Saint John of God (1495-1550), after whom the Mass is named, was the founder and patron of a religious order of brothers committed to the care of the sick and dying, now known in English as the Brothers of St. John of God and in German as the Barmherzige Brüder (Mercy Brothers). The Brothers have long had a hospital at Eisenstadt in Austria. It was there that the Esterhazy family, Haydn's patrons, were generous supporters of the Order.
This Mass was written for the Order's modest monastery church that still stands in the grounds of the modern Eisenstadt hospital. Unlike may mass settings composed for concert performance, this Missa Brevis is for use in church. Haydn may have written it as thanks for kind treatment by the monks of the hospital.
As the organ loft of the monastery church is very small, the number of musicians and singers was limited, and Haydn's score had to be small in scale. Typically such short masses use a small orchestra (such as two violins and bass) and a four-part choir. The name "Little Organ Mass" comes from the organ solo in the Benedictus, which also has the only voice solo, for soprano. The other movements are for four-part choir chorus, violins and bass.
Fourteen masses by Haydn survive, including two fragments found in the last fifty years or so. He composed four, possibly five, short masses. The Missa brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo was his last in this form and probably dates between 1775 and 1778.
The text of the Missa brevis, as with many musical settings of the Eucharist, is from the Ordinary of the Mass, the part of the Mass that is always sung or recited. These words are used in both the Roman Catholic Mass and in Anglican Holy Communion Services -- such as the Second Order Holy Communion service of An Australian Prayer Book..
Thus Haydn's setting is in the usual six sections: Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Benedictus, Sanctus and Agnus Dei. But it also follows the common practice of the Missa brevis with compacted versions of the Gloria and Credo, in which phrases are allowed to overlap, making the text (in any case in Latin) sometimes difficult to follow.
The Baroque monastic church of the Barmherzigen Brothers at Eisenstadt was built in 1739, though the original chapel may have been built in 1712-13. When the Barmherzigen Brothers came to Eisenstadt the chapel was renewed under the patronage of Prince Paul of Esterhazy. The small organ of the Barmherzigenkirche Eisenstadt originates from 1732 and is in full working order following restoration to its original condition in 1969.
Changing Attitude Australia provides speakers and resources for parishes and is committed to implementing the listening process in the Australian Church. It is seeking to create a nationwide network of members and is "is inspired to dispel the darkness of doubt by bringing the light of the Gospel to those on the margins of society."
It believes that:
- the lives of LGBTI Christians show evidence of the Gifts of the Spirit;
- our natural sexual orientation is neither a sickness nor sinful, but given by God, not chosen apart from God's will;
- loving, committed and faithful relationships are God's ideal for people of all sexual orientations;
- prejudice against gay people is no more acceptable than racism, or past justification of slavery on Biblical grounds; and
- the Church is responsible to bring the Gospel's message of salvation especially to the most socially marginalised.
|Please pray that God will direct and empower St. Philip's Come and see catechumenate.|
The Candidates -- pray that they will be prepared and guided by the Spirit in their journey.
The Sponsors -- pray that they also will be led by the Spirit in their journey with the candidates.
Pray for all St. Philip's people, that we:
-- invite those whom God is calling,
-- care well for the candidates and sponsors,
-- be for them examples of the love of Christ
-- and are all encouraged to pray.
The team -- pray that leaders and helpers will be equipped with joy, wisdom and commitment. Ask that God may take charge of the details.
Above all, pray that Come and See will reveal the love of Christ and that we all may be encouraged and enriched by the journey.
P.S.It's just occurred to me to wonder whether the cartoonist also refers to people who sit on the left side of politics, etc! Are we the more chaotic?
Sometimes the skill of the putdown lies simply in adopting the right tone. At other times it is more effective to have no tone at all. Such understated disdain is as beautiful an instrument of destruction as the prick from a poisoned thorn on a red Valentine's Day rose. Understated disdain has two crucial features. First, a clear statement of your opponent's belief. Secondly, there must be absolutely no 'loading' of emotion one way or the other. This has to be a statement, no, less than a statement, it has to be an understatement.
She thinks women shouldn't preach to men.
He thinks practicing homosexuals shouldn't be clergymen.
They are liberal voters.
You drink earl grey tea.
The external beauty of the rhetoric is rose-red. There is no caricature here. No misrepresentation. No sneering. No expression of disagreement. None of the usual weapons of argumentation, so often present and bristling for a fight. Your opponent is completely disarmed, because they simply have themselves reflected back upon them. 'Yes, this is what I believe'. But then, the lack of embellishment, the complete baldness of the way in which the fact is simply stated, pricks the skin. '. . . so what is wrong with that?' (they think).
The only sound in the air is the sound of their own dearly-held opinion. No judgement. No condemnation. Nothing. Nothing--but their own belief. Then the poison enters the blood stream. Isolation. Aloneness. Apparently no argument is needed. No tone of voice. No emotional investment from the attacker. The opinion simply needs to be stated. And as it hangs in the chilled air in all its isolated aloneness, it is self-evident that it is met with the disdain--of the entire world.
You've spoken about how you got a lot of negativity from the public a few years ago, people spray-painting "faggot" on your car, abusing you in the street.Quite a few took offence at the language Sebastian used when on 21 September, he said that he almost quit the industry after he was subjected to gay taunts and had his Palm Beach house pelted with eggs.
It's the transition most people in this industry go through. It's just something you get used to. I read on my website how people were sad for me but they shouldn't be. I'm not sad, it just used to annoy me. To be honest nothing like that's happened for ages.
There was a mini-debate about you saying you had a lot of gay friends and so were offended by the word "faggot", but that homosexuality surely clashes with your Christian beliefs?
That's the sad side of Christianity. That's not how it's meant to be. I've been to gay clubs heaps of times. That's the old fundamentalist way of thinking that's unfortunately spread through all these generations. They miss the whole point of Christianity which is love. God loves people whether they are black, white, gay, straight, bisexual, whatever. As a Christian, we're never going to get close to being sinless or perfect, and I'm no better than anybody on this earth, but our No.1 goal is to be as loving as we can. We aim to be like God, so for me, I think that's a really ugly side of when people get lost in religion. It's funny, Shannon (Noll) gets called that, Anthony (Callea -- pictured), all my friends in the industry. That's the word everyone picks -- as soon as you're in the industry you're gay.
You're not anti gay marriage?
I'm not really anti anything. If you're a gay couple why not? I don't really have a stance because I don't know what it's like to be told you're not allowed to marry somebody. That doesn't seem fair to me.
"Someone spray-painted the word 'faggot' on my car. I grew up playing footy, I worked as a forklift driver at a warehouse in Adelaide. I move to Sydney and become a singer and suddenly I was a pansy and getting people calling me 'faggot'." Sebastian said he was offended by that word because "30 per cent" of his friends were gay. He was been forthright about being both heterosexual and a virgin, waiting until marriage.
The stereotyping that fork-lift driving footballers couldn't be faggots was, umm . . . injudicious. But this language simply shows Guy's roots, for which he shouldn't be taken to task too much.
What I appreciate is the willingness (and courage) of a man from a conservative Christian church to express plainly his acceptance of gay people and their relationships. That's valuable coming from a public Christian like Guy Sebastian.
I'm not conservative (and not a leftist either) but do agree with some of what Heard says.
Heard argues that
Jones has been targeted because of a heresy dear to many on what remains of the Left. Homosexuals should not be conservatives and, if they are, they must be repressed, in denial or self-hating hypocrites. This creed, because those who profess it seem to consider it a fundamental truth, pervades public discussion of politics, religion, social justice and sport.According to the leftist creed, Heard argues, "Gay Catholics, for instance, who dare to think their Pope may know more about human flourishing than the homo-activists who act as apologists for the apparently liberated gay community must be full of hatred for themselves and those like them. . . . " and gay citizens who admire John Howard are misguided. "And it is all nonsense" Heard says.
Heard's comments about leftists are silly. But I do agree when he continues
I am no fan of lies and dishonesty. A man should stand up for himself; he mustn't be afraid to list his weaknesses alongside his strengths and demand the world keep both in mind while judging him. But there is no compulsion, no sense of decency or rigour that obligates a public figure to discuss his sexuality in a particular manner or at all.That is where Heard's critcism of Masters strikes home.
Masters's silly book reads like the worst sort of Victorian scandal sheet. One is surprised the text isn't subtitled: Exposing a Sodomite. Contra Masters, Jones's ancient arrest in London by the somewhat homophobic British police after they suspected him of public indecency does not constitute a sex scandal. Publishing details of the same, details that reveal Jones was cleared of all charges and the police were embarrassed in their ridiculous game of entrapment, while still insisting it was a sex scandal is irresponsible, if not potentially defamatory.The faiulures of Masters' book have nothing, as Heard asserts, to do with "the homophobia that seethes beneath the otherwise politically correct exterior of the modern Left." Rather, Masters has simply failed to write a decent critique of Jones' untoward political influence in a way that avoids improper invasion of his privacy.
