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Thursday, 19 April 2018

What a gay couple of days!

Bishop of Llandaff is surrounded by senior staff                                                      Source: Twitter

A nice little jolly for senior staff in the diocese of Llandaff has been highlighted on Twitter: "The Llandaff Senior Staff are enjoying the hospitality of Mill House Retreat Centre for a couple of days of team building including our new Archdeacon! Down to work!

No dingy church hall for them. Compare the lifestyle at the top with Ministry Areas struggling to make ends meet and it is clear where priorities lie in the Church in Wales. 

Archbishop John Davies was right in his presidential address to members at the recent meeting of the Governing Body when he acknowledged that the church was facing ‘confusing and challenging times’. He urged members to follow the example of people in the Bible by putting their faith in God and acting confidently to make change happen. 

There has been a flurry of archdeacon appointments lately. The appointment of the Archdeacon of Margam follows the appointment of an additional Archdeacon in Monmouth to jolly along the switch to Ministry Areas with more advertised in the expectation that they will improve a dire situation.

From 'Ministry Share: A Guide' issued by the diocese of St Davids: "Put simply, it is the financial cost of spreading the Gospel and maintaining ministry in our diocese, shared among all the parishes of St Davids. It is a commitment of our faith, rather than a tax or imposition, which finds its beginnings in the earliest days of the church and a very similar financial pool of funds is described in Acts.

It is more about spreading the load than spreading the Gospel. The widows' mites funding life at the top.

The current position is unsustainable. The guide explains that the funds required for the pool are calculated each year in the diocesan budget. The Bishop and senior staff have to calculate the number of clergy required and this is the biggest single item in the budget.

A commentator pointed out under a previous thread, Taking stock,  "Meanwhile....Cwmbran has gone from 5 full time clergy to a ministry area with no paid clergy since August....a roaring success hey? 5 churches and a CiW school.......but the parish share has remained at over £120K per year.......But at least the governing body will be debating politics soon, that will really help this crisis and grow the Church!

Not all change is for the better it seems.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

'The Hour' has come

‘The Hour’ previewed here was broadcast last night on 16 April, not 14 April as stated in the diocesan Press Release.

Joanna Penberthy’s contribution was worse than I feared, aligning the church with a political movement rather than the kingdom of God. She was unbalanced, dishonest in her claims and blatantly sexist. I doubt that she brought anyone to Christ.

No wonder Barry Morgan thought she was the best person to be a bishop in the Church in Wales.

There was no mention of the genuine theological problems experienced by the majority of Christians, including women, who are unable to accept the validity of the ordination of women. Just a one-sided bleat about perceived injustice.

Not recognising the validity of her orders may be "water of a duck's back" for the bishop but it is a deluge that has ruined the spiritual lives of the male priests she referred to as unable to accept her sacramental ministry and many more lay people who are unable to accept a minority innovation that benefits the few at the expense of many.

Readers who are able to access the BBC’s iPlayer can watch the programme. It was about women – “A hundred years since some of us got the vote, are women still discriminated against in today’s Wales or has Feminism gone too far?”

After discussing politics the presenter moved to “an even older institution, the church” (position 25.50). There was a short film designed to illustrate the so-called prejudice experienced  by the woman who 'will go down in history as Wales’ first ever women bishop. “It’s not about being a victim”, Penberthy asserted, "if you can be prejudiced in the soft institution of the church, what does that say about your attitude to women?”

That is why, she said, in the first interview after her consecration she was talking about the fact that two women a week are killed by their partners. Until that stops "we have a job on our hands". It was not clear if that comes before or after her campaign to welcome LGBT+ people despite their disproportionate presence in the church.

The former Ass Bishop of Llandaff claimed that ‘the ordination of women would rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones’. The Church in Wales now has women priests and bishops but the claims continue with the same false accusations of  homophobia and misogyny.

Penberthy emphasised the point that she chose to pursue the brutalisation of women theme in her first interview after her enthronement rather than the core Christian message, the proclamation of the coming of the kingdom of God.

Later in the  discussion the presenter returned  to the bishop to ask about the future. What could be changed for the better? “Women need to be valued” was the bishop’s response as though women are not valued already. She was also given the last word on 'the most important thing' she had heard in the debate. Once again it was that two women a week are killed by their partners. Until "we get passed that and women are safe in their own homes then we haven’t really made any progress", she said.

The 'soft institution of the church' to use Penberthy's words has been used by feminists to advance their own cause at the expense of the church, trampling on the faithful in the process. An unsigned (therefore unpublished) comment on another thread suggested the we misogynists should "look beyond your own ecclesiastical communities and see how women continue to be exploited and mistreated".

How mistreating and exploiting the church for political ends is supposed to make a difference is not explained. It would help if the infiltrators did something at the sharp end rather than seek a comfortable living while destroying the church which had enriched the lives of many more women then those who claim to be discriminated against.

The hour has come. Bishops have responsibilities as bridge builders but their attitude is take it or leave. Many have left the church enabling Penberthy to claim that only a few do not accept her sacramental role.

Feminism has gone too far. Often the most vehement opposition to the ordination of women comes from women but that is not mentioned. There is discrimination in the church. It is most obvious at the top. It must stop.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Another bite of the apple?

Pope Francis has repeatedly pushed for greater roles for women in the church, but maintains that

There have been a number of reports recently about the ordination of women in the Roman Catholic Church. From The Star, for example: "The Vatican’s commission of Latin American church leaders is demanding greater decision-making opportunities for women in the church and proposing that Pope Francis call a special meeting of the world’s bishops to discuss women."

