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Saturday, 30 April 2016
Friday, 29 April 2016
Thursday, 28 April 2016
|(ANSAmed) - ROME, APRIL 27 - Rome's iconic Trevi Fountain will be lit up red on April 29 to|
highlight the plight of Christian martyrs and victims of persecution in many parts
of the world, including the Middle East, west Africa and Pakistan.
|An ISIS video released last month shows members of its religious police|
in Mosul, Iraq, burning hundreds of Christian books it deems blasphemous.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016
|In a statement on the BBC's website, Tunde Ogungbesan (pictured), head of diversity,|
inclusion and succession at the BBC, said: 'The BBC is a diverse organisation,
whichever way you look at it'. Source: Mail Online
From the Mail Online: "One in six BBC stars 'must be gay or lesbian or disabled' by 2020 says new staff-hiring guidelines at the corporation".
Long gone are the days of 'Auntie knew best' when every fad, fiction and fantasy takes precedence over journalistic excellence and quality of production.
"A statement from a BBC spokesperson said: 'We are making good progress in our work to make the BBC a truly diverse organisation, but there's more to do and we're always keen to improve. 'Almost half of our workforce is made up of women and the proportion of our workforce who are black, Asian and other ethnic minorities is at an all-time high. 'We'll continue doing what works but also develop new and innovative ideas to do even better, and we'll set this out in our new diversity strategy shortly'."
So that is what is happening to BBC programmes. Instead of concentrating excellence in production no matter what colour, race or gender, first priority is given to a politically correct ticking box mix.
How does this work in practice? If all are treated equal, how do the staff-hiring guidelines work? While a disability may be obvious on interview, it would appear to defeat equality objectives if one has to declare one's sexuality on an application form.
How many future 'straight' stars may we be deprived of because the BBC insists on a quota of 'gay, lesbian or disabled' folk. How long before someone like the Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession decides that all manner of minorities must be represented to ensure the Corporation appeals to the diverse BBC audience?
The British public would be better served if the Beeb looks to content regardless of gender and ethnicity. Come back Auntie, we need you.
From BBC News under Arts and Entertainment: BBC to quiz recruits on family background.
Staff joining the BBC will be asked about their socio-economic background, as part of a bid to increase diversity at the corporation.
Candidates will be asked if they were entitled to free school meals, and if their parents attended university.
Anonymised job applications will also be extended for core roles.
The plans come after the BBC faced pressure from ministers to increase numbers of staff from under-represented backgrounds.
Read all about it here
Tuesday, 26 April 2016
|Pope Benedict XVI leads the New Year solemn mass in Saint Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Photo: EPA|
A headline from The Telegraph in January 2011:
After five years I am pleased for those Anglicans who have made the journey and have found contentment but there are still many Anglicans who are unable or unwilling to make the same journey for a variety of reasons even though their own church has left them.
[12.] We believe that we have reached substantial agreement on the doctrine of the eucharist. Although we are all conditioned by the traditional ways in which we have expressed and practised our eucharistic faith, we are convinced that if there are any remaining points of disagreement they can be resolved on the principles here established. We acknowledge a variety of theological approaches within both our communions. But we have seen it as our task to find a way of advancing together beyond the doctrinal disagreements of the past. It is our hope that, in view of the agreement which we have reached on eucharistic faith, this doctrine will no longer constitute an obstacle to the unity we seek.
Christianity is being wiped out in the Middle East. It is frequently mocked in the West as secularism replaces faith. It does not help if people of faith opt for blind obedience out of fear. Fear God, yes, but worshippers should not be frightened into submission. That is Islam. God gave us free will. We should use it to unite in hope, not divide.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
Friday, 22 April 2016
Wednesday, 20 April 2016
Tuesday, 19 April 2016
|Source: Daily Sabah/AA Photo|
- As yet another enormous mosque has opened in the U.S. (funded by the Turkish government), Christians in Turkey are waiting for the day when Turkish state authorities will allow them freely to build or use their churches and safely pray inside them.
- In Turkey, some churches have been converted to stables or used as storehouses. Others have been completely destroyed. Sales of churches on the internet are a common practice.
