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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The cost of success


This image from Twitter (H/T Anglican Mainstream) shows the celebration of a lesbian civil partnership at Southwark Cathedral with "Eucharist, Dinner and Dancing". 

It was joyfully attended by the Very Rev'd Professor Martyn Percy Dean of Christ Church Oxford, who pressed Philip North either to renounce his membership of The Society or to decline his nomination as bishop of Sheffield, and his wife Emma Percy, Chair of WATCH who likes to refer to God as a 'She'. 

Taken with the errors committed at the recent General Synod in York, this is another example of how far Anglicanism in Great Britain has become a do as you please religion.

In another recent post on Anglican Mainstream the question was posed, Why is the Episcopal Church near collapse? A note of caution was added: Ed:  The author of this article is not mentioned, nor is it dated.  We believe it to be several years old, but we consider it suitable for posting as the situation has not improved and the article clearly shows the effect of revisionism.

The rot started in the US. If ever there was a cautionary tale to heed one would have thought that the brakes would have been applied but instead progressives in this country have held up TEC as an exemplar.

After all she has done to bring down the Episcopal Church in the United States, their former Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, was invited to proclaim the Gospel at the consecration of the new bishop of Llandaff, ignoring the Church in Wales' own Basic Guidance concerning the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist:   "[17.] The Gospel is normally proclaimed by a deacon, where available...and, from the Appendix, It is the duty of the deacon to proclaim the Gospel."

The Gospel stunt was a distraction which focused on the advancement of women in the Church rather than giving glory to God with the central focus of the liturgy being Christ himself (General Guidelines).

Another posing opportunity for women bishops       Source:Salisbury Journal

Back at the parish ministry area level, this comment was received following my previous entry which confirms worrying reports about Ministry Areas:

".... you mention 'inspiring our poor worn out hard working priests'
I agree with you but the management push to force ministry areas everywhere, is doing the opposite. Team leaders here in Monmouth are hard to come by as no one wants to run 3-4 parishes with less and less team members. Cwmbran, became a ministry area and went from 4 full time clergy, to two, the curate recently was moved to Malpas Ministry Area as no one would apply for it, so the remaining ministry team leader has resigned and is off to Llandaff as a team vicar. So soon no full time clergy......but hey plenty of lay readers who have been ordained...........(is it me or is that bad theology?)
I gather Llandaff has a chap going round full time, telling PCC's how wonderful ministry areas are......."

In the wider sphere, an observation from Pope Benedict XVI who sent a "sobering" message at the funeral of Cardinal Joachim Meisner saying he was moved at the dubia cardinal's ability to "live out of a deep conviction that the Lord does not abandon His Church, even when the boat has taken on so much water as to be on the verge of capsizing.

What liberals claim as progress is the cost of their success. At the official level Anglicanism is all but finished in the US with Great Britain not far behind while blind progressives still insist that it is they who are right!

But all is not lost. Please read this hopeful message: To the Anglicans of Great Britain.

Monday, 17 July 2017

More of the same


"Thank you for your kind applause", as Madame Edith used to say in 'Allo 'Allo! after her star turn                                                          Source: Church in Wales


No altar cross or candles on the nave altar when the appointment of the Bishop of Llandaff, June Osborne, was confirmed in Sacred Synod last Friday. Instead the altar was used as a microphone stand. Apt for another political rally!

The first reported utterance of the new bishop on the occasion of her consecration the following day was to urge "sexuality-row" Llandaff diocese to move on, again drawing unwelcome attention to the Electoral College row after the Western Mail re-hashed the Jeffrey John self-promotion story on 11 July, an episode the bench had been trying to bury with their appointment of the Dean of Salisbury, the Very Rev June Osborne as bishop-designate.

More successfully buried had been the Church of England Osborne Report on homosexuality which should have been published in 1989 but surfaced in 2012. Some believe this report damaged Osborne's chances of preferment in the Church of England. Not so in the Church in Wales.

Pursuing another pet theme, bishop June offered her view of the church as a secular institution given over to the advancement of women in a BBC interview which formed part of their coverage of her consecration. She said:

 "Isn't it fantastic, Wales becomes the Province of the Anglican Communion that has the highest percentage of women bishops in it and that has to feel right because one woman is great but more than one woman in an organisation, people know this, really begins to make a change for the better because gender parity, gender equality, women feeling that their voice is respected just as the men's voices. It's what the Church in Wales has been working on for some years now and so I just think that bishop Jo in St Davids will be a fantastic colleague but it will also mean the the workings of the bench of bishops and the whole church will just become more normal. It's what people know in the normal life is mixed gender teams."

Yet more of the same in a radio interview here (advance to 51.12).

Rather than the Cornerstone, Jesus Christ has become the stepping-stone for women to pursue their careers in the church, demanding parity rather than spirituality. 

Stand by for more of 'what the Church in Wales has been working on for some years', substituting politics for faith when bishop June and her 'fantastic colleague' bishop Jo 'make normal the workings of the bench of bishops and the whole church'.

What bishop June failed to mention when she referred to the 'whole church' was that she had in mind the Church in Wales, one of the smallest provinces in the Anglican Communion, and possibly the Church of England. The vast majority of the world's 80 million Anglicans, along with the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, regard provinces such as the Church in Wales and the Church of England as being in error which puts her views into context.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Dumbed-down, dressed down, let down


The Church of England at Synod


Who needs scripture, tradition or reason when a few dozen like-minded people can gather together in His name to make up the rules as they go along?

