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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Llandaff stalemate


Llandaff Cathedral with, inset, the Very Rev Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans


After three days of deliberations (note the link comes under 'Politics'), the Electoral College of the Church in Wales failed to produce a bishop-elect or, as the Rev Peter Ould tweeted, the Church in Wales "couldn't quite bring itself to elect Jeffrey John as Bishop of Llandaff".

With Barry Morgan retired to his bunker his bench sitters were left to their own devices. They will have known that Jeffrey John's preferment had long been high on Morgan's political agenda and no doubt the facilitator would have been well aware of the former Archbishop's preference. His daughter is diocesan Registrar and his wife a former priest at the Cathedral. But which preference? The advancement of feminism or the acceptance of homosexuality on a par with God's plan for procreation?

The Dean of St Albans has had a rough time. With little or no honour in the Church today, Jeffrey John decided not take up the post of Bishop of Reading because of the "damage" his consecration might cause to the "unity of the Church". With hindsight, what unity? As an open, celibate pastor he fulfils the requirements of the Church of England when others have blatantly ignored the rules. The recent defeat in Synod of the motion to take note of the House of Bishops reportMarriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations (GS 2055) and subsequent commentary provide testimony to that.

The former Archbishop of Wales made it quite clear many years ago that he saw no objection to someone in a homosexual relationship becoming a bishop in the Church in Wales (CinW). The first divorcee, part of the CinW 'mafia', was appointed by Barry and his bench sitters. If he were still Archbishop no doubt he would have engineered his hat trick after the appointment of 'the best person to be a bishop' despite her obvious failings to the see of St Davids. My only reservation is that Dean John came Out4Marriage, ie, same sex marriage offering so much baloney in the Barry mould that one wondered if his judgement had become impaired.

The Church has moved on, as the establishment sees it, so John's treatment looks increasingly harsh. If he were willing to take on Llandaff, the best of luck to him. Anyone willing to sort out the mess created by Dr Morgan deserves praise and prayers.

The problem for the bench sitters is that spirituality has become secondary to political correctness and business management as they struggle to keep the ship afloat. Should they opt for the gay agenda or continue to advance the feminist cause? We can be assured that in the forthcoming "wide-ranging consultation of both the laity and the clergy from across the Church in Wales" MAE Cymru women will be screaming the loudest.

Like Violet Elizabeth Bott they can scream and scream until they are sick. The bench sitters will no doubt ignore the consultations and do as they please, just as they did with previous farcical consultations. Pray that they get it right for once.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Why are so many of the clergy gay?


Openly gay new bishop Mary Glasspool (right)            Photo credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times


'Puzzled' commentator posed the question in a comment under my previous entry, "Why are so many of the clergy gay??? It seems to be the norm these days. I cannot understand it." A little 'Googling' finds some interesting facts given the current protests by LGBT activists about exclusion.

Twenty-two years ago Andrew Brown wrote in Why gays are called to the church: "... There are still large areas of Christianity which remain no-go areas for gays. Most evangelical churches are passively hostile to homosexuality...On the other hand, there are areas, especially of the Church of England, in which gays are hugely over-represented. In the diocese of London, for example, one of the Bishop's advisers once estimated to me that about 200 of the 900 priests in the city are in homosexual relationships. The Bishop, incidentally, once ran St Stephen's House in Oxford, by common consent the campest of all theological colleges, where he was known to his ordinands as Ena the Cruel, since it was a college tradition to give everyone female nicknames..."

The fate of the US Episcopal Church should have provided sufficient warning of the likely fate of the Anglican Church in the UK if it adopted the same liberal agenda. Instead it has been used as justification for more liberalisation.

I blogged in 2011: "The slow death of the Anglican church looks set to continue. While the role of bishops and priests becomes ever further divorced from traditional religious reality congregations continue to haemorrhage. Despite earlier pleas for restraint from Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, after the Bishop Gene Robinson affair, Canon Mary Glasspool (pictured) was elected a bishop in Los Angeles while being in an openly long standing lesbian relationship. 'Restraint' is now turning to farce as synodical Christians seek additional ways of bending Christianity to their will rather than the will of the church Universal."

Church Militant reported: As much as half of priests and bishops are homosexual. From 'the Vortex' video presentation on the number of homosexual men in the Catholic priesthood:
"Numerous independent sources inside the Church began polling and interviewing and questioning and researching. Their results were jaw-dropping. One survey done by a New Jersey Franciscan priest and researcher revealed that 45 percent of 500 priests surveyed volunteered that they were gaym and that one in four of them had AIDS — proving a rampant promiscuity."

The admission of women to the priesthood and the episcopate has added a lesbian dimension through lesbian feminism links. Changing Attitude "campaigns for equality in the selection, training, ordination and appointment of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy". They estimate that about 10% of clergy are LGBT compared with 1.7% of the UK population who identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual in 2015.

