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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Lamb to the slaughter

Halal lamb curry - BBC Countryfile style                                                                                                                                                        Source: BBC

I was not alone in being shocked at the BBC's Countryfile coverage of the plight of sheep farmers last Sunday.

"Roast lamb is getting rarer" it was claimed, not because of a shortage but "because there is no money in it when no-one buys it." Exports had doubled over the last 30 years. The legs go to the supermarkets but the rest goes abroad, it was stated.

Perhaps Wales Online had the answer when they reported:  "There are millions of sheep in Wales... so why is Welsh Lamb such a luxury ?" Grassland consultant Gareth Davies called for an investigation into the pricing process as the meat had come to be regarded as “a luxury” by consumers. He tweeted "In Tesco today and I didn't see any British lamb below £10 per kg. I sold lambs at £1.60. Would like to see breakdown of the other £8.40."

Rick Pendrous, editor at Food Manufacture magazine, said: “Welsh Lamb products are at a much higher premium than New Zealand lamb. From The Telegraph: "It has emerged a majority of New Zealand lamb sold in UK supermarkets comes from halal abattoirs in order to ensure it can be sold to both Muslim and non-Muslim nations. Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer have all confirmed selling the imported meat."

This had led to growing pressure on supermarkets and restaurants to inform consumers how animals in their meat products are killed after it emerged some were selling halal meat without clear labelling.

Reacting to Countryfile 'promoting halal slaughter' the Express reported anger over the BBC's coverage: "The BBC has come under fire for broadcasting a segment on Halal meat on Sunday night’s Countryfile with viewers accusing the Corporation of hitting a “new low” and “justifying vile Halal slaughter practices on our soil”. This is a video clip from the programme

Discussing the practice the Imam featured in the video said: “There are certain practices where you want to fulfil a commandment of God and you’re basically invoking God’s name upon that. You are making the sacrifice in the name of God and now it’s made Halal. Halal means permissible and it’s been made permissible by God for you.”

He is not the loving God recognised by Christians. When the Apostle Peter said “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean, "The voice spoke to him a second time: 'Do not call anything impure' that God has made clean".

But the promotion of Islam goes beyond ritual slaughter of lamb. There have been many reports of our inability to confront the most dangerous aspects of Islam. ‘Rebel Priest’, Rev Jules Gomes graphically illustrated the problem when he wrote "Our most vulnerable girls pay sorely for our surrender to the Islamists".

The criminals, he says are often referenced as “Asians” rather than as “Muslims”. Although the predators hail from many ethnicities, many happen to be Pakistani.

"Rape in Pakistan is ‘often institutionalised and has the tacit and at times the explicit approval of the state.’ A Human Rights Watch study reports a rape every two hours and a gang rape every eight hours. What is particularly significant is the high percentage of Christian, Hindu, Sikh and other women from minorities raped by Muslim men in Pakistan. The British incidents reflect a perilous import from Pakistan."

God's name is invoked by Muslims in their cry Allahu Akbar (God is greater) when they slaughter the lamb and innocent victims of their intolerant ideology. Writing under the headline Danger, discrimination and dhimmitude the Barnabas Fund recently reported:

"Pakistan’s Christians are a suffering, vulnerable minority. They face violence at the hands of Islamist terrorists, discrimination in work and at school, and live with the ever-present threat of “blasphemy” allegations, which have led to Christian communities being ransacked by Muslim mobs. Authorities often turn a blind eye and are sometimes even complicit in crimes against Christians, including the abduction and forced marriage of women and girls.

There are too many 'blind eyes' turned in Great Britain but that the BBC should use licence payers' money to promote such an ideology is truly outrageous.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Caption please

Source: Facebook

In a previous entry I included a Facebook link to photographic coverage of a 'Grill the bishops' vocations event held in the Llandaff diocese of the Church in Wales.

I doubt that you will see the above photo in the Caption competition of the diocese's Croeso publication so readers may wish to add a caption.

