|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.