You are 'HERE' . "The pale blue dot"

Monday, July 21, 2014

Augustina of Canterbury


The Cathedra Augustini           From Wikipedia
Concluding his interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show (here) before the vote on women bishops was taken at York Synod, the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, claimed that he would be "delighted to see a female successor on the Chair of St Augustine in his lifetime". 

Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

From Canterbury Cathedral history: "St Augustine, the first Archbishop of Canterbury, arrived on the coast of Kent as a missionary to England in 597 AD. He came from Rome, sent by Pope Gregory the Great. It is said that Gregory had been struck by the beauty of Angle slaves he saw for sale in the city market and despatched Augustine and some monks to convert them to Christianity. 

Augustine was given a church at Canterbury (St Martin’s, after St Martin of Tours, still standing today) by the local King, Ethelbert whose Queen, Bertha, a French Princess, was already a Christian. This building had been a place of worship during the Roman occupation of Britain and is the oldest church in England still in use. Augustine had been consecrated a bishop in France and was later made an archbishop by the Pope. He established his seat within the Roman city walls (the word cathedral is derived from the the Latin word for a chair ‘cathedra’, which is itself taken from the Greek ‘kathedra’ meaning seat.) and built the first cathedral there, becoming the first Archbishop of Canterbury".

Move on 1400 years. From 'yourcanterbury' 2014 (here). The italics are mine: "The Rev Kes Grant is school chaplain at St Augustine Academy in Maidstone. She admits when the Synod rejected the proposal 20 months ago, it shook her faith in the Church. Speaking to KoS this week, she said: “It’s bloody fantastic. It’s been a long time coming.” 

The Church ordained its first two women priests in 1994, She added: “When that vote didn’t go through in 2012 I was absolutely gutted - even though in hindsight it was right because the legislation wasn’t right. “That morning I didn’t even know if I wanted to be in the Church of England anymore when it couldn’t even come into the 20th century, let alone the 21st.

“When you visit your doctor, you don’t stop to ask if they are gay or married or a woman. You just see someone because they are qualified for the job. No one bats an eyelid about women in senior jobs in any other section of society. “The Church really needed to get a grip. Telling people they are not welcome is not what the love of God is all about. When they do things like that I don’t recognise the Jesus of the Bible.” The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has been a supporter of the proposals and described the vote as “an adventure in faith and hope”."

An adventure for some; the secularation of the Church of England for others. As for faith, there have been numerous threats that women would leave the Church if they didn't get their own way while those of faith rather than fancy have had to battle against the odds on being told that they are not wanted in this Church.

One has to wonder what 'Augustina' of Canterbury will believe when she occupies the Chair of St Augustine but we already have a pretty good idea from existing trends and from the example of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States here. It beggars belief that bishops of the Church of England have done this.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Oh well done girls!


Photo PA

From Christian Today (here): "Women and the Church (WATCH) had set its sights on seeing the Anglican Church welcome female bishops. Now that it's been agreed, it's time to look at which other structures prevent women flourishing and progressing within the Church. It's not enough to allow women to be church leaders, when there are much stronger, subliminal forces at work, argues Jody Stowell, vicar of St Michael's and All Angels Harrow and on the WATCH leadership team".

"Our liturgies are very male, our songs are male, there's lots of male language for God – and our language creates our world," says Stowell. "When women go into that situation, they are constantly imbibing the fact that God's male and it's not really a place for them."

And here: The General Synod meeting in York backed a proposal to allow clergy to "dress down" at services and exchange the robes and other vestments worn at Morning and Evening Prayer and Holy Communion for more casual clothing.

Having already observed some female creativity in the getting noticed department the mind boggles when our liturgies become very female, our songs are female and there's lots of female language for God.

In the micro world the Church of England now inhabits this is seen as being relevant to society. In the real world of mother Church, this is the reality: "The decision to ordain women, which the Church of England took in 1992, damaged the relationships between our Churches, and the introduction of female bishops has eliminated even a theoretical possibility for the Orthodox to recognize the existence of apostolic succession in the Anglican hierarchy" (here). 

Fond of asking rhetorical questions liberals like to ask what would Jesus have done if there is no biblical evidence to support their argument. Well there is here. More on Unity in the Church here.

Oh, very well done girls! 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The morning after



"David Cameron hails vote on women bishops as a 'Great Day For Equality' "(here). His deputy Nick Clegg said "Allowing women to become bishops is another long overdue step towards gender equality in senior positions. I welcome the Church of England’s decision which means that women can now play a full and equal role in the important work of the Church" (here). 

Isn't that fantastic! An opportunist and an atheist, the top two in government, while scurrying around trying to redress the gender imbalance in their coalition take time out to applaud a decision on a subject they clearly know nothing about. 

Questioned on Newsnight last night the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, insisted that the vote had nothing to do with being relevant to society. The debate had been 'theological' indicating that he must have been switched off when supporters trotted out time and time again that it was about relevance and equality in today's world. However, I must give credit to one lady supporter who had a different approach. Without batting an eyelid she listed from the Bible as many women as she could in the time available before declaring that scripture proved women should be bishops. She should go far.

Pushed on the wider agenda of new Anglicanism Justin Welby declined to comment on same sex marriage and the ordination of gay clergy on the grounds that he just wanted to enjoy the moment after Synod's momentous decision. But he wasn't deterred from talking about Abp George Carey's intervention on assisted dying, giving the impression that there is much more to come as imported 'theology' continues to dominate the thinking of the House of Bishops. In Australia recently a judge claimed that incest was no longer a taboo suggesting that it is on a par with homosexuality (here) while in California: "Governor signs bill replacing words 'husband' and 'wife' in state law" (here) so plenty of scope for being even more relevant to society.

Now that the enabling legislation is out of the way the next step requires women bishops to be fast-tracked into the House of Lords (here) where they can make more 'theological' decisions. Will that be before or after "theology" is redefined by the Government I wonder?

In conclusion, spare a thought for the poor woman from Women and the Church who said she had worked for years for this day. Now, at last she feels 'valued'! 

I wonder how Mary, Martha.... felt?

Monday, July 14, 2014

"Incomprehensible"




The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby told the BBC's Andrew Marr programme that there was a "good chance" the first woman bishop in the Church of England would be announced by the end of 2015. He added that to the general public, the exclusion of women was "incomprehensible" (see here).

Other matters which the general public find incomprehensible include the Incarnation and the Resurrection.

Not only the general public. But the vote today is not about the Nicene Creed agreed by the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church centuries ago. It is about politics!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bishop material?




"So I can expect a miracle and if the miracle comes then hey - God is good!" - said Rev. Hudson-Wilkin. Then no miracle, God ain't good? - He is bad! This is the weird world of 'feminists of faith' (see previous entry.)

Listen to what the Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin has to say about people of faith in her interview - ziltch. She has nothing to say that is spiritually uplifting; just you deserve to be a bishop in the Church of England if you are a woman regardless of the views of the Apostolic Church. If I may adapt a well worn autograph-hunters' phrase - By hook or by crook and ignoring The Book!

Rose argues, "If  this happens [women bishops] then we are going to be getting a Church that truly reflects the people of God and truly reflects what it means to be the Body of Christ, male and female together in leadership". She concluded, "As a Church it is important that we are relevant  to the people whom we serve and I think we would be sending a huge message out that we are irrelevant". What utter twaddle.

Apart from the weight of scripture and tradition, this view completely ignores the fact that since the start of the 'feminists of faith' campaign of self advancement the Anglican Church has become less relevant to society. Using secularism to advance their cause is destroying the mystery of faith and emptying churches but it does not occur to supporters of this destructive movement that they should pause and take stock of what is