Category: News

Scholarships

Forward in Faith North America is now offering scholarships of $2,500 to male seminarians training for the priesthood. Applicants should complete the form below and mail it to the FIFNA office or email it to Fr. John Himes: fr_john_himes@hotmail.com

Forward in Faith North America Scholarship Application
To be submitted to: FiFNA, P.O. Box 210248, Bedford, TX 76095-7248

Full name: ________________________________________________
Mailing Address: __________________________________________


Email address: _____________________________________________
Phone numbers: ___________________________________________
Date of Birth: _______________Place of Birth: _______________
Marital Status: _____________________________________________
Name of wife, if married: __________________________________
Number and age(s) of children: ____________________________


Sponsoring Parish: _______________________________________
Sponsoring Diocese: _____________________________________
Sponsoring Bishop: ______________________________________
Name and address of seminary/theological institution: ___________


Are you a member of Forward in Faith? • Yes • No
Status: • Aspirant  Postulant  Candidate
 Other (Please explain) __________________________________
I am currently a:  Junior  Middler  Senior  Regularization of Orders
Expected date of graduation: __________
Do you support the ordination of women to the priesthood?  Yes  No
Please write a short essay on how you reached that theological position.

What other financial aid are you receiving? ___________________


The Swartz Trust was established, the income from which is to be used: “…specifically for the purpose of training male seminarians for the priesthood and furthering the education of priests in evangelism.” Scholarships are for $2,500.

Please note: Upon approval, your name will be presented to the Trust’s banking institution and a check will be mailed to your Seminary for the purpose of crediting your account. This generally occurs in late August.
Upon approval, it will be necessary to receive from you, the applicant, your Social Security Number, to satisfy the requirements of the banking institution.

Application Deadline – May 31,

Your signature: _____________________
Date: ___________________

Brexit is more than just a populist revolt against globalism

Via the Catholic Herald:

The people of the United Kingdom who voted to leave the European Union have rejected a false spiritual vision

Brexit has finally arrived, and it is a triumph for Britain and for Europe, if not for the European Union.

There was a time when Christians like Hilaire Belloc would confidently say things like “Europe is the faith and the faith is Europe.” Of course, Belloc was entirely correct in saying so in 1924. “Europe” was forged into a unity not by a souless bureaucracy in Brussels, but had received its essential unity from Christianity. From the time of Augustine to Charlemagne to Blessed Karl of Austria, Europe was a Christian idea. Even the great attacks on metaphysical realism which began some six hundred years ago, and which advanced steadily through the reformation, dividing up Europe along new political axes could not shake the fundamental sense that it had a kind of spiritual unity which was Christian.

The Schuman Declaration of 1950 was a kind of post-war reconstruction plan for Europe, and it marks a new kind of being imagined for Europe. French foreign minister Robert Schuman and others believed the material causes of the war could be eliminated by pooling coal and steel production. Bringing France and Germany together “under a common High Authority” for economic development was their stated aim. Yet the common authority being established in these nascent years of the European Union was never merely economic. The goal was loftier. The Schuman Declaration understood itself to be engaged in remaking Europe. “Europe will not be made all at once…it will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.”

There could be no doubt that in 1950 there was a new kind of spiritual dream emerging. The new idea for European unity was thought to be more spiritually advanced, more “existentially” aware. It had the potential to create a political harmony that would hold nations (and nationalisms) in check. Existentialist philosophers such as Henri Bergson had earlier imagined, with his distinction between individual matter and élan vital, that a “creative evolution” was possible for European man. A generation later, Christian democrats like Jacques Maritain staked out new “personalist” anthropologies which similarly envisioned that our selfish individualism, just like our violent nationalism, could be overcome through new kinds of political cooperation that would help us to come of age as citizens and persons. There was a wild kind of optimism which Christians and non-Christians alike seemed to find attractive. The new vision for Europe was born out of this existential yearning for peace and solidarity, yet it was still in search of some “creative evolution,” beyond nations, towards a greater whole.

