100 US Anglican parishes convert to Roman Catholic Church


Saturday 06 February 2016

100 US Anglican parishes convert to Roman Catholic Church

About 100 traditionalist Anglican parishes across the United States have decided to convert en masse to the Roman Catholic Church, it emerged yesterday Pope Benedict XVI – Cardinal tells Pope not to be distracted by ‘petty gossip’

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts

By Simon Caldwell

6:53PM GMT 05 Mar 2010

They have voted to take up the offer made by Pope Benedict XVI in November that permits vicars and their entire congregations to defect to Rome while keeping many of their Anglican traditions, including married priests.

By issuing the apostolic constitution Anglicanorum coetibus (on groups of Anglicans) the Pope was accused of attempting to poach Anglicans unhappy about decisions taken in their Church to ordain women and sexually-active homosexuals as priests and bishops.

But the Vatican insisted that the move to create self-governing “personal ordinariates”, which resemble dioceses in structure, came as a result of requests from at least 30 disaffected Anglican bishops around the world for “corporate reunion” with the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church in America (ACA) will now enter the Catholic Church as a block, bringing in thousands of converts along with their own bishops, buildings and even a cathedral.

They will worship according to Anglican rubrics, and use the Book of Common Prayer, but they will be in communion with the Pope, recognising him as their leader.

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The decision was taken by the House of Bishops of the ACA during a meeting in Orlando, Florida, earlier this week.

The bishops said in a brief statement afterwards that they had agreed to formally “request the implementation of the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus in the United States of America by the (Vatican’s) Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.

The ACA belongs to the Traditional Anglican Communion, which broke from the Anglican Communion nearly 20 years ago because of its drift from orthodox Christian doctrines.

Unlike 77 million Anglicans worldwide, it is not in communion with the much larger US episcopal church nor does it recognise Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the church but still considers itself Anglican in its origins.

Its decision to rejoin the Catholic Church represents the second group of Anglican churches to take up the Pope’s offer.

The first was the Australian branch of Forward in Faith, a traditionalist group in communion with the Church of England and other mainstream Anglican churches, which last month directed its governing council to take the first steps needed for the mass conversion of 16 parishes to Catholicism.

The UK branch of Forward in Faith is also considering mass conversion but has delayed a decision until July at the earliest – though its leaders are known to be holding secretive meeting with high-ranking Vatican officials.

In the meantime Forward in Faith UK has set up a “Friends of the Ordinariate” group to help to gauge the level of support for conversion among rank-and-file worshippers.

If they decide to take the path to Rome, Britain will see unprecedented numbers of conversions, possibly involving in the region of 200 Anglican congregations, which would amount to thousands of converts.

John Broadhurst, the Anglican Bishop of Fulham and chairman of Forward in Faith, said mass conversion was a real prospect. “We have a thousand priest members in my organisation and there are many others who agree with us,” he said last year.

“The main issue for many Anglican priests is now the ownership of parish churches.”

In preparation for an influx of converts the Catholic bishops of England and Wales have established a commission which is expected to look at the

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Australia not denying it paid people smugglers


The boat at the centre of the payment allegations, which was reportedly carrying predominantly Sri Lankan nationals, was intercepted late in May last year. The captain told a court in Indonesia that he negotiated payment with officials to take the mi
The boat at the centre of the payment allegations, which was reportedly carrying predominantly Sri Lankan nationals, was intercepted late in May last year. The captain told a court in Indonesia that he negotiated payment with officials to take the migrants back to Indonesia.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY


Published4 hours ago

Amnesty says evidence of cash payment is strong; Canberra claims no laws are broken

SYDNEY • Australian officials refused to deny allegations that the authorities paid crew on a people-smuggling boat US$30,000 (S$41,900) to return 65 asylum-seekers to Indonesia, while insisting that no laws had been broken.

The refusal yesterday to confirm or deny the allegations came after Amnesty International said the evidence of cash payments could no longer be ignored and as Australia comes under mounting pressure over its heavily criticised immi- gration policies.

