Southern Religion

The Twurch of England’s reformation

Overnight the Twurch of England Web site became a promotional for British Conservative Party Parliamentary Candidate for Harlow, Robert Halfon. DNS redirect problems, we are told. And fixed.

<b>Earlier, however, It is, as as The Church Mouse (creator of the site) explained, it was a service which “allows you to follow the conversation in real time” of CofE “Archbishops, Bishops and Clergy on twitter.” Partly via application of twitter’s list functionality, as you may see at right. (No laity, and that’s something of an issue, as you will see below.)

The Mouse offers monthly rankings of the Top 20 twittering bishops and clergy in the CofE from the Twurch of England. The site offers a convenient widget. There is other useful information there. All very nice indeed.

Yes, the Twurch of England has apparently been quite well-received, save with one widely-adopted quibble from David Walker:

The Twurch of England is the Church of England on Twitter. The bishops, the clergy, and the… hang on… it’s only the bishops and the clergy! The laity (ordinary people) are nowhere to be found. This is an unjust state of affairs which sends out the message that the ordinary people are not as important as the bishops and clergy. Being mildly deeply upset about this I started a ‘Reform the Twurch’ campaign yesterday – you can read all of the tweets on the subject via the hashtag #reformthetwurch. It was great fun and a most creative protest. Proceedings were conducted calmly and peacefully, and from time to time nuns came out and brought us tea.

. . .

My challenges to Twurch administrators (The Church Moose and Peter O) are as follows:

1) First of all I think you really need to include CofE laity if you are to go on calling it the Twurch of England. It’s OK, there aren’t many of us and we’re declining in number all the time.

2) Secondly, I understand that you may want to restrict membership of the Twurch of England to members of the Church of England. However, if you don’t find a way to include the wider groups of people (Anglicans, UK Christians) in some way I suspect someone else will. There is an opportunity for a creative individual to form the Anglican Twitter community or the Christian Twitter community, and sooner or later someone will do so.

Commenter Ann Fontaine at The Lead at Episcopal Cafe summed up with:

Love Tweeting clergy – twergy– from the comments. Are there also twishops? but what kind of church has no laity? oh right a dead one.

Which helps explain why there is plenty of twitter traffic tagged #reformthetwurch.

Will Mouse call a Council of the Twurch?

And see to restoration of the former site?

We do hope so.


March 27, 2010 Posted by | Churches, WWW | , , | Comments Off on The Twurch of England’s reformation

‘I’m Sorry I’m A Christian’ (Are you?)

Chinese Canadian Chris Tse won “Poetry Slam” in Vancouver, BC, in December 2009 with this performance.

Poetry Slam helps keep alive “blood, sweat, and tears poetry delivered live inches from your face,” as 2009 National Poetry Slam co-director Henry Sampson put it.

Whether Tse really speaks with blunt eloquence to “what makes young believers tick,” as Marty Duren argues, this is a fine work and more than worth the time spent listening to it.

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Cultural | , | Comments Off on ‘I’m Sorry I’m A Christian’ (Are you?)

Christian health care reform cap for weekend outings

From the Psychology Today essay by Nathan Heflick who [without mentioning Richard Land] wrote:

There are about a zillion verses in the Bible saying we should help the poor, show compassion, be loving (it is the chief virtue right?) etc etc. What I cannot find is a verse where Jesus doesn’t help others, or even argues for that. It seems I live in a parellel universe where somehow this equates to “but people who are poor are lazy and shouldn’t get our help.” Do you really think Jesus would oppose universal healthcare because his taxes would get raised? Really?

Read the rest here.

[H/T: Mainstream Baptist]

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Health, Politics | | 2 Comments

Conservative UK Anglicans call for ‘decisive’ break with TEC (US)

Fulcrum, a conservative British Anglican group, issued a leadership team statement Friday arguing that “the election of Mary Glasspool as bishop suffragan in the diocese of Los Angeles” is a bad-faith break by The Episcopal Church (USA) with the larger Anglican Communion.