I don't care what Jones did or didn't do in a bathroom in London all those years ago. I don't even care if he was an overbearing or demanding English teacher or football coach. I do care if there was any wrongdoing . . . To speculate on lies, to peddle gossip and innuendo, purely because the figure in question is a homosexual and . . . an effective conservative one, is simple rubbish writing and muckraking. It amounts to hate speech.Agreed, even though I oppose Jones in many of his political views.
[. . .]
For too long, same-sex-attracted men have lived in ridiculous fear. We have been scared of blackmail. We have had to worry whether our best efforts will be interpreted in the worst possible light. We have been pursued unjustly by police and a legal system that criminalised a love that still dare not speak its name for fear of reprisals and retribution. This is just the kind of nonsense Masters and others have managed to bring once again to the pages of Australian newspapers and discuss in scandal-chasing books. The angle has changed but the methods of oppression are the same. Anyone involved with this outing of Jones . . . is not progressive or liberated.
Synod commends the Primates of the Global South for their forthright stand in upholding biblical truth and expresses its support and encouragement for all within the Anglican Communion who are seeking to uphold biblical principles and prays for the Archbishop of Canterbury in his difficult role.In a speech before the vote, Archbishop Peter Jensen said that overarching liberal views from the US would continue to affect individual Anglican parish churches around the world. "Disorder often opens the door to evils. We may even see a giant shift in loyalties and a new worldwide fellowship emerge." It is reported that at least two overseas congregations have written to the archbishop seeking some affliation with Sydney.
[P.S. Anglican Mainstream has the full speech]
The SMH says Dr Jensen, "played down the possibility of global disintegration of the Anglican Church but warned that looming changes would adversely affect the status of the Archbishop of Canterbury." He warned that "We may be only at the beginning of the disturbances which will lie before us and the effort we will be called upon to make". While the diocese needed to work and pray for the unity of the church, the communion was undergoing "remarkable transformation" in the wake of its crisis of biblical authority. "I do not talk of a split, for example. Nor have I been one to talk of schism and the break-up of the Anglican communion." " I have always said that it is more likely that we will see its devolution into a looser federation of churches, networking across old lines in new ways. Indeed, I think that this has now begun to occur. As a consequence, I do not think that the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury while, of course, very important, will regain its old place."
Dr Jensen said the US church had made genuine attempts to express regret over global tensions but it was missionary-like in its position on human sexuality. "The powerful individualism of American culture, and its triumphalistic belief that it leads the world in civic freedoms, has captured the church. The new faith is a missionary religion."
The Age offers other snippets from Dr Jensen's speech: Sydney has a stronger concentration of "relatively conservative Anglicans". England has been more pastorally involved in the building of churches but not involved at the political level. "They lack confidence and they lack organisation," he said. "The same is more so in New Zealand, far more so in South Africa, in Canada and I don't speak of the US. . . . I am telling you this now because I have to warn you that we may be only at the beginning of the disturbances which will lie before us and the effort which we will be called upon us to make." Calling on people and networking them "when they are in minority and threatened positions", and offering biblical theology as the basis of theological education are the two ways to help, Dr Jensen urged his colleagues. "To accept various contemporary ways of reading scripture will leave us vulnerable at all points." "We will not defend the uniqueness of Christ if we will not defend the plain teaching of scripture on human sexuality."
The idolatrous begged elephant
But that is the elephant in the room, the begged question, in all this. There is no "plain teaching of scripture" on human sexuality.
It is very far from clear that the views adopted by the Diocese of Sydney uphold "biblical truth". Even within Australia, there is disagreement on this.
The Sydney synod supports the Primates of the Global South for their "stand in upholding biblical truth" and in his speech Dr Jensen commends the Kigali Communiqué. But are the Primates truly "uphiolding biblical truth"? Rather, they are proposing exclusion and division; those are not 'biblical' values.
Dr Jensen says that "We will not defend the uniqueness of Christ if we will not defend the plain teaching of scripture on human sexuality." Even assuming that there is "plain teaching of scripture", that is an appalling conclusion. I am sure that Dr Jensen agrees that the divinity, holiness, and uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ are not in the least affected by what we mere humans do between the sheets. Nor are we any the less able to acknowledge and testify to His uniquenness merely because our sins are perhaps of a certain kind or because we disagree concerning interpretation of a few verses of the Bible. (This brings to bear the long arguments about whether the efficacy of a sacrament depends on the worthiness of the minister.) To deny that we cannot be witnesses to the Truth because we disgree about sexuality elevates sex to a place of far too great importance and makes it an idol, a thing supposed to be more powerful than God's very self.
Ganesha, the Hindu elephant-headed god, is turned to by those who face difficulties in life; he is called the remover of obstacles and is the first god to be worshipped when any new projects are undertaken.
"We have made up our minds"
Later, the Sydney Synod gagged an attempt to reopen, for the first time in six years, the debate the ordination of women as priests. Of the 351 lay members, 114 voted for and 235 against reopening the debate while of the 198 clergy, 31 voted for and 165 against.The rejection came as it was revealed that Sydney has fewer than 10 female deacons active in ministry but more than 120 women in paid lay ministry. Dr Mark Thompson, president of the Anglican Church League, said: "We have made up our minds on this one; the theological arguments have not changed."
Gary Fan may have celebrated his nuptials with a traditional Chinese wedding banquet in Toronto, but back in Australia he can no longer legally refer to his newlywed as "my husband". "If I am in Canada I can call him my husband, but not here," Fan, a 41-year-old policy adviser from Canberra, says wryly.Notes and audio from the hearings are on the Inquiry's website.
Although it would have been more convenient to tie the knot in Australia, Fan and his husband, Wayne Lodge, travelled to Canada where same-sex marriages were legalised in July last year. "We decided it was a major human rights statement," Fan says. "We wanted to come back and say we got married in a country which is progressive and human rights-focused -- why can't we do it here? . . . If same sex couples want to get married, don't hang around waiting in Australia because it could take a long time."
Late, ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell scooped the news reports by telling the Inquiry that the ACT is in the process of revising civil union legislation that was disallowed by the Federal Government earlier this year. There were also reports that the Prime Minister has been persuade by some of his party colleagues to undertake reforms.
Samantha Maiden sums up the state of play in The Australian of 23 Oct.
John Howard is under pressure to fast-track reforms to remove legal discrimination against same-sex couples as the federal Government considers a new ban on civil partnerships for gays and lesbians in the nation's capital.Meanwhile, the federal Attorney-General has rejected a call by the WA Government for recognition of same-sex couples under federal family law.
Australia's national gay lobby group, the Australian Coalition for Equality, has welcomed moves by the Prime Minister to review federal legislation on the issue, but urged Mr Howard to commit to a timetable to removing discrimination.
However, the Government will be forced to decide shortly whether it will again ban looming legislation in the ACT to offer same-sex couples legal recognition that affords them the same rights as married and heterosexual de facto couples.
The Weekend Australian reported on Saturday that Mr Howard had pledged to tackle legal discrimination against gays and lesbians, after a quiet campaign for reform by an alliance of Liberal backbenchers. The group, led by Queenslander Warren Entsch, include parliamentary secretary Malcolm Turnbull, and Greg Hunt and Peter Lindsay. They have drawn up a list of eight areas where homosexuals are subject to legal discrimination, including aged care, taxation, superannuation and the Medicare safety net.
Australian Coalition for Equality spokesperson Rodney Croome said same-sex couples experienced emotional trauma and financial hardship as a result of legal discrimination. "For social conservatives like Prime Minister Howard, reform makes sense because it allows partners in same-sex relationships to better provide for each other and stops them falling into the welfare net," he said.
[. . .]
The ACT is pushing ahead with plans to reintroduce legislation allowing same-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships. ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the laws would not seek to replicate marriage, but would allow couples to enter into civil partnerships to be witnessed by an authorised officer. Previously, a celebrant was to preside over the ACT ceremonies, which the federal Government argued was too much like a heterosexual wedding.
"We are going out of our way to say this is not marriage--it's about giving gay and lesbian couples functional equality under the law," Mr Corbell said. "We anticipate we will have legislation presented to the ACT assembly late this year or early next year."
[. . .]
Subject to ACT cabinet and parliamentary approval, Mr Corbell said he would put forward a civil partnerships bill. "That mirrors the approach in the UK that achieves functional equality for same-sex couples, and what it means is people will be able to enter into a civil partnership that would be recognised under the ACT's domestic partnership legislation in the same way as heterosexual de facto relationships are recognised, and in the same way marriage is recognised."
I'll admit to being sceptical. All we have from the federal government are vague promises. It all depends entirely on the attitude of Prime Minister Howard who has broken earlier promises on these matters.
Here's what James and I told the Human Rights Commissioner.
Text of oral evidence by James Kim and Brian McKinlay to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's Inquiry, Same-sex: same entitlements, Canberra, 20 October 2006
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. There are many things we could say, but we will limit ourselves to the subject of my written submission--benefits for same-sex couples under the Commonwealth public sector superannuation schemes. This is by far the most serious disadvantage that my partner James and I encounter through legal discrimination.