Printable captions will be published here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Women's ministry: laughing all the way to the top

The newly announced Archdeacon of Bangor will be among the story-tellers
at an event in St Asaph Cathedral to celebrate 21 years of women priests
 in the Church in Wales.    Source: CinW Press release

There is to be another celebration of women using the church for 21 years to further their careers at the expense of others when they meet in St Asaph Cathedral to recount stories of "uncertainty, inspiration and creativity".

The occasion is being organised by MAECymru, a self-promoting group of people who claim to have a vision of the Church in Wales as "a community of God’s people where, regardless of gender, justice and equality prevail". It is a vision of a church which misrepresents any opposition with spurious claims of prejudice, misogyny and inequality.

No wonder they are offering a 50% discount to entice new members to their gang.

"Welcome !  to  MAECymru"                                                                                  Source: MAECymru 

The newly announced Archdeacon of Bangor will be among the story-tellers. Her contribution to the debate on women bishops in the Church in Wales can be found in an essay following her trip to the US where she saw a woman celebrant wearing a pointy hat. That convinced her that she was right about women's ministry and the vast majority of Christians were wrong in their belief that the ordination of women to the priesthood was contrary to scripture and tradition.

The new Archdeacon has much to say about "women's ministry" but she completely misses the point. Women's ministry has become a process for the self-advancement for women in the church. Not ordinary women who worship quietly as they keep the church running but the minority of women who shout the loudest and are content to use the church for political gain at the expense of others.

Compare what she  has to say about ministry with this extract from A Noble Task by Bishop David Thomas who was asked to reflect on his experience of ministry as Provincial Assistant Bishop and how it might change if the episcopate in Wales  were opened to women:

 "Another  dangerous misconception concerns the nature of the objection to the ordination  of women as priests. People sometimes assume that the real problem has to do  with the ministry of women in the Church. This is not the case. The assumption  arises from a failure to differentiate clearly between ministry in general and  ordained ministry in particular. Perhaps I can illustrate the point from my  liturgical responsibilities. Sometimes, for instance when a document is being  prepared for Governing Body, I have to spend hours poring over the minutiae of  a revised liturgical text. This was how I spotted that, in the ‘gold book’  Eucharist, the heading of Preface 23 (for use at ordinations, institutions,  etc.) was ‘Ministry’. The heading has been corrected in the 2004 equivalent  (no. 30) to ‘Ordained Ministry’. This contemporary, very common, tendency  unconsciously to allow ordained ministry to get submerged in the much wider  concept of ministry, leads to all sorts of mistaken perceptions. All I can say  by way of comment is that the wisest (and toughest!) spiritual adviser I’ve  ever had so far was a woman; I benefited enormously from working in my last  parish alongside a woman deacon; I made it my business to increase the number  of female eucharistic assistants in my last parish, and I worked very happily  there with a quite outstanding woman churchwarden – added to which, I am well  aware that there are some situations, perhaps many, where a woman will be  better qualified to give pastoral care than any man. I have very good reasons  for accepting, affirming, valuing and rejoicing in the ministry of women in the  Church. The difficulty for me, as for others including many women, has to do  with that distinctive aspect of presbyteral ministry which we call eucharistic  presidency."

Bishop David Thomas was the first Provincial Assistant Bishop (PAB) appointed to provide acceptable sacramental and pastoral ministry to those who, in conscience, were unable to receive the ministry of women priests. He also proved to be the last PAB after Abp Barry Morgan and his bench sitters reneged on the agreement which eased the path to women's ordination in the Church in Wales.

The bench had achieved their objective and that was that despite the overwhelming desire expressed at Diocesan meetings for similar pastoral and sacramental provision to be restored.

MAECymru shares the duplicity of the bench of bishops. They have a vision for a Church in Wales in which justice and equality prevail but it is a cloak under which secularisation has taken hold, advancing minority causes.

They couldn't care less for the countless women and men who find their church has left them.

