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Monday, 23 January 2017

It's such a laugh being a bench sitter

The bishop of St Asaph, an ecstatic Archbishop of Wales, the bishop of Monmouth and the bishop of Swansea and Brecon with Joanna Penberthy,
a monoglot in the conservative, bilingual diocese of St Davids but claimed by the Archbishop to be "the best person to be a bishop"! 

Archbishop Barry Morgan is seen in the above BBC clip preparing for his crowning glory, his consecration of the first woman bishop in the Church in Wales. Not that her election had anything to do with her being a woman he insists, something believed only by his fawning functionaries. The blanket coverage of the event confirmed that it has everything to do with the 129th bishop of St Davids being a woman putting politics before religion.

Making his place in history regardless of the consequences has been Morgan's mission. After the ceremony he admitted that the occasion had been "a particular honour for him as he ends his ministry". It was "the icing on the cake".

Reminiscent of the absurd claim by the Ass Bishop of Llandaff that 'the ordination of women will rid the world of homophobia, misogyny, brutalisation of women in all situations including those in war zones', in this video Dr Morgan links violence against women with Crossing the Threshold, the St Deiniol’s Group campaign for promoting women bishops.

Ironically it is these same women who have caused so much misery to a far greater number of women and men who have been trampled on by them while claiming to be called by God. They have called themselves. If God were going to call women, Jesus Christ would have done so 2,000 years ago. No matter how they twist scripture to make it appear more relevant to society, He didn't. The cost to Christian unity has been immense but that is irrelevant to them.

The Church in Wales is a tiny little Province in the Anglican Communion which makes its own rules yet supporters of the ordination of women claim that 'the church' has accepted it. The vast majority of Anglicans and the wider Apostolic Church have rejected the innovation. Dr Morgan suggests picking biblical texts selectively to support his view that the decision empowers women. At the same time he disregards all those women who have been cast aside because they have not succumbed to his political point scoring.

An embrace for the woman bishop.  Source: ITV
It is odd that the antics of the Church in Wales receive so much attention in the media given that churchgoing has become so depleted under Archbishop Barry Morgan's administration. His ministry has been dominated by embracing the ordination of women and LGBT issues. It has not encouraged the growth suggested. Instead, people have simply left in droves. Currently around 0.8% of the population regularly attend Sunday services. Decline continues at a staggering 5% a year. But the bench appears unconcerned in their cosy little cocoon. 

In the run up to the consecration the BBC dutifully turned up "at the church's training college" to record the proceedings for posterity. Formerly Wales' own St Michael's Theological College it was forced to close on Barry Morgan's watch as have many churches.

The BBC headline was History will be made tomorrow. A woman will be made a bishop in the Church in Wales for the first time. Unfortunately the iPlayer recording is not currently available but here are the recorded comments of the bishop-elect of St Davids with Barry and the bench sitters showing their true intentions, particularly with regard to the Code of Practice which the bench deliberately put in place to deprive traditional Anglicans of acceptable sacramental oversight as provided in the Church of England.

Asked how she responds to people who still can't accept women bishops the bishop-elect said: 
It's strange that people find it so difficult to see the full humanity in women as well as in men and why men are seen as the person that God calls and women are sort of slightly on the side. People are entitled to their consciences but I think the time for rehashing the argument is over.
It is understandable that she thinks that rehashing the argument is over because on further investigation the duplicity of the bench would be exposed.

I thought the bishop-elect's choice of words was rather odd given the circumstances the Church in Wales find herself in.
Humanity = The quality of being humane; benevolence.
Humane = showing kindness, care, and sympathy towards others, especially those who are suffering.
But who cares? The bench doesn't.

Note also the change of tone having joined the bench. Previously the bishop-elect claimed:
"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."
Asked by Ed Stourton about the nature of the alleged 'discrimination' she had suffered it amounted to no more than "blank incomprehension" that she would want to exercise her own ministry rather than help her husband. If disagreement amounts to discrimination, Barry and his bench sitters have been exercising discrimination against fellow members of their church for years.

Asked how the bishop-elect would manage opposition to women bishops in practical terms she said:
The genius of Anglicanism has been the way we have held people of all sorts and different opinions so there is a code of practice that enables us to make place for people who don't wish to receive my sacramental ministry.
No mention of course that the Code of Practice was written to be inclusive only on terms acceptable to the bench.