We are old enough to remember when there it was very much more difficult for gay and lesbian people than it is today. We experience little in the way of overt discrimination against us in our life together--which, for us, makes superannuation a glaring anomaly. We are 60 and 58 years of age. We are both members of the Australian Public Service and contributors to the Public Sector Superannuation Scheme. We wish to provide security for each other. However, we are unable to do this through superannuation death benefits.
|From October to December St Mark's here in Canberra is honoured by a visit from poet and spiritual director, Fr Michael McCarthy. An Irish Catholic priest, Fr McCarthy was born in County Cork and now lives in Sherburn-in-Elmet, Yorkshire. He was spiritual director of ordinands at Ushaw College, Durham, where he became a friend of the Director of St. Mark's, Prof. Stephen Pickard, in the 1980s.|
Michael's first published poem was in 1995 when he was aged age 50. in 1997 he won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for Birds' Nests and Other Poems. I tracked down a copy. These are the first and the last in the book.
Let me be mad for awhile
unhinged; by some passion
made daring and deliberate
lured into the heart's motion
into the wild asunder
the broad and daredevil sky
inebriate with longing
mad with love or poetry
the dangerous delirium of flying.
In this madness we will meet
young in our reckless hopes
old in our dreaming
shaken loose and shocked
we'll sorrow, salt our crying.
We will not regret
how it made us different
changed our looking hearts
until we could see blind.
After the Wedding
I leave the revellers at midnight.
Southbound on the M6 the phone rings
and before answering it, I know.
At 9.30pm tonight my mother died.
The car cruises, the curve of the wipers
responding to sporadic showers.
My engines have shut down.
Dull at the edges, raw in the centre
I can feel my toes tingle.
Yesterday she sat out in the sun.
I wait an hour, then call you.
I hear the texture of your voice
as you retell each moment slowly.
This morning she said to you "I'm dying"
and you asked "are you afraid?"
She told you she was not.
After the priest had come and blessed her
with the final rites, the day went quietly.
She slept a little now and then.
In the evening she told Ita she was going.
"Maybe I'll wait until the morning."
In the event she didn't.
At 95 years, and conscious to the last
her breathing stopped. I ask about
distress. You say there was none.
Arriving home at 3.00am,
there are nine messages on my Ansaphone.
I don't need to answer them.
I check the Internet for flights, then walk outside.
In a while I hear the first birds sing.
"Let the jury consider their verdict," the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
"No, no!" said the Queen. "Sentence first--verdict afterwards."
"Stuff and nonsense!" said Alice loudly. "The idea of having the sentence first!"
"Hold your tongue!" said the Queen, turning purple.
"I won't!" said Alice.
"Off with her head!" the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
This snippet from ch .12 of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol cannot have been far from the mind of writer of the NYT editorial of 16 Oct 06.
Under Bush's law, guilty until confirmed says the headline. Why should I care? Partly, because I'm a member of Amnesty International, by mostly just because I'm human.
One of the many problems with the new law [The newly passed Military Commissions Act of 2006] is that it will only make it harder than it already is to separate the real terrorists from the far larger group of inmates at the American military detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, who were bit players in the Taliban or innocent bystanders.
[Senator] Graham and other supporters of this dreadful legislation seem to have forgotten that American justice does not merely deliver swift punishment to the guilty. It also protects the innocent.
Bush ignored that fact after the Sept. 11 attacks, when he tried to put the prisoners of the war on terror beyond the reach of American law and the Geneva Conventions. For starters, he dispensed with one of the vital provisions of the conventions: that prisoners must be screened by a " competent tribunal" if there is any doubt about who they are and what role they played in hostilities.
As a result, hundreds of men captured in Afghanistan and other countries were sent to Guantánamo Bay and other prisons, including the network of illegal CIA detention camps, without any attempt to determine whether they were any sort of combatant, legal or illegal.
The Bush administration showed not the slightest interest in fixing this problem until the Supreme Court said in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that the president cannot simply lock up anyone--even a foreign citizen--without giving him a real chance to challenge his detention before a " neutral decision maker."
In response, Bush created Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which gave the most cursory possible reviews of the Guantánamo detainees. These reviews took place years after the prisoners were captured. They permitted the use of hearsay evidence, evidence obtained through coercion and even torture, and evidence that was kept secret from the prisoner. The normal burden of proof was reversed: The tribunals presumed prisoners were justifiably detained and the prisoners had the burden of disproving government evidence--presuming they knew what it was in the first place.
The new law makes this mockery of justice stronger. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 makes it virtually impossible to contest a status tribunal's decision. It prohibits claims of habeas corpus--the ancient right of prisoners in just societies to have their detentions reviewed--or any case based directly or indirectly on the Geneva Conventions. Even if an appeal got to the single appeals court now authorized to hear it, the administration would be very likely to argue that it cannot be heard without jeopardizing secrets, as it has done repeatedly.
The new law dangerously expands the definition of illegal enemy combatant and allows Bush--and the secretary of defense--to give to anyone they choose the authority to designate a prisoner as an illegal combatant. It also allows Bush to go on squirreling prisoners away at secret CIA camps where none of the rules apply.
Bush wants Americans to trust him to apply these powers only to truly dangerous men. Even if the American system were based on that sort of personal power and not the rule of law, it would be hard to trust the judgment of a president and an administration whose records are so bad. The United States has yet to acknowledge that it kidnapped an innocent Canadian citizen and sent him to be abused in a Syrian prison. In another case, a German citizen has accused the United States of grabbing him off the streets of Macedonia, drugging him and sending him to Afghanistan, where he was brutally treated. Then there is the Ethiopian living in London who said he was grabbed by American agents and brutalized by Moroccan torturers until he confessed to plotting with Jose Padilla to set off a " dirty bomb." Padilla was never charged with the crime. The Ethiopian remains at Guantánamo Bay.
Republicans who support the new law like to point out that it only covers foreigners. But Americans have never believed that human rights are just for Americans.
The United States is outraged when an authoritarian government jails an American, or one of its own citizens, on trumped-up charges and brings him or her before a phony court. Surely that is not the model that Americans want to follow in their own prisons.
Knox Church session clerk, Alison Grimshaw, said the rule created "second-class citizens" out of valued church members. "It is all an issue of theological interpretation. In our mission statement, what we say is we are an inclusive church. We talk about inclusion of people of any age, gender, race, sexual orientation, and we say they are included as equally valued participants in the church and life. If they are equally valued, then they must be equally eligible for positions of leadership. Other attributes, like their commitment to the church, can be considered when thinking of leadership roles, but not their sexual orientation." Grimshaw said Knox Church had always dissented on the issue and had a long history of publicly voicing dissatisfaction. "Knox hasn't come to this decision lightly. Being valued means being valued in every way, not just some ways."
The mission statement says,
Knox Church - Creating Christian Community, seeking God in everyday life. We aim to create a Christian community in which people of all ages, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic situations are included as equally valued participants in our congregational life. We cherish our diversity, offering a safe place of belonging to any who wish to explore their beliefs in an atmosphere promoting discussion, the development of healthy relationships and spiritual growth. We strive to be open to dialogue and shared experiences with people of other faiths. We enjoy worshipping the God made known in Jesus, endeavouring to do so in ways that are relevant to our daily lives, respect the integrity of creation, and make a positive difference to our wider world.Knox Church sent this letter to the Editor of The Press
Dear SirRevd Rob Ferguson, of St Ninian's, Riccarton, said his congregation would not comply with the rule, "which does not acknowledge that people in committed relationships apart from marriage have the necessary gifts or calling to offer leadership. St Ninian's will continue to search for and celebrate the meaning we find in God as our way. We will do that in the only way we know how--by being inclusive in our leadership and in our welcoming."
Knox Presbyterian Church, Christchurch, dissents from and cannot comply with the legislation passed by our denomination's recent General Assembly, in which people in gay, lesbian and de facto relationships are excluded from positions of leadership in the Church. We have a long tradition of including people of all ages, sexual orientations, cultural backgrounds and socio-economic situations as equally valued participants in our congregational life. Our declared inclusive stance is based on our understanding of God's all-embracing love revealed in Jesus, who seemed quite happy to celebrate God's presence with all manner of people, enabling their gifts - including those of leadership - to grow and be used. It is our firm intention to continue to do the same.
(Rev Dr) Geoff King, Minister
Alison Grimshaw, Session Clerk
|Thursday last, 12 October, was the eighth anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. How quickly we forget. And how quickly we forget that he is but one of too many.|
© Matthew Shepard Foundation
Saddam Hussein's evil regime took many lives. But the 'Coalition of the willing' has only added to the consequences of his crimes through its sheer incompetence.
The summary of the study says:
A new household survey of Iraq has found that approximately 600,000 people have been killed in the violence of the war that began with the U.S. invasion in March 2003.
The survey was conducted by an American and Iraqi team of public health researchers. Data were collected by Iraqi medical doctors with analysis conducted by faculty of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
The survey is the only population-based assessment of fatalities in Iraq during the war. The method, a survey of more than 1800 households randomly selected in clusters that represent Iraq's population, is a standard tool of epidemiology and is used by the U.S. Government and many other agencies.
