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Thursday, 24 October 2013

"You stupid woman!"

Madame Edith with her two-timing husband René Artois in the Café René

A catchphrase which made me cringe in the old BBC TV sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! was employed whenever Madame Edith caught her husband in the arms of one the cafe's serving girls. His innocent wife was continually duped into believing that she had been judgmental after receiving the usual response from her husband René: "You stupid woman!" - example here.

Baroness Morgan of Ely has aroused similar feelings of having been duped in the latest round of a campaign to marginalise  fellow Anglicans if they remain faithful to the teaching and tradition of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. 'Stupid' women and men who were duped into believing what they were promised in 1996 when women were first admitted to the presbyterate that if in conscience they could not accept the priestly ministry of women they continued to be respected members of the church. In retrospect how condescending that is to cradle Anglicans who have supported the church faithfully and financially for decades, keeping bishops and presbyters in the style to which they have become accustomed only to find themselves unloved and unwanted in their own church for the sake of appeasing feminist ambitions.

The Baroness has criticised the Church in Wales' policy of ordaining priests who disagree with women in the priesthood and called for churchgoers who support female leadership to be provided with an “alternative priest” at communion services - see here. Although speaking 'personally', her intervention in a politically motivated campaign to sideline anyone who does not back the liberal policies that are destroying Anglicanism, aligns her with the bishops who are supposed to care for all but signally fail to do so other than on their own terms.

This strategy illustrates the duplicity in the alleged discrimination against women. What they complain of to advance their own cause is readily used to discriminate against anyone who does not toe the revisionist line. Anyone who disagrees becomes ever more marginalised helping to swell the numbers of  the 'majority'. This is no more apparent than in the unanimity of the Bench of Bishops of the Church in Wales, only one of whom would be on the Bench had they not signed up to Dr Morgan's policies regarding the ordination of women to the priesthood and now to the episcopate.

In the Church of England earlier this year the Archbishop of York was petitioned to ensure that the next Bishop of Blackburn would be prepared to ordain women as priests despite legislation which stipulates that "there will be no discrimination against candidates either for ordination or for appointment to senior office in the Church of England on the grounds of their views about the ordination of women to the priesthood". 

From the Church in Wales September 2012 Consultation Paper on The Ordination of Women to the Episcopate (Appendix One): Fundamental to any new process, the bishops wish to honour the statement made by the Governing Body in connection with the Ordination of women to the presbyterate in 1996 that the conscience of those who cannot accept the ordination of women as priests – and, by extension, bishops – should continue to be respected in the Church in Wales.

Baroness Morgan is not a stupid woman. The daughter of a Church in Wales priest, married to a NSM, she is a rounded politician who should be very familiar with church politics yet ignoring official pledges she says: “I am at a loss to understand why the Church in Wales is still ordaining priests who fundamentally disagree with the stated position of the church 16 years after the principle of women priests has been accepted." Coming at a delicate time in church life when soundings are being taken by the Bench of Bishops on a code of practice this is a very worrying development for worshippers who already feel threatened with promises being so easily dismissed.

If the Baroness is really troubled about receiving Holy Communion from a priest who, in common with the majority of priests in the Apostolic Church, believes that women should not be admitted to the priesthood she should have no trouble in finding a like minded priest in today's Anglican Church. Or she could try going without which is the fate of the 'respected' few when there is no alternative. But that is not the real issue. It is a device to turn on its head genuine conscientious views which from a secular standpoint may appear absurd but to those people so is the Resurrection.

Readers of Baroness Morgan's comments who do not share her views will have been encouraged by the response of the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon, the Rt Rev John Davies:
“There has been no separate provision for those who have difficulty in accepting the ministry of women priests since 2008 when the then Provincial Assistant Bishop retired. Despite this, the Church in Wales recognises that there are those faithful worshippers who, in good conscience, hold views of scripture and the tradition of the Church which makes it difficult or impossible for them to accept the role, of ordained women."

