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Monday, 10 November 2014

The lost sheep: the Good Shepherd and the bad shepherd


"I am the Good Shepherd. I know My sheep and My sheep know Me. I know My Father as My Father knows Me. I give My life for the sheep. I have other sheep which are not from this sheep-pen. I must bring them also. They will listen to My voice. Then there will be one flock with one shepherd." John 10:14-16

For I have told you often before, and I say it again with tears in my eyes, that there are many whose conduct shows they are really enemies of the cross of Christ. They are headed for destruction. Their god is their appetite, they brag about shameful things, and they think only about this life here on earth. But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour. Philippians 3:18-20


The text of the letter in response to Credo Cymru's plea for a degree tolerance and understanding of their position regarding the Code of Practice is now in the public domain (hat tip LNYD):

"Dear Alan,

Thank you for sending to us the text of Credo Cymru’s response to the Code of Practice.

As your Bishops, whom you have addressed as your Fathers in God, we have always been given to understand by you and the others who have met with us on behalf of Credo Cymru that your members reject any concept of “taint” which suggests that when we ordain women to sacred order we forfeit our catholic and apostolic character. This current response seems to suggest otherwise, namely that your members no longer accept us “as true pastors of their souls and as their link with continuing apostolicity.”

As the Bishops of the Church in Wales, we believe that the apostolic tradition neither denies nor disproves the legitimacy of the ordination of women. We believe that we continue to share with you the substance of that tradition, and we continue to respect and welcome those who cannot accept such ordinations. It is an extremely serious matter if those whom we seek to include cannot any longer reciprocate that fundamental respect and basic recognition. This is especially so, given that, in every diocese, those who are members of Credo Cymru have demonstrated themselves until now to be in Communion with us as their bishops, and to accept a share in our cure as the foundation of their ministry.

In continuing to hold out the hand of fellowship, we have to say, however, that the response as its stands raises fundamental questions about the place of those who now effectively seem to repudiate all the bishops of the Church in Wales as standing legitimately in any way within the catholic and apostolic tradition of the Church. That being the case it is hard to see on what basis they can continue, with any integrity, both to serve in an ordained ministry which is founded upon sharing in our cure, and as representatives of the Church in Wales. If their view is followed through, it would also call into question the legitimacy of any bishop of any persuasion whom we might now ordain, “traditionalist” or otherwise.

We sincerely hope that a more moderated response can be developed which builds upon the faith we share. However, we must state unequivocally that any attempt to approach another bishop in place of the diocesan to provide episcopal ministry would have very serious implications."

The message is clear: GET LOST!

This from Archbishop Morgan who said that the 'Code for Women Bishops aims to keep all included'. The threats are obvious: "It is an extremely serious matter" and  "it is hard to see on what basis they can continue, with any integrity, both to serve in an ordained ministry...and as representatives of the Church in Wales".

The Good Shepherd cares for His sheep, even the lost, but as he heads for destruction, bragging about shameful things, Dr Morgan clearly demonstrates that he couldn't care less about the sheep not in his sheep-pen.

"The names 'Proud', 'Arrogant' and 'Mocker' fit whoever acts with presumptuous conceit."
 Proverbs 21:24

35 comments:

  1. No surprises there then10 November 2014 at 10:29

    "However, we must state unequivocally that any attempt to approach another bishop in place of the diocesan to provide episcopal ministry would have very serious implications."

    Implications for whom?
    Every single member of Credo Cymru, lay and ordained, should tell bully boy Bazza to get stuffed, vote with their feet and their cheque books.
    He doesn't have enough clergy to man his diminishing little empire of buildings already!

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    1. Is this why there is now a new selection system for rejected ordinands? I kid you not. If you are female, 50+ and have not been recommended for ordination by two selection conferences, you can now go to a 'Special Panel' and get recommended that way. Simple. Less rigorous. Less catholic. Less costly (presumably they are 'trained' at evening classes run by Jenny Wigley, Peggy the Pilot and the Vicar of St John the Baptist in Cardiff). It keeps the clergy numbers up and perpetuates the lie that the C in W is not in decline. Win-win for Bully Boy Bazza. Anyone fancy a round of golf?

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    2. I hear that London has a surfeit of newly ‘ordained’ ladies who have no placements. A deal has been struck for the CinW to absorb them. Best brace ourselves for another round of employment tribunal actions – usually ladies who cross the border to Barry’s World – the land of snakes and ladders doing new excretions – don’t last that long.

