“I will work with Congress and the military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.”
One step closer …
From: The White House Blog
Originally found on: Joe My God
The European Union is pressuring the United States to end its ban on HIV positive travelers. Under US law, HIV+ people are restricted from entering the United States.
The European Commissioner for Justice has raised the issue of issue of people with HIV being banned from entry into the US visa waiver programme with Michael Chertoff, US Secretary of Homeland Security.
Jacques Barrot has asked for “information on the reasons why individuals carrying HIV are excluded from using the US Visa Waiver Programme.” MEPs have kept pressure on the Commission over the issue as the EU is in negotiations with the US authorities to secure visa-free travel (a visa waiver) for EU citizens from all 27 member states.
The United States is one of 13 countries in the world, including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, that bans visitors who are HIV-positive. London Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford has been at the forefront of a campaign to overturn the ban on HIV positive people travelling to America.
A repeal of the ban has been before Congress since March, but has been stalled and may not be voted on during the current session despite widespread bipartisan support. The repeal is attached to a controversial global AIDS relief bill, hence the roadblock.
In the U.S., a broad coalition of groups calling for repeal of the HIV visitors and immigration ban, including civil liberties and human rights advocates, were hopeful that attaching the repeal measure to the highly popular PEPFAR bill would greatly increase its chances of passing.
Their expectations were dampened, however, when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and at least six other conservative GOP senators placed a hold on the PEPFAR bill, preventing it from coming up for a vote unless at least 60 senators vote to break the hold.
Coburn said his main concern was the decision by PEPFAR backers to drop from the existing 1993 PEPFAR law a requirement that at least 55 percent of AIDS relief funds be used for AIDS treatment, including the use of life-saving anti-retroviral drugs. The 1993 law expires in September.
The Bush administration, at the recommendation of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul, a gay official appointed by Bush, supports the decision to drop the 55 percent treatment floor. A number of prominent Republican senators and nearly all Senate Democrats also support dropping the 55 percent floor for treatment.
Matthew Shepard’s Parents: ‘We are humbled that it bears our sons name’
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff Posted: September 27, 2007 – 11:50 pm ET
Updated 12:10 pm ET, 1:00 pm ET
(Washington) The Matthew Shepard Hate Crime bill passed the Senate on Thursday, setting up a potential battle with the White House.
The measure has already passed the House. The two versions of the bill must be reconciled before heading to President Bush.
In a bid to head off a threatened veto, the Senate’s chief sponsor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) tacked the bill onto a Defense spending bill as an amendment.
The president is desperate to have the spending bill passed. The White House has not said if the president would veto the Defense bill to kill the Shepard Act.
The attack on the bill in the Senate was led by Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) who called it “unwise, unnecessary and unconstitutional”.
Hatch said that the term “gender identity” is ambiguous and unenforceable. Rather than passing legislation now he suggests more study of all hate crimes is necessary. The Utah Republican offers an alternative amendment that would set up a task force with the states.
Other GOP leaders were careful not to attack the legislation itself, focusing instead on what they said was the “non-germane” nature of the amendment to the overall spending bill.
Following an impassioned plea by Sen. Edward Kennedy, the Senate voted to end debate on the Shepard Act – receiving just the 60 votes needed for cloture.
The bill then passed on a simple voice vote.
Among those opposing cloture and the bill was Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) who is fighting to overturn a guilty plea he entered after being busted in a gay sex sting operation in the men’s washroom at the Minneapolis airport.
Opponents vowed to fight the inclusion of the Shepard Act in the Defense bill during conference sessions with the House.
“The president is not going to agree to this social legislation on the defense authorization bill,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. “This bill will get vetoed.”
Nevertheless, LGBT civil rights leaders sitting in the Senate gallery were delighted.
“For over a decade our community has worked tirelessly to ensure protections to combat violence motivated by hate and today we are the closest we have ever been to seeing that become a reality,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
“Congress has taken an historic step forward and moved our country closer to the realization that all Americans, including the GLBT community, are part of the fabric of our nation. The new leadership in Congress fully understands that for too long our community has been terrorized by hate violence. And today, the US Senate has sent a clear message to every corner of our country that we will no longer turn a blind eye to anti-gay violence in America.”
Federal hate crime legislation already covers people on the basis of race and religion. Republicans and socially conservative groups argued that adding sexuality and gender identification to hate crime law would allow gays to target churches.
“This legislation marks a milestone for both First Amendment rights and civil rights,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office.
“You can fight hate crimes without harming free speech, and this legislation reaches that goal,” said Fredrickson.
“By passing this bill with comprehensive language, this legislation will provide law enforcement agencies with the tools needed to fully prosecute bias motivated crimes,” said Jon Hoadley the Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats.
“We urge President Bush to stand with the American people, who have demonstrated their strong support for this legislation, and ultimately sign this bill into law once it reaches his desk.”
During debate Wednesday on the bill Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon H. Smith, another sponsor invoked the name of Matthew Shepard for whom the bill is named in a speech on the Senate floor Wednesday.
“For those of you who do not know Matthew Shepard’s story, it is truly heartbreaking,” said Smith.
“Matthew was a 21-year-old college student at the University of Wyoming when he was attacked. Shortly after midnight, on October 7, 1998, Matthew was kidnapped, beaten, pistol whipped, lashed to a lonely stretch of fence and left to die alone. Almost 18 hours later, Matthew was found alive but unconscious. His injuries were deemed too severe for surgery and Matthew died October 12.
“He was murdered by two men simply for who he was, because he was gay. To think that such virulent hatred of another person’s sexual orientation drove another to commit such a heinous act is truly unthinkable. Sadly, this case is not isolated,” said Smith.
Matthew Shepard’s parents said the legislation sends a bold and unmistakable message about violent hate crimes.
“The Matthew Shepard Act is an essential step to erasing hate in America and we are humbled that it bears our sons name,” said Judy and Dennis Shepard in a statement.
“It has been almost nine years since Matthew was taken from us. This bill is a fitting tribute to his memory and to all of those who have lost their lives to hate.”
In May, shortly before the House voted to pass the bill, the White House called the measure “unnecessary” and “constitutionally questionable.”
Following Thursday’s Senate vote White House spokesperson Dana Perino reiterated Bush’s opposition but would not comment on the prospects for a veto now that the measure is part of the Defense bill.
“We believe that state and local law enforcement agencies are effectively using their laws to the full extent they can,” Perino said.
FBI statistics show that one in six hate crimes is motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation.
I will give you my Battle Cry: Matthew 22:37-40
Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Was I not surprised with tonight’s God’s Warriors part 3. The battle for the hearts, minds and souls of the people of the U.S. to bring back Religious Rule to an ever more secular society going to hell in a hand basket. And wasn’t I not surprised that for two hours I sat through preacher after preacher who gave their summation of the State of the Union based on the religious beliefs of their congregation.
So we have the issues on the table:
- The Sanctity of Human Life (Abortion)
- The Integrity of Marriage (Gay Marriage)
- The Teaching of Sexual abstinence to kids in School
- And Protecting the Environment for some
- Creationism -vs- Evolution
These arguments are well known in the Evangelical circles, and I know them all. I’ve studied all the arguments and I know about all the issues. So let me state my credentials, my beliefs and my Christian Testimony for you before I write any more.
- I am a Christian Man
- I am a Gay – Married Man
- I Believe in a woman’s right to choose
- I Qualify as a Christian Zionist because of my support of Israel
- I Believe that the U.S. has its issues with celebrity, materialism, violence and pornography, and lack of moral backbone – but NOT to the degree that I would become in any fashion an evangelical thumper
- I Believe there are lessons to be learned from the Evangelical Movement in the sense of rigidity, control, male domination and exclusion
- I Believe that there should be a separation of Church and State
- Like President Carter I believe that Faith and Politics should stay separate
- I Believe that Christianity has become Terribly Divisive and Exclusive and I share a message of Love, Compassion, Inclusion, Service, Justice and Humility, Peace and of Poverty.