The headline in Plant Transgender after the transgender blessing debate was 'Church of England votes to bless transgender lives'. This is the attitude the Church has validated and sums up the current trajectory of the Church of England as progressives pander to lobbyists who seek to make the church more relevant to society regardless of the evidence and views of the wider Christian Church:

  "Imagine awakening one Sunday morning joining with your family at church for a special service to celebrate your authentic gender?  A coming out like never before is taking place at the Church of England, the third largest Christian communion in the world. Blessed by your church you would find yourself confident, spiritually empowered and ready to face life as never before. A motion to make this a reality has been agreed on during the Church’s four-day general synod meeting in York which started on Friday. but may take three years to finalize."

As the Rev Peter Ould put it, 'T is for Tearing up the Rules of Anglicanism'. Listen to his excellent podcast on Radio Free Canterbury here.

On their web site the Church of England proclaims 'a Christian presence in every community'. That is a presence for all on equal terms but now there is a special welcome for LGB+T people who claim they want to be treated the same as everyone else while demanding special treatment.

Also, clergy are to be allowed to ditch their robes in a 'further sign of dress-down Britain'. This is likely to result in some bizarre sights removing any semblance of the 'otherness' as mystery is replaced by the commonplace.

Again and again the bishops of an Anglican Church have let down those they are meant to guide.

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Llandaff problem


Llandaff Cathedral and the soon to be vacant again Deanery?


Many of the comments received in response to entries in this blog have been about the problems besetting Llandaff Cathedral, latterly as the result of Archbishop Barry Morgan's appointment of his former Chaplain as Dean.

Dean Capon has his admirers as well as his critics. My view is largely one of sympathy for someone who lacked the necessary experience and seniority to be catapulted into a role for which he was  not qualified. To his credit he stepped in when asked, inheriting problems not of his creation when others declined.

How long the Dean will survive after the enthronement of bishop June Osborne is a question many have been asking. One commentator suggested that the Dean would be promoted to Assistant Bishop in the Autumn. This was later withdrawn as a joke; however, it tied in with other rumours that the new bishop had plans to resolve the difficulties in which traditionalists find themselves because they are unable in conscience to accept the sacramental and pastoral oversight of women. In short, the bishop would promote Dean Capon to Assistant Bishop to care for traditionalists in her diocese.

Firstly, if true, to promote someone out of trouble is unacceptable but more importantly, an assistant to a female bishop would be representing a bishop who, in conscience, is regarded as unacceptable on theological grounds so that would not be a solution.

I also have a problem with the Dean's judgement, most recently in disclosing, in general terms, people's giving, and suggesting that the depth of someone's pocket along with a willingness to dig deep was an essential qualification for appointment as the Treasurer of the Friends of Llandaff Cathedral.

This was commented on by Lux Et Veritas under a previous entry, in response to a communication from the Dean following the death of  Sir Donald Walters. Dissatisfaction continues to rumble on with further comments coming in from both sides.

Another potential problem for Llandaff Cathedral was identified in the Church Times disclosure that, using the Freedom of Information Act, Dr Jeffrey John had obtained partially redacted emails sent be­­tween the Welsh bishops in the run-up to the electoral college.

The emails reveal anxieties over the potential appointment of Dr John:
 "An email dated 8 February, which appears to be from Bishop Davies, states: 'My instinct is that JJ’s stance on the matter of same-gender relationships and his own situation might be un­­welcome to many in the Diocese who would suspect that Barry’s [the former Bishop of Llandaff and Welsh Primate, Dr Barry Morgan] evident liberal agenda was being perpetuated by his election. It would probably do the perception of the Bench, at home and elsewhere, no particular good either'. Personally, I also think that his elec­­tion would be an immense distraction in the Province at the wrong time."

He also writes: "I am still of the view that JJ’s election could set off a media circus.” Returning to the state of the Llandaff diocese he wrote: “Whilst neither sexuality nor age are con­clusive factors here, I think that the depth of problems in Llandaff has yet to fully emerge. . . Getting to grips with all this, becoming known and trusted and turning things around will take a deal of time, possibly more than JJ has given his age.”

The bishop of St Asaph appears to be more sanguine in his response adding weight to the suggestion from some quarters that it was he who had spoken with Dr John in the row about Electoral College confidentiality, something Dr John chose to ignore in the interests advancing his own candidature.

Regardless of one's views on the matter, the Bishop of Swansea and Brecon simply mirrored the conclusion reached previously when Dr John was a candidate, latterly for Monmouth.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

New Anglicanism: secularism with ritual?




"Recent developments in The Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their Canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our Provinces on the doctrine of marriage. Possible developments in other Provinces could further exacerbate this situation." - Scottish Episcopal Church Agenda and Papers, General Synod 2016.

Last month the Scottish Episcopal Church voted to allow same-sex couples to be married in church.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have been criticised for inviting the proposer of the Scottish gay-marriage motion to the General Synod meeting in York, placing a group of the Synod’s laity and clergy in an “invidious” position.

There should be nothing to discuss if a change is "a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching" but the Archbishops of Canterbury and York appear to be one-track minded on this issue. In January 2016 there was an explanation in The Telegraph explaining how the Anglican Communion came to find itself in this mess.

Much has been made of changing attitudes towards gay marriage but how many simply go with the flow? That public opinion has shifted is hardly surprising in a do-as-you-please society which fails to recognise the absurdities of the new 'anything goes' mentality.

In what could be a "world first" an eight-month-old Canadian baby has been issued with a health card that does not specify the child's sex. It has been done at the request of parent Kori Doty, a non-binary transgender parent who identifies as neither male nor female. The obvious is no longer obvious.

The Holy Smoke podcast above poses the question: Are Christians warming to gay marriage? For secularists same sex marriage is defined in terms of equality, regarding any opposition as discrimination. That religious groups are apparently falling into line indicates not so much a change in view of the sacrament of marriage, rather it indicates how the church has been infiltrated by lobbies determined to advance their agendas at any cost.

