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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Another female first, and another...

Rachel Treweek                                       Sorce: Christian Today

The bishop of Gloucester ('Journeying Together', although Dr Foster went there, never to return) is the first woman bishop to sit in the House of Lords. She chose to make her maiden speech in a debate on women's empowerment and representation in the UK. Speaking of equality rather than theology she concluded her message with "I hope that my words may have enabled us further to take note of the progress made in the UK in women’s representation and empowerment".

Such is her enthusiasm for representation and empowerment that according to her Parliamentary biography she has no 'member's focus' has not spoken since and has not asked or answered a written question in this parliamentary session, 2016-17. She is recorded as having voted once

Bishop Treweek is much more focused when it comes to LGBT issues. In another first the bishop of Gloucester is to preside at an LGBT Eucharist in January to "offer a safe space" to gay worshippers:

"The Rt Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester, will celebrate the ceremony set up by Inclusive Church, a LGBT-affirming network of Anglicans, the group reports. It is thought to be the first time a senior diocesan bishop has led an LGBT communion and prompted concern from conservative Anglicans. A spokeswoman for the Gloucester Diocese confirmed Treweek would preside and said: 'As part of Bishop Rachel's ministry she celebrates the Eucharist in many churches across her diocese, to worship will fellow Christians who are all loved and valued by God'."

In her maiden speech the bishop of Gloucester said, "Over the years, I added my voice to the debate to enable the consecration of women to the episcopate, and my starting point was always the firm conviction that all people are created equal in the image of God and called to use their gifts to the glory of God and for the flourishing of all people.

The mind boggles at the opportunity for Eucharistic 'firsts' for all manner of persuasions allowing them to flourish.

In Wales, a film All one in Christ about the experiences of LGBT+ people in church is to be premiered at St Asaph Cathedral in December. The film was made in response to an invitation from the bishops of the Church in Wales for church groups to get involved with the Iris Prize Outreach scheme. The Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, will be part of a panel discussion following the premiere.

The only people in Wales created equal in the image of God but not allowed to flourish are those who remain faithful to the teaching and tradition of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. No appropriate sacramental and pastoral provision has been made for them.

Postscript [02.12.2016]

From the Guardian: "Film about nuns who fall in love to be shown in Welsh cathedral".

The archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, said: “This film will not be easy watching for church members as it reminds us how people among us have been ostracised and mistreated because of their sexuality.

There are others who have been ostracised and mistreated because of their faith but that is no problem for Morgan and his bench sitters who have abandoned the faith for self-aggrandisement.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Sacred Synod?

Archbishop Barry Morgan                                 Source: Daily Post

The newspapers in Wales have been full of it since the naming of the bishop elect. For example, the Western Telegraph has: "Sacred Synod to confirm election of new Bishop of St Davids".

In reality there is nothing sacred about it other than that the event takes place at Evensong in a place of worship, Archbishop Barry Morgan's trouble prone Cathedral in Llandaff.

On video [@1.19] and in the press, the bishop elect constantly advances the feminist cause telling her audience how she has broken new ground in the Deaconate and in the Episcopate being "one of the first women" despite the fact that according to Dr Morgan her 'election' had nothing to do with her being a woman. He said she was the best person to be a bishop, presumably based on his criteria written to fit her profile. Given her inexperience at a senior level it is difficult to believe that there is no person better qualified. Chosen from a secret shortlist we are expected to accept Dr Morgan's word despite years of deception to ensure that he gets his own way from the ordination of women to his LGBT agenda to his same sex marriage ambitions.

If so sure of his ground why the precedent of the Archbishop's promotional video produced to convince viewers that the process was not another stitch up? Some analysis is called for.

devoted or dedicated to a deity or to some religious purpose; consecrated.
pertaining to or connected with religion (opposed to secular or profane)

of or relating to worldly things or to things that are not regarded as religious, spiritual, or sacred; temporal

characterized by irreverence or contempt for God or sacred principles or things; irreligious.