So why are so many of the clergy gay, around ten times more than are represented in the general population? The usual answer is that homosexuals are drawn to a caring profession. To an extent that probably remains true but a more sinister element has developed. One which goes beyond acceptance to control condemning as homophobic anyone who dares to hold orthodox opinions.

LGBT agitators complain of being oppressed but they have become the persecutors of the very people who helped them gain acceptance. Writing about LGBT rights in the Guardian Giles Fraser argues: "The clergy has moved on. It’s the bishops who are out of touch."

It is not about 'moving on'. It is about remaining faithful. Under Archbishop Justin Welby the Church of England appears destined to 'move on' from ‘good disagreement’ to ‘radical inclusion’. As former Queen's Chaplain, the  Reverend Canon Gavin Ashenden blogged, The Radical Call To Go The Wrong Way.

Clearly claims of exclusion are a nonsense. Archbishop Welby should think again. In the Church in Wales the bench sitters should hang their heads in shame, in particular the bishop of St Asaph, for being taken in by the Iris prize winner for fake news, Trawsnewid Agwedd Cymru.

If the bishops do not stand firm it will be an open sesame for LGBT activists and their fellow travellers - but the treasure will be gone.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Synod fallout


"Rev Andrew Foreshew-Cain, right, with his husband Stephen."             Photograph: The Guardian


The General Synod Report from the House of Bishops Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations GS 2055 was debated on Wednesday 15 February after group discussions. Ahead of the group work there was a presentation by the Bishop of Norwich and the Bishop of Willesden.

What was said in the presentation should be broadly acceptable to anyone who wants to uphold the Christian faith. Church Doctrine must inform society not bend to it. That society takes a more liberal view of sexual activity today is irrelevant.

Most regrettable is the need constantly to apologize for upholding the Christian faith. The Bishop of Norwich said he regretted the pain and anger felt by those who were disappointed adding an apology to those who thought the tone of the Report was wrong.

Worse, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to members of the General Synod setting out the next steps following the vote not to take note of GS 2055, a procedural motion allowing Synod to move on. Their tone is worrying.

In their letter they write "How we deal with the real and profound disagreement - put so passionately and so clearly by many at the debate - is the challenge we face as people who all belong to Christ...The way forward needs to be about love, joy and celebration of our common humanity; of our creation in the image of God, of our belonging to Christ - all of us, without exception, without exclusion."

Inclusion for LGBT campaigners means having their demands met, for same sex marriage in church to be accepted on a par with traditional marriage regardless of the consequences for the Church. Learning from the movement for the ordination of women they will agitate until they have what thy want. Ironically the lost vote was counter-productive as explained here.

When the Archbishops of Canterbury and York write about our belonging to Christ - all of us, without exception, without exclusion - they seem to forget the thousands who have left their Church in despair at the constant pandering to minorities who have no interest other than their own satisfaction.

Last year a group of gay Church of England clergy revealed that they were defying the official line taken by church leaders on same-sex marriage (the first pictured above). Ignoring the authority of their bishops and the teaching of their Church, half the signatories declared themselves already to be in a gay marriage. Why is the Church apologising to them?

Another Anglican priest, George Pitcher, writing in the Telegraph sets out the position plainly: "I'm a bleeding-heart liberal cleric – but the Church of England must not accept gay marriage". That is more like the authentic voice of the Church. If gay activists find that unacceptable it is they who should leave, not cradle Anglicans. LGBT people can live together. They can have civil partnerships. They can attend Church but they cannot be married there. Those are the rules. Greed does their cause no credit.

As the CEO of Christian Concern wrote, It's time for the Church of England to lay down the law on marriage.

Also, from a Christian Today memo, To Bewildered Bishops - Please Be Shepherds, Not Sheep

A desire to satisfy the wants of the few must not obscure the need to keep the many.

Postscript [23.02.2017]


Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The gays have it.


Source: Premier

General Synod has voted to reject the bishops' sexuality report after a move to vote by Houses. 

The fact that the House of Clergy voted 93 in favour and 100 against with 2 abstentions and less than two thirds majority in the House of Laity indicates the situation in which the Church of England now finds herself after so much appeasement. 

It was clear that the gay lobby would accept nothing less than capitulation. Endless sob stories and references to 'moving forward' as the Church had done with the admission of women to the Episcopate made it clear that the LGBT+ lobby is on a journey, not to travel hopefully, but to arrive.

The 'silent middle', the stepping-stone of blessing gay patrnerships, was the tear-jerker of the day moving the bishops to apologise yet again. Apologise for what? The Christian faith?

The Church should stop apologising for upholding the faith of Christ crucified before there is nothing left to defend. 