A Senate hearing into the allegations questioned yesterday whether a payment was ever made in the case, which saw 71 asylum-seekers and crew members arrive on Indonesia’s Rote Island.

“Because it goes to the heart of operational activities… I am not able to answer that question,” Australian Border Force operational commander Andrew Bottrell said.

“We are neither confirming nor denying it,” added Mr Michael Pezzullo, secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

He said the Australian autho- rities’ actions were legal.

Canberra’s immigration policies, under which boats are turned back and asylum-seekers are denied resettlement in Australia even if they are found to be refugees, have been strongly criticised.

But the conservative government has credited them with stopping the flow of asylum-seekers risking their lives on boat journeys, with no successful boat arrivals in more than a year.

The hardline approach has caused particular tensions with Indonesia, the transit point for many would-be refugees en route to Australia.

The boat at the centre of the payment allegations, which was reportedly heading to New Zealand and carrying predominantly Sri Lankan nationals, was intercepted late in May last year.

The captain of the boat, who was charged with people-smuggling, told a court in Indonesia in December last year that he negotiated the payment to take the migrants back to Indonesia to avoid going home “empty-handed”.

He reportedly negotiated for 30 minutes with officials before agreeing on the payment.

Amnesty International said the evidence that Australian officials paid off the boat crew was strong and raised questions about about whether payments occurred on other occasions.

“Such payments from Australian officials would amount to a transnational crime,” spokesman Graham Thom said in a statement yesterday.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 06, 2016, with the headline ‘Australia not denying it paid people smugglers’.

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Lest you think el nino effects just you……..


El Nino has intensified dry spell: Met Dept. [Sri Lanka weather (formerly Ceylon) Indian Ocean Southeast of India]

2016-02-05 03:33:38

The current dry spell experienced in the country is a result of the EL Nino phenomenon, the Department of Meteorology said yesterday.

A duty forecaster from the Department told the Daily Mirror that the dry weather normally prevailed at this time of the year brought on by the dry winds which blows from the North but said it had intensified this year as a result of the El Nino.

El Niño is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Nino is the “warm phase” of a larger phenomenon called the El Nino-Southern Oscillation

The department said there had been no rainfall in any part of the country during the past few days.

The temperature in most parts of the country was high with the highest temperature of 35.5c degrees reported from Colombo and 35.4c degrees reported from Katunayake while the temperatures in Hambantota, Kurunegala, Ratnapura and Ratmalana were more than 33c degrees.

However it was predicted that some rains could be expected during the weekend. Rains are specifically forecast in the Eastern and Uva provinces. (Yohan Perera)
– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/104984/El-Nino-has-intensified-dry-spell-Met-Dept-#sthash.82BfhBO2.dpuf

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British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos


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British scientists granted permission to genetically modify human embryos

The Francis Crick institute will genetically edit the leftover embryos from from IVF clinics

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Scientists will genetically edit human embryos to work out what causes failure to implant or miscarriage

Scientists will genetically edit human embryos to work out what causes failure to implant or miscarriage Photo: Alamy

Sarah Knapton
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor

10:00AM GMT 01 Feb 2016

Comments305 Comments

British scientists have been granted permission to genetically modify human embryos by the fertility regulator.

The Francis Crick Institute could begin the controversial experiments as early as March after the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) gave the green light this morning.

The scientists want to deactivate genes in leftover embryos from IVF clinics to see if it hinders development.

It will only be the second time in the world that such a procedure has been undertaken and the first time it has been directly approved by a regulator. A Chinese team carried out similar experiments last year to widespread outcry.

‘Understanding the crucial process of embryo development could help us understand causes of infertility, miscarriage and some genetic diseases’

Alastair Kent, Director of Genetic Alliance UK

Currently around 50 per cent of fertilised eggs do not develop properly and experts believe that faulty genetic code could be responsible.

If scientists knew which genes were crucial for healthy cell division, then they could screen out embryos where their DNA was not working properly, potentially preventing miscarriages and aiding fertility.

The initial pilot, which will also have to pass an ethics evaluation, will involve up to 30 embryos and the team would like to work on a further three genes, which could bring the total of to 120.