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    3. See http://evangelical-ed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-priesthood_18.html

      I know a chap who has seen three different Diocesan Directors of Ordinands - all three were women! Even if there was genuine exact equality, that would be a 1 in 9 chance! Men (except the compliant arch-liberal types) have very little chance of being accepted even as potential NSMs in Wales, despite a shortage of bother priests and money!

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    4. Beleaguered of Bangor12 November 2014 at 10:55

      At least Barry shows no fear of favour in threatening legal action. The uber-liberal (now dear departed) former vicar of Aberdaron, Jim Cotta, received one of Morgan's legal exocet missile threats several years ago when he proposed to bless a civil partnership. It was clear that, if he did, a disciplinary tribunal would follow. And then, what do I see, last week? Oh yes, the same Barry Morgan congratulating some Cardiff-based gay group for receiving an award. Probably fellow members of the same golf club!

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    5. Beleaguered of Bangor surely you not are accusing His Darkness of hypocrisy? But hold on, isn’t this the same Dark Lord who only a year ago blessed the same sex union of one of his own clergy? Shifting sands and moving golf posts …

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  2. This is an extraordinary response from the Bench. What did they expect us to do? Traditionalists have made it crystal clear that as the Bench and their supporters tinker with the Orders of Ordination we will look elsewhere for authentic episcopal oversight. If such provision is not freely given in an Anglican spirit of charity then so be it, we will find bishops who will help. In reality this is already happening. Our priests cross the border for the Chrism Mass because what is offered in Wales is tainted. I doubt that there is one molecule of Holy Oil in an aumbry in a Traditionalist church in Wales that has been consecrated by any of the Bench. Likewise I know of many parents who take their children to England for Confirmation. So in both of these instances traditionalists have already rejected the ministry of the Bench.

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  3. Such threats are to be expected, and this one serves as a fine example of the forfeiture of your bishops' catholic and apostolic character.

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    1. It has been a long time since any of our Bishop's had any character.
      It would be a struggle to find a bigger group of wet rags in a laundry and it is about time they were treated with the contempt they have earned.

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  4. This recapitulates the experience traditional believers had in the US and in Canada. There is no mending it. Firm leadership into the Ordinariate would, in my view, be the wise course.

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  5. The bishops are so accustomed to compromising their most fundamental beliefs that they cannot conceive how the clergy of Credo Cymru are unable similarly to compromise the Catholic Faith. But apostolicity is not just about mechanical succession: it depends upon handing on the Catholic Faith unimpaired to the next generation. Credo Cymru is right and the bench is utterly wrong.

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  6. Me thinks it time to find an orthodox (catholic) bishop just like Athanasius did. Church history is littered with those who did - you owe it to your people because it's not going to get any easier. Don't be fooled by the English FIF they have capitulated and accepted the changes and are heading up the cul de sac. My prayers for you.

    Joseph G.

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  7. It is indeed an extraordinary response from the Bench. A complete loss and compromise of the Catholic Faith. The problem is that many 'traditionalist' parishes continued to have the Diocesan, after David Thomas retired. People being more concerned about being appointed Canons and Deans, when really it should have been made clear then, that other bishops would be asked unless a new PAB was appointed.

    Personally, I would say that the phrase “as true pastors of their souls and as their link with continuing apostolicity” is completly true, now that the Bench have totally dimissed the response, with threats.

    There is no possibility of the Catholic Faith continuing within the Church in Wales. The Bench, Jenny Wigley and Peggy, can congratulate themselves, for achieving what it was clear they set out to achieve. Their reward will be to push the Church in Wales into further declines in numbers and finances.

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  8. "There is no possibility of the Catholic Faith continuing within the Church in Wales" - what you are saying is that those who do not see things as you see them are not representative of the Catholci Faith. I disagree, I am and always have been catholic in my approach to the christian faith. The issue of a woman priest/bishop does not prevent that - it's what we believe about scripture and the sacraments that counts us as catholic not what bits a priest or bishop does or does not have, surely? Or have I totally missed something from what Jesus taught?

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  9. Groovy. You can of course continue with your style of catholicism which is not recognisable by the main catholic churches. The point you have missed that what is happening in Wales was not handed down by Our Lord and to pretend otherwise is just plainly false. Please get on with what you are doing as a protestant = somebody who disagrees with the catholic church. Joseph G

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    1. Joseph: a Protestant disagrees with the Roman Catholic church, not the catholic church. Perhaps a small point, but important in this debate.

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  10. Anglicans are protestant, that is my point. Catholic and protestant. Get on with it - centuries have passed since we beacame protestant.

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  11. Methinks Goovy doth protest too much.