Postscript [16.02.2017]

The gays have it, or do they?

Lies, Damn Lies and Synodics - What exactly did Synod not vote for last night?

Listen to the Rev Peter Ould HERE. Excellent.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

First misogynistic then homophobic, now potential killers! No wonder people are leaving the Church in droves


Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue
 And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true....♫

From some recent reports as Synod prepares for the LGBT battle:

 "The Church is driving homosexual people to suicide because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships, a major Christian charity has concluded" (here).


"Church of England 'not listening to gay Christians', say retired bishops". "In an open letter published online, 14 leading retired bishops wrote that a recent report on same-sex marriage failed to include the “authentic voice” of the LGBT community and was instead focused on talking about them rather than to them" (here).


"The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about lesbians but they need to be included in order to make statements about the group who really disturb the men. These are the men, who are men, but do not behave like men when it comes to sex and they need to stop it" (here).


The onslaught* is gaining momentum. Lies, damned lies and statistics to 'prove' that the House of Bishops has it wrong by defending traditional marriage. Previously accused of homophobia, now defenders of the Christian faith are charged with driving homosexuals to suicide  because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships.

This charge has been shot down on the Psephizo blog which refers to the work of Anglican priest and statistician, the Rev Peter Ould:

What the authors have demonstrated here is that their research shows that, contrary to the claims that Oasis make with no evidence to support them, LGB people do not have worse mental health outcomes when in “non-affirming” church environments and indeed there is some evidence to suggest that attending a conservative church actually improves mental health for LGB people, even when they have significant internalized homophobia.

The 14 retired bishops protest too much. After three years of "shared conversations" with the LGB community and other Christians they write that the bishops' report on same-sex marriage published last month failed to include the “authentic voice” of the LGB community. It was, they complain, focused on talking about them rather than to them. Some of the 14 are readily identifiable as homosexuals but how many of the others are waiting to come out if they have the stamp of approval of the Church?

Their conclusion appears to be that LGB people have been discriminated against because the official report did not come out in favour of gay marriage. A common complaint used by the feminist movement, if you are not for them you are prejudiced and discriminate against them.

As for WATCH perhaps I should let 'The Chair’s thoughts' speak for themselves but I would have thought the statement "The Bible doesn’t have anything to say about lesbians" would be a great comfort to WATCH wimmin. After all, a similar spurious argument helped to secure the ordination of women priests. It will be interesting to see how many more variants of that argument will eventually be employed to create even more diversity in the  Church taking her ever further from her spiritual roots even if it "risks further alienating the church from wider society" as the Guardian report put it.

Learning from the feminist movement, Church of England gay activists such as Changing Attitude are taking the Church down the same path as WATCH did with the same disasterous results. Nothing matters but their own selfish desires. Hence last year's headline: Gay Marriage Support From Christians In The Church Of England Is Now Outstripping Opposition, New Poll Reveals. If the LGBT activists are as successful as the feminists, the Church be will full of lesbians, gays and the gullible.

Referring to "Mr Welby", the Guardian opines in its Editorial that "It is generally accepted that about one in 10 of the Anglican clergy are LGBT (three times the proportion of non-white clergy...hence anguished protests by 14 retired bishops at the weekend)." It is understandable that a newspaper would offer a secular view, but for the Church? Is there nothing that is sacred or spiritual?

So, the Church of England is set for "a renewed clash" this week when Synod votes on a key report from the Bishops on the "divisive question" of gay marriage and same sex relationships mired in gay propaganda and false information. No wonder people are leaving the church in droves.

Feminizing the Anglican Church has been damaging enough, queering the Church for 1.7% of the UK population or 10% of the clergy based on figures in the Guardian  would be a disaster even if it were not contrary to scripture .

Postscript

* The onslaught gains more momentum. Martin Bashir, BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent, writes:

'Fireworks and faith at general synod'
 As members arrive on Wednesday morning, they'll be greeted by a vigil organised by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement and Changing Attitude with the support of the Peter Tatchell Foundation and Out and Proud African LGBTI.

This is the well tried strategy:

  • Exploit the “victim” status;
  • Use the sympathetic media;
  • Confuse and neutralize the churches;
  • Slander and stereotype [traditionalist] Christians;
  • Bait and switch (hide their true nature); and 
  • Intimidation.
See also  Anglican Mainstream: "Manipulative, domineering revisionists must be opposed, not appeased".
 

Friday, 10 February 2017

New Bishop of Llandaff to be elected


Mesdames Gould, Wigley, Wolf, Jackson and Ford in Llandaff Cathedral      Photo: Church in Wales

Possibly in the mix, the three clerics without a mitre, Gould, Wigley and Jackson, hoping for another possible 'historic' appointment.

