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Friday, 28 June 2019

Caption corner [28 June 2019]

The bishop of London et al.                                                                                                                                   Source: Twitter

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Time to draw a line

St Woolos Cathedral                                                                                                                                                                                   Source: Church in Wales

From the South Wales Argus: Archbishop of Wales John Davies declares saga that has engulfed Diocese of Monmouth for months is 'now closed' but for whoever is feeding the Argus and for some commentators it is not closed.

In a postscript to my entry The Monmouth effect?, I published a link to the Archbishop's statement of 5th June 2019 regarding the Bishop of Monmouth's long absence. It was hoped that the Archbishop's statement would draw a line under this sad episode in the life of the diocese of Monmouth.

Archbishop John said, "In July of last year, I met, at their request, with Dean Lister and Archdeacons
Ambrose and Jonathan who raised with me, as Archbishop, concerns about Bishop Richard’s well-being. This was entirely the right and proper thing for them to do, and I commend them for doing so. I then asked others to look into some of the issues which they raised with me and to report back confidentially" after emphasising that he was "not going to betray confidences or disclose confidential matters".

That seemed perfectly reasonable, especially in conjunction with the clarification:

"Keeping confidences can be a two-edged sword since, whenever matters are, for legal or
other reasons, required to be kept private and confidential, rumours and misinformation begin
to develop, grow and then circulate.

"I am aware that all manner of rumours and some salacious speculation have been circulating
in this Diocese, and this has been deeply critical of particular individuals, some of whom are
here, myself included. This leaves those of us in full possession of the facts with a temptation
to betray trust and breach confidentiality to set the record straight. So, I pay tribute to those,
who in the face of severe, ill-informed criticism, and sometimes to their own detriment, have
neither breached confidences nor disclosed confidential matters."

It is time to draw a line and move on.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

How mad can mankind get?

men, women, children, family restroom icon
 'Male and female he created them'                                              Source: Free Icons

A Scots lad, 17, was chucked out of his classroom by a furious teacher for claiming that there are ‘only two genders’, something that has been obvious to most for generations.

A former magistrate dismissed from the bench for his views on the adoption of children by gay couples has lost his appeal against the decision:
"Richard Page, from Headcorn, was struck off and later relieved from the post of non-executive director of the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust after a decision made on an adoption case in 2014. Mr Page, a Christian, dissented from the view of his colleagues on the bench when a same sex couple applied to adopt, saying that in his view it was in a child's best interests to be raised by a mother and a father."

Mr Page was expressing his view. He said, "This shows that we are now living in a deeply intolerant society which cannot stand any dissent from politically correct views - even from judges."

This article illustrates is how it has come about. From James Parker: You couldn’t make it up if you tried:

"I was present as a gay rights’ activist at conversations by leading gay strategists from the US and the UK that outlined over three decades ago what we are seeing transpire today.

"The strategic goal was that men and women with same-sex attraction should infiltrate and take leadership within key areas of society with the purpose of using their positions to bring about homosuperiority. Yes, you read that correctly. Not homonormativity or mere equality, but homosuperiority.

"These areas included the entertainment industry, mainstream media, education, politics, healthcare – especially psychology and psychiatry, the military, religion and finally sport."

God created mankind in his own image, male and female he created them. Procreation is not recreation. It is the nuts and bolts of creation.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Backwards in Faith: A preposterous proposal

 Simon Cowling, Dean of Wakefield                               Source: Yorkshire Post

Some readers may have received this statement from Forward in Faith:
Forward in Faith notes the Dean of Wakefield’s decision to comply with the ruling of the Independent Reviewer, Sir William Fittall, in his report on Wakefield Cathedral by making available to the complainant a service rota with information about the identity of those who will be celebrating the Eucharist in the Cathedral.

"This is a welcome first step towards making Wakefield Cathedral once again a truly inclusive church in which traditional catholics are made welcome and encouraged to flourish. We hope for even greater generosity in future."

From the dean's response:

"I have now notified Sir William that I intend to keep the existing policy in place, but with a significant adjustment which I believe to be in line with the spirit of his conclusions. I will be offering a pastoral, face to face, meeting with anyone who is a regular member of the worshipping community at Wakefield Cathedral who is unable for reasons of conscience to accept the priestly ministry of women. This will afford the space for a shared conversation and the opportunity for me to offer to send a paper copy of the quarterly rota when it is published. This will be on the understanding that it is for their personal use and that it may change at short notice. I am pleased to say that I have already had such a conversation with the individual whose letter of concern prompted the Review and the person concerned is reflecting on this offer."

