Pray for Southern India

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The southern states of India have been hit by floods due to the severe monsoon season that has brought more than 90 inches of rain to places like the state of Kerala.  The intensity and magnitude of this monsoon season have not been seen in over 100 years.

The central government of India has declared the recent flooding as a calamity of severe nature.  Military personnel are engaged in rescue operations. People that have been stranded on rooftops are being airlifted to safety with the help of helicopters.  Tragically, the number of deaths has already surpassed 300 and thousands of people have been displaced from their homes.

Due to the flooding of homes and the loss of electricity, a vast number of people in southern India are without their medicines and do not have access to food and clean drinking water.  Many roads and bridges have been damaged, and this is preventing the severely injured from reaching local hospitals.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted the people of southern India for their “fighting spirit” and assured the people that the nation stands firmly with them during this difficult time.  The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas extends our prayers to all those affected by this disaster.

 

 

Letter About the Catholic Church

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in Christ.  We have all read with horror the recent report from the Grand Jury of Pennsylvania about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church.  It involved three hundred priests, at least a thousand victims, and lasted over a generation.  The extent and the depth of depravity are astounding.  Our hearts go out to the victims. We hold in prayer our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church who now work for reform. Furthermore, we appreciate the words of Pope Francis, who has called for repentance and a change of a church culture which encouraged such behavior.   

All Christian traditions have things to repent of, and all Christians must come to terms with the brokenness of the Church.  I do want to state clearly our ‘zero tolerance’ policy for abusive behavior, and our assumption that, while abusers can indeed be forgiven by the grace of God, their days of serving as leaders must end. 

I do have one last comment, both practical and theological.  We need, because we are fallen creatures, a doctrine of law as well as grace. The former serves to restrain evil.  While reform of internal church culture matters, there is a place for the secular authorities as well.  We are rightly obliged to report any evidence of abuse to the police, and are liable should we fail to do so.  A necessary part of addressing this problem is criminal prosecution.  This is as true for the Roman Catholic Church as for us. 

Peace,

+GRS

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