Civil partnerships were introduced to ensure that homosexual couples are not discriminated against. For the Anglican church to introduce same sex marriage would be to turn it into a secular institution with ritual, a return paganism.

Update [09.07.2017]

Reporting on GS Misc 1158 - Proposals for the Pastoral Advisory Group on Human Sexuality and the Development of the Teaching Document (item 8 on Saturday's Agenda at the York Synod) - Archbishop Welby "hoped a document would be available for discussion at the synod in early 2020 'though on a process this complicated we cannot be pinned down relating to time'."

Had the Archbishop maintained Christian doctrine ‘founded in scripture, in reason, in tradition, in theology and the Christian faith as the Church of England has received it’, the Church would not have the complication.

Winding up the debate on her motion calling for a ban on the practice of Conversion Therapy aimed at altering sexual orientation, Ms Jayne Ozanne quoted a tear jerking letter from a retired homosexual priest in his 90's who complained about homophobia in the Church. This has been alleged so often that the bishops believe it when in my experience the reverse is true, often with the innocent on the receiving end as some gays seek to extend their influence at the expense of others.

Next up: Church of England to vote on transgender services. To follow, 'polyamorous' marriage?

Postscript

Please also read Sin at Synod - How the Church forbad forgiveness by Gavin Ashenden and listen to Peter Ould losing it in his Podcast T is for Tearing up the Rules of Anglicanism.

What hope can there be for Anglicanism in this country?

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Consecration of the Bishop of Llandaff


The bishop-designate of Llandaff, the Very Rev June Osborne    Source: CinW

This service will be a wonderful celebration of faith and hope for the future as we consecrate June as bishop and welcome her into the family of the Church in Wales. I am sure everyone will welcome, support and pray for her as she begins this new stage in her ministry." - Bishop John Davies 

Faith? What a load of old cobblers. Faith has long since been abandoned by the Church in Wales in favour of an ideology of relativism. Why the new bishop is to be presented with a copy of the Bible is a mystery unless it is to act as a reminder of when the Church was built on faith.

A graduate in Social Sciences, June Osborne was a founder of the Church’s Leading Women programme. No surprise, then, in the travesty that the Gospel will be read by Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the USA, the Anglican Communion’s first woman primate and the ruination of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

A portent I wonder?

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

How bad does it have to get?




  In this brief video viewers learn how a horrified father was forced to watch as his own daughter, aged 10, being raped to death by brutal Muslim extremists. Unbelievably it gets worse as reported here. Too disgusting to read without warning I leave readers to decide whether or not to delve deeper. 

ISIS is fundamentalist Islam. Most Muslims will find the reported deeds abhorrent but the ideology which drives Islam's hate of kafirs is the religious ideology of Islam. The ideology followed by Muslim men of Asian heritage in Rotherham and other British towns and cities when they exploited British white girls using them as 'easy meat' sex slaves.

A BBC dramatisation of the Rochdale abuse scandal was so harrowing that many horrified viewers were forced to switch off. Allegedly the grooming continues.

In addition to this sexual exploitation Islamic terrorist attacks on British soil have seen innocent people slaughtered. There are thousands of Muslim extremists in Britain waiting to carry out more terrorist atrocities in the name of their religion. 

On Monday's Newsnight [advance to 21.40], viewers were told that according to MI5, "23,000 people living in the UK have potential links to violent extremism" and this is probably "just the tip of the iceberg". 

The former Chair of the Cobra intelligence group which advises the Government on intelligence matters told Newsnight that "for years the intelligence community and successive governments have been far too tolerant in attitudes towards extremist groups, in particular the Islamist Al-Muhajiroun network. There are 3,000 people with current connections to violent, Islamic extremism and another 20,000 with recent links. 23,000 is the population of a small market town, 23,000 jihadists in our midst willing to kill in the name of Islam."

That most Muslims are peaceful does not obscure the fact that for fundamentalists determined to act according to the book, their methods are legitimate tools in what they see as their duty to spread Islam throughout the world. Critical assessment is not permitted while liberals simply ignore or misrepresent the risks:



As other faith leaders continue to affirm Islam as a legitimate alternative to their faith by joining in Islamic festivals, the killing of Christians abroad continues and their churches are destroyed. How bad must it get before the penny drops?

Sunday, 25 June 2017

The joy, the pain and the sorrow


A post-ordination scene outside Llandaff Cathedral.                                                                             Source: Church in Wales


This post-ordination scene outside Llandaff Cathedral is palpable. Blessings and hugs. I well remember such joyous scenes before women were ordained. Everything then was clear cut. Orthodoxy prevailed.

There is nothing biblical about the ordination of women but having been led astray, many women insist that they hear the call as though God has changed His mind after sending His Son to show us the Way. If He had, surely the change would be universal, not confined to local decision makers. But, sadly, it is as it is.

Today the Church in Wales is in disarray. Progressives continue to push for more change as the pews empty. More defections are expected after the second woman bishop is enthroned next month because the promised provision evaporated once the progressives achieved their goal.

So, there will be great joy for many this morning among those for whom conscience is not a problem. For others there will be pain because their church has left them. More to the point, there will be great sorrow because nobody in the Church in Wales appears to care.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

The 'religion of peace' in Nigeria


Fulani herdsmen have massacred thousands of Christians in Nigeria. Source: Christian Today


" Christians are being deliberately targeted and massacred by the Islamist gunmen, some of which have links reaching through to Islamic State. 

'These attacks started in 2010, when some Fulani gunman invaded a village in Plateau State and sacked the whole community and killed about 500 people – children, women and men – in one night.