Critics warn that allowing embryos to be edited opens the door to designer babies and genetically modified humans.

“The HFEA now has the reputation of being the first regulator in the world to approve this uncertain and dangerous technology”

Anne Scanlan of the charity LIFE

Anne Scanlan of the charity LIFE said: “The HFEA now has the reputation of being the first regulator in the world to approve this uncertain and dangerous technology. It has ignored the warnings of over a hundred scientists worldwide and given permission for a procedure which could have damaging far-reaching implications for human beings.”

But lead scientist Dr Kathy Niakan said that the research could fundamentally change our understanding of human biology and give hope to prospective parents.

“We would really like to understand the genes that are needed for an embryo to develop into a healthy baby,” she told a briefing in central London last month.

“Miscarriage and infertility are extremely common but they are not very well understood. We believe that this research could improve our understanding of the very earliest stages of human life.

A strand of DNA
Human embryos could be genetically modified for the first time in Britain this Spring Photo: Alamy

“The reason why I think this is so important is that most human embryos fail to reach the blastocyst stage. Over 50 per cent will fail so this window is absolutely critical.

“If we were to understand the genes, it could really help us improve infertility treatment and provide crucial insights into the causes of miscarriage.”

The team at Francis Crick are already in talks with fertility clinics across the country to use their spare embryos.

Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Crick, said: “I am delighted that the HFEA has approved Dr Niakan’s application. Dr Niakan’s proposed research is important for understanding how a healthy human embryo develops and will enhance our understanding of IVF success rates, by looking at the very earliest stage of human development – one to seven days.”

Currently it is not illegal to edit human embryos for research purposes although it has never been done before because they technology has not been available.

When China announced it had carried out similar experiments last year there was a widespread outcry.

A spokesman for the HFEA said: “Our Licence Committee has approved an application from Dr Kathy Niakan of the Francis Crick Institute to renew her laboratory’s research licence to include gene editing of embryos.

“The committee has added a condition to the licence that no research using gene editing may take place until the research has received research ethics approval.

“As with all embryos used in research, it is illegal to transfer them to a woman for treatment.”

All cells in a human embryo have the same DNA code, but they divide into specialised cells depending on gene expression.

Between day five and seven of human development and embryo has around 200 cells of three different types. One set will go on to form the foetus , while another type becomes the placenta, and the third kind the yolk sac which nourishes growing baby. The aim of the new project is to find out what causes the cells to turn into different kinds, a process known as ‘lineage specification.’

The new genetic editing technique, called Crispr, acts like molecular scissors to snip out part of the DNA code so that scientists can see if it was needed.

A human embryo at three days old
The embyos will be edited when they are just a few days old

Dr Niakan said: “If you imagine the genome as volumes in an encyclopaedia, at some point in the development some of the cells will start to read a different volume compared to its neighbour cell. One cell will read a volume slightly differently even though they have the same library.”

‘It is the very future of the way in which societies accept persons with disabilities that is at play since such gene editing procedures infer that they should not have been brought into existence’

Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics

“Crispr is so efficient and precise that it can go inside a single volume, open up, a specific page, identify a single word, and alter a single letter,” added Prof Niakan.

The first gene that the team is planning to deactivate is OCT4, which in mice appears to be crucial for the healthy development of foetal cells.

However British scientists were among 150 experts who in November called for a worldwide ban on genetic editing of embryos claiming the practice could open the door to ‘irrevocably altering the human species.’

Nola Lean of Christian charity CARE said:“This decision opens the door to full blown eugenics and you have to wonder where it will stop.

“The sanctity and equality of human life is under threat as never before it would seem as we push ahead crossing one ethical boundary after another”

Dr Calum MacKellar, Director of Research of the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics said: “Allowing the gene editing of embryos opens the road to genetically modifying all the descendants of a person as well as full blown eugenics which was condemned by all civilised societies after the Second World War.”

“It is the very future of the way in which societies accept persons with disabilities that is at play since such gene editing procedures infer that they should not have been brought into existence.”