It is difficult to conceive that anyone other than a Morgan acolyte could consider the confirmation of the election of the new bishop of St Davids to be sacred. It has Barry Morgan's secular politics written all over it. Her name as the bishop elect had been circulating for months. She attended the Credo Cymru 'Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales' when more deserving members were excluded. Interestingly the view from England after the event was that Anglo Catholicism in Wales is finished.

There were reports that the archbishop deferred entering hospital for essential surgery so that he could preside over the electoral college. A call for prayers in an ad clerum from the Bishop of St Asaph indicates that Dr Morgan has deferred treatment until December, thus enabling him to stage manage the synod as well as the 'election'. Nothing it seems is to be left to chance. No price is too high in ensuring that a woman bishop is in place before Dr Morgan retires, even the desolation of the Church in Wales. A relative minnow in the Anglican Communion and minute in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church but for the 1% or so of the population of Wales who still attend regularly it is still their church, nominally. The dwindling few have responded to calls over many years to give sacrificially while receiving nothing but politics in return. How will they feel when left with nothing but the bill?

Whilst the whole process reeks of cronyism I would be surprised if there were any objection to the election at the synod. Dr Morgan has successfully crushed all opposition in his re-modelling of the Church in Wales as a career opportunity for sycophants and a refuge for sexual licence.

Based on fifteen year's experience covering Church of England politics and witnessing the death throes of the Episcopal Church in the United States,  George Conger has been talking on Anglican Unscripted about the decline of the Church of England into a church that is "already all but dead". What he says can be applied equally, and more so, to the Church in Wales. When a bishop is elected, he says, the candidate loses his backbone to a process called collegiality, a well used weapon in Dr Morgan's armoury along with 'canonical obedience' when the Church in Wales has been anything but obedient to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

The installation of a woman bishop at Wales' most holy shrine is all about Women and the Church (WATCH). It is profane.

Postscript [30.11.2016]

BBC News: "First woman bishop appointment to be rubber-stamped". - Exactly!

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The problem with belief

Iraqi soldiers putting the Cross back to where it belongs in Baghdeda and Karemlesh
after retaking the cities from ISIS.                                                Source: @AliAjeena 

In my previous entry I included a video of an Imam who claims that saying 'Merry Christmas' is worse than murder. One cannot doubt his sincerity in believing that God could not have been born on Christmas Day. It is contrary to his faith. If he understood that God came down from heaven and was made man to share our misery he would be better informed but as a Muslim he regards Jesus as no more than one in a line of prophets.

For Christians Jesus is the Incarnate Word, the 'Son of God'. Hence the condemnation of saying 'Merry Christmas'. For Muslims Muhammad is the last in a line of prophets from Abraham. He is the model of the perfect man whose life should be emulated as far as possible. An unlikely example some 1400 years later for one who married a child bride of nine, had many wives, and who is said to have personally beheaded between 700 and 900 opponents. Nevertheless he is the model for devout Muslims resulting in the barbarism witnessed today.

A recent BBC report, 'An extremist in the family', illustrates the agony of a mother, a convert to Islam, whose son became a jihadist. She said "Islam's part of our daily life. We pray and fast but beyond that, not a huge amount". Her son Rasheed had somehow fallen for the idea of the caliphate, "if you don’t do this journey you are not a believer, not a good Muslim".

For Christians the mother is the good Muslim but for Islamists the real Muslim was her son. He was killed fighting for ISIS. This is the problem with belief. Blind obedience serves only the manipulators. Catholicism, particularly in Ireland, has learnt the hard way. Anglicanism, the middle way, has lost its way while Islam remains resolute against any other way. So much so that renouncing Islam is punishable by death.

In another video 'Wolves in Sheep's Clothing' the Imam who condemned people for saying Merry Christmas rails against the 'enemies of Islam'. He names Jews, Christians, Hindus and the secular, atheistic world at large who "disagree among themselves on everything except that Islam is a target and is to be removed from the world map". Finally he tells his audience that the real wolves in sheep's clothing are not Jews, Christians or Hindus but the Shia, a different Muslim sect.