The survey also reflects growing sectarian violence, a steep rise in deaths by gunshots, and very high mortality among young men. An additional 53,000 deaths due to non-violent causes were estimated to have occurred above the pre-invasion mortality rate, most of them in recent months, suggesting a worsening of health status and access to health care.
Between May and July 2006 a national cluster survey was conducted in Iraq to assess deaths occurring during the period from January 1, 2002, through the time of survey in 2006. Information on deaths from 1,849 households containing 12,801 persons was collected. This survey followed a similar but smaller survey conducted in Iraq in 2004. Both surveys used standard methods for estimating deaths in conflict situations, using population-based methods.
Death rates were 5.5/1000/year pre-invasion, and overall, 13.2/1000/year for the 40 months post-invasion. We estimate that through July 2006, there have been 654,965 "excess deaths"--fatalities above the pre-invasion death rate--in Iraq as a consequence of the war. Of post-invasion deaths, 601,027 were due to violent causes. Non-violent deaths rose above the pre-invasion level only in 2006. Since March 2003, an additional 2.5% of Iraq's population have died above what would have occurred without conflict.
The proportion of deaths ascribed to coalition forces has diminished in 2006, though the actual numbers have increased each year. Gunfire remains the most common reason for death, though deaths from car bombing have increased from 2005. Those killed are predominantly males aged 15-44 years.
Let us now move to the Anglican Communion. I have just said that Christians hold a variety of different viewpoints on a host of moral issues. The only moral issue on which diversity does not seem to be encouraged in various parts of the Communion, is the issue of homosexuality. I am therefore glad and proud that the bishops of this Church have given a lead to our Church, that there is no one correct Christian viewpoint on this issue. In preparing this address I came across this quote from Professor Grace Davie, who holds the Chair in Sociology and Religion at the University of Exeter, "Could it be" she asks "that churches offer space for debate regarding particular and often controversial topics that are difficult to address elsewhere in society? The current debate about homosexuality offers a possible example, an interpretation encouraged by the intense media attention directed at this issue. Is this simply an internal debate about senior clergy appointments in which different lobbies are exerting their influence? Or is this one way in which society as a whole comes to terms with profound shifts in the moral climate?" She goes on to say that, "If the latter is not true, it is hard to understand why so much attention is being paid to the churches in this respect. If it is true, sociological thinking must take this factor into account." It is an interesting observation about modern Britain, if not the Communion.
I do not know whether the Communion will ultimately hold together or not. If it fractures, it will not be a simple matter of just one province not recognising another but parishes and dioceses within provinces allying themselves with like-minded parishes and dioceses in other provinces. In other words, the fault lines will run through provinces as well as between them. Is that what we really want? And what kind of a church will we be, if we only associate with those who think or behave like us or conform to our view of things? No room then for difference or dissidence and what kind of witness to the Gospel is that? This is what I believe the Archbishop of Canterbury was implying when he wrote to all provinces about the implications of the break up of the Communion. He was not advocating a two tier Communion--one for true believers and another for those who could not swallow the full faith as it were, who would be in some form of loose association with the Communion. He was merely pointing out the danger we are in. The Windsor Report advocated that provinces should covenant with one another and consult with one another before making decisions which might affect the life of the Communion as a whole. As a member of that Commission, we did not have in mind a covenant that was prescriptive and detailed and intrusive. What we did have in mind was what ECUSA did at its convention in July when:
I do not know about you, but I could sign a covenant such as that. For . . . we have to recognise, as far as the Anglican Communion is concerned, that globalisation and instant communication have changed the nature of our relationships with one another and that what happens in one part of the church does affect another for good or ill. A covenant, setting out our mutual inter-dependence would remind us all of that fact. But that is totally different from the kind of covenant that some people want--a kind of prescriptive one, setting up an inter-provincial constitution that would set out theological boundaries and perimeters for individual provinces in both belief and behaviour, policed by a central curia of the primates or Archbishop of Canterbury. That would go much further than what ECUSA has done, or the existing agreement of the Lambeth quadrilateral, based on the acceptance of the scriptures, the creeds, the two dominical sacraments and the historic episcopate. It would cut at the root of the Anglican Communion as it has been traditionally understood with to my mind, disastrous consequences. We are after all a communion not a confession. We all need reminding of the words of St Augustine In certis, unitas. In dubiis, libertas. Et in omnibus caritas. 'In fundamentals of faith there must be unity. In disputable matters there must be freedom for debate. But in everything there must be love.'
- It re-affirmed its abiding commitment to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and sought to live into the highest degree of communion possible.
- It reaffirmed that it was in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
- It went on to make a commitment to the vision of inter-dependent life in Christ, characterized by forbearance, trust, and respect, and commended the Windsor Report and process as a means of deepening understanding of that commitment.
|Best of any song|
is bird song
in the quiet, but first
you must have the quiet.
Wendell Berry. 1997.I in A timbered choir: the Sabbath poems 1979-1997. New York, Counterpoint, 1992, p. 207. Picture from from cover of Birdsong: A natural history, by Don Stap. Oxford, 2006 0-19-530901-4.
Bird song is our loud alarm clock these spring days.
"For, lo, the winter is past . . . The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come . . ." Song of Solomon 3.11-12
In 1994, there was a consensus that the forces of South Korea and the United States could overwhelmingly defeat North Korea, but with huge civilian casualties. However an agreement was negotiated to once permit IAEA to assure that spent nuclear fuel was not reprocessed.
Mr Carter writes,
[B]eginning in 2002, the United States branded North Korea as part of an axis of evil, threatened military action, ended the shipments of fuel oil and the construction of nuclear power plants and refused to consider further bilateral talks. In their discussions with me at this time, North Korean spokesmen seemed convinced that the American positions posed a serious danger to their country.
Responding in its ill-advised but predictable way, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, expelled atomic energy agency inspectors, resumed processing fuel rods and began developing nuclear explosive devices.
Six-nation talks finally concluded in an agreement last September that called for North Korea to abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs and for the United States and North Korea to respect each other's sovereignty, exist peacefully together and take steps to normalize relations. Each side subsequently claimed that the other had violated the agreement. The United States imposed severe financial sanctions and Pyongyang adopted the deeply troubling nuclear option.
The current military situation is similar but worse than it was a decade ago: We can still destroy North Korea's Army, but if we do it is likely to result in many more than a million South Korean and American casualties.
If and when it is confirmed that the recent explosion in North Korea was nuclear, the international community will once again be faced with difficult choices.
One option, the most likely one, is to try to force Pyongyang's leaders to abandon their nuclear program with military threats and a further tightening of the embargoes, increasing the suffering of its already starving people. Two important facts must be faced: Kim Jong Il and his military leaders have proven themselves almost impervious to outside pressure, and both China and South Korea have shown that they are reluctant to destabilize the regime. This approach is also more likely to stimulate further nuclear-weapons activity.
The other option is to make an effort to put into effect the September denuclearization agreement, which the North Koreans still maintain is feasible. The simple framework for a step-by-step agreement exists, with the United States giving a firm and direct statement of no hostile intent, and moving toward normal relations if North Korea forgoes any further nuclear weapons program and remains at peace with its neighbors. Each element would have to be confirmed by mutual actions combined with unimpeded international inspections.
Although a small nuclear test is a far cry from even a crude deliverable bomb, this second option has become even more difficult now, but it is unlikely that the North Koreans will back down unless the United States meets this basic demand. Washington's pledge of no direct talks could be finessed through secret discussions with a trusted emissary like former Secretary of State Jim Baker, who earlier this week said, "It's not appeasement to talk to your enemies."
What must be avoided is to leave a beleaguered nuclear nation convinced that it is permanently excluded from the international community, its existence threatened, its people suffering horrible deprivation and its hard-liners in total control of military and political policy.
The Prime Minister returned from another overseas trip earlier this year and, following his meeting at the White House and with a backdrop of drought and record temperatures attributed to global warming breaking out world wide, assumed a new role--that of nuclear champion. According to Mr Howard, nuclear energy is a proven clean solution to a problem he had previously failed to respond to but now grudgingly accepts as real--namely, impending climate change caused by spiraling greenhouse gas emissions.Notes:
Yet there has never been any indication--prior to the Prime Minister's nuclear conversion or subsequently--that this government is serious about climate change. Its posture has ranged from denial to incremental acknowledgment, with a high degree of scepticism from the PM. Virtually alone amongst nations, the government bags the Kyoto treaty it was once going to sign and joins an Asia-Pacific partnership that has no substantial budget or target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The fact is that Australia, on a per capita basis, produces a lot of greenhouse pollution, and emissions will drastically ramp up over the next 20 years and beyond. And we have the highest per capita emissions of CO2 in the Asia Pacific region--17.2 tonnes per person compared with China's 2.7. Report after report has identified the likely impacts of rising temperatures: on our farms, with nearly 40 per cent of this year's grain harvest expected to be lost due to drought; on our coasts; on our health; and on our natural productive landscapes.
