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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Pied Piper of Llandaff's Wedding Tune

Members of the Church needed to be “transformed as persons so that people can see in us
some transformation so that they too will want to be drawn into that kind of life.”
- Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales in 2005 

In 2005 the Church in Wales (CinW) issued a new teaching pack, The Rule of Life, to encourage members to engage more with 'a spiritual life in the Church'. Based loosely on the Rule of St Benedict it was designed to cover "prayer, study, service and community life". The "transformation" is a far cry from the Rule of St Benedict. Prayer, study and service have become politics, revision and despotism.

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:

"Always we begin again."

It is never too late Barry.



  2. The killer quote,

    "Pastoral accommodation hints that we offer an unconditional hospitality to
    those with whose practice or prohibition we might instinctively disagree."

    shows a institutional bias against those who oppose same-sex marriage in the Church on a sound scriptural basis and describes such opposition as an "instinctive" or more visceral one and therefore does not have to be considered seriously.

  3. Llandaff Pelican28 April 2015 at 14:32

    Would this be the same Byzantine Barry Morgan that has been banging-on since anyone can remember about 'Jesus said very little about sex and gender' (pace Easter sermon 2011) and yet his whole agenda is about NOTHING EXCEPT sex and gender. Christians are being persecuted to extinction in the places where the Gospel was first rooted outside Judea, the people of Wales have abandoned institutional Christianity in their hundreds of thousands in the space of a decade, the laughable pronouncements of the Lord Prelate of Llandaff are an irrelevance, and he thinks he'll save the Church in Wales with his jaundiced drivel which speaks to no-one except his own devotees. Only two years to go before he abandons the sinking ship - which he sailed on to the rocks - only to be picked up by a Swan Hellenic cruise liner!

  4. Marriage is common to many cultures and religions.The Christian Church does not own the marriage ceremony except the one it has proclaimed as a Sacrament.

    The issue here is about the Church (in Wales) being relevant to society, and this is the only reason that ++ Barry wants to adopt same-sex marriage within the Church.
    In other words it is a means to an end.
    And ,of course, we all know of clergy who are living either openly or secretly in same- sex relationships. Thus ,if ++Barry can get the GB to approve this venture,it will in effect sanitise those clergy living currently outside the rules,and everything will be aboveboard.
    I have no objection to the State instituting same- sex marriage,but the State should not lean on the Church to embrace secular government decisions.
    I think therefore that the Church in Wales should stick to the Christian principal of marriage,and not adopt secular ideas for the sake of adjusting the 'rules' to remove clandestine relationships within the clergy and becoming a relevant accepting institution.

  5. The vote at the diocesan meeting in May and later at the governing body in September was supposed to be preceded by "wide consultation". Why is it then that some parishes are not being given the opportunity to discuss the issue and that even members of the PCCs seem unaware of what is about to happen. One deanery in Cardiff has held consultation at both individual church level and at a deanery meeting. Why is it that a neighbouring deanery has not initiated any discussion at any level. How are the views of these parishes to be conveyed to the diocesan conference? Or is that a silly question? Shouldn't parishioners demand to know on what basis their representatives will vote at the forthcoming conference? It's time for these PCCs to wake up and demand a discussion!

    1. The whole process is a shambles Challenger. According to a report in the Western Telegraph a meeting is to be held on Tuesday, May 5, at St Martin’s Church Hall, Haverfordwest, at 7.30pm.

      "Everyone on the Electoral Roll is welcome, and attendees do not need to be a member of any church. For more information on the report involved in the consultation, contact any of the church wardens in the Dale peninsula area."

      But does it matter one jot when, as stated, "The opinions generated locally will go on to be taken into consideration by the Bench of Bishops and the Governing Body when they decide on church policy in this area".

      As for the Cardiff Deanery meetings, from what I have heard the 'consultations' were not necessarily reflected in the voting. Just part of the sham process.

    2. I suspect the widespread reluctance to take part in 'consultations' - at whatever level - is simply due to a perception, based on previous experience, that such exercises are completely futile, the decision to endorse change having already effectively been made.

  6. I have not been part of a diocesan conference , but I have been given to understand on good authority that Archbishop Barry may attend to ensure the outcome of votes are in line with his wishes. He does this by having a word with a sympathetic lay person beforehand who ,on the nod from Barry ,stands up and makes a favourable proposal . Believe it or not! It is true!