Muslims believe that, unlike Moses and prophets who heard from God directly, Muhammad heard through an intermediary, Gabriel. In these revelations Allah changes his mind many times leaving followers with the problem of abrogation which results in taking the more recent (violent) verses in preference to earlier (peaceful) verses. Consequently the religion of peace in the Quran gives way to the sword:  "The later verses, known as the “Sword Verses” (9:5 and 9:29), were considered by Muslim scholars to have cancelled the previous verses mandating kindness and persuasion. Expansionist jihad became the explicit norm." 

By contrast with uncorroborated revelations received by Muhammad, Jesus Christ is the fulfilment of eight Old Testament prophesies. The probability of fulfilling all eight prophesies has been calculated as 1 x 1028 or 1 in 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. 

Jesus Christ came into the world not to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfil them. He made another prophecy which has been fulfilled: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves." This prophecy could not be clearer but nevertheless, Muslims regard Muhammad as the last prophet without question. That is the problem. 

For years Islam has been treated as above criticism, validated for its pre-'Sword' verses about kindness and persuasion. But there is a glimmer of hope. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has come out and said "It's time to stop saying Isil has ‘nothing to do with Islam’".

It is ironic that people who have largely lost their Christian faith judge Islam from a traditional Christian perspective accepting what they are told about peaceful Islam while ignoring the evidence to the contrary which has been exhibited all around the world for hundreds of years. 'Christian Daily' explodes the peace loving myth in an article "Muslim migrants display 'pure hatred' of Christians". An Arabic translator who has been living in Germany for more than 20 years explains that Muslim migrants secretly despise Christians and believe that the country should be Islamised.

Muslims need to know about Christianity. They should be encouraged to question their own faith instead of attacking others and question the imposition of penalties for renouncing Islam contrary to the Universal Declaration on Human Rights that "Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion".

Saturday, 19 November 2016

A make believe Christmas message

This make believe advert from Amazon Prime has won considerable praise in some quarters. The Huffington Post for example has the headline "Amazon Prime Christmas Advert 2016: Powerful Film Depicts Friendship Between Vicar And Imam".

While the Vicar is a real Vicar, the 'Imam' is not an Imam. He is 'a devout Muslim' playing the part, perhaps under the Muslim doctrine of Taqiyya to advance the  cause of Islam to an unsuspecting audience accustomed to wishing each other 'A Merry Christmas!'

With all the Imams to choose from one can't help wondering why a real Imam did not take the part. Perhaps the answer is in this video: 

Friday, 18 November 2016

The Battle of the Somme ended one hundred years ago today. Eyewitness accounts here.

We will remember them.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Worldwide Persecution of Christians

A Guardian article sourced by data from Open Doors in July 2015 reported that "Converts from Islam have faced persecution in Egypt for many years, but until recently the indigenous Coptic Christians have largely been left alone. After the overthrow of the Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, however, there was a sharp increase in attacks, with 65 churches, convents, Christian bookshops and schools attacked. There are fears these attacks will increase as radical Islamist groups gain power in the region."

Yesterday it was reported in Christian Daily that "Orthodox Coptic Christians thought that they would experience less discrimination from Muslims after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak five years ago, but the post-Arab Spring years have only seen the attacks against them rise."

Persecution of Christians is widespread in Muslim countries (details here) which makes it all the more extraordinary that Islam is being allowed to extend its influence in the Western World with shocking consequences for the victims of a culture which regards women as second class along with non-Muslims, or kafir. Worries have been expressed over the Government's desire to make the UK the centre for 'Sharia compliant' Islamic finance even though it is 'inherently discriminatory' against women and non-Muslims and about BBC plans to increase Muslim influence at the expense of Christianity, the foundation of British law and our culture.

With friends yesterday I found myself in conversation about the BBC's plans to downgrade Christian programming in favour of increased coverage for Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh faiths. The Director-General of the BBC, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, is reported to have said that he will increase the coverage of other faiths and could broadcast Friday prayers from a mosque along the lines of Songs of Praise because there have been complaints that the Corporation was ‘too Christian’. One can imagine how such complaints originate when different values are in evidence. 