Today's release of Australia Responds: Helping our neighbours fight climate change, by CSIRO scientists for aid and conservation organisations, is further confirmation of the expected impacts of global warming on the way of life of our Pacific neighbours who are struggling to retain a viable existence on their low lying island homes. It shows their future is now literally in jeopardy, and ours soon will be too.
But as things stand the Howard government's climate change policy is a farce. There is no national climate change action plan, no time lines, no targets and no real policies to significantly reduce greenhouse pollution or slow energy demand. The Prime Minister simply flies the flag for nuclear energy--an expensive technology, which has always relied on public subsidy, will only meet a portion of our energy needs, and produces long-lived radioactive waste. The government, which champions the free market, is opposed to a national market in greenhouse gas emissions--so go figure.
The necessary policy initiatives that Labor is committed to, like increasing mandatory renewable energy targets and establishing a national greenhouse trading scheme, are needed now. Other measures the government should address, like applying energy efficiency standards as mandatory across all states and responding to the Sustainable cities report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment and Heritage, are missing in action.
Alarmingly, there is every chance the permafrost of the Northern Hemisphere will start to thaw earlier than expected and increase the prospects of accelerated warming--as will significant recent melts of sheet ice in the Antarctic. Sea levels will rise; the only question is how soon and how high. But, as the CSIRO report shows, low lying delta areas in Vietnam, China and Bangladesh, as well as Tonga, Kiribati and PNG, are all vulnerable. The costs of relocation and protection of coastal infrastructure are astronomical.
Put simply, we are facing the prospects of a full blown global emergency which threatens to alter the conditions of life on earth in significant and possibly irreversible ways. This is widely acknowledged in most quarters except Canberra under the conservatives. Recently the Lowy Institute released Heating up the Planet--Climate change and security, by security expert Alan Dupont and climate scientist Graeme Pearman. It also highlighted the urgent need to respond to climate change--a point re-emphasised in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth by former US Vice President Al Gore, and in today's CSIRO report. And this points up how completely ill prepared the Howard government is for climate change. After going into some details to answer the question, 'Is climate change real?'--answer: yes--the paper outlines a number of issues that need focused government attention now.
They include the prospects of an increasing spread of infectious diseases and, critically, the likelihood of climate change refugees--if that is the right term, and there may be a better term--on a scale that renders the trickle of asylum seekers the government is intending to divert to Nauru and resettle in third countries tiny in comparison. The fact of the matter is that with climate change we are likely to see large migrations of people fleeing their countries, which have been affected by global warming and rising sea levels, into our part of the world.
I was pleased to see that the authors of the paper had taken seriously what a number of climate scientists, NGOs and others, including myself, have been repeatedly saying concerning the cumulative effect of human activities on the climate. Their conclusions are amply confirmed by today's CSIRO report, Australia Responds. In particular they raise the possibility of the emergence of climate wild cards--like the melting permafrost--and the need for policymakers to start factoring these kinds of risks into their thinking. And it is the case that each of the issues that flow out from climate change carry
substantial security considerations for Australia that well outweigh the current difficulties we face in the long term in relation to fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. This government constantly talks security--it is the mantra in this House--and yet the implications of the Lowy Institute and CSIRO reports are that failure to start genuine planning, and organising now for a climate change future, is to compromise the national interest and to add greatly to the regional and international challenges that lie ahead as global warming begins to kick in.
Du Pont and Pearman argue--and I agree--that the federal government needs to adopt a more strategic approach to climate change, and that an interdepartmental task force should be constituted to look into the connections between climate change and national security with reference to food security, water, health and environmental vulnerabilities. Importantly, disaster planning and the key question of unregulated population movements would be crucial matters for review.
The unfolding tragedy is that the government's acquiescence to foreign policy and culture wars, driven by an extreme right wing agenda, has left us poorly prepared for arguably the greatest threat we face. What stands out in the Lowy Institute report is the statement of the bleeding, but necessarily, obvious. Recommendation 6 reads: "The most effective way of ameliorating the security risk of prospective climate change is to reduce the level of greenhouse gases that are heating up the planet." There you have it. The experts are saying action is needed and the community, including those who gathered yesterday in front of Old Parliament House calling for 'clean energy for eternity', are demanding that action be taken.
So when is this government going to do something other than spin, divert, delay and embrace false gods masquerading as solutions on climate change and actually act to substantially address rising greenhouse gas emissions? Labor has serious policy here, but where is the big 'whole-of- government' plan on climate change from the Prime Minister? Where is the nation-building, nation-saving approach on increasing our use of renewables, on energy self-sufficiency, on demand management and on utilising our ingenuity and scientific ability to meet our energy needs--whether it is liquids to gas, hot rocks and tidal or, critically, in a country that receives on average more solar radiation per square metre than any other continent, fitting up in a substantial way solar cities and towns so that families and businesses can meet their energy needs and even sell their own surplus energy, green energy, which, unlike the nukes that the Prime Minister has now adopted as his first love, do not cost the earth and do not leave a legacy of toxic waste for eternity?
One of the world's foremost climate scientists, Jim Hansen from NASA, has observed that failure to act on climate change means subsequent generations will inhabit a far more desolate world than the one in which civilisations have flourished and developed over the past several thousand years. The stakes are that high. I simply ask: when will this reckless government wake up to climate change, pull its finger out and stop jeopardising the lives of its citizens and our neighbours as we stare down the abyss of an overheating planet?
Australia Responds: Helping our neighbours fight climate change, was prepared by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Orgnaisation (CSIRO) for the Australian Climate Change and Development Roundtable a group of NGOs formed in "recognition that developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and to highlight the need for international aid and development agencies to consider the implications of climate change for their programs and advocacy."
2. Lowy Institute paper no. 12, Heating up the Planet--Climate change and security, by security expert Alan Dupont the Institute and Dr Graeme Pearman, former chief of atmospheric research at the CSIRO, canvasses the international security consequences of climate change especially for Australia's Asia-Pacific neighbourhood. The paper examines the implications of temperature increases and sea level rise for food, water, energy, infectious diseases, natural disasters and environmental refugees and asks whether scientists may have underestimated climate change risks. The paper also looks at several low probability, but high impact climate events which might push the planet past an environmental tipping point from which there will be no winners.
Amish EconomyWendell Berry. 1995.IV in A timbered choir: the Sabbath poems 1979-1997. New York, Counterpoint, 1992, pp. 190-191.
We live by mercy if we live.
To that we have no fit reply
But working well and giving thanks,
Loving God, loving one another,
To keep Creation's neighborhood.
And my friend David Kline told me,
"It falls strangely on Amish ears,
This talk of how you find yourself.
We Amish, after all, don't try
To find ourselves. We try to lose
Ourselves"--and thus are lost within
The found world of sunlight and rain
Where fields are green and then are ripe,
And the people eat together by
The charity of God, who is kind
Even to those who give no thanks.
In morning light, men in dark clothes
Go out among the beasts and fields.
Lest the community be lost,
Each day they must work out the bond
Between goods and their price: the garden
Weeded by sweat is flowerbright;
The wheat shocked in shorn fields, clover
Is growing where wheat grew; the crib
Is golden with the gathered corn,
While in the world of the found selves,
Lost to the sunlit, rainy world,
The motor-driven cannot stop.
This is the world where value is
Abstract, and preys on things, and things
Are changed to thoughts that have a price.
Cost + greed - fear = price:
Maury Telleen thus laid it out.
The need to balance greed and fear
Affords no stopping place, no rest,
And need increases as we fail.
But now, in summer dusk, a man
Whose hair and beard curl like spring ferns
Sits under the yard trees, at rest,
His smallest daughter on his lap.
This is because he rose at dawn,
Cared for his own, helped his neighbors,
Worked much, spent little, kept his peace.
According to sources there, it will be a provocative book, which Williams would probably not have wanted to see the light of day during his lifetime. As Williams was open about his homosexuality and already on the record as saying: 'Religious establishments invariably give me the creeps' and that approved Anglican services are 'clumsy constructions in flat, tired English made from pieces of doctrinal Meccano', it's likely to create quite a stir.The Telegraph now declares (8 October) that the Prince of Wales "has entered the controversy over gay clergy by lavishing praise on the first Church of England priest to write about his homosexuality."
I'm told it will argue that Christians should move beyond doctrine altogether, in a call which will doubtless be seen as a direct challenge to the authority of the bishops and church's hierarchy. And who should have written the introduction to this revolutionary work but the Prince of Wales, future head of the Anglican communion, who praises Williams's 'humanity and sensitivity' and commends the book highly. Charles is known to have visited Williams when the latter had retired to a monastery and was dying.
'One of the greatest questions about what the country would see under a future King Charles is already centred on the C of E,' says a courtier. 'But nobody has been able to say exactly how far Williams would have gone in his advice to the Prince. This book--and the fact that Charles is involved explicitly with it--will leave little room for doubt any longer.'