Against the backdrop of Communism, the European Economic Community, as it came to be called in 1958 at the Treaty of Rome, would highlight the way in which shared prosperity could bring peace and solidarity. However, after the Fall of the Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany, it was clear that “a new stage in the process” had been reached, and the dream of liberal unity was rushing ahead by the dialectics of historical necessity. The Maastricht Treaty of 1992, officially known as “the Treaty on European Union,” laid the foundations for a single currency (gradually introduced from 1999 onwards). Yet more immediately, and arguably, more in line with its much grander vision, the Maastrict Treaty gave birth to “European citizenship,” and something like the “creative evolution” of a greater whole was being realized. The United Kingdom was one of the original twelve member states — yes, like that original sacred body which gave birth to Europe, there were twelve. “Europe is the faith, and the faith is Europe” now meant something new which Belloc never imagined.

In 2004 the European Union drafted a new constitution that invited much controversy after seven (mostly Catholic) member states insisted that the constitution make explicit reference to “the Christian roots of Europe.” Pope St John Paul II had warned in 2003, in “Ecclesia in Europa,” that such “efforts to create a vision of Europe” which ignore “its profound Christian soul” will withdraw the enlivening sap from the ancient tree. Of course, the saint was right. But it made no difference the following year.

The request from member states to reference the Christian roots of Europe was rejected. Christian Democrat MEPs valiantly lobbied to include in the new constitution a milder reference to the “Judaeo-Christian” roots of Europe. Yet to no avail. In truth, all such demands were only late realizations that the new “vision of Europe” that had been emerging was not merely neutral about Christianity. It had a different spiritual vision entirely, and aimed at a different kind of unity emanating from Brussels.

The dream of the European Union was born out of enormous shared suffering. It rose out of ashes. Yet the dream evolved into the wrong kind of faith. It was taken over by managerial elites who had forgotten the God who made Europe, but not her wars. As St John Paul the Great warned, it was taken over by a false hope which is depriving European people of children and churches and hope.

The people of the United Kingdom who voted to leave the European Union have rejected this false spiritual vision and its anti-political manifestation. Brexit is largely and rightly seen as a populist rejection of globalism. But it is also something more. It is evidence that any attempt to remake European unity on some faith which forgets God is as unsteady as that tower once built so high in Babylon. The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union should be seen not only as a return to self-governance, a recovery of agency on behalf of their own political common good, and as an encouragement to other nations to do likewise. It should also be seen as a call to return to that highest common good which we can call God.

Brexit has triumphed. The people were right to reject the false faith of the European Union. But Britain should take care to recover the true faith — the faith of Belloc’s Europe, and not Brussels.

Donald Trump First President to Address March For Life in Person

Via LifeSiteNews:

“Donald Trump made history Friday by becoming the first sitting president to address the March for Life in person, telling hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers he was ‘proud to stand with you’ to ‘protect the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential.’

“The president thanked students for making the trip, praised pro-lifers for their support of mothers. ‘Young people are the heart of the march for life and it’s your generation that’s making America the pro-family, pro-life nation,’ he said.

“’All of us here today understand an eternal truth: every child is a precious and sacred gift from God,’ Trump said. ‘Together we must cherish and defend the sanctity and dignity of human life. When we hold a newborn in our arms, we know the boundless love a child brings to a family.’”

Read the rest here and watch the historic speech livestreamed here.

Forward in Faith North America is unequivocally pro-life. 

Hark How all The Welken Rings

By Ray Sutton via Forward in Christ:

One of the best loved Christmas Carols is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Rightfully so. Charles Wesley, brother to the great Anglican evangelist, John Wesley, wrote the original lyrics in 1739. It’s a classic, even though adapted from its initial version. I still sing it with joy every Christmas, realizing the meaning of the original opening line.
 
A little-known fact is that Wesley’s version of the first sentence of the carol was actually, Hark How all the Welken Rings. The word welken is Middle English for heavens. The version altered and eventually handed down to us was modified in 1758 by George Whitefield. He was the Calvinist associate of the Wesleys, another Anglican evangelist. He changed the first line to, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
 
The difference from heavens to angels on the face of it may seem insignificant. In reality the change loses the full force of not only the original biblical scene, but Wesley’s interpretation of it. Nothing against angels; they were indeed there gloriously singing the Gloria in Excelsis. The shift in language, nevertheless, loses something of the enormous cosmic and sacramental elements of the birth of Jesus Christ. For starters, heavens is more than the angels involved in the Incarnation.
 
To understand the dynamic difference of terminology, we should first consider the biblical passage on which the carol is based. The combination of the text and the theology of it, clarifies to whom and to what are the clouds of the heavens where angels dwell. The text is St. Luke’s account of the visitation of the Angel of the Lord to the shepherds in the field. 
 
The verses say that when the angel appeared, “the glory of the Lord shone around them,” a multitude of the heavenly host” joined him “praising God,” and they sang The Song of the Angels, as it’s also called. When the heavenly chorus stopped, St. Luke records that the angels “went away from them into heaven” (Luke 2:9). Yet he does not say that this heaven left them. It remained open releasing a series of miracles. 
 
A mysterious star appears, descends over the place of Christ’s birth, and leads kings from the east to the Christ Child. An evil king is thwarted. The Son of God is born in a manger amidst animals. The place of feeding became the food of the world. All of creation ends up beckoned into service of the Incarnation. This is the point of Wesley’s use of heavens and not only the angels. Whatever these heavens of heavens were and are, as the Ancient Church referred to them, much more was occurring than only singing angels.
 
If one reads the passage of Luke 2 observantly, the heavens that opened unveiled the glory of God. This was not simply the heaven as we know it by the term, sky. It was more. Rather, this heaven is what Wesley means when he says in first line of the second stanza, “Christ by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord.” At the same time, that which we know as sky to the naked eye was apparently enveloped by the highest heaven. The implications are much more cosmic and sacramental with the word welken as Wesley conveys in his carol. 
 
First, let’s understand what the Scriptures mean when referring to the highest heaven. It is what the Bible calls the glory cloud of God. It is the glory space around the throne of the Triune God. Hence, when this highest heaven opened to the shepherds, we’re told and the angel of the Lord appeared, and more importantly, “glory shown all around.” Clearly this is the heaven to which Wesley refers in his carol when he says, “Christ by highest heaven adored.” 
 
Elsewhere in Scripture, this glory cloud is described in much the same way. A cloud of glory led Israel. It was just any cloud. It appeared as a cloud by day and fire by night. Eventually it came surrounded the Tabernacle and later the Temple. Angels were in this cloud. Cherubim stood at the four corners of the mercy seat extending their wings to form a canopy over it. 
 
Ezekiel saw into the same glory cloud with considerable detail provided, as recorded in the first chapter of his prophetic book. On the inside, Ezekiel observed a throne, a sea of glass, myriads of angels, and the same massive cherubim with faces of an ox, a human, a lion and an eagle. Their wings canopied altar throne on which the Lord God Almighty sat (Ezekiel 1). The fiery light of His presence penetrated the whole glory throne room. 
 
Isaiah the Prophet is also ushered into the highest heavens, resulting in his getting low and declaring, “Holy, Holy, Holy” (Isaiah 6). St. John is also allowed to see and even enter into the same glory cloud. Not surprisingly he records identical phenomena presenting continuity between the heavenly worship of the Old and New Testaments. St. John even witnesses all the company of heaven bowing before God and saying exactly what Isaiah heard.
 
From the outside looking in, the glory cloud as described by Ezekiel and John, as well as other places in Scripture, is like an enormous raging cloud. This is why the Israelites saw what led them as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Elijah hid from this glory cloud in the cleft of a rock as it passed by him in the form of a storm, from which the Living God spoke to him. It is cosmic of enormous proportions. When it appears, it swallows up earthly sky as we know it.
 
To be even more biblically precise, the glory cloud is not an inanimate object. It is personal as in the Person of the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Godhead throughout the Scriptures is actually the One who creates the glory space around the Living God seated on the altar throne. For this reason in the Old Testament He is called the Shekinah Glory. His fiery presence creates the glory of God. At Pentecost He births the Church where we’re told a great cloud filled the Temple. It is this very glory cloud that fills the Temple. The same the highest heaven opens upon the Apostles (Acts 2). 
 
