NEWS SIDEBAR: Reaction to the Eames Commission on the Anglican Communion

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Reaction to Monday’s release of a long-awaited report addressing a growing schism over homosexuality within the worldwide Anglican Communion: “You cannot impose reconciliation. Reconciliation comes when people want it to be a reality” _ Irish Archbishop Robin Eames, who issued the 92-page report “You have given all of us work to do and you do not suggest any shortcuts.” _ Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the Anglican Communion “I don’t think anybody’s hands are tied. There’s nothing authoritative about this. It binds no one.” _ Archbishop Andrew Hutchison, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, where same-sex unions have been allowed in at least one diocese “It treats those on all sides of the issue who have helped to create this division fairly, and asks the provinces and dioceses to cease the actions that are furthering the divisiveness in the church today.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Disappointed Conservatives Mull Options, Threaten Revolt

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Two months after the Episcopal Church formally approved an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire last year, thousands of distraught conservatives gathered at a Dallas hotel looking for “A Place to Stand.” On Monday (Oct. 18), they got their answer. They were told that to remain in the Anglican Communion they must also remain in the Episcopal Church, not outside of it. A 17-member panel headed by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames issued a report that said the Anglican Communion should not establish a separate North American province for conservatives.

NEWS STORY: Report Rebukes Episcopalians for Disunity but Declines Sanctions

c. 2004 Religion News Service LONDON _ The Episcopal Church should apologize for stirring disunity but will not face serious sanctions for allowing an openly gay bishop, a blue-ribbon panel said in long-anticipated recommendations made Monday (Oct. 18). The panel’s 92-page report, issued by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames, stopped short of calling for the U.S. church to be excommunicated from the wider Anglican Communion, but said the decision breached “the proper constraints of the bonds of affection” within the global body of 77 million Christians. In presenting the report in the crypt of St.

NEWS ANALYSIS: Disappointed Conservatives Mull Options, Threaten Revolt

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) Two months after the Episcopal Church formally approved an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire last year, thousands of distraught conservatives gathered at a Dallas hotel looking for “A Place to Stand.” On Monday (Oct. 18), they got their answer. They were told that to remain in the Anglican Communion they must also remain in the Episcopal Church, not outside of it. A 17-member panel headed by Irish Archbishop Robin Eames issued a report that said the Anglican Communion should not establish a separate North American province for conservatives.

NEWS SIDEBAR: Excerpts from the Eames Commission on the Anglican Communion

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) On Monday, the Eames Commission released a long-awaited report in London addressing a growing schism, largely over homosexuality, within the worldwide Anglican Communion. The report rebuked the Episcopal Church of the United States for allowing an openly gay bishop but did not impose any sanctions on it. The 92-page report includes sections on: Stirring disunity “By electing and confirming such a candidate in the face of the concerns expressed by the wider Communion, the Episcopal Church has caused deep offense to many faithful Anglican Christians both in its own church and in other parts of the Communion.” “In our view, those involved did not pay due regard … to the wider implications of the decisions they were making and the actions they were taking.” Making an apology “We recommend that the Episcopal Church be invited to express its regret that the proper constraints of the bonds of affection were breached in the events surrounding the election and consecration of a bishop for (New Hampshire), and for the consequences that followed, and that such an expression of regret would represent the desire of the Episcopal Church to remain within the Communion.” Withdrawing from Anglican functions “We recommend that …

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Editors: Mathew is cq in the 5th graph below. Focus on the Family Settles Suit Over Anti-Gay Advertisements (RNS) Focus on the Family has settled a 3-year-old lawsuit involving its advertisement of a Florida conference about homosexuality and youth. A lawyer representing the conservative Christian group based in Colorado Springs, Colo., announced Wednesday (Oct. 13) that a settlement had been reached with Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority and Clear Channel Outdoor, Tampa Bay Division.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Israeli Prime Minister Allows Muslims to Begin Ramadan at Sacred Site JERUSALEM (RNS) A reversal by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon allowed tens of thousands of Muslims to begin Ramadan on Friday (Oct. 15) by praying at a spot where tradition says the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven. Sharon had previously informed the Wakf, the Islamic trust that maintains the site, that unless it took urgent measures, the number of worshippers would be restricted to just 60,000. Ordinarily, the site can accommodate more than 200,000 worshippers.

NEWS STORY: Adventists Affirm Genesis Account of Creation, Address Sacred Music

c. 2004 Religion News Service SILVER SPRING, Md. _ Worldwide leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church tackled two sensitive subjects _ creationism and appropriate music for worship _ during their Annual Council meeting that ended Thursday (Oct. 14). After three years of discussion across the globe, the Adventists affirmed the church’s historic stance supporting the biblical account of creation.