It will be interesting to see how this is embodied in the Code of Practice which accompanies the women bishops measure if the Church in Wales is to stem the haemorrhaging of members. Another Church in Wales report referred to here shows that the number of Christenings across the country has approximately halved in the past 25 years. The ordination of women was supposed to be the saving of the church but not so. With attendances continuing to decline will there be anyone left to minister to in the next generation unless urgent action is taken to redress the wrongs being perpetrated in the Church in Wales?

Source: Church in Wales Membership and Finances 2012


  1. Is there a graph to illustrate the year on year number of ordinations?
    His ++Darkness rarely finds himself ordaining more than a handful of candidates and sometimes not even a single one from his own diocese.
    To whom does the Baroness refer then?

    1. Sorry, I don't know of a graph and don't have any numbers numbers. Perhaps someone closer to the pit head will be able to assist.

      In England there was a report by Ruth Gledhill in the Times (£) recently - Church relies on women after fall in male priests: "The Church of England is relying on an increasing number of women priests to keep going as numbers of male clergy decline, even though women are still excluded from the highest office of the episcopate. More women are being ordained into the Church than ever before, with women priests now accounting for nearly one in four full-time clergy and more than one in ten senior clergy"....

      If I understand your last point correctly, the implication is that Baroness Morgan is criticising the Church in Wales as a whole because of its policy of "still ordaining priests who disagree with women in the priesthood". The policy is decided by the Governing Body. Given that the Church in Wales purports to belong to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church as professed in our creed, objectors claim that it is not within the polity of the CinW to make a fundamental change. As the former Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Fisher said "The Church of England has no doctrine of its own save that of the one Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church" which also applies to the Church in Wales.

    2. The important line on the attendance graph is the yellow one – the average Sunday attendance, because that truly reflects the cohort of committed Anglicans in Wales who are inspired, for whatever reasons, to keep faith with the church. They are the ones who, no matter what time of the year, whatever the weather, faithfully support the church. They are the ones who week in, week out pay in terms of cash, time and effort to keep the church alive. It is that commitment which has been so woefully abused by the bishops. That graph must surely put the fear of God into every one of those seven bishops. They are the ones who ultimately will have to account for what happened to the Church in Wales under their leadership.
      As the weekly attendance figure is about to drop below 30,000 one pressing question is, at what level of attendance does the whole outfit become unworkable?

    3. It is well known that there is a dire shortage of ordinands and that his ++Darkness is so desperate that he'll take almost any candidate regardless of ability/suitability.
      Even then, there are pitifully few people being ordained by the bishops of the Church in Wales.
      Is Baroness Ely claiming to have spoken to each and every one of the pitiful few and obtained their views on the ordination of women to the priesthood or to the rank of bishop?
      What business is it of hers anyway?
      Which candidate for ordination in the Church in Wales, even if they held such views, would be stupid enough to disclose them knowing full well that they'd be writing off any chance of promotion from whatever crappy backwater Parish in which they'd certainly be dumped and left to rot (under the micro-managed big-brother regime so carefully and insidiously constructed by his ++Darkness, his spineless benchsitters and feminazi sisterhood) by doing so?

    4. The fear of God?
      ++Darth Insidious and his six puppets?
      Not going to happen.
      According to the annual losses the whole outfit is already unworkable.
      2013 average Sunday communicant numbers in Llandaff have dropped from just over 400 in the 1st quarter to just over 300 in the 3rd quarter.
      Switch off the lights? The last one through the door will be lucky if they have a candle to extinguish.

    5. Wheels within wheels, Ancient Briton, wheels within wheels! The noble baroness is a great buddy of the Rev Jan Gould. Ms Gould is married to Dr Peter Sedgwick, High Master of St Michael’s College, Llandaff. He was the chap responsible for allowing the BBC to film that fly on the wall documentary series Vicar Factory. Sedgwick has good connections, because although the documentary totally exposed the college to be not fit for purpose, producing ordinands who are ill prepared for the rigors of ministry, he retained his job. The students of St Michael’s affectionately refer to Ms Gould as the Witch of Endor. Sedgwick and Madam Endor are great social chums of the Dark Lord Archbishop. A few years ago the Witch of Endor tried to get the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to agree that no candidate could be presented for ordination if they opposed women’s ordained ministry. She failed. However, it is somewhat suspicious that as the Dark Lord Archbishop says he is trying to work with his brother bishops to define a code of practice for those opposed to the ordination of women, that Lady Ely reprises the Witch of Endor’s earlier suggestion. I wonder if the Dark Lord Archbishop has been pulling the strings again?

    6. Not directly related to the first comment about ordination tables but here is a link to the 2013 Llandaff Petertide ordinations.
      The husband of Baroness Morgan is in the back row on the extreme right.

    7. What a photo! You couldn't make it up if you tried. Did Abp Rowan leave his mitre behind? If Morgan were earless he would be sightless. Less said the better about the Ass + with his out of a cracker wall paper hat. Theophilus

    8. Now, now, Theophilus, don’t insult the Ass’s hat – didn’t you know, it was given to him by Archbishop John Habgood?

    9. The notion above
      "They are the ones who ultimately will have to account for what happened to the Church in Wales under their leadership." whilst entirely laudable and what should happen in a normal organisation, does not occur in the dominion of his ++Darkness.
      The biggest single problem is his ++Darkness so who would or even could hold him to account?
      Has his old pal Bonaparte been held to account for the sorry state in which he left Llandaff Cathedral?
      Has his ++Darkness been held to account for the worsening of the situation at Llandaff during the 8 months he imposed himself there as acting Dean?
      Failing to provide any, much less the real reasons for the premature and embarrassing departure of Janet Henderson (was a large payout and corresponding gagging agreement arranged perhaps?) has his ++Darkness been held to account?
      To all intents and purposes, Llandaff has been without a Dean for 16 months with no end to the vacancy yet in sight. Who is being held to account and by whom?
      Meanwhile back at the farm, the ever dwindling number of pew-sitters are being repeatedly requested month after month to increase their giving to cover the £178k parish quota. And for what? The quota is a contribution towards the salaries of the parish clergy.
      No Dean, the minor Canon went walkabout in August (allegedly no replacement is to be provided), no curate for years and although the Canon in Residence works almost without ceasing, he is not paid 3 or 4 salaries for his efferts.
      Give more? The Llandaff PCC should be demanding a huge refund on their quota from his ++Darkness to reflect the level of service being provided or refuse to pay any further instalments of their quota.

  2. If the attendance figures are dropping as shown in that graph, so must also the annual giving. As any good CEO knows, if the income is down then it's time to slash the expenditure. Now what are the biggest outgoings? Salaries and pensions. Sorry guys, nothing in this brave new world is safe. We on the pews have had to tighten our belts. It’s time the same happened to the Church in Wales. Perhaps we could follow the Grangemouth example and slash salaries and pensions? Or we could introduce an element of performance related pay, starting with the bishops and working downwards? You know the sort of thing – duff sermon, no pay!

    1. Dennis does touch on a few interesting points. To take it a bit further, I have often wondered what the average vicar actually does? They are seen for about an hour once a week on a Sunday morning by those who put the money in the pot, but what goes on for the rest of the week? They charge extra for additional services like christenings, weddings and funerals (although the Review said these should not be chargeable extras) – money that they get on top of a salary and free house. Some of them get a big fat tax-free bonus pay out at Easter (e.g. All Saints Penarth). So let’s see some published time and motion studies – what does your vicar do Monday to Saturday?

    2. Today’s news, £10.5 billion deficit in the Universities Superannuation Scheme – that was always thought to be one of the safest pension schemes. What price all those assurances that the Church in Wales pensions are safe?

  3. Dennis- there is no charge in the CinW for Baptism. My vicar works very hard Monday to Saturday. Very rarely a whole day off as opposed to most members of the public with a 2 day weekend. His days are often 14 hours. Visiting, hospital visits, midweek services, diocesan and provincial meetings, the never ending bureaucracy of paperwork, schoolsand so on and so on. A conscientious parish priest also has little time for his family. Ask any child of a Vicarage family how often their father was available when they were growing up.

