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Saturday, 28 April 2012

The good shepherd

"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep."

The good shepherd cares for all his sheep. How many bishops in the Anglican Church can claim that for themselves today as they prepare to abandon part of their flock?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Napoleon meets HM The Queen

Visiting "Bazzer's" Cathedral at the start of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee visit to Wales, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were met by Dean Napoleon of Llandaffchester Chronicles fame who guided them to the place where the Anglican faith has been buried without trace. In a failed attempt at Cambridge Footlights humour, Napoleon's insult aimed at the Capital City of Wales went down like a cup of cold sick, to use one of his favourite expressions. It is unclear whether rum pansies were served at any stage.

Water Aid update

Water Works logo

A message from Water Aid:

"The world is waking up to water.

While colleagues in Washington worked right up until the last moment to make Friday's Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting a success, I was glued to my screen at home watching the action unfold on a live internet stream. Over 3,000 miles away the buzz in the room was still palpable. The meeting got off to a great start with inspiring speeches setting the tone for what was to come with impassioned rallying calls, such as "it can happen, it must happen", "water is life, sanitation is dignity".

Then, almost an hour in, the moment that we in the UK had really been waiting for – it was the turn of International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell to speak. Supporters like you had persuaded him to attend the meeting and here he was – now what would he say? We could scarcely have hoped for what happened next. Mr Mitchell seemed genuinely excited as he announced that the UK is to DOUBLE its targets on water and sanitation.

We've been doggedly campaigning for the UK government to prioritise this overlooked sector for years, and thanks to your support we've really felt the campaign gain momentum over the last few months – even so, the implications of this result were hard to take in. An extra 30 MILLION people will now be reached by 2015 through UK aid – at least 60 million in total. Incredible news!

The meeting continued for several hours with more and more countries signing up to the SWA partnership and pledging to prioritise water and sanitation. Finally, it seems the world is waking up to water.

Read more about this momentous meeting on the Water Works website where you'll find photos, videos, audio clips and blogs.

With best wishes,

Rebecca Owen
WaterAid Logo
Senior Supporter Engagement Officer (Campaigns)"

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

They are all in this together: super rich tax avoidance

Football players and team managers, bankers, city traders; they are all in it together. Read here how "big businesses and bankers are profiting from everyone else's economic woes by cutting their tax bills."

Monday, 23 April 2012

Liberal Anglicanism

The Episcopal Church: Tearing the Fabric of communion to Shreds (2012)

Executive Summary
"When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3
The Episcopal Church has been systematically destroying the foundations of Anglican Christianity within the United States and tearing the fabric of the Anglican Communion to shreds. In this report, we demonstrate, through the words of TEC leaders, their actions and their defiance of both the Bible and the instruments of Anglican unity, why orthodox Anglicans in North America were led to form the Anglican Church in North America in order to preserve and promote an Anglicanism that is truly biblical, missionary and united.
Catalog of Heresies: Quoting Episcopal Church Leaders
  • TEC leaders, including the presiding bishop, have denied Jesus as the only way to the Father, denied the divinity and uniqueness of Jesus Christ, denied the Resurrection, denied heaven and hell, denied salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ, denied the authority of Holy Scripture, denied the Creeds, and denied Biblical standards for human sexuality.
Fruits of TEC's Theology
  • The fruits of TEC's new theology include a refusal to reaffirm the historic articles of the Christian faith, syncretism, the promotion of abortion, weakening traditional marriage, promoting same-sex blessings and other sexual aberrations, communion for the unbaptized, and promoting these abominations throughout the Communion.
  • A "baptismal theology" detached from catholic and biblical doctrine and the pursuit of "justice" are frequently cited as the rationale for these actions.
Declining Membership
  • Also a result of TEC's new theology and the 2003 consecration of a bishop in a homosexual relationship, TEC membership has dropped 16 percent from 2002 to 2010 (the most recent data reported by TEC)-from 2,320,221 members down to 1,951,907 members.
  • Average Sunday attendance has dropped by 22 percent during this period; the median average Sunday attendance in a TEC parish is now only 65 people.
  • TEC reports that 511 parishes and missions have ceased to exist during this period. From 2003 to 2012, at least 314 congregations have split or completely withdrawn from TEC.
The full report is available here.
Read commentary by A S Haley here

Saturday, 21 April 2012

God's grace or wishful thinking?

Today it is the turn of Church of England bishops to rejoice over same sex unions. In a letter to the Times reproduced here, 'influential Anglicans' see the prospect of same-sex marriage as a "cause for rejoicing". Absent from the list of signatories is the leader of the disestablished Church in Wales who hit the headlines on Wednesday after using his Presidential address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to encourage Anglicans to support civil gay marriage despite legal advice here, (or perhaps because of it!) that a change in the law would compel churches to offer same sex marriages. 

Archbishop Morgan is the most senior cleric to support this innovation - along with every other liberal cause - while church attendance continues to drop; more than 15% on his patch during his time as Archbishop with those who are left constantly pressed to increase their giving.