In the photograph the three Llandaff hopefuls were helping to 'make history' in an expensive stunt which saw bishop Geralyn Wolf flown in from the US to be the first woman Anglican bishop to lead a service in Llandaff Cathedral.

Of the three eligible wimmin, the cleric in trousers must have the edge. The Jackson/Wigley duo are well past their sell by date having already caused enough damage to the Church with their scheming to outlaw faithful Anglicans. Added to which, whenever the name of Peggy 'the pilot' has been mentioned as being in line for a mitre there have been gasps of horror at the thought. And rightly so. If disunity were the criterion she should be home and dry.

Tambourine cleric Canon Wigley has done herself no favours either. Celebrating 20yrs of women in the priesthood she danced down the main aisle of Llandaff Cathedral with Peggy the pilot before telling a BBC interviewer that she "looked forward to the day when there were no more minds to be changed about the acceptance of women priests" revealing a complete lack of understanding of the theological position, not only of members in her own Church but in the Anglican Communion and beyond.

All three were part of  Archbishop Barry Morgan's inner circle. The Rev Jan Gould BEM has been in evidence working in the more deprived areas of the diocese while the Jackson/Wigley duo have been politicking from more affluent areas. Married to the Rev Dr Peter Sedgwick, a former Head of St Michael's Theological College (now defunct) and Chairman of the Church in Wales Doctrinal Commission, Jan Gould appears to be better placed than many.

Apart from this trio, a former diplomat, the Revd Canon Dr Sarah Rowland Jones LVO OBE OStJ, Vicar of St John's in central Cardiff has been hotly tipped. She hosted the recent 'Light for Our Darkness' Sunday Worship service for BBC Radio 4 at which the former Archbishop preached. His address was to be shot down yet again for using his own interpretation of the Bible.

Any male candidate, including those poor souls who eagerly helped their former Archbishop to realise his political ambitions, can dream on. Reports suggest that many in Llandaff Cathedral are dreading the thought of a woman bishop. Others regard it as a well deserved penance. After the travesty of the St Davids stitch-up anything is possible bar rationalising the bloated bureaucracy that the bench has become.

In the press release announcing the election it was stated that "the new bishop will be the 72nd Bishop of Llandaff, a diocese which serves nearly half the population of Wales as it includes most of Cardiff, the South Wales Valleys and the Vale of Glamorgan".

So, there are five diocesan bishops covering about half the population of Wales while one bishop covered the other half in addition to his duties as Archbishop. He also found time to to act as Dean of Llandaff for a spell when his appointee quit after nine weeks in post. Perhaps realising he had made a serious error of judgement Dr Morgan asked Archdeacon Peggy to pilot things for him. Llandaff Cathedral has gone down hill ever since with financial problems and factional fighting leading to disunity.

The Church in Wales was assessed as 'cumbersome and top-heavy' five years ago in the Church in Wales Review. The parish system has gone, replaced by ministry areas with lay leaders while most of the worshippers have gone. Only the bishops carry on regardless. They and their comfortable livings appear immune.

Recommendation XXV:

The recommendations XXII, XXIII and XXIV should be reviewed
after three years and a judgement made about whether the
Church in Wales is best served by six dioceses with three
administrative centres or whether it would be more effective to
reduce to three dioceses, together with four area bishops. 

The Review was presented to the Governing Body in 2012. Five years later, barring a miracle, the non-Welsh speaking, liturgical dancing feminist and supporter of Changing Attitude is to be enthroned as the 129th bishop of St Davids following a line of bishops stretching back to the Patron Saint of Wales, Dewi Sant, the first bishop in the 6th century. The bishop of Llandaff is to be elected this month and next February the bishop of Swansea and Brecon could retire creating a third vacancy. 

Given the imbalance between Llandaff and the rest, one has to wonder what the bishops of the Church in Wales do all day. Taking account of the relevant populations, population density and church attendance, the Province of Wales is similar in size to the Diocese of Oxford. But the bishops in the Diocese of Oxford care for almost twice as many regular worshippers than the Welsh diocesans without their assistants.

Of course Llandaff already has an Ass bishop who was appointed to help out because the Archbishop was busy with his political ambitions. My understanding of his possible elevation is once bitten, twice shy. Unless a male candidate who is the next "best person to be a bishop" emerges, a second female bishop is set to be appointed. Swansea and Brecon will provide parity on the bench

MAE Cymru will continue to demand parity at all levels until they achieve dominance. It is no longer be jobs for the boys but jobs for the girls. That is while there are enough worshippers left in the Church in Wales to care for. 

MAECymru                                                                         Source: Church in Wales

The 'Result' [23.02.2017]

After three days of deliberations, the Bishop-elect of Llandaff is.................. No result. "Statement to follow". https://twitter.com/ChurchinWales

Church in Wales Statement here


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Now you see it, now you don't. Now you see it...





