.

Jesus dies. He breathes his last and that last is the same as the first words recorded about Jesus: “I must be about my Father’s business”; “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.

Jesus humbles himself, he empties himself, and his love is so great that he empties himself even unto death, death on the Cross. But the Cross triumphs. His self-giving love is so complete that it brings new life, true live.

Lord help us to reject everything that is trivial and superficial. Give us the love that Jesus showed on the Cross: love that endures and that saves.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristology

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Posted April 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A service to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide will take place on Monday 7 April at 7.30 p.m. in St Anne’s Cathedral Belfast. The speaker will be the Presbyterian Moderator, The Rt Revd Dr Rob Craig.

The Revd Canon Jerome Munyangaju, Rector of Killyleagh, who – along with the Dean of St Anne’s, the Very Revd John Mann – will also participate in the service, said in advance of it: ‘This year, the 7th of April marks the commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. This 20th anniversary is an important occasion on which we remember over a million lives brutally lost in just 100 days. Their cries should have been answered, yet the international community, aware of the desperate situation, chose not to intervene. The country and its people have scarring memories of the violent killings, pain and trauma. Kwibuka (remembering) of our past helps toward the healing of our future....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandChurch of Rwanda* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryViolence* International News & CommentaryAfricaRwandaEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

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Posted April 7, 2014 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Anglican- Jewish Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Office of the Archbishop of Canterbury is meeting in Dublin this week for the first time since its foundation in 2006.

This evening members of the Commission will attend a reception at Áras an Uachtaráin, hosted by President Michael D Higgins. Other guests will include the Church of Ireland primate Rev Richard Clarke, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Most Rev Diarmuid Martin, the papal nuncio Archbishop Charles Brown, Rabbi Zalman Lent of the Dublin Hebrew congregation and Rabbi David Singer of Belfast Jewish community.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryInter-Faith RelationsOther FaithsJudaism

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Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

As biblical Anglicans, you all are doing a courageous thing to stand firm for Christ, His truth, and His kingdom. Ruth and I highly esteem you and all of the St. Michael’s congregation, especially the leadership of those who are weekly and daily wrestling with the rigors of adversarial legal action. May Christ give you a good resolution to this struggle, so that the congregation can continue in such an historic and crucial location.
The week following our friendly meeting, Franklin Graham asked me to assist the My Hope outreach in the United Kingdom. I accepted and look forward to devoting significant time and energies to motivating evangelism in the British Isles during 2014. One of my first emails was to the Rev. Richard Bewes, former pastor at All Souls in London, which Dr. John Stott pastored before Richard was appointed. I look forward to working alongside many Anglican pastors in the UK during this year. - See more at: http://www.stmichaelschurch.net/letter-to-the-clergy-2/#sthash.IeUrZLuu.dpuf

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* International News & CommentaryAfricaRwandaEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted March 30, 2014 at 12:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Waiving this question, therefore, I proceed to others, which appear to me, I own, at the present moment especially, of the very gravest practical import.

What are the symptoms, by which one may judge most fairly, whether or no a nation, as such, is becoming alienated from God and Christ?

And what are the particular duties of sincere Christians, whose lot is cast by Divine Providence in a time of such dire calamity?

The conduct of the Jews, in asking for a king, may furnish an ample illustration of the first point : the behaviour of Samuel, then and afterwards, supplies as perfect a pattern of the second, as can well be expected from human nature.

I. The case is at least possible, of a nation, having for centuries acknowledged, as an essential part of its theory of government, that, as a Christian nation, she is also a part of Christ's Church, and bound, in all her legislation and policy, by the fundamental rules of that Church—the case is, I say, conceivable, of a government and people, so constituted, deliberately throwing off the restraint, which in many respects such a principle would impose on them, nay, disavowing the principle itself ; and that, on the plea, that other states, as flourishing or more so in regard of wealth and dominion, do well enough without it. Is not this desiring, like the Jews, to have an earthly king over them, when the Lord their God is their King? Is it not saying in other words, 'We will be as the heathen, the families of the countries,' the aliens to the Church of our Redeemer?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 29, 2014 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted March 17, 2014 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Another parallel in both the Irish and American Churches was an enthusiastic misinterpretation of the Second Vatican Council. Freewheeling liturgical experimentation, and blunt challenges to episcopal authority, were not as open here. But there was among the ordinary clergy and religious, not to mention the laity, a mixture of passivity and thoughtless acceptance of change, as well as an increasing assumption that almost anything was permissible.

One area where this was evident was the individualization of the hitherto communal life of religious orders, which has contributed, in no small way, to the diminution in their numbers. Another was in church architecture where structures more and more assumed the character of gymnasia, meeting halls, or modernized replicas of Newgrange.

This spirit was most disastrous in the dilution of religious instruction. There was a passive assumption that children were receiving proper catechetical instruction in the schools under Catholic management. So long as the First Communion and Confirmation exercises were conducted, everyone seemed content, with little thought as to the content or depth of religious instruction, or encouragement of religious devotion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted March 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The University Times is the student newspaper of Trinity College, Dublin--KSH.

Being an active member of the Sea of Faith network has not made [David] Paterson’s life any easier. He has come up against hostility within the Church of England: “Various bishops have tried to get me out at various stages. Well… To be honest… Two bishops. Once it was for appearing on the BBC programme The Heart of the Matter to discuss reading the resurrection stories as metaphor. The bishop sort of worked on me for a year to see if he could manage to get me out but he didn’t succeed.” As shocking as it was to hear that not believing in the existence of God is insufficient grounds to get a priest expelled from the Church of England, Paterson confirmed this: “Well, the Church of England is funny that way. It likes to think that it can tell people what they should believe. But as a matter of fact, the process of expelling someone is so complicated and so expensive that it is hardly ever used.” Despite this though, two Sea of Faith members who were clergymen have been successfully dismissed from their posts: Church of England priest Anthony Freeman and Andrew Furlong of the Church of Ireland.

Paterson claims that his unorthodox views do not cause problems with his parishioners: “I didn’t ever have much trouble with my congregation. But then even course I was not shoving it down their throats. I wasn’t trying to tell anyone else what to believe any more than I would want other people to tell me what to believe.” I asked him what he do if a member of his congregation came to him having doubts about the existence of God. I was under the impression that this would have been a tricky situation. Paterson is surprisingly laid back about it: “Well of course there is a surprisingly large number of people like that. This is why Sea of Faith was set up. There were loads and loads of people who were anxious because they thought that they were losing their faith. Some of them were ordained and some of them were not. What we wanted to do was reassure them that there weren’t losing their faith. They were actually finding a real faith which was not based on false premises.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Theology

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Posted February 21, 2014 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Deirdre Lyons, Pearse's wife and director of Alltech's corporate image, is spearheading plans to renovate the building, which is surrounded by 300,000 graves, including that of Pearse Lyons' grandfather, John Hubert Lyons.

"I'm working with a historic preservation architect and a team to restore it to its former glory," Deirdre Lyons said. The building hasn't been a church in decades and most recently was a lighting store, so it is in pretty sad shape, she said. Half the steeple and the stained glass windows are gone.

Alltech paid about $900,000 for the building, plus about $45,000 to the Church of Ireland to release the site from covenants that would have prevented the sale or use of alcohol.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchAlcohol/Drinking* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate LifeHousing/Real Estate Market* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted February 5, 2014 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Tuesday (Jan. 28), the European Court of Human Rights found the government was liable in a case in which a principal sexually abused a student, then 9 years old, when she attended a state-funded Catholic school in the 1970s. An Irish court had rejected her claims on the grounds that the school wasn’t public, but the European court decided the government had failed in its duty to protect children.