- Meanwhile, Turkish President Erdogan said during the opening ceremony of the Maryland mosque that the center was important at a time of an "unfortunate rise in intolerance towards Muslims in the United States and the world."
- How would Muslims feel if mosques in Mecca were put up for sale on the internet, turned into stables, or razed to the ground? How would they feel if a Muslim child were beaten in the classroom by his teacher for not saying "Jesus is my Lord and Savior?" How would they feel if they continually received violent threats or insults for just attempting peacefully to worship in their mosques?
Monday, 18 April 2016
A rainbow of hoops under the Majestas in Llandaff Cathedral Source: Church in Wales/Llandaff
From the 2014 Trustees' Report (page 5) in the Llandaff Diocesan Board of Finance Accounts which can be found on the Charity Commission web site.
The trustees confirm that they have complied with the duty in section 4(1) of the Charities Act 2011 to have due regard to the Charity Commission's general guidance on public benefit, "Charities and Public Benefit". The Board believes that, by promoting the work of the Church in Wales in the Diocese of Llandaff it helps to promote the whole mission of the Church (pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical) more effectively, both in the Diocese as a whole and in its individual parishes, and that in doing so it provides a benefit to the public by:
• providing facilities for public worship, pastoral care and spiritual, moral and intellectual
development, both for its members and for anyone who wishes to benefit from what the Church
• promoting Christian values, and service by members of the Church in and to their communities, to
the benefit of individuals and society as a whole."
It difficult to reconcile Dr Morgan's eager promotion of same sex unions with the 'Public benefit' referred to in the Trustees Report. He should explain how it is helping 'to promote the whole mission of the Church (pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical) more effectively'.
Estimates of the number of homosexual people in the UK vary but taking 6% as the most reliable estimate, they will not all attend church let alone the Church in Wales. Of those who attend, few in my experience have expressed any desire for a church 'wedding'.
The accounts show that a grant of £12,579 was made to the 'Bishop's mission fund'. Donations are made to this fund 'primarily from collections taken at induction and confirmation services, and Gift Aid is claimed where appropriate. All monies received are paid over to the Bishop to be used at his discretion'.
I understand that it was this "Mission" fund which was used to finance the Llandaff clergy school in Oxford. If the Archbishop believes that mission funds are best spent on advancing same sex unions he should think again and ask the LGBT lobby to fund their own campaign not use money given to fund the mission of the Church.
The Church Times recently carried an article headed "Dr Morgan gives Bishops’ response to same-sex unions" in which he said: "The debate on same-sex relationships was not over. The issues around human sexuality that are being debated will not go away, and the pain is not over. We do believe that we are called to live in love and charity with one another, whatever our experience or convictions on this issue."
The only lack of love and charity is towards anyone who dares to take a contrary view and support traditional marriage. There lies the true pain.
Thursday, 14 April 2016
Many of the comments received following my blog entries are centred on the diocese of Llandaff, its Cathedral and its personnel from clerical top to lowly bottom.
Had the discussions in Oxford been about the parlous state of the Church in Wales, especially Llandaff Cathedral, or of the mission of the Church in general, the jolly in Oxford may have been understandable but Mission Llandaff has more to do with the missionary position than mission itself with topics such as "faith gender sex".
After a session on "Every age should look to its own context for our expression of faith" Prof. Diarmaid MacCulloch posed the question: "Is there a theology of sex and marriage?" A popular broadcaster, Prof. MacCulloch was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England but declined ordination to the priesthood because of the church's attitude to his homosexuality, unlike many clergy today, including bishops, who brazenly flout the rules, putting their own desires before the well-being of the Church.
Following on from the bishops' failed bid to persuade the Governing Body of the Church in Wales to adopt their strategy of permitting same sex marriage in church, Mission Llandaff looks nothing more than a blatant attempt to ensure that the Bench's carefully crafted 'not blessing' prayers are used in Llandaff diocese churches, contrary to the decision of worshippers while they are pressed to give more money to support policies they don't agree with.
