Norma McCorvey files motion to vacate her Roe v. Wade decision
Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of the historic 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion across the U.S., filed a motion this morning in Dallas to reopen and overturn her case.
"My case was wrongfully decided and has caused great harm to the women and children of our nation," she says in her affidavit. "I have an interest in stopping that harm and I have an interest in disclosing the facts which expose the weakness of the underlying assumptions which led to that incorrect decision."
McCorvey, who became a prolife Christian in the mid-1990s, is backed by the Texas Justice Foundation. The foundation will argue for reopening the case on the basis of Rule 60 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which allows relief from a judgment on the basis of mistakes, newly discovered evidence, fraud, and other reasons. According to a press release, lead attorney Allan E. Parker Jr. plans to emphasize "changed facts and law," saying that new evidence attests to "the devastating emotional, physical, and psychological trauma of abortion," that since 1973 there has been "an explosion of scientific evidence on human life conclusively answers the question that life begins at conception," and that state law in Texas and elsewhere has put the burden of responsibility for unwanted children on the state instead of the mother.
"The facts and law now demonstrate that it is no longer just or equitable for Roe to have prospective application," says the motion, which concludes with a prayer in legalese.
Since the announcement was just made this morning, there is so far little coverage or reaction. In the meantime, the Texas Justice Foundation's Operation Outcry site has many legal documents and other materials.
Presbytery boots Stephen Van Kuiken for same-sex ceremony
In April, the Cincinnati Presbytery's judicial commission gave Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church pastor Stephen Van Kuiken a slap on the wrist for conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony and told him not to do it again. Who would have thought that they actually meant it?
Yesterday, four weeks after Van Kuiken performed yet another ceremony, the Cincinnati Presbytery formally renounced him, stripping him of both his pastorate and church membership.
"I just think it was unavoidable," presbytery delegate Howard Smith told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "His actions made the action necessary by the Presbytery unless they want to totally disregard the (church) constitution."
Bruce Archibald, chair of the presbytery's committee on ministry, told the presbytery before the vote that Van Kuiken's removal was a question of duty, not damning. "You are not stripping him of his ordination," he said, according to The Presbyterian Outlook. Van Kuiken, he said, is an "honest and good man, who by his own decisions has decided to take a path of defiance. It is his decision. It is not your decision."
"I am grieving right now. And part of this grieving is over the forced separation from my congregation," Van Kuiken said after the 119-45 vote. "I love them, and my heart will always be with them."
He says he'll continue to fight for same-sex marriage in the denomination, and will continue his appeal of the April decision. But now he'll be doing that from outside the pulpit, and from outside the church.
Wesley at 300:
- Deepening crisis as Methodists celebrate Wesley | Overshadowing the 300th anniversary celebrations is the parlous state of the institution, which is struggling with declining numbers, financial difficulties and plunging morale (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Doubts crowd in on Wesley's heirs | Methodism marks birth of founder amid debate on future (The Guardian)
- Methodism a 'sleeping giant' as founder's 300th birthday marked (Associated Press)
- Salvation on horseback | How John Wesley helped create the modern world (Roy Hattersley, The Wall Street Journal)
- The party faithful | Roy Hattersley reflects on the legacy of John Wesley, 18th-century preacher, founder of Methodism, passionate advocate of respectability and an architect of modern British politics (The Guardian, London)
- Methodists to consider unity with Anglicans | If the covenant is agreed by the Methodists and by the Church of England, a commission will be set up by both Churches to implement it, reporting back in 2005 (The Times, London)
- Methodists mark tricentennial of Wesley's birth (The Toledo Blade)
- Visit from Wesley warms hearts | Columbia resident Howard Burnham, a native of England, transformed himself Sunday into John Wesley, the founder of Methodism (The State, Columbia, S.C.)
- Earlier: Wesley at 300 | Anniversary of founder's birth gives Methodists cause to reflect (The Dallas Morning News)
- Earlier still: The Wesleys | Their struggle for perfection strained their relationship and sparked revival on two continents (Christian History, Issue 69)
- Also: The Shocking Truth About John Wesley | A visit to the cradle of Methodism (John D. Spalding, Books & Culture, March/April 2003)
- Southern Baptists eye families at meeting | At this year's meeting, the denomination is expected to consider cutting $125,000 of its annual $425,000 payment to the Baptist World Alliance over differences with moderates (Associated Press)
- 'Culture of perversions' denounced | Southern Baptist preachers get fired up for convention (Houston Chronicle)
- Baptists focus on saving families | Southern Baptists will begin asking members at their national convention this week to sign pledges to follow seven pillars of a "divorce-proof" marriage, including moral purity, marital fidelity and support of the local church (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)
- Pastors, don't fail families | The truth is, Southern Baptists are usually not trying to tell everyone else how to live. More often than not, they're talking to one another (David Waters, The Commercial Appeal, Memphis)
- Speaker blasts Islam at Baptist gathering | One year after the Rev. Jerry Vines generated a year's worth of controversy by calling the founder of Islam ''a demon-possessed pedophile,'' Ergun Caner, a theology professor from Criswell College in Dallas, picked up where Vines left off (The Tennessean)
- Church prepares to urge strong marriages, families (The Birmingham News)
- Southern Baptists launch faith plan | S.C.-born proposal will be focal point of annual convention, which begins today (The State, Columbia, S.C.)