Proudly proclaimed (again) as a St Asaph Diocesan press release on the Church in Wales web site:

 LGBT+ film shown in St Asaph Cathedral shortlisted for a prize

This 'shortlisted' film was previously referred to in 'The Host', an entry made on 7 December 2016. The film was later taken down 'for private viewing', possibly after second thoughts, only to re-surface as courage gripped those responsible.

Shortlisted for a prize it may be but it is the biggest load of old tosh that I have come across even if it is much admired by the LTGBQ+, etc, etc, community and the diocese of St Asaph as they try to outdo Llandaff as the most gay friendly diocese in the Church in Wales. Viewed from outside the Church the 'agony' 'suffered' by this bunch of bellyachers must appear compelling. From the inside it is garbage. The Church in Wales is full of gay people. Those in the closet must be praying that gay marriage is accepted on a par with traditional marriage so that they can come out. 

The most interesting aspects of the film are Llandaff's liturgical dance leader, Archdeacon Peggy 'the pilot' Jackson sanctimoniously crossing herself after all the damage she has done to the Church as the chief architect of exclusion, closely followed by the then soon to be 'synthetic fire-dancing' bishop-elect of St Davids making the whole thing appear a conspiracy turning the Church in Wales into a haven for self-indulgent feminists, lesbians, gays and anything but traditional Anglicans who, in Jackson's words, are expected to look elsewhere.

The bench of bishops made a public apology to the LGBT community for the 'wrong' they have suffered. I challenge them to view this film and compare the treatment of the LGBT community which has a presence at all levels in the Church in Wales with the exclusion of loyal members of the Church in Wales who have been consistently snubbed since Bishop David Thomas retired in 2008.

Jackson lectured the Governing Body in 2014: "The Bishops should draw up a code such that all may have security in their accepted and valued place in the Church in Wales. It should not be interpreted as meeting the needs of a minority.” 

In 2015, 1.7% of the UK population identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB). The Church in Wales decided not to recognise 'traditionalist' Anglicans so why the clamour to accord special treatment to the LGBT community? Can it be that they already form a majority where power is exercised? Changing Attitude indeed!

Postscript

Meanwhile in the Church of England, "LGBT Campaigners Plot Shock Defeat Of Church’s Gay Marriage Stance" (here).

Postscript [17.02.2017]

In England the LGBT plot succeeded. Synod voted not to take note of the bishops' Report (see above).

In Wales "Stories of LGBT+ Christians" wins the Iris Community Short Film Award.
Mike Jones from Changing Attitude, Trawsnewid Agwedd Cymru, one of the 'stars' of the film said: “Our hope is that the film will challenge and inspire the Church in Wales to fully include LGBTQIA people in its life and ministry, and be a sign of God’s love and justice in a broken world.”

The fact that LGBTQIA people are included in the life and ministry of the Church in Wales must have eluded the judges as it has its target audience.

If the sob stories were true the protesters would deserve some sympathy but in St Asaph the agenda is dominated by LGBT+ issues. In Llandaff the facts speak for themselves as they do in the Church of England where the clergy told their bishops what to do with the doctrine of the Church.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. If the Church gives in and accepts the campaigners demands for same sex marriage in church we may as well switch off the lights now.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Protesters aiding the spread of Islam


Source: The Conservative Papers


If you think the claim on the placard (above) is ridiculous, think again. Many Muslims are working hard to ensure that not only Britain but that ALL countries are governed by Sharia law which is already offering "rough justice" for Muslim women "in the shadow of British law".

“Give me a child until he is 7 and I will show you the man” said Aristotle. A practice put to good use by many but one which can be dangerous. The Trojan Horse scandal in Birmingham schools will be familiar to most people in the UK but there have been other worrying reports. In 2005 Muslim schools were accused of anti-Christian chanting in assemblies. The Christian Institute said that Ofsted and the Department for Education were not taking proper action to deal with some Islamic schools accused of bullying Christian pupils.

The Institute's director said it was "striking" that several official reports outlining examples of Muslim "intolerance" to Christians had gone ignored by Ofsted. "You will see they include anti-Christian chanting in assemblies, GCSE pupils who opted to learn Christianity being left to teach themselves, and Christians being called 'ignorant' or 'liars' by teachers," he wrote.

By comparison new figures have revealed that Muslim pupils outnumber Christian children in more than 30 church schools. One Church of England (CofE) primary school has a '100 per cent Muslim population'. In another 98 per cent of students are reported to come from a Muslim background and another has a 90 per cent Muslim population.

Their treatment is entirely different. The report refers to one CofE school where most of the children are Muslims. They begin each day with a school 'worship' recognising the place God in their lives. But which God? A vengeful god of fear who demands submission, the meaning of Islam, or the loving God of truth who sent Jesus Christ into the world bringing love and forgiveness to all prepared to listen.

