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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Lowlights (2)




More lowlights from "Highlights":

Assisted dying [killing]. "Following the group discussions, Bishop John Davies (Swansea and Brecon) asked GB to ‘take note of the debate and commend the issues to further prayer, study and consideration by members of the Church in Wales.’ “There are no easy, straightforward or slick answers, whether they be legal or theological. It is appropriate therefore to get this conversation out into a broader congregation.”" 
From Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement: "You matter because you are you. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die."

"Bishop Wyn Evans (St Davids), in proposing the motion to move forward the process initiated in The Gathering, thought that the three elements of the motion were positive and full of hope." - That is, hope  only for the 'bishops' of the Church in Wales, see here.

"The Revd Canon Dr Peter Sedgwick, Chair of the Doctrinal Commission, called on the GB in considering same-sex relationships to respect each other’s space, recognising the depths of feeling that are there, and to treat each other with courtesy". [My emphasis - Ed.]

The Venerable Peggy Jackson (Llandaff) said that all the bishops should be willing as necessary and as needed to assist one another in meeting pastoral or sacramental needs in each others’ dioceses. “This means that the concept of a Provincial Assistant Bishop should be resisted, as this role would set up a two-tier episcope.”

So it is perfectly acceptable in the Church in Wales to respect each other's space and treat each other with courtesy always provided that they are not faithful Anglicans with traditionalist views. Hence Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment blog entry here.

Oh! St Michael's College, Llandaff ? - "Supporting, Sharing, Forming" - see here.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Lowlights


Source: BBC video here
Have you ever felt ashamed to be an Anglican? Those of us in the UK who feared that the influence of the US Episcopal Church would have dire consequences for Anglicanism have been proved correct but perhaps few realised the depths to which newcomers would sink to achieve their liberal objectives.

A report of the recent meeting of the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales now appears in 'Highlights' here under the headline Moral, Doctrinal and Ecumenical. What a laugh!

The piece on Women Bishops is a real eye-opener on the levels of deceit the bishops and their minions are prepared to sink to achieve the objectives of His Darkness. Here is an extract:

"The Bishops were present at the open forum, but did not participate. Members of GB were encouraged to share their views about what provision should be made in the Code of Practice, but not to return to general principles about women bishops that were made during the original debate last September. [my emphasis - Ed.]

The Venerable Peggy Jackson (Llandaff) reminded GB that it made a very important decision last September that there should be no ongoing discrimination in law on the grounds of gender, and that should be built into the process by which women should be made bishops. “From that date, we have all been members of a Church that no longer discriminates on grounds of gender. So the Church changed on that day.” “The Bishops should draw up a code such that all may have security in their accepted and valued place in the Church in Wales. It should not be interpreted as meeting the needs of a minority.” “Women must fully grow into their place of equality alongside men within the Church—that is a reassurance that the code should reflect.”

Archdeacon Peggy applied three principles: that the provisions of the code should apply equally to male or female bishops; that the code should honour the authority of the diocesan bishop in her or his diocese; that all the bishops should be willing as necessary and as needed to assist one another in meeting pastoral or sacramental needs in each others’ dioceses. “This means that the concept of a Provincial Assistant Bishop should be resisted, as this role would set up a two-tier episcope.”"


That the bishops would not participate was fair as was the guidance "not to return to general principles about women bishops". The bishops had no need to speak; their mouthpiece was allowed free rein. But why was the Archdeacon of Llandaff allowed to speak putting an entirely different slant on her original proposals? Effectively it was her motion that was carried at the previous GB, a motion which promised fair play but on a voluntary basis. That 'voluntary' was going to have any force can now be seen as a complete delusion bar a miracle that the Bench will do the honourable thing and disregard the latest contribution of the Venerable Peggy Jackson, a woman who does not understand the meaning of discrimination other than as a propaganda tool. They have good reason for doing so since she, like some of her fellow-travellers who tried to derail the process at the diocesan meetings by returning to general principles, is clearly determined not to let traditionalists have the sacramental and pastoral oversight they have pleaded for to maintain a link with the Holy Catholic Church which the Church in Wales is so busy cutting after reading Highlights.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