'Usually what they do is come into a commmunity in the night while  people are sleeping. A few of the gunmen go into the centre of the village and begin to shoot sporadically. When people wake up they are rounded up, and people who try and run away are killed because they have gunmen stationed on the outskirts of the village.'

'The persecution has increased. Three years ago the Fulani moved on to the southern part of Kaduna State, a largely Christian area, where they were attacking commmunities on an almost daily basis.

'The only explanation we can give is that it is a kind of ethno-religious cleansing. I am not sure of the total, but in southern Kaduna more than 800 people were killed in 2016 alone. The total number would run to 2,000 or more. The Fulani kill the people, loot their homes then set the whole place ablaze.

'Nmadu, who is also General Secretary of one of northern Nigeria's largest churches, the Evangelical Church Winning All, said: 'We have learned they have some connection with Boko Haram, and there are links between Boko Haram and Islamic State.'

'He urged the church worldwide to pray 'that God will embolden us to face the challenges that we have on a daily basis'."


From "Nigerian Christian leader pleads for help to stop death and destruction by Islamist Fulani militia" in Chrtistian Today. Full article by Ruth Gledhill here.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Anything but orthodox Christianity


Part of the human chain of "faith leaders from across Wales" who gathered outside a Cardiff Mosque as an act of solidarity with the Muslim community. BBC   


In their Evening News programme yesterday, BBC Wales Today gave extensive coverage to the Welsh link in the aftermath of the Finsbury Park mosque attack.

On the extreme left of this video still as if she were preparing for the hokey cokey is the dancing Archdeacon of Llandaff, the Ven Peggy Jackson. Brought into the Church in Wales by former Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, to impose his liberal agenda on the faithful, this late convert is happy to see cradle Anglicans left with no church while she supports just about any cause other than orthodox Christianity.


Friday, 16 June 2017

Fasting with friends


Preparing for ordination to the Deaconate by fasting with Muslims         CinW

Tomorrow, Church in Wales ordinand Sara Roberts will spend the day at Bangor Islamic Centre, before joining with the Iftar, the meal which Muslims share to break/end their day time fast during Ramadan, according to a Diocesan press release from Bangor.

If her face looks familiar she previously appeared on this blog as a member of the Diocese of Bangor’s new LGBT+ Chaplaincy Team. You have to wonder what the local Imam makes of that given Islam's absolute rejection of homosexuality.

Presumably the bishop of Bangor is content with this arrangement which makes it all the more worrying. Perhaps the Dean of Bangor facilitated the visit given her Muslim links. But the Iftar is not a first. Archbishop Justin Welby has already been 'honoured' in joining Muslims breaking their daily Ramadan fast.

As the church embraces Islam I am reminded of an earlier departure from accepted norms when a deacon down South proudly described herself as "Reiki Master, Feng Shui practitioner, Crystal Healer and Deacon".

No doubt these people have the best of intentions but for the Church? I am sure Ms Roberts means well but one has to wonder about the selection process for ordination in the Church on Wales. Islam and Christianity are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to beliefs. 

Ms Roberts said, “There are many reasons why I am doing this: to show solidarity to our Muslim neighbours, to share in this powerful testament to faith, to contemplate my approaching ordination and what it means and to explore more deeply the relationship between food, prayer and connection to the Divine." What testament to faith? Islam or Christianity?

The problem is that Islam denies Christ died on the cross. Under Sharia Christians are given the options of convert to Islam, pay the dhimmi jizya tax or die. As pleasant as her Muslim neighbours may be, that is what they are taught. As they grow in numbers their demands increase. If the diocese of Bangor needs any proof they should just look beyond our borders at Islamic states abroad.

One hopes that Ms Roberts will feel able to preach the Gospel without fear of offending her Muslim friends. Christ died on the cross. He is the only way to the Father

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Illiberal liberals


Christian Tim Farron pushed to resign leadership of the LibDem Party. Source BBC

It has been widely reported that Tim Farron resigned as the leader of the Liberal Democrat party because he could not continue in the face of continuing questions over his faith. He said that he had been torn between his Christian faith and serving as a political leader. 

Earlier it was reported that former gay bobby, now Liberal peer Lord Paddick had quit as Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson following the "furore" over leader Tim Farron's views on gay sex. Intentionally or otherwise Paddick's action put enormous pressure on an "honourable and decent" man - the words of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

During the General Election campaign journalists continually baited the Lib Dem leader over his Christian faith implying that the lifestyle of 1.7% of the population was far more important than the faith which not only underpins British society but on which our system of government is based. Tolerance and fair play has no place in the politically correct world of people who have nothing to offer but political correctness and their constant cries of '....phobia' to curtail any rational discussion.

Since the election government talks with the DUP have been dogged by complaints that the DUP is against same sex marriage as if it were the Holy Grail. As an example the former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, among others was quick to distance himself from the DUP policies on last Sunday's Andrew Marr TV show.

This has prompted the Coalition for Marriage (C4M) to protest that there has been a sustained attack on DUP MPs simply because they are socially conservative. "Two issues are always quoted – their opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion":

The BBC in particular has seemed far more interested in pursuing this than asking about the DUP’s policy on Brexit or the economy. Even if, like C4M, you are not party political, I expect you are outraged by the media’s actions.

John Humphrys laughed on Monday morning when a former DUP assembly member explained they are a compassionate party. Humphrys immediately claimed that “most people” think their stance is “intolerant”, citing opposition to same-sex marriage as an example. And yesterday, the BBC reproduced a long series of satirists’ cartoons lampooning the DUP.