In the United States we know the power of the Evangelical Vote, the power of the Evangelical Church to move people on Hot-Button Issues like Abortion, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights and Protection Issues (Hate Crimes Legislation), Creationism and Evolution. Having grown up in the South (Florida) for over 30 years, I watched the world change before my eyes. And now as a Gay Man with a voice I can tell you that the Evangelical Church has done more damage to the LGBTQ Community than anyone else.
The fact of the matter is this. I have read my bible and I have studied scripture and I have a University Degree behind me, 40 years of life and Seminary training to back every word I write here. I am Gay, and I am not going to convert for anyone just to get into heaven, because when I die, it will be God and ME having that life review. None of you are going to be there, I know my God. And that is what I have to say about that.
America believes that it is a nation of faith. That between Law and Religion, the Supreme Court is Ground Zero, and that the Evangelical Movement is still working to find appointed judges to sit on the highest court in the land so that they will affect such change that the laws will be changed in SUPPORT of the Evangelical Platform.
I have stated twice now, in my writing that I am a supporter of Israel. And tonight I can say that I rank in the group who call themselves Christian Zionists. I make no bones about that. Am I supportive of military mitigation for the threat of Nuclear conflict, I must say Yes I am. I had to carefully think about my answer here. There is enough data on the table from Iran and its leaders to have a stance of preemptive measures so that we do not find ourselves on the brink of nuclear conflict.
Yet, during the Judaism portion of the writing, many leaders including former president Jimmy Carter stated that the Jewish Settlements are in violation of treaties and that those settlements were the one thing that prevented peace from being reached. There are those who would like to see Judea wiped off the face of the earth in opt for an Islamic state upon the Holy Land. If this was allowed to happen, the world would suffer, not only the Jewish population. Countries who support Israel should be supportive of nuclear mitigation at any cost. War is never a solution …
I reprint these words for the three Monotheistic religions …
“What can we do to stop this trend of violence and hatred? Like I said last night the three monotheistic religions of the world are warring with their own and each other, and there is plenty of land to go around. There is always a solution if “ENLIGHTENED” political leaders would rise up and come to the table and negotiate a peaceful coexistent settlement.”
I’m not going to spend the rest of this post caterwauling about the repetitious nature of the Evangelical platform stating that America and the world at large has lost its moral compass, that Gay Marriage is a blight on the integrity of Marriage. Come On Don’t make me throw up! How many heterosexual marriages end up in divorce? You know Gays might just get it right. After growing up in the 70′s and 80′s all of my friends parents were either separated or divorced.
So please TELL ME just how much of an impact will gay men and women getting married make a difference in HOW YOU live your lives?
Explain this to me as if I were a 5th grader… (no please don’t!!)
I love the fact that Reverend Falwell reaches up from the grave to grace us with his judgment of the United States, Oh Mr. Falwell, thank God you are dead!! Because the age of the evangelical is coming to an end. It has peaked and will pass, as former president Jimmy Carter shared with viewers tonight. I love the discussion about the disagreement between Christians and Jews on just who the messiah is. And he says if the messiah came walking down the road that both the Jew and the Christian would have a huge theological adjustment to make…
The evangelicals tell us that they do not loose until they quit, America has lost its moral compass and the evangelical movement is going to change that sad state of affairs. Evangelicals argue that if Romans Chapter 1 is to be believed in the literal sense then why does the United States need to pass Hate Crimes Legislation to protect homosexuals from hate crimes? hmm.. let us think on this issue…
Romans Chapter 1: -
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
God’s Wrath Against Mankind
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
DOES THE WORD HOMOSEXUAL APPEAR IN THIS READING?
I do not know very many evil gay men and women, sinners, so to speak. Although I do know quite a bit of really good Christian gay men and women and some of them are clergy. I also know a fair amount of religious leaders, ministers, preachers and priests who would beg to differ with the hard line stance of religious extremist evangelicals. I know my husband and I are not sexually impure. Nor are we godless men, we are both faith filled men in good standing in our community. I don’t believe we are wicked either…
There is so much to say on religious evangelical beliefs. I am 40 years old and so I do know what everyone is talking about. Not a day goes by in my life today that I do not reflect on 40 years of wisdom, lessons and teachings. I am a Christian. And I live my calling every day. I could not lead anyone or help anyone else until I brought to Jesus what I needed to and I am “Right with my God” I maintain that Rightness daily through prayer and meditation. Through ministry and working with others. At this very moment I am listening to some contemporary Christian music as I write this. What I am is none of your business. That I am a man of faith should be your only consideration.
What I do in the privacy of my own home lies in the safe and capable hands of my husband, myself and our God. And we’d thank you very much for your acceptance of who we are rather than what we are. Christianity has become a special members only club of exclusion and judgment. I asked a certain blogger to write here and offer up his historical knowledge of the six sacred scripture that talk about homosexuality, telling me who wrote them, when the scripture was written, why those scriptures were written and to whom for what purpose. He has yet to do so, or any of the other people that are coming here from his blog to read this one.
Can you imagine that you would find me standing at an altar call after an intense Christian concert? That I would set foot near the cross and pray to God for forgiveness and his love? And you know, he’d give those things to me because I pray and I am just and compassionate and I live and love from the Right place in my heart. Can you imagine that when I was in high school, 10th grade to be exact, that I attended a One on One retreat and on that weekend I pledged my heart and soul to Jesus. I have pledged my heart and soul to Jesus every day that I live, in gratitude that I am still alive after living with AIDS for now 14 years. I am here, God is not done with me yet.
God, I offer myself to Thee–to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always!
Living with AIDS so many years I have seen, witnessed and been a victim of the scorn of the religious evangelical church. I watched you throw children out on the street when they got sick. I watched you fire people from jobs, I watched you stop being human and become animals, all for the glory of God’s name. Because AIDS was the scourge directly from God as a punishment for our sins and wickedness… Yes, I have heard every word of damnation from every corner of Christian America, and tell you to get You behind me because you are not of God, from God or blessed by God either.
AND GOD WEPT…
to you all hearts are open
all desires known
and from you no secrets are hidden
Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit
that we may perfectly love you
and worthily magnify your holy name
Through Christ our Lord, Amen….
Talk to me about Christian Charity and living a Christian life. Let’s talk about what I did to help my Christian brothers and sisters, when You did nothing… shall we…
When I got sober there was a man with AIDS named Larry, he was a drunk like me. But he was unique. He sat with a bottle on the table and a loaded revolver to shoot himself. He carried that gun with him and showed it to every one of us, and he told us relentlessly that he was going to kill himself. He got sober with the rest of us. Over the years following his spiritual awakening, he did something that no one else thought to do.
People with AIDS were being left in the streets. Mortuaries would not process sick people, they would not touch a body that had been infected with AIDS. Families would not bury their children. We did that. Larry opened his services to the community and he became another champion of the cause. I knew him. He eventually got rid of the gun, so I heard.
For a few minutes during transition, I would warm up the smoker, fire up the turntable and start the computer so that I could worship my God to the music of my soul. I did that every night. I worshiped whatever was going to save me.
I was servant to the men. I was servant to my Master. I was a slave for God, be he dressed or undressed. You never saw God until you witnessed true beauty of the soul in all its carnality. There is something sacredly profane about this part of my life. What went on inside the temple stayed in the temple. Many months would pass and I battled my demons of alcoholism before I finally fell into the pit of death, and there happen to be somebody watching from the sidelines.
Danny saved me that night. He was the man who cradled me in his arms, oxygen mask on my face and had called the paramedics to try and revive me. Danny took me home that night, and did not leave my apartment for a week. He fed me, bathed me and cared for me, under that watchful eye of my Mater Todd. When the word was spoke, action was taken, and hell hath no fury if you did not jump when told to. Todd was very protective over his boys and men.