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  12. At a guess this letter went through several versions, including the contribitions of (canon) lawyers and a PR firm, since it was probably 'intended to be leaked'. There is a habitual political trick - playing the victims - and also an attempt at 'King Lear-ish' emotional blackmail :"We sincerely hope that a more moderated response can be developed" ... or in the words of Lear, "Which of you shall we say doth love us most, That we our largest bounty may extend ...".

    The basic premise is to insist on the status quo, before going on to make plain that there is no future for traditionalists beyond the present bench of bishops: "it would also call into question the legitimacy of any bishop of any persuasion whom we might now ordain, “traditionalist” or otherwise". Indeed: the essential question is not what is the situation now, but what will be the situation in the future? However the bench of bishops have not even attempted to answer that question. The only reference to the future is in the preface to the Code: " ... the Bench reserves the right to amend the provisions of this Code as may be necessary in the future". So much for reassurance, an honoured place and forward thinking ...

    There is certainly no attempt at "fellowship" in this letter, but a very ugly and un-Christian denigration of those who dare to respond to the bishops, by calling into question their personal integrity. If the bishops were serious about this 'question', they could - indeed should - convoke a clerical court in which to 'try' the accused. But they will not, because it will expose not just the hollowness of their general arguments but also the intellectual void at the basis of this letter - "we know best, shut up or shove off". Since the bishops are in Lear-mode, perhaps the best answer to them on this question should be simply to quote from the same play once more: "Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth. I love your majesty according to my bond, no more nor less".

    The final sentence of the last paragraph sums up the absurdity of this letter. It forbids recourse to another bishop, whereas the original "Code" states precisely that should the diocesan bishop be a woman, then she can and should delegate pastoral care to another Welsh biishop. So delegated epsicopal oversight is acceptable, but only if it comes from within the Province. Having already cocked a snoot at the Church of England ("Provision for those who object to the ministry of women bishops has to be pastoral, not structural", according to the original press release), the Welsh bench of bishops nonetheless stated in the preface to the Code that, "... the Church in Wales continues to share the historic episcopate with other Churches, including other Churches of the Anglican Communion". However they deliberately exclude some Anglican bishops closer to home from exercising a pastoral ministry in Wales, whilst they have already invited other Anglican bishops from further afield and more to their liking to preside and preach in Welsh cathedrals.

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  13. Many moons ago The Archbishop said that the final decision in this matter rests with the Bench. There is not even the remotest chance that Archbishop will permit his Bishops to feel subordinated and undermined if The Sacrements are administered by a visiting Bishop from another Province. It is sadly true that the Church in Wales is undoubtedly Protestant : but at the same time I do accept that there remains within the Church in Wales those who subscribe to Catholic principles.

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    1. Not so, Simple Soul, is your memory so short?
      It is perfectly permissible and acceptable (to bully boy Bazza) for the sacraments to be administered by a visiting Bishop from another province...... as long as SHE has been hand picked by the Arch ++Deceiver or his sidekick the tree eater (remember their efforts to outdo each other in September?).

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    2. The difference between the two situations is that the U.S. visitor was invited by ++Barry ; Credo Cymru want to do their own 'inviting' and bypass the Bishops in Wales. Whether one is in favour of female ordination or not, the path that Credo Cymru are proposing implies a taste of anarchy.
      In this situation of human failing ,we each now need to adopt " the path of the lesser of two evils "(although I apologise for the word evil) .
      We should consider our options ,because ++ Barry and the Bench will not budge.

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    3. Reading this pompous drivel from the bench sitters I relish the prospect of a taste of anarchy.
      The notion that they comprehend the words "with any integrity" beggars belief!

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  14. My understanding was that the visiting (female) Bishop presided at the Eucharist - what possible objection can you have to that? It is not as if SHE (sic) ordained anyone during her trip to Wales. So of course that was permissible and acceptable. It's reported (here) that when a female Bishop came to the UK previously, +Rowan asked her not to wear her mitre - I doubt that was the case, but if so, what a farce and how insulting and how typically "church". Get over it guys (or should I say GUYS (and GIRLS)) Bishops of both gender are here to stay and you have to decide whether you can live with that or not. Sounds harsh, but true - get over it, you might find it's not that bad after all.

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    1. Clearly not in the groove Groovy:
      http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100043931/southwark-cathedral-allows-woman-bishop-to-carry-mitre-but-not-to-wear-it/

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    2. Barry boy! Stop being a prat.

