Shorten sticks it to pastor

Sky News reports…

“The Anglican priest who implored Bill Shorten not to refer to opponents of same-sex marriage as ‘haters’ has previously compared homosexuality to sex with animals and pedophilia.

The Reverend Ian Powell has also written on his Facebook page that he fears legalising same-sex marriage will open the floodgates to polygamy.

Mr Powell accosted Mr Shorten as the opposition leader left a parliamentary church service in Canberra on Monday, over a comment he made about opponents to same-sex marriage after the Orlando nightclub shooting.

He asked Mr Shorten to better contribute to a respectful debate surrounding the issue.

‘You made a comment a few months ago that I found disappointing,’ he said.

‘You described people who weren’t in favour of changing the definition of marriage as haters who come out from rocks.’

‘Can I ask you not to speak like that…so we can have a civil and tolerant discussion.’

The Labor leader did not resile from his position, saying he never claimed opponents of marriage equality are bigots.

‘If you’re going to quote me, quote me accurately,’ Mr Shorten said.

‘People of faith who can be opposed to marriage equality do have homophobic attitudes.’


The Newcastle hearings – updated*

The Australian reports…

“Archbishop Roger Herft told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he had been given a “sacred trust” when appointed bishop of Newcastle in NSW during the 1990s and early 2000s.

“I have let them and down and let them down badly, and let down the (child abuse) survivors in ways that remorse itself is a very poor word to express,” the archbishop said this morning.

Giving evidence yesterday, Archbishop Herft accepted he had been repeatedly warned several Newcastle priests were allegedly abusing children, but had not reported this to police.

His understanding of the issue of child abuse committed by priests had been “naive” and had changed over time, the archbishop told the commission.

“I want to thank the commission for holding me personally accountable, for holding the church personally accountable,” he told the commission.

“I hope that the church in this diocese and the church across the Australian continent will be one that has not only woken up but become more and more transparent and accountable for the … most vulnerable,” he said.

Under questioning, Archbishop Herft said he had wrestled with the “conundrum” of whether to report child abuse allegations against priests to police, or whether this should be left to the alleged victims to do so.

A record of a 1998 meeting between Archbishop Herft and his legal adviser, Paul Rosser QC, said “Mr Rosser advised the Bishop that … he ought to decline to accept information or to read any reports” about sexual misconduct, the commission heard.

Were the bishop to receive such reports “he may have to weigh up the pastoral implications of leaving a priest in a position where he may do further harm as opposed to the pastoral considerations of the person making the allegations,” the record states.

Giving evidence this morning, Mr Rosser said “I don’t believe I said those things in that way.

“If those words came out of my mouth, it was facetiously … that was not serious advice I was giving him,” he said.”



Will Detroit pastor hump Trump?



CBN News reports…

“Donald Trump is about to take a double dip as he attempts to appeal to a predominately African-American audience on christian television. This coming Saturday he’ll head to Detroit and will speak at The Impact Network, “the only African American owned and operated national Christian television network in the country.” Here’s the statement from Pastor Mark Burns who has been one of Trump’s most vocal African-American supporters:

“With much anticipation and excitement, I’m pleased to announce that Republican Presidential Candidate Donald J. Trump will be speaking at the only African American owned and operated national Christian television network, The Impact Network, Saturday, September 3rd, at 11am. Impact Network President and CEO, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, will interview Mr. Trump at Great Faith Ministries in Detroit, Michigan.”

“Mr. Trump will answer questions that are relevant to the African American community such as education (including HBCUs), unemployment, making our streets safe and creating better opportunities for all. He will then give an address to outline policies that will impact minorities and the disenfranchised in our country. Citizens around the country will see, as I’ve have seen, the heart and compassion Mr. Trump has for all Americans, which includes minority communities whose votes have been taken for granted for far too long.”

If you haven’t heard of The Impact Network, it is billed as, “one of the fastest growing faith-based television networks in existence…reaches over 50 Million homes and is currently being carried by DirectTV, Dish Network Channel and Roku.”

Maybe it’s appropriate that Trump will be interviewed by Bishop Wayne T. Jackson because he hosts the show, “Miracles Do Happen” and boy, oh boy, is it a miracle that Trump is the GOP presidential nominee. The Impact Network website describes Bishop Jackson as a “tenacious and charismatic individual whose accomplishments have not only touched the spiritual sector, but has made significant impact in both the political and business arenas…Politically, Bishop Wayne T. Jackson has been a trusted spiritual advisor and a frequent guest to the White House for over the past two decades.”

As for any hint of controversy, the Christian Post ran a story four years ago with the headline, “Bishop takes heat for unusual ceremony.” Read an excerpt of the article below.

A bishop in the US has is facing criticism after a video appeared of him laying on top of two men as part of an unusual consecration ceremony.