We were reminded that Todd had lost love to AIDS. Bob was buried across the street in the cemetery that faced our building. It was hard – it was painful, and it was sacred. Kevin and Larry did things for me that no man ever did for me in the real world. We were the three musketeers. We were the team to beat in bar management and service. We ran a tight ship and we were accountable, respectable and reliable. We proved a mighty force against the odds we all faced.
We fed the hungry, and we housed the homeless, we cared for the sick and we buried the dead, when Christians from all walks, the evangelicals who condemned us said that we were being punished by God for our sins. I lived a Christian life and I continue to live it daily, because of your inability to Love as God Loved and serve as God served, I condemn every one of you who condemned or condemn us…
Moving on to Christianity and Catholicism and the Late Pontiff: Taken from my academic writing: Homosexuality, Sanctity and John Paul II. Donald Boisvert is my mentor, academic advisor and teaches religion at Concordia University in Montreal. I know this man, and have taken every course he has taught over the last four years. Academia was not wasted. I took full advantage of my time and I take my position here very seriously.
As a young man I idolized my Pontiff. He was a rock star Pope and he made certain impressions on millions of young people world wide. And as I grew up, I still respected the man for his station, because deep down, I loved the church. I loved my Pope. It was my goal as a young person to serve this man to my dying day, and pledge allegiance to his Church.
Just because I came out of the closet did not change the fact that John Paul was the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church, because the men of faith I grew up with accepted me with all of my flaws and subsequent illness, so I was not affected by Rome on a local level. In University, I learned much about my Pontiff, and I grew to love him more, even if I am critical of his papacy. What Religion Scholar is not critical of their leaders? It is my job as a student to look at all sides of the topic and present my insight as a gay man to others who might need some education on what made John Paul tick, what and who influenced his papacy and in the end, what shaped the papacy and life of John Paul II.
There is so much more we could talk about, and I am moving away from my original topic, so let us return to our discussion and move forward into meditations on Gay Men’s spirituality, we will look at the writing of my mentor and friend, Donald Boisvert.
In Preface Donald quotes Ronald E. Long, “A gay man is one who recognizes and lives by the ‘sacrality’ of masculine beauty and homosex. And ‘coming out’ is a gay man’s refusal to live a life that belies the sacrality of what he holds sacred.” How we see ourselves as gay men, as Catholics and as men of God are as unique as we are individually. Donald believes that “Gay spirituality to be a form of religious expression and a manifestation of identity politics. For me, the two are not mutually exclusive.”
I have cultivated and worked on my gay spirituality for over a decade since I am reaching that point where I can safely say that I have been out and gay for half my life today. It has not been easy and the study of religion with professors that have encouraged me to think ‘outside the box’ has only helped me in my quest for spiritual truth. In further reading of ‘Out on Holy Ground’ Boisvert writes:
“Gay spirituality is characterized by a spirit of defiance. In asserting the truth and viability of the gay religious experience, and in creating the conditions that allow it to assume a meaningful and treasured place in the lives of gay men, gay spirituality situates itself squarely in opposition to the orthodox religious norm. Though some forms of gay spiritual life may be very much tied in with more established churches, gay spirituality, as a whole, is transnormative. It may borrow blatantly and deliberately from a universal storeroom of religious symbols and rituals, but it posits a radically different understanding of the human body and of human sexuality, on the one hand, and of human relationships with the holy or with the sacred, on the other.”
What is it we are called to be, men of faith, men of God, loved by the One who created us, in the face of disinformation and exclusion by Holy Mother Church. This is our ministry to reach out to those who find themselves outside the walls of holy Mother Church trying to find ones way into faith, by any route available. I believe that a faith component is integral to the life of every human being, gay or straight, male or female, young or old. To close out this episode of religious teaching I give you one last quote from ‘Out on Holy Ground,’ Boisvert writes:
“We return to our initial question: What is gay spirituality? In discussing its characteristics, we have examined how it consists of three elements in symbiosis: critical discourse, political action, and sexual affirmation. Gay spirituality reveals the ways by which gay men define, recognize, and assert themselves, not only as individuals having a religious dimension, but as beings whose very difference is the source of their spiritual and historical election.”.”
I BELIEVE I have stated my case succinctly and stated my beliefs and I have even offered some of my academic writings to defend my position in this community. There is not one Christian man or woman on earth, clergy or evangelical who owns the right to judge who I am, what I do or how I live my life. If you want to preach to me, please do not waste your time. I know enough about real Christian life so please save it for someone who needs to find Jesus. I know where he is in my life… And I don’t need your judgment…
No man knows Gods heart. No man Knows what God thinks about a straight man or a gay man. A well man and a man with AIDS. No one speaks for God and no one has spoken to God as far as I know. But I TALK to my God daily, and until he calls me home from this earth I will go on with my Christian life and ministry because at the end, I want to hear my God say to me “Well Done good and faithful servant…”
Sadness… utter sadness… Knowing the nuns of Montreal is a true blessing, knowing of their tireless work for the poor and the sick is admirable and should be praised. Lord knows what possessed this man to do such a heinous thing to a sacred servant of God.
You never know when someone might snap under the pressure of being sick, being marginalized, being poor, being addicted and being homeless. There are so many, and who shall care for them all, less one soldier of God tonight. The nuns of Montreal are close to my heart, Every one lost to death – lessens their numbers, never to be replaced. They are beacons of Sacred hope in a world that is ever more profane.
The Lord knows. And he is weeping tonight. My heart weeps for her sacred life and I pray for the soul of the man who did this to her. May he find redemption in God.
May angels sing thee to thy rest…
Eternal Rest Grant this Servant of God and may Perpetual Light shine upon her for eternity
“She considers a field and buys it;
with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard …”
Proverbs 31: 16.
From CBC News Online:
An elderly nun was found beaten to death in an east-end Montreal convent Monday morning, and the prime suspect is a troubled man she had been trying to help.
Sister Estel Lauzon, 81, belonged to the religious group Sisters of Providence.
Her body was found in the convent’s outreach centre, where she would likely have been trying to help the 31-year-old suspect.
“We know that the man probably has a history of psychiatric problems. He was arrested and is presently being interrogated by our police officers,” said police spokeswoman Lynne Labelle.
“We know there was no firearm used. It’s probably physical force, but we’re not sure at this time if an object was used to hurt her.”
Favio Paz, who worked with Sister Estel in the outreach centre, said she “was a nice lady who prayed and looked after everyone.”
Police have not released the name of the suspect.
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte speaks to the media Monday morning clarifying his position.
This situation is a travesty. And workers that have been on strike, need to return to work and clean up this MESS of a cemetery and bury the Hundreds of dead now being stored on the property in the buildings and refrigerated trucks. These workers have no respect for the dead nor do they respect our community! It is time to get back to work and get this situation taken care of before Winter sets in on us.
CTV.ca News Staff
Montreal’s Roman Catholic archbishop has called out for an end to the labour dispute that has crippled a major cemetery’s operations.
“I have no button that I can push to say you get there, you get there, I have the power to bring understanding in a difficult situation,” Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte told the media on Monday.
About 500 bodies remain unburied in a refrigerated cemetery vault at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges because of the lockout.
All burials have been put on hold since May 16, when about 130 cemetery employees were locked out, prompting a strike.
The union and families have asked Turcotte to intervene on more than one occasion but the archbishop has said he does not have the power to meddle in a labour dispute.
“I have been asked to intervene and I must remind everyone that I can not do so,” said Turcotte in a press release dated Aug. 2.
“It is true that the law confers a certain number of powers to the bishop. However, the cemetery remains under the administration and management of the fabrique whose property it is.”
Citing a legal act governing cemetery management, Turcotte said the autonomy of administrators is required.
Turcotte still decided to meet with the families to speak with them about their ordeal.