NEWS STORY: Thousands of Christians Rally for Traditional Marriage

c. 2004 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ The Rev. Thomas Wang arrived at the National Mall on Friday (Oct. 15) after spending a week driving from the San Francisco Bay area in a van that declared “Marriage: One Man and One Woman.” He joined thousands of evangelical Christians for “Mayday for Marriage,” a rally supporting heterosexual marriage and condemning same-sex marriage. They traveled by car, bus and plane to spend three hours on the grassy expanse in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol to hear Prison Fellowship founder Chuck Colson, Focus on the Family Chairman James Dobson and other evangelical leaders decry a court decision in Massachusetts legalizing same-sex marriage and promote a federal constitutional amendment that would ban such marriages in any state. “Are you tired of the courts making all the decisions about the great moral issues of our time?” Dobson asked the crowd, receiving a resounding “yes” in response.

NEWS STORY: Ailing Pope to Quietly Celebrate 26th Anniversary

c. 2004 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Pope John Paul II, the second longest-serving pontiff in the recorded history of the Catholic Church, marks the 26th anniversary of his election on Saturday (Oct. 16) with no intention of retiring despite his increasing frailty. According to Vatican records, John Paul has reigned longer than any other pope except Pius IX, who served for 31 years between 1846 and 1878. The reign of St.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2004 Religion News Service Spitting on Christians Decried in Israel JERUSALEM (RNS) The Israeli government has vowed to crack down on religious Jews who insult and spit at Christians. In a stern statement issued Tuesday (Oct. 12), Interior Minister Avraham Poraz condemned recent incidents in which Jewish seminary students, many of them Americans studying in Israel, spat at Christian clergy during processions through the Old City of Jerusalem. Poraz expressed “revulsion” and called the situation intolerable, vowing to take action to prevent future incidents.

NEWS FEATURE: Film Challenges Traditional Religion, Attracts Following

c. 2004 Religion News Service (UNDATED) A hybrid of narrative, documentary and computer imagery that blends science and spirituality may not seem like an obvious contender for the coveted title of the next “Blair Witch Project.” But “What the #$! Do We Know,” fueled by Internet chatter and simple word-of-mouth accolades, is turning out to be the latest little movie to make a big splash. “What the Bleep,” as it’s commonly known, started small, a $5 million personal project dreamed up by software entrepreneur William Arntz, who set out to explore the convergence of scientific and spiritual ideas. The movie debuted in Yelm, Wash., in February and has steadily gained traction through word-of-mouth marketing.

COMMENTARY: Archaeological Find Confirms Bible’s Authenticity

c. 2004 Religion News Service (Rabbi Rudin, the American Jewish Committee’s Senior Interreligious Adviser, is Distinguished Visiting Professor at Saint Leo University.) (UNDATED) It is a prayer heard in almost every synagogue and church throughout the world: “May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord cause his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and grant you peace.” This beloved prayer even became part of a song in the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” While the English translation is quite elegant, the original Hebrew language of the Birkat Hacohanim, or Priestly Benediction, has a stately poetic quality that is both graceful and reassuring. The prayer appears in the biblical book of Numbers 6:24-26, but when rabbis, priests and ministers invoke this three-part blessing, they rarely give much thought to its age or origin. However, a recent New York Times article described how a combination of brilliant scholarship and state-of-the-art computer technology has provided compelling evidence that the Hebrew text of the Birkat Hacohanim was etched on two silver amulets as long ago as 600 B.C. An additional inscription on one of those amulets calls the God of Israel “the rebuker of evil.” It is a biblical phrase that appears centuries later in the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls. The dating of the amulets places it nearly 20 years before King Nebuchadnezzar’s army destroyed the First Holy Temple in Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and exiled the defeated Jews to Babylonia (modern-day Iraq).

Actress Finally `Loosed’ to Starring Role

c. 2004 Newhouse News Service NEW YORK _ In her new film, “Woman Thou Art Loosed,” actress Kimberly Elise plays a woman who’s in the fight of her life _ for respect, for dignity, for her own future. A victim of childhood abuse who’s grown up only to fall into a repetitious cycle of destructive behavior, the character finds a redemption of sorts in the church, but it’s a punishing journey. Elise’s own journey has been nothing of the sort. A 33-year-old native of Minneapolis, she is a movie star, sharing the screen with the likes of Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington.

COMMENTARY: Jewish Republican Not an Oxymoron

c. 2004 Religion News Service (Judy Gruen is a humorist and author of “Till We Eat Again: Confessions of a Diet Dropout.” Read more of her columns on http://www.judygruen.com.) (UNDATED) When my friend and neighbor Gary Rosen placed a Bush-Cheney lawn sign in front of his house, a number of neighbors quickly followed suit. The sprouting of Republican-touting signs wouldn’t be surprising during an election season, except that our Los Angeles neighborhood is heavily populated by Jews _ traditionally a nearly unmovable Democratic constituency. So far, four of the signs have been stolen. Gary’s not bothered.