Justice and equality for those left with no church will be quietly forgotten as the story-tellers relate their sob stories.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Sexuality, tolerance and institutional inclusion

 Changing attitude in St Davids Diocese                                            Pub talk in Llandaff                                   Source: Church in Wales

By accident or design 'sexuality, tolerance and institutional inclusion' were some of the 'hot topics' under discussion when young people were invited to ‘Grill the Bishops’ in a Cardiff pub this week. Sexuality not spirituality was the first word in the diocesan press release.

Asked about the way forward for the church on the LGBT issue, Bishop June said, “The way forward is that the church gets past the issues that it is struggling over and embraces marrying couples in church of whatever sexuality.”

The event was organised jointly by the Revd Becca Stevens, young vocations advisor for Monmouth Diocese and the Revd Wendy Tayler of Llandaff Diocese. There is an amusing link from the Monmouth Vocations site to a series of photographs on Facebook showing June's dominant use of the microhone although Richard did have to manage his wine glass, no doubt conscious of 1 Timothy 3:3. Looking through the photographs I was left wondering if +Richard was there as her minder or was ♀June mentoring him on the 'inclusive' Church in Wales.

There was nothing amusing about an earlier diocesan press release in which the bishop of St Davids rejoices in her Presidency of a new group aimed at "offering a ministry of welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Christians" which has been launched in St Davids Diocese, Changing Attitude Transnewid Cymru (CATAC). 

That is despite the presence of numerous gay people in the church who, far from being unwelcome, are in many senior positions.

"It asserts that there is integrity in being both Christian and gay and that, for many people, it is a God-given reality, not a sin or sickness, and that LGBT people offer evidence of the fruits of the Spirit. In her address to the group’s inaugural Eucharist in St Patrick’s Church, Pennar, near Pembroke Dock,  group President bishop Joanna Penberthy suggested it "seeks a re-evaluation of Scripture and tradition". She said:

“After 2000 years, we are still learning how to work out our Christian faith. We are learning to cope with changing attitudes. Love is patient, it is kind, not envious or boastful, arrogant or rude. (St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians). “Let us be able to express what we think in the spirit of 1 Corinthians 13 
If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal…". In other words, anything is acceptable in love.

But there is no love outside full inclusion of LGBT people. Outsiders are not even permitted an opnion.

Prior to her 'secret' baptism, Gavin Ashenden wrote in his blog entry 'Meghan Markle, Justin Welby & The Use And Abuse Of Baptism':  "The Reich Church of our day has given way not over race but over gender, not to a fascist culture but to the new-Marxist values and concepts, peddled and enforced by universities, schools, state agencies, the police, and more recently the judiciary.

 "The neo-Marxist or cultural Marxist agenda sets itself not only against Judaeo-Christian revelation and values, but goes further to set itself against free speech."

Neo-Marxism or cultural Marxism is described by Bishop Ashenden in Anglican Unscripted #374 [@ 9.12] as a process beginning with feminism which presents as equality and fairness and then moves on to gay marriage because of the notion of equal treatment and re-imagining gender which moves on to the whole trans movement. 

The Christian Post reports that Queen's University in Belfast has denied a Christian ministry's request to screen a new documentary featuring the testimonies of people who have left homosexuality. An exact reason why it couldn't show the documentary at Queen's Film Theatre was not given but the university's response "suggests that the film doesn't match its idea of inclusivity".

Given her endorsement of CATAC (Changing Attitude Transnewid Cymru), a national organisation working towards the full inclusion of LGBT people in the life of the Anglican Communion, the bishop of St Davids would agree with that. So by implication would the bench of bishops.

It was reported after the appointment of bishop Joanna Penberthy that her election was a "stitch up". Indeed, her name was being circulated widely as the next bishop of St Davids long before her 'election' despite her inability to communicate in Welsh, the first language of many in her diocese.

Both she and June Osborne had known track records of using the church to push their feminist, LGBT agenda. The bishops who appointed them are complicit because they must have been aware of this. They should all pack their bags and take their neo/cultural Marxism with them.