It was put to me by a nominal Christian that the BBC should allow Friday prayers to be broadcast because 'Imams in the UK have explained that Islam means peace and love of others'. This is a well used tactic to hoodwink the ill-informed. If the BBC were to increase their coverage by taking a critical look at a religious ideology which encourages such deception while bringing death and destruction around the world, people would be better informed about Islamic ambitions for world dominance under Sharia.

The Open Doors Watch List consistently reports persecution, repression, killing Christians and destruction of their churches along with persecution of others such as the Yazidis, greatly adding to the refugee crisis. In some countries such as Saudi Arabia Christians must keep their faith completely secret. If not executed by the state, they risk becoming the victim of an honour killing by a family member because leaving Islam is regarded as a great disgrace. 

Islam is Islam. Many Muslims live peacefully, ignoring what is done in their name but the essential difference in the attitude of devout Muslims to non-Muslims is if they are in a minority rather than a majority. 

While Islam is allowed to flourish and more mosques are built in Britain and Europe, often financed through the Saudi Connection, Christianity is being systematically destroyed in the Middle East with attempts to obliterate all evidence of ancient pre-Islamic civilisations such as the Assyrians.

The persecution of Christians must be stopped. You can help by signing a petition against the BBC proposals here.

Postscript [18.11.2016]

"Donald Trump’s Pick For National Security Adviser Loves To Stoke Islamophobia" - Huffington Post:

Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser, has stoked Islamophobia by calling Islam a “cancer” and saying fear of it was “justified”. In August, Flynn said that Islam, which has around 1.6 billion followers around the world, was a “political ideology” that “hides behind being a religion.” He also described it as a “cancer” because terrorist groups instructed followers to “get into the bloodstream of the opposition.” He has tweeted that fearing Muslims is “rational.”

Doubters should look at the map. Non-Muslims living in Muslim countries know what fear is. The evidence speaks for itself. Are they are guilty of Islamophobia?

Monday, 14 November 2016

Islamic finance and persecution

"In response to customer demand, NatWest bank has launched its first mortgage product compliant with Islamic Shariah law. In accordance with Shariah law, the product will not charge interest." - NatWest Business Banking

'Sharia compliant' finance is not only permitted in Great Britain, it is encouraged by HM Government which is committed to making the UK the 'Western hub of Islamic finance'. This video by 'Christian Concern' explains that accommodating Sharia finance makes it hard to object to Sharia in family law or other areas even though it is 'inherently discriminatory' against women and non-Muslims. The aim of Islamic finance is to create a separate, rival financial system serving to prevent the integration of Muslims into Western societies [my emphasis - Ed.]. 

I was shocked to hear a prayer in the Intercessions at the Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance [@01:18:30] on Saturday night praying that Her Majesty, as Defender of the Faith, should 'protect the freedom of other faiths. Are our public servants and religious leaders ignorant of false prophets and the charge that we should "go and make disciples of all nations" in the knowledge as Christians that there is only one way to the Father? Do they not recognise the supremacist ideology in our midst that condemns to death apostates and beheads and crucifies people who refuse to convert to Islam?

Why should Her Majesty protect a faith based on a religious ideology that has no regard for other religious beliefs? Nissar Hussain converted from Islam to become a Christian in 1996. He has since faced aggressive behaviour and violence from members of the Muslim community where he lived in Bradford, reported here. There is graphic coverage in the MailOnline of the beating he received in 2015 after being targeted as a 'blasphemer' because he converted from Islam. He suffered a broken kneecap, a fractured forearm and concussion.

Despite evidence from the world over of the attitude of Islam to non-Muslims, leading Anglicans continue to pander to 'interfaith cohesion' interpreting the Quran in a way that some misinterpret the Bible to suit their own ends.

The hand of friendship offered by the Muslim Council of Wales in Great Britain is not mirrored in Muslim dominated countries. When Muslims form a majority churches are closed or destroyed and Christians are persecuted or killed. Peace in Islam means when everyone has been converted, if necessary by the sword.