Wesley captures this presence of the Person of the Holy Spirit in welken in the second stanza of his carol. He says, “Light and Life to All he brings, Ris’n with Healing in his Wings.” Whose wings would these be? 
 
They are the wings of the loving Dove of Heaven, the Holy Spirit, descending in the glorious cloud surrounding the shepherds to bring healing to the earth. The Holy Spirit surrounded the angels and all the shepherds that birth night. He came with the birth of Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is the wings of His presence that convey the glory of God shinning all around. More than simply the angels were present, and much more was happening than their singing, on that sacred birth night. Hence the word welken!
 
Second, with a more complete understanding of what was happening biblically and theologically when glory shone around the shepherds, we can begin to grasp the cosmic and sacramental effects of the Incarnation. This is what Wesley’s great hymn is about. Again, Wesley’s original version helps us to grasp this emphasis. 
 
In the second half of the first stanza of Wesley’s lyrics we find the words: “Joyful all ye Nations rise, Join the Triumph of the Skies, Universal Nature say, ‘CHRIST the LORD is born to Day!’” It’s true that Whitefield’s version says, “Joyful all ye Nations rise, Join the Triumphs of the Skies; Nature rise and worship him, Who is born at Bethlehem.” 
 
Whitefield could not escape the complete force of Wesley’s powerful insight. He says, “Nature rise and worship Him.” His version, however, does not entirely capture the sacramental implication of the cosmic reality of the highest heavens opening around the shepherds. Yes, all of creation worships the newborn Christ. There is so much more, however, in Wesley’s version. 
 
We find in his language, “Universal Nature says, ‘Christ the Lord is born this Day!’” That is, creation in some sense speaks. Heaven is swallowed up by the highest heaven, the glory cloud of God. All of creation is sacramentally restored by the coming of Jesus Christ to be what it was originally intended.
 
God initially made the created world to convey the spiritual, His presence. In the pages of the creation account in Genesis, God did not simply create a symbolic, physical world and then leave it run in some Deistic sense. Rather, God was really present in, with and through His creation. A Tree of Life was there with His presence such that to partake of it would have given eternal life. Then too, God walked in the garden. 
 
No doubt after the fall of humanity, some sense of God’s presence was lost from the earth. Yet even St. Paul tells the early Church at Rome that all of creation is revelational. It so bears the fingerprints of God that even the Doctrine of the Divine Trinity is embedded in the natural order (Romans 1:11ff.). He goes on to explain that so powerful is God’s presence with nature that humans worship the creation instead of the Creator. The two are not to be confused even though one is conveyed by the other. 
 
Nevertheless, the reality of God’s presence in the natural order was always intended to be there. Heaven participates in earth and vice versa. It is this heavenly participation between the highest heavens and shepherd’s fields that is restored at the Incarnation. In the words of Wesley, “Universal nature say, ‘Christ is born this Day!’”
 
Through the Incarnation, God once again used the physical to convey the spiritual. The world and its sky was overcome by the highest heavens. To begin with, Mary the Blessed Mother had already become Theotokos, God-Bearer. The highest heaven had opened to her. God became the physical, Man. He was born of this Holy Virgin when heaven opened again. 
 
Furthermore, the highest heaven would continue to be opened as a result of the Incarnation. At Jesus’s baptism the waters of the earth were re-valorized to be used in a sacred way. His baptism is remarkably similar to His birth. 
 
At this event, heaven opened, and the Holy Spirit descended as a dove on Jesus (Luke 2:21). Is it any wonder that Jesus would later associate birth with baptism and a new birth! Thus, the Ancient Church emphasized the highest heaven opens at Holy Baptism, replicating Incarnational birth, only it’s the second birth for the one receiving it. With consecrated water, the baptized in the Name of the Holy Trinity are really incorporated into Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 6). 
 
Then too, the creation is used to feed the People of God in the New Covenant. When Bread and Wine are consecrated, they mystically become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. As He Himself declared over Bread and Wine at the Last Supper with those immortal words, “This is My Body; This is My Blood!” (Matthew 26). In short, in and by the Incarnation heaven really participates in earth and vice versa once again. The physical conveys the spiritual that it was originally intended to do. “Universal nature says, ‘Christ is born today!’”
 