- Gay Baptists hope for best | Won't accept church doctrine on their lifestyle (The Arizona Republic)
- N.D. pastor calls ad hoc Lutheran conference | Meeting will address church's position on sexuality and gay pastors (Grand Forks Herald)
- Why the next bishops' move could be by a Scotswoman | How one tiny change to church law could signal a huge step for humankind (Richard Holloway, The Sunday Herald, Glasgow)
- Thousands gather for Billy Graham crusade | "The situation in the Middle East, in my judgment, has no answer except the coming of Christ," he said, also asking for prayer for victims of AIDS and other diseases (Associated Press)
- Graham's closing night draws 27,500 to sermon | Organizers say about 102,000 people attended the four-night evangelistic effort (The Oklahoman)
- Pastor considers future mission | The Rev. Billy Graham asked Oklahomans to pray for him Friday night as he considers a request to hold a mission this fall in Kansas City (The Oklahoman)
- Six-hour wait called small price | Medical personnel handed out ice packs to some people who were overcome by temperatures (The Oklahoman)
- Evangelist's son bound by example | As Franklin Graham expressed pride in his father, Billy Graham said he is especially proud of each of his children and their penchant for public speaking and ministry (The Oklahoman)
- Young people tuned in for music, messages | Before Billy Graham came to the podium Saturday night, many of the young people who packed the Ford Center knew nothing of him other than his name and reputation (The Oklahoman)
- Backlight: Billy Graham in Washington, 1952 | The story behind an old image (The Washington Post)
Missions and ministry:
- New pub serves spirits with the Spirit | This Bud's for God: So say bartenders at Graces, a new downtown pub whose spirits move you in the name of Christian evangelism (The Grand Rapids Press, Mich.)
- God tunes into the digital age | In Australia's new northern bible belt, happiness is a warm transmitter (The Sydney Morning Herald)
- Evangelism is accomplished through service to others | Paint sprayer in hand, Craig Shaw evangelized to the Mexican people in his own way (Shreveport Times, La.)
- Preacher aims for the funny bone | Pour yourself another cup of coffee and let me introduce you to a Charlotte native who has found her home in a Manhattan pulpit on Sunday morning. And in smoky comedy clubs on Saturday night. (Ken Garfield, The Charlotte Observer)
- The Missionaries | This is the story of the best and the worst in the history Europe's contact with the rest of the world (BBC Radio 4 | Transcript of Program 1: Ghana)
- Doctrine trims ranks of Baptist missionaries | Forty-three Southern Baptist missionaries lost their jobs in May because they refused to sign a controversial faith statement that opposes women pastors and says wives should "graciously submit" to the servant leadership of their husbands (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.)
- Kids do mission work—at home | Youth Force Clermont rejects the notion that mission trips and work projects had to be done in impoverished foreign countries or the back hills of Appalachia (The Orlando Sentinel)
- 'We love Jesus, how about you?' | Promise Keepers zestfully discuss faith and family (Peoria Journal-Star, Ill.)
Cults and other religions:
- Ex-cult member 'saved by grace of God' | Minister speaks at Pines church (The Miami Herald)
- Church once gave shelter to Rudolph | Daniel L. Gayman, 66, says his Church of Israel no longer ascribes to Christian Identity beliefs (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
- Archbishop criticizes Christians who resort to witch doctors | It is wrong to act in this manner, because you get confused and your wishes do not come true, says Archbishop of Luanda, Don Damião Franklin (Angola Press Agency)
- Witchcraft part and parcel of Ugandan football | That a national team would hinge it chances of qualifications for the Nations Cup to black magic, is a classic example of how witchcraft is embedded in the minds of locals that anything beyond normal understanding is attributed to witchcraft (Joseph Batte, New Vision, Kampala, Uganda)
Religious strife in India:
- Karnataka: Gelatine stick explodes near church | No one injured, police said (PTI)
- 'Hindus will be in minority if conversions not stopped' | So says VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadiya (Ahmedabad.com, India)
- Indian Christian leader appeals for calm despite surge in attacks | "We have the right to preach our own religion … we should not abuse other religions, especially the majority religion," said V.V. Augustine, member of the National Minorities Commission (AFP)
- Kerala: 'State's Christians should reconsider stand on minority issues' | "Christians in Kerala are not really minorities when going by the definition that minorities are those who lack resources," said Kandanad Diocese Metropolitan Dr Thomas Mar Athanasious. The Christian community should also take care not to commercialise the rights bestowed upon them by the Constitution." (KeralaNext.com)
- Bishops criticize Jaya's comments against the Pope | Calling it ''disdainful'' the comments of the RSS and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa against Pope John Paul II, the Catholic bishops today said Pope's observations on the anti-conversion laws did not amount to interference in the country's internal affairs but only reflected his commitment to the cause of humanity and the dignity of every human being (UNI)
Phoenix bishop arrested in fatal hit-and-run:
- Valley stunned by arrest of O'Brien in fatal hit-and-run | Prelate's new calamity throws Arizona's Catholic leadership deeper into limbo and rocks a diocese that has endured months of scrutiny about priests accused of sexual misconduct with children (The Arizona Republic)