A member of the congregation of Wakefield cathedral wrote to the Independent Reviewer under the House of Bishops declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests expressing concern at a change of practice concerning the publication of names of those due to preside at celebrations of Holy Communion in the Cathedral.

The Independent Reviewer concluded that whether or not the dean and chapter routinely publishes the names of celebrants was "a matter of judgement for them" but the information should be supplied in good grace to anyone who asks for it in advance so that "they can make an informed choice over whether to attend a particular service in the light of their theological conviction in relation to gender and ordained ministry."

"Reciprocity and mutuality mean that the majority and minority need to avoid putting stumbling blocks in the way of each other or giving offence: members of chapter need to act with generosity, forbearance and pastoral sensitivity to any cathedral worshippers - especially regular members of the cathedral community - who are unable on grounds of theological conviction to receive the sacramental ministry of women priests; similarly the latter need to show respect to all chapter clergy and seek to maintain the highest possible degree of communion."

The highest possible degree of communion can best be achieved by not setting artificial barriers which frustrate those who on theological grounds are unable to accept the sacramental ministry of women priests.

The bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines said of Dean Cowling: “Simon has wide parochial and cathedral experience, and, working with good colleagues, he will bring significant gifts, knowledge and wisdom to the task of leading Wakefield Cathedral.” Intimidation might have been more apt.

The Dean of Wakefield's response to Sir Williams Fittall's conclusions is to 'afford space' for a 'shared conversation' and the opportunity to offer to send a paper copy of the quarterly rota when it is published on the understanding that it is for  personal use and that it may change at short notice. [My emphasis - Ed.]

There is no need for confrontation, just some respect for the views of orthodox Anglicans who find themselves in a minority in the church of England for keeping the faith shared by millions of others in the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop Barry Morgan performed a similar stunt in Llandaff Cathedral in 2012 when, as acting Dean, he abandoned the concept of twin integrities. Worshippers were expected to await the entrance of the celebrant to discover if they had been conned into appearing to support the ordination of women.

There is nothing to be gained from such mean spirited actions and everything to lose.

The Dean of Wakefield said, "I take my responsibility for playing my part in that search very seriously and it is my sincere hope that the way forward I have outlined will be received in the same spirit with which it is offered." I hope not.

Friday, 14 June 2019

The Monmouth effect?

Archbishop high fiving    Source: HOLYWELLCOMMUNITY         Former Bishop of Monmouth  high fiving                         Source: Church in Wales                         

Following the announcement of the retirement of the Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Richard Pain, oversight of the mission and ministry of the Diocese continues under the Archbishop of Wales, the Most Revd John Davies, who appears keen to continue where the former bishop left off.

Whilst the Peace is not universally popular it is to be hoped that an already impoverished liturgy is not going to include the 'high five' as a sign of getting along to get on.

Postscript [23.06.2019]

This statement by the Archbishop of Wales should put an end to the rumours and misinformation that have been circulating during the bishop's absence.


Wednesday, 12 June 2019

TV license: BBC and soccer 'stars'

BBC ‘stars’ pay from public funds 2017                                                                          Source: TV LICENCE RESISTANCE

I was somewhat taken aback on hearing a statement in Parliament that the BBC enjoyed revenues from the British public amounting to £3.8billion plus another £billion from sales. The BBC's total income was £5.0627 billion in 2017–2018 (Wikipedia).

It puts into perspective the BBC's bleat about the £745m cost of maintaining government policy of free TV licensing for the over 75s which was part of the fee settlement reached with the BBC.

Although funded by the tax payer through the licence system BBC 'stars' have not suffered the wage restraint demanded of public servants. In the latest BBC pay list Gary Lineker has replaced Chris evans at the top with a salary of £1,750,000-£1,759,999 for presenting Match of the Day and Sports Personality of the Year. If £1 million were knocked off that figure he would still be over paid for a task that could be easily performed by any reasonably competent sports journalist/personality.

Why are there so many sports editors, correspondents and commentators most of whom are biased beyond measure? News readers hand over to sports presenters who utter a few words before handing on to a sports correspondent, something the news reader could have done. There is layer upon layer, all adding to production costs.

While on the subject of news readers I do not see Reeta Chakrabarti on the list despite being among the best of the bunch along with Ben Brown who appears on the bottom rung. Can it be because they have not turned their presentations into personality shows when personality is all that appears to count at the BBC? 

The BBC needs to take a good, hard look at itself. Soccer has been elevated to a state of religious fanaticism with BBC soccer 'stars' being remunerated on commensurate levels with the enormous amounts paid to star players.