Tuesday, 12 April 2016
|Muslim women in east London Source: Telegraph|
Perhaps I blinked and missed it but I have seen no outcry over last week's news that Oxford University is deviating from its 800-year-old tradition to remain relevant to "the dramatic change" in the U.K., by allowing its undergraduate theology students to skip studying Christianity after the first year of their degree, and choose instead subjects like "Feminist Approaches to Theology and Religion" and "Buddhism in Space and Time".
There was more coverage of the news that Air France company chiefs had sent staff a memo informing them that female staff on flights to Tehran would be required "to wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leaving the plane". Air France said that all air crew were "obliged like other foreign visitors to respect the laws of the countries to which they travelled. Iranian law requires that a veil covering the hair be worn in public places by all women on its territory." Outraged female employees of Air France have since been allowed to opt out of working on flights to Iran so that they can avoid having to wear a headscarf.
Compare Islamic requirements when passing through Muslim countries with the treatment meted out to a Christian NHS worker who lost her appeal over freedom to talk to a Muslim colleague about her faith. Also, a Sheffield University student who was expelled from his course after expressing support for biblical teaching on marriage on his own Facebook page. In a Swiss secondary school two Muslim boys were allowed not to shake hands with women teachers - a common greeting in Swiss schools - because it was "against their faith to touch a woman outside their family". Try telling that to the abused children of Rochdale.
By contrast Muslims are allowed to wear what they like because of their religion and mostly behave as they like, even preaching jihad. Intentionally or unintentionally the perception is that Islam is holy and must be respected even if conversion is by the sword while Christianity is to be avoided because a pen has been used to spread salvation according to biblical teaching.
The consequences are already with us:
"British Muslims are becoming a nation within a nation, the former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission has warned". Commenting on "a ground-breaking survey", Trevor Phillips said we are "in danger of sacrificing a generation of young British people to values that are antithetical to the beliefs of most of us, including many Muslims". He called for the abandonment of "the failed policy of multiculturalism". [Channel 4 programme here.]
His comments came as the ICM survey for Channel 4, which surveyed 1,000 Muslims face-to-face, found that:
- One in 25 Muslims (four per cent) said they felt at least some sympathy with people who took part in suicide bombings, while a similar proportion said they had some sympathy with “people who commit terrorist actions as a form of political protest”.
- A quarter – 25 per cent – said they could understand why British school girls could be attracted to become “jihadi brides” overseas.
- Less than half (47 per cent) agreed that Muslims should do more to tackle the causes of extremism in the Muslim community.
- 52 per cent believed homosexuality should not be legal in Britain, 39 per cent agreed “wives should always obey their husbands”, and 31 per cent said it was acceptable for a man to have more than one wife.
Under Human Rights legislation, Article 9: Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching practice and observance.
2. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Sadly some are more equal than others. A sorry tale indeed and not a murmur from LGBTQI obsessed Church leaders as the "invasion" continues.
Friday, 8 April 2016
|Source: Gay Times|
Reports of the bishops' strategy have been widespread including this from The Independent:
The Church in Wales did publish a series of prayers which can be said with a couple following the celebration of a civil partnership or civil marriage. "We, as bishops, feel that this is the right thing to do at this time. I realise that some people will regard these prayers as too little too late and others will regard them as a step too far. No one is compelled to use them, but they are provided for those who would like to do so. These prayers do not constitute a service of blessing."
The prayers may not constitute a service of blessing but it will be hard to spot the difference where there is a will to introduce same sex marriage using their 'stepping stones' strategy. As I have been told many times, familiarity will make it appear normal.
The bishops should be ashamed of themselves for having flouted the will of Church members after wasteful consultation exercises. ++Barry has tried every trick in the book to legitimise his thinking and has failed so he he gone illegitimate.
Evangelical Fellowship of the Church in Wales responds to the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter
Reflections of an Anglican Theologian
A Response to the Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of the Church in Wales
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
We recognise that you have often been persecuted and ostracized by the Church for your sexuality, that you have been mistreated by the Church, and forced into secrecy and dissimulation by the attitudes of prejudice which you have faced. We deplore such hostility, and welcome and affirm the words of the Primates that condemn homophobic prejudice and violence. We too commit ourselves to offering you the same loving service and pastoral care to which all humanity is entitled, and we commit ourselves to acting to provide a safe space within the Church and within our communities in which you can be honest and open, respected and affirmed.