It has been estimated by Open Doors International that 100 million Christians worldwide endure some sort of persecution each year with 7,100 Christians killed for their faith in 2015 alone. 

Encouraging and protecting the freedom of Islam is the last thing we need if we value our own freedom. Christians are the victims of 80% of all acts of religious discrimination in the world. Please find the time to watch the short documentary, Under Caesar's Sword (HT Anglican Mainstream).

Late News [14.11.2016]

From MailOnline:
BBC will increase religious coverage for Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs after it was slammed for being 'too CHRISTIAN'.

Postscript [15.11.2016]

Petition to Protect Christian programming and coverage at the BBC

Voice for Justice UK has organised a petition via CitizenGo calling on Her Majesty’s Government, and in particular Karen Bradley, Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, to exercise due oversight of the BBC and to reject any attempt to downgrade Christian programming in favour of increased coverage for Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh faiths. The Director-General of the BBC, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, has said he will increase the coverage of other faiths and could broadcast Friday prayers from a mosque along the lines of Songs of Praise. He says he will do this because there have been complaints that the Corporation was ‘too Christian’.

In 2011 a survey conducted by the BBC itself found that of the 4,500 people approached, the overwhelming feeling was that the BBC was anti-Christian, and that the Christian faith was consistently misrepresented. In 2012, the then Director-General, Mark Thompson, himself admitted that Christianity was treated ‘less-sensitively’ than other religions. Since that time there have been numerous similar complaints of clear bias against Christianity, some coming from employees at the BBC themselves. Full report on Anglican mainstream here. You can sign the petition here.

Translation of the Dedication that appears in the entrance hall of Broadcasting House:

This Temple of the Arts and Muses is dedicated to Almighty God by the first Governors of Broadcasting House in the year 1931, Sir John Reith being Director-General. It is their prayer that good seed sown may bring forth a good harvest, that all things hostile to peace or purity may be banished from this house, and that the people, inclining their ear to whatsoever things are beautiful and honest and of good report, may tread the path of wisdom and uprightness.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Remembrance Sunday

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Friday, 11 November 2016

St David must be turning in his grave

Abp Barry Morgan's legacy: Desolation. Note the dual translations. Point made!

This video must rank as one of the most contemptuous of an organisation's membership ever made. The Archbishop of Wales speaks in Welsh with English subtitles in supposed deference to Welsh speakers while the 'Welsh speaking' bishop-elect speaks in English with Welsh subtitles for the benefit of those who do not understand what she is talking about. 

Forget the Landsker line and 'little England beyond Wales', this is about women in the church. The ability to communicate in Welsh has been marginalised to accommodate a woman of Barry Morgan's choice. He protests that his nominee has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman but that she is the best person to be a bishop. If you swallow that you will swallow anything. 

Postscript [15.11.2016]

‘Sacred Synod’ to confirm Bishop of St Davids’ election - Provincial News Press release:

The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, "The Constitution of the Church in Wales requires all episcopal elections to be confirmed by the other bishops meeting in Sacred Synod. This will be a public meeting and, should any member of the Church in Wales wish to draw any matter to the bishops’ attention in relation to this episcopal election, they are invited to attend the meeting in person."

An opportunity for Dr Barry Morgan to wear a laurel leaf crown as the Church in Wales enters her death throes?

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Two Anglican Archbishops obsessed with women and the queer agenda

Revd Isabelle Hamley (CofE)                    Revd Canon Joanna Penberthy (CinW)

The Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of Wales have shown by their recent appointments that they have much in common, putting women's issues and the Queer Bible at the heart of their ministries.

Before anyone complains that the bishop elect of St Davids was not appointed by Dr Morgan but by an electoral college, there is no difference other than going through the motions. The name of Canon Penberthy as the next bishop of St Davids was circulating months ago despite her having to endure "sexism on her way to the top". That is, the absence of female toilets in a male college which moved her to micturate in England. Had her trail-blazing taken place today she could have armed herself with a transgender sign and urinated in St Michael's College, Llandaff rather than having to micturate elsewhere.

