some transformation so that they too will want to be drawn into that kind of life.”
In 2015 the focus of the CinW is on being more relevant to society than engaging in a spiritual life. As the number of worshippers has declined 'community life' has become largely devoid of traditional religious spirituality. Today people talk of 'being spiritual' not in the religious sense but because they appreciate nature, crystals and joss sticks. People living in communities where tragedy has struck now leave bunches of flowers to rot against railings while local vicars indulge in massive candle lighting exercises to provide temporary comfort for the grief stricken who no longer have any concept of eternal life.
The CinW Handbook "Parochial Administration" explains members' expectations of a spiritual life in the Anglican Province of Wales: "Everyone lives in a parish although the form that a parish takes varies from one area to another. The parish is probably best defined generally as: "…an area under the spiritual care of a cleric (the ‘Incumbent’ or, in the correct meaning of the word, the ‘curate’) to whose religious ministrations all its inhabitants are entitled” this is sometimes known as the ‘Cure of Souls’." [My emphasis - Ed.] The 'Cure of Souls' has become almost meaningless now that spiritual care is governed by political correctness and conscience is allowed to rest only with the bench of bishops.
For many cradle Anglicans their spiritual life has become a question of 'how far can they stretch credibility in the face of increasing secularism in the Church'. Having established women's rights as the main objective of the Church in Wales, the bench now turns its attention to the destruction of Holy Matrimony under the guise of equality.
In September 2014 the Church in Wales announced a consultation to consider its position on same-sex marriages. It is clear from his closing remarks in an interview here which way Dr Morgan is facing: "These are complex issues, but the conversations in April clearly point to the fact that Governing Body members wanted to deal with the issue with greater pastoral sensitivity than for the re-marriage of divorcees." Dr Morgan added: "In the light of the results of this consultation, the Bishops intend to bring the matter back to the Governing Body with proposals for a way ahead." In other words it doesn't really matter what the consultations produce. The bishops will decide after ensuring that there are enough members of the Governing Body to dance to Barry Morgan's tune.
True, the re-marriage of divorcees has caused problems for the Church but re-marriage is not comparable with the union of same-sex couples. To be trapped for life in a loveless marriage does not obey God's commandment to love one another. While the privileged few escaped through annulment the majority suffered for their mistake until life's end. Much is made of the fact that same sex-couples love each other but it does not follow that Holy Matrimony should be bent to validate their desires. Civil partnerships were designed to ensure that same-sex couples living together enjoyed the same civil rights as heterosexual couples but activists are determined to substitute sameness instead of celebrating difference.
The moulding process has been evident in the media for some time, most graphically in the current series 'Sex and the Church' for BBC2 where Professor Diarmaid MacCulloch parades his personal preference for same-sex relationships as he "explores" how "Christianity has shaped western attitudes to sex, gender and sexuality throughout history".
In Wales the softening-up process saw the Standing Doctrinal Commission of the Church in Wales hark back to the past to justify Barry's stance and provide ammunition for his acolytes to use in the so-called consultations. The only thing missing is a return to the ducking stool for recalcitrant worshippers.
The results of consultations are used as evidence only when they are favourable to the bench. Personal preference is put before the good of all the church while others wait to see which way the wind blows before voting to keep in favour with Barry and his bench sitters.
The duplicity of the bench of bishops is evidenced by the following two paragraphs from the Doctrinal Commission's Report:
148. The results of the Lancet’s Survey on Sexual Attitude and Behaviour
published in 2013 underline this sense that what is taking place currently is a
significant departure and is not simply the next step in greater permissiveness
in relation to sexual practice. Whereas in 1991 less than 50% of men, and
53% of women, felt that ‘Adultery in marriage is always wrong’ the present
study shows these percentages to have increased to 66% and 70%
respectively. It also shows that, while in 1991 25% of people thought that
there was nothing wrong at all with same sex relationships, this figure has
increased to approximately 57% today.
149. Pastoral accommodation hints that we offer an unconditional hospitality to
those with whose practice or prohibition we might instinctively disagree.
Those who promote this approach would argue that it would define a new
arena in which it becomes possible to listen more deeply for the voice of the
Holy Spirit, ‘not only in the thoughts, words and lives of those with whom one
agrees but in the contributions of those one believes to be wrong’.
Note "Pastoral accommodation hints that we offer an unconditional hospitality to those with whose practice or prohibition we might instinctively disagree" and reflect on the treatment of cradle Anglicans who have not replaced faith with secularism. Why is it more acceptable in the Church in Wales to be homosexual than to be a traditional Anglican?
No matter whether the gay community represents 1.5% of the population or 10%. A relative few will want to avail themselves of any opportunity for a church wedding. It may be the first and last time they attend church apart from gay clergy seeking approval of their circumstances. Set against the number of Anglicans for whom this could be the last straw, the Church in Wales is certain to be the loser. By the time Dr Morgan retires he will have effectively killed off Anglicanism in Wales while playing his politically correct tune. As for The rule of St. Benedict: