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Archive for July, 2007

Pharmacists Sue State Over ‘Morning-After Pill’ Requirement

SEATTLE — Pharmacists have sued Washington state over a new regulation that requires them to sell emergency contraception, also known as the “morning-after pill.”

In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, a pharmacy owner and two pharmacists say the rule that took effect Thursday violates their civil rights by forcing them into choosing between “their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs.”

“The stakes really couldn’t be much higher,” plaintiffs’ attorney Kristen Waggoner said.

The state ruled earlier this year that druggists who believe emergency contraceptives are tantamount to abortion cannot stand in the way of a patient’s right to the drugs.

The state’s Roman Catholic bishops and other opponents predicted a court challenge after the rule was adopted, saying the state was wrongly forcing pharmacists to administer medical treatments they consider immoral.

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire, who brokered a compromise on the contraceptive rule and pressured the state Board of Pharmacy to adopt it, stood behind the regulation Thursday.

“Gov. Gregoire feels the Pharmacy Board went through an extensive public process to come to their decision, and she supports them,” spokesman Lars Erickson said.

The plaintiffs are pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen, and Stormans Inc., the owners of Ralph’s Thriftway in Olympia, a grocery store that includes a pharmacy.

Under the new state rule, pharmacists with personal objections to a drug can opt out by getting a co-worker to fill an order. But that applies only if the patient is able to get the prescription in the same pharmacy visit. . . .

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Latin & Greek Study Groups

Wanna learn Greek and/or Latin by email, for free? Check out: Latin & Greek Study Groups.

Back in the 1999-2000 timeframe I took part in some Latin email learning. It’s great stuff. I highly recommend it.

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Vocation Again

From the ochlophobist:

Tom would tell me, later in the game, that as a white male, even from appalachia, I stood very little chance of getting tenured anywhere other than an Evangelical Christian college, and that I should thus change disciplines. I wandered about, eventually getting my education in the classics of the West not at an academic institution but at an antiquarian bookstore run by one of the last persons to have gotten the old european education (himself a friend and disciple of Alexander Dru), and who led me through a tutorial of the old sort during the years I worked and lived there (yes, in the upstairs of the store which was in an old church with a Torah scroll in a box at the foot of my makeshift bed, though no longer considered a Torah proper, because it had been touched by goyim). It was at that bookstore that I learned that I had little interest in academic politics and that I really did not care for the mass culture of teenagers and twentysomethings which permeates universities. I realized that what I had loved about spending time with Tom was Tom and books and ideas, and not academia. I have not looked backThese years later I find myself a coppersmith by trade turned metal shop foreman. Metal is a much more forgiving image than most human beings, though not nearly as forgiving as the saints; it occasionally can provide one with solace. In its non-ferrous forms, those with which I am most accustomed, it is buoyant at the brake with porosity that rests on whims and God’s weather. Copper gives more than it receives. At the end, for your best, you will sell a work of dull beauty, not the glitter of gold or silver, but one which is well enough pronounced, and admits more of its pedigree of earth than the precious metals. Alexander the coppersmith did much evil to the Apostle Paul (2 Tim. 4). Hopefully St. Asicus and the other coppersmith saints have done something to redeem the trade. It seems to me a human enough endeavor. Metal, especially soft metal, has its own sadness, revealed even in tears (though the common, more polite term is sweat). In the clanging and oft harsh noise of my shop, surrounded by the on their sleeves vices of those who are mostly underclass, I sometimes question myself. Was this manner of life prudently chosen? Those moments are short. Most of my coworkers are from Memphis ghettos or poor rural communities of the northern delta. They only speak narrative.

Thank God for the crooked paths he makes straight.

The ochlophobist causes me once again to visit this topic, especially in light of my previous post on work busyness that prohibits blogging.

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So, it turns out the Pope is Roman Catholic, huh.  What a shock.  I suppose the next thing we’ll learn is that the earth is a sphere and not flat.

The media must think that Rome has never declared itself the one, and only, true Church. And, of course, they are playing up the notion of how offensive this declaration must be to everyone else. ‘Cuz, gosh, we all know that the primary thing of utmost importance is to never, ever, for even a teensy weensy moment, hurt someone’s feelings.

It does, of course, seem odd that HH Benedict XVI would state it so starkly given the late John Paul II’s penchant for the use of the term “sister churches” and the “two lungs” analogy (both of which, of course, implicitly call into question Rome’s claim to be the one true, visible Church). But, that is, nonetheless, what Rome has been claiming for centuries: she and she alone is the one true visible Body of Christ.

It is interesting, given recent exchanges between myself and the blogger at Cathedra Unitatis–and my post linking the discussion at Perry’s blog–that this declaration would come out into the media when it did. But it illustrates an important point.

That point is made by the Pope himself. Orthodoxy is not the one true visible Church, because it is defective. And in what is it defective? It has apostolic succession. It has the sacraments. It teaches the Gospel. What’s missing? That’s right: allegiance to the Pope as supreme bishop of the Church.

One call talk all one wants in flowery ecumenical language. One can form and support and maintain “fraternal relations.” One can lift anathemas, and so forth. But it comes down to this one point: the Orthodox Church teaches and has always maintained that the Roman see has a place of primacy (honor, respect, some authority), but it does not have a place of supremacy. The episcopacy, for Orthodox, must be collegial, in which no single bishop rules the others, but that all come together in mutual accord. Orthodox believe that this models the relations of the Trinity, the historical and biblical evidence, and is, in fact, the life of the Church. To make one bishop supreme among all others is to distort this collegiality, with ramifications for other aspects of Christian belief.

