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Saturday, 16 January 2021

Own goal

Post-goal celebrations are coming under scrutiny by English medical officials, with some calling for yellow cards to be shown to players who violate Premier
 League protocols. | POOL / VIA REUTERS  (Source: The Japan Times)


Back in the Summer the Premier League issued official guidelines on how soccer games should be staged, played and broadcast amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Players were told not to spit, clear their nose or surround match officials when the season restarted.

Some sports, such as basketball and tennis, penalise players for spitting, but football and rugby do not, so the players are free to expectorate.

Also, from the Japan Times on hugging:

"Chelsea manager Frank Lampard defended his players on Thursday amid a growing debate about teams celebrating goals with hugs and high-fives while the country is battling the COVID-19 pandemic.  

"The Premier League was holding virtual meetings to reinforce the message that protocols must be respected, but Lampard echoed other top-flight managers in suggesting that was easier said than done. 

"'Football has and always will be a game of instinct. If we want to take the instinct out of the game then it is not that simple'."

It is simple. 

The NHS is being overwhelmed because some people will not change their habits. 

People are dying, jobs are being lost, businesses are closing. Families are having to survive on food parcels while the next generation misses out on their education.

The average salary for a Premier League footballer exceeds £3m a year. Instead of being a law unto themselves some sense of responsibility would be welcome .

Yellow cards needed?                            Source: The Indian Express (Photo AP)


Saturday, 9 January 2021

The next Archbishop of Wales?

Bangor wedding                                           Source: Facebook


Could this be the future, and possibly last, Archbishop of Wales before its demise?

The bishop of Bangor is the next senior bishop in the Church of Wales after the Most Rev John Davies who has announced that he is to retire in May two years before his 70th birthday.

May will also be the first anniversary of the Enquiry set up by the Bench of Bishops and the Representative Body into the events surrounding the retirement of the Rt Revd Richard Pain as Bishop of Monmouth, the procedures followed and decisions made by all those involved. It was hoped that the Enquiry and Review would be completed within six months.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Some Epiphany!

Mary Teresa Streck is Ordained a Roman Catholic Woman Priest                    Source: Call to Action


The Epiphany season brings some unwelcome news for opponents of the ordination of women who fled Anglicanism for Rome. 

Reports suggest that the drive for change which has destroyed much of the Anglican Communion is gaining momentum in the Roman Catholic Church.

This is all very familiar for Anglicans who have witnessed the long, drawn out, chipping away of the faith as received until their Church has become virtually unrecognisable as evidenced by the near collapse of the Episcopal Church in the United States and the demise of Anglicanism in the UK.

The Irish Examiner reports that Fr Tony Flannery, a founder of the Association of Catholic Priests, who has been suspended from active ministry for the past eight years has asked whether the hierarchy in the Catholic Church will now change its approach to him after senior clerics expressed support for the ordination of women. 

In a statement issued on Sunday Fr Flannery highlighted comments made by the Archbishop-elect of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, in which the incoming Archbishop said he would 'like to see women becoming deacons in the church'.

"The Archbishop-elect of Dublin, Dermot Farrell, in an interview with the Irish Times, said he would like to see women becoming deacons in the church. He is reported as going on to say that 'the biggest barrier to having female priests in the Catholic Church is probably tradition, not the Scriptures'. In saying this he appears to undercut the main argument used by the Church against the ordination of women."

LifeSiteNews reports: Bishop Georg Bätzing, the head of the German bishops’ conference, supported in a new interview the idea of “ordaining” women to the diaconate and the priesthood and a blessing for homosexual and cohabitating couples. He also defended the idea of intercommunion. And he even claimed that the German bishops could make some of these changes without approval from Rome. 

Bätzing revealed in an interview with the German Catholic journal Herder Korrespondenz that already in the 1980s, he participated in discussions about the female “priesthood.” He argued that there are “well-developed arguments in favor of opening the sacramental [priestly] office also for women.” That is why he himself “often mention[s] the female diaconate, because I see there some more possibilities.” Mentioning the fact that Pope John Paul II and his successor “unanimously” stated that “this question has been answered,” the German bishop sees that “nevertheless, it [the question] is on the table.”...

