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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Another politician in clerical clothing

 In the latest helping of the views of the Archbishop of Wales in WalesOnline we have Organ Donations, Devolution, Gay Marriage, Homosexuality, Women's Rights, Demographics and the Welsh language. Unlike Her Majesty the Queen who broadcast a simple Christian message in her Christmas Day broadcast [see previous entry], here is another cleric who finds it much easier to preach politics from the privilege of the pulpit than to offer himself for election. The closest Dr Morgan gets to God is when he talks of the decline of the church, again abdicating any sense of responsibility with the words: “At the end of the day, the church is not the clergy and the church is certainly not bishops. The church is the whole people of God.” - If that is the case, why does he insist on ploughing his own furrow contrary to the direction of the universal Apostolic church to which he professes allegiance every time he recites the Creed?

Apart from the dwindling few he has gathered around him, the 'whole people of God' as he sees them couldn't care less for the views of the Archbishop according to the results of the 2011 census which showed his diocese of Llandaff as home to areas in the UK with the highest rates reporting no religion. Caerphilly takes the lead on his patch: Some local authorities in Wales also reported some of the highest levels of no religion. Caerphilly had the largest percentage point increase since 2001 of 16.7 to 41.0 per cent . Blaenau Gwent, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen also saw large increases of no religion with 16.0, 15.5 and 15.4 percentage points respectively.

I hear on the grapevine that managing the decline of the Church in Wales has already run into trouble with problems implementing the 'Harries' Review. Despite a great deal of time and effort looking at clustering parishes this is now regarded as a non-starter. Also, as if to kick a man when he is down, Dr Morgan's cherished plan of making the Diocese of Llandaff the Archiepiscopal see will not take place in the foreseeable future. Added to which parsonages will not be sold off as recommended and the Archbishop has admitted that he has no power to close buildings so churches will continue to be used until they fall into disrepair for lack of funds and, presumably, become unusable on grounds of safety. None of this really matters to the bishops because all seven of them keep their jobs (I use the term advisedly) regardless of further decline below the 1% of the 'whole people of God' they care for in Wales, allegedly. This strategy also keeps all the bums on the bench so that when women bishops take over they will have somewhere to sit while wondering where all the people have gone. As senior appointments now go to outsiders, they could of course spend their time learning Welsh so they can talk among themselves in their 'home' language since a vast amount of money has been spent on translations for Welsh speakers, now down to 19% of the population and a tiny fraction of churchgoers practically all of whom no doubt would be bilingual.

Dr Morgan is very keen on supporting (some) minorities. He was particularly miffed at not being consulted over plans to exempt the Church in Wales from David Cameron's same-sex marriage proposals claiming that it would make the Church in Wales appear homophobic. What an appalling claim for an educated man to make, even worse by a cleric and more so by a bishop. It is not homophobic to believe that marriage is a life-long union between one man and one woman. But this is just another smokescreen. It is an attempt to conceal Dr Morgan's main aim which is to enhance his liberal credentials at any cost in the same way that he proposes a sleight of hand to allow the admission of women to the episcopate by making supposed provision for those opposed when he has already indicated that there will be no provision other than on his terms. If he were to offer himself for election, who would vote for such duplicity?


  1. 'Dr Spock' has already secured a name for himself such as no other in the history of the Church. Unlike other bishop's he really is the friend of sinners. Even criminals have a purpose within 'His Kingdom'. Read: 'Scandal and Offence'.

  2. I have been very disappointed and frustrated at the senior appointments being made in the CinW. Experience and loyalty, both to diocese and province, seem to count for nothing as so many of the senior appointments go to imports. Just as well this didn't happen to our bishops during their rising in the ranks!!!! And it seems to be par for the course in almost every diocese that archdeacons and deans are appointed from outside the diocese or from recent incomers from CofE.