In the 1980s St Mike's as it was affectionately known trained half the bishops now sitting on the bench, Swansea & Brecon, St Asaph and Monmouth. It is no more. Down the pan and soon to be followed by the 'washed up' Church in Wales herself. St Michael's Theological College now houses the St Padarn's Institute which we are told "comes on the back of dwindling attendances in the Church in Wales and the church's subsequent decision to reorganise traditional parishes into larger Ministry Areas". As Dr Morgan draws his pension early in the new year he will have much on which to reflect. Perhaps he will contemplate writing a book on how he excluded faithful Anglicans from Christian worship in Wales.

Canon Penberthy regards the first women Deacons as 'trailblazers' in the feminist cause. A supporter of blessing gay unions and same sex marriage in church she is also studying for a PhD in Quantum Physics which may not be regarded by the faithless as the most useful asset in the Great Commission if they are to be brought to Christ.

Another PhD student is the Rev'd Isabelle Hamley who is to take up the role of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Chaplain in January 2017, replacing Archbishop Welby's previous choice, another female Chaplain who has been appointed bishop of Dorking.

In modern parlance, 'the Revd Hamley' is recorded as being in the final stages of a PhD in Biblical studies, (Relational identity, Otherness and Victimisation: An Irigarayan Reading of Judges 19-21).

Not acquainted with the subject I Googled to find out what on earth she was talking about, only to discover that it boiled down to more from the Queer Bible and gender politics.

Is it any wonder that church attendance is declining at an alarming rate? Why not be honest and proclaim Western Anglicanism as the Church of Queer Theology?

Monday, 7 November 2016

The Welsh language, same-sex and the Church in Wales

Outside St Davids Cathedral "Another First for Canon Joanna, Bishop-elect."  Source: Church in Wales

"From the beginning, the Welsh language was given equality with English in the constitution and liturgy of the Church in Wales, and throughout the twentieth century some of its priests were prominent in Welsh literature." - The Church in Wales, Facing Difficulties

One hundred years after disestablishment, the Church in Wales' 2020 Vision is to "re-imagine itself in order to serve its communities more effectively... We need a cultural change in the kind of church we are". That is what the Archbishop of Wales told the The Time Is Now conference in 2014.

For the bishop elect of St Davids the kind of church she wants is based on what has been rejected by the Church in Wales, most strongly by the good people of St Davids. Her stated priority is "To encourage us that we are not simply trying to keep the show on the road but we are trying to live out our gospel of the risen Christ and the reality of God’s Holy Spirit and to live that out in our real communities, encouraging people to live out their faith in surprising and different ways, not feeling guilty that the future may look different from the past but feeling encouraged that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever and is as relevant to Wales in the 21st century as he has been through the centuries until now. But how that plays out may look very different".

Listening to Canon Penberthy on Radio 4 [@12.30] "our gospel" is the gospel according to Dr Barry Morgan. Women clergy, gay blessings and working towards same sex marriage in church. When interviewed Ed Stourton asked what sort of discrimination she had suffered. She replied it was "blank incomprehension" that she would want to exercise her own ministry rather than help her husband. Not the sort of aggravation implied by her earlier "prejudice and discrimination" claim. The implication is that lay ministry was not good enough which hardly fits with the ideas of '2020 Vision'.

So the bishop elect of St Davids, the most conservative diocese in the Province, is a liberal minded woman who on her own admission is not a fluent Welsh speaker either:

"Improving my Welsh is a priority for me now. I was in Welsh-speaking parishes in north Carmarthenshire before and people were very generous and I did learn to take services in Welsh which were received well. But I was always a bit cowardly about the conversations and I think I’ll be looking for money to go on a Welsh immersion course where I will have to take the bull by the horns and have the courage to speak the language. I really want to do it  – we are a bilingual nation and the Welsh language is one of our jewels, if not our life blood."