More embarrassing questions for the Archbishop of Wales




"Former Llandaff Cathedral choir members question £4,000 payment to former Dean" says a report in WalesOnline. That is Barry's old mate Dean John Lewis who was paid £4,390 as an “Easter gift” despite the Cathedral's desperate financial position which resulted in "the slimming down of the Cathedral Choir in order to save nearly £50,000 which would significantly cut down the anticipated deficit of £81,000" (see 'Morgan's organ' here). Dean Henderson left with nothing other than "an apparent discrepancy in diocesan documents"!

Another WalesOnline report says that "Wales is no longer a nation of churchgoers but faith is alive"! Between 2011 and 2012, the number of adults attending Church in Wales Sunday services fell by 5%, from 33,783 to 32,171. Easter attendance dropped by 8% from 60,924 to 56,063. Research by Tear Fund in 2007 showed Wales had the lowest level of regular church attendance in the UK at 12%, behind England (14%), Scotland (18%), London (22%) and Northern Ireland (45%). The 2001 census showed 71.9% of the Welsh population were self-described Christians but this fell to just 57.6% by the time of the 2011 survey.

The Archbishop's response? - "Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan is also intrigued by the continuing self-identification of so many people with the faith, saying: “It’s interesting, lots of people who are not regular worshippers claim to be Christian and they want that label for themselves. It’s not something people put on them.” Regardless of the low ranking of the Church in Wales in attendance figures the Archbishop likes to give the impression that he is leading world opinion. Concluding his Presidential Address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales he said of blessing same-sex unions: "Much as some people may want to do so, the rule is the same as was the case over the re-marriage of divorced people – we need to wait for the Church, as a whole, to decide the matter – and we are beginning that process at this GB".

A law unto himself, there was no "waiting for the Church as a whole" to decide the question of the ordination of women. He did his own thing. This process is continuing at the Governing Body. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sounds pretty unequivocal to me so why is Assisted Dying being discussed? The official position of the Church is that marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others but the Governing Body is being dragged through the same process used to see women ordained to the priesthood so that it appears unremarkable despite being contrary to the faith of the Church as a whole.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter Message


If you don't like it you know what you can do!                                                        Credit: Church in Wales


Archbishop Barry Morgan has been pretty consistent in his pastoral care; if you don't like it you know what you can do. Let's face it, looking at the steep decline in Church attendance in Wales under his stewardship, many have.

Concluding his Easter Message he said: "Solidarity and forgiveness sum up the meaning of Easter and when one sees these values exemplified, one begins to realise the significance of what it means to believe in the God of Jesus."

Archbishop Morgan's local newspaper has been looking forward to the meeting of the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales on 23 and 24 April suggesting that "Political parties could learn from the Church in Wales' approach to decision-making" concluding with "People of all parties could work to bring something of the generous spirit of the governing body to wider politics and work to build a society in which are neighbours are not just tolerated but loved."

Published with the GB minutes is an appendix, Appendix 1 – To enable Women to be Consecrated as Bishops. The 4th clause will be of particular interest to members of the Church in Wales who have not left but have not felt loved either:

 "In approving this Canon the Governing Body entrusts the Bench of Bishops without delay to agree a Code of Practice which commits the Bench to making provisions such that all members of the Church in Wales including those who in conscience dissent from the provision of section 1 may have a sense of security in their accepted and valued place within the Church in Wales."

According to the LNYD blog (here) diocesan meetings called to discuss the Code of Practice have been consistent in calling on the Bench of Bishops to provide a traditionalist bishop to minister to the 'original integrity' within the Province. 

Hitherto the Archbishop has strenuously opposed this. The Bench must now demonstrate solidarity and love. If Dr Morgan still has a problem with that he knows what he can do.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Christos anesti!


Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection               Alexander Ivanov 1835

Happy Easter!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Passion tide


"Fling wide the gates,
For the Saviour waits to tread in His royal way
He has come from above in His power and love, to die on this Passion day.
Fling wide the gates!
The Saviour waits......."

Stainer's Crucifixion Oratorio is a well loved meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer but this Passiontide has seen other manifestations of passion in the Church.

Take this headline from Changing Attitudes: "The Church of England enters a new era – married gay clergy are the new reality". Fling wide the gates indeed.

Perhaps we should no longer be surprised to read "The Passion of Christ" is banned by Oxford City Council in the mistaken belief that it was a live sex show! 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales - Part 3


St Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff                                                                        Picture: WalesOnline


WalesOnline is carrying the headline, "Top Church college could face axe despite £1.7m revamp", a complete turnaround of the story in 2009, "Report praises St Michael’s College in Llandaff." Followers of the greatly missed Llandaffchester Chronicles will recall the forecast closure of  'St. Michelle’s College' after the failure of substituting sing-along-worship for scholarship to accommodate the mainly women social workers the Archbishop likes to point towards ordination to justify his belief that only women clergy and gay pride matter in the Church today.

Hat tip to Llandaff Pewster for the links under a previous entry here, the first of which harks back to March 2004 with the headline "Church college up for sale".  Another commentator, Episkopos, estimates that the Church in Wales has wasted over £3 million pounds:

"£1.7 million refurbishment since 2007.
£150,000 per annum since 2007 to keep the place financially afloat = £900,000.
Another £150,000 for 2014, 2015 and 2016 until the place can be closed = £450,000
This for a college that was a dead duck and put up for sale in 2004.
Grand total of the profligacy = £3,050,000"
adding,
"If such a sum of money had been invested by the RB into a Choral Foundation for Llandaff Cathedral Choir, it's future would have been secured into perpetuity. As things now stand, Wales (the land of song) has neither a professional Cathedral Choir nor a Theological College."

Theology is no longer the main consideration of the Archbishop of Wales. He is more comfortable operating in the political arena having long since sacrificed the pillars of Christianity in favour of promoting the heretical ideas of his idol, the  Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Ten years after the rejected proposal to sell the site of St Michael’s College, Llandaff, the whole Church in Wales as handed down to the present overseers appears to be on the verge of collapse as it embraces non-conformity with the Archbishop and his Bench securing their own futures as 'bishops' in a new protestant backwater in which bishops don't necessarily have to be priests!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

This piece of papyrus



In 1938 Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich with his worthless piece of paper. In 2014 a fragment of papyrus is held up to suggest that, contrary to all the biblical evidence, Jesus had a wife. That must be a considerable disappointment for today's proponents of same-sex marriage but it is hardly earth shattering news that this fragment could "support the notion that Mary Magdalene was a major leader in the early Jesus movement!"

On moving up to an affluent parish in reward for doing her Archbishop's bidding, a 'major leader' in the current Jesus movement, the Archdeacon of Llandaff said: "It’s unbelievably important that discrimination against women in the Church is coming to an end. Anybody coming into the Church in Wales now is joining a Church that opens all its offices to women – we can’t have people joining this Church, with the expectation that it will continue to discriminate – that is absolutely unacceptable. It is shame on us that it has taken this long."

Real discrimination against women is defined here. There is no discrimination against women in the Church. That the role of women in the Church is different is NOT discrimination as Dr. Marianne Dorman explains here. The accusation is simply a tool used to convince the ignorant that some ambitious women are being denied their fundamental right. If what they claim were true, Christ Himself would be guilty of discrimination.