In a CofE school where most pupils are Muslim, 'all children follow a course of Religious Education and observe both Christian and Muslim Festivals'. This is a fundamental to the problems facing Christians. Immigration and higher birth rates, added to by an estimated 20,000 polygamous marriages in the British Muslim community, is resulting in the growth of Islam while Christianity is waning. As many Christians desert the Church in despair of the leadership, Islam is treated with almost servile respect as a religion on a par with Christianity when in reality it is a supremacist ideology which threatens our way of life having been founded by a man who according to the Bible must be a false prophet.

As the Rev Jules Gomes put it in The Conservative Woman, 'Christian shepherds side with the Islamist wolf'. Not just Christian shepherds. Visiting Finsbury Park mosque during its open day, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn challenged the “demonisation” of Muslims and sent a message to Donald Trump that “drinking tea together is far more effective than pouring concrete to build walls to keep each other apart”.

Whatever Mr Corbyn thinks of President Trump his remarks betray a complete lack of understanding of the perils Islam present. Muslims may drink tea with non-Muslims when they are a minority but it is entirely different for non-Muslims, and for Muslims in minority sects, in Islamic countries.

Christians are being persecuted in Muslim countries around the world while church leaders and politicians prefer to take tea with followers of a faith which not only sanctions but encourages religious persecution and has done for 1400 years. Two recent examples. 'Fifteen Christian Women Raped By Muslim Mob In 'Revenge Attack' For Pastor Overseeing Conversions' (here) and 'Christians In Turkey: Attacked, Deported And Seen As A 'Threat Against National Security' (here).

The latest insult to British values occurred when a gang of UK Muslim men "systematically groomed" Rotherham teenagers. When they were convicted of crimes including rape, indecent assault and false imprisonment the sex abusers shouted 'Allahu Akbar' - 'Allah is Greater'. There was no mention of Muslims or Islam in the report, Neither was there in the BBC news report that I saw.

According a report here, "almost 90 % of all rapes and child grooming in the UK that was committed by Pakistani’s, resulted in a white girl under 16 being abused... Abduction and rape of young ‘kuffar’ (non-Muslim) children by Islamic Paedophile gangs is commonplace in areas near Muslim ghettoes in Britain."

While such behaviour is not be typical of all Muslims, it should signal the profound difference between an ideology in which followers are permitted to see such action against non-believers as being justified. This contrasts sharply with the 'love thy neighbour' movement where tolerance of others is permitted, even to the point of destruction of our own culture and values.

The Open Society movement in the US which has seen hordes of placard waving protesters demanding an end to immigration controls. That is not to say that I think Trump has approached the problem of 'dodgy' immigrants in a well-thought strategy but such protests used to be common in Europe until the penny dropped. The mood changed in Germany when 'Thousands took to the streets to protest Germany’s immigration policy following week of bloody violence'.

The Pew Research Centre says that the World’s Muslim population is 'more widespread than you might think'. The Centre estimates that by 2050 the number of Muslims worldwide will grow from an estimated 1.6 billion in 2010 to 2.76 billion, or 29.7% of world’s population.

Jeremy Corbyn is one of many who succumbed to the Muslim charm offensive in the UK Mosque open day when "hundreds of Islamic centres across the country" welcomed visitors. Hundreds of people visited Finsbury Park mosque, which "gained notoriety as a centre of radical Islam in the late 1990s when the Egyptian cleric Abu Hamza became its imam". It is claimed that in 2005, the mosque underwent a change of leadership and is now considered "a model of community relations".

That may be so but the reverse is true when there us a Muslim majority in countries abroad:

 London mosque                                                                         Source; Guardian
Church in Turkey   Source: Christian Aid Mission













Whether the 'scales fall from their eyes' or not, one thing is clear. Christians have a duty to spread the Gospel, not to affirm other religions as if they were on a par with Christianity.

Islam has no problem denouncing Christians for believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, crucified, dead and buried. Christians should have no problem in recognising false prophets and must be prepared to say so.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Church in Crisis


(The relevant section of this report is reproduced below)
 Interviewed for the Church Times about changes during his years of ministry, the retiring Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said that the 'Welsh Church' is now a ‘more welcoming place’. Perhaps he was referring to the Uniting Church in Wales which he has been cultivating.

"In 2004, after the first year of his archiepiscopate, 41,000 adults attended an Anglican church service on an average Sunday in Wales. The most recent statistics, for 2015, show that figure has dropped to 29,000, a fall of nearly 30 per cent in 11 years."

Dr Morgan's welcome has not been extended to all. He has shunned many in his own church for not embracing his liberal views while welcoming feminists and other campaigners such as LGBT activists who have used the Church as a means of extending their influence.

