Witches Around Town

October 3, 2009

While I have known for many years that there are a lot of Wiccans and other pagans in the Twin Cities, I had no idea that they had a Pagan pride Weekend. Going on now. My first question is this: Why pride? Why not come up with some other word? Is it because you’re wrong and vilified for your ultra-yucky behavior? Or is it because you have Dianic Wiccans (lesbian witches) organizing this? I’m not aware that anyone pays too much attention to paganism around here so it wouldn’t shock people, especially in October, to be told that someone is a pagan. Especially not in the neighborhood in which they’re having their event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who was Buried in the Apostle Paul’s Tomb?

June 29, 2009

ap-Apostle-Paul-tomb-Rome-195eng29jun09Tomb believed to be the Apostle Paul’s

The Vatican announced, at the close of the Pauline year, that analysis on bones buried in what is believed to be the tomb of the Apostle Paul, indicates the bones are from the proper time period.

You’ve got to love Catholicism; the Vatican finds all kinds of things located where tradition has put them.

Oldest St. PaulOldest portrait of St. Paul

In addition, the Vatican announced the finding of a 4th century portrait of St. Paul, which is the oldest known image of the saint.

Grace from God in this Pauline year.


Ben Lomond: When Antiochian Orthodoxy Drove Away its Converts

August 22, 2008

A terrible tragedy happened 10 years ago this month known as the Ben Lomond Crisis. According to these re-published accounts, it was an event characterized by rigidity, intrigue and ethnocentricism on the one hand, and a defiance of legitimate episcopal authority on the other, which ruined Antiochian Orthodoxy’s best hope for a major influx of Evangelical converts. The “Orthodox Moment” among Evangelicals began and ended at Ben Lomond, California.

While there are undoubtedly conflicting versions of this event, here are two accounts of what took place in this historic turn for Orthodoxy in America.

From Ben Lomond Tragedy:

An account from 1998, November 26, 1998 (broken into paragraphs for easier reading)

The parish in Ben Lomond, CA was then the largest parish of the Antiochian Evangelical Mission. In 1997, it was a parish of about 1500. Saturday Vespers had about 200 attendees. The entire congregation sang as the choir. It has a K-12 school, a world class choir, a hospitality house (for visitors), programs for teens, and a publishing house, Conciliar Press, which the evangelicals brought with them. The parish allowed a highly respected spiritual father from Mount Athos to visit them and to hear confessions and give guidance. People began to fast and pray more.

The hierarchy of the Antiochian Archdiocese then forbade any Antiochian clergy or faithful to go for a confession to a non-Antiochian priest. Their practice of having a complete round of daily services, with Matins, Liturgy, Vespers, and everything else, all well attended, was considered bizarre and no longer normal. Moreover, they had some unusual liturgical customs and Russian customs in their services. Certain Arab ladies in the parish got the ear of the local Bishop and started demanding that the thing was getting out of control; a new leadership had to be installed at Ben Lomond. Read the rest of this entry »


Telegraph: ‘Substantial number’ of clergy will leave over plans for women bishops

August 14, 2008

Here is the bombshell:

A group of 14 traditionalist bishops claim that there are “irreconcilable differences” over historic reforms that would introduce women as bishops without giving proper concessions to oponents of the move.

In a letter to 1,400 clergy who have indicated that they are considering defecting from the Church of England, they are highly critical of a decision by the General Synod – the Church’s parliament – to ignore proposals for a compromise over the divisive issue. Read the rest of this entry »


Anglican Bitterness over Converts to Rome

August 14, 2008

It’s all over the net. All kinds of talk about Anglicans swimming, put on swim trunks, taking the plunge, testing the waters, dipping the toe, crossing over, etc. It will be a wonder if the Tiber can handle the traffic as well as it handles the copious references to the metaphor … if they all come.

Those who do come are deserving of a hearty welcome from those of us standing along the shore. They certainly will have paid a hefty price in strained and even lost friendships as they have made a momentous and meaningful journey to the Catholic Church.

As an Anglican watcher I have noticed a distinct pattern on most Anglican blogs. Whenever something positive about the Catholic Church is posted there is a strong and bitter reaction among many of the commenters. Antipathy toward the Catholic Church is deeply ingrained in the minds of Anglicans and protestants from an early age. So it erupts almost without reflection whenever the moment calls for it. It has been particularly heavy in the wake of word of talks between some Diocese of Fort Worth Episcopal clergy and the local Catholic bishop.

Here is an example of the kind of visceral bitterness that has surfaced at blogs like the Continuum: Read the rest of this entry »


Tiber Crossings, Anglican Mass Conversion in Fort Worth?

August 12, 2008

5 Bob to: Midwest Conservative Journal:

Will the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth make the ultimate jump?

A delegation of Episcopal priests from Fort Worth paid a visit to Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann earlier this summer, asking for guidance on how their highly conservative diocese might come into “full communion” with the Catholic Church.

Whether that portends a serious move to turn Fort Worth Episcopalians and their churches into Catholics and Catholic churches is a matter of dispute.

The Rev. William Crary, senior rector of the Fort Worth diocese, confirmed that on June 16 he and three other priests met with Bishop Vann, leader of the Fort Worth Catholic diocese, and presented him a document that is highly critical of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.

The document states that the overwhelming majority of Episcopal clergy in the Fort Worth diocese favor pursuing an “active plan” to bring the diocese into full communion with the Catholic Church.

While declining to specify what that might mean, Mr. Crary said it likely would not mean “absorption” by the Catholic Church.

He cast the initiative as following Anglican and Catholic leaders in longstanding efforts to bring the two groups into greater cooperation, with the ultimate goal of honoring Jesus’ call in John 17:21 for Christian unity.

“These discussions between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion have been going on for 42 years,” he said. “We would like to bring these down to the local level.”

But other local Episcopalians interpret the meeting and document differently.

“There’s a very serious attempt on the part of Episcopal clergy in the Diocese of Forth Worth to petition Rome for some kind of recognition,” said the Rev. Courtland Moore, who is retired as rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Arlington.

“They make it clear that they no longer believe there is truth in the Anglican Communion, and the only way they can find truth is reunion with Rome.”

Mr. Moore is co-chairman of Steering Committee North Texas Episcopalians, a group that wants the Fort Worth diocese to remain in the Episcopal Church. He obtained a copy of the document the priests gave to Bishop Vann and made it available to reporters. Read the rest of this entry »


Former Anglican Bishop, Catholic Convert, Jeffrey Steenson on Anglocatholicism

July 17, 2008

Steenson as an Anglican Bishop

Former Anglican Bishop Jeffrey Steenson is widely revered among Anglicans as a man of profound integrity and service in the Lord’s vineyard. Last week he spoke at the Anglican Use Conference. He spoke with his usual clarity and Anglican eloquence. Welcome home, Jeffery.

His full address can be found here.

It all begins with the conviction that the Catholic Church simply is. She is not one option amongst many. People who become alienated from their own churches will sometimes think that the next step is to go down to the marketplace and see what is on offer: which church is going to give me the best deal? Those people seldom find the Catholic Church because they have missed the essential point – the fullness of Christ’s blessings is not distributed across the ecclesial landscape but flows from the one Church.

Read the rest of this entry »