Postscript [09.03.2018]

There is more propaganda from the bishop of St Davids using the sanctity of St Davids Cathedral to promote feminism in the church dressed up as equality in another press release 'International Women’s Day: The Bishop & the Suffragette'.

One hundred and ten years after suffragettes Emmeline Pankhurst, Annie Kenney and Mary Blathwayt signed the Visitor's Book much has changed. Read how much in 'Feminists reign supreme – men are the new second sex' by By Kathy Gyngell in The Conservative Woman which illustrates how out of touch ♀Joanna is.

She stopped short of referring to the promiscuous lesbian love trysts of the suffragette leaders. An opportunity lost in her promotion of Changing Attitude Transnewid Cymru.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Another Church in Wales senior appointment

The Archbishop of Wales at the window in HQ which affords distant views of the Salvation Army
DHQ and the Church of St Mary's The Virgin in Butetown .  Source: Church in Wales

Hot on the heels of the Church in Wales advertisement for a Director of Welsh Language and Bilingual Mission (Grade F – £36,225 to £40,986 per annum) comes another bishops' adviser senior appointment. This time for a Director of Education Policy (Grade G – £42,692 to £48,302 per annum).

According to the job description the post holder will be responsible to the Bench of Bishops and the Standing Committee of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales through the Bishop holding the Education portfolio (currently the Bishop of Llandaff) for the content of work. The post-holder will be a senior advisor to the Bishops and will be responsible for ensuring that they are kept well briefed and well-informed about developments in the areas of work covered by this role.

With a bloated bench of  six diocesan bishops for a province the size of a Church of England diocese and no sign of reducing the bureaucracy as recommended in the Harries Review (Section 15), one has to wonder how the bishops spend their time with advisers assisting them with the briefs. Perhaps that is why they are so out of touch, spending time indulging their LGBTI/same-sex marriage obsessions.

In a previous entry, 'The cost of change', I noted that the  bishop of Llandaff, the holder of the Education portfolio, had said, "You can talk about it as a story of decline but actually what it is about is change." So there we have it. More bureaucracy.

While the peasants at the bottom of the pile are urged to dig deeper there is no shortage of money for the lord bishops' advisers. 

There is a salutary tale from the US on the decline of the Episcopal Church (here) but the bench continues to look to TEC for support. Their ex-Presiding Bishop is mentoring ♀June and ♀Joanna.

Female bishop mentoring                                 Source: Twitter

Since we were led to expect so much from women bishops it is a bit of a mystery why they need mentoring: 
“People were delighted in my appointment because it was fairly unexpected that in a single year the Church in Wales went from having six men as its bishops to a third being women. I can’t tell you the amount of pleasure and delight it causes people. It’s now what we expect, we don’t expect there to be barriers for women. That is as true for spiritual leadership and the church as for medicine or journalism or the boardroom.” - June Osborne

Not without substantial help apparently. Who is paying the mentoring bill and why choose a woman who has been exposed for her non-Christian theology?

If there is so much money about might I suggest another senior appointment? Someone who can advise the bench how to get back on track after being derailed by the former archbishop and his heretical mentor. That would be money well spent.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Misogyny, repression and stigmatisation

Source: Church in Wales Diocesan press releases
  One of the less important casualties of the severe weather was the launch of a new book under the category Gender Studies in Wales. 

Due to be launched at that bastion of inclusiveness, St Asaph Cathedral, it claims to offer "significant and original insights into women, Welsh identity and religion":

"Women, Identity and Religion in Wales by Manon Ceridwen James, a Canon at the Cathedral, is the first comprehensive study of its kind from a present-day perspective. At the heart of the book are conversations with thirteen women whose lives and experiences reveal how women facing misogyny, repression and stigmatisation are able to respond with resilience and humour." [My emphasis - Ed.]