Sadly, the later version of Wesley’s powerful carol based on Whitefield’s alteration, comes down to us today. The sacramentality of creation is somewhat denuded, though not completely. The version most of us know says, “Join the triumph of the skies, With the angelic host proclaim, ‘Christ is born in Bethlehem.’” There is indeed a triumph of skies which we commemorate at Christ’s Mass, Christmas. We can still enjoy this great carol. Perhaps though, we can now read those words, “Join the triumph of the skies,” with a fuller comprehension of what Wesley intended. 
 
Even more, we can sing with joy the rest of Wesley’s great carol: “Mild he lays his Glory by, Born—that Man no more may die, Born—to raise the Sons of Earth, Born—to give them Second Birth”! So sacramental is the opening of the highest heavens at the Incarnation, the collect for Christmas Day via the celebration of Christ’s birth calls us back to our second birth in Holy Baptism:
 
Almighty God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin: Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
 
May the welken ring anew for all of us this Christmas!
 
 

Rebuilding the Church

FORWARD IN FAITH presents “Rebuilding the Church in Difficult Times” on Saturday, Jan. 11, at the Church of the Holy Apostles in Fort Worth. The event begins with Holy Eucharist at 11 a.m. The presentation, based on events in the Old Testament books of Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, and Zechariah, follows at 11:30 a.m.

Holy Apostles is situated at 3900 Longvue Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76126. For further information about this free event, please call 817.560.7187 or email hapostles@swbell.net

This parish seminar is part of a series of events organized by Forward in Faith and the Benedictines of Christ the King.

Epiphany

By Michael Heidt:

We celebrated the great Feast of the Epiphany yesterday and with it looked to the Magi, the Wise Men, who in turn pointed us to Christ and revealed his nature in their gifts. Gold for kingship, frankincense for divinity and myrrh for embalming and death.

An epiphany, the Christ child is our divine king whose throne is the cross. But what of the Magi themselves?  They were astronomers who followed a star, and some argue this was a supernova, a conjunction of planets or something else again, a miraculous event.

Perhaps it was all of these, but the Wise Men were more than  astral calculators, they were wise, they looked for the truth and they found it, Incarnate, lying in a manger. So the Magi themselves are an epiphany. Pope Benedict XVI explains:

“They were “wise.” They represent the inner dynamic of religion toward self-transcendence, which involves a search for truth, a search for the true God and hence ‘philosophy’ in the original sense of the word. Wisdom, then, serves to purify the message of ‘science’: the rationality of that message does not remain at the level of intellectual knowledge, but seeks understanding in its fullness, and so raises reason to its loftiest possibilities.”

Loftiest possibilities? Heaven itself and the throne of glory, all to be found in the baby lying under a star in a manger.

O GOD, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

So How Long is Christmas?

By Bishop Keith Ackerman

I think it should not surprise us that in spite of the fact that the Christian Calendar (Kalendar) has a much longer history than the evolving, innovative Secular American Calendar, the Secular Calendar is winning. In fact, not only is it winning in the “secular world” (a redundant phrase) it is winning in Christian Churches with little sense of historicity who have eliminated the Calendar of the Church and replaced it with the “Christian Light” Calendar: Christmas (which has 12 days before December 25), Easter (which includes Good Friday) and Mother’s Day. While one might argue as to what is right or wrong, the reality is that most modern denominations and so-called “Bible Churches or “Non-denominational Churches” have eliminated virtually all Christian Feast Days. 

In areas where these types of churches predominate, we should not be surprised when our own people seem to be surprised to learn or remember the Traditional Festivals or Feast Days of the Church. Sadly, whenever Feast Days are eliminated along with the Liturgical Seasons, we are met with a cultureless Christianity.

Unfortunately, this means that secular “holidays” have replaced religious holidays or religious holidays become secularist versions of what they were instituted to be. Religious sociologists have coined the phrase “civil religion” which in our context means that when the Church drops festivals and holy days, the culture establishes something to fill the void. I will not burden you with “Christmas Break” and “Easter Break” versus “Winter Break” and “Spring Break.”