In response to the whole controversy, Roman Catholic commentator Dr Tim Stanley (who does not support the DUP in general) defended the DUP’s right to hold religious beliefs and argued “it has become politically toxic to be a Christian”.

So dominant has the issue become that the Scottish Conservative leader who plans to marry her same sex partner soon has been told by the Prime Minister that any Conservative deal with the Democratic Unionist Party will not affect LGBTI rights as though there is something intrinsically wrong in the traditional belief that marriage is the union of one man with one woman.

We are supposed to be a Christian country but Christian values based on biblical teaching are ridiculed. Christians are mocked for their faith. Lord Paddick's sexual preference is his own affair but as a liberal one would have thought that he would regard Tim Farron's faith as his affair. Instead he chose to advance the LGBT agenda at the expense of the leader of his Party. How very illiberal.

"There are no atheists in foxholes" still holds true when tragedy strikes. Whether the merciless attacks on innocent people or events such as the tragic London tower block blaze, in times of need people expect the church to be there. But how much longer? Christianity in this country is under threat. Where will people turn when it has been extinguished by illiberal liberals and their like?

Postscript

Former Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Yeovil, David Laws, claims that Tim Farron was right to resign because "he held prejudiced views". He said, " As a gay man, I do not wish to be 'tolerated'. I wish to be respected for who I am. And I want a party leader whose respect for human equality comes before outdated and frankly offensive religious views."

Mr Laws would earn more respect if he did not misrepresent the meaning of human equality and the views of opponents of same sex marriage. Many of us welcomed civil partnerships but gay marriage is a red line. Frankly, it is Mr Laws' prejudiced views as a gay man which are offensive but opponents of same sex marriage are no longer expected to hold a contrary view.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

A sense of proportion


Most of the 32 gay MPs and peers managed to get to the IoS photocall Teri Pengilley/Independent

In February 2016 the Independent published this picture of 28 MPs and peers. It was reported to be the largest number of publicly out parliamentarians photographed together at one time.

On the BBC Breakfast show this morning [advance to 2:13:00] it was reported that there are now 45 LGBT MPs (7%), an increase of 40% since 2015. A record 208 women MPs were elected but they "still make up only 32% of the total number of MPs", the implication being that well short of parity, the latest buzz for women clergy, women are under represented

The Office for National Statistics' bulletin: 'Sexual identity, UK: 2015' shows that in 2015, 1.7% of the UK population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) so similarly LGB people are over represented.

The Church of England (CofE) LGBTI network Changing attitude estimates that about 10% of clergy are LGBT, almost six times the national average, indicating a level of influence which has resulted in the CofE softening its stance on LGBT issues.

In 2015 the Telegraph reported that the House of Commons had more gay MPs than any other parliament in the world, up to 32 from 26 in the previous parliament indicating from the latest figure that the trend is upwards. In the CofE there is growing acceptance of same sex marriage with the possibility that the CofE will follow the lead of the Scottish Episcopal Church. In Wales the bench of bishops came out strongly in favour of same sex marriage but were defeated. The two new women bishops are strong LGBT advocates.

As an indication of how little the Bible informs CofE thinking, 'Gay rock star' Vicky Beeching has been given the Thomas Cranmer Award for Worship by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Compare that with the number of former worshippers who have been deprived of the opportunity to worship because their church has left them.

Archbishop Justin Welby has also been 'honoured' in joining Muslims breaking their daily Ramadan fast. No doubt his halal experience will have been convivial. He tweeted: "@JustinWelby at @AlKhoei for a Big Iftar with friends of various faiths. Through hosting an #iftar we find out more we have in common. 10:14 PM - 12 Jun 2017".

There is nothing in common with the orthodox faith of Christians especially in Muslim countries where homosexuals are killed and Christians are slaughtered in countries such as Egypt simply for not being Muslims.

Small wonder that the GAFCON Primates have asked the Anglican Church in North America to take on the task of providing a missionary bishop for Scotland. Long overdue in Wales and now increasingly likely in England on current trends.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Biblical definition of marriage dropped





The Christian Institute put it bluntly: "The biblical definition of marriage was dropped by the Scottish Episcopal Church (SEC) at its General Synod meeting in Edinburgh yesterday" in a measure carried by one vote.

From the Church Times: "Tears were shed after the result was announced. Presenting the motion on behalf of the Faith and Order Board, the Bishop of Edinburgh, the Rt Revd John Armes, said that the proposal had been received with 'joy and sadness' and had led to “much conversation” within the Church."

 Joy and sadness can be seen etched on some of the faces in the BBC news clip. The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth spoke of "equality" for gay couples who want to get married in church and for gay priests like himself. He claimed that "we have been a church that decided to remain together". People who disagreed with him would still have an honoured place in the Church.

If that sounds familiar, we have been here before. The Church in Wales (CinW) rejected the ordination of women in 1994 but after a merciless campaign the measure was brought back and was carried by one vote in the house of clergy in 1996. The measured steps of the feminist campaign continued, pressing their next demand which was for women bishops.

Their pressure succeeded by convincing people that secular values were more important than religious conviction. St Davids was the first diocese in Wales to have a woman bishop while Llandaff diocese has a female bishop-designate who is to be consecrated later this month. Their next demand is for gender parity. Time will tell if there is anyone left to minister to.

The CinW has been allowed to disintegrate as political struggles take priority. Spirituality has been replaced by sexuality and gender issues. Some clergy have escaped to England but others have had to take it or leave it. Many of the laity have decided to leave it, hence the massive decline in attendance figures as illustrated by 'the naked truth'.