I have not read the book and at £24.99 for a paperback copy which, from the reviews, trots out the usual gender studies cliches, I have no intention of doing so. From the abstract of the author's University of Birmingham Ph.D. thesis:

"The thesis is structured as a theological ‘critical conversation’. Dialogue partners include Western feminist theologians and their claim that women find it difficult to assert an authentic self and also sociological and historical texts looking at religion, women and identity in Wales. Christianity has played a significant part in Welsh identity construction, particularly in creating a repressive self-image for Welsh women for political reasons."

Putting such claims in the context of my own grandmothers, mother, wife, mother-in-law, daughters to granddaughters, a period getting on for one and a half centuries, over half of which I have personal experience, nothing could be further from the truth. Quite the contrary which later generations are happy to confirm. It is all politics.

One reviewer described the book as a "valuable and challenging contribution to our understanding of womanhood". What she means is those women who have used religion to further their careers in a so-called equality campaign.

Equality of opportunity in the workplace is to be applauded but the church is not the workplace. Vicars are not employed by the church. They are 'employed by God'.

Blind to the reality that surrounds them, feminists are stuck in the past. They speak for themselves advancing their own cause regardless of the cost to others. If other women become casualties, falling by the wayside in the name of equality, hard luck.

As the Archdeacon of Llandaff candidly explained before she was imported from the Church of England to execute Barry Morgan's disastrous plans for the Church in Wales "new individuals with conscientious difficulties over women’s ministry will simply have to make personal decisions and individual choices, to find accommodation as best they can". With resilience and humour?

Many faithful women have been ousted from their church. I know from experience how it has hurt them to be abandoned but many more women suffer physical hurt and hardship through FGM, human trafficking and slavery. The inferior status of women according to different cultures in our midst is a scandal. To help them requires genuine service, not self advancement while supposedly fighting for social equality so real injustice continues.

Claiming misogyny, repression and stigmatisation is part of the feminist strategy. It has reached the highest levels in the church. We have witnessed two women bishops appointed in Wales followed by one in Scotland in addition to those in England and numerous female clerics repeating the same allegations of discrimination.

Mud sticks. There is plenty of it bringing the church into disrepute. The consequences are all too clear. Christianity in Great Britain is waning fast. When pressed the so-called abuse amounts to no more than a difference of opinion.

When secular values are applied to the church repression and discrimination are alleged. It is not misogyny to take a traditional, theological view on the ordination of women, in fact many more Christian women fervently believe that a woman's place is not at the altar. That is not repression. It is their deeply held faith.

Secularisation of Anglicanism has been a disaster resulting in decline, not growth, but still the alleged 'victims' peddle their untruths to gain advantage. That people outside the church are taken in is hardly surprising when clerics in the church complain it is so. The result is further opportunities to attack the church and our Christian values.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Wimmin called to ministry

Canon Anne Dyer at St Andrew's Cathedral in King Street.
Canon Dyer is set to become the first female bishop in Scotland.
Source Press and Journal/Picture by Colin Rennie.

Another 'social worker' is to be enthroned as the first woman bishop in the Scottish Episcopal Church this week. The new Episcopalian Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney has already made it clear she isn’t interested in restricting herself to "prayers, pews and parochial parish life". She is focused on "fighting for social justice, sexual equality".

Responding to critics of her backing for gay marriage, the new bishop said, “The Scottish Episcopal Church officially acknowledges that there is not one view on marriage within our church today. We hold differing views according to our consciences, but also after varied readings of the bible and prayer. Whatever view a person holds, they are welcome. It is the bishop’s role to try to hold diversity together, to enable those who disagree to find common cause and purpose, and see Christ present in every person."

She should have a word with the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, the Most Rev'd Mark Strange. There was no common cause when he dismissed objections from traditionalist Anglicans who accused the bishops of having chosen to “ignore the opinion of the Diocesan Synod”. Bishop Strange stated that he, the other electing bishops, and Canon Dyer “fully believe and trust that they have been led by the Holy Spirit”.

The Holy Spirit is having a busy time allegedly supporting all these wimmin who claim to be called to ministry based on controversial readings of the Bible.