  7. It is well known that Byzantine Barry has a morbid fascination for all things gay. He is completely obsessed with the subject. Even his closest collaborators have adopted his tactic of taking every opportunity to preach on all matters gay. Throughout Lent the local vicar, a recent convert to Barry’s Dark Side (he’s feeling left out because he hasn’t got a canonry, so he has undergone a ‘conversion’ experience), took every opportunity to preach about the ‘intimacy’ between Jesus and his disciples. As each sermon went on he got more and more excited by the notion that perhaps Jesus was gay. By Maundy Thursday he had convinced himself that the Last Supper was a gay sex love festival. This one will go far in Barry’s World.

    1. He might even be appointed Domestic Chaplain to His Grace.

    2. What you mean to gain experience before being appointed to a deanery? Nihil novi sub sole!

  8. Knight on the Green29 April 2015 at 09:08

    I have heard the following working hypothesis advanced in several quarters. His Darkness has always detested, hated and despised the Church in Wales. For whatever reason, his whole dark ministry has been devoted to the total destruction of the CinW. The various legal actions he has instigated have cost the CinW millions of pounds. The promotion of the ordination of women has resulted in a significant loss in membership and income. Recall how we were told over and over again that this innovation would make the CinW more relevant to society and generate growth? The CinW membership figures clearly show otherwise. A series of questionable senior appointments have had disastrous consequences on morale, congregation numbers, giving and, in several cases, resulted in more fees for compensation and the lawyers. The concept of parish ministry has been eroded. By an insidious application of political correctness vocations have nearly evaporated and the theological training college bankrupted. His micro-management of his own cathedral community via the appointment of three unsuitable deans, plus his own tenure as acting-dean, as well the time when his archdeacon acted as dean, all conspired to financially ruin his cathedral, destroy its musical tradition and empty the pews. The Bench of Bishops is totally under his control. Look at how they failed to deliver a meaningful Code of Practice for traditionalists in the face of his opposition to anything credible or comparable with the Cof E example. And now for his grand finale we have the same-sex marriage debate. Considering the very small numbers who might wish to have a same-sex marriage the far wider implications for the membership of the CinW are much greater. His Darkness’ liberal-secular agenda is about to reach its climax and finish off that little Anglican sect that is the CinW.

    1. Don't attribute the making of bad appointments to the Archbishop solely. Some of his pals are equally bad. One in particular. No senior appointments within loyal home grown clergy. Nobody who has any popularity in the diocese. And certainly no one capable of doing the job. Wait for the exodus of the most able clergy. Sooner or later it will come.

    2. I can't help thinking it's all about getting that coveted seat on the red leather benches in the House of Lords - except that it is likely to be too late for +Bazza, as most of the political parties intend to abolish the Lords and replace them with elected officials. Not many will vote for an Archbishop who has virtually succeeded in razing his church to the ground.

    3. Beleaguered of Bangor30 April 2015 at 11:50

      The Exodus has already happened, Fred, up here in Bangor. A university chaplain, an archdeacon, two curates, four parish priests - all gone to the Church of England. All gifted, intelligent, Welsh-speaking, and all appointed to prestigious posts in England. They were bullied out by Andy Pandy allowing his opportunistic, untalented Yes Men (and women!) to be the tail that wags the dog. What a mess this Diocese is in. What uninspiring and incompetent leadership. What hope for the future when Andy Pandy's lap-dog has just been appointed as 'Director of Communications' (what a joke) to keep the good news stories flowing when everything around us is in a state of collapse.

    4. Things aren’t much better here. +Shirley Swansea & Brecon sends most of his time hiding away. When he is seen he can be heard plotting in the hope that +Gregorius Maximus will not trump him and get the top job when the Dark Lord of Llandaff finally retires.

    5. I can concur with Beleaguered's assessment of things up here in the Welsh-speaking heartlands. The Diocese (and certainly the Cathedral) has been thoroughly anglicised by Andy Pandy. No young Welsh-speaking ordinands; no intellectually able role model as university chaplain; more fifty-something women offering themselves for ordination while getting over their latest divorce; and Andy Pandy burying his head in the sand. I sincerely hope that episcopal electors from St Davids read this blog, because they must think twice before giving 'Fog' his long-hoped-for exit plan with a translation south of the Tywy. He'll just undo all Wyn's consolidating work, just like he threw away everything Tony Crockett achieved in such a short space of time. Arglwydd trugahar!

    6. Watch out diocese of St David's - the Witch of Radyr has let it be known to His Darkness, via one of his golfing chums (her hubby), that she should be the CinW's first lady bishop and that St David's would be ideal her her!