Gene therapy has been available since the 1970s but it is only recently that scientists have developed technology which can snip out parts of genetic code

The technique could permanently remove harmful mutations which lead to inherited diseases like Huntingdon’s, cystic fibrosis and haemophilia, critics say it could have unexpected side effects any may damage healthy strands of DNA.

Alastair Kent, Director of Genetic Alliance UK, said: ““Understanding the crucial process of embryo development could help us to understand causes of infertility, miscarriage and some genetic diseases.

“The team at the Crick Institute have explained to the HFEA why they would like to use genome editing to investigate embryo development and the HFEA have authorised the research to proceed. We hope that this avenue of research is fruitful, and that genome editing is as powerful a research tool as it currently seems to be.”

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S. Korea willing to build nuclear plants in Iran


Thursday, January 28, 2016 | Volume: 12476

View Rate : 1609 # News Code : TTime- 252529 Print Date : Thursday, January 28, 2016

S. Korea willing to build nuclear plants in Iran: Salehi
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN – Iran’s nuclear chief announced on Wednesday that South Korea has expressed its willingness to cooperate with Iran in building nuclear power plants.

“In a meeting that I recently had with the South Korean ambassador in Tehran they expressed their willingness for cooperation with Iran in (building nuclear) plants,” Ali Akbar Salehi, director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told a meeting hosted by the Strategic Council for Foreign Relations.

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Archbishop Vigneron: No Communion For Catholics Who Support Same-Sex Marriage!


By, Naraj Warkioo, Detroit Free sPress – Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

The comments of Vigneron and Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, are part of a polarizing discussion about gay marriage that echoes debate over whether politicians who advocate abortion rights should receive Communion.

In a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to” Catholic law “and should not approach for holy Communion,” he wrote. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”

Peters didn’t specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.”

Peters, an attorney who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura, which means he helps advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church. Peters’ blog, “In Light of the Law,” is popular among Catholic experts, but not everyone agrees with his traditional views.

Peters has said before that liberal Catholic Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Communion because of their statements and positions.

In 2011, Peters said that Cuomo should not receive Communion because he is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. Last month, Peters said, “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”

In 2002, Catholic Jennifer Granholm’s support of abortion rights became an issue in the gubernatorial race a month before the election, when Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida released a letter saying Catholic politicians had a “special moral obligation” to oppose abortion.

Last month, Vigneron said at a news conference that maintaining views that oppose abortion and support traditional marriage are important for Catholics.

“Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest,” said Vigneron, who oversees 1.3 million Catholics in southeastern Michigan.

Asked by the Free Press about Catholics who publicly advocate for gay marriage and receive Communion, Vigneron said Sunday: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

Vigneron said the church wants to help Catholics “avoid this personal disaster.”
By, Naraj Warkioo – Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

The comments of Vigneron and Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, are part of a polarizing discussion about gay marriage that echoes debate over whether politicians who advocate abortion rights should receive Communion.

In a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to” Catholic law “and should not approach for holy Communion,” he wrote. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”

Peters didn’t specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.”

Peters, an attorney who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura, which means he helps advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church. Peters’ blog, “In Light of the Law,” is popular among Catholic experts, but not everyone agrees with his traditional views.

Peters has said before that liberal Catholic Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Communion because of their statements and positions.

In 2011, Peters said that Cuomo should not receive Communion because he is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. Last month, Peters said, “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”

In 2002, Catholic Jennifer Granholm’s support of abortion rights became an issue in the gubernatorial race a month before the election, when Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida released a letter saying Catholic politicians had a “special moral obligation” to oppose abortion.

Last month, Vigneron said at a news conference that maintaining views that oppose abortion and support traditional marriage are important for Catholics.

“Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest,” said Vigneron, who oversees 1.3 million Catholics in southeastern Michigan.

Asked by the Free Press about Catholics who publicly advocate for gay marriage and receive Communion, Vigneron said Sunday: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

Vigneron said the church wants to help Catholics “avoid this personal disaster.”
By, Naraj Warkioo – Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

The comments of Vigneron and Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, are part of a polarizing discussion about gay marriage that echoes debate over whether politicians who advocate abortion rights should receive Communion.