So… how long is Christmas? The Secular world, which has dragged some modern churches with them, seems to have Christmas begin either right before or right after Thanksgiving. There is no opportunity to focus on savoring the taste of the Thanksgiving meal, and enjoy family – because a new secular feast is celebrated the day after Thanksgiving, called “Black Friday.” It’s Christmas everywhere. On one hand, not unlike the birth of all children, we do spend the last month making preparations for the birth – it’s just that the expectant mother is not really up to celebrating parties that month.  She is much too busy for the event – called “the birth.” Traditional Christians call that last month preparing for the Birth of the Baby Jesus – “Advent.” It is after the birth that friends and family come to celebrate the birth of the child.

Sadly, for many who see the secular calendar as “official,” including modern churches, on the day after Christmas Day – it’s over! For traditional Christians, it has just begun, and for at least Twelve Day it continues, with Holy Days (holidays) almost every day. Traditional Churches follow the Biblical pattern: Jesus is born, Jesus is circumcised and named on the 8th Day (January 1) and the Wise Men (sometimes called Kings) arrive bearing their gifts on January 6 – the Feast of the Epiphany.

Of course, “enlightened people” will tell us that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25 and that the Wise Men took years to complete their trek, but that type of person apparently does not understand the difference between observing important events versus writing a substantial paper regarding historicity.

If one were to take that reasoning to a conclusion, then we should only celebrate Christmas every 33 years. Likewise, Good Friday and Easter – every 33 years, since most historians believe that Jesus’ birth, death and Resurrection took place within a 33-year period. It would be like saying that there is only one birthday for us – the day we were born, that every year we celebrate the anniversary of our birth and that we should NEVER celebrate that day except on the precise day at the precise time. Many people do not enjoy birthday parties at 2 A.M. but generally speaking, babies and parents do not always have a consultation before birth about the most convenient time for the mother. Moreover the “enlightened people” who are convinced that they have the inside track on Biblical generally offer no alternatives for observing these Biblical Feasts at the “historically correct” time.

So… is January 6 – or its Eve (Sundown on January 5) the last day of Christmas? Yes and No. Certainly the Twelve Days are the traditional days of the Christmas Season, and technically most Traditional Christians do not take ANY decorations down until the Epiphany – but, forty days after Christmas Day – again observed by traditional Christians – it is the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which involves the Blessing of the Candles to be used that year in churches, as we sing the Song of Blessed Simeon, “To be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the Glory of thy people Israel.”

Indeed – Epiphany proclaims by virtue of the Adoration of the Magi who are from Gentile lands, that this Messiah, awaited for by the Jews for centuries, is for ALL people – Jews and Gentiles, and on February 2, St. Simeon once again proclaims that reality. Ironically, many Americans who trace their heritage from Spain or a number of Hispanic countries have a cake served on Epiphany. In the cake is placed a Nino (baby figure) and the “winner” who finds the Christ Child in his or her piece of cake must now make and serve Tamales on February 2 – yes, the Feast day mentioned above. 

So… how long is Christmas? Well, in one sense all year- since every Mass that is celebrated is a “Christ” Mass and the Incarnation is a present reality in the life of the Christian and the Church. In another sense, it is Twelve days long, and in yet another sense it is 40 Days long. But by then it is time for St. Valentine’s Day (no, this saint did not shoot arrows at peoples’ hearts) and St. Patrick’s Day (no, he did not drink green beer). But there it is.

We Christians have a choice – simply to go with the flow – do what the crowd does – or claim and reclaim our heritage. After all, there is no law that mandates either (St.) Valentine’s Day or St. Patrick’s Day, so maybe it is Hallmark which determines what is and what isn’t a Feast Day? Can we take a day off from school or work because “I’m tired” but would never take a day off for Good Friday? In the end the questions is – did “they” take our Christian Calendar away or did “we” simply allow it to be taken? The same principle can apply in terms of our Faith. If attending a church on Sunday were suddenly “against the law” as it is and has been in several countries, would attendance decline in adherence to the law or would it increase because “no one is going to tell me what I can and can’t do.”

If Christians were more firm in their Faith, much of the above would never have had to be written because all of the aforementioned observances would have continued since “it is what we always have done at all times and in all places” for over two thousand years.