... But with regard to the possibility of a liturgical blessing of so-called irregular couples – homosexual and cohabitating couples – the German bishop claimed that such a decision can indeed be taken by the German bishops “without Roman approval.” Bätzing then went on to say that he, however, is of the opinion “that we should change the Catechism in this respect.”

Back in 2013 WAMC reported that 'religious history' was made in Albany, New York, when the city's first "woman priest", Mary Theresa Streck, was ordained. "Streck will now carry on the ancient tradition: taking on the role of spiritual leader of a 40-person strong Catholic community — a rainbow congregation of gay, straight, divorced, married and single  folks." 

It is all so familiar for Anglicans. The warnings are there to be heeded.

Postscript [12.01.2021]

Pope Francis opens ministries of lector and acolyte to women

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Church in Wales bishops ditch faith for secularism


      Source: WalesOnline (Image: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images)

The Christmas present to the Church in Wales from their bishops:

A BILL TO AUTHORISE EXPERIMENTAL USE OF PROPOSED REVISIONS OF THE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER (service of Blessing following a Civil Partnership or Marriage between two people of the same sex)

WHEREAS the Order of Clergy and Order of Laity of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales indicated their view by informal poll on 12 September 2018 ‘that it is pastorally unsustainable for the Church to make no formal provision for those in same-gender relationships’.

AND WHEREAS the Bench of Bishops believes that it is desirable that, before a bill for the revision of a part of the Book of Common Prayer is submitted by the Bishops for the consideration of the Governing Body, a proposed form of service be used experimentally in the churches of the Church in Wales for a limited period.

BE IT HEREBY ENACTED that:

1. A Diocesan Bishop shall have power to authorise for experimental use in the churches within their diocese the form set out in the Appendix for a service of Blessing following a Civil Partnership or Marriage between two people of the same sex for a period of five years from 1 October 2021, subject to the conditions set out below.

2. No Cleric shall be obliged to officiate at such a service.

3. The Parochial Fees for a ‘Marriage Blessing (following a Civil Marriage)’ may be charged by the officiating minister and Parochial Church Council for such a service.

Backers:

+John Cambrensis
+Andrew Bangor
+Gregory Llanelwy
+Joanna Tyddewi
+June Landav
+Cherry Monmouth

From Church Times:

In an explanatory memorandum, the Bishops acknowledge that scripture and Christian tradition have previously understood unions of one man and one woman as the only context for sexual relationships.

“However, with new social, scientific and psychological understandings of sexuality in the last one and a half centuries, we believe that same-sex relationships can be understood in a radically different way, and that the teaching of Scripture should therefore be re-interrogated,” the Bishops write.

Postscript [02.01.2021]

From Coalition for Marriage (C4M):

Legalising gay marriage has caused a surge in divorce rates among lesbians, says same-sex fertility chief. - Mail Online

Meanwhile in Wales, Kirsty Williams’s Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Bill was debated last month. The current legal requirement for pupils to “learn the nature of marriage and its importance for family life and the bringing up of children” has been ditched. The parental right of withdrawal is also thrown out.

More from C4M here.

Thursday, 24 December 2020

Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year


Hugo van der Goes, Portinari Altarpiece (c.1475)                                                                                                                                                           Source: Wiki

Stay safe

Saturday, 19 December 2020

'Truss Axes Woke From Government'


Source: Twitter

The BBC reports that the government is launching an Equality Data Programme to gather information on people's backgrounds, social mobility and inequality between regions. The government is promising to focus more on people's social class and individual "character", as it overhauls its equality policy.

Equalities minister Liz Truss said the discrimination debate should not focus solely on race, religion, sexual orientation and disability. Discussion had too often been dominated by "fashion" and not "facts", she said.

From Personnel Today: "Women and equalities minister Liz Truss has criticised the Equality Act 2010 and dismissed unconscious bias training as one of several ‘tools of the left’ that do nothing to ‘fix systems’. She stated that the state’s agenda had become too narrow, and the discrimination debate should not focus solely on race, religion, sexual orientation and disability."

A marked change from faith leaders who have been falling over themselves to sign up to plead forgiveness from the LGBT+ community.

Leaders 'out of the bunker'                               Source: Religion Media Centre

The Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives is organised by a Christian activist, Jayne Ozanne.