The ruling touched on an issue that has taken on greater urgency in recent years as sexual abuse scandals have rocked the church and more nonreligious people have immigrated to the staunchly Catholic country: Who should run Ireland’s schools?

The Catholic Church runs 90 percent of primary schools in Ireland. The rest are mainly Protestant, and about 4 percent are managed by the nonprofit Educate Together, which is nonsectarian.

The arrangement is unsettling to some parents who have little choice in where to send their children.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 30, 2014 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church leaders are encouraging politicians to sustain the momentum and energy generated by the Haass talks.

In a joint statement from the leaders of the Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Presbyterian and Methodist Churches together with the Irish Council of Churches they applaud the ‘strenuous and sincere efforts put in by all involved in seeking to find solutions to some of the most contentious issues we face’.

They also recognise the ‘profoundly challenging’ nature of the issues to be addressed but firmly believe that ‘a peaceful and reconciled society is possible’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesMethodistPresbyterianRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Catholic priest was carrying an ultra-secret document that could mark a breakthrough in one of the world’s bloodiest conflicts. En route to deliver it, though, a humanitarian crisis forced him to stop: he tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent a mob from murdering an unarmed soldier. After giving the soldier last rites, he continued to carry his potent message—although he had to change the envelope, which had become soaked with blood.

Such a heroic story sounds almost as if it comes from a Catholic suspense novel, but it really did happen—in Belfast in 1988. The priest in question was Alec Reid of the Redemptorist Order, who died in November at the age of 82.

Although little known in North America, in Ireland itself he is lauded for his critical role in ending the decades-long struggle be­tween the (Catho­lic) Pro­visional Irish Repub­lican Army and the British government. His mighty example of Christian peacemaking cries out to be remembered.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & CultureViolence* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted January 9, 2014 at 3:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When we started production on this Op-Doc video, we never imagined the impact one person could have on his homeland, or the extent to which we would witness that impact and legacy.

People from all areas of Ireland and all walks of life would offer to help with our filmmaking in any way they could. “For Seamus,” they’d say, “I’d do anything.”

Read it all and watch the whole short op-doc, as it is killed.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & Literature* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted December 24, 2013 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A senior figure in the Church of Ireland has criticized members of his own church for being dismissive of Catholics.

Anglican Archbishop Michael Jackson of Dublin also said his members needed to be kinder to fellow Protestants who had married Catholics.

Referring to a recent political debate on abortion, Archbishop Jackson said, "I remember earlier this year the deeply pejorative remarks I heard directed against the Roman Catholic Church by members of these dioceses to me because of its stance and principle on abortion.

"The comments were conversational but it was, more than anything, the assumption of an entitlement to be dismissive more than the criticism of content of the other tradition that came across as instinctive," he said, writing in The Irish Times newspaper.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted October 22, 2013 at 11:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney, who has died aged 74, was described by Robert Lowell as “the most important Irish poet since Yeats”. Widely acclaimed for his many notable achievements, he was undoubtedly the most popular poet writing in English, and the only one assured of a place in the bestseller lists. His books sold, and continue to sell, in the tens of thousands, while hordes of “Heaneyboppers” flocked to his readings. His earliest influences, Robert Frost and Ted Hughes, are reflected throughout his work, but most especially in his first two collections, where he recollected images of his childhood on the family farm in Co Derry. Other poets, especially Gerard Manley Hopkins, William Wordsworth and Thomas Hardy, as well as Dante, also influenced his work....

[About him] the critic Helen Vendler wrote: “Seamus broadened my view of Ireland, north and south – its geography, its history, its labour, its sounds, its euphemisms, its crises of conscience, its bog bodies, its bombs, its weather, its sectarian stand-offs, its twilights.” Poet and critic Robert Pinsky praised Heaney’s “gift for laughter and for friendship, a generosity entirely congruent with the qualities of his great gift and accomplishment in art”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryPoetry & Literature* Economics, PoliticsEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted August 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At Boston College's commencement ceremony on Monday, Cardinal Sean O'Malley won't be in attendance. The leader of the Boston archdiocese announced on May 10 that he would not deliver his traditional graduation benediction at the Catholic school because the college had invited Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny—a supporter of abortion rights in Ireland—to deliver the graduation address and receive an honorary degree.

The cardinal said the invitation has caused "confusion, disappointment and harm" by ignoring the U.S. bishops "who have asked that Catholic institutions not honor government officials or politicians who promote abortion with their laws and policies."

In April, Mr. Kenny's coalition government introduced legislation with the curious title "The Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013." It will allow access to direct abortion for pregnant women if they claim to be so distraught about the pregnancy that they are in danger of committing suicide. Mr. Kenny has said that he "would like to see the legislation enacted before the Dail [parliament] rises for the summer."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchEducationLife EthicsReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

1 Comments
Posted May 17, 2013 at 11:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The new bishop of Kildare and Leighlin has said these are “difficult days” for priests as they see their numbers dwindle but pledged to work to encourage vocations and develop “collaborative ministry”.

Fr Denis Nulty, who turns 50 next month, will become the country’s youngest Catholic bishop when he is ordained at a ceremony in Carlow Cathedral on a date yet to be confirmed but likely to be during the summer.

A native of Slane in Co Meath and currently the parish priest in Drogheda, Fr Nulty will fill a vacancy in the diocese which has existed since December of 2009 when Bishop James Moriarty offered his resignation following publication of the Murphy report.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted May 8, 2013 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Ven. Leslie Stevenson, who was to have been consecrated this week as Bishop of Meath & Kildare, in the Irish Republic, withdrew on Sunday after a press campaign against him.

His decision to step aside followed two newspaper articles. One in the Dublin-based Sunday Business Post noted that he would be the first divorced bishop in the history of the Church of Ireland, and that he had had a relationship after his first marriage failed.

The second appeared last Friday in the Belfast-based Nationalist daily Irish News, which suggested that Archdeacon Stevenson's consecration was in doubt. It named the woman with whom he had had a relationship, who is now a serving priest in the diocese of Connor.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchMarriage & FamilyMediaReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted May 3, 2013 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The friars are something of a hybrid between monks and diocesan priests. They live together in a priory, sharing prayers and meals. But unlike monks, they work in the broader community in preaching and teaching roles in churches, universities and secondary schools. It is a way of life that Pope Francis himself has chosen, shunning the papal palace for a guesthouse to “live in community” with bishops and priests at the Vatican.

In the United States, the largest northeastern branch is expecting 18 novices to enter its theology school in Washington, which was expanded three years ago. In the smaller southern region based in New Orleans, the Dominicans are scrambling to finance an influx of novices — six this year — with annual expenses of $30,000 for lodging and theology education over seven years.

“People see the habit in a much more positive light then clerical clothing, the black shirt, white collar and suit,” said Martin Ganeri, who is a Dominican vocations promoter for England, where five people entered the order this year. “The habit doesn’t have the negative image of the clergy, the child abuse issue.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted April 4, 2013 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Christmas Eve, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny paid a graveside tribute to an ally who helped bring him to power amid the worst economic crisis in Ireland’s modern history.

Shane McEntee was a “true friend and confidante, who listened to other people’s problems and made them his own,” Kenny said in his speech, after 3,000 people attended the funeral of the food minister. Three days earlier, McEntee had taken his own life. He was 56 with four children.

While financial hardship has led to a spate of suicides in parts of austerity-hit Europe, the deaths of McEntee and the son of well-known restaurant owners less than a week later have turned the national spotlight onto the issue in Ireland.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchPsychologySuicide* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2013 at 5:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here is one:

25. He wrote to Kathy Keller. Kathy Keller is Tim Keller’s wife. She wrote to Lewis when she was 12. There are four letters from him to her in Letters To Children and volume three of Letters of C.S. Lewis.