Another +selfie: "We literally could not have got another person in the chapel!
Eucharist, fellowship & conversation enjoyed by all." Source: Twitter
In another example, a Church in Wales tweet has been promoting an interview with the bishop of Llandaff by a student who attended a well publicised Cardiff University Chaplaincy event to welcome their new bishop. 

Apparently the event was so well attended that  all 22 students present had to squeeze themselves into the chapel, including some of considerably riper years looking at the +selfie.

Had it not been for the big squeeze in the chapel the event could have provided yet another metaphor for the state of the Church in Wales. 

There are 30,676 students in Cardiff University giving an attendance figure for the welcome visit of 0.07%, somewhat short of the 0.9 % of the population worshipping in Church of Wales congregations on average Sundays - see Church in Wales attendance plummets.

Undeterred bishop June obligingly explains how she had been called to ministry. She had a "developing sense that God was calling [her] to the ministry of the church". Sorry June. That wasn't God. It was synodical voting by feminists and their sympathisers who have independently used Anglican church provinces for political advantage with no regard for the consequences.

A word count of the bishop's interview illustrates the secular approach to ministry by career wimmin. It shows Jesus, along with men and Châteauneuf-du-Pape, had one mention each while sex had six and women eleven.

What they have is a ministry of self-advancement based on 'varied readings' of the bible which appeal to secularists who, in turn, use it as ammunition to attack the church. The consequences are all too evident.

Ministry is about service. It is not a strategy for the advancement of wimmin, casting aside other women and men because they follow Christ's example along with the vast majority of Anglicans and most Christians.

But the saddest result of the feminist mission is that some genuinely faithful women have been misled into thinking that ordained ministry is part of God's plan when the contrary is obvious from any normal reading of the Bible.

Postscript [02.03.2018]

As if to prove my point, an article in the Church Times 'Women in ministry: the next steps' is described as a "response to Women’s History Month" in which Johanna Derry looks at issues faced by women clergy.

A word count shows not one reference to Jesus but 52 to women.

From the article: "I think that no one looks twice now when they see a woman priest — it’s accepted, and most people are very happy with it. It seems normative rather than quirky, and I think we’ve made very quick progress on the way women bishops have been received, too," the Revd Sheridan James, Vicar of St Catherine’s, Hatcham, says. She is the dean of women’s ministry for the Woolwich Area."

That is the same argument being used by clerics promoting gay marriage - people will accept it, they claim, as they have re-marriage after divorce. When the Vicar of St Catherine’s says that 'most people are very happy with it', she must be referring to the few Anglicans remaining who still regularly attend Sunday services. Tens of thousands are not. They have left.

In Wales where no provision has been made for Anglicans who are not swayed by relativism, their church has simply left them. There is no love, no charity, no concern. Just nothing. That is negativity.

If you are not for the revisionist agenda you are labelled a bigot, guilty of sexism, misogyny and all the usual phobias. Alternative views are not permitted even when, as the 1928 Book of Common Prayer put it when I was received into the congregation of Christ’s flock, one manfully fights under His banner against sin, the world, and the devil.

Nevertheless I welcome different shades of opinion but sadly some interesting comments are lost because they are unsigned and have no pseudonym to separate them from other 'anonymous' comments. Here are two opposing views by way of example.

Anonymous 1 - "I am sick and tired of the comments made on this blog. I am a woman and I object to wimmin being used to describe the females who serve God and His Church. You should look at the past and see how successful men have been. Not. Perhaps God is trying something new and wants to change the attitude that prevails."

Anonymous 2 - "Have you noticed this positive discrimination in the Church of Scotland where they more or less stopped recruiting men in favour of women with the result that they have run out of ministers. Once upon a time the discerning of a call to the ministry was the main role of the hierarchy when they encouraged and supported those with a vocation to listen to the call. Wider society is not turning the church into a minority - the church is doing that job by turning away from the search for true gifts of ministry and mission."

I again urge commentators to observe this rule when comments are submitted for publication.