    1. In fairness Anonymous it was not Dennis but another anonymous responder who made those familiar 'music hall' remarks. There are many hard working priests - and there are others who in my experience could do more - but as you say, there is no fee for Baptism.
      May I once again may I make a plea that 'anonymous' commentators use a pseudonym for clarity. Thanks

    2. No charge? Local minister took the cash for an 'admin fee' when our lot were done!

    3. Sorry John I think that is a disgrace.

      As with the NHS, Baptism should be free at the point of delivery but like the NHS the church is not what it was!

    4. John, did this happen in a Church in Wales parish? If so it should not have occurred as there is no 'admin fee' for baptisms and you should complain.
      Were you provided with a receipt for your cash? If not, it might well be another example of items falling under the column headed 'the taxman will never know'.
      I wonder if this subject might come up for discussion this weekend at the ethical finances conference being hosted by +Swansea & Brecon?

    5. Well done chaps. Jolly good 'Morgan the Organ' bashing.

    6. 'Morgan the Organ' bashing is not the intention of this blog. It is fairness for all but in that regard it is hardly surprising that he and the bishops attract some well earned criticism for their duplicity.

      Their intent of securing the ordination of women to the episcopacy at any cost is a prime example which led to this statement by the Archbishop before their women bishops Bill was discussed: “Since we ordain women as deacons and priests it makes no theological sense not to ordain them as bishops since we believe in the three fold order of ministry. That is why I and my fellow bishops will be asking members of the Governing Body to vote in favour of the Bill. It would not be able to come into effect immediately but at least we would have established the principle to which I believe most people in the Church assent.”

      It made no theological sense to ordain women as deacons and priests contrary to the teaching and tradition of the Holy Catholic Church but having done so in Wales and in England it is now maintained that it is 'logical' to ordain them as bishops against the wishes of the wider Catholic Church. Not only have promises been been broken but the process has become completely underhand with the bishops voting in favour of an amended bill which was completely at odds with their proposals which, in hindsight now appear to be the minimum they thought they could get away with. In voting as they did and with subsequent developments, including the subject of this entry, the impression is given of conspiracy to achieve their goal by whatever means necessary.

      Similarly in the C of E eight senior women of the right persuasion have been invited to join the House of Bishops as they too seek further to marginalise dissenters when all that is being asked is a place in our own church which we were promised at the start of this disgraceful charade.

    7. If that vicar spent less time attending useless diocesan and provincial meetings, which never achieve anything useful, he might have more time for his family.

    8. Morgan bashing may not be the intention of your blog Ancient Briton, but, as you , and 'Llandaf-Chester-Chronicles of yesteryears strongly imply, it is unavoidable and is read with delight by most visitors I am sure. Its part of what we are - 'sinners'.

      What is needed from Barry boy right now is a miracle commonly known as - retirement. As I have previously maintained, it will give him an opportunity to fulfil his dream and place his theology where his mouth is - a woman bishop for Llandaf.

      After all, for what its worth, he would still be there to lay hands.

  4. God, get a life guys .... no wonder people don't go to church - if this site is anything to go by, why would sane people want to associate with such negative attitudes. Thought Christ came to bring life?

    1. Well according to those membership figures the bishops are not presiding over life and growth in this church. The whole thing has been taken over by cranks and minority groups.

    2. Sounds as if we are having a bad hair day Queerlittleme'?

      But you are correct of course' Our Lord did say that he came in order 'That you may have life, and have it more abundantly' Jn. Good of you to remind us of these things.

      However, with almost the same breath, he says 'Beware of the wolves who come in sheep's clothing'.

      I could be wrong, but would guess that Ancient Briton would point readers to the other side of the coin as well. Anyway, its a goodnight from me, and goodnight from him on this matter.

  5. Less meetings- irate bishop or 'telling off' via ad clerum. Conscientious clergy try hard to keep everyone happy in hard times. Especially when clergy morale is so low-indeed rock bottom in some dioceses.