Read them all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchBooksReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyApologetics

0 Comments
Posted January 23, 2013 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Government's announcement that a combination of legislation and regulations will be introduced to comply with the European Court of Human Rights ruling in the A, B and C case should be "of the utmost concern to all", the four Catholic Archbishops of Ireland have said.

Minister for Health James Reilly presented a memorandum to this morning’s Cabinet meeting. The decision was taken to follow this route – the fourth option from the expert group on abortion - rather than proposing guidelines, an option favoured by anti-abortion campaign groups.

Responding tonight to the announcement, the Archbishops said the proposal would "pave the way for the direct and intentional killing of unborn children. This can never be morally justified in any circumstances".

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & MedicineLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & CultureScience & Technology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

1 Comments
Posted December 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Human life is sacred and precious. Every human being must be treated with the greatest respect. This is true at every moment of life, from its first beginnings to its natural death. In the womb we grow and develop as full human beings, not as potential human beings. We read in the Old Testament: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I sanctified you” (Jeremiah 1:5).

The child in the womb must enjoy the same rights as all other people, among which is the unassailable right of an innocent person to life. This includes our responsibility as a society to defend and promote the equal right to life of a pregnant mother and the innocent and defenceless child in her womb when the life of either of these persons is at risk. They have an equal right to life. The Catholic Church has never taught that the life of a child in the womb should be preferred to that of the mother. In situations where a seriously ill pregnant woman needs medical treatment which may put the life of her baby at risk, such treatments are morally permissible, provided that every effort has been made to save the life of both the mother and her baby.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenHealth & MedicineLife EthicsMarriage & FamilyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted December 12, 2012 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cardinal Brady expressed his joy following the news, saying that he looked forward to having Bishop Clark as "a fellow citizen in the Primatial City and to working with him."

"I have known Bishop Richard Clarke for many years. In recent times we have served together on the Irish Inter-Church Committee. I have always found him to be a person of great wisdom, gentleness and kindness," he said.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted October 5, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Finally, let me say a word about]... the wider world. Peter Berger has stated that secularization, far from being an inexorable product of modernity throughout the world, is more or less confined to Western and Central Europe and what he calls “an international cultural elite.” In the rest of the world vibrant religious cultures are the default position, not the exception. I see this gap between secularized cultural elites and global religious traditions as potentially one of the most dangerous things in our world. The consequences need to be thought about, especially since research universities like ours recruit most of our faculty and students from Berger’s secularized minorities. We need to know about this gap, how it works, and what its consequences are.

Stephen Prothero has stated that “The United States is one of the most religious places on earth, but it is also a nation of shocking religious illiteracy”—even among college students. We have already paid a heavy price for this ignorance, and we dare not let it go unattended. We have serious work to do at Harvard and beyond to improve religious literacy in this country and in the wider world.

Finally, a flashback to Northern Ireland in 1969–70. That was the year I went to Queen’s University Belfast as a young undergraduate. I was a typical child of the 1960s, more interested in sport, music, and girls than understanding the religious and political dynamics of my own culture. All hell broke loose in Northern Ireland in those years, with hundreds of people a year dying in violent incidents in the early 1970s. Like Prothero’s religious illiterates, I really didn’t know what was going on. I should have. I vowed I would find out. That’s why I’m standing here today. Religious illiteracy matters; we ignore it at our peril. Let’s take it on.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.England / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther Faiths* TheologySeminary / Theological Education

1 Comments
Posted September 27, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi yesterday challenged his fellow members of the Inter Anglican Standing Commission on Unity Faith and Order (IASCUFO) “to recognise the body of Christ when we meet each other”.

“When people look at us today, can they see beyond divisions within the Communion to recognise the body of Christ?” he asked, as the Commission gathered to take forward its work on deepening communion between the Churches of the Anglican Communion, and within the global Christian family.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted September 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“Today we are often in a situation in which we have to defend Catholic teaching within a cultural framework which is not of our creation and indeed may be hostile to our thought. This is especially the case when a culture becomes dominated by individualism. It is very difficult, for example, to defend the Catholic understanding of marriage and sexuality in a culture of individualism, when sexuality involves by its very nature the concept of mutuality and self giving. If we end up simply defending, there is the danger that we will end up being trapped within the categories of someone else’s culture and only present a negative vision of our teaching.

It is important at times to be against, but there is the more fundamental task of illustrating the real nature of our teaching. If sexuality is seen only in terms of individual rights, then any expression of sexuality, unless it is patently exploitative, will be acceptable. In today’s society we have to be able to illustrate the values of a vision of society which springs from our faith, but we have to be able to do so through rational argument”.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPhilosophyReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* Theology

1 Comments
Posted September 7, 2012 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The anger within the three parties of the ruling coalition is understandable. These are the parties of the German taxpayer, after all, and ever since the sovereign debt crisis began they have been reciting the mantra that the eurozone is not and will not become a “transfer union”; that there will be no mutualisation of debt; that Mediterranean sloth and tax evasion will not be rewarded by payments from hardworking, honest Nordic Germany.

If this sounds racist, it’s because the debate is tinged on all sides by nationalist stereotypes. The German middle class feels it has been had and the country is digesting Moody’s downgrading of its credit rating. “Is this what we get for saving the Greeks?” asks the tabloid Bild. Good question....

It is impossible to explain to a German who has had her retirement age upped to 67, or an unemployed German whose benefits have been cut to balance the budget, why billions of euros should go south to support governments that didn’t have the guts to slash social spending or who let their citizens retire to the beach at 55.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted July 31, 2012 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It is important to stress here that the ecclesiology of communion promoted by the Council takes its inspiration from the Eucharistic ecclesiology of the Orthodox, especially Afanassief, who is cited in the texts. The Council’s ecclesiology is thus of great ecumenical import. The intervention of John Zizioulas, the Metropolitan of Pergamon, at the 2005 Roman Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist, testifies to this: “The ecclesiology of communion promoted by Vatican II and deepened further by eminent Roman Catholic theologians can make sense only if it derives from the eucharistic life of the Church. The Eucharist belongs not simply to the beneesse but to theesseof the Church. The whole life, word and structure of the Church iseucharistic in its very essence.” Walter Kasper agrees wholeheartedly and holds that “eucharistic ecclesiology has become one of the most important foundations of the ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEcclesiologySacramental TheologyEucharist

1 Comments
Posted June 8, 2012 at 11:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The majority of Catholics in Ireland do not attend Mass regularly and significant numbers do not believe in key tenets of the church’s teaching, according to an Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll.

The poll results, which come as Ireland hosts the 50th Eucharistic Congress of the Catholic Church this week, show belief in the church is strongest in rural areas but falls off significantly in urban areas.

Despite the fallout from clerical sex abuse scandals, a significant proportion of the country – including non-Catholics – believe the church has had a broadly positive influence on Ireland.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

9 Comments
Posted June 6, 2012 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The weeklong 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which gets under way in Dublin June 10, will be Ireland's largest religious event since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979.

The celebration of faith offers a lively mixture of prayer, reflection and liturgy with participation from some of the leading voices in the Catholic world.

