Thursday, August 4, 2011

Colleagues List, August 6th, 2011

Vol. VII. No. 3


Wayne A. Holst, Editor


Colleagues List Blog:

My E-Mail Address:


In This Issue -

Special Item This Week:

Book Notice 

"Speaking Christian" by
 Colleague Marcus Borg

Colleague Comment:

Fr. Ned Carolan

Colleague Contributions:

Jim Irvine
Douglas John Hall
Jim Taylor
Ron Rolheiser
Martin Marty

Net Notes:

Mindless Norwegian Gunman
Good Religion Bad Religion
Ireland's Watershed Moment
John R. Stott Dies in London
New Reason to Support the CBC
India's Unbaptized Christians
The Retreat of the Legionnaries
UCC Survey Shows Range of Beliefs
Conservation Restores Church in Goa
Bejing Responds to Excommunications
Polarized - Believers/Non-Believers?
Yancey: How Can We Know an Invisible God?


Global Faith Potpourri:

Seventeen ENI Geneva stories this week.

Quotes of the Week:

Martin Luther King Jr.
Sojourner Truth
Henri Nouwen
Abraham Joshua Heschel
Oscar Romero
Annie Dillard
Ignacio Ellacuria

On This Day:

July 25, 1956 -
Italian liner Andrea Doria hits Stockholm

July 27, 1953 - 
Korean War armistice signed at Panmunjom

July 29th, 1981 - 
Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer  

July 31, 1964 - 
Ranger 7 sends pictures of moon's surface

August 1, 1936 - 
100,000 salute Hitler at Berlin Olympics

August 4, 1914 -
Britain declares war on Germany; US neutral


Closing Thought: Teilhard de Chardin


Dear Friends:

Welcome to my mid-summer edition of
Colleagues List!. These mailings come 
to you every other week during July 
and August, and weekly issues will 
return in September.

In this issue, I introduce the latest
book from our colleague Marcus Borg.
Here is an important study on how we
use Christian language, for good or ill.

Borg presents a blueprint for a renewed
way to understand and express our faith.
It is based on his life-long career as
a theological teacher. I like it!

Thanks, Marcus!


Colleague Comment this week is from
Fr. Ned Carolan of Dublin, Ireland. 
He surprized me with a special gift 
that I will treasure. Read on.

Colleague Contributions this week:

Jim Irvine - (Fredericton, NB) shares an
insight about the poor; worth considering.

Douglas John Hall - (Montreal, QC) comments 
on a recent study of member's beliefs
in the United Church of Canada. It
appears in the summer issue of the

Jim Taylor - (Okanagan, BC) writes about
the contribution of liberal theology today.

Ron Rolheiser - (San Antonio, TX) reflects
on the dark night of the soul, when God
seems absent from our lives.

Martin Marty - (Chicago, IL) challenges
those who think terrorism is the domain
of modern Muslims, and who fail to see
it as an enemy of all faith traditions.
He opens with an intriguing illustration.

Net Notes:

"Mindless Norwegian Gunman" - the tragedy
occurring in Norway is noted, at well as
the significant response of the churches
(Ucan News, ENI, Christian Science Monitor)

"Good Religion Bad Religion" - expanding on 
the complex nature of faith, here is a good
article that helps us better understand that
faith is not going to disappear in modernity 
and that both good and bad religion exists as 
part of the same package (Christianity Today)

"Ireland's Watershed Moment" - more on the
serious crisis of the Catholic Church in
Ireland (, The Guardian (UK))

"John R. Stott Dies in London" - a major
evangelical church leader, whom I have
always admired (for reasons I will share
below), passed away in London recently.
(ENI, Christianity Today, Globe and Mail,
 Guardian, UK, and omments from colleague 
 John Stackhouse Jr. of Vancouver) 

"New Reason to Support the CBC" - I am a 
fan of Canada's public radio system and 
share an article from The Toronto Star.

"India's Unbaptized Christians" - it is
quite apparent that there are many more
closet Indian Christians than we had
thought. Some parallels with China, even
though the enemy is different (Ucan News)

"The Retreat of the Legionnaries" - the
Catholic order that has been under a
severely dark cloud since its leader was 
disgraced as a traitor is going through 
its own 'dark night' right now (Ucan News)

"UCC Survey Shows Range of Beliefs" - a
major study of the operative beliefs of
members of the United Church of Canada
is reported this summer (UCC Observer)

"Conservation Restores Church in Goa"
- the Indian government has invested 
large sums in the restoration of an
ancient church in the state of Goa
(The Times of India)

"Bejing Responds to Excommunications"
- beside Ireland, the other world 
Catholic hotspot right now is China.
But conflict is also a sign of the 
growth of the church there (Ucan News) 

"Polarized - Believers/Non-Believers?"
- some time back, we were introduced
to Reginald Bibby's new book on the
state of religion in Canada "Beyond
the Gods and Back." Here is another
good assessment from an evangelical
perspective (Faith Trends, EFC)

"Yancey: How Can We Know an Invisible 
God?" - a favourite writer of our's, 
here is Yancey's most recent column 
(Christianity Today)

Global Faith Potpourri:

Seventeen ENI Geneva reports this week
provide us with a plethora of global
faith stories.

Quotes of the Week:

Offered, as usual, through the
services of

Martin Luther King Jr., Sojourner Truth,
Henri Nouwen, Abraham Joshua Heschel,
Oscar Romero, Annie Dillard and
Ignacio Ellacuria - share their wisdom.

On This Day:

Liner Andrea Doria hits the Stockholm (1956)
Korean armistice signed at Panmunjom (1953)
Prince Charles marries Diana Spencer (1981)  
Ranger 7 sends moon surface pictures (1964)
100,000 'heil Hitler' - Berlin Olympics (1936)
Britain declares war on Germany (1914)


Closing Thought:

Teilhard de Chardin and Matthew Fox


Blessings on your summer (if you are
enjoying summer where you live.)




"Report to the Congregation and Reflection"
 Sunday, Sept. 11th, and Monday, Sept. 12th

As St. David's congregation returns from
the summer break, we plan a special weekend
of gathering/worship for those participating
in our Fiftieth Anniversary Tour of the Celtic
Lands, April 26th - May 10th, 2011.

Sunday, September 11th - worship with a
Celtic theme, and a special "Sight and
Sound Report" to the congregation prepared
by Jock McTavish (some of this material will
be posted on Colleagues List).

A CD Jock has produced will be given gratis
to all tour participants and extras will be
made available for those who are interested.

Monday, September 12th, TM Room, 7-9PM
the venue of a special reunion for persons
who took the tour. It will be an opportunity
for reflection and suggestions for future
spiritual travel projects sponsored by
the ACTS Ministry of St. David's.

David Rostad of Rostad Tours, the person
whose tour company planned and organized our
experience in the UK and Ireland, will be
present to join our reflections and suggest
future possibilities.

Mark your calendars! 

Here is a beautiful poem, birthed while on
the tour, by Jock McTavish:




"Living Ethically Amid Chaos"
 Two Books by Richard Holloway

September 19th - November 28th
TM Room, St. David's United Church
7:00PM - 9:00PM

"Godless Morality" 
 Learning how to separate "God says" 
 from doing what is right

Information about the book from


"Between the Monster and the Saint"
 Spiritual support for pursuing a life
 that seeks above all to be good

Information on the book from


Led by Jock McTavish and Wayne Holst
Book sale begins at the end of August!

Registration: $50.00 for class fees,
the two books and special hospitality

Purchase only the books - $35.00


Two Study Programs Sponsored by:
The Department of Continuing Education
At the University of Calgary

Taught by: Wayne Holst

Recommended books:

"God, Atheism and Morality" (ten sessions)
 Tuesday Nights, 7:00PM - 9:00 PM
 September 27th - November 29th



"Paul the Apostle" (ten sessions)
 Wednesday Nights, 7:00PM - 9:00PM
 September 28th - November 30th




Contact us at: (or)
St. David's Web Address -

Listen to audio recordings of Sunday services -


Created and maintained by Colleague
Jock McTavish

NOTE: This page is being reconstructed.



A collection of twenty-five+ studies conducted
since 2000 can quickly be found at:

This collection of study resources represents
a decade of Monday Night Studies at St. David's,
plus extra courses too!

You are welcome to use our course outlines,
class notes and resource pages in your personal
and group reflections.



Book Notice 

Why Christian Words Have Lost
Their Meaning and Power -
And How They Can Be Restored,
by Marcus J. Borg
HarperCollins, Toronto. 2011.
Hardcover, 255pp. $29.55 CAD.
ISBN #978-0061-97655-1.

