Mormons in Africa

From James Fenton’s review of the Broadway musical by the creators of “South Park,” “The Book of Mormon,” at The New York Review of Books:

From the point of view of the Mormon missionaries, the attitude of the natives toward Almighty God is crudely dismissive, and expressed in language that causes gasps of tickled outrage from the audience.  But it is impossible to reconcile this happy-go-lucky indifference to the Supreme Being with what we have encountered in recent history when the African churches have had their say on the future of, for instance, the Anglican Church.  What often comes back at us out of Africa, by way of Christian culture, is a sharp Victorian rebuke for our backsliding.  It has nothing happy-go-lucky about it.

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The Dream of Full Unity: The Catholic Church Invites Anglicans to Come On Over

by Elissa Lerner

After so much fanfare surrounding the surprise election of Archbishop Timothy Dolan to the presidency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) this past fall, or even the Pope’s recent blessing of Facebook, perhaps the greatest shock in the Catholic world is the near silence regarding the three bishops, seven priests, and three hundred members of six congregations that have become ordained and opted into new Ordinariates – subsections of the Catholic Church for disaffected Anglicans. These conversions, all occurring in England in the past few weeks, are directly in response to the Anglican Church’s move to ordain women priests.

Sound familiar?

That’s because a little more than a year ago, the Catholic Church specifically invited disaffected Anglicans to move, causing shockwaves at least through the Internet, if not the world. At the time, few could decipher what the invitation entailed. The October 20, 2009 move was generally thought to address the concerns of conservative Anglicans who oppose the increasing acceptance of the ordination of women and open homosexuals to the priesthood and episcopate. Both issues have caused splintering within the Anglican Communion and debates within the Catholic Church. Continue Reading →

Anglican Schism and the Future of Christian Communities

At the end of a brief post yesterday about failure of bishops to solve the potential schism that ordination of women may cause in the Anglican communion, Joanna Brooks asks this question: “Will diverging perspectives on gender and sexuality determine the shape of the 21st-century Christian world?”

It’s a question that only begs more:  Does sweeping change cause schism or does incremental change cause it as well?  Why would the divide last the next 90 years?  How would a shift of Anglican-Catholics to Vatican loyalty change the Catholic Church?  The Anglican Church?  What will all this church resistance to cultural change mean for equality in the future?

For more on the issue, read “The Church of England’s War Within Over Women Bishops” by ; “Vatican to Equate Women’s Ordination with Priest’s Pedophilia” by Mary E. Hunt; “Jeffrey John and the Global Anglican Schism: A Potted History”. Continue Reading →

Insidious and Dangerous

Mary Valle: There’s a battle of miter-wearers today in the HuffPost. In one corner, we have Mary Glasspool, the first openly lesbian bishop ordained in the Episcopal Church of America. In the other, Pope Benedict, calling gay marriage “insidious and dangerous.” The American Episcopal church (most of it) is stepping up its support of gay rights, causing tension within the worldwide Communion, with warnings coming from Canterbury regarding American ordinations of gays. Papa Benedict, meanwhile, is trying in vain to deflect attention from Pontifigate (as the NYT calls for revocation of the NY state child-abuse statute of limitations), using some ill-chosen words to describe the activities of consenting adults who actually want to play by society’s rules. Point: America. Continue Reading →

Daily Links 03 December 2004

Gods of Nationalism Kalyan Singh, leader of the Indian Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), today deposed before theLiberhan Commission, a 12-year old commission investigating the 1992 demolition of theBabri Mosque by a Continue Reading →