Organizers promise an estimated 12,000 overseas visitors the traditional Irish "cead mile failte" --"a hundred thousand welcomes." Many Dubliners have opened their homes to pilgrims.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologySacramental TheologyEucharist

0 Comments
Posted May 31, 2012 at 5:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Pan-­‐Orthodox Episcopal Assembly for the British Isles and Ireland has considered the Government's proposed changes to the law relating to civil marriage and welcomes the opportunity to respond to the public consultation on this important matter. We recognise that we live in a pluralistic society and we value the traditional tolerance of British society in which we enjoy freedom to practise and witness in accordance with our Orthodox Christian faith. At the same time, we cannot be indifferent to the evident signs of the negative consequences of the weakening of the traditional understanding of family life that has undeniably occurred in the last fifty years or so. The tragically high rates of family breakdown and divorce, of teenage pregnancy and abortions and of single-­‐parent families are painful to contemplate. The early sexualisation of children and indeed, the loss of childhood itself, fill us with concern for the future of our society.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

2 Comments
Posted May 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At Wembley [for the recent FA cup semi-final] , I knew that the time was right to return to Goodison [home stadium for Everton of whom he is a life-long supporter]. I thought of the last time I brought my father over, when we had seats in the Bullens Road side of the ground.

He was captivated by a lady in her eighties wearing an Everton shirt and bellowing at the top of her lungs at the players on the park to "get stuck into them" as well as exchanging a few choice chants at the Middlesbrough fans in the away-section near the corner flag.

My father told absolutely everyone we met afterwards, from the pub to the airport, about this "brilliant wee woman" who has had a season ticket for more than half a century. He adored her spirit and her energy, in spite of her years.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & FamilySports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If you thought that the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, Ireland, this June was just for Catholics, you would be wrong. “There is a genuine sense of excitement and expectation right across the Christian traditions in Ireland”, says Rev. Michael Jackson, the Anglican Archbishop of Dublin....

It may be the 50th global gathering of the Catholic Church on the Eucharist, but from the outset the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin, decided this Congress should also become an opportunity to further the ecumenical journey in Ireland, which for historical reasons has often been an uphill climb. On the opening day of the Congress, Monday June 11th, pilgrims will explore the theme, Communion in One Baptism with key-note addresses from Br. Alois Löser (Prior of the Taizé Community, France), Dr Maria Voce (President of Focolare) and Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev (Metropolitan Archbishop of Volokolamsk -Russian Orthodox).

Listen to it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

2 Comments
Posted May 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At 11:40pm on Saturday night, the exact time the Titanic struck the iceberg that led to its sinking less than three hours later, Rev Chris [Bennett] will lead a vigil that will feature a virtual choir, a reading of Titanic’s SOS messages and a reading aloud of the names of those who were lost.

“Lips may wobble,” he admitted.

“This city will truly, properly pay a profound and heartfelt tribute to that tragic moment which shook so many lives, echoed around the world and [which] still resounds down through the decades.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryParish Ministry* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted April 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Think of Jesus. His words are few. He is exhausted and in pain. Two words however remain: a word of mercy to the criminal who repents; a word of fidelity, handing himself to his Father, his mission completed.

Lord we live in a world filled with words. Perhaps never in history have there been so many words: spoken, printed, electronically stored or moving invisibly. Help us to realise that few words are necessary. Empty words foster empty hearts. There are realities which do not need words. Give us Lord the words to ask for forgiveness, the words which touch those things in our hearts we would not want anyone to hear, but things that keep us entrapped in sinfulness and isolation. Give us words to forgive, to be generous and loving.Open our heart in mercy to those who long for freedom. Keep us faithful like Jesus to what we are called to, to what is most noble and good in our lives.

In a world where everything has a shelf-life and what we dislike can be quickly discarded, help us to learn that singular characteristic of God: being faithful. The events of Good Friday realise something that has been spoken of throughout the history of God’s encounter with his people. God remains faithful to his people, even when his people generation after generation fail him and fail him and betray him and betray him[.]

True goodness is not a passing emotion. It is not about feeling good. It is about being faithful to goodness when it is easy, when it is challenging, and even when it leads to our annihilation in the eyes of those who seek their only own interest.

Jesus dies. He breathes his last and that last is the same as the first words recorded about Jesus: “I must be about my Father’s business”; “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit”.

Jesus humbles himself, he empties himself, and his love is so great that he empties himself even unto death, death on the Cross. But the Cross triumphs. His self-giving love is so complete that it brings new life, true live.

Lord help us to reject everything that is trivial and superficial. Give us the love that Jesus showed on the Cross: love that endures and that saves.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyChristology

0 Comments
Posted April 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted March 17, 2012 at 7:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At times, Dr Williams’ dense academic language has left commentators and journalists struggling to understand him — a difficulty highlighted in the row that engulfed him in the early part of 2008 over his remarks about sharia law in a BBC radio interview and in a public lecture.

Dr Williams apologised later for what he famously termed his “unclarity” in a speech to the General Synod, the National Assembly of the Church of England, after an unprecedentedly hostile reaction from many sectors of society.

The row led to calls for him to resign and accusations that he was, however well-loved, essentially an academic who was not suited to the job of leading the Anglican Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted March 16, 2012 at 6:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Book of Common Prayer, 1551

This object is doubly resonant. It is the first book printed in Ireland and, as such, marks the island’s rather belated acquisition of one of the defining features of modernity. The revolutionary process of printing on a press with moveable type was pioneered by Johannes Gutenberg in Germany almost exactly a century earlier. The delay in catching up with this new technology says much about Ireland’s absence from the mainstream of the Renaissance.

But if the advent of the first printed book brings a key aspect of modernity to Ireland, that modernity arrives in a form that is unwelcome to a substantial majority of the population....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, Worship* Culture-WatchHistory* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted March 11, 2012 at 11:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The recent theft of a 12th century Irish saint’s heart from a Dublin church has left local Christians stunned and devastated.

“All I would ask is that whoever took it would return it with no questions asked. It’s valueless to anyone but the Cathedral here and our community and the community of Dublin…we’re grieving over it, really,” church dean Rev. Dermot Dunne told CNA on March 5.

The heart of St. Laurence O’Toole was stolen from Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin sometime between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on March 3 and has yet to be recovered.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistrySpirituality/Prayer* Culture-WatchHistoryReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

0 Comments
Posted March 7, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

[Frank] Carson had left school at 14 with no qualifications and became an apprentice electrician, but at 16 switched to being a plasterer. In his spare time he worked on his spiel as a stand-up comic, a talent that earned him regular appearances on Northern Ireland television. When he was 25 he sold some scripts to the regional BBC station, and became a professional entertainer, touring with the Australian magician known as The Great Levante.

Encouraged to try his luck on the northern club scene on the mainland, Carson was spotted by the television producer Barney Colehan and signed up for his first network exposure on the music-hall tribute show The Good Old Days. Meanwhile on ITV, Carson - having thrice won Opportunity Knocks - was also booked to appear on The Comedians by the producer Johnny Hamp.

This was the show that transformed Carson from an obscure club comedian into a comedy star.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchMovies & Television* General InterestHumor / Trivia* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted March 3, 2012 at 8:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Suicide spreads when people feel authorised to opt for it and when they have lost the will to remain alive. The second part is less important than the first part.

Most people wish they were dead at some time or other in their lives. It is the culture of authorisation that translates a possibly temporary indifference to life into a decisive and final action which can be a key factor in the spread of suicide.

The more people hear of suicides, the more suicides will follow.

And the emotive, non-judgmental, godless culture that has emerged in recent years rules out the use of taboo as a social influence on society generally.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMiddle AgePsychologySuicideReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted January 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church of Ireland Primate, Archbishop Alan Harper:

A personal culture of kindness needs to be reclaimed in modern society. A kind word and a kind gesture can go a long way to making the lives of hard-pressed people bearable. It can light up a life and it says: “I'm someone, not no one.

“I count in the eyes of someone else....”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsChristmas* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted December 24, 2011 at 9:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Facebook users will enjoy tighter privacy controls after the social networking giant was ordered by the Republic of Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner to change how it handles personal data.