In a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to” Catholic law “and should not approach for holy Communion,” he wrote. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”

Peters didn’t specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.”

Peters, an attorney who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura, which means he helps advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church. Peters’ blog, “In Light of the Law,” is popular among Catholic experts, but not everyone agrees with his traditional views.

Peters has said before that liberal Catholic Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Communion because of their statements and positions.

In 2011, Peters said that Cuomo should not receive Communion because he is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. Last month, Peters said, “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”

In 2002, Catholic Jennifer Granholm’s support of abortion rights became an issue in the gubernatorial race a month before the election, when Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida released a letter saying Catholic politicians had a “special moral obligation” to oppose abortion.

Last month, Vigneron said at a news conference that maintaining views that oppose abortion and support traditional marriage are important for Catholics.

“Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest,” said Vigneron, who oversees 1.3 million Catholics in southeastern Michigan.

Asked by the Free Press about Catholics who publicly advocate for gay marriage and receive Communion, Vigneron said Sunday: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

Vigneron said the church wants to help Catholics “avoid this personal disaster.”
By, Naraj Warkioo – Detroit professor and legal adviser to the Vatican says Catholics who promote gay marriage should not try to receive holy Communion, a key part of Catholic identity.

And the archbishop of Detroit, Allen Vigneron, told the Free Press Sunday that Catholics who receive Communion while advocating gay marriage would “logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

The comments of Vigneron and Edward Peters, who teaches Catholic canon law at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, are part of a polarizing discussion about gay marriage that echoes debate over whether politicians who advocate abortion rights should receive Communion.

In a post on his blog last week, Peters said that Catholic teachings make it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. And so, “Catholics who promote ‘same-sex marriage’ act contrary to” Catholic law “and should not approach for holy Communion,” he wrote. “They also risk having holy Communion withheld from them … being rebuked and/or being sanctioned.”

Peters didn’t specify a Catholic politician or public figure in his post. But he told the Free Press that a person’s “public efforts to change society’s definition of marriage … amount to committing objectively wrong actions.”

Peters, an attorney who holds the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Chair at Sacred Heart, was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to be a referendary of the Apostolic Sinatura, which means he helps advise the top judicial authority in the Catholic Church. Peters’ blog, “In Light of the Law,” is popular among Catholic experts, but not everyone agrees with his traditional views.

Peters has said before that liberal Catholic Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, should be denied Communion because of their statements and positions.

In 2011, Peters said that Cuomo should not receive Communion because he is an outspoken proponent of gay marriage. Last month, Peters said, “Pelosi suffers from one of the most malformed consciences in the annals of American Catholic politics or … she is simply hell-bent on using her Catholic identity to attack Catholic values at pretty much every opportunity.”

In 2002, Catholic Jennifer Granholm’s support of abortion rights became an issue in the gubernatorial race a month before the election, when Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida released a letter saying Catholic politicians had a “special moral obligation” to oppose abortion.

Last month, Vigneron said at a news conference that maintaining views that oppose abortion and support traditional marriage are important for Catholics.

“Were we to abandon them, we would be like physicians who didn’t tell their patients that certain forms of behavior are not really in their best interest,” said Vigneron, who oversees 1.3 million Catholics in southeastern Michigan.

Asked by the Free Press about Catholics who publicly advocate for gay marriage and receive Communion, Vigneron said Sunday: “For a Catholic to receive holy Communion and still deny the revelation Christ entrusted to the church is to try to say two contradictory things at once: ‘I believe the church offers the saving truth of Jesus, and I reject what the church teaches.’ In effect, they would contradict themselves. This sort of behavior would result in publicly renouncing one’s integrity and logically bring shame for a double-dealing that is not unlike perjury.”

Vigneron said the church wants to help Catholics “avoid this personal disaster.”

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Anglicans suspend Episcopal Church over stance on same-sex marriage


(Photo of former head bishop of The Episcopal Church)
Kimberly Winston, Religion News Service 4:15 p.m. EST January 14, 2016

AFP 546452071 I AOT GBR GR

(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

The Anglican Communion suspended the Episcopal Church, it’s American branch, from voting and decision-making for three years on Thursday over its acceptance of same-sex marriage.