From Religion Media Centre: "A coalition of faith leaders from across the globe have signed a declaration affirming their conviction that LGBTQ+ people are loved by God equally. The document, whose production was funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, also calls for a ban on any efforts to change or suppress someone’s sexual or gender identity (often known as conversion therapy), and for countries that still criminalise LGBTQ+ people and their relationships to reform their laws urgently."

Allegations of persecution in the UK persist despite a marked shift in public opinion. Ozanne is a significant driving force in this movement. Of course LGBTQ+ people are loved by God equally and she is at liberty to campaign about conversion therapy but that does not justify attempts to re-interpret the Bible to accord with personal preference.

The declaration, Declaring the Sanctity of Life and the Dignity of All, has been signed by faith leaders from more than 30 countries. 

The Welsh contingent on the original list of Signatories as of 16th December 2020 includes five of the six Church in Wales diocesan bishops, a retired bishop and two Methodist Synod Chairpersons. 

Postscript [21.12.2020]

Parts of Liz Truss's speech previously reported in full on the gov.uk website were cut and replaced with a note saying that “political content” had been redacted. Officials say the political elements of the speech attacking “the failed ideas of the left” had been uploaded in error. Government resources are not supposed to be used for political campaigning and parts of speeches that cross into this territory are usually left off departmental websites. - Independent.

The woke battle continues:

I've been unfairly targeted, says academic at heart of National Trust 'woke' row. Professor warns of ‘political agenda’ to discredit researchers exploring slavery links. The academic at the centre of an escalating row over the National Trust’s efforts to explore links between its properties and colonialism has warned of a “political agenda” to “misrepresent, mischaracterise, malign and intimidate” those involved in the project. - Guardian.

At an online question and answer session in November, National Trust members accused the charity of “defaming” Winston Churchill’s memory with its “woke agenda". During a heated annual general meeting furious National Trust members criticised the organisation’s directors for pursuing “a witch hunt” in a new report linking more than 90 National Trust properties to slavery and colonialism. - Evening Standard.

Friday, 11 December 2020

The LGBT Church in Wales




Drawing on the teaching of the Bible, and of the Church down through the centuries, the Church in Wales Marriage Service talks about marriage as a gift of God. Marriage is described as the lifelong, faithful union between a man and a woman, and married love is compared with the love Jesus has for his people – a love expressed in his willing sacrifice of himself on the cross. 

 
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales will next meet on April 14-15 2021.  Details of a Consultation have been issued:

"A Bill to authorise experimental use of proposed revisions of the Book of Common Prayer (service of Blessing following a Civil Partnership or Marriage between two people of the same sex)"

In an explanatory memorandum the bishops 'unreservedly and collectively' commend to the Governing Body, a service of Blessing following a Civil Partnership or Marriage between two people of the same sex.

The standing Committee has appointed a Select Committee ‘for the purpose of considering and collating any amendments which members of the Governing Body may wish to move to the Bill’. 

The Chair of the sub-committee is the John 8:32 quoting vicar whose church in the above photo has the Holy Table decked in rainbow colours, not of God's covenant with all living creatures but of those who like bishops and priests in the Church in Wales regularly parade under the LGBT rainbow flag. 

The bishops claim that the Rite is a "step on the way towards repentance of a history in the Church which has demonised and persecuted gay and lesbian people, forcing them into fear, dishonesty and sometimes even hypocrisy, and which has precluded them from living." 

Utter balderdash! Yes, homosexuality was treated as a crime in the past and is still in parts of the world, punishable by death in some countries. I have no experience of the bishops' allegations. Rather the reverse when trying to uphold traditional marriage which is the union  of one man and one woman for life.

Much has changed. 

 Civil partnerships rightly extended legal protection to same sex partners leaving any physical attraction between them and God.

Many Anglicans of conscience have been left by their Church leaving their LGBT trumpeting bishops to lead astray what remains of their flock.
  
 As predicted in 2017, liberal drift has engulfed the Church in Wales. There are gay bishops, transgender priests with same sex marriage on the cards. Polyamory next?

This Bill makes every Church in Wales member complicit in the bishops' actions.

Postscript [12.12.2020]

1. The bishops' memorandum is discussed on Anglican Unscripted (edition 636) starting at 25 Mins in.
https://youtu.be/vSrv7ZAumIM

2. The Explanatory Memorandum from the Bishops of the Church in Wales – a response.