If only these 'influential Anglicans' spent more time holding the church together rather than ripping her apart.

Friday, 20 April 2012

That's rich!

'There aren’t many people to keep the heat in’: Michael Thompson and Sarah Rainey at St Michael’s - The Church of England faithful left to fend for themselves
Photo: Heathcliff O'Malley

Headline from the Telegraph
The Church of England faithful left to fend for themselves.

Quite so I thought on reading the headline. Rejected by Synod in the Church of England and Archboyo [see comment 2 from Pageantmaster] in the Church in Wales, traditionalists have a right to feel rejected. But not at all. Those we are to feel sorry for are the worshippers 'left behind' after those striving to keep the Catholic faith have moved on to join the Ordinariate. What rotters! Did they not consider how their vacated pews would be filled, churches heated, buildings cared for, offertories maintained? It's a pity the Anglican Church did not give more thought to such matters before they decided to show the door to the faithful simply for keeping the faith. And who gains from this mess? Those women who decided to use the priesthood as a vehicle for their careers despite the cost to everyone else, especially the faithful. They had better make the best of it before the church disintegrates completely.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Their Master's Voice

He has spoken. Not the Lord but the one who thinks he knows better than Him as he guides the Church in Wales away from the faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church into his idea of equality for all in the priesthood. His positive discrimination  policy  is fast turning his church into a haven for older career women as young people, particularly men, become ever more disillusioned with a church in which faith has given way to politics.

The 'democratic' procedures on the question of 'Women Bishops' are clearly designed to produce the desired result, supposedly in the name of the Holy Spirit, the central issue having been already determined: "While the bishops wish to see some sort of provision for those with conscientious objections, they do not feel able to support any scheme for the re-introduction of alternative episcopal oversight, such as the appointment of a Provincial Assistant Bishop. So 'some sort of provision' is no more than a set of loaded questions designed to give Barry and his bench sitters the options the Archbishop demands. If the Bench were genuinely concerned they would offer the Governing Body the opportunity to vote on the appointment of a bishop to provide acceptable sacramental and pastoral care for those who believe the ordination of women to be in error. 

In his Presidential address opening the current meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales at Llandudno Dr Morgan again shows his passion for fair treatment and pastoral care of minorities; this time lesbian and gay people and the fraught question of same sex marriageHe said he was concerned about the welfare of gay people whom he feared could feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in churches over the coming months. So why the hardness of heart towards traditionalists, apparently the only minority group now thought unworthy of acceptable pastoral care. Does it not matter that they feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in a church that says one thing but does another?

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Ladies Champion

The recent 'Canterbury for Archbishop of Wales' twit produced some interesting comments. I have since heard that opinions will be canvassed (and ignored) before the Bench announce that they see no objection to same sex marriagesFor the Archbishop's mentor that was seen as a 'done deal' last month. What the ladies in the Church in Wales will be looking for at the forthcoming meeting of the Governing Body is realisation of their goal of getting women into purple. It is thought that His Grace will do anything to achieve this, short of honouring a pledge to appoint a bishop to care for traditionalists. So to avoid getting egg on his face a second time, Dr Morgan has decided that sounding exercises will be undertaken to ensure that legislation is a 'done deal' before another vote is taken. So desperate is he to get his 'equality' measure through before retirement that he is rumoured to be planning a gesture of solidarity with his women priests to prove that Anglican clergy today really are all the same as illustrated in this artist's impression. Egg on face again would be preferable and a fitting tribute to the late Dean Jeremy Winston who was told "There is no place for you in this church", despite standing head and shoulders above the mediocrity of those who condemned him.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

All mosques in Europe should be destroyed says Archbishop

Can you imagine the outcry if a senior cleric were to claim that no more mosques should be built in Europe and existing ones razed to the ground? I have seen no British response to the claim by Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheikh, when he said it was not only forbidden to build new churches on the Arab Peninsula but that all existing ones in the region should also be razed to the ground "as there are too many".

All credit then to Christians and Muslims in Austria for their condemnation but where is the British voice or has everyone here been cowed by accusations of Islamophobia? The British Government tell us that they have other priorities in the region but that is no excuse for the deafening silence in response to the continuing persecution of Christians throughout the world.

Monday, 2 April 2012

What next for Egypt and the Copts?

Khairat al-Shater (24 January 2012)
Muslim Brotherhood's Khairat al-Shater

Egypt was a cradle of Christianity long before Islam took hold after the Muslim invasion in the 7th Century A.D. The Coptic Church has since been persecuted to the extent that Christians are now a small minority under constant threat - the plight of Christian communities throughout the Middle East. You can read of their plight hereEgypt's Arab Spring advanced the cause of the Muslim Brotherhood aided by their vow not to contest the Presidential elections. That has been changed raising fears that they cannot be trusted. Some suggest that the Muslim vote will split  as a consequence but whatever happens, if minorities are not protected the Muslim Brotherhood will be seen as betraying the trust of those who supported them.

Shariah Law Is Ultimate Goal of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Presidential Candidate.