In between fiddling filling in their expenses in the "palace of sexminster" MPs are instead conspiring to discriminate against men to allow women bishops to be fast tracked into the Lords. Caroline Spelman, the Conservative MP for Meriden, said: "At present, many ordained women have reported feeling that they are still regarded as second best, which will persist unless we are successful in getting a mix of men and women bishops in the Upper House." Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said: "To have places reserved solely for men brings into question the legitimacy of bishops in the Lords in a modern democracy. Since the seats are currently allocated on a seniority basis, changing this will require legislation, which the Labour Party will be happy to support." 

Our Prime Minister knows a little bit about Christianity as he explained in his Easter message here. His 'acts of kindness' in fighting discrimination where none exists and in pushing through same-sex marriage without a mandate help us to see how much more Christ could have done if only he had the insight of the modern Jesus movement.

Postscript
Read here about "the state of modern scholarship" which puts “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” into context.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Respect!























On the right is a picture of Her Majesty the Queen,  Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England covering her head as a mark of respect as she visited a 15th century mosque on her state visit to Turkey. 

On the left is a picture Rebekah Dawson showing no respect for The Queen's justice. 

The Independent asks what happened after Rebekah Dawson refused to take her niqab off in court. Read the shocking story here.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales (continued).



In my 3 April entry I wrote about two agenda items to be discussed at the Governing body of the Church in Wales later this month, Assisted Dying and Same sex Marriages. Papers here.

Sandwiched between the two items is a third, "Church in Wales response to the Proposals from the Gathering of the Covenanted Churches 2012". It makes interesting reading.

Here is a taste:



10. Long-term Recommendations

10.1 The Working Group recommends:
10.1.1 That the Commission invites the five Covenanted Churches to think of
themselves as the Church Uniting in Wales.
10.1.2 That this Church will be congregational, presbyteral and episcopal in
tradition and mode of pastoral oversight.
10.1.3 That the Church will have nine jurisdictions – the six existing Anglican
dioceses plus a Methodist jurisdiction, a Presbyterian jurisdiction and a
URC/Covenanting Baptist jurisdiction, each of which will be invited to
elect its own bishop.
10.1.4 That a description of the bishop’s role be drawn up and agreed by all
five Covenanted Churches (see Annex 1).
10.1.5 That, when and if the Methodist jurisdiction, the Presbyterian jurisdiction
and the URC/Covenanting Baptist jurisdiction each elect a bishop, the
bishop will ordain all those who are to become ministers within that
jurisdiction.
10.1.6 That this bishop will be a bishop in the Church Uniting in Wales and will
share collegiality and full interchangeability with all the other bishops of
that Church.
10.1.7 That the bishops of all nine jurisdictions in the Church Uniting in Wales
consult with each other at least twice a year.

At their GB meeting last November, the Bill proposed by the bishops of the Church in Wales to enable women to be consecrated as bishops was successfully amended by the  Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven Peggy Jackson, and the Reverend Canon Jenny Wigley. Their amendment substituted a voluntary code of practice for the statutory provisions contained in the bishops' bill. 

Here is what they said in explanation:
Our amendment seeks to reflect the overwhelming view of Governing Body members (as expressed in questionnaire responses in 2012), that:- 
 a) there should be provision for women to be consecrated as bishops in the Church in Wales, 
 b) there should be recognition and provision allowed for those who in individual conscience dissent from this move, 
while also keeping faith with other aims, as expressed:- 
 a) in 2008 – that provisions for conscience should not be included in the body of  formal legislation, 
 b) in 2012 – that legislation should not include structural provision to accommodate dissent. [My emphasis - Ed.]

That there should be women bishops in the Church in Wales gets over a covenanting hurdle but in the light of 10.1.6 above (That this bishop will be a bishop in the Church Uniting in Wales and will share collegiality and full interchangeability with all the other bishops of that Church), the agreed amendment to the bishops' Bill "that legislation should not include structural provision to accommodate dissent" now looks particularly spiteful if structural provision were thought credible.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Cameron's trumpet


 Maria Miller leaves the Houses of Parliament after apologising to MPs. Photo Warren Allott/Telegraph


The bedrock of our society” - Women and Equalities Minister, Maria Miller!!