I have found it to be the case often in the online world that Orthodox are denigrated and judged for being so abominably stubborn. Roman Catholics will say something like, “Come on! We call you sister churches. We call you the other lung. We admit you have grace. We admit you have apostolic succession. We admit you teach the Gospel. Isn’t that enough? Why hold out on this pope thing? After all, you admit to a primacy of honor. How is that different from what we ask you to join us in believing about the Pope?”

Well, is the Father supreme over the Son? Doesn’t that teach essential subordinationism? Isn’t subordinationism a heresy? Then how is it that one bishop, who partakes of the life of the Trinity along with all the other bishops, elevate himself above his brother bishops such that all must subordinate themselves to him? How is that all the bishops have one head, who is Christ, but all the bishops save Rome also have another earthly head, the occupant of the Roman See?

No, Orthodox resist on just this point precisely of the distortions it brings into the common life in Christ of us all.

For a few Ortho-blogger reactions:

Clay, over at All Saints Forum, guesses that he was wrong.
Fr Stephen, is glad that we cleared that all up.
Reader Christopher gives three cheers for clarity.
James implicitly asks, does a bear wear a funny hat? (No, wait, I’ve got the joke wrong.)

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Well, Cathedra Unitatis, to give him credit, did take notice of the post put up by Perry taking a cite from the 5th Ecumenical Council.  The discussion there is well underway now, with about 45 responses at the time of this post.

Relative to papal claims, why is this important? 

In summary, because it establishes, unequivocally, the standard of collegiality among the bishops. And it presents the Roman Pope Vigilius as issuing a dogmatic decree, retracting it, and submitting to the decision of the council.

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Which works out to about 238 or 239 pages per day.

What am I talking about? Reading the Harry Potter books (the first six) prior to the release of the final book. I normally don’t start through the books until after (sometimes well after) the release of the newest book. But given what could possibly take place in book seven, and how difficult it will be to shield myself from all the spoilers in the media, I figure I better be read up and ready to go when the seventh book is released.

For definitive insight: HogwartsProfessor.com

While we wait perhaps we can all enjoy these howlers from the Onion:
Children, Creepy Middle-Aged Weirdos Swept Up In Harry Potter Craze
J.K. Rowling Ends Harry Potter Series After Discovering Boys
J.K. Rowling Hints At Harry Potter Date Rape (video link)
New Harry Potter Film Turns Children On To Magic Of Not Reading

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Courtesy of Aaron (Dang!  I want to do the 4th with them guys next year!!)

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An interview with Fr Bob Stanford on The Orthodox Study Bible (mp3 file).  (It starts about 13:37.)

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The blogger at Cathedra Unitatis, writes in a recent post:

I do not pretend, nor have I ever pretended, that this blog is neutral. It is an exploration of the theological and historical claims of the Papacy. I currently lean strongly towards the veracity of these claims (as anyone who reads this blog can obviously tell), but I always give equal time to commenters who disagree and are willing to express their viewpoint intelligently and respectfully.

His comment stems from the fact that, in part, Perry Robinson is pointing out that among the collection articles he is engaging which seem to support his own view, there is an article which opposes it.

I have commented before on my views of an Eastern Orthodox Christian blogging openly and publicly his journey toward what would appear to be apostasy from the Orthodox Church. So I won’t cover old ground.

But I will point out something illustrative from this recent example.

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Synodikon of Orthodoxy

From the introductory paragraph to the Synodikon of Orthodoxy:

The text of the Synodikon of Orthodoxy has been much altered over the centuries, chiefly by the addition of material and names that postdate the Restoration of the Icons in 843. This is the case with the text that is printed in the current Triodia. Some of the more zealous contemporary Orthodox even include condemnations of such things as the ‘pan-heresy of Ecumenism‘. It is probably impossible to reconstruct the original text exactly. However the British Library possesses a manuscript, (BL. Additional 28816) written in 1110 or 1111 by a monk Andrew of the monastery of Oleni in Moraea, which may give some idea of the scope and contents of the original. In the opinion of Jean Gouillard, the editor of the critical edition of the Synodikon, ‘the London manuscript is certainly one of the best witnesses to the primitive and purely Constantinopolitan form of the Synodikon’. The manuscript was unknown to him when he prepared his edition and has in consequence been generally neglected.

This text of the Synodikon is written at the end of a manuscript of the Acts, Epistles and Apocalypse, with the somewhat misleading title ‘Definition [Horos] of the 7th Holy Synod’. The text of the Synodikon is finely written in red and black and is provided throughout with ekphonetic notation. The text was, therefore, intended to be solemnly chanted, like the Apostle or Gospel, and not simply read. A number of names, in particular those of Symeon Stylites and Theodore the Studite, are given special prominence. The words ’God will give their kingdom peace. Heavenly King, protect those on earth!’ are, it seems, peculiar to this manuscript. The seven numbered paragraphs are so numbered in the margin of the manuscript.

What is normally prayed on the Sunday of Orthodoxy is the following paragraph:

As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honouring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshipping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honouring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration.

This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world.

But, revealing my perversity, the fun stuff is in the anathemas!

So, below the jump are selections of the anathemas.

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