Debra de Thomassis, a woman who has been waiting to bury her grandmother and is spearheading a class-action lawsuit against the cemetery to get it working again, said the families were asked questions.
“He basically asked us how we were feeling, how we came upon to be stuck in this conflict,” she said. “He totally understands out position and is with us all the way.
“I think he decided to get involved because he needed to let everybody know what was his real position, what were his real powers,” she continued. “He doesn’t necessarily have the powers to go into the management of the administration but he certainly has the power to let them know his position.”
The families also asked if the archbishop could work out a deal where they could have a requiem and see their loved ones one more time. De Thomassis said the archbishop is looking into it.
The union has said it will not return to work until at least some of its demands are met.
According to management, salaried employees currently make an average annual income of $49,000, while seasonal workers make $27,000.
The union is demanding improvements in five key areas:
- A defined benefit pension plan, in which workers can acquire previous years of service;
- A four-day work week;
- An increase in the number of weeks available to seasonal workers from 26 to 36;
- Greater departure allowances; and
Limiting the use of subcontracting
They have been without a contract since 2003.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Annie DeMelt
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Pictured here is the Very Reverend Gene Robinson preaching at the Out Mass at the Christ Church Cathedral last year. Seated behind him to the left in the presider’s chair, is The Very Rev. Bishop Barry B. Clarke, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and our preacher for tonight’s Out Mass which was held earlier this evening.
I was amazed, astounded, overjoyed and very pleased to hear this blessed man tell the entire congregation without skipping a beat, that his church is moving forwards, that ALL are welcome in his church, man or woman, child and elder. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans gendered. He also said the words we were waiting to hear from a leader of the church, that in his opinion, NOT to respect and bless same sex unions was troublesome.
He talked about the Anglican Church at large and he set his staff in the ground and said that he welcomes everyone into his church, for what would Jesus do? Following his example, he stated emphatically that he 100% supports the blessing of same sex unions even if the church at large is still wrestling with the issue.
The church is ever more blessed for the diversity that finds comfort and truth under its roof. It is diversity that makes Montreal a truly special city. For what did Jesus do? He sat with the poor, he ate with them, he healed the sick and he loved those on the periphery, those on the margins of community.
In some churches you find that some are marginalized and kept out and away. But in Bishop Barry Clarke’s church everybody is welcome and everyone is free to pray, to worship and to come to the Lord. He told us to persevere, to be persistent in our prayers. Eventually, that door will open. And prayerfully and with a right heart we shall approach it when it does.
He said that the persistent man is rewarded. From the Gospel passage from the book of Luke Chapter 11:1-13
Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation
Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’
“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
This is the teaching that he shared with us tonight. To keep praying, to keep coming to church because everyone is part of the church, everyone, not just some. We shall be persistent in our prayers and consistent in our Christianity. We will keep knocking until that door is opened to us. It was a wonderful mass, the choir was heavenly, the music, once again, lifted me out of my body.
I had my prayer beads in my hand during the communion hymn and I was thinking about Shirley and for a moment, I was praying for her soul, and I felt her – I knew it was her because of the energy and the feeling of maternal love. After mass I talked to our celebrant, the Reverend Joyce and she is going to say a mass for Shirley on Tuesday, July 31st – My Birthday at noon. I will start my birthday with mass for both of us and then go to coffee and celebrate at a meeting. How much better can life get???
After mass I was talking to Rev Canon Joyce, and she asked me how I liked the sermon and I was just smiling, and she looked at me and said “I think we are in the clear!” After that prophetic and positive statement from the church, by the Bishop, unequivocally stating his support of the LGBT community and that of his support in blessing same sex unions, that when the day comes when the church finally catches up to us, we will have same sex blessings in our church, in our diocese, in our community. That the Montreal Anglican diocese does not agree with the stance of some bishops after the
This is the exterior of the Christ Church Cathedral…
I’m reading again, “I Heard the Owl Call My Name” and I am in the mindset to write about the custodianship of the living earth. The earth is in a shift, I think we can all agree on that – and attention is now on prevention and maintenance of the earth as it exists today. I have written recently about the fact that many people in my own community are not “Being Maintained” by anyone, they are lost among the crowd, banished to sidewalks, doorways and shelters. What can I do to change that? Write…
What if the governments of the world decided to stop warring and fighting amongst themselves? How much money would we have to spend on other things like food, shelter and water? I heard a comment on late night radio last night that
“There will be wars fought over drinking water!”
I am sure that there are some who think about the Order who seek to bring down the number of earths inhabitants by the millions. There is a surplus in population in certain areas of the world, and for some that is too much, and they would rather see them eradicated than to house and feed them.
The earth is sputtering on its axis. Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Hurricane, Oceanic changes to salinity and food source and the cooling of warm water fisheries all over the globe are causing catastrophic changes to major areas of the worlds oceans. How many more signs do we need from Mother Earth to tell us that something is wrong? And if we don’t stop with our preoccupation with war, division, killing and ignorance, that when “IT” happens we will not survive whatever IT will unleash.
I know better than to sit in my what if’s and coulda, woulda, shoulda! I can look out my windows from here and see trees and grass and the mountain off to the North. We can look out at our world and know that there are forests and people and animals who live amongst that forest. Forests are burning – trees are dying – infestations of beetles are killing swaths of forest across Canada, borne on the winds moving West to East. But I wonder what haven’t we done as custodians of the earth to try and mitigate these things from happening.
What if, The Almighty came down from heaven and told warring factions to lay down their arms, and those in power were removed and power was granted to the masses to govern themselves and the wars stopped all over the earth, not just in certain areas. All the warring areas on the globe. What if we heard from on high that “they” believe that wars fought over ideologies and factions needed to end today, right now, for us to stop killing each other and become custodians to one another. How would that change the face of the earth?
Is there a way for the world to get up and state unanimously that the wars should end? Can we impeach presidents around the world, in countries that are sponsoring, funding and are waging wars on other peoples? Do you see what I am asking here?
We truly need to depose several key world leaders, and the American President AND his entire cabinet need to be removed from office, sooner than later. Because America has been hijacked and “Nazi Control” is becoming an adjective to explain George W. Bush.
Mr. Bush, we are not With you -
And We Stand Against You!! It is time to leave Office…
DO WE want to maintain another Hitler in office? Do we want this man making law and imposing unconstitutional amendments upon his people and the world? Because if he does it – the world is watching and you know, the only reason Hitler was so successful at what he did in the Holocaust, was because the people listened to him, and if the American President can do what he is doing, that gives free reign to other leaders to do the same!!! Bush still has the ears of many world leaders, who are not MAN or WOMAN enough to say NO! We will not follow you. So what do we do?
There are some in power who would see people determined to be locked down and subjugated. That is already happening all over the globe, in many countries. Darfur, Sudan and in other areas of Africa, people are corralled into camps, with no water, electricity or better yet SHELTER. People are being slaughtered by militia men. We need to stop them and the killing needs to end. Genocide is happening in OUR time once again, and on many fronts, we must stop the genocide because:
“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”
In the Middle East, the most contentious area of the globe, not to mention Iraq and the Fertile Crescent area of the world including Afghanistan, the militias and the Taliban are trying to eradicate (on a mass scale) entire peoples akin to the likes of Adolf Hitler. If we prayed for the savior to come again and save us, this would be the time and the place.
We must now act, decisively and verbally. We need to lobby those who are in power to do the right thing. We need to Impeach the President. We need to stop the killing in Darfur, we need to stop the wars in the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan. We need people on the ground who can be trusted to help reconcile the factions that are fighting with each other and those factions who have fighting going on within themselves. We need ambassadors to get in the game and negotiations must be made to end the worlds strife and wars. If we don’t start this now, WHO is going to take our place later to hold those in office accountable for
“Crimes Against Humanity”
It’s not about who – but What is in this photo, read on…
There are too many people around the globe, being ignored. There are entire continents and nations of people that need to be cared for, not to forget those people in warring countries who need to be fed, re-housed and repatriated back to where they came from, those who had to flee to save their own lives. Rich countries sit back and say “we are doing all we can for those inside our borders.”