The company was issued with a raft of recommendations including deleting personal information sooner and allowing users better control on the use of data.

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner yesterday published the outcome of its audit of Facebook Ireland, which was carried out over the last three months.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingLaw & Legal IssuesScience & Technology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted December 23, 2011 at 4:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In recent years, Western ambassadors have quietly complained that it has become more difficult to engage the Vatican on international issues, and that Vatican diplomacy appears to be passing through a period of retrenchment.

Vatican diplomats today, they say, are highly focused on issues of religious freedom and anti-Christian persecution, but sometimes less interested in other matters. Some diplomats point to perceptions that the Vatican was not keenly engaged on Libya in the same way it had been on earlier conflicts in the Balkans or Iraq under John Paul, as an example.

Moreover, these diplomats say, the sexual abuse crisis has created a political environment in which critics of funding missions to the Vatican can wield powerful new ammunition.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted December 3, 2011 at 10:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The pastoral letter of 2003 refers to those who seek a change in favour of same-sex relationships on the grounds of ‘a developing understanding of the nature of humanity and sexuality’. We would reject any implication, explicit or implied, by default or by design, that somehow those who hold to and affirm the teaching and doctrine of the church are somehow ‘less informed’ or have a ‘less developed understanding’. Whilst none of us see all things clearly, there are matters on which it is possible, on mature and informed reflection, to be clear. We welcome the inclusion of, and opportunity to engage with, all shades of opinion on the presenting issues....

We welcome this purpose and hope and pray we can conduct ourselves and our conversations with sensitivity, honesty, truth and grace. We would observe however that it is not just issues ‘related to’ human sexuality that need to be addressed, but rather issues ‘within which’ the current issue of human sexuality presents itself. We recognise the need to establish clear parameters that will enable us to deal specifically with the issue of sexuality. However, the framework in which we must think is indeed, as you have asserted, biblical, theological, and legal, to name but three. These are issues of how we interpret scripture, how faith engages with and critiques culture, of what it means to have a unity of mind and purpose, of what our mission is. The presenting issue is human sexuality but it is not the defining issue. We must not make the mistake of allowing human sexuality to become the lens through which we look at and understand wider issues.

The defining issue is our vision of God, and what it means for His people to represent Him in His mission of love to redeem His world. If we start with the ethics of human sexuality the danger is that we will end up with rather legalistic and regulated forms of wording as to what is or is not acceptable, with potentially some very hurtful and divisive dialogue along the way. If we start with our vision of God we might just end up with a renewed confidence in what it means to be a redeemed and transformed people, a new creation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. Perhaps in so doing the Word of God made flesh may well redeem our words that they might speak truth in love, seasoned with grace. Language, and how we use it, will be very important as we proceed. We would respectfully suggest that the third purpose be stated as being ‘to explore issues that include and may be related to human sexuality’.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted December 2, 2011 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...Pope Benedict is clear that the Church should not seek to regain its power in European societies. Indeed, loss of church goods or privilege can actually be a great liberation for church. After all, it is not there to compete for status with other power blocs in society.

However, religion can continue to play an essential role in the creation of a modern society. Referring to the fact that large parts of Germany had known Nazi and Marxist dictatorships in the 20th century, the Pope underlined how ideology without God and political agendas without a sense of human dignity are inhuman.

If religion needs freedom, freedom also needs religion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

0 Comments
Posted November 30, 2011 at 4:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even as the euro zone hurtles towards a crash, most people are assuming that, in the end, European leaders will do whatever it takes to save the single currency. That is because the consequences of the euro’s destruction are so catastrophic that no sensible policymaker could stand by and let it happen.

A euro break-up would cause a global bust worse even than the one in 2008-09. The world’s most financially integrated region would be ripped apart by defaults, bank failures and the imposition of capital controls....The euro zone could shatter into different pieces, or a large block in the north and a fragmented south. Amid the recriminations and broken treaties after the failure of the European Union’s biggest economic project, wild currency swings between those in the core and those in the periphery would almost certainly bring the single market to a shuddering halt. The survival of the EU itself would be in doubt.

Yet the threat of a disaster does not always stop it from happening. The chances of the euro zone being smashed apart have risen alarmingly, thanks to financial panic, a rapidly weakening economic outlook and pigheaded brinkmanship. The odds of a safe landing are dwindling fast.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryPsychology* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankStock MarketThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

1 Comments
Posted November 26, 2011 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Banks clamored for emergency funds from the European Central Bank on Tuesday, borrowing the most since early 2009 in a clear sign that the euro region’s financial institutions are having trouble obtaining credit at reasonable rates on the open market.

Indebted governments among the 17 members of the European Union that use the euro are also finding it harder to borrow at affordable rates as investors lose confidence in their creditworthiness.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted November 22, 2011 at 11:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

No one should have to stay in an oppressive, violent or mutually corrosive relationship to death. Maureen Waller, in her book The English Marriage, describes the suffering, trapped wives of all classes who could not legally leave greedy or vicious spouses until the laws were changed.

But now divorce has become an exit of convenience for our individualistic and self-indulgent society and that can't be right.

Couples lie to themselves about the pain they are inflicting on their kids and most can only think of parental 'rights', like getting half the house and the joint savings.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyPsychology* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted November 12, 2011 at 4:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Obama, at any rate, felt that they would have little value. Instead, he confronted the Germans in Cannes with a suggestion so radical that it alarmed both Merkel and Schäuble. To save the common currency, Obama proposed that the Europeans follow the example of the American Federal Reserve, which buys up almost unlimited amounts of US treasury bonds when necessary.

The Germans pointed out feebly that the ECB operates within a completely different tradition than the Fed, and that it also pursues a different mission. But it is becoming increasingly clear to Merkel and her finance minister that, in the end, only the ECB will be able to save the euro if the crisis continues to escalate. It is the only European fiscal policy institution capable of taking action, and it also comes equipped with unlimited firepower. It can never run out of money, because it can simply print new money when needed.

This is an approach Germany's representatives in the ECB council have strongly resisted....But how long can the Germans resist the pressure from other members?

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

4 Comments
Posted November 9, 2011 at 6:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

After months of tense relations over the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Irish government announced [last] Thursday (Nov. 3) that it will close its embassy to the Vatican.

“The government believes that Ireland’s interests with the Holy See can be sufficiently represented by a non-resident ambassador,” said Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

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Posted November 8, 2011 at 4:58 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The 14th crisis summit in 21 months starts with a meeting of all 27 European Union leaders at 6 p.m. The real business gets under way at 7:15 p.m. when chiefs of the 10 non-euro nations depart, leaving the rest to hash out a strategy that they already say requires more work.

The cancellation of a finance ministers’ meeting to precede the summit underscored the holes in the plan. The finance chiefs will now meet at an as-yet undetermined time after the summit to complete its main elements, including safeguarding banks and writing down Greek debt, according to an EU official.

Global exasperation with Europe’s response is deepening, with politicians from Australia to North America prodding the euro area to get ahead of the crisis before it infects the world economy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 The Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreeceItalyPortugalSpain

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Posted October 26, 2011 at 6:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Just when the eurozone governments thought it could not get worse for Europe's single currency, it did.

Shell-shocked EU finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Saturday were already reeling from the worst Franco-German rift for over 20 years and a fractious failure to resolve the problems that have brought Greece, and the euro, close to the brink.

But then a new bombshell hit as a joint report by the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that, without a default, the Greek debt crisis alone could swallow the eurozone's entire €440 billion bailout fund - leaving nothing to spare to help the affected banks of Italy, Spain or France....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

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Posted October 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Church of Ireland bishops have urged their members to refrain from actions or language which could deepen the controversy of same-sex relationships within the Church.