Auntie might have known best when she was the voice of the nation but those days are long gone.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Wales, Wales!

Gwent Levels                                                                                                                                                          Source: RSPB

“The Gwent Levels is Wales’ equivalent of the Amazon rainforest for sheer diversity of wildlife."

The Amazon basin                                                                                              Source:

Frustrated drivers trying to enter and leave Wales through the M4 bottleneck in Newport, Gwent, will, depending on their outlook, have mixed views on the statement by First Minister, Mark Drakeford, who rejected the idea of a proposed relief road on grounds of cost and on "the impact of the relief road on environmental considerations around Gwent."

When challenged on his decision the First Minister said "even if we could have afforded it, I would still not have signed the orders."  

The Amazon rainforest covers much of northwestern Brazil, extending into Colombia, Peru and other South American countries. It is the world’s largest tropical rainforest extending over 5.5 million km². 

The Gwent Levels, described as a 'fantastic wild haven', occupies a tiny strip of coastal land extending over 71 km² and is characterised by its flat land with 'reen' drain ditches similar to the Wentlooge levels on the other side of Newport.

The Amazon rainforest comparison reminds me of progressives in the Church in Wales with their 27,359 regular Sunday worshippers representing themselves as 'The Church' when taking views contrary to the vast majority of the 85 million members of the Anglican Communion.

Responding to the debate on her ‘divisive’ motion that the Church in Wales should cease to ordain people who did not agree with women’s ordination, the Archdeacon of Llandaff, Peggy Jackson, said that those who entered the priesthood were clear that the Church was not “in two minds” about women’s ministry. Those who found themselves “at odds” with a particular aspect of what the Church believed must “protect and operate their own arrangements and conscience how best they may.”

Jackson was right. The Church is not in two minds. She is. She and like minded individuals continue to misrepresent the beliefs of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church for their own ends while seeking to exclude orthodox Anglicans from their new, 'inclusive' church.

A 'divisive' Archdeacon of Llandaff                                 Source: Church Times

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Jill Duff to be new bishop of Monmouth?

In response to a previous post about the election of the new Bishop of Monmouth a commentator wrote, "Its an open secret that this will be Jill Duff."

If Jill joins Joanna and June it will be reminiscent of the appointment of the first woman bishop in Wales after it had been widely rumoured that Canon Joanna Penberthy would be the next bishop of St Davids following the retirement of the Rt Rev Wyn Evans.

Initially the rumour seemed absurd, designed to wind up orthodox Anglicans until the grubby manipulation of the electoral process for political purposes became obvious.

Archbishop Barry Morgan stage managed his announcement of the 'election' by lining up nine adults on the bank overlooking the Afon Alun outside St Davids Cathedral as if parading before a firing squad. On the archbishop's command they were to applaud the announcement but eager to please their master, some jumped the gun like nervous squaddies.

The archbishop went on to justify Penberthy's appointment saying that it was "really important" to stress that "Joanna wasn’t elected because she was a woman but because she was deemed to be the best person to be a bishop. She has considerable gifts – she is an excellent preacher and communicator, can relate to all sections of the community, is a warm, charismatic, caring priest and someone who is full of joy."

I doubt that recipients of her Dear John letter would agree with that description but, then, Morgan always was opinionated if nothing else.

By contrast fellow feminists will be delighted with Joanna's policy of parity although overkill would be a better description when in comes to St Davids Cathedral which is being turned into a feminist paradise with a token male priest to do most of the work.

There is more than enough evidence of the dismal failure of the first two women bishops to turn things around. There has also been experimentation and there has been profligacy. Evidence enough that the bench needs the inclusion of a man of God inspired by the Holy Spirit not by the spirit of the age.

Postscript [11.06.2019]

The Electoral College will meet on 17 September 2019 with the chance of electing the 11th, and possibly the last, bishop of Monmouth. Assuming Dr Duff has not already been chosen in the manner of the bishop of St Davids, given the divisions caused by a few disgruntled clergy favoured by the retiring bishop, the decision may have to pass to the bench to impose their own nominee. The flavour of the bench indicates that would be another disaster waiting to happen.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

God loves a cheerful giver

Llandaff diocese 'pilgrimage' to Santiago de Compostela                                                 Source: Twitter  #llandaffinsantiago

Next time pew sitters are asked to dig deeper to keep the Church in Wales afloat, they should go to the source of this triptych.

Participants have been adding their memories of how they were wined and dined in Spain after some brief strolls approaching the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great while parishes were left without clergy, often struggling to make ends meet.

The fruits of their jolly, if any, should be apparent in the Year of Pilgrimage.