"The Pontifical Commission for Latin America said after its recent plenary that the church needs a radical “change of mentality” in the way it views and treats half of humanity. It was published in Thursday’s Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

"The commission members — 22 Latin American cardinals and bishops, plus 15 women who joined the panel for the meeting — said it was both possible and “urgent” to increase opportunities for women at the parish, diocesan and Vatican level.

" 'This opening isn’t a concession to cultural or media pressure, but the result of a realization that the lack of women in decision-making roles is a defect, an ecclesiological gap and the negative effect of a clerical and macho conception,' the communique said.

"They warned that if the church doesn’t fix the problem soon, women will simply leave." Full text here.

Also, from Life Site: "Recent comments from Viennese prelate Christoph Cdl. Schönborn, apparently supportive of ordaining women, are opposed, I suggest, to at least three fundamental ecclesiological values but they have occasioned, as far I have seen, no correction whatsoever from Church leadership, and thus seem to be a chilling illustration of the erosion of order in the Church." Read the response here.

What many Anglicans liked about the Anglican Church was that it was both catholic and reformed, retaining the creeds and threefold ministry of the deacon, priest and bishop. But further reforming has plagued the Anglican Communion. In adapting to local circumstances, provinces in the US and here in the UK have allowed political activism to over-rule scripture and tradition.

In Wales a political fix saw the first woman bishop appointed to the diocese of St Davids followed by a second appointment by the bench of bishops to the diocese of Llandaff. The consequence has been a shift to gender politics. Sexuality has replaced spirituality while gender equality is the new mission.

None of this need have happened. Generally, the sort of women who agitated to become deacons saw the move as a stepping-stone. After their objective was achieved it was claimed to be unfair that women deacons were not allowed to be priests. After they were admitted to the priesthood it was the stained glass ceiling. Allowing them to be elected as bishops was now the "only logical step" said arch-schemer Barry Morgan. The stained glass was shattered along with Anglicanism. The results are clear for all to see. 

To claim that 'if the church doesn’t fix the problem soon, women will simply leave' is absurd. Many women have left the Anglican Church because of the changes, not because they are sexist but because the church has become secularised.

Friday, 13 April 2018

It's hard!

Source: Twitter

From a St Davids Diocesan press release: The Bishop of St Davids, Joanna Penberthy, is to take part in a BBC Wales TV debate on gender equality.

Previewed on Twitter the bishop kicks off with a great deal of satisfaction in that she is the 129th successor to St David and 128 of them have been men. That in itself should tell her something but note the hash tags: #equality and #gender equality. Theology has no place in the Church in Wales today. Hence the declining numbers.

The bishop could also reflect on Acts 6. The Apostles said: Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.

The faith of the Church is not something to be tampered with. If the bishop of St Davids finds it hard, it is of her own choosing. Obedience to the faith is about theology, not secular notions of gender equality.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Two faces of the Church in Wales

The people in this video explain what life would be like without their church to sustain them. 

Consider, then, what life is like for former members of the Church in Wales whose consciences have not allowed them to take the easy option by simply accepting that which the Church as a whole rejects.

If Christ had succumbed to the devil on the mountain there would be no church. 

Captions again please

Spotted on Twitter.  

Archbishop sees the light in the naughty room after his Resurrection blunder?

As before, printable captions will be published under Comments.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Conform not to the world!

Here we go again. From Christian Today 'Bishop and senior clergyman join calls for Church of England to lose equalities exemptions':

"The Church of England should lose its protections under the Equalities Act that allow it to discriminate against people on the basis of their sexuality, a bishop and senior clergyman have said today. Paul Bayes, the bishop of Liverpool, and David Ison, the dean of St Paul's Cathedral, both backed Jeremy Pemberton, a gay priest who was blocked from being a hospital chaplain after marrying his partner. They are supporting the Ozanne Foundation, a charity launched on Monday campaigning against discrimination within religious institutions."

The episcopal rot which is leading to the demise of the US Episcopal Church spread rapidly to our shores as liberal clerics and laypersons saw an opportunity to use the church to legitimise their behaviour.

It has been reported that the 'Episcopal Church Prepares to Tighten Screws on Traditional Marriage Proponents', quoting Fr. Richard John Neuhaus’ law: “Where orthodoxy is optional, orthodoxy will sooner or later be proscribed.”

In supporting the Ozanne Foundation senior clergymen are simply conforming to the world without discernment. The Foundation slogan is 'We Believe in Just Love For All!' as if others do not. Failure to conform results in accusations of homophobia and more.

What people do in private is between them and God. It is not for others to judge but we have a right to stand firm in defence of holy matrimony which is between a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others and for life.

Ozanne herself came out as gay to her friends and family. She then entered into a long term relationship with another woman, although they separated after five years together. Fidelity, it appears, is not included in 'Just Love For All'.

Who cares? Business manager bishops and senior clergy don't, leading others astray when they should be transformed

David Ison, dean of St Paul's Cathedral told Christian Today: 'We've got to come to terms with the reality of the world we're in and we're not doing that. That is why we're becoming disconnected from society. The church is becoming disconnected from society because it has nothing different to offer.

Bishop Bayes told Christian Today, "I hope for a future whereby people like Jeremy [Pemberton] can feel that their ministry can be exercised and that they can love the person they love freely".  Pemberton is a divorced father of five.

The General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church has decided to permit same-sex marriage. The Church in Wales bench of bishops can hardly contain their eagerness despite the absence of a mandate.

Gone are the days when Anglican bishops acted like bishops.