    7. @Richard
      +Gregorius Maximus has plenty of explaining to do first before trumping anyone!
      Why did he establish a "discretionary" fund of £16.5K in 2012 knowing full well that he would not have been able to do so in England?
      Why was there any need for such a fund in the first place?
      Has he been dipping his hands into the collection plates like Darth ++Superbia in Llandaff?
      On what did he spend the £16.5K?
      What has happened to the identified need now that his "discretionary" fund has disappeared just as quickly as it appeared?

    8. Llandaff Pelican3 May 2015 at 17:26

      Would that be the same publicity-seeking, Non-Welsh-speaking, about as theologically literate as the bullying Dean of Bangor, pastorally aloof Ms Wigley who has just hacked one of her churches to pieces and chucked the pews out. She'll be ideal. Watch out St David's. Watch out indeed.

    9. Not forgetting the Witch of Endor (as she was known by the students of St Michael’s College), Mrs Sedgwick – that is the second Mrs Sedgwick. She also fancies her chances as the bishopess of St David’s.

    10. Alwyn from Abertawe4 May 2015 at 09:05

      I do find the 'W' word particularly offensive - and unnecessary. Contributors to this blog have a much wider stock of nouns and adjectives to draw on. Nonetheless, quite a few of my chums over in St David's are hoping and praying that +Wyn can come up with some ruse to out-retire bully boy Barry because they fear another Bangor 2008 scenario where Barry will prime a disturbed and damaged individual to trash the most able candidate, just before giving the electoral college 16 hours to talk it all over in a hotel overnight, before resuming the next day by inserting another poodle (this time female). St David's clearly don't want 'Fog' from Bangor (they've resisted all this mission area nonsense so far and don't want the evangelical with a scull cap landing only to dismantle a diocese in good heart - just like he did in Bangor). So someone had better start a search - and quickly - of a good candidate who will not take any of Barry's c**p. Thinking of which, what about the aforementioned gifted candidate who was so shockingly treated in 2008? Native Welsh-speaker, now with Europe-wide archidiaconal experience in a growing diocese, catholic, theologically rigorous, culturally astute, more than able to tell a certain occupant of The Green in Llandaff where to go. It's a no-brainer.

    11. @Alwyn from Abertawe
      It is precisely because your suggestion is a "no-brainer" that Darth ++Insidious will make sure it doesn't happen! The last thing bully boy Bazza wants is anyone capable on his bench of bunglers.

    12. Brother, Beleaguered of Bangor, could it be that the 'lap dog' was prepared to emulate his master by having his entire back tattooed?.

      On Tuesday of Holy Week, much to the delight of two young males visiting a jacuzzi at JD Sports, Bangor North Wales, the master, sporting a silver cross and chain around his neck, joined them in the rapids. It is reported that a spectacular tattooe covers the masters back.

      One of these young males turned to the other and whispered in his ear: "Don't let the Governing Body govern your body".

  9. Quoting the figures provided by Simple Simon on the previous thread:
    March 2013, 2392 communicants averaging 478 per week.
    March 2014, 1921 communicants averaging 384 per week.
    March 2015, 1795 communicants averaging 359 per week.
    That is a drop of 25% in two years and the numbers weren't high in the first place!
    The ruin of Llandaft is in sight.

    1. Lux Et Veritas1 May 2015 at 18:22

      His ++Irrelevance pontificates yet again.

      "Archbishop Barry's Presidential Address to the Governing Body"

      "The April Governing Body met three weeks before the General Election. In his Presidential Address, Archbishop Barry expressed concerned that a third of the population will not bother to vote. The figure is higher for those aged between 18 and 24 – almost half will not do so."

      He should be more concerned with the 99.5% of the population in Wales who do not attend a Church in Wales Sunday service.

  10. Next time, rather than hold an election for Archbishop, why not fill a shallow tank with soft mud and throw in the entire remainder of the Bench, with the prize hat awarded to the one who gets out first? That should provide some entertainment, and the result will still be the same - dreadful.

    1. @1066 et al, it is well known that **** floats to the top, so as you say the result would still be the same.

  11. Many of you seem very sure that even when ++ Barry Is further prevented from dismantling the Church in Wales,then things will be the a clone replaces him.
    If these views are genuinely held then there is a need for serious self examination of one's place in acknowledging fruitless oversight?

  12. Really Evangelical Ed? The Archbishop and Bishops are responsible for the 'oversight' of all church affairs within the diocese.The inference becoming clear is that this oversight is fruitless.
    So if the cap fits wear it.
    Do we need to look to alternative oversight? But where this is found is an individual response.
    "Always we begin again"

    1. Always begin again indeed Simple soul.
      Instead of misleading their flocks the bench of bishops should show some moral fibre and follow the example of Irish bishops while they still have a church to minister to instead of taking their lead from a discredited Archbishop.