Publisher's Promo:

Modern Christians are steeped in a language 
so distorted that it has become a stumbling 
block to the religion, says internationally 
renowned Bible scholar Marcus J. Borg. Borg 
argues that Christianity’s important words, 
and the sacred texts and stories in which 
those words are embedded, have been narrowed 
by a modern framework for the faith that 
emphasizes sin, forgiveness, Jesus dying for 
our sins, and the afterlife. Here, Borg 
employs the “historical-metaphorical” method 
to understand Christian language that can 
restore for us these words of power and 

For example,

Redemption: now narrowly understood as Jesus 
saving us from sins so we can go to heaven, 
but in the Bible it refers to being set free 
from slavery.

Savior: now refers to Jesus as the one who 
saves us from our sins, but in the Bible it 
has a rich and wonderful variety of meanings 
having nothing to do with the afterlife.

Sacrifice: now refers to Jesus’s death on the 
cross as payment for our sins, but in the Bible 
it is never about substitutionary payment for 

In "Speaking Christian," Borg delivers a language 
for twenty-first-century Christians that grounds 
the faith in its deep and rich original roots 
and allows it once again to transform our lives.


Author's Words:

Christian language has become a stumbling block
in our time. Much of its basic vocabulary is
seriously misunderstood by Christians and non-
Christians alike.

Big words like salvation, saved, sacrifice,
redeemer, redemption, righteousness, 
repentance, mercy, sin, forgiveness, born 
again, second coming, God, Jesus and Bible 
and collections of words like the creeds, 
Lord's Prayer, and liturgies have acquired 
meanings that are serious distortions of 
their biblical and traditional meanings.

The misunderstandings flow from two major
causes shaping the way the Christian 
language is heard.  The first is the 
literalization of language in the modern 
period... the second is the interpretation 
of Christian language within a common 
framework that I call "heaven and hell" 
Christianity... When this is the primary 
framework for understanding Christianity,
as it often is, it diminishes and distorts 
the meaning of Christian language...

This book's purpose is to exposit an
alternate understanding, one that draws on
the Bible and premodern Christian tradition.

This book's purpose is (also) to redeem 
or reclaim Christian language in all its
richness and wisdom.

This book's purpose is (yet again) to
help us read, hear, and inwardly digest
Christian language without preconceived
understandings getting in the way.

It is about learning to read and hear
the language of our faith again.

- from the Introduction


My Comments:

I begin with a bit of simple, poignant 

Years ago, a humorous exchange in 
seminary homiletics classes involved 
assisting ourselves and our hearers when 
making a pulpit declaration about which 
we were uncertain - 

"Weak point, pound hard" - we said.

Years later, in the church choirs to which
I belong, we cross our fingers as we sing
beautiful lyrics with questionable words.  
We keep reminding ourselves that - 

"We can still sing what we cannot speak."

Both statements reflect what I believe 
Marcus Borg is trying to tell us concerning 
the modern state of Christian language. 

We know that much of it has become quite  
meaningless to many but we are nonetheless 
inclined to overcompensate for this by 
repeating the old words "with emphasis."

We love the music that accompanies themes
we no longer believe, but we keep singing 
them anyway, simply ignoring the words we 
are belting out.

"Weak point pound hard" and "Sing what we
cannot speak" describe a lack of integrity, 
it seems to me.

I think these anecdotes describe a rather 
common and unfortunate state of affairs 
existing for many Christians today.

Traditional words no longer express what
is important to many of us. Yet, we seem 
to lack a framework and a vocabulary to 
describe our contemporary faith stance.

I thank Marcus Borg for helping us to deal
with this dilemma. Here is my take on what
he is attempting to do in his new book.


Borg knows language is important. He seeks
to build bridges, not barriers, with the
words describing our faith. He is not so
much interested in chucking the old words
as he is infusing them with new meanings.

Return to old meanings - is perhaps a better 
way of putting it. Borg believes that many 
images we have inherited from Christian 
tradition were not originally Christian. 

Using an approach he has long advocated -
"the historical-metaphorical method" -
Borg digs deeply into early Christian
biblical thinking. He claims, for example,
that the first Christians of the Bible 
were not so much guided by a "heaven and 
hell" philosophical framework as one which
emphasized "peace and justice." 

