This is from my friend, Steve Henthorne. It should be noted that the Bishop and Steve are also friends to give context to what he wites. I also want to say that there are folks in my parish who ask me the same questions every Sunday. Frankly, I am running out of answers. In any event here is Steve’s piece:
Archive for September, 2008
Stephen Henthorne: On Where Bishop MacPherson Stands And The Direction of the Diocese of Western Louisiana For The FuturePublished September 29, 2008 Uncategorized 13 Comments
Friday morning, September 19, 2008
Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury
To the Clergy of the Diocese, the Standing Committee, and members of Diocesan Council
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
This is being sent to you from the House of Bishops meeting in Salt Lake City, and is to provide preliminary words from me about what has transpired here. Many have no doubt read the House of Bishops voted yesterday to depose the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt. Rev’d Robert W. Duncan, on charges of “abandoning the Communion.” The vote was by roll call, and consisted of 88 in favour, 35 against, and 4 abstentions. I voted in opposition to the resolution to depose.
Much time, in fact a tremendous amount of our time here was spent on this matter, which had been added to our original agenda. Also added was a “hearing” on this matter with the Council of Advice, and in my capacity as chair of this body, I presided over this 1-1/2 hour session.
There was much debate over the rightness of this entire allegation, and considerable opposition to the charge against Bishop Duncan. The resistance to the action being taken was centered more on what was seen as pre-emptive action pertaining to the interpretation of Constitution and Canons of General Convention (2006) and failure to provide due process. Without going into tremendous depth at this stage, I will state the pre-emptive action as applied to the canons, and failure for proper process, rest in the fact that Bishop Duncan was never Inhibited, nor did he have the right of trial made available to him. There is much more to be shared, and will be done later.
In the course of the session during which the charge was addressed, the Presiding Bishop’s ruling to depose was challenged, and I was amongst those to support this challenge, and this being based upon the irregularities stated above. This action failed as a two-thirds vote of the House was required to overturn. This was subsequently followed by a request for a roll call vote was asked for by nine bishops, myself included.
A question now is where this will lead, and this is unknown at the moment. What we do know is the Diocese of Pittsburgh will face many challenges, and sadly, challenges that will be disruptive to the ministry of the Church and proclamation of the Gospel in word and action. Our prayers for Bishop Duncan, his family, and the people of the diocese, are important and urged.
I must stop for now as I the remainder of the meeting is before me, and my flight home to follow shortly thereafter. I will however, close with a concern. The concern that I have is the fact that by this action, a dangerous precedent has been established as applied to the interpretation and execution of the Constitution and Canons of the Church. The danger in this is that it can, and unless terminated, will lead to the living out of a polity and governance in a manner that is not a part of our heritage nor the intent of the Canons as established by General Convention.
May we hold one another in prayer today and always, and not permit distraction to the ministry to which God has called us.
Faithfully in Christ Jesus,
The Rt. Rev’d D. Bruce MacPherson
Bishop of Western Louisiana
and President of Province VII
It is important to remember during the media hoopla that the Federal Reserve is NOT the federal government. The Federal Reserve is a government chartered but yet privately owned bank, being owned by the member banks of the Federal Reserve System. In short, it is complicated, but the AIG deal is not a government bailout, but an out of court receivership by the Fed as its largest creditor. The Fed’s funds come from deposits made by private member banks and purchases of Fed stock, as well as fees and interest it charges on loans. The Fed is self supporting and its excess funds are paid to the U.S. Treasury if the Fed chooses not to keep them. Does a government keep a balance sheet entry of paid in capital? Nope. Does the Fed? Yep. In any event, it is a horrible misconception that the Fed’s money is tax money. Well, it just isn’t.
Now, I am not a big fan of the Fed as it leaves bankers largely in charge of the economy, rather than the government, but we’ve tried this both ways in different times in the history of our country. It also really bothers me that the government no longer produces paper money, but has the Federal Reserve issue Federal Reserve Notes, rather than gold certificates, silver certificates, or United States Notes that were issued by the Federal Government. The reason this bothers me is that the Fed charges our government interest every time they want to increase the money supply; in short, the government makes a note to the Fed (known as a Treasury Bill) upon which the Fed issues more cash. I think it is dumb to pay interest to a bank in order to issue a government’s fiat currency that’s backed by, well, nothing, but we’ve been doing this for almost 100 years.
However, joe taxpayer out there has no reason to get into a snit because the Fed loaned ITS money to AIG. Its their damn business. Now, if Congress wanted to do so, it statutorily has the right to buy back all stock in the Fed system for a nominal amount. But, short of that, we as taxpayers don’t really have a say.