Prince Charles has endorsed the ministry of Harry Williams in his foreword to a new book of essays by the Anglican theologian, who died earlier this year, aged 86.Surely Charles should be allowed to praise his late mentor and say some pleasant things about his book without ecclesiatical knickers getting into a knot (yet agian) about homosexuality. Yes, it is difficult to be head of the C of E and a non-Christian at the same time. One would think that is a separate question. But it seems that some may argue that, by praising a deceased gay friend's theological writings, Charles is showing himself not to be Christian and Anglican. What nonsense.
The intervention from a man who, as king, will be the head of the Church of England, will alarm conservative bishops [so The Telegraph contends] who last week addressed growing concern over the number of gay clergy that have "married" since the Civil Partnerships Act was introduced last year.
In his autobiography, Some Day I'll Find You, Fr Williams shocked many within the church by writing openly about his life as a promiscuous homosexual. In his book, published in 1982, he said of his days working at Cambridge University: "I slept with several men, in each case fairly regularly. They were all of them friends. Cynics, of course, will smile, but I have seldom felt more like thanking God then when having sex. In bed I used to praise Him there and then for the joy I was receiving and giving." As well as casual affairs, Fr Williams had two long-term relationships with men.
Fr Williams was Dean of Chapel at Trinity College when the Prince arrived at Cambridge to study in 1967. Now, in a fond tribute to the theologian, Prince Charles has written a foreword to the book, Living Free, due to be published this month by Continuum. "Harry Williams proved to be a star; a man of intense humanity and warmth whose humour and originality created an aura of approachability," he writes.
The prince does not refer directly to Fr Williams's homosexuality but he hints heavily at it: "His courageous willingness to open up his inner soul and being and to speak from the heart about his own experience of the vicissitudes, complications and agonies of life struck a powerful and immediate chord with huge numbers of undergraduates."
Prince Charles comes across as understanding of Fr Williams's lifestyle and his controversial linking of God and homosexual activity. "His essence may have evaporated, but his heartening and profoundly sympathetic insight into our humanity and into the relationship between God and Man--what he called 'our identity with Life Universal, with God'--will live on through the power and presence of his words and through the affectionate memories of his old undergraduates," he writes.
Living Free by Harry Williams is to be published in hardcover (ISBN: 0826494692) on 24 Oct will be a modest volume of just 156 pages. Williams's great masterpiece is his book The True Wilderness. Other books include True Resurrection and The Joy of God.
Publisher Continuum says that
"Quoting Martin Buber's dictum that 'there is nothing that so masks the face of God as religion', Williams moves beyond traditional theological language to outline a new view which does not contradict Christian orthodoxy--it moves beyond it. He is doubtful about a personal relationship between God and man in Christ, in the usual sense, but articulates an epistemology of un-knowing as the most profound way of experiencing God. Williams himself once said of his writings 'All I can write of are those things which I had proved true in my own experience by living them and thus knowing them at first hand.'
This picture published by Chosun Ilbo seems to encapsulate North Korea's mood. I'm no apologist for the North Korean régime, but it's easy to understand its thinking, "You've got one, why can't I have one too?"
Dan Plesch, a fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies and Keele University, argues that North Korea's nuclear policy is not irrational at all.
North Korea's nuclear test is only the latest failure of the west's proliferation policy. And it demonstrates the need to return to the proven methods of multilateral disarmament. Far from being crazy, the North Korean policy is quite rational. Faced with a US government that believes the communist regime should be removed from the map, the North Koreans pressed ahead with building a deterrent. George Bush stopped the oil supplies to North Korea that had been part of a framework to end its nuclear programme previously agreed with Bill Clinton. Bush had already threatened pre-emptive war--Iraq-style--against a regime he dubbed as belonging to the axis of evil.Nonetheless, having failed to show that it can play safely with the grown ups, the North Korean régime is resorting to tantrums, breaching its 1992 agreement
The background to North Korea's test is that, since the end of the cold war, the nuclear states have tried to impose a double standard, hanging on to nuclear weapons for themselves and their friends while denying them to others. Like alcoholics condemning teenage drinking, the nuclear powers have made the spread of nuclear weapons the terror of our age, distracting attention from their own behaviour. Western leaders refuse to accept that our own actions encourage others to follow suit.
Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula -- Entered into force 19 February, 1992
The South and the North,
Desiring to eliminate the danger of nuclear war through denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and thus to create an environment and conditions favorable for peace and peaceful unification of our country and contribute to peace and security in Asia and the world,
Declare as follows;
Signed on January 20, 1992
- The South and the North shall not test, manufacture, produce, receive, possess, store, deploy or use nuclear weapons.
- The South and the North shall use nuclear energy solely for peaceful purposes.
- The South and the North shall not possess nuclear reprocessing and uranium enrichment facilities.
- The South and the North, in order to verify the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, shall conduct inspection of the objects selected by the other side and agreed upon between the two sides, in accordance with procedures and methods to be determined by the South-North Joint Nuclear Control Commission.
- The South and the North, in order to implement this joint declaration, shall establish and operate a South-North joint Nuclear Control Commission within one (1) month of the effectuation of this joint declaration.
- This Joint Declaration shall enter into force as of the day the two sides exchange appropriate instruments following the completion of their respective procedures for bringing it into effect.
Chung Won-shik, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea; Chief delegate of the South delegation to the South-North High-Level Talks
Yon Hyong-muk, Premier of the Administration Council of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Head of the North delegation to the South-North High-Level Talks
The international Catholic Peace organisation Pax Christi says that rather than security, nuclear weapons will cause animosity and resentment. As if to anticipate yesterday's nuclear weapons test, Pax Christi has just released a position paper in which it also condemns the 'double standard' between the nuclear 'haves' and 'have-nots'. It questions the unequal treatment of Iran and North Korea in comparison to Israel.
Gary Gibson of Australia's Seismology Research Center estimated the blast at about one kiloton, tiny by nuclear weapons standards at about a tenth the size of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, but the Russians have produced greater estimates. A New York Times commentary notes that its early days yet in assessing what the North Koreans have 'achieved'.
If the test occurred as the North claimed, it is unclear whether it was an actual bomb or a more primitive device. Some experts cautioned that it could try to fake an explosion, setting off conventional explosives; the only way to know for sure will be if American "sniffer" planes, patrolling the North Korean coast, pick up evidence of nuclear byproducts in the air. . . . [T]he North Koreans could learn much from a nuclear test even if it was small by world standards or less than an unqualified success.
Even while I dreamed I prayed that what I saw was only fear and no foretelling,Wendell Berry. 1997.II in A timbered choir: the Sabbath poems 1979-1997. New York, Counterpoint, 1992, pp. 208-209.
for I saw the last known landscape destroyed for the sake
of the objective, the soil bulldozed, the rock blasted.
Those who had wanted to go home would never get there now.
I visited the offices where for the sake of the objective the planners planned
at blank desks set in rows. I visited the loud factories
where the machines were made that would drive ever forward
toward the objective. I saw the forest reduced to stumps and gullies; I saw
the poisoned river, the mountain cast into the valley;
I came to the city that nobody recognized because it looked like every other city.
I saw the passages worn by the unnumbered
footfalls of those whose eyes were fixed upon the objective.
Their passing had obliterated the graves and the monuments
of those who had died in pursuit of the objective
and who had long ago forever been forgotten, according
to the inevitable rule that those who have forgotten forget
that they have forgotten. Men, women, and children now pursued the objective
as if nobody ever had pursued it before.
The races and the sexes now intermingled perfectly in pursuit of the objective.
The once-enslaved, the once-oppressed were now free
to sell themselves to the highest bidder
and to enter the best-paying prisons in pursuit of the objective, which was the destruction of all enemies,
which was the destruction of all obstacles, which was the destruction of all objects,
which was to clear the way to victory, which was to clear the way to promotion, to salvation, to progress,
to the completed sale, to the signature
on the contract, which was to clear the way
to self-realization, to self-creation, from which nobody who ever wanted to go home
would ever get there now, for every remembered place
had been displaced; the signposts had been bent to the ground and covered over.
Every place had been displaced, every love unloved,
every vow unsworn, every word unmeant
to make way for the passage of the crowd
of the individuated, the autonomous, the self-actuated, the homeless
with their many eyes opened only toward the objective
which they did not yet perceive in the far distance,
having never known where they were going,
having never known where they came from.
In the midst of all the drama about the North's nuclear weapons, Seoul newspaper Chosun Ilbo has the odd spot. It reports that the latest hot-selling tee-shirt in Seoul's in Itaewon district, where many tourists congregate, have slogans "I'm not migook" on the front, and on the back in Korean, "I am not an American."
The man who brought the thoughtful product into the world is a 31-year-old named Michael Kenny who would like to make it clear that he is Canadian.
. . . He found an untapped niche market: non-American Caucasians in Korea, with their fears of being thrown in the same pot with U.S. citizens. Kenny's idea paid off. The going price of W15,000 ($US15.80/$AUS21.30) is a little steep for a T-shirt, but that hasn't stopped droves of European tourists and Canadian and Australian English instructors--fed up with the "everything white is an American" attitude--from snapping up every last one of the shirts. He has already recouped his investment, and from here on out, it's pure profit for the entrepreneur. His Korean girlfriend says, "We've seen for ourselves just how many non-American Caucasians there really are in Korea."