In their Pastoral letter issued yesterday, the 12 bishops from all over Ireland also confirmed that there will be a major conference next spring on the issue, and also committed themselves to additional meetings, including a retreat where they will study and pray together.

They ask people of all shades of opinion within the Church of Ireland to refrain from any actions or the use of emotive or careless language which may further exacerbate the situation.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

2 Comments
Posted October 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We met over three days in an atmosphere of prayer and worship to reflect on current disquiet in the Church caused by disagreements on the matter of human sexuality. We acknowledge that this tension is a cause of distress to many.

Our discussions were frank and careful and, at times, painful. We committed ourselves to listen carefully to one another and speak openly about our differences within the context of a variety of reactions within the Church. Strengthened by our honest interchange of views, we corporately agreed a way forward.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Christian Life / Church LifeLiturgy, Music, WorshipParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

4 Comments
Posted October 6, 2011 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The reserve powers would be well advised to pull out all the stops to save Europe and its banking system. Together they hold $10 trillion in foreign bonds. If they agreed to rotate just 4pc of these holdings ($400bn) into Spanish, Italian, and Belgian debt over the next two years, they could offer a soothing balm. None has yet risen to the challenge. It is `sauve qui peut', with no evidence of G20 leadership in sight.

Once again, the US has had to take charge. The multi-trillion package now taking shape for Euroland was largely concocted in Washington, in cahoots with the European Commission, and is being imposed on Germany by the full force of American diplomacy.

It is an ugly and twisted set of proposals, devised to accomodate Berlin's refusal to accept fiscal union, Eurobonds, and an EU treasury. But at least it is big.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 The Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--The U.S. GovernmentFederal ReserveTreasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GermanyGreeceItalySpain

1 Comments
Posted September 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Before the euro zone, individual countries issued bonds in their local currency and could print more of it, whether it be francs, lire or drachmas, if a crisis was making it difficult to pay off the loans.

Today, with the European Central Bank in charge of euros, governments in Athens, Rome and elsewhere no longer control the “printing press.” Yet even as individual governments lost the power to pay off debts by printing money, the politics and regulations of the euro zone encouraged banks, insurance companies and other financial firms to load up on government bonds — and countries to issue them.

The “persistence in sustaining risk-free status . . . has, in our view, directly contributed to the development and severity of recent market turmoil,” Achim Kassow, a member of the board of managing directors of Germany’s Commerzbank, wrote in a recent study of the bank rule for the European Parliament. “Both the course and the severity of the crisis can clearly be tied to incentives set by current regulation.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

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Posted September 23, 2011 at 7:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Key indicators of credit stress have reached the danger levels seen before the Lehman Brothers failure three years ago, with Markit's iTraxx Crossover index – or "fear gauge" – of corporate bonds surging 56 basis points to 857 on Thursday....

The yield spread between Italian 10-year bonds and Bunds reached a fresh record of 408 basis points before the European Central Bank (ECB) intervened in late trading. It is near the level at which LCH.Clearnet raises margin requirements, the trigger that forced Greece, Portugal and Ireland to request bail-outs.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 The Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugal

0 Comments
Posted September 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

While civil partnership is not marriage and does not necessarily involve same- sex sexual expression, there is a very wide perception that it is a form of gay marriage, and perceptions are, of course, often as important as facts. No doubt for this reason, and also because the Christian ethical aspect of same-sex expression is theologically highly contentious, Church of England bishops ask clergy entering civil partnerships to give an undertaking that their relationship is celibate. Differing views on this subject have co-existed in a relatively settled way in the Church of Ireland during the whole inter-Anglican debate over recent years, but what has now developed jeopardises that situation. While those on one side see an advance for gay rights in the Church, those on the other side feel that there has been an unacceptable, unilateral move on the subject. There is thus a sense of ‘log-jam’, and it is dangerous.

This is a time both for an honest speaking of minds and for action that displays Christian grace....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of IrelandSexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)Same-sex blessings* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral TheologyTheology: Scripture

0 Comments
Posted September 18, 2011 at 1:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Even as it remains preoccupied with its struggling economy, Ireland is in the midst of a profound transformation, as rapid as it is revolutionary: it is recalibrating its relationship to the Roman Catholic Church, an institution that has permeated almost every aspect of life here for generations.

This is still a country where abortion is against the law, where divorce became legal only in 1995, where the church runs more than 90 percent of the primary schools and where 87 percent of the population identifies itself as Catholic. But the awe, respect and fear the Vatican once commanded have given way to something new — rage, disgust and defiance — after a long series of horrific revelations about decades of abuse of children entrusted to the church’s care by a reverential populace.

While similar disclosures have tarnished the Vatican’s image in other countries, perhaps nowhere have they shaken a whole society so thoroughly or so intensely as in Ireland....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistoryLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

7 Comments
Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:55 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Schism within the Church of Ireland could split the church between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland, church leaders fear, in the wake of revelations the Bishop of Cashel and Ossory permitted the Dean of Leithlin to register a same-sex civil union.

The Primate of All-Ireland, the Archbishop of Armagh Dr. Alan Harper told the Sept 11 “Sunday Sequence” programme of BBC Radio Ulster he was “very, very concerned at the potential for division” within the church over homosexuality. He also conceded that clergy criticisms over a leadership “vacuum” among the bishops were “a fair comment in all sorts of ways.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesMarriage & FamilyReligion & CultureSexuality--Civil Unions & Partnerships* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted September 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Mrs. [Angela] Merkel, 57, faces far-reaching decisions about how to deal definitively with the debt crisis in Europe and, more immediately, whether to allow Greece to default or even to leave the currency union. American officials fear that if she does not act more decisively, bank lending could freeze up and the result would be another sharp financial downturn on both sides of the Atlantic.

Fears of a worsening debt crisis slammed European stocks on Monday, especially shares of French banks, forcing the French government to declare its support for its three largest financial institutions. The turmoil added to worries that the Greek crisis would prove difficult to contain without more robust action from Germany and, ultimately, its taxpayers.

The project of European integration, which began in the difficult years after World War II, is also on the line. If Greece were forced to abandon the euro, as more and more voices on the German right are demanding, it would be a jarring setback for solidarity on the Continent.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted September 14, 2011 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A half-hearted approach by the EBC will achieve little. Even full-blown "shock and awe" will only buy time. That's because the real instability stems from fears euro-zone governments will impose losses on those holding individual country bonds if debts prove unsustainable. Those fears are mounting as the growth outlook deteriorates. Italy's announcement of new austerity measures Friday may help address concerns over the deficit but could actually worsen the short-term challenge of growth.

That's why the second part of the crisis resolution requires a vast expansion of the euro zone's bailout facilities and most likely a move by European countries to guarantee European Financial Stability Facility's bonds, effectively turning them into genuine euro-zone bonds.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreeceItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted August 7, 2011 at 11:01 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is clearly a deep anger among ordinary priests. This is reflected in the 550-plus membership of the fledgling Association of Catholic Priests. But where were those angry, articulate voices when the damage was being done, when Rome was directing this republic’s affairs and their brothers in Christ were violating the young and vulnerable? They were where they always were, says Hoban, “trying to do 1,001 things and trying to do them the best they can.”

So does that explain their silence? There are two “difficulties”, Hoban says. The first is the mistaken belief that a diocese is run by the bishop and the priests together. “The fact is we are totally excluded from any say . . . Priests are effectively disenfranchised.”