Traditionalists in the Church of England (CofE) were assured of an honoured place when Synod voted in favour of women bishops. Since then the feminist lobby, Women and the Church (WATCH) have done all in their power with help from their supporters to ditch the agreement. They are now campaigning for a female deity. Provision for loyal Anglicans in Wales who in conscience could not accept the ordination of women was ditched by Archbishop Barry Morgan when Bishop David Thomas, RIP, retired in 2008.

The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth was honest when he spoke of equality for gay priests like himself. It is all about self at the expense of others. Anyone who does not sign up to the latest fad is regarded as expendable.

By continuing to consider same sex marriage in "shared conversations", the CofE looks likely to follow the lead of the SEC. The bishops of the CinW failed to get the measure through but apologised for past treatment of LGBT people and promised to ensure they are "fully affirmed as equal disciples". LGBTQIA+ now rules.

Worshippers committed to the traditional catholic faith of the Anglican Church in Britain are being abandoned by career conscious progressives pandering to secular cravings of self indulgence. So what next, in love? Polygamy?

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bishop of St Asaph to extend the hand of friendship


The Rt Rev Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph, possibly the  next Archbishop.      Sourse: ITV


Traditionalists in the Church in Wales should not get too excited. The Bishop of St Asaph was addressing the need not to befriend 'traditionalist' Anglicans left leaderless in the Church in Wales but so-called 'terrorists' in an ITV discussion on "How we can tackle extremism?"

Observed taking refreshment after the funeral of Bishop David Thomas, the bishop of St Asaph then made time to give his views on matters Muslim rather than attempt with others present to put their own house in order. 

The three current Church in Wales diocesan bishops who attended the funeral ignored the family's invitation to robe in convocation dress and paraded themselves in cope and mitre in a gesture that once again appeared to be progressives thumbing their noses to traditionalists. Bishop David would not have been surprised given his treatment by Barry and his bench sitters during his time as Provincial Assistant Bishop. 

In the ITV discussion, listeners were led to believe that extremism results from Muslims being the victims. No mention of numerous verses in the Koran which command Muslims to kill infidels, Jews and Christians wherever they are found.

True, the hand of friendship should be extended but to draw Muslims to Christ by comparing His message of hope and forgiveness with instructions in the Koran to kill non-believers. However, when he speaks of love and friendship Bishop Gregory should remember that charity begins at home. His message would then carry more force.

"Be joyful and keep the faith!"

Monday, 5 June 2017

Fellow Christians Say Thank You Bishop David


 Today family and friends gathered in the Priory Church of St Mary Abergavenny to express their gratitude for the sacramental ministry and pastoral care of Bishop David Thomas who died suddenly on 11 May.

There were many old faces to be seen, my own among them, including bishops, priests, deacons and laity in a beautiful Funeral Mass presided over by the Right Reverend Jonathan Goodall, Bishop of Ebbsfleet.

At Rosemary's invitation six priests concelebrated due to their particularly close association with Bishop David: The Rev Canons Hugh Jones, Richard Harper, Jeffrey Gainer, Keith Evans, Mark Soady and the Rev Nicholas Barry. A splendid, no holds barred eulogy was delivered by Bishop David's daughter, Mrs Fliss Barry. His grandchildren Charlotte, Andrew, Olivia, Lewis and Samuel brought the gifts of bread and wine to the altar while the congregation sang that rousing Welsh hymn Tydi a wnaeth y wyrth , O Grist, Fab Duw.

In a delightfuly apt homily the Rev Canon Peter Jones spoke of Bishop David's pastoral care for clergy in need and of his special relationship with the laity simply as a fellow Christian. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.


Additional reports here and here.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

London Mayor says it as it isn't


[Note: This video has been replaced by a still because I was
 unable  to switch off the auto play. Text below - AB]


In a video clip published by the Independent the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, "There can be no justification for the acts of these terrorists and I am quite clear that we will never let them win."

These "terrorists" informed their innocent victims of their justification when they shouted "this is for Allah" as their victims' throats were cut. I would expect the Mayor of London to be aware that these Muslims are simply following the example of their Prophet according to instructions in the Koran. If he doesn't know that he should.

Given that peaceful Islam was abrogated with clear instructions on how to attack the infidel, one has to ask oneself whether the majority of  Muslims really understand their ideology or whether they choose to ignore it. 

Why would anyone want to follow a religious ideology which prescribes death to unbelievers and apostates other than through fear? More to the point why would anyone want to make excuses which do let them win.

Postscript [05.06.2017]

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has added,

 "I'm angry, and I'm furious that these three men are seeking to justify their actions by using the faith that I belong to.

"The ideology they follow is perverse, and is poisonous and it has no place in Islam.

"I condemn this terrorist act but also the poisonous ideology these men and others follow."

How can he say that when the "ideology" is Islam? It is in the Koran for anybody to read.

A similar argument has been presented by the newly elected mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham who claimed that the Manchester suicide bomber who killed 22 was a terrorist, not a Muslim.

As a former UK Islamist Leader says: ‘Stop Pretending Violence Has Nothing to Do With Islam’.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Is the Anglican Church Going Completely Mad?


Susan Musgrove, centre, with, left, Rev Cecilia Eggleston, Paster of the Metropolitan Community
 Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Rev David Hewlett, Vicar of Corbridge, before the start of the
Affirmation service for Susan at St Andrew’s Church, Corbridge, Northumberland. Source: Guardian


"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." - Galatians 3:28


For years Galatians has been (ab)used by liberals in the Anglican church to justify just about every departure from Scripture starting with the ordination of women. Now that sameness has been exhausted, difference is back on the agenda.

After he was approached by a young transgender person seeking to be “re-baptised” in his new identity, the vicar of Lancaster Priory has proposed a motion to the General Synod to debate plans to introduce a ceremony "akin to a baptism" to mark the new identities of Christians who undergo gender transition.