To quote further from 'Facing Difficulties': "The Church, as ever, wishes to see the Welsh language survive and flourish, but it can do nothing without the support of its members. The Welsh language is a gift from God to all who live in Wales. It is our privilege and responsibility to use and promote it in our future mission and ministry". Surely that should have been uppermost in the mind of the facilitator for the diocese of St Davids.

'Facing difficulties' ends with the question: "How can you promote the use of the Welsh language in the Church in your area?" For a start the facilitator should have ensured that the bishop elect was a fluent Welsh speaker familiar with the diocese which is the spiritual home of the Church in Wales and a place of pilgrimage drawing people from around the world.

Disestablishment was born out of dissatisfaction with English-speaking landowners and "anti-Welsh" attitudes within the Church. Based on the appointment of the bishop elect of St Davids, heritage clearly counts for nothing. Moving forward, or "re-imagine itself", is based not on scripture and tradition but on sexual licence and equality of opportunity in the workplace where secular attitudes to 'equality' count more than theology.

The Electoral College meets behind closed doors so that everything can be done in secret leaving regular churchgoers unaware of how the President stage manages the proceedings in a situation where many members hold their positions under his patronage especially the bishops.

If this candidate matched the diocesan profile either profile was way off the mark or it was prepared to fulfil the requirements of the President who is on record as claiming that "she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop". If the sacred synod had any spunk they would not confirm this election.

Postscript [08.11.2016]

From Western Mail letters: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Not quite the successors of St David

When the new woman bishop-designate of St David’s was on Radio Four on Sunday morning being interviewed she had at least the decency to admit that the Church in Wales blesses gay marriages.

When the male bishops deviously introduced such prayers, they claimed they were not blessings!

She also unequivocally stated that she is in favour of full same-sex marriage. Well, she is entitled to her beliefs, but if she seriously thinks she (and her male colleagues) are the legitimate actual successors of St David, they deceive themselves.

They may have the medieval cathedrals, the episcopal props and the endowments but they are self-evidently not bishops in the Church of God, pledged under sacred vow to banish away strange doctrines.

Robert Ian Williams

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Something fishy?

The assembled throng outside the West Door of St Davids Cathedral, Pembrokeshire                                  Source: Twitter @DavidGrundy

As far West from the great West Door as they could manage without joining the rest of the tiddlers in River Alun, the Canon Residentiary at St Davids Cathedral appears to have been delegated to lead the applause in appreciation of Archbishop Barry Morgan's 'historic' announcement that the bishop elect of St Davids is the first woman to be made bishop in Wales, Canon Joanna Penberthy.

A video of this damp squib of an occasion can be seen on Twitter and on the Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) website.  While small in size the number of people gathered is the same size as many dwindling congregations in the Church in Wales but clearly a great embarrassment to the Archbishop as the video link in the Press Release has been edited so that only the applause is heard after the Dr Morgan gives the nod.  

Most of the news coverage followed the same theme: First woman bishop Joanna Penberthy 'faced prejudice', a strategy used to stain orthodox views as being negative. This theme is often used to condemn anyone who disagrees with the latest liberal fashion and was much used by the Movement for the Ordination of Women (MOW) which has been superseded by Women and the Church  (WATCH), a feminist organisation currently insisting that God should to be referred to as female. In a similar vein, opponents of gay marriage are condemned as homophobic while anyone searching for the truth about Islam's attitude to non-Muslims is regarded as Islamophobic.

After the announcement of her election Canon Penberthy commented: "As someone who in the early years was at the receiving end of prejudice and discrimination, I have absolutely no intention of dishing that out so I think it's important that everybody feels free to be honest about their opinions and about their misgivings." That is a welcome change from the view of the bench of bishops as currently constituted and a welcome change of heart from her Newnham days when as a young evangelical student she was more inclined to the view that Anglo Catholics should leave the Church of England because they were not real Anglicans.