The other difficulty is loyalty. Priests live isolated lives. “The dynamic of our ministry is that friends are very few and far between, but there is extraordinarily strong loyalty among the clergy,” Hoban says. As well as that, “we were not people who would challenge the status quo. Those who would were weeded out in the seminary.” Then there is the perennial problem of being “at the bishop’s mercy” in relation to transfers and advancement. And thus the silence. Does it all sound a bit self-serving? “Yes, it’s fair to say that it was self-serving. That lack of moral courage.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted July 29, 2011 at 6:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

One can certainly share the sense of frustration and, indeed, quite patent anger and irritation of the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, in his recent criticisms of the Vatican. In the face of overwhelming evidence of sexual and physical abuse by clergy, religious and Catholic institutions in Ireland, the Vatican seems reluctant to accept its share of responsibility. It also seems unwilling to co-operate without reservations with the Irish government's proposals to prevent such abuse in future.

The most startling new measure in a system of mandatory reporting is the obligation for priests to violate the sanctity of the "sacramental seal" of Confession when a paedophile reveals that he or she has been involved in such activities. Senator Nick Xenophon has proposed a similar measure for Australia.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologySacramental Theology

1 Comments
Posted July 27, 2011 at 6:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Vatican has recalled its ambassador to Ireland for “consultations” on the official church response to a government report that tallied how abuse cases were mishandled as recently as two years ago.

The extraordinary move to recall the papal nuncio, Monsignor Giuseppe Leanza, is also meant to show “a certain note of surprise and regret regarding some excessive reactions” to the report, Vatican spokesman Rev. Ciro Benedettini said on Monday

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

3 Comments
Posted July 27, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In language never before used by an Irish government leader, Enda Kenny yesterday accused the Vatican of downplaying or “managing” the rape and torture of children in order to uphold its own power and reputation.

Speaking in the Dáil in a debate on the Cloyne report, he said it excavated the “dysfunction, disconnection, elitism, the narcissism” dominating the culture of the Vatican to this day.

The Taoiseach's speech was reported around the world with many media organisations praising Mr Kenny for his criticism of the Catholic Church.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch History* Culture-WatchChildrenLaw & Legal IssuesChurch/State MattersReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsForeign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI* TheologyEthics / Moral TheologyPastoral Theology

2 Comments
Posted July 23, 2011 at 9:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Five years ago, I was among those who argued that the probability of a collapse of the eurozone was close to zero. Last year, I wrote it was no longer trivial, but small. The odds have risen steadily since, not because of the crisis itself, but the political response. I now would put the odds of a break-up of the eurozone at 50:50. This is not because I doubt the pledge by the European Council to do whatever it takes to save the euro but because I fear it has left things too late. The council may be willing but it will not be able to deliver. As I argued last week, a eurozone bond is the only solution to the crisis. But this gets progressively more expensive, and politically less realistic, once bond spreads of large countries widen.

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon



Watch it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

1 Comments
Posted July 18, 2011 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Clarke, 42 years old, of Northern Ireland, was the clear local favorite. He has won 14 times on the European Tour and will almost certainly one day be the European Ryder Cup captain.

But he'd never won a major, despite playing in 53 of them before this week, including 19 previous British Opens, and there was a prevailing sense that this may be his last, best chance. After shooting opening rounds of 68, 68 and 69, he said Saturday that he was playing some of the best golf of his life.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSports* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

0 Comments
Posted July 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The European debt crisis has entered “uncharted territory,” rekindling concern it will spread eastward through banking and trade links, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Italy’s Unicredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP), two of eastern Europe’s biggest lenders, fell to the lowest in more than two years July 11 as political infighting threatened to delay efforts to cut the budget deficit in the country with Europe’s largest debt burden. European leaders this week failed to agree on a new aid package for Greece.

“We are in uncharted territory,” Erik Berglof, chief economist at the London-based EBRD, which invests in eastern Europe and Central Asia, said in a July 12 interview. “The source of the contagion seems to be in worse shape.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 The Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreeceItalySpain

1 Comments
Posted July 15, 2011 at 6:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy has called an emergency meeting of top officials dealing with the euro zone debt crisis for Monday morning, reflecting concern that the crisis could spread to Italy, the region's third largest economy.

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet will attend the meeting along with Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the region's finance ministers, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and Olli Rehn, the economic and monetary affairs commissioner, three official sources told Reuters.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreeceItalySpain

0 Comments
Posted July 10, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The reason a currency union needs a political union is simple. The centre has to have some way of stopping parts of the union from borrowing too much in the common currency at the common interest rate. If some borrow too much they are free riders on the backs of the more prudent areas.

If they go on borrowing too much they undermine the credit rating of the whole area, and force up the cost of borrowing for the prudent parts. To achieve discipline, the centre also needs to send subsidies and payments to the poorer parts, to compensate them for their inability to devalue to price themselves back into a competitive position.

Today the single currency system is suffering from the double stresses of too much borrowing by countries such as Greece and Portugal, who have spent too much and raised too little in tax, and from the need of countries like Ireland to bail out their overstretched banking systems....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreecePortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted July 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The European Union seems to have adopted a new rule: if a plan is not working, stick to it....But their strategy of denial—refusing to accept that Greece cannot pay its debts—has become untenable...

An orderly restructuring [for which the Economist advocates] would be risky. Doing it now would crystallise losses for banks and taxpayers across Europe. Nor would it, by itself, right Greece. The country’s economy is in deep recession and it is running a primary budget deficit (ie, before interest payments). Even if Greece restructures its debt and embraces the reforms demanded by the EU and IMF, it will need outside support for some years. That is bound to bring more fiscal-policy control from Brussels, turning the euro zone into a more politically integrated club. Even if that need not mean a superstate with its own finance ministry, the EU’s leaders have not started to explain the likely ramifications of all this to voters. But at least Greece and the markets would have a plan with a chance of working.

No matter what fictions they concoct this week, the euro zone’s leaders will sooner or later face a choice between three options: massive transfers to Greece that would infuriate other Europeans; a disorderly default that destabilises markets and threatens the European project; or an orderly debt restructuring. This last option would entail a long period of external support for Greece, greater political union and a debate about the institutions Europe would then need. But it is the best way out for Greece and the euro. That option will not be available for much longer. Europe’s leaders must grab it while they can.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreecePortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Investors are withdrawing cash from money market funds heavily exposed to short-term debt issued by European banks out of fear that a Greek default could spark contagion across the region’s financial sector.

At the same time there is increasing reluctance among US banks to lend to their European counterparts in the past two weeks because of growing worries over Greece, according to brokers and bank traders.

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

1 Comments
Posted June 25, 2011 at 9:08 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.


Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GermanyGreeceItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted June 25, 2011 at 8:54 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...McIlroy definitely put an exclamation point on the topic when he strode to the No. 10 tee at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. He had a nine-shot lead, disaster long left in his wake, but this marked the same spot in the tournament where McIlroy came unglued in the Masters last April. That 10th hole featured a drive McIlroy hooked so far left it landed in somebody’s yard. This No. 10 is a devilish par-3 that has swallowed unsuspecting players.

McIlroy stepped up and dropped his tee shot so gently uphill from the hole that it rolled teasingly toward the cup. It came to rest only inches from a hole in one, McIlroy grinning at it all the way...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchMenSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

2 Comments
Posted June 19, 2011 at 6:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The EU is complex -- horribly complex -- and now divided by income as well, and it would be hard to find a better description of its current crisis.

It would also be hard to find a better example of the nature of the crisis than the disputes over Ireland's corporation tax and bailout interest rate.

They encompass the two great flaws which this crisis has exposed. There is insufficient commonality in Europe to make the citizens of one member state feel that they have some obligation towards the citizens of others.

Nor do the institutions exist which might drag the citizens along while it met obligations on their behalf, without them interrogating too much.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope

0 Comments
Posted May 26, 2011 at 5:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Barack Obama will pressure David Cameron this week not to begin scaling back British forces' involvement in Afghanistan later this year.

