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Washington University’s Catholic Student Center in St. Louis offered a unique way to experience the Passion of Christ this past Lenten season by hosting “Yoga Stations of the Cross.” The Center’s website advertised them thus: “Join us for a contemporary meditative experience of the Stations of the Cross that involves body movement, prayer, meditative music & pictures, and reflections. This CSC original combines traditional images and reflections of the Stations of the Cross with a unique way of feeling the suffering of Christ’s Passion in your own body through Yoga poses that spur a prayerful experience. All are welcome to attend, please bring your own yoga mat. No experience necessary, there will be a brief instructional time at the beginning to go through the yoga poses before beginning the prayerful experience.”
The Anglican cathedral in Manchester, England, has agreed to throw open the doors of the historic church in a bid to embrace “alternative forms of Christianity,” a sly euphemism for New Age practices. Anglican leaders have invited tarot card readers, crystal healers, dream interpreters, fire breathers, fortune tellers, and meditation experts to fill the pews during a day-long festival this May. According to Nigel McCulloch, the Anglican bishop of Manchester, the Spirit of Life festival will also feature stalls and workshops on angels, prayer bead making, and full body massage. Bishop McCulloch assured the Manchester Evening News (Mar. 28) that these “unconventional activities” are “not incompatible” with Christian belief: “Practitioners from all over the country will be on hand to offer their experience of how God speaks to us today through the cultural language and practices so common in mind, body, spirit fairs.” The Spirit of Life festival follows Manchester cathedral’s Mind Body Spirit festival held last November.
Anglicans in Canada will be holding discussions this spring about whether baptism is necessary for taking part in communion. “Official teaching is you have to be baptized first. But a number of clergy across the country feel strongly about this as an issue and many have approached their bishops about allowing for an ‘open table’ in which all could take communion,” said Archdeacon Paul Feheley, principal secretary to Archbishop Fred Hiltz, head of the Anglican Church of Canada. The idea was raised in an article in the Anglican Journal (Mar. 7) in which an Ontario church pastor argues that removing the requirement of baptism would help stop the decline in the number of Anglicans attending services. He does not explain how these people could be Anglicans if they are not baptized.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) recently released a new translation of the New American Bible (NAB), one that was commissioned to be more accurate, more contemporary, and more poetic. “Our official line is that this is the Bible in high-def,” Mary Elizabeth Sperry, associate director of the USCCB’s NAB Utilization, told ABC News (Mar. 2). “It’s not a new Bible; it’s not a new story. It’s the same text you’ve known, but hopefully you’ll be able to see it in great detail.” One notable change picked up by media outlets across the nation: the word “booty” — deemed to have too distracting a connotation — was replaced with the more accurate word “spoils.”
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