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    3. I hate that modern populist expression "get over it". I read it to mean "We are right, you are wrong, and we will prevail. Keep quiet or go away". It is certainly a triumphalist expression, completely devoid of love or pastoral understanding. 99% of the population of Wales has obeyed already, and gone away ('though some attend other denominations, thankfully).

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    4. I think if I had been the (woman) Bishop at Southwark I might have slipped the mitre on midway through the service on accident. I doubt God would have minded - (S)He might possible have sniggered. As for "get over it" I think it's quite a humorous way of saying "enough now, move on ... stop licking your wounds and live with the reality" - I'd say that was very pastoral. Sometimes we have to help people see that the world is not as they would have it but is as it is. Living with that can be painful, but trying to change what can't be changed is unhealthy.

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    5. Not being signed-up to, and linked-in, with Credo Cymru, I know nothing of the process which resulted in their response to the Bench's proposed provisions for episcopal oversight. I am left wondering who their theological consultant was - and whether they took advice from anyone who had been involved in agreeing the five guiding principles which the Church of England has formulated. I wonder about this because (a) I would have liked to have seen a much more robust statement about the importance of a bishop sharing the theological convictions, of those seeking his ministry, and more examples of this from history and tradition - because... (b) the Bench would have had to grapple with that issue in their response. As such, they have been able to ignore it. OK, they probably don't get it, but they would not have been able to skate over it in the way they have.

      I agree, this has gone through several revisions. It was probably drafted (more generously) by The Tree-Eater in St Asaph. Then Byzantine Barry will have put multiple red lines through it and added more of the 'tough tits' elements. The dodgy former solicitor from Brecon will have gritted his teeth. St David's will have been silently thinking to himself 'you say what you like, Barry, but I'll be doing things my way anyway.' And Bangor will have been eagerly competing for the Order of the Brown Nose: 'Yes, Barry; anything you say, Barry; is there anything else I can do, Barry...?' As for the Ass, he will have just sat in the corner thinking to himself 'I once knew John Habgood.'

      It's not for me to tell Credo Cymru what to do - or what to say - but the bench's shamefully mean-spirited response cannot be the last word. The Church of England has shown what generous and inclusive Anglicanism is all about. It's no surprise, but no less scandalous, that Byzantine Barry is still prosecuting his personal crusade against traditionalist catholics. When he cannot achieve his vision through persuasion and reasonableness (i.e. rarely if ever) he simply resorts to legal process. As a serving senior army officer told me recently, troops in Helmand had to be personally persuaded to go out on patrol each day. When I asked why the Court Marshall process wasn't used more often he immediately replied 'if you have to resort to legalities, you know you've lost all trust and your leadership is in tatters.' Quite.

      In the meantime, as I've said before, there are bishops out there who want to help, and some us have been availing of these opportunities. Byzantine Barry obviously has no idea of how or where, because I would have heard - and I haven't!

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    6. Anglican catholic12 November 2014 at 12:19

      GOI - Get Over It.

      Americanism imported to the UK as a form of intimidation, dismissal and bullying.

      Translates to:
      "I've heard what you have to say, you presented it well but I won't accept your point of view, I'm not interested in further discussion and no you won't persuade me otherwise so don't bother even trying, I think you are pond life, now eff off and take your point of view to someone else that might give a sh*t what you think".

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    7. Just when one thought that the ‘snakes and ladders’ fiasco at the Llandaff Diocesan Conference was bad enough along this is
      http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/news/2014/11/you-cube-churches-think-outside-the-box/

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    8. "It will be attended by 200 people from all over Wales, as well as the Archbishop of Wales and all the bishops."

      With such large numbers predicted to be there it is bound to be lauded as another outstanding success by those in the non-jobs at the Llandaff DBF.
      If they could fill the Millenium rugby stadium or even Cardiff City's new stadium they might have a point.
      But 200 from all over Wales?
      Pitiful.

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    9. And this.

      http://www.churchinwales.org.uk/news/2014/11/tune-into-2020-vision-sunday/

      "Bro Tysilio, in Bangor Diocese, was created in January by bringing together existing parishes into one large group. Ministry Areas are a key feature of the 2020 Vision strategy."

      Read, three churches in Bangor were closed.

      The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “This conference is about winning people’s hearts and minds in order to continue a cultural change that has already begun in the way people think about church."

      People have changed the way they think about church Bazza, that's why your pews are empty!

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    10. And here's another prat who hasn't heard of 1920.. Barry Bongo, is not the 'Archbishop of Wales'. He is only Archbishop over the Church Wales and its members which less than 1% of the population. Muslim numbers are far higher

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