FORWARD IN FAITH COUNCIL AND ASSEMBLY

FORWARD IN FAITH COUNCIL AND ASSEMBLY

September 20 – 21, 2019

The newly elected Bishop of the Diocese of Ft Worth will be consecrated on the morning of September 21, 2019.  The Council Meeting and Assembly are built around this event (hoping that those who attend the consecration ceremony will also attend the Assembly.)

The registration is $75 per person for Friday night and Saturday afternoon.  If only attending Saturday afternoon, the fee is $50.

CLICK HERE to register and pay the fee

WHO –       All FiFNA Council, members and guests

                   Non-Member Clergy and their wives are our guests             
If you are attending as our guest, please email the number attending to office@FIFNA.org so that the correct number of meals can be ordered.

WHAT –     Forward in Faith Council Meeting, Annual Election and Assembly

WHEN –     September 20 and 21, 2019

Abbreviated Schedule: 

  • Sept 20, 2 pm – 5:30 pm – Council Meeting
  • 4 pm – Registration
  • 5:30-6pm – Dinner catered by Hampton Inn   
  • 6:30 pm – Presentation by Bp William Wantland, The Catholicity of Anglicanism (Part I)
  • September 21, 2019, 2:30 pm – 5 pm – The Catholicity of Anglicanism (Part II)

WHERE –   Hampton Inn & Suites
                    1600 Hurst Town Center Dr
                    Hurst, TX  76054

WHY –       To provide speakers with subjects of today’s interest                
                   To follow the By Laws with the annual election

Other Info:

A Block of rooms have been reserved at:

Hampton Inn & Suites
1600 Town Center Dr
Hurst, TX  75054
817-503-7777
FAX 817-503-7778

The room rate is $119 per night with check-in as early as Thursday, September 19, 2019, and check-out by noon, September 22, 2019.

The room rate is guaranteed through September 6, 2019.

The hotel provides a shuttle to and from Dallas Fort Worth Airport from Monday through Friday.  There is no shuttle service during the weekend.

Abortion and the Blinders of Compassion

The recent passage of a law in New York and a similar bill’s failure to pass in Virginia serve to spotlight the moral morass we are in today.  Several years ago, Harvard Law Professor Mary Ann Glendon called out the source of this dilemma in an article called “Rousseau and the Revolt Against Reason”: 

“Morality, in Rousseau’s view, was rooted neither in reason nor in revelation, but in the natural feeling of compassion.  Indeed, he is in an important sense the father of the politics of compassion. As we now know, however, compassion is a shaky foundation on which to build a just society.  Compassion, unlike charity, is not a virtue acquired by self-discipline and habitual practice.  It is only a feeling, and a fleeting one at that. It yields not only to self-preservation, but to self-interest.”

The pro-choice movement has always spotlighted compassion for the woman who finds herself with an undesired pregnancy (which outweighs concern for the unborn), and it is the fallback value used to trump any proposals to limit abortions.  Of course, a similar argument against abortion on the basis of compassion for the unborn has been also used.  Indeed, both sides have been accused of uncaring disregard for either the unborn or the woman, and passions have been inflamed all around.  This itself shows how weak an argument from compassion is in making moral judgements.

Nevertheless, the recent bills considered have shown just how extreme and narrow the blinders have become on those of the pro-choice side.  It is clear that there must be a deeper basis for moral judgement (and law) than mere compassion.  The dominant secular view is to focus on quality of life, and this has often been cited to justify one’s compassion.  However, “quality of life” has no objective meaning, and is therefore useless as a standard for moral judgement.  Historic, credal Christians believe in sanctity of life – life is God’s gift, and, as we are created in his image, our lives derive their value and purpose from him.  Indeed, we discover the value of compassion insofar as we learn to love as he loves.  The blinders of compassion and “quality of life” have distracted many from a morality rooted in actual values.  It would be irresponsible for us to let this go unchallenged. Let us pray and live out the deeper morality of the sanctity of life, witnessing and challenging others to look more widely at life. Speaking God’s truth in love and sharing God’s love in truth have been the lives of saints in all times and places. So may it be in ours.

The Rev. Canon Lawrence Bausch
President, FIFNA