In other words, their faith declared - 
"I am a Christian, and therefore I will 
work to make this world a better place."  
Only secondarily did they advocate: "I am 
a Christian, and I want to go to heaven 
when I die."

Biblical faith, for Borg, was very
different from the faith most of us
have inherited through more recent
church tradition.

In a true sense, Borg is invoking a 
new reformation, not unlike the one
experienced by many Christians five
centuries ago when 'faith words' had
to change to fit life's realities 
and to give people a renewed sense 
of life's meaning.

Today, fortunately, we can anticipate 
a new reformation that many Catholics, 
Protestants and others can jointly 
claim together.


Borg's concern is also about Christian
integrity. If our words do not reflect
what we really believe - (reflected in
the terms 'pound hard' and 'sing it
anyway') - we can be justifiably 
criticised as hypocrites. The author
wants to help us use words that 
describe who we really are and what
we are experiencing.

When what we say and do matches who
we really are, we can again become 
people of integrity - and others will 
see and perhaps identify with it.


Borg's task is an honourable, authentic 
one. He does not disparage those who need 
the traditional assurances of the faith 
terms they genuinely know and love. To 
these, he offers his blessing.

But for those of us who need words and
meanings that are genuine reflections -
Borg provides a blueprint and some 
important building blocks for the 
faith journey.


Borg is writing what he writes best. 
His greatest gift to us comes when he 
offers biblical studies with theological 
depth, clarity and personal applicability.  

Buy the Book from



Dublin, Ireland

"You may remember, Wayne, during your visit
to Dublin, I promised to send you a copy of
The Oblate Historical Dictionary. My colleague
from Ottawa, Fr. Yvon Beauoin, omi, informed
me that he has forwarded a copy to your home
address so I hope that you will soon receive
it. (It provides) a further resource on the
history of Western Canada and a few other
places as well."


Editor's Note: I did indeed receive the 
book, a veritable gold mine of information
on the global spread of the Oblate mission 
outside France at the time of the founder 
of the order, Fr. Eugene de Mazenod.

Several years ago, Marlene and I stayed at 
the international Oblate Centre in Aix en 
Provence, France - the place from which the
founder Eugene de Mazenod first guided his 
missionary confreres.

We visited there, in 2008, as guests of 
Fr. Carolan and his staff. Ned has since 
retired to Ireland, his homeland.

Thanks Ned, and Yvon!



Fredericton, NB

August 1st, 2011

“If this is going to be a Christian nation 
that doesn’t help the poor, either we have 
to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish 
as we are, or we have to acknowledge that 
He commanded us to love the poor and serve 
the needy without condition, and then admit 
that we just don’t want to do it.” 

–Stephen Colbert


Montreal, QC

Q&A About UCC Member Survey
reported in the summer Observer.

See the 'Net News' item below on
"Beliefs in the United Church"


Okanagan, BC

Personal Blog
July 27th, 2011

"What Good is Liberal Theology Anyway?"

San Antonio, TX

Personal Blog
July 31st, 2011

"Of Nietzsche, Feuerbach
 and Dark Nights of the Soul"


Chicago, IL

Sightings  8/1/2011
"Breivik’s Christianity"




Ucan News
July 28th, 2011


Ecumenical News International
August 27th, 2011

Is the Norwegian gunman 
a Christian terrorist?

New York (ENI). The mass murders in 
Oslo have raised a host of agonizing 
questions, but few have such an ancient 
lineage and contemporary resonance as 
whether Anders Behring Breivik, the 
right-wing extremist behind the attacks 
that killed 76 Norwegians last Friday 
(22 July), is a Christian. Breivik 
claimed that he is a Christian in 
various forums, but most explicitly 
and in greatest detail in the 1,500-
page manifesto he compiled over several
months and posted on the Internet.


Ecumenical News International
July 29th, 2011

Norway's churches at center of country's 
efforts to heal after attacks

Trondheim, Norway (ENI) A Norwegian bishop 
addressing the recent bombing and shooting 
attacks in his country said Norway has 
"countered this insane terrorism by 
demonstrating love and solidarity." "We 
have brought out a social capital we maybe 
even did not know was there. We must rebuild 
our trust in human beings as fellow human 
beings," said Church of Norway Bishop Tor 
Singsaas of Nidaros at the opening of the 
annual St. Olav Festival in Trondheim on 
28 July. 