Michael spends his Fridays and Saturdays out on the Itaewoon sidewalk hawking his goods. A spinoff of his original best-seller--"I'm waygook" on one side and "Foreigner" on the back--also sells well. "I've been to Korea six times now, and there are always Koreans who assume that I'm an American and come up speaking only English to me," said one German traveler who bought a shirt the moment he saw it. "What I've always wanted to say is written right there." There are even Americans who see the fun in the shirt and purchase one for themselves. Kenny is only waiting for his first Korean customer.
I love Americans, but I'not one myself and I want one of these!
Ms Pratt is one of only a handful of openly gay and lesbian politicians to be elected to an Australian parliament, lists environmental sustainability, human rights, refugees and gender-equity issues among her key policy interests.
Ms Pratt, 34, originally from Kalgoorlie, was elected to the WA parliament in February 2001 and re-elected last year. In her inaugural speech on 23 May 2001 said that at that time, "Western Australia has the worst laws in the nation as far as lesbian and gay rights are concerned. . . . We cannot kid ourselves that we are a just community until these laws are changed. . . . It is time that my partner Linda and I were properly recognised as a couple with the same rights that others take for granted, including property rights, inheritance rights, guardianship rights and superannuation. I, like other lesbian and gay people, am sick of being treated as a second-class citizen in this State."
I hope to be part of a Parliament that will finally begin to bring real equality to lesbian and gay Western Australians. For me this is no small turnaround. Being an activist for lesbian and gay rights has not always been easy. All lesbian and gay people struggle with issues of coming out, and it is not something that is done once. There can be many awkward moments through life meeting new people. Being up-front and honest has always been important for my own peace of mind. Being a gay and lesbian activist has not just been about law reform; it has been, more importantly, about reaching out to the wider community, demonstrating to people that it is okay to be lesbian or gay. It has also been about creating positive images in the media to make it easier on young people who are lesbian or gay and who struggle with self-loathing and low self-esteem, because they think the world despises them. I have heard too many stories about school bullying, which often includes violent incidents that are essentially criminal in nature and based on a student's perceived gayness. It makes little difference if the person is gay or not. This is something that must be addressed as a matter of public policy in our schools, particularly in rural and regional areas, where there is a high rate of youth suicide.In July 2001, Pratt was appointed to a gay and lesbian law reform committee with a wide mandate to eliminate discrimination in state law. Pratt, along with lesbian Green MP Giz Watson, played a major role in the committee, which ultimately made a wide range of reform recommendations. The committee's recommendations were largely taken into law in 2002.
Former Australian Democrats Senator Brian Greig congratulated Ms Pratt in an AusQueer posting.
It seems that WA's Gay and Lesbian Equality group (GALE), has helped produce its second senator. (Yours truly being the first). Louise and I both served at different times as activists and spokespeople for GALE. For a few years Louise was also a WA Female Delegate to the now defunct Australian Council for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Along with me, she participated in a few ACLGR meetings during the 1990's in Canberra and Melbourne.
I am delighted to see her win the Number One spot on Labor's WA Senate ticket for next year's election. At the Number One spot she is guaranteed of being elected. Along with Penny Wong, Labor will have two out Senators in 2008.
Louise played a key role in helping develop WA's ground breaking equality laws in 2001 and, more importantly, helped guide them undiluted through her party-room and into legislation. Her particular area of interest (not surprisingly), is parenting and fertility rights.
Louise is not a tribal Labor hack like so many are, and is comfortable and experienced at cross party negotiations - most notably with the Greens. It's worth noting too, that in pulling the Number One spot on the senate ticket, she has bumped sitting Senator Mark Bishop down to Number Two spot. While Senator Bishop is also reassured or being re-elected from this position, it is unusual that a frontbencher would get knocked down like that. Well done Louise!
There is also poetic justice in this, given that Senator Bishop hales from Labor's hard right Catholic faction and owes his support base to the Shop workers Union--Australia's most anti-gay union. Despite having a disproportionate number of GLBT members and employees, the "Shoppies" are controlled by very conservative Catholics and the union often makes homophobic senate submissions. The most recent being its submission to support the banning of IVF to lesbians and single women.
As THAT issue is likely to resurface in coming months as Howard moves to engender more moral panic as the federal election looms, Louise will have her work cut out for her.
I suspect Louise will find the shift from State politics to Federal politics quite difficult at first, and I wonder if she has not underestimated the gulf of difference between the gay-friendly state government and its much more reactionary federal wing? Perhaps not. But Louise is her own person and will stake her ground. [. . .]
|The Canberra Handel Choir is a chamber choir of experienced singers formed earlier in 2006. The debut concert in May was a brilliant sucess -- with a standing ovation from the full house.|
The choir will perform its second concert for the year at St. Philip's Anglican Church, O'Connor, ACT 2602 at 7.30pm on 21 October 2006. Admission: $18 adult, $15 conc, $12 child.
Directed by Adam Laslett (right), the Choir will sing solos, duets, and choral selections from each of Handel's oratorios in English.
|Soloists will include my neighbour and friend Daniel McMillan (left) and the orchestra will include graduates from the ANU Canberra School of Music.|
The concert is assisted by CAMRA, the Canberra Academy of Music and Related Arts.
The end of the Communion?Similarly, Affirming Catholicism has issued this press release:
1.0 As a result of the statements issued by the meeting of the Primates of the "Global South" in Kigali, the Anglican Communion has been moved into completely new territory. We are presented with a situation where the possibility of dialogue between believing Christians is being closed down. Both the tone and the content of the Communiqué of the Primates of the Global South reflect an understanding of the Church which is profoundly un-Anglican, and represents a radical departure from both our ecclesiology and our traditions. We are sleepwalking towards a new church, and unless the silent majority of Anglicans take action we will wake up find we have lost the Church and the Christianity we hold dear.
2.0 "One church, one bishop, one territory" is fundamental to our Anglican polity and identity; to say that it is now "outdated" is to deny the whole history of Anglicanism . To say that many of the Primates can either not be in communion or to be in "impaired communion" with the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (TEC) represents a theological and ecclesiological nonsense, The sacrament of Holy Communion is a sacrament given to us by God which is not capable of impairment. We trust in God and give thanks to Him for the gift of communion; it is as the Body of Christ that we exist.
3.0 The proposal to create two parallel jurisdictions within the Anglican Communion, separate but both nominally Anglican through their relationship with Canterbury, rides roughshod over the Instruments of Unity and over the Windsor process. It also represents a misunderstanding of the nature of Anglican identity. If we are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury we cannot be out of communion with one another.
But we remember that many of the primates of the "Global South" absented themselves from a Eucharist to which they were invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury at the Dromantine Conference in 2005. We draw the conclusion from that that their allegiance to Canterbury is at best skin deep, and subject to his confirmation of their particular position on matters of human sexuality.
We also note that the Communiqué did not involve or receive the assent of the Archbishop of Cape Town and the Province of Southern Africa, and we wonder how many other Provinces' assent has been assumed instead of confirmed.
4.0 Those who believe in a church which is both inclusive and welcoming have until now sought to respond to the actions of the Primates of the "Global South" with reason and restraint. As a result, factions within our Church have pushed harder and harder at the bounds of communion. Their proposals now bear only a tangential resemblance to the Anglicanism which has until now defined and developed the Communion.
5.0 We note too that significant amounts of funding for many of the organisations which have led on these notably the American Anglican Council, Anglican Communion Network and Anglican Mainstream -- have come from the Ahmanson family and other non-Anglican, politically conservative foundations based in the United States. (http://www.edow.org/follow/part1.html) This funding has enabled the due processes of the Anglican Communion to be subverted and hijacked, raising issues of family life and human sexuality to a prominence within the life of our church which is unjustified and contrary to the Gospel values of love and justice.
6.0 We have noted with concern that although the Archbishop of Canterbury has implicitly on a number of occasions publicly been critical of the actions of TEC - for example in his recent Pastoral Letter (http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/releases/060915a.htm) he has as yet not been critical of the very serious breaches of the Instruments of Unity by the Church of Nigeria; for example, the creation of a Bishop in the United States in complete contravention of Windsor guidelines on provincial boundaries. Neither has he challenged the actions of the Church of Nigeria in its vociferous support of the criminalisation of homosexuality in Nigeria (http://www.anglican-nig.org/PH2006message2nation.htm) despite his condemnation of homophobia on several occasions.
5.0 We note that the Communiqué from the Primates of the "Global South" identifies the Church of England as being compromised by its attitude towards the civil partnership legislation in this country. We believe it is important in this context for the Church of England to be clear on its current practice. Namely, that hundreds if not thousands of same-gender partnerships have been celebrated over the past thirty years, in churches, by priests and deacons. Further, that there have been, and in the future no doubt will be homosexual bishops in relationships within our church. Any Covenant, therefore, which excludes members of TEC and the Anglican Church of Canada will have also to exclude the Church of England. (http://www.episcopalmajorityonline.org)
5.0 In the light of what is being produced by the "Global South" we have the following questions for which we request urgent clarification from the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Communion Office
5.1 Will they confirm that all Bishops duly elected or appointed and with current responsibilities in the Communion will be invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference? There can be no other way to ensure that those loyal to the principles of Anglicanism are duly and properly involved in the life of our Communion.