"Marriage is the bedrock of our society and now irrespective of sexuality everyone in British society can make that commitment. It is a wonderful achievement and whilst this legislation may be about marriage, its impact is so much wider. Making marriage available to all couples demonstrates our society’s respect for all individuals regardless of their sexuality. It demonstrates the importance we attach to being able to live freely. It says so much about the society that we are and the society that we want to live in."

In my mind's eye I can still see her at the dispatch box, brazenly lecturing the Britain people on how we should order our lives when in reality she was pressing the case of an unrepresentative minority for political purposes, creating a law which required numerous subsequent amendments to avoid, for example, a gay King’s ‘husband’ from becoming Queen!

It is now clear why Mrs Miller was so positive about "being able to live freely" in "the society that we want to live in." She had experience of living freely at the expense of the tax-payer.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards found that the Culture Minister had over-claimed by £45,000 for expenses towards mortgage interest payments and council tax but the Commons Standards Committee ruled that Mrs Miller should repay only £5,800 and apologise to parliament for her "attitude".

The Prime Minister regards that as reasonable for an 'honest mistake'. He said, "It was found she had made mistakes, she accepted that, repaid the money, she apologised unreservedly to the House of Commons, so I think we should leave it there." His comments will make 'the hard working people of this country' wonder why there is one law for the privileged and another for the rest of us. As one MP remarked, "If one of my constituents had claimed £6,000 of taxpayers' money for, say, housing benefit and then tried to claim that it was an oversight, that she hadn't realised that she wasn't entitled to this money, the book would be thrown at my constituent, rightly."

Having made a terse, inadequate 'apology' to the House, Mrs Miller keeps her job despite being regarded as a mediocre minister who is "out of her depth".  Perhaps she feels secure as one of the few women in Team Cameron happy to act as his trumpet. A successful grammar school girl keen to make good she has been used by a privileged elite to undermine the institution of marriage in a squalid vote chasing exercise.

The Telegraph suggests that the 'apology' was used as an occasion to bury bad news but that is no surprise these days when everything seems designed to gain votes at any expense. That is evidenced by Dave looking to the Muslim vote by claiming that "halal meat will be protected as long as he Prime Minister". Perhaps that is why he prefers to shop at Waitrose with customers who are "more engaged than those who shop elsewhere". Somewhere he can rely on getting halal meats.

Nothing it seems is too difficult for us to swallow!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales




At their meeting later this month the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales (HT LNYD blog here) will discuss Assisted Dying and the Archbishop's current hobbyhorse, Same-sex Marriage - or the assisted killing of the Church in Wales as she has been handed down.

Mimicking the previous ruse used for admitting women to the Episcopate, cosy chats are being organised to discuss the blatantly loaded scenario:
"A couple of the same sex come to worship in your parish.   After a period of attendance, and enthusiastic participation in church life, they enquire if their relationship can be blessed.   How can the Church in Wales respond to same sex couples – theologically and pastorally?"

The Archbishop should know better than most how many gay couples are already in his Church with his blessing and have been worshiping without impediment for many years.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Earl Emsworth to wed Empress?


The Earl of Emsworth with The Empress                                                                         Credit: BBC


The prime minister has hailed the news as sending a "powerful message" about equality in the UK. He said the love Lord Emsworth has for The Empress is clear. As the law stands when "love is divided by law, it is that law that needs to change".

The anglican bishop of Effingham supported by other rule benders expressed his delight at the news saying that priests should be “creative” to get around restrictions on marriage and should do so in defiance of the official line. "Clergy should follow their conscience and defy the Church of England’s restrictions" he said looking forward to the most radical change ever made to the legal definition of marriage in Britain.

The freedom of choice organisation Brickwall said there is no turning the clock back now. Equality means equality for all. Prejudice will no longer be tolerated in our country.