Yet on the European continent we know for a fact that there are disenfranchised peoples, in the millions, who are not being cared for properly because of the arrogance of status, ethnic superiority and ignorance to accept everyone for who they are not what form of dress or religious affiliation they identify with.
It comes down to the people to start the tide of Anarchy and Dissension. It is time to take back our land and our government from those who have taken it from us. They have been poor stewards of the land, the environment and of peoples. We must stop this – there is too much conflict in the world, so much that any “other” needs are being ignored at the expense of the whole, for a chosen few.
It Is Time to:
Bring the Soldiers Home – Stop the Wars. You either follow certain prescriptions here: (1) You bring ALL warring leaders to Justice, (2) Let them kill each other and save us the headache, or (3) You bring ‘Just’ Diplomatic Solutions to Warring Factions and Areas – and Sit Down and HAMMER out Peace Agreements and Co-Existence Clauses.
Isn’t it time to sit down and think and come to the realization that what war has done for the last 4 years has NOT worked, so let’s allow the Diplomats to work on Peace.
The Mission is NOT Accomplished.
Peace and Democracy has not been attained and WON’T be attained with the present course of action. WAR does not create Democracy – it Breeds Contempt, Rancor, Hatred and brings Division instead of creating Unity.
In Stopping Wars, Governments Agree to Equal care to all Soldiers repatriated home and for their families. And Agree to Rebuild war torn areas with the funds used to carry out war, and Care for those most affected by the war in their Respective regions.
This applies to Canada and the United States and All Countries involved in wars worldwide. It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against WAR!! It is NOT Unpatriotic to stand against a President or a sitting Prime Minister.
Democracy is built on the premise of government for the people by the people !! Well People need to start speaking out for Change…
The ‘People’ are being AND have been hugely ignored, save those who support the puppet in office and his cronies he protects. The Ship is Sinking – and is Going down. Who is going to save us? It comes down to us, those of us who are writing around the world, to speak up and ask each and every one of our readers to join this movement. To call your leaders and rulers to task, to make them accountable not only to you the citizens of the country that you reside in, but also to the immigrants who have resettled there as well. Leaders need to be accountable to the earth as well.
Or We Shall Pay when Catastrophe Occurs
We cannot remain self absorbed and self centered. We must step beyond the borders of nationalism and ethnic superiority. We all must be made equal, in that we must begin to love and take care of each other and to become custodians of the world at large, and it begins with me. It begins with you. It continues with US. We must, with a resounding voice say “we have had enough of this…” It is time to end this.
Before We Kill Each Other Trying to create Peace !!!
We must become better custodians to the earth. If we stop the raping and pillaging of the land, we must stop the wars, we must stop the killing of innocents. We must stop the tide of suicide bombers. West and East must come together. The West and The East must agree NEVER to wage war again, however possible that is… We must find peaceful and RIGHT means to the future sustaining of the worlds populations. We MUST find an earthly solution, if we must, a heavenly solution.
“We Have Failed to Remember
and We Have Failed to Never
Let It Happen Again”
You who live safe
In your warm houses,
You who find, returning in the evening,
Hot food and friendly faces:
Consider if this is a man
Who works in the mud
Who does not know peace
Who fights for a scrap of bread
Who dies because of a yes and a no.
Consider if this is a woman,
Without hair and without name
With no more strength to remember,
Her eyes empty and her womb cold
Like a frog in winter
Meditate that this came about:
I commend these words to you.
Carve them in your hearts
At Home, in the street,
Going to bed, rising;
Repeat them to your children,
Or may your house fall apart,
May illness impede you,
May your children turn their faces from you.
Survival in Auschwitz
by The Associated PressPosted: July 12, 2007
(Beverly Hills, California) Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt reveled in Sen. David Vitter’s admission of a “very serious sin” involving an escort service and said Wednesday he’s got leads on embarrassing sexual activities involving other members of Congress.
Vitter, R-La. issued the public statement Monday after Flynt’s magazine contacted him and said phone records linked him to a Washington, D.C., service that federal prosecutors say was a prostitution ring. (story)
Flynt said he was indignant over what he called hypocrisy represented by Vitter, 46, a social conservative.
“I don’t want a man like that legislating for me, especially in the areas of morality,” he said.
Flynt has offered to pay $1 million to anyone who can show he or she had a sexual encounter with a member of Congress or a high-ranking government official. He said the offer has produced promising tips.
“We’ve got 20-some investigations that all look good,” Flynt said during a news conference at his Beverly Hills office.
“We have got some high-ranking Republican and Democratic members of the Senate and the House,” he told reporters. “If I get just a couple of those phonies out of there, maybe it will be a step forward.”
Flynt provided no names or details about the investigations. His comments conflicted with a press release issued by the magazine that put the number of investigations at “several.”
Vitter, meanwhile, stayed out of sight Wednesday. For a second straight day, the Louisiana Republican was a no-show in the Capitol, missing votes on Iraq policy and leaving colleagues unsure of his whereabouts or his return.
On Tuesday he missed a committee hearing and a lunch for GOP senators attended by Vice President Dick Cheney.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone all week,” said Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C.
A knock went unanswered at Vitter’s home in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, and telephone calls and an e-mail seeking comment were not returned.
Flynt said he was outraged over years of government investigations into his own life, and time he had spent in prison.
“This is payback time,” he said. “I’m not exposing anyone’s sex life. … I’m only exposing the hypocrisy.”
“It remains unclear why Pope Benedict chose to publish this document just as he begins a three-week holiday in the Italian Alps.
Admittedly, the document does stress that Pope Benedict remains seriously committed to dialogue with the other Christian Churches, but first reactions from Protestant Church leaders appear negative.
This is the second document issued by the Pope in recent days which re-evaluates the work of the Second Vatican Council, the reforming council held in Rome during the 1960s.
The Pope’s point is that although this was a council of reform, the Church fathers meeting at that time remained true to Catholic traditions.
Pope Benedict is, in effect, attacking what he regards as later erroneous interpretations of what the council actually decided.” BBC News Report Below
There are reasons I have my opinions of the Catholic church, past the death of John Paul II. I know, I know he said his share of words about a great many things that I detested as an adult, but I was willing to overlook his faux pas, in the hope that somewhere in his spirit he was contrite and humble.
Benedict is doing his damnedest to alienate, not only other religions, but he has now made an about face to alienate those churches which fall under the wider umbrella of Christian, namely the Protestants and the Anglicans. I have been, for some time, a supporter and attendee at mass at the Christ Church Cathedral for a long time because of my agreement with the clergy there and their openness to adopt wayward men of “pride.”
But as we all knew that Benedict was going to adopt his”ways” we have just been watching the pieces fall into place. First he brings back the Tridintine Mass you can read that text here direct from the Vatican:
LETTER OF HIS HOLINESS
TO THE BISHOPS ON THE OCCASION OF THE PUBLICATION
OF THE APOSTOLIC LETTER “MOTU PROPRIO DATA”
ON THE USE OF THE ROMAN LITURGY
PRIOR TO THE REFORM OF 1970
My dear Brother Bishops,
With great trust and hope, I am consigning to you as Pastors the text of a new Apostolic Letter “Motu Proprio data” on the use of the Roman liturgy prior to the reform of 1970. The document is the fruit of much reflection, numerous consultations and prayer.
News reports and judgments made without sufficient information have created no little confusion. There have been very divergent reactions ranging from joyful acceptance to harsh opposition, about a plan whose contents were in reality unknown.
This document was most directly opposed on account of two fears, which I would like to address somewhat more closely in this letter.
In the first place, there is the fear that the document detracts from the authority of the Second Vatican Council, one of whose essential decisions – the liturgical reform – is being called into question.