Mirroring Women and the Church (WATCH) is a Welsh sister organisation, MAE Cymru "to promote gender equality in the Church in Wales". The report (left) of their first AGM on 5 November 2016 appears in the Forward in Faith journal New Directions.

With glasses of Prosecco raised they celebrated the election of a woman to be the 129th bishop of St Davids. Clearly they were in no mood to echo Dr Morgan's claim that the appointment had nothing to do with Canon Penberthy being a woman.

Mrs Briton had picked up New Directions first. I heard an anguished exclamation. "Good God, have you seen this?" She read aloud the last section which referred to a liturgical dance led by Archdeacon Peggy Jackson. Peggy 'the pilot' Jackson is Archdeacon of Llandaff. With little or no prospects of advancement in England, she was one of Dr Morgan's recruits to aid him in his obsession with the ordination of women. Unlike the first female Dean of Llandaff who lasted only a few weeks, Peggy the pilot has made it her business to pilot through legislation to ensure that there can be no equality in the Church in Wales other than on her terms. The following paragraph describes her 'act of worship, a style much favoured by her legislating companion:

"At the end of the afternoon, we held an act of worship - 'Saints and Sparklers'. We stood in a circle around an artificial bonfire of brightly coloured tissue paper, and with gingerbread-scented candles representing the saints we heard readings and prayers which referenced Sarah, Hagar, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Miriam, Jael, Deborah. Judith, Tamar, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the Mother of Jesus. Led by Archdeacon Peggy Jackson, we carefully executed a liturgical dance which made the shape of a crown - the crown of the Queen of Heaven. - Once the dance had moved outside, we lit sparklers and spoke aloud the names of the people who had inspired us on our journey. 'Shine as lights in the world, to the glory of God.' After the final blessing, we were free to make our way home, truly encouraged and inspired." - No men allowed.

This is Barry Morgan's 'welcoming' church, just another branch of non-conformity. The Sacraments of the Church becoming devoid of the inward and invisible grace bestowed by the outward and visible sign.

Supported by his bench sitters one of Dr Morgan's final acts was to write a Pastoral Letter 'to all the faithful' concerning admission to Holy Communion of all the baptised "by virtue of their Baptism alone". The pastoral letter may be read here. Some will have been convinced but many have not.

Writing in New Directions the former Archdeacon of Margam, the Venerable Martin Williams, has much to say about the issue. Some of the highlighted text: The Civil Law was all that mattered; Canon Law is swept away; These are existential concerns about our identity; Not once in the documents is "Eucharist" used; and, It is hard to imagine what the bishops have in mind. The Archdeacon concludes, "The Church in Wales is in a very deep crisis indeed."

Here is a response to the Pastoral Letter by a former legal adviser to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, in a letter to the Church Times.

From the Rev'd Professor Thomas Glyn Watkin:
Sir, - The Church in Wales Book of Common Prayer, enacted by various canons, declares that confirmation is a rite, and its rubrics provide that confirmation is generally necessary to receive holy communion. The Church's constitution provides that alterations to rites and discipline may be made only by canon.

The Welsh Bishops wish to allow those who have been baptised to receive the sacrament without need of confirmation. They are attempting to do this by pastoral letter, without any authorisation by canon. The Archbishop has written in this paper (Letters, 25 November) that the change makes confirmation "a service of response and commitment to God's grace given at baptism and at the eucharist for those who want to make such a commitment".

Baptism, as both he and the Bishop of Swansea & Brecon (Letters, 6 January) state, is to be the full rite of Christian initiation. Confirmation is to become an optional extra. Is not this an alteration to the rite and to the existing discipline?

When the Church of England relaxed its rules on admission to holy communion, it did so by Measure and canon. The Welsh Bishops state that they have legal advice assuring them that the "step does not require any change in the present Canon Law or Constitution of the Church in Wales". A polite request to make public that legal advice met with an equally polite refusal. That the alteration is controversial is clear from recent correspondence in these columns (Letters, 14 October and 23/30 December).

The procedure for enacting canons exists precisely to ensure that potentially controversial changes are subjected to scrutiny, deliberation, and debate by all orders within the Church. Regardless of one's views regarding Christian initiation, respect is due to the inclusiveness of such decision-making.

The Bishop of Swansea & Brecon wrote of baptism as "birth into a family wherein all are welcome to be nourished by the sacramental family meal at the family table". The Bishops' actions make it plain that, once at the table, unless they are in episcopal orders, God's children are to be seen but not heard.

Seen but not heard is the preferred status of 'traditionalist' Anglicans. The news that the Rt Rev Philip North, "from the traditionalist Anglo-Catholic wing of the C of E, is being 'promoted' from his position as bishop of Burnley" has been met with shrieks of disapproval from WATCH.