Religious Leaders Offer Comfort
Norway's Faith Emerges in Crisis

Christian Science Monitor
July 28th, 2011


We're Incurably Religious (Survey)

Christianity Today
August 1st, 2011


Irish Church at Crossroads (Australia)
July 27th, 2011


Vatican Recalls Irish Envoy
PM's Criticism Offends

The Guardian UK
July 26th, 2011


Global Evangelical Pioneer

Ecumenical News International
July 29th, 2011

Famous Anglican evangelist dies at 90 
listening to Handel's "Messiah"

Canterbury, England (ENI). Rev. John Stott, 
one of the most influential Anglican clergymen 
of the 20th century, died of natural causes 
on 27 July at the age of 90. "Time" magazine 
once described him as one of the 100 most 
influential people in the world, and historian 
Adrian Hastings, in "A History of English 
Christianity, 1920-1985," called him "one of 
the most influential figures in the Christian 


Christianity Today
July 27th, 2011


Obituary, Globe and Mail
August 2nd, 2011


Obituary, The Guardian, UK
July 28th, 2011


Testimony to his life by
Colleague John Stackhouse Jr.

Personal Blog, 
July 28th, 2011


Editor's Note: As a young student,
doing graduate work in Europe, I 
heard Stott preach on a Sunday 
evening at All Soul's Langham Place, 
London UK (August, 1967.) I have
always appreciated his intelligent,
non-compative style, his avoidance
of a 'holier than thou' stance, 
his commitment to remain within the 
Church of England, and his clear 
determination not attempt to found 
yet another 'purified' denomination.

He set a good example for us all.


Critiquing but remaining 'above politics'

Toronto Star,
July 30th, 2011


Expressing a fear of social ostracism 

Ucan New
July 25th, 2011


Aid to the Church in India
Full Story of the 'unbaptized Christians'


Order faces a time of humility

Ucan News
August 1st, 2011


Just What do UCC People Believe?

United Church Observer
July/August Issue, 2011

Comment: Colleague Douglas John Hall



Times of India
August 2nd, 2011


Calls Vatican actions rude

Ucan Notes
July 25th, 2011



"Faith Trends" Assesses New Bibby Book
on Religion in Canada Today

Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
July 27th, 2011


by Philip Yancey

Christianity Today,
July 26th, 2011



Ecumenical News International
News Highlights
22 July 2011

Belarus churches honor deceased cardinal 
who bore "marks of persecution on his body"

Warsaw, Poland (ENI). Church leaders are 
paying tribute to Cardinal Kazimierz 
Swiatek, retired head of the Roman Catholic 
church in Belarus, who died on 21 July at 
the age of 96. "He made an enormous 
contribution to developing good-neighborly 
relations between the Belarusian Orthodox 
church and the Roman Catholic church," 
Metropolitan Filaret, Belarus's Orthodox 
patriarchal exarch, said in a message 
on 21 July. 


Imams trained to adapt Islamic finance 
to U.S. economy

Berkeley, Calif. (ENI). Abdullah Nana, an 
imam at the Islamic Center of Mill Valley, 
Calif., just north of San Francisco, has 
a distinct advantage over many of his 
fellow imams in the United States. It's 
not fluency in Arabic or training in 
Islamic jurisprudence. It's his bachelor's 
degree in business. American imams get 
asked about financial ethics more than 
any other topic, Nana said, yet he calls 
it the subject that they are least 
qualified to talk about with congregants.


25 July 2011

Belgian Christians divided 
over banning of Muslim burqa

Warsaw, Poland (ENI). Christian 
organizations in Belgium have had mixed 
reactions to a criminal code amendment 
making the country Europe's second to 
ban the Islamic veil, or burqa. "We're 
against this ruling, since it violates
basic human rights," said Kristine 
Jansone, general secretary of the Brussels
-based Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe. 
"Although I can't speak on behalf of all 
our member-groups, I think it's the general 
consensus we should oppose a measure which 
will clearly impede the free practice of 


26 July 2011

British Museum exhibition will 
help explain the Haj to non-Muslims

Canterbury, England (ENI) The British Museum, 
known for its vast collection of world art 
and artifacts, is preparing to hold the first 
major exhibition in Britain dedicated to the 
Haj, the pilgrimage to Mecca all Muslims are 
expected to make at least once during their 
lives if they are able. Sponsored by HSBC 
Amanah, the global Islamic financial 
services division of the banking group 
HSBC, the exhibition will open on 26 
January, 2012 and run until 15 April. 
It will bring together historic artifacts 
and contemporary art related to the Haj. 