5.2 If "Alternative Primatial Oversight" is granted for the Dioceses seeking it in the United States, what equivalent oversight will be offered to LGBT Christians experiencing danger and discrimination in Nigeria and other parts of Africa?
5.3 What structures exist to permit the selection of an "alternative" to the Presiding Bishop of TEC to attend Primates' meetings?
5.4 Is the development of parallel jurisdictions acceptable to the ACO? If it is, then what is to stop the development of more jurisdictions on other matters?
5.5 The "Global South" Primates appear to be seeking to pre-empt the Covenant process by preparing a draft with the clear intention of requiring assent to confessional propositions related to homosexuality. What implications does this have for the process of agreeing a Covenant which recognises the depth and breadth of Anglicanism, both Catholic and Reformed?
5.6 What brief was given to the Bishops of Durham and Winchester in their recent attendance at a meeting of Bishops of TEC?
6.0 We are also concerned by the silence from the Bishops of the Church of England. The implications of the "Global South" developments may well, in the near future, have an impact on the Church of England. Indeed there have already been actions which indicate the shape of things to come, such as the unauthorised ordinations in the Diocese of Southwark. There are significant numbers of English Bishops who are deeply perturbed by the actions of their colleagues across the world, and deeply concerned to counter homophobia and prejudice. Why are they not speaking?
7.0 Today we celebrate the life of Lancelot Andrewes, one of the fathers of our church. We deeply regret the way in which the Communion is being undermined and sidetracked by a false Anglicanism which neither reflects nor pays tribute to our history. We trust and pray that the dialogue to which we are all as Christians called will continue so that the Gospel of Christ may flourish in this country and across the Communion.
Lancelot Andrewes; 25th September 2006
Affirming Catholics express deep sorrow at conservative Anglican statementMeanwhile, an article "More objections voiced to Kigali communiqué", by Matthew Davies, international correspondent for the Episcopal News Service, 28 Sep 2006, recalls a history in which the writers of communications from the 'Global South' have been less than careful in attribting siugnatories to their work.
The Director of the Anglican organisation, Affirming Catholicism, today expressed deep sorrow at the communiqué issued after the meeting of Anglican Primates of the Global South. The communiqué expressed the determination of conservative Anglican leaders who met in Rwanda under the chairmanship of The Most Rev'd Peter Akinola, Primate of Nigeria, to set up rival church structures for conservative members of the Episcopal Church in the United States and elsewhere. The Global South leaders also called for the proposed Anglican covenant to be drafted to exclude those who take a progressive line on the issue of homosexuality.
The Director of Affirming Catholicism, the Rev'd Richard Jenkins, said: "The communiqué suggests that Anglicans should unite on the basis of their views on sexuality--which is the very issue that divides us. If we are to be unified, we must draw on deeper resources and display greater charity. The Anglican commitment to scripture, tradition and reason as sources of authority means that we cannot claim closure on the issue of homosexuality. A covenant which unites us must therefore hold together the three strands of our Church: catholic, evangelical and liberal. I call on the Primates of the Communion to heed the repeated calls of the Archbishop of Canterbury to engage on those lines and seek reconciliation by transcending differences."
The Primate of the Church of the West Indies, the Most Rev'd Drexel Gomez, has been invited by the Archbishop of Canterbury to chair an official drafting group for an Anglican Covenant, but other members of the group have yet to be named. Affirming Catholicism is to hold a day conference to discuss the Covenant, entitled 'Anglican Unity and the limits of Diversity' on Saturday 20 January at St Matthew's Church, Westminster.
Another Anglican Primate from the Global South has raised concerns about the lack of adequate consultation regarding the contents of a communiqué issued after a group of Global South Anglican leaders met in Kigali, Rwanda, September 19-22.
Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town was the first to disavow the Kigali communiqué in a September 24 statement.
That was followed by a September 28 statement from the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP) which clarified that its Prime Bishop, the Most Rev. Ignacio C. Soliba, "did not attend the meeting and was not a signatory to the so-called Kigali Communiqué."
The communiqué was not signed, but was followed by a list of 20 "Provinces Represented," including Burundi, Central Africa, the Church of South India, Congo, Indian Ocean, Jerusalem and Middle East, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Africa, South East Asia, Southern Cone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Africa, and the West Indies. Bangladesh and the Philippines were listed as "Not present but represented." There are 38 Provinces in the Anglican Communion.
It is unclear how many, or which, Primates actually endorsed the communiqué or saw it in its final form prior to publication on the Internet.
The Philippine statement also offered greetings on behalf of the province to Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and welcomed her election. "The Episcopal Church in the Philippines will extend an invitation for her to visit the Philippines in early 2008 for the renewal of our historical ties and covenant relationship," the statement said.
The Kigali communiqué announced that an unspecified number of the Primates present at the meeting would not be able to recognize Jefferts Schori "as a Primate at the table with us" at the next Anglican Primates' Meeting, set for February 2007 in Tanzania.
Ndungane, in his September 24 statement, revealed that although he was present for part of the meeting, he was not consulted on the document. He described parts of it as "not consonant with the position of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa," whose bishops unanimously issued a strong call to work for unity within the Anglican Communion in early September.
Archbishop John Chew, Primate of the Church of the Province of South East Asia and secretary of the Global South Provinces in the Anglican Communion, countered that a draft agenda had been sent out to the Primates ahead of the meeting.
"Furthermore, a Communiqué drafting committee chaired by Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi was unanimously appointed," Chew said. "Both Archbishop Ndungane and Canon Ngewu were present throughout the time these decisions were made."
The Kigali communiqué is not the first statement to be issued in the name of Global South primates or provinces without a clear indication of individual signatories or the full endorsement of provinces listed.
Two statements issued on November 2, 2003 and April 16, 2004 were signed on behalf of the Global South Primates by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, a leading critic of actions that endorse the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the life of the Church.
In a March 2004 interview with Episcopal News Service, Archbishop Joseph Marona of the Episcopal Church of Sudan denied signing a statement titled "ECUSA has separated itself," saying that he had been traveling at the time and there had been "an assumption...that I may have said that."
The third Anglican Global South to South Encounter, which met in Alexandria, Egypt, in October 2005, also issued an unsigned communiqué but noted that "a total of 103 delegates of 20 provinces in the Global South" were represented.
At the Egypt meeting, one Primate recalled that the delegates were shown a prepared communiqué, but that it was later indicated that all Primates present at the meeting had accordingly signed the statement.
A letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, that emerged from that meeting was also questioned by three of its alleged signatories, who said its contents had neither been discussed nor approved, the Church Times reported.
"The Primates of the West Indies, the Southern Cone, and Jerusalem and the Middle East all objected to the letter. One described it as 'an act of impatience,' one as 'scandalous,' and the other as 'megaphone diplomacy,'" the article revealed.
A November 17, 2005 response to the letter by Lambeth Palace noted that Williams is committed to the Windsor Process and added, "If this letter is a contribution to that process of debate, then it is to be welcomed, however robust. If it is an attempt to foreclose that debate, it would seem to serve very little purpose indeed."
Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, in a September 28 statement, raised concern that portions of the Kigali communiqué "that take issue with the actions of the Episcopal Church in advance of hearing from the advisory group, and before the Covenant has an opportunity to be developed, are inconsistent with the Windsor process" which, he says, "requires patience and respect for one another." He cited General Convention's Resolution A165 which affirmed the Episcopal Church's commitment to the Windsor process. Griswold also noted, with concern, the communiqué's recommendation "that there be a separate ecclesial body within our province."
"The suggestion of such a division raises profound questions about the nature of the church, its ordering and its oversight," he said. "I further believe such a division would open the way to multiple divisions across other provinces of the Communion, and any sense of a coherent mission would sink into chaos."
Such a recommendation, Griswold said, "appears to be an effort to preempt the Windsor process and acting upon it would create a fact on the ground, making healing and reconciliation -- the stated goal of the Windsor process -- that much more difficult to achieve."
Responding to the claim that some of the Primates would not be able to accept Jefferts Schori at the table with them, Griswold said: "The role of primates is to bear witness as fully as possible to the life and complexities of their own provinces. I have sought to bring to the primates' meetings the wide range of opinions and the consequent tensions within our own church. I have every confidence that Katharine will do the same."
He further noted that "the voices from dioceses that the Kigali communiqué fears will not be heard seem to be well represented among the primates themselves."
Griswold agreed with the communiqué's declaration that "the challenges facing our Anglican structures can be a distraction from the work of the gospel," and was encouraged by the time "devoted to such concerns as poverty eradication, HIV/AIDS, peace building and evangelization."
He noted the Episcopal Church's commitment to the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. "[I] pray that our mutual concerns will allow us to work together for the healing and reconciliation of the world, and thereby find the source of our healing and reconciliation as a Communion."