“The traditional doctrine of the church in view of the teaching of Scripture, upholds marriage as between a man and a woman in faithful, lifelong union,” the Anglican Communion said in a statement. “The majority of those gathered reaffirm this teaching.”

The dramatic demotion follows a string of Episcopal Church decisions stretching back to 2003 when it elected Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as a bishop of New Hampshire. That decision led dozens of U.S. churches to break away from the Episcopal Church and declare their allegiance to a series of rival groups including The Anglican Church in North America.

In July, the Episcopal Church voted to allow its clergy to perform same-sex marriages, a move not taken by the majority of churches in the Anglican Communion.

Details of the suspension were first reported by Anglican Ink, which said they came from a leaked communique. The vote passed by a two-thirds margin, the publication reported, and included prominent voices among African bishops who have loudly condemned the American church for its liberal stance on gays.

“Given the seriousness of these matters we formally acknowledge this distance by requiring that for a period of three years The Episcopal Church no longer represent us on ecumenical and interfaith bodies . . . ” the Anglican Communion wrote in its statement. “They will not take part in decision making on any issues pertaining to doctrine or polity.”

The Anglican Communion consist of 44 member churches from around the world, representing about 85 million Christians.

The Episcopal Church, the church of many of the 13 original colonies, has had an inordinate influence on the life of the United States. The majority of U.S. presidents have been Episcopalians and its influence still far surpasses its 1.8 million U.S. members, who now find themselves without a voice in denominational decisions.

The three-year term of the suspension is the amount of time until the next denomination-wide meeting of the Episcopal Church, when they will vote on a response.

The suspension comes after four days of discussions in Canterbury, England, among church leaders — known as “primates” in church parlance — over the Episcopal Church’s position on gay marriage in relation to the position of the broader Anglican Communion. The meetings apparently got testy — British Christian media reported the Archbishop of Uganda, among the most conservative of Anglican branches, walked out amid disagreements.

Jeffrey Walton, the Anglican program director at the Institute for Religion an Democracy in Washington, D.C., said the suspension of the Episcopal Church is significant, but does not, at this point, represent a schism, or irreparable rupture, within the Anglican Communion.

“This is not kicking the Episcopal Church out of the Anglican Communion, but it is saying is that by making these decisions for the past 12 or so years the Episcopal Church has created this distance and there will be consequences to those decisions.”

Other Anglican experts were mystified at the Anglican Communion’s statement, which consisted of eight brief points.

“This is not how Anglicans should behave,” said Christina Rees, a member of the General Synod, the governing body of the Church of England. “It’s awful. It’s a terrible outcome to the meeting of the primates in Canterbury. What action will now be taken against all those churches in the Anglican Communion who treat gay men and women as criminals? Will they be suspended for three years, too?”

Jim Naughton, former canon for the Archdiocese of Washington and now a communications consultant specializing in the Episcopal Church, called the sanctions a “weird” attempt by the primates to take power away from elected bodies and claim it for themselves.

But Naughton expects no impact in the life of the Episcopal Church.

“We can accept these actions with grace and humility but the Episcopal Church is not going back,” Naughton said. “We can’t repent what is not sin.”

Bishop Ian Douglas of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut wondered whether the Anglican primates wanted the Episcopal Church to repent for its position on same-sex marriage. “Or were they asking for an apology for how the (church’s governing body) went about opening all the roles and rites of the church, including marriage, to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Episcopalians?”

Kevin Eckstrom, director of communications for the Washington National Cathedral, the seat of newly-installed Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry, said while this suspension will be greeted by sadness in the Episcopal Church, it has been on a parallel track with the Anglican Communion for a while.

“It is not unlike a couple who are having marital problems and are sleeping in separate bedrooms,” he said. “Maybe now they are going to formalize the separation.”

The Lambeth Palace press office, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, did not respond to requests for comment about the vote.

Contributing: Trevor

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