It is frankly amazing that our society is so completely in the dark, including the media and apparently our candidates for Presidency, about how all this stuff works. It is not a government bailout if the government doesn’t do it. The Federal Reserve is a bank and they can make loans. The only scary part is that the money in your wallet is FRN’s which is now only something like 86% backed by the full faith and credit of the United States – FRN’s are now backed but such things as obligations owed by Maiden Lane, LLC, (which was formed to purchase Bear Stearns) and now 80% of the stock of AIG.
If stuff in the Episcopal Church blows your mind, trying to learn about the Fed and how our monetary system works. See which one keeps you up at night thinking about it afterwords. Keep in mind that the Fed is a bank and is kinda just doing what banks do – make loans, make money. On the other hand, should we really let a bank be the sole issuer of legal tender in this country, and have the taxpayers pay them interest for doing so? This is what taxpayers should be ticked about, not the AIG loan. Getting whizzed about the AIG loan misses the whole big picture of the real mess we are in.
I’d really love it if someone out there would ask Obama and McCain whether either of them would abolish the Federal Reserve Bank. Their answers would certainly be a litmus test for my vote, and they don’t have to necessarily be pro or anti Federal Reserve. I would like to know if they really understand what is going on, especially since the economy is supposed to be the number one issue in this election.
I’m going to the office today; trying to get back in the saddle with all that is going on.
Still looking for more rain around here, but it shouldn’t be anywhere near as bad as yesterday.
Andy and Austin may head back to New Orleans in a few days; their house is okay according to Charlene, who had to stay down there as head of security for the Galleria.
As of last night, parts of Alexandria were still flooded, and parts of Rapides Parish were way under water. Deville saw something insane like 19 inches of rain yesterday morning. Watching video of my city flooded was surreal.
LSU’s football game for Saturday has been canceled; that’s one for the history books. I may or may not have to go to Baton Rouge for a hearing tomorrow; I’m calling the ALJ today to find out. Opposing counsel is from New Orleans; I have no idea where she might be.
In any event, keep praying for us down here in Central Louisiana. Still a lot of folks without power and water.
Got a foot of water or so this morning as RAIN. It was as if my house was transported to Venice overnight.
Water is starting to subside. But it is not safe to go out. This rain, of course, will severely delay restoration of power in the city; the Parish is still mostly without power.
T.W. Thompson, a member of my church and recently retired prison warden, recently became the city’s director of public works. Pray for him; he was already exhausted after the last two days, and then to wake up to this. Oh, his responsibilities include DRAINAGE, just so my readers can get the picture.
Neighborhood looks like a bomb went off in places. It is a mess. Tons of powerlines and trees down. More rain coming, which sucks. They should have my power on soon, however. Mom and Dad never lost power. Internet via the office’s cellular card. Office still has power AND INTERNET. Ah, the wonders of a T3 line.
In any event, it was a rough storm but we really dodged a bullet; it could have been much worse.
Schools are closed until next week, as many are shelters.
Church never lost power, which is good since there were evacuees in the gym.
I am exhausted. Spent the morning cleaning storm drains so our streets wouldn’t flood. Rest of it is just stress and not sleeping well at all last night.
In any event, thanks to everyone for the prayers. I think Angels started to tear apart that storm before it hit Louisiana.
Alexandria In A Hurricane Watch Area; Otherwise, Just Waiting To Get Nuked Back To The Stone Age For A Day Or SoPublished September 1, 2008 Uncategorized 6 Comments
Yay. Thanks to everyone who has sent emails indicating the lifting up of me, my family, and the rest of Louisiana in prayer.
The really dumb part about all this is two fold. I frankly feel like we just did this. Just three years ago we were stir crazy in our house twice when Katrina and Rita hit. Just ridiculous. No technology. That’s the thought that goes through my head. The second is that for all of man’s achievements, none of these achievements are immune to natural disasters. I mean, we still run our electricity above ground on utility poles in most places. Early 20th century technology; still using it.
I can’t wait to go out into my neighborhood with my shovel to clean drains. Yay, post apocalyptic preview.
In other words, this whole storm thing sucks.
Fr. Mike preached a sermon that they why question isn’t such a good one to ask during a natural disaster; we need to ask where and how regarding God in these instances.
I know the Lord is in this, and oh my goodness we seem so much more prepared this time. Louisiana and the Feds got their act together this time. Our church is a shelter for elderly folks from New Orleans from Covenant House; definitely pray for them.
I am in one of the two light pink parishes at the time I am posting this, just to give everyone an idea. The two parishes are Rapides on the left and Avoyelles on the right.