Indian churches launch hunger strike to 
protest treatment of Christian Dalits

Bangalore, India (ENI). Major churches in 
India are taking part in a hunger strike 
that began 25 July in New Delhi to demand 
an end to discrimination against Christian 
Dalits. "This strike is the expression of 
hunger for justice, hunger for equality 
and hunger for the human dignity of 
Christian Dalits," said Rev. Roger Gaikwad, 
general secretary of the National Council 
of Churches in India at the launch of the 
protests, set to run until 28 July. 


27 July 2011

European churches join in mourning 
Norway massacre victims

Warsaw, Poland (ENI). Church leaders 
across Europe expressed shock and 
sorrow at the killing of 76 people 
by a right-wing extremist in Norway, 
and pledged solidarity and prayers 
with the country's inhabitants. "We 
categorically condemn such acts which 
try to destabilize a democratic 
country and terrorize the population," 
the Orthodox president of the 
Conference of European Churches, 
Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis, said 
in a statement on 23 July. 

Pioneering Japanese Protestant 
to be portrayed in TV drama

Tokyo (ENI). Yae Neesima, the wife 
of Doshisha University founder Joseph 
Hardy Neesima and one of the first 
Protestant women in Japan, as well 
as a decorated war nurse, will be 
portrayed in a forthcoming television 
series to air in Japan in 2013. "What 
the world's people can learn from Yae 
would be that she did what they cannot 
do today," said Yasuhiro Motoi, 
professor of the history of 
Christianity in modern Japan at 
Doshisha University's School of 
Theology in Kyoto.


28 July 2011

More efforts required by 
faiths to prevent violence, 
says Norwegian church leader

Geneva (ENI). Different faiths around 
the globe need to do more to promote 
human solidarity, said Rev. Olav Fykse 
Tveit, general secretary of the World
Council of Churches (WCC), in the 
aftermath of the bomb attack and mass 
killings in his native Norway. They also 
need to work together to find common 
values and ways to respect one another, 
and to "find ways to live together 
without violence," he said.


1 August 2011

Christian churches in India blame 
government for 'betraying their hopes'

Bangalore, India (ENI). Church groups and 
Christian activists completed a four-day 
protest in New Delhi on 28 July,speaking 
out against Indian government policies that 
discriminate against ChristianDalits. 

Nearly 10,000 Christians, including four
dozen bishops of different denominations, 
took part in the protest, which included 
a hunger strike and ended with a march to 
India's Parliament building. 


U.S. politicians pass bill to help 
religious minorities under attack

Washington (ENI). The House has passed a 
bill that would create a special State 
Department envoy for religious minorities
in the Near East and South Central Asia, 
where Christians have come under attack 
in recent years, particularly in Muslim
majority nations. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., 
introduced the bill in January after a 
spate of violence against Christians in 
Iraq and Egypt, and in response to 
persistent concerns for religions 
minorities in Pakistan and Afghanistan, 
among other nations. The bill passed last 
Friday (27 July) by a 402-20 tally. 


2 August 2011

Cardboard structure may replace earthquake-
damaged cathedral in New Zealand

Christchurch, New Zealand (ENI). 
New Zealand's second biggest city could have 
a temporary Anglican cathedral as soon as 
February--but the 700-seat structure will be 
made of recyclable cardboard. It would replace 
ChristChurch Cathedral, which was destroyed in 
the 22 February earthquake that killed 181 
people. The $4 million portable A-frame 
building is to be created primarily out of 
cardboard tubes, with shipping containers as 
the foundation. Architecture students will 
assist in its three-month construction. A 
$50,000 feaibility study is currently being 
undertaken, which could include an extension 
of planned capacity to 1000 at additional cost. 


Mexican ministry questioned by Vatican 
over outreach to gay men and women

Mexico City (ENI). A ministry for gay 
men and women operated by a northern 
Mexican diocese has come under scrutiny 
from the Vatican and may revert to its 
original status as an unaffiliated 
nonprofit organization, according to 
a news release from the Latin American 
and Caribbean Communication Agency. 
Bishop Raúl Vera López of Saltillo, 
quoted by the Catholic News Service, 
says he is responding to questions 
from the Vatican about Comunidad San 
Aelredo, which began as a youth group 
for gay Catholics and recently became 
a diocesan ministry. 