These are the preparatory words used in the Church of England's Baptism service
 
  Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us
  that to enter the kingdom of heaven
  we must be born again of water and the Spirit,
  and has given us baptism as the sign and seal of this new birth.
  Here we are washed by the Holy Spirit and made clean.
  Here we are clothed with Christ,
  dying to sin that we may live his risen life.
  As children of God, we have a new dignity
  and God calls us to fullness of life.

The vicar could have replied that the Sacrament of Holy Baptism cannot be repeated. What does he hope to achieve by embroiling Synod in yet more turmoil?

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Welby's Muslim charm offensive




Click here for Archbishop Welby's understanding of Islam, a faith which denies that Jesus died on the cross, a faith that has no time for unbelievers in its political ideology, a political system which is explained here in a 5 minute video for those prepared naively to accept claims that Islam is a religion of peace.

Justin Welby says, "We can show the world around us that it is possible to differ and yet to support and care for one another very, very profoundly. That is particularly important for me and has been growingly so over the last few years when it comes to the unacceptable expression of Islamophobia which is totally against what anyone who professes to have their own faith should do."

The Archbishop then gives his blessing: "May God bless you and protect you as you dedicate yourselves to this time of fasting and discipline. I wish you a very good Ramadan. Ramadan Kareem."

On the same day, the Archbishop of Canterbury said: 'We mourn, we lament, we cry out for the injured and bereaved in Manchester' here. He fails to see the connection. Some leaders, political and religious, would have us believe that such attacks are our own fault, that Western foreign policy is to blame but Islam needs no such excuses.

I find Welby's comment about Islamophobia particularly offensive. It is a word conjured up to avoid any critical assessment of a supremacist ideology. There is nothing irrational in fearing such an ideology which has spread its influence through conquest for 1400 years. Accusations of Islamophobia also serve to obscure the fact as Alexander Boot put it in his blog Massacre, Manchester, Muslims that "Over 300 verses in the Koran explicitly call for murdering infidels, specifically Christians and Jews".

 Regardless of all the evidence to the contrary, Islam is being affirmed by the leader of the Anglican Communion as a great religion on an equal basis with Christianity which Islam is fighting to eliminate as illustrated by the plight of Coptic Christians in Egypt, a pattern being repeated in many other Muslim majority countries.

How can that be? Jesus said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me".  He warned us about false prophets, "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."

Welby is not alone in his charm offensive. See Manchester chief of police posing after bomb attack with the Koran which legitimised the killing. Of course there are many Muslims who would not act as soldiers of Islam but there are many who are prepared to die for their religion and take innocent people with them.

The way to defeat Islam is not by affirming it but to confront the ideology that drives followers to present the ultimatum: convert to Islam, pay a religious levy or face death. The Great Commission is the key.



Friday, 26 May 2017

Corbyn the crass





In advance of Jeremy Corbyn's keynote election speech in which he linked the Manchester bombing to British foreign policy, former Home Secretary Charles Clarke last night explained the threat posed by Islam in terms which even Mr Corbyn should be able to understand. Sadly he and many others refuse to listen or choose to believe what they are told unaware that lying is a weapon being used as part of the deceptive claim that Islam is a religion of peace.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary it was claimed that the Manchester bomber "was a terrorist, not a Muslim". Muslim leaders in Manchester reported a rise in Islamophobic incidents. This has become a regular pattern after such incidents.

What foreign policy in Egypt was responsible for the latest atrocity in which a bus carrying Christians was blocked by three vehicles before militants opened fire? At least 26 Coptic Christians were killed and dozens injured including children.

It is often claimed, as Corbyn does, that the presence of Westerners in Muslim lands leads to terrorist attacks. These attacks have been going on for 1400 years. The so called 'Muslim lands' were home to Christians long before Islam came on the scene. Many Christian communities are being wiped out and face extinction within ten years. That is the reality.

Lands that have not been conquered by force are now subject to occupation by stealth with immigration and high birth rates. Read Maybe It’s Time For Some Reverse Creeping Sharia .

We do not need to look for excuses such as poverty and marginalisation, or whether the perpetrator was mentally unstable. No rational person would blow up him/herself with others in the expectation of a reward in paradise. Why would God want an ignorant savage to destroy what He had created?

Not all terrorists are Muslim, not all Muslims are terrorists but authority can be found in Islamic ideology to permit such acts of violence against Jews and Christians. It is that ideology that needs to be challenged without complaints of Islamophobia.

Update [27.05.2017]

From "Islamist Ideology, not Western Foreign Policy, is why ISIS Attack Us"

"We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah … and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. … Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by … living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims. … We hate you because your secular, liberal societies permit the very things that Allah has prohibited …"

Full article here.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

That it should come to this


The Diocese of Bangor’s new LGBT+ Chaplaincy Team.                                                                                Source: Twitter


Following in the footsteps of the diocese of St Asaph with their LGBTQIA+ Chaplaincy, the diocese of Bangor has launched its own LBGT+ Chaplaincy for people who consider themselves to be members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual community. 

Its Chaplain the Rev’d Dominic McClean said, "In an ideal world a Chaplaincy such as this would not be necessary. But the LGBT+ Christian community is one that needs affirming within our Church. So this Chaplaincy will offer a safe and sacred place where LGBT+ people can be themselves as they worship and express their love for God and Jesus". 

What world do these people live in? The joke in Llandaff is that a straight chaplaincy is needed!

The only minority in the Church in Wales who cannot be themselves as they worship and express their love for God and Jesus are those who in conscience follow the traditional teaching of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. 

Still no safe and sacred place for them.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Who cares?


From the BBC video 'Do you remember that, mum?'