The American president, who arrives at London Stansted tomorrow to begin a full state visit to Britain, after a quick stop-off in Ireland today, will seek the Prime Minister's backing for a tougher stance on a range of international and security issues from "AfPak" (Afghanistan-Pakistan) and combating homegrown terrorism to missile defence in the former Soviet Union. Mr Cameron will, in return, seek deeper American commitment for Nato action in Libya, where Britain and France seek help towards an exit strategy from the conflict.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsDefense, National Security, MilitaryForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaWar in Afghanistan* International News & CommentaryAfricaLibyaEngland / UK--Ireland

1 Comments
Posted May 23, 2011 at 4:37 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

At the tender age of just 21, Rory McIlroy stands on the brink of golfing immortality after another nerveless display at the US Masters in Augusta. At 12 under par, McIlroy will take a four shot lead into the final round later today.

Even with Tiger Woods unable to mount the charge he was looking for and defending champion Phil Mickelson remaining in the pack, McIlroy found it tough going for much of the third round.

But then, as the sun went down, the Holywood wonder kid regained control of the season’s opening major in thrilling fashion. After finding the green and two-putting the 13th and 15th, the two par fives on the back nine, McIlroy gave his biggest fist-pump of the week when he rolled in a 25-footer at the 17th.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchSportsYoung Adults* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

3 Comments
Posted April 9, 2011 at 6:46 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The census looms and included in it we have Question 12, which deals with religion. “What is your religion?” it asks boldly, assuming everyone has one. It lists the options: Roman Catholic, Church of Ireland, Islam, Presbyterian, Orthodox; it then gives a space, two rows of boxes, for “Other, write in your religion.” Then, under these two rows of boxes, comes option 7: “No religion.”

One would have thought a more sensible way of framing the question might have been to start by asking: “Do you have a religion?” This could have been followed by a number of options for those marking the Yes box whereas those opting for No would go straight to the next question. But this suggestion, made by the Humanist Association of Ireland (HAI) following an invitation by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) for suggestions regarding possible improvements in the census, was rejected on the basis it would make historical comparisons difficult. This must certainly mean not many suggestions would be adopted.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted March 31, 2011 at 5:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A study using census data from nine countries shows that religion there is set for extinction, say researchers.

The study found a steady rise in those claiming no religious affiliation.

The team's mathematical model attempts to account for the interplay between the number of religious respondents and the social motives behind being one.

The result, reported at the American Physical Society meeting in Dallas, US, indicates that religion will all but die out altogether in those countries.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAustralia / NZCanadaEngland / UK--IrelandEuropeAustriaFinlandSwitzerlandThe Netherlands

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Posted March 24, 2011 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of thee: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistorySpirituality/Prayer* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted March 17, 2011 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are no plans to cancel the meeting of Anglican Church leaders in Dublin this month, despite a boycott by up to a quarter of the primates, a senior Anglican has confirmed.

Up to ten of the leaders of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces have said they won’t attend the biennial meeting because of the presence of Katharine Jefferts-Schori, the presiding bishop of the Episcopalian Church of the United States and a supporter of gay bishops and same-sex marriage.

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Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury Anglican PrimatesArchbishop of York John Sentamu* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

18 Comments
Posted January 10, 2011 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brussels has called for sweeping powers for regulators to seize failing EU banks, sack board members, and impose haircuts on senior bank debt, aiming to ensure that taxpayers are never again held hostage by high finance.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreecePortugalSpain

1 Comments
Posted January 7, 2011 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There is no doubt that we are living in a time of immense challenge to faith. Atheism is on a campaign, and not only with Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins taking a lead. In the US, the Freedom from Religion Foundation - established in 1976 by Anne Nicol Gaylor and her daughter, Annie Laurie Gaylor - has grown in numbers from 5,500 in 2004 to about 16,000 today. It boldly claims that the history of Western civilization “shows us that most social and moral progress has been brought about by persons free from religion”. So much for the Church. Of course, the history of the twentieth century alone witnesses to the absolute disaster of Godless totalitarianism.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted December 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Check it out.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/Sector* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GreecePortugalSpain

3 Comments
Posted November 30, 2010 at 6:50 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Europe's challenge is no longer just economic. It's also social and political. Cherished values and ideals are under assault. The euro, intended to nurture unity, has bred discord, as countries assign blame and argue over sharing costs. The social contract is being rewritten, with government benefits and protections being cut. In Ireland, the governing coalition seems doomed; one minority party has withdrawn its support.

The rescue of Ireland, as with Greece before, represents a gamble that Europe can arrest growing doubts and win the patience of bondholders and voters: persuading the investors not to continue dumping bonds (those of Ireland and other countries) in panic, which raises interest rates and could precipitate a self-fulfilling financial collapse; and persuading ordinary citizens to tolerate austerity (higher unemployment, lower social benefits, heavier taxes) without resorting to paralyzing street protests or ineffectual parliamentary coalitions. Whether the gamble will succeed is unclear, as are the potentially chaotic consequences if it doesn't.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

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Posted November 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Credit default swaps (CDS) measuring risk on German, French and Dutch bonds have surged over recent days, rising significantly above the levels of non-EMU states in Scandinavia.

"Germany cannot keep paying for bail-outs without going bankrupt itself," said Professor Wilhelm Hankel, of Frankfurt University. "This is frightening people. You cannot find a bank safe deposit box in Germany because every single one has already been taken and stuffed with gold and silver. It is like an underground Switzerland within our borders. People have terrible memories of 1948 and 1923 when they lost their savings."

The refrain was picked up this week by German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble. "We're not swimming in money, we're drowning in debts," he told the Bundestag.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankTaxesPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010GermanyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted November 26, 2010 at 8:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Irish Central Bank governor Patrick Honohan has said he expects the Irish Republic to accept a "very substantial loan" as part of an EU-backed bail-out.

Mr Honohan told RTE radio he expected the loan to amount to "tens of billions" of euros.

The final decision will be up to the Irish government, which has yet to comment.

Mr Honohan's comments come as a team of international officials meet in Dublin for further talks on the debt crisis.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--Ireland

1 Comments
Posted November 18, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There will be sovereign defaults in the eurozone, with a default by Greece now inevitable. Ultimately the thing that underpins any country's debts is its ability to raise enough tax to service and eventually repay them. Greece cannot hope to do that. Ireland will be pushed to do so but probably can. I would, however, worry about the long-term credit-worthiness of Portugal, Spain and Italy.

So then you have to ask whether a default of a eurozone state breaks up the eurozone. I don't think we know the answer to that yet. We do know that the Germans, who hold the cards, will do absolutely everything they can to stop such a default, even if they have to grit their teeth as they do so. My instinct is that a country defaulting would not of itself lead to that country leaving the euro, but if its costs and prices were totally out of line, that probably would be the least painful way of extracting itself. If that is right in the short-term, things will be patched up and the euro will come through this downturn intact. But the next downturn, in five or 10 years' time? Surely not.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010ItalyPortugalSpain

0 Comments
Posted November 17, 2010 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

“It seems difficult for Ireland to avoid tapping the fund unless they have new rabbits to pull out their hat,” said Julian Callow, chief European economist at Barclays Capital in London.

It is very likely Ireland will seek support from the 750- billion-euro ($1 trillion) fund, Reuters reported, citing euro- zone sources it didn’t name. The Finance Ministry in Dublin denied talks were under way. Amelia Torres, a spokeswoman for the EU’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, called the report “pure speculation.”

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyEuroEuropean Central Bank* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK--IrelandEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010

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Posted November 13, 2010 at 4:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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