This fear is unfounded. In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were “two Rites”. Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite.
As for the use of the 1962 Missal as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgy of the Mass, I would like to draw attention to the fact that this Missal was never juridically abrogated and, consequently, in principle, was always permitted. At the time of the introduction of the new Missal, it did not seem necessary to issue specific norms for the possible use of the earlier Missal. Probably it was thought that it would be a matter of a few individual cases which would be resolved, case by case, on the local level. Afterwards, however, it soon became apparent that a good number of people remained strongly attached to this usage of the Roman Rite, which had been familiar to them from childhood. This was especially the case in countries where the liturgical movement had provided many people with a notable liturgical formation and a deep, personal familiarity with the earlier Form of the liturgical celebration. We all know that, in the movement led by Archbishop Lefebvre, fidelity to the old Missal became an external mark of identity; the reasons for the break which arose over this, however, were at a deeper level. Many people who clearly accepted the binding character of the Second Vatican Council, and were faithful to the Pope and the Bishops, nonetheless also desired to recover the form of the sacred liturgy that was dear to them. This occurred above all because in many places celebrations were not faithful to the prescriptions of the new Missal, but the latter actually was understood as authorizing or even requiring creativity, which frequently led to deformations of the liturgy which were hard to bear. I am speaking from experience, since I too lived through that period with all its hopes and its confusion. And I have seen how arbitrary deformations of the liturgy caused deep pain to individuals totally rooted in the faith of the Church.
Pope John Paul II thus felt obliged to provide, in his Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (2 July 1988), guidelines for the use of the 1962 Missal; that document, however, did not contain detailed prescriptions but appealed in a general way to the generous response of Bishops towards the “legitimate aspirations” of those members of the faithful who requested this usage of the Roman Rite. At the time, the Pope primarily wanted to assist the Society of Saint Pius X to recover full unity with the Successor of Peter, and sought to heal a wound experienced ever more painfully. Unfortunately this reconciliation has not yet come about. Nonetheless, a number of communities have gratefully made use of the possibilities provided by the Motu Proprio. On the other hand, difficulties remain concerning the use of the 1962 Missal outside of these groups, because of the lack of precise juridical norms, particularly because Bishops, in such cases, frequently feared that the authority of the Council would be called into question. Immediately after the Second Vatican Council it was presumed that requests for the use of the 1962 Missal would be limited to the older generation which had grown up with it, but in the meantime it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them. Thus the need has arisen for a clearer juridical regulation which had not been foreseen at the time of the 1988 Motu Proprio. The present Norms are also meant to free Bishops from constantly having to evaluate anew how they are to respond to various situations.
In the second place, the fear was expressed in discussions about the awaited Motu Proprio, that the possibility of a wider use of the 1962 Missal would lead to disarray or even divisions within parish communities. This fear also strikes me as quite unfounded. The use of the old Missal presupposes a certain degree of liturgical formation and some knowledge of the Latin language; neither of these is found very often. Already from these concrete presuppositions, it is clearly seen that the new Missal will certainly remain the ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, not only on account of the juridical norms, but also because of the actual situation of the communities of the faithful.
It is true that there have been exaggerations and at times social aspects unduly linked to the attitude of the faithful attached to the ancient Latin liturgical tradition. Your charity and pastoral prudence will be an incentive and guide for improving these. For that matter, the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching: new Saints and some of the new Prefaces can and should be inserted in the old Missal. The “Ecclesia Dei” Commission, in contact with various bodies devoted to the usus antiquior, will study the practical possibilities in this regard. The celebration of the Mass according to the Missal of Paul VI will be able to demonstrate, more powerfully than has been the case hitherto, the sacrality which attracts many people to the former usage. The most sure guarantee that the Missal of Paul VI can unite parish communities and be loved by them consists in its being celebrated with great reverence in harmony with the liturgical directives. This will bring out the spiritual richness and the theological depth of this Missal.
I now come to the positive reason which motivated my decision to issue this Motu Proprio updating that of 1988. It is a matter of coming to an interior reconciliation in the heart of the Church. Looking back over the past, to the divisions which in the course of the centuries have rent the Body of Christ, one continually has the impression that, at critical moments when divisions were coming about, not enough was done by the Church’s leaders to maintain or regain reconciliation and unity. One has the impression that omissions on the part of the Church have had their share of blame for the fact that these divisions were able to harden. This glance at the past imposes an obligation on us today: to make every effort to enable for all those who truly desire unity to remain in that unity or to attain it anew. I think of a sentence in the Second Letter to the Corinthians, where Paul writes: “Our mouth is open to you, Corinthians; our heart is wide. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own affections. In return … widen your hearts also!” (2 Cor 6:11-13). Paul was certainly speaking in another context, but his exhortation can and must touch us too, precisely on this subject. Let us generously open our hearts and make room for everything that the faith itself allows.
There is no contradiction between the two editions of the Roman Missal. In the history of the liturgy there is growth and progress, but no rupture. What earlier generations held as sacred, remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful. It behooves all of us to preserve the riches which have developed in the Church’s faith and prayer, and to give them their proper place. Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.
In conclusion, dear Brothers, I very much wish to stress that these new norms do not in any way lessen your own authority and responsibility, either for the liturgy or for the pastoral care of your faithful. Each Bishop, in fact, is the moderator of the liturgy in his own Diocese (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 22: “Sacrae Liturgiae moderatio ab Ecclesiae auctoritate unice pendet quae quidem est apud Apostolicam Sedem et, ad normam iuris, apud Episcopum”).
Nothing is taken away, then, from the authority of the Bishop, whose role remains that of being watchful that all is done in peace and serenity. Should some problem arise which the parish priest cannot resolve, the local Ordinary will always be able to intervene, in full harmony, however, with all that has been laid down by the new norms of the Motu Proprio.
Furthermore, I invite you, dear Brothers, to send to the Holy See an account of your experiences, three years after this Motu Proprio has taken effect. If truly serious difficulties come to light, ways to remedy them can be sought.
Dear Brothers, with gratitude and trust, I entrust to your hearts as Pastors these pages and the norms of the Motu Proprio. Let us always be mindful of the words of the Apostle Paul addressed to the presbyters of Ephesus: “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the Church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son” (Acts 20:28).
I entrust these norms to the powerful intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you, dear Brothers, to the parish priests of your dioceses, and to all the priests, your co-workers, as well as to all your faithful.
Given at Saint Peter’s, 7 July 2007
BENEDICTUS PP. XVI
Fr. Jake says this found at: Father Jake Stops the World The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church, formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition, has decided it is time to start suppressing doctrinal heresy once again. The particular doctrine they feel the need to defend this time is the idea that they are the only Real Church. Even the Orthodox cannot be part of their club:
… However, since communion with the Catholic Church, the visible head of which is the Bishop of Rome and the Successor of Peter, is not some external complement to a particular Church but rather one of its internal constitutive principles, these venerable Christian communities lack something in their condition as particular churches…
Close, but not quite enough.
The Protestants, however, can just forgetaboutit:
…According to Catholic doctrine, these Communities do not enjoy apostolic succession in the sacrament of Orders, and are, therefore, deprived of a constitutive element of the Church. These ecclesial Communities which, specifically because of the absence of the sacramental priesthood, have not preserved the genuine and integral substance of the Eucharistic Mystery cannot, according to Catholic doctrine, be called ‘Churches’ in the proper sense…
So, why do we need to be reminded of the exclusivity of Rome? According to the statement, it is all being done in the name of ecumenism:
…Apart from dealing with certain unacceptable ideas which have unfortunately spread around the Catholic world, it offers valuable indications for the future of ecumenical dialogue…
Well, the indications are certainly valuable if your intention is to kill any possibility of dialogue.
Nothing really new here, except that this new Pope continues to attempt to undo anything that was accomplished through Vatican II.