While as a Church we remain unable to bless the committed partnerships you form in marriage or in civil partnership, yet we commit ourselves as bishops to work for a Church in which you can be fully affirmed as equal disciples of Jesus Christ or seekers after truth. We will pray with you and for you, that together we may seek God’s blessing on our lives, and for faithful discipleship.”
Monday, 4 April 2016
|Photo: Church in Wales|
Bullying, or 'alleged' bullying, rears its ugly head at the forthcoming meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales.
In Question time (Item 16) on Day 2 the Archdeacon of Llandaff continues her campaigning. She demands to know:
"What steps have been taken by the Standing Committee and dioceses to
circulate the (Todd) “Report on the Representation of Women in the
Church in Wales 2015” to deaneries and parishes, and what actions have
been taken in response to the recommendations?"
This late entrant to the Church seems more intent on advancing the role of women in the Church regardless of merit than proclaiming the Gospel message as received.
The Todd Report was debated at GB last April. Here is a flavour.
Dr Gill Todd (Swansea & Brecon):
"The proposals in the report, she said, were designed to "achieve change and embed gender equality unequivocally in the Church in Wales for ever; and, secondly, to make the Church in Wales recognise the joy that comes from men and women working together in God's name; and the pain that comes from continued discrimination and bullying. A failure to recognise the gifts, calling, and vocation of others is a failure to demonstrate Christlike behaviour."
The Archdeacon also adds her name along the Rev Jan Gould of Llandaff to the question:
Saturday, 2 April 2016
|Source: Wales Online|
Wales online reports that the Archbishop of Wales, who, in his episcopal capacity represents just 1% of the population of Wales, "urges Wales to vote to stay in the European Union".
Given his record of duff appointments and the state of the Church in Wales under his stewardship, the fact that Dr Morgan is in favour of remaining in the EU suggests that exit is probably advisable.
Average Sunday attendance has dwindled to around 30,000. Under his stewardship the Church in Wales faces extinction. With no accountability Dr Morgan has pursued a flawed agenda with his fixation on gay 'rights' culminating in a GB exercise to accept same sex marriage, reflecting the whims of a secular society rather than making disciples of all nations, Dr Morgan has followed a policy modelled on the example of the fatally flawed Episcopal Church of the United States.
To their credit the Age Limits Working Group (Para. 29) favours retention of a compulsory retirement age for clergy believing that...
"this is justifiable, in terms of the Equality Act 2010, for a number of reasons. First, while recognising the high proportion of clergy approaching the current retirement age, the Group believes the future needs and mission of the Church would best be served by taking all steps necessary to encourage more (and younger) vocations rather than by permitting clergy to stay longer in office. A second reason is to avoid the potential tensions and harm – both to an organisation and to individuals – which can arise when it is deemed necessary to invoke capability procedures because of the declining performance of someone with long and valued service. Through Terms of Service the Church now has a mechanism to manage ‘competency’ issues but it would be undesirable for all involved for this to be used as a means of bringing about retirements. A third reason is that retention of a retirement age will, in time, provide the opportunity to achieve a better gender balance, particularly amongst clergy in senior posts. As the 2015 ‘Report on Representation of Women in the Church in Wales’ has shown, women are still significantly under-represented in senior posts. In 2014 only 11% of Bishops, Deans, Archdeacons and Area Deans were women. In part this is because women have only been ordained priest in the Church in Wales since 1996. But retirement of senior clerics now provides much more opportunity to select from both genders as many more women clerics have been ordained for sufficient time to have acquired the necessary experience for such posts. Retention of a compulsory retirement age also provides more opportunities for ‘career progression’ to senior appointments generally."
I would go further. The position of Archbishop should be subject to re-election after three years at the most to avoid repeating the sort of agenda which has split the Church resulting in faithful worshippers virtually excommunicated, attendance at an all time low and the demise of the historic Parish system. Without revival the Church in Wales has had its day. Headship must give way to leadership with a chance to change if leadership is not clearly demonstrated.