Bishop Wayne T Jackson, of Impact Ministries, says the ritual has been taken out of context and is nothing more than a covering of prayer.

The video appeared on YouTube and provoked accusations of sexual perversion, according to the Detroit News.

In it, Bishop Jackson appears dressed in red and white robes as lays face down on top of the two men, who are shrouded in robes on the floor.

The bishop says there was nothing sexual about the act and that people who think otherwise have “nasty minds”.

The father of nine told The News: “I have done nothing wrong. This was done in front of a thousand people….”



Thief pastor caught red-handed – updated*


CBS New York reports…

“Chaos erupted at an Upper East Side church on Sunday over its troubled pastor.

CBS2’s Steve Langford exclusively reported Rock Church Pastor Daniel Iampaglia appeared to grab the results of the latest election of the Board of Trustees out of the hands of a church official who was attempting to read them during the Sunday service.

“I’m the pastor, whether you like it or not,” Iampaglia said.

The official shot back, “Don’t you threaten me, don’t you threaten me, Mr. Iampaglia. Get outta here.”

It is the latest outbreak of anarchy at the church. In early January, the bitterly divided congregation descended into bedlam during a religious service.

One faction of the faithful wants to fire the pastor, especially after producing a video of Iampaglia allegedly stealing money from the collection drawer. The pastor was arraigned on petit larceny charges, which were later dismissed, church members said.

The conflict over who should control Rock Church is also being played out in court as a judge urged the congregation to come together to save their church.

“The board does have to come to a decision eventually how to move forward with this, whether or not the pastor should remain here or whether he doesn’t,” said church member Prasanth Venigalla.

A temporary restraining order preventing the church from firing the pastor is still in effect.”


Pastor accused of toddler murder


WDTN reports…

“A local pastor was indicted Friday on several counts including murder and reckless homicide by a Montgomery County grand jury.

The grand jury handed down an eight-count indictment against Torace D. Weaver Friday.

The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office tells 2 NEWS Weaver is a pastor at King of Glory Ministries on Genesee Avenue in Dayton.

Weaver is accused in the death of 2-year-old Stanley Thomas in November 2015. On Sunday, November 18, 2015, first responders were called to the King of Glory Church on Genesee Avenue in Dayton on a report of a toddler not breathing.

Thomas was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital and was dead on arrival, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office says Thomas died from blunt force trauma to the head and ruled the death a homicide.

Prosecutors say Weaver, who was the foster father of Thomas, said at the time the child had fallen from a table.

The indictment includes:

  • Two counts of Murder
  • Two counts of Endangering Children
  • One count of Involuntary Manslaughter
  • One count of Reckless Homicide
  • One count of Felonious Assault
  • One count of Obstructing Official Business”


Mark Driscoll lawsuit – updated*


The Seattle Times reports…

“As a judge dismisses the racketeering lawsuit against former Mars Hill pastor Mark Driscoll, a former executive elder says he’s willing to answer questions about the church’s financial dealings.

In February, four former members of Mars Hill Church filed a racketeering lawsuit against Pastor Mark Driscoll, claiming misuse of thousands if not millions of dollars in donations.

But the four plaintiffs didn’t have money to pursue the suit and never served Driscoll or onetime Mars Hill executive elder Sutton Turner, also named as a defendant, with the necessary papers.

Consequently, on Thursday, a judge dismissed the suit.

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart declined, however, to sanction the former church members, as requested by Turner. “The plaintiffs have not acted in bad faith, recklessly, or with an improper purpose,” wrote Robart, who also noted their complaint “is not frivolous on its face.”

The judge also left the door open for the plaintiffs to file the lawsuit again. “We hope to,” said Brian Jacobsen, although he and his fellow plaintiffs are still looking for money to pay legal fees already incurred.

He said the former church members were counting on publicity about the suit to bring in donations. “Some did come in, but not enough.”

Driscoll, who has started a new church on the outskirts of Phoenix, could not be reached for comment.

“It’s time to move on,” said Turner from his new home in San Antonio, calling the implosion of Mars Hill and the bitter aftermath “the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through.”

Still, he said, he wanted to meet with the plaintiffs and planned to travel next month to Seattle in hopes of doing so. Turner said he would answer whatever questions the former members had, including about financial matters.

He added he has faced resistance about revealing such information. “I was threatened by an attorney representing Mars Hill,” he said. The attorney, whom he declined to name, told him that releasing inside data “would be a big mistake.”

“I don’t know anything about that,” said Ronald Friedman, who represents Mars Hill in its ongoing legal dissolution.

In any case, Turner said he felt free to talk now that the racketeering lawsuit had been dissolved.

“We’re considering that,” Jacobsen said of the offer to meet.”