More Catholic departures than baptisms 
for first time in Germany

Berlin (ENI). For the first time since 
membership records have been kept, more 
Germans departed the Roman Catholic 
Church than were baptized into it in 
2010, according to new data from 
Germany's Catholic Conference of 
Bishops. The new statistics, which 
were released with little analysis 
or comment, showed 170,339 baptisms 
for the year, and 181,193 departures 
from the church. However, 3,576 new 
members, and more than 7,400 returning 
Catholics, joined the church last year. 

3 August 2011

Faith groups concerned about North Korean 
leadership of UN committee

Geneva (ENI). Christian advocacy groups 
are among a 28-strong international coalition 
calling for North Korea, criticized by many 
for its human rights abuses and nuclear threats, 
to step down from the presidency of the United 
Nations Conference on Disarmament (UNCD). 
For North Korea--"the undisputed home of 
international arms control" according to 
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon--to lead the group is 
terribly wrong, said the Christian groups in 
a statement. 



Provided by

July 25th, 2011

"We must learn to love together as 
[brothers and sisters] or perish 
together as fools."

-  Martin Luther King Jr.


July 26th, 2011

"What we give the poor, 
 we lend to the Lord."

- Sojourner Truth


July 27th, 2011

"In another's eyes I see my 
plea for forgiveness, and in a 
hardened frown I see my refusal. 
When someone murders, I know 
that I too could have done that, 
and when someone gives birth, 
I know that I am capable of that 
as well. In the depths of my being, 
I meet my fellow humans with whom I 
share love and have life and death."

-  Henri Nouwen, "With Open Hands"


July 28th, 2011

"To speak about prayer is indeed 
presumptuous. There are no devices, 
no techniques; there is no specialized 
art of prayer. All of life must be a 
training to pray. We pray the way we 

- Abraham Joshua Heschel


July 29th, 2011

"I'm going to speak to you simply as a 
pastor, as one who, together with his 
people, has been learning the beautiful 
but harsh truth that the Christian faith 
does not cut us off from the world but 
immerses us in it; the church is not a 
fortress set apart from the city. The 
church follows Jesus, who lived, worked, 
struggled, and died in the midst of a 
city, in the polis."

- Archbishop Oscar Romero


August 1st, 2011

"Life's most persistent and urgent question 
 is: What are you doing for others?"

- Martin Luther King Jr.


August 2nd, 2011

"The creation is not a study, a roughed-
in sketch; it is supremely, meticulously 
created … even on the perfectly ordinary 
and clearly visible level, creation 
carries on with an intricacy unfathomable 
and apparently uncalled for."

-  Annie Dillard, 
   from "Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek


August 3rd, 2011

"What is it to be a companion of Jesus 
today? It is to engage, under the standard 
of the cross, in the crucial struggle of 
our time: the struggle for faith and that 
struggle for justice which it includes."

- Ignacio Ellacuria



Provided from the archives of 
the New York Times

On July 25, 1956, the Italian liner 
Andrea Doria collided with the Swedish 
ship Stockholm off the New England coast, 
claiming the lives of 51 people.


On July 27, 1953, the Korean War 
armistice was signed at Panmunjom, 
ending three years of fighting.


On July 29th, 1981 Britain's Prince 
Charles married Lady Diana Spencer 
at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.


On July 31, 1964, the American space 
probe Ranger 7 transmitted pictures 
of the moon's surface.


On August 1, 1936, 100,000 saluted 
Adolf Hitler on his entrance at the 
opening of the Berlin Olympics.


On Aug. 3, 1958, the nuclear-powered 
submarine Nautilus became the first 
vessel to cross the North Pole 


On Aug. 4, 1914, Britain declared war 
on Germany while the United States 
proclaimed its neutrality.



"To understand the world, knowledge is not
 enough. You must see it, touch it, live in
 its presence and drink the vital heat of
 existence in the very heart of reality."

- Teilhard de Chardin

Knowledge is not enough. We must taste life
and make it very personal, erotic and
unforgettable. For wisdom to occur, we must
experience life in all its dimensions.

- Matthew Fox


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