- Phoenix bishop arrested in fatal hit-and-run | Police say he admits driving the car that witnesses saw at the scene. Last month the church leader confessed to a sex abuse coverup (Los Angeles Times)
- Phoenix bishop charged in fatal hit-and-run | Case follows abuse scandal (The Washington Post)
- Phoenix bishop arrested in fatal hit and run (The New York Times)
Church abuse scandal:
- Abuse panel chief critical to end | The Catholic review board's leader resigns but insists that his comparison of some bishops to the Mafia was 'deadly accurate' (Los Angeles Times)
- 'No apology' as Keating leaves panel | Head of Catholic lay board compared bishops to Mafia (The Washington Post)
- Keating blasts bishops as he departs from post (USA Today)
- A year after sex scandal, church is making progress | While the ashes of last year's firestorm are being stirred up by Keating's resignation, the bishops can point to progress on the primary issue—protecting youth—since they met last June (USA Today)
- Scandal affecting church's credibility | Sex abuse detracts from other issues (San Francisco Chronicle)
- Catholics split over abuse panel chief's resignation | Some say he was too outspoken, but victims' advocates see more church stonewalling (Los Angeles Times)
- Chief of panel on priest abuse will step down | Former Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma, who made blunt remarks about bishops in the Roman Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, plans to resign as soon as Monday (The New York Times)
- Conflict splinters priest abuse panel | With Keating out, credibility an issue (Chicago Tribune)
- The bishops lose a critic | Keating's departure makes the task facing the 12 remaining members of the board much harder. Only by moving with aggressiveness and candor can the board carry the confidence of Catholics who realize how dearly the failure of some bishops to crack down on pederasts has cost their church. (Editorial, Chicago Tribune)
- Fresh doubts about the bishops | As the bishops prepare for their semiannual meeting this week in St. Louis, the prospect for lasting progress looks bleaker than in 2002 (Editorial, Chicago Tribune)
Anglican church debates gay bishops:
- Confirmation would deepen divisions, likely cause rupture | The confirmation of Canon Robinson would in effect change church teaching (James M. Stanton, The Dallas Morning News)
- My only call is to share the good news of Jesus Christ | Everyone seems to be focusing on how many people may leave the Episcopal Church over my selection. I want to focus on how many people may come to the church because of this (V. Gene Robinson, The Dallas Morning News)
- Episcopalians risk schism | Diocese elects an openly gay man as bishop, but will it be approved? (Michael J. McManus, The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
- Gay communion | Can the worldwide Anglican church survive the developing schism over whether it should accept the ordination of homosexual clergy? (Stephen Bates, The Guardian, London)
- Bishops try to stop gay appointment (The Guardian, London)
- Bishops criticize gay rights appointment | A group of bishops has written a joint letter criticising the appointment of a gay rights supporter as Bishop of Reading (BBC)
- Church split as first gay bishop named | Bishops have spoken of their "grave concern" at the appointment of a homosexual theologian to a senior position within the Anglican Church (Daily Post, Liverpool)
- Archbishop faces revolt as gay row escalates | A quarter of the Church of England's diocesan bishops led an unprecedented revolt against the new Bishop of Reading yesterday (The Daily Telegraph, London)
- Evangelical threat to split Church of England over gay bishop | Some parishes are threatening to withdraw the financial contributions they make to diocesan running costs and in effect make a unilateral declaration of independence from the Church of England, though so far only one, in the City of London, has done so (The Guardian, London)
- Gay priests don't harm the Church of England half as much as its Pharisees | When the evangelicals failed to prevent David Jenkins's consecration on theological grounds, they hit upon a campaign against homosexual clergy as a more popular cause (Andrew Brown, The Daily Telegraph, London)
More on sexual ethics:
- U.S. warns AIDS group on funding | CDC cites S.F. programs that 'appear to encourage' sex (The Washington Post)
- Gay sacking right 'unlawful' | Legislation allowing religious employers to sack gay and lesbian staff may be unlawful and should not be passed into law without further consultation and debate in the House of Commons, a powerful committee of MPs and peers warned yesterday (The Guardian, London)
- Gay Canadians' quest for marriage seems near victory | Dozens of gay and lesbian couples have already rushed to municipal buildings in Toronto, Ottawa and Hamilton to marry without waiting for a decision by Justice Minister Martin Cauchon on whether he will appeal the Ontario court decision to the Supreme Court (The New York Times)
- Gay is the new black | The gay rights issue has been a ticking timebomb for the Bush government. And now it looks about to explode (Gary Younge, The Guardian, London)
- Sodom and Gomorrah: the true story | It's about rape, not homosexuality (The Times, London)
- The love that is not a sin | The catechism of the Catholic Church says that homosexuality can under no circumstances be approved. In extracts from the new book by the Dominican priest Gareth Moore, the church's arguments are dismissed (The Times, London)
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