So, remember when you enter through those pearly gates and walk past the Roman Catholic mansion to drop your voice to a whisper. It is the polite thing to do. It would be poor form to destroy their illusion that they are the only ones there.
And now the report from BBC News Online:
By David Willey
The Pope has just begun his annual three-week break in the Italian Alps
Pope Benedict has approved a new text asserting that Christian denominations outside Roman Catholicism are not true Churches in the full sense of the word.
The document, issued by a Vatican watchdog, has been criticised as offensive by some Protestants.
The text was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by Pope Benedict before his election as Pope.
It states that Christ established only one Church here on earth.
Other Christian denominations, it argues, cannot be called Churches in the proper sense because they cannot trace their bishops back to Christ’s original apostles.
True to tradition
The new text is basically a re-statement of another document known as Domine Jesus, published in the year 2000 under the signature of the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope.
That document set off a storm of criticism from Protestant and Anglican leaders who felt that the Vatican was failing to take into account progress made towards re-establishing Christian unity in talks with Rome over a period of many years.
It remains unclear why Pope Benedict chose to publish this document just as he begins a three-week holiday in the Italian Alps.
Admittedly, the document does stress that Pope Benedict remains seriously committed to dialogue with the other Christian Churches, but first reactions from Protestant Church leaders appear negative.
This is the second document issued by the Pope in recent days which re-evaluates the work of the Second Vatican Council, the reforming council held in Rome during the 1960s.
The Pope’s point is that although this was a council of reform, the Church fathers meeting at that time remained true to Catholic traditions.
Pope Benedict is, in effect, attacking what he regards as later erroneous interpretations of what the council actually decided.
Here are some photos I took of the church where my home group meets every Tuesday night. It was a beautiful day for photography. Enjoy, and Happy July 4th to my friends below the Northern Border.
From the Text: “Going to Heaven, The Life and election of Bishop Gene Robinson,” by Elizabeth Adams.
Reference: John Fortunato Embracing the Exile: Healing Journeys for Gay Christians, written in 1982.
From Going to Heaven Pg. 53 – 55
Fortunato’s book speaks of “exile” as the place where so many gay Christians find themselves. To be both gay and Christian, accepting and rejoicing in both one’s homosexuality and Christianity as gifts from God, “is to place ourselves on the outskirts of the community we most care about,” he wrote. He said that “embracing the exile” demands not only the belief that living on the fringes of the spiritual community can be endured by gay Christian, but that “being banished can be viewed as an incredible spiritual opportunity to learn to “love anyway”:
“For gay Christians to be able to love, give, and find meaning in a world that rejects and isolates them, the cruel gash separating their sexuality from their spirituality must be healed. Their freedom to love and give in a hostile world hinges upon their coming to believe in their wholeness and in their having a rightful place in God’s universe.”
“Here” Gene said, finding the section he had been looking for. “Let me read this to you.” He read, and I listened, with growing emotion. The passage was John Fortunato’s description of his own, intensely powerful mystical vision of a conversation with God: the moment when he finally realized that, as a gay man, he was acceptable to the God he lived and whose love he desperately wanted to know, feel, and believe in.
In this vision, Fortunato expresses to God his doubts and fears that the Christians who call homosexuality an abomination might be right. God gently answers, “How can love be wrong? It all comes from Me,” and goes on to dispel Fortunato’s fears about his own wholeness and worthiness as a person capable of giving and receiving love. Fortunato is overwhelmed, and asks, “but what am I supposed to do about ‘them’ — the people who hate and vilify me?” And God answers, “I have given you my gifts: I’ve given you my light; love them anyway.”
Gene then turned the book’s epilogue, titled “into the Lions Den,” in which Fortunato’s revisits this vision and asks, “How? How do I ‘love them anyway’?”
“You begin by just being who you are.” God said, “a loving, caring, whole person, created in my image, whose special light of love happens to shine on men, as I intended for you.”
“Is that all?” I asked, fearfully.
God shook his head. “No, You must also speak your pain and affirm the wholeness I have made you to be when they assail it. You must protest when you are treated as less than a child of mine.”
“Is there more?” I asked.
“Yes,” God said gently. “And this is the hardest part of all. You must go out and reach them. Help them to know of their dependence on me for all that they really are, and of their helplessness without me. Teach them that their ways are not my ways, and that the world of their imagining is not the world I have made. Help them to see all that Creation is One, as I am One, and that all I create, I redeem. And assure them by word, and work, and example, that my love is boundless, and that I am with them always.”
Fortunato protests, saying “They won’t listen to me, they’ll laugh at me and persecute me.” And God’s “radiant face” becomes very sad, and he answers, “I know. How well I know.”
That was the breakthrough. Fortunato writes:
Now I knew. Now I understood. And it was as though large chunks of who I had been, began falling away, tumbling through time and space and eternity. I just let them fall. No fear now, no resistance, so sense of loss. All that was dropping away. It was unnecessary now, extraneous. I began to feel light and warm. Energy began to surge through my whole being, and widen me as though I were a rusty old turbine that had been charged up and was starting to hum.
Then two strong, motherly arms reached out and drew me close to the bosom of all that is, and I was just there, just being, enveloped in being.
And we wept.
When Gene finished reading, I wiped my eyes, and looked at him in silence. He nodded, solemnly. “That was it; this was the pivotal point in my journey,” he said. “That unlocked the rest of my life. Pure and simple. Literally, my life changed upon finishing that book.
Up until that point, Gene had wanted to believe the Good News – that he was actually loved by God, just as he was – but after reading the book, he actually did believe it. He finally had the courage and faith to accept his orientation, to reconcile it with his spirituality, and move forward with those two truths at the center of his identity.
There is nothing else to say…
Globe and Mail Update
June 26, 2007 at 12:16 PM EDT
Canada’s only Anglican bishop to authorize the blessing of homosexual unions says the refusal by his fellow bishops to approve the rite for the national church is the product of institutional inertia rooted in homophobia
Bishop Michael Ingham of the Vancouver-area diocese of New Westminster says homophobia, hiding behind interpretations of scripture, remains an acceptable prejudice in Canadian Anglicanism.
“There are members of our church who staunchly defend that. In my view, [it] is a total misreading of scripture and a misuse of the Bible to oppress people. But they clearly want to continue to do that.”
A recent motion before the church’s triennial general synod — or governing body — to allow individual dioceses to permit blessings of same-sex unions was approved by clergy and laity, but vetoed by a slim majority of bishops, who voted 21-19 against it.
Earlier, however, the bishops had voted by the same margin in favour of a resolution stating that the blessings were not in conflict with the church’s “core doctrine.”
Bishop Ingham has kindly agreed to take questions from the readers of globeandmail.com this week on the issue.
Your questions and Bishop Ingham’s answers will appear at the bottom of this page no later than Friday.
globeandmail.com has also invited a bishop who voted against the motion to approve the blessing of same-sex unions to take your questions.
The Rt. Rev. Michael Ingham has been bishop of the diocese of New Westminster since January 1994. Before that, he was Dean of New Westminster and Rector of Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver.
He was born in Yorkshire, England in 1949. He studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, receiving an M.A. in Politics and Philosophy and a B.D. (First Class) in Theology.
Before being ordained, he did postgraduate work at Harvard University where he studied contemporary American theology. He also spent a semester at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem studying Judaism.
Bishop Ingham was ordained as a priest in Ottawa in 1974 and has served in parishes in Ottawa, Burnaby and West Vancouver. From 1989 to 1992, he was the principal secretary to the Primate of Canada in Toronto, and in that capacity travelled widely throughout the Anglican Communion.
He is the author of two books. Rites For A New Age, an introduction to the Book of Alternative Services, which was published in 1986, and Mansions Of The Spirit, an introduction to inter-faith dialogue, which first appeared in 1997.
Bishop Ingham is married to Gwen and they have two daughters.