They argued that Glasspool’s election violates the terms of The Windsor Report, which was written in response to the consecration of Gene Robinson, the first openly gay, noncelibate priest to be ordained as an Anglican bishop, in the Episcopal Church in the United States and the blessing of same-sex unions in the Diocese of New Westminster. The report recommended a moratorium on the election of additional homosexual bishops.

Fulcrum asserts that TEC promised to maintain that moratorium:

It is important that this is not simply a matter of disagreement about biblical interpretation and sexual ethics although these are central and important. It is now very clearly also a fundamental matter of truth-telling and trust. In September 2007, at the Primates’ request and after meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury, TEC bishops confirmed they would “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion”. They made clear that “non-celibate gay and lesbian persons” were among such candidates.

As a result, Fulcrum further argues, in effect, that a break by the larger communion with TEC is required:

In fact, the situation is now such that it may be better for the Archbishop simply to state – as one of the Instruments and a focus and means of unity – that TEC as a body has rejected the Communion’s repeated appeals for restraint, made false promises, and confirmed its direction is away from Communion teaching and accountability. It has thereby rendered itself incapable of covenanting with other churches and made it unclear what it means when it claims to be in communion with the see of Canterbury and a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.

They conclude by calling for guidance from Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, possibly declaring that TEC has made it clear that it has elected to ‘walk apart’ from the rest of the Anglican Communion. Or some other unstated “decisive action.”

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Religion | , , , , | Comments Off on Conservative UK Anglicans call for ‘decisive’ break with TEC (US)

CNN already under fire from scientology

Anderson Cooper’s series, “Scientology: A history of violence,” starts next week, but he’s already the target of “some sort of organized email campaign,” apparently from the declining “church.”

BTW, Cooper explains:

For the record, I just want to point out that this series is not about the beliefs or activities of the Church of Scientology. It is not about the religion or the vast majority of Scientologists. This series simply has to do with what some former high ranking church officials say went on within the upper management of the church, and what happened to them when they left the church.

More not-quite-secrets anymore unmasked? We’ll be watching.

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Cults | , | 1 Comment

Infallible papal innocence (no matter what)

John Cornwell, author of Hitler’s Pope explained in The Guardian that we need not expect the Vatican to admit papal responsibility:

The complex paper trails are measured now in many tens of thousands of cases spread over half a century and across five continents. It would be astonishing if there were not at least a handful of documents leading back to the powerful orthodoxy watchdog, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Benedict once was. From 1982 until 2005 he was responsible in large measure for the disciplining of the clergy. His failure to answer two letters in the late 1990s from Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee relating to an abusive priest 20 years after his crimes appears substantive enough. But the Vatican has responded with impressive casuistry as to the facts, and vehement indignation as to the insinuations, and will continue to do so with this or any other allegation brought against Benedict.

The Vatican and Benedict know, moreover, that there have been much worse cases of recent papal culpability in the matter of paedophile priest cover-ups. It is just eight years since Pope John Paul II first declined to investigate a priest called Father Marcial Maciel. Maciel founded an order known as the Legionaries of Christ and systematically engaged in sexual abuse of minors for 40 years. Nine former members of his order went public with accusations in 1997. Two investigators claim that Cardinal Ratzinger tried to have Maciel brought to book but he was allegedly overruled on John Paul’s orders. John Paul claimed that he had “discerned” that Maciel was innocent. To his credit, and not before time, it was Ratzinger who in January 2005 (barely three months before John Paul’s death) had Maciel, then 84, relieved of his priesthood. But Maciel, who died in 2008, was never referred to any country’s criminal justice system. Benedict has since formally apologised to Maciel’s victims.

No matter what the resulting damage. Which amid perhaps the worst crisis since the Reformation, Cornwell suggests, is likely to be the Catholic church’s fragmentation.

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, children, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion | , , | Comments Off on Infallible papal innocence (no matter what)