When interviewed a BBC Reporter put the question to Canon Penberthy, Ordaining women is still controversial to some people. How do you reach out to those who are not happy with the idea? Her reply was far more encouraging than the Archbishop's 'over my dead body' policy. She said:

"I was very encouraged to be on a conference recently organised by Credo Cymru, which is an organisation for people who don’t wish to receive the sacramental ministry of women. It was a very positive gathering of how we can learn to live together in a world where women are priests and at that point where women might take episcopal ministry. It was about how do we live together in honesty, kindness and out of the values of that one shared gospel."

Following the Living with Diversity conference it was refreshing to hear from the bishop elect that everyone should "feel free to be honest". Since Bishop David Thomas retired there has been no place in the Church in Wales for people who remain unable to recognise the sacramental ministry of women as bishops and priests on grounds of theological conviction and conscience although officially remaining "within the spectrum of teaching and tradition within the Anglican Communion". Credo Cymru's statement can be read here.

With such lavish praise heaped upon her by the Archbishop and the bishop of Swansea and Brecon one wonders why Canon Penberthy had not previously joined the ranks of senior clergy as Dean or Archdeacon. Is it merely a coincidence that the bishop elect happens to be the right age as specified by the former bishop, Wyn Evans, to complete the work he started as Dean? Some fishy business on the Alun!

Fishy or not, this episode has all the appearance of a jigsaw puzzle coming into place except for one piece which just does not fit but he will be retiring soon when all should be much clearer, hopefully putting an end to prejudice and discrimination in the Church in Wales.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


St Davids Cathedral Pembrokeshire                                                                                                                        Source: BBC

If bishops are still supposed to be the focus of unity, disunity in the Church in Wales (CinW) is complete following the appointment of Canon Joanna Penberthy as the new bishop of St Davids, the first of the six diocese in the Province of Wales to have a woman 'bishop'.

St Davids is the site of the Holy shrine of St David who built his monastery on the Cathedral site c.589/601. Some 1400 years later faith counts for little in church politics which have more in common with congregationalism than the Holy Catholic Church when members believe that they know better than the Church fathers and Jesus Christ who set the Apostolic example for His church 2,000 years ago.

This politically motivated appointment completes Archbishop Barry Morgan's mission to turn the Anglican Church in Wales into another arm of nonconformity with shared 'bishops' and inter-communion. He can retire happy in the knowledge that he has dismantled the parish system in favour of ministry areas, seen the closure of of St Michael's Theological College in Llandaff and watched the relentless decline in Sunday attendance as he has pushed forward his liberal experiments based not on theology but on political correctness.

Those who have persevered with a Church that has done nothing for them other than take their money will be considering their position as no doubt will some Friends of St Davids but it would be a tragedy for St Davids if the Cathedral were to suffer as a consequence of this appointment.

The feelings of numbness and despair experienced when the CinW Governing Body decided to ordain women will have returned for many especially after watching Dr Morgan tell a BBC reporter that in a threefold ministry it would be wrong not to allow women to become bishops. That after assuring doubters that allowing women deacons did not mean that they would become priests and allowing women priests did not mean they would become bishops. The deceit of it all.


Along with similar announcements the Church in Wales website announced, "History was made today as the Church in Wales elected its first woman bishop". Despite Archbishop Morgan's claim that Joanna Penberthy "wasn’t elected because she was a woman but because she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop", few will believe him. As fellow Welsh person Mandy Rice Davies famously said when Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her, "Well he would [say that], wouldn't he?"

Abp Morgan said that she [Joanna Penberthy] "has considerable gifts – she is an excellent preacher and communicator, can relate to all sections of the community, is a warm, charismatic, caring priest and someone who is full of joy". So she should as a bishop of the church but does "all sections of the community" include 'traditionalists' or exclude them as the Bench has done? Also, as one commentator has put it, what about 1 Timothy 3? Not that the Archbishop bothers with the Bible unless he wishes to misquote it.

Which ever way one looks at it, this is another smack in the face for faithful male clergy to be told that "she is the best person to be a bishop". As suggested when he brought in his Ass Bishop ["the ordination of women will rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones"] and the Archdeacon of Llandaff, none of the male clergy in Wales can match Abp Morgan's expectations. No wonder so many can't wait to see the back of him.