News Report 24 June 2007
(CP) – Canadian Anglicans inched closer towards blessing same sex unions, but stopped short of giving priests the power to perform ceremonies.
The Anglican Church of Canada agreed that same sex blessings do not conflict with its core doctrine, a decision that paves the way for the practice.
But ultimately, delegates voting Sunday at the General Synod rejected the idea of letting individual dioceses decide whether their priests could perform blessing ceremonies for same sex couples who were married in civil ceremonies.
“So on the one hand, we said it is a matter of doctrine, but not credal, that is, not essential to one’s salvation, shall we say. But on the other hand, the church is not prepared… to proceed immediately with the blessing of same sex unions,” said Archbishop-elect Fred Hiltz, who will be installed as the church’s new primate Monday evening.
Supporters and opponents of same sex blessings call the decisions confusing.
“It is a very confusing message to be sending. It’s taking with one hand and giving with the other,” said Chris Aimbidge, President of Integrity Canada, a lobby group that supports same sex blessings.
Cheryl Chang, a spokeswoman for Anglican Essentials, a group lobbying against same sex blessings, said she believes confused and frustrated parishioners will start finding other churches immediately.
“People (will) leave to go to the Catholic church, the Baptist church, the Pentecostal church. That’s going to happen starting next Sunday, or next Monday even,” Chang said.
“These are decisions that are very confusing for the church, and ultimately, very divisive.”
Both resolutions were widely supported by both clergy and laity in Sunday’s votes, but needed the support of the bishops in order to pass.
The bishops narrowly accepted the resolution on doctrine by just two votes. However, when it came to allowing same sex blessing ceremonies, the bishops voted 21 to 19 against the idea.
Though the church hasn’t approved the practice, observers say the foundation has been laid for same sex blessings in.
Some of the more conservative Anglican churches have already threatened the U.S. church with expulsion over its blessings of same-sex couples, so that’s why opponents are concerned about Sunday’s decisions.
“To do what they’ve done is to step apart from the worldwide Anglican communion,” said The Rev. Canon Charlie Masters, the head of Anglican Essentials.
“This is a very sad day for Anglicans.”
The fear of a split from thewas one of the many reasons the decision proved difficult for some voters. Just hours before the final vote, Meghan Lofgren, a youth delegate from the diocese of Saskatoon, admitted she hadn’t made up her mind.
“I don’t even know what I’m going to vote right now,” she said.
Others, like Rene Jamieson, were eager to make a decision. She urged fellow delegates to let each diocese decide on whether priests could perform same-sex blessings.
Jamieson said the lengthy discussions on the issue mean they’re not focusing on problems like poverty.
“I want you to vote in favour of this resolution so we can get on with the work of the church,” she told delegates.
The Anglicans’ vote follows a similar one by Canada’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, held Saturday in.
Canadian Evangelical Lutherans are in full communion with the Anglican Church of Canada, meaning ordained ministers can officiate in either church. Similarly, baptized members can transfer between the two churches.
With roughly 180,000 members, the Evangelical Lutherans form the largest Lutheran denomination in.
The Anglicans’ decision Sunday came after two days of debate. Initially, the vote was scheduled for Saturday night, but instead of debating the issue, delegates spent hours wrangling over procedural issues.
The General Synod is held once every three years.
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada has narrowly defeated a resolution that would have allowed dioceses to decide for themselves whether or not to bless same-sex unions.
Lay delegates voted 78 to 59 in favor of the motion and clergy voted 63 to 53 in favor But the House of Bishops voted 21-19 against it. As a result the motion was defeated, since it required approval by each of the three orders to pass.
The motion read:
“That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesan synod,
- with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop, and
- in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,
to authorize the blessing of committed same-sex unions.”
The resolution, as amended (in italics) was as follows:
Blessing of Same Sex Unions
Be It Resolved:
That this General Synod affirm the authority and jurisdiction of any diocesen synod,
a)with the concurrence of the diocesan bishop and
b)in a manner which respects the conscience of the incumbent and the will of the parish,
to authorize the blessing of committed same sex unions.
Here are the votes:
Laity – 78 aye / 59 nay
Clergy – 63 aye / 53 nay
Bishops – 19 aye / 21 nay
Winnipeg, June 24, 2007 — Members of the Anglican Church of Canada’s General Synod in Winnipeg agreed Sunday that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the church’s core doctrine, in the sense of being credal. Debate resumed Sunday morning after being suspended late Saturday. The motion carried reads: “That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is not in conflict with the core doctrine (in the sense of being credal) of the Anglican Church of Canada.
The motion was carried by a vote of 152 for, 97 against in the house of clergy and laity and by a vote of 21 for and 19 against in the house of bishops.
Here is the resolution as amended (in italics).
That this General Synod resolves that the blessing of same-sex unions is
consistentnot in conflict with the core doctrine, in the sense of being creedal, of The Anglican Church of Canada.
Clergy and Laity – 152 aye / 97 nay
Bishops – 21 aye / 19 nay
The resolution, as originally proposed, is here. It was amended (in italics) as follows:
BE IT RESOLVED:
That this General Synod accept the conclusion of the Primate’s Theological Commission’s St. Michael Report that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine, but is not core doctrine in the sense of being credal, and that it should not be a communion-breaking issue.
Report of the Primate’s Theological Commission of the Anglican Church of Canada on the Blessing of Same-Sex Unions
The St. Michael Report
‘But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine.’
1. The Commission has concluded that the blessing of same-sex unions is a matter of doctrine.2 In reaching this conclusion, the Commission has been conscious of the range of interpretations given to the term ‘doctrine’, and it has attempted in what follows carefully and prayerfully to understand the complexity of the nature of doctrine and its relationship to this divisive issue. We are particularly concerned to call the whole Church to engage in furthering the discussion of this issue in a sustained, prayerful, respectful and non-polemical manner, in the earnest hope that it will lead to a clearer discernment of ‘sound doctrine’ and to our goal of wholeness in Christ (Is 55:6; Ps 27:8; Col 1:28; Prov 8:17; Eph 2:10).
You can read all about this fracture of ‘church’ over at Father Jakes Blog Here.
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
(Saskatoon, Saskatchewan) An Anglican priest has resigned rather than submit to a directive from his bishop not to officiate at gay weddings.
The Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck of the Saskatoon Native Ministry announced last month that he would marry gay couples if asked. Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada.
In an open letter, Sanford Beck said the Canadian church’s ban on same-sex marriages and blessings “theologically problematic and fundamentally unjust.”
Bishop Rodney Andrews asked the priest to reconsider his position by March 31 or risk losing his license to minister.
Andrews pointed to Anglican Church of Canada guidelines which prohibit either blessing services or marriages for same-sex couples.
“To my knowledge, the Rev. Shawn Sanford Beck has not presided at a same-sex blessing or a same-sex marriage. Accordingly, I issued Shawn a short-term license effective April 1, 2007. Shawn has chosen not to accept licensing and has returned the license to me,” Andrews said in a statement.
“He has subsequently resigned his position with the Saskatoon Native Ministry.”
Andrews said that Sanford Beck remains a priest but is considered “On leave without permission to officiate”
Earlier this month Canadian Anglican bishops issued a pastoral statement rejecting the blessing of same-sex unions while acknowledging that there will be further votes on the matter when the church’s governing body meets next month. (story)
The issue of how the worldwide Anglican Church treats gays has been growing since the election in 2003 of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire in the US. Robinson is openly gay and in a long term relationship.
The head of the U.S. wing of the Anglican church supports ordaining gays and allowing blessing ceremonies for same-sex couples. The Americans could be expelled from the international communion if they don’t ban the blessings of same-sex couples and ordination of gay bishops by Sept. 30.
The Canadian church has placed a moratorium on such blessings at least until the General Synod next month, which is a gathering of about 400 Anglican delegates, staff, national and international partners. A General Synod is held once every three years.