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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Dying on the Vine

This short video illustrates how strongly a person in the US identifies with their faith. The percentage of Catholics claiming to be a 'strong' Catholic is at an all time low and only half of those claiming to be strong Catholics claim that they attend mass at least once a week. The blame for this phenomenon is put squarely on the bishops who constantly promote social issues at the expense of spiritual concerns: "The episcopate has acquiesced to nearly every cultural fad you can name" inserting "personal views" instead of "traditional teaching". Many of the clergy "either don't know about the faith or don't care about it". 

For the Catholic Church substitute the Episcopal Church in the United States and Anglican church here in Great Britain and the same basic message applies. Observers could easily be forgiven for thinking that Christianity today is all about sex.

In England the Archbishop of Canterbury has been fretting about his stance on same-sex marriage. He told an audience of traditional born-again Christians that "they must 'repent' over the way gay and lesbian people have been treated in the past and said most young people viewed Christians as no better than racists on the issue". Racist, bigot, homophobic, any label is used to smear fellow Christians who strive to defend the faith against revision. Of course there have been errors in the past but to bend to public opinion at the expense of the Christian faith is demonstrably not the way forward.

Next week the Church in Wales will be revisiting the issue of women bishops. Their Archbishop will once again be banging the gender drum urging his Governing Body to give him a blank cheque to appoint women bishops despite his unwillingness to recognise the not unreasonable desire of members of his own church to be allowed to follow the traditional faith of the Holy Catholic Church of which he still claims to be a member.

Any sense of spirituality has been lost in a maze of liberalism and relativity. In Cardiff recently the Archbishop of Wales launched the LGBT Mardi Gras expressing the view that "sadly the church has not always treated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people with the respect they deserve, as people are made in the image of God". So are the people he has refused acceptable provision. Sexuality in today's church is clearly more powerful than spirituality.

I have not encountered the level of prejudice in the church implied by the Archbishops unless I count the possibly veiled request from an elderly gentleman many years ago that the vicarage be occupied by a family man, a request that was promptly side-lined in favour of appointing the most suitable available priest. As it happens a family man was appointed. He destroyed the good work of his predecessor before moving on to greatness taking his liberal credentials with him to wreak new havoc.

In the video a favourable comparison is drawn between strong Protestants and strong Catholics. That is no cause for celebration in Great Britain when drawing a comparison. As the following graph shows, while 'Evangelical Protestants' are increasing 'Mainline Protestants' are also dying on the Vine.



  1. As a point of considerable interest to a stuck in the mud, old fashioned, and bent as a banana Orthodox Christian like myself. Your article appears to describe an Archbishop, (Barry Morgan) as someone who basically discriminates against heterosexuals.

    Would this be the gist of your thesis Fr Briton?

    1. Enforcer, the Archbishop discriminates against anyone who disagrees with him on the contentious issue of the ordination of women.

    2. A consistent "inclusive" approach ;o))

  2. Sorry Ancient Briton you misunderstood my gist, so it seems.

    The paragraph were you mention of Barry's launch pad at the Mardi Gras in Cardiff is one of discrimination. I do not have a problem with the gay community when it comes to discrimination. Most are reasonable polite individuals.

    The discrimination seems to be from politically correct, bend over backward heterosexuals such as His Darkness and liberal minded politicians who discriminate against their own orientation in order to be fashionable. You only have to look up the attendance list. Now, does that make sense?