A recent BBC report 'Do you remember that, mum?' explained how the condition of dementia sufferer Andriani, who was last seen in 2014, had deteriorated rapidly while the costs to care for her rise.

The report explains why the son fears for his mother's future care. He explained that he would like to be able to say that the system is broken so potentially it could be fixed but having seen it from the inside he said "I don't think we have a system at all". Sadly that is the experience of most people who have had the misfortune to be involved. They are desperate to see a fully funded, workable system.

Care should not be a lottery but it is. If you have cancer much if not all of your treatment will be paid for. If you have dementia, hard luck. You are often on your own. The effects can be devastating but who cares?

On the face of it, raising the assets limit to £100,000 from £23,250 in England may appear "reasonable" but it is not. Read why here and here. The fate of someone who has lovingly cared for his/her parent at home when the parent dies and the family home has to be sold to settle the care account is an added burden. "As soon as my mum dies, will the council come for its money? Will I be homeless?" asked one carer.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned that the "complex new system" outlined in the Conservative party’s manifesto, which would force more elderly people to pay for their own care, “makes no attempt to deal with the fundamental challenge of social care funding”. This warning is backed up by the economist Sir Andrew Dilnot who reviewed social care for the coalition government in 2011.

Accusations that the Tories were imposing a 'dementia' tax and a 'death' tax prompted a swift clarification that there would be a limit on the costs carers would be expected to pay but that would have to wait for a green paper consultation. The Prime Minister said “I want to make a further point clear. This manifesto says that we will come forward with a consultation paper, a government green paper. And that consultation will include an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs.”

Under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government we were told that "people will see health and social care fully joined-up by 2018...Co-ordination would see better care and support, fewer people falling through the cracks and a drop in patients needlessly stuck in hospitals." Some hope!

Getting bed-blocking patients out of hospitals into domiciliary care was seen as a priority but with the UK home care industry on the brink of collapse there is a grave danger that any action will be too little too late. As one care provider said in a BBC interview, he doesn't have to advertise for customers but he has to advertise for staff. There is a recruitment crisis due to competition from hospitals and supermarkets.

Carers are severely undervalued. They should be properly rewarded but funding has been squeezed to such an extent that many existing carers are leaving for less demanding work. This is an extra burden for providers who have to train their staff at considerable expense only to find that they leave for a hospital job on regular hours. The Labour party has made much of zero-hours contracts, now the subject of Government review, but it is the flexibility of not having fixed hours that enables carers to meet the needs of those they care for.

The situation gets worse by the day. It could be you next, it could be me but who cares? That is the question. The right answer is needed urgently before the system collapses completely.

Postscript [27.05.2017]

Number of pensioners needing care set to rise by one quarter: Lancet

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Forward to the past


Jeremy Corbyn with Len McCluskey at the bi-annual Unite policy conference in July.
Photograph: Rob Stothard/Getty Images/Guardian

 "FOR THE MANY NOT THE FEW" !


There is an odd irony in the Labour Party's election manifesto slogan 'For the many not the few'.

The intended meaning is continually backed up in speeches by the party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, but the slogan is more aspirational than realistic.

In voting terms 'the many' voters have little time for 'the few' party members who are driving the agenda with no apparent understanding that without power they can achieve nothing, thus leaving 'the many' as they were.

The fact that dyed in the wool party supporters who would never have dreamed of voting Tory are regularly telling reporters that they would rather vote for Theresa May than for Jeremy Corbyn appears to be a total irrelevance to them giving the impression of trade union conference where sectional interests are all.

The man pulling the strings is Len McClusky, General Secretary of Unite and a former Militant sympathiser. Wind forward from 1985 to 2017 and Momentum now holds sway so forward to the past.

Time for another Kinnock?

Monday, 15 May 2017

"A noble task"


The bishops of the Church in Wales, Llandudno 2012


 ‘The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he  desires a noble task.’  I  Timothy 3


In his Theology Wales paper 'A Noble Task' Bishop David Thomas reflected on his experience of ministry as Provincial Assistant Bishop and how this might change if the episcopate in Wales were opened to women.

Bishop David died suddenly last week in the knowledge that the first woman bishop had been enthroned in St Davids and the imported bishop-designate of Llandaff is to be consecrated in Brecon Cathedral next month. Neither of the women bishops is a Welsh speaker, a language dear to +David's heart.

One can imagine the pain and the hurt felt by this faithful priest, bishop and pastor as his noble task was pushed aside to make the Church more relevant to society, principally by prioritising sexual minorities and gender issues. 

Bishop David's paper makes interesting reading in retrospect. Listed alongside it on the Church in Wales site are back papers including one by the Rev’d Joanna Penberthy, now bishop of St Davids, 'Learn from the past and build for the future', illustrating just how much theology has been replaced by politics in the Church in Wales.

It remains to be seen if loyal Anglicans who have been encouraged against the odds to 'Be joyful and keep the faith' can any longer survive in the Church in Wales. There has been a deathly silence since the Credo Cymru 'Conference to Preserve the Breadth of Anglicanism in Wales'. The divisive 'Code of Practice in relation to the Ministry of Bishops following the Canon to enable the Ordination of Women as Bishops' has yet to be tested. 

This will be the ultimate test of sincerity by a bench of bishops who "unanimously committed to securing a continuing place in the life of the  Church for those who cannot in conscience accept the new situation created by  the ordination of women to the priesthood." For others it is already over.




"People sometimes ask me how I imagine my ministry as PAB might change in the event of women being admitted to the episcopate in the Church in Wales. The only honest answer I can give is that it would not change; it would be over."  - 'A Noble Task'.

+David Thomas RIP