An ecstatic Dr Barry Morgan said: She's a woman and women always change things, for the better usually.
Is changing her mind to that of the bench an example of what he had in mind?

The bishop of Swansea and Brecon wryly observed:
It may change the way in which the rest of us behave at bench meetings because we can be quite robust.

Referring to 'Bishop Jo' in her new role, Bishop Dick of Monmouth said:
"The Church in Wales still hasn't got many senior posts with women in and I think 'Bishop Jo' coming along now will be a very clear signal", contrary to the Archbishop's claim that the appointment had nothing to do with Joanna Penberthy being a woman.

Oblivious to any fundamental conscientious objection to the ordination of women, the bishop of Bangor added:
As people see that she will do a wonderful job they will be won over.

But it was the bishop of St Asaph who rather candidly let the cat out of the bag when he said:
The Church needs to be the sort of place which says, this is how to disagree well. The real problem I think is that those who can't accept women bishops want more than we feel able to give.

With that revelation Dr Morgan concluded the gathering by engaging in some light-hearted banter directed towards bishop Jo. He said:
To the Archbishop they say Your Grace if they want to be terribly formal, to bishops they say my Lord, and I was just saying to John, she could be like the Queen, Ma'am. 

It's all such a laugh for bench sitters.

The bishops of St Davids and Gloucester share a laugh.  Source Wales Online     

Bishops in the Church in Wales have their own way of seeing things. Dr Morgan expressed his delight that out of the nine consecrations he has performed, that of Joanna Penberthy was the most applauded. It was reported that more than 500 people attended the bilingual service. The empty seats in the nave shown in ITV News coverage suggests that most must have been stood around the West door! Dr Morgan paid tribute to the Church’s women clergy for “daring to trust and hope” during what had been a “long and hard journey” to ordination, ignoring others left with no hope.

Dr Morgan said he could not think of a nicer way to end his ministry - "it is fantastic" he said. Now he looks forward to further elections when women will be included 'equally' with men (ie, preferentially). Llandaff next while more people leave the church?

Empty seats visible at the Consecration service                                                                                                                                                            Source: ITV


  1. Empty seats, yes! But why was this a 'ticket only' affair — a consecration service behind 'locked doors' as though being performed in the gulag in the worst days of Stalin? Probably the fear of a negative answer to the "Do you trust that he/she is worthy to be ordained bishop?" interrogation. Perhaps it is a formal enough question but when the first woman was consecrated a bishop in the Church of England Archbishop Sentamu not only allowed space for a response to the question but had anticipated an objection and graciously allotted time for a statement to be made.
    No such dissent allowed in Wales. But mercifully the era of fascist liberalism is drawing to its close — just eight days to go! Pegasus

  2. Does not Mrs Penberthy have a conscience ?
    Does she not feel any responsibility for the demise of the Church in Wales?
    But ,more importantly the traditional clergy in Ma'am's diocese will not witness any new ordinations.
    And 'more importantly' ,the validity of the Sacraments is the most serious question.
    Churches will ,or have, become a place to sing some hymns and have a cup of tea afterwards.
    There are plenty of clear signals in this blog,coming from the various Bishop's quotations.
    The Leaders are permitting the ship to sink.

  3. I can assure you that the period you refer to will not be drawing to its close.Not in 'eight days' or even 'eight years'. The present Bala controversy proves who the next Archbishop is likely to emulate.
    Clifford Williams

  4. And she can't speak Welsh.....I would have thought that was important as well.

  5. Neither can anyone else of the bench sitters speak Welsh properly without sounding as if they'r chewing a hot jacket potato.

  6. Just five days to the end of the fascist tyranny.

    1. "Fascist tyranny"? You ain't seen anything yet. Make way for Greg the controller.

    "The Church of England should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage but it should adopt a "fresh tone and culture of welcome and support" for gay people, a report has said."

  8. If the validly ordained priests of Tyddewi and their faithful flock hold firm (Y Ffyddloniaid) then the Wench of Abergwili will have the relevance of Caliula's horse. Dewi Sant eiriol trosom ni. The Watchman

    1. Please stop calling Joanna Penberthy by that insulting name.