Similarly the aim of MAE Cymru, part of a 'welcoming' organisation which purports to seek 'equality', has been to outlaw the very people who have sustained the Church over the centuries.

Accused of being “swayed by the liberal culture of our age” and ignoring Holy Scripture, Barry and his bench sitters have led the charge for change. Campaigns for so-called equality have bent what Jesus said and did to suit the prevailing secular mood. This has had devastating effects on the Anglican Church in Wales, in England and the United States.

Early in his archiepiscopate Dr Morgan delivered a lecture in memory of Canon Norman Autton. Dr Morgan claimed then that "In the New Testament the teaching of Jesus as a whole is about caring for the outcast as a test of righteousness and in his own ministry he dealt with those on the margins." He has repeated similar sentiments up until his retirement to justify advancing secular causes. In a word, all hell has broken loose.

In Westcott House Theological College recently, student priests organising Evensong talked about Jesus welcoming the outcast to justify an attempt to 'queer evening prayer': “Today we might follow in the footsteps of his daring, boldly and outrageously welcoming the Queer (both human and divine) in a way never before attempted.” A prayer referred to the “Fantabulosa fairy” and ended: “Praise ye the Duchess. The Duchess’s name be praised.” Psalm 19 was reworded to refer to “O Duchess, my butchness”.

WATCH is on record as wanting to change the Lords prayer to "Our Mother who art in heaven". The new Church in Wales is unrecognisable from only a generation ago.

When the bishops' aim of same sex marriage in church is achieved, their task of secularising the Church in Wales will be complete.

As they dance their way into oblivion taking the church with them, MAE Cymru will have to seek another gullible, affirming host to destroy.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Purification

St Non's Holy Well, St Davids, Pembs                                                         Courtesy of TripAdvisor

Today, 2 February, the Anglican Church celebrates Candlemas, also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is an opportunity for clerics to preach about impurity and the unclean as the Archbishop of Wales did in his address in St John's Church Cardiff last Sunday.

The sick, the poor and women in childbirth were mentioned when physician heal thyself would have been far more appropriate. Under a previous entry a comment was made that "the Bench is still behaving like a Medieval papacy and treating the rest of us like we don't matter". It referred to a letter to the Church Times in which it was stated: "The Church in Wales Book of Common Prayer, enacted by various canons, declares that confirmation is a rite, and its rubrics provide that confirmation is generally necessary to receive holy communion. The Church's constitution provides that alterations to rites and discipline may be made only by canon."

The bishops of the Church in Wales decided 'after receiving legal advice', perhaps from the canon lawyers sat on the bench, that the change could be implemented by pastoral letter without any authorisation by canon.

This is the latest example of how the bench of bishops in the Church in Wales are a law unto themselves. Previously clear signals have been given to the bench by church members after expensive consultations that same sex marriage in church would not be approved and that a Code of Practice should make provision for loyal members of the Church in Wales who are unable in conscience to receive the sacramental ministry of women, a matter of theology, not equality. Both were ignored. The bishops simply did as they desired.

So where does the Church in Wales go from here now that Dr Morgan has retired? The presumption is that the next archbishop will be one of the canon lawyers on the bench. While Dr Morgan has taken a great deal of stick for placing his own interpretation on scripture he has been careful to explain that his views were those of the bench making the bishops complicit.

How can the bench have any credibility in their leadership of the Church in Wales without radical changes? They can start with an act of contrition in a process of purification of themselves.


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Dr Who?


Peter Capaldi's Dr Who becomes Billie Piper


Billie Piper says it's time to cast a woman as Dr Who. With Peter Capaldi stepping down from the role Billie Piper said it would "feel like a snub" if the role didn't go to a woman: "I think it would be great [to have a female Doctor] given the spirit of the world at the moment. I think it would be timely".

Timely? She is way behind the times. Transgender is 'timely'.

Under guidelines issued by the British Medical Association, expectant women are no longer to be known as mothers-to-be, because they might not be female. Report here. The Telegraph has more instances where offence may be caused.  "The elderly" should be referred to as "older people", "disabled lifts" called "accessible lifts" and someone who is "biologically male or female" should be called "assigned male or female".

Also from BMA's guide to effective communication:

You should avoid references to a person’s gender except where it is relevant in a discussion.
If you don’t know for certain what gender to use when talking about a person’s loved ones, or
if you aren’t sure whether someone identifies as male or female, keep your language neutral
until you know what terms they prefer to use. For example, use the word ‘partner’ instead of
‘wife’ or ‘husband’, ‘parent’ instead of ‘Mum’ or ‘Dad’, and ‘child’ instead of ‘son’ or ‘daughter’.
You can also mix up the word order in common expressions, eg instead of saying, ‘men and
women’, use ‘women and men’.

Has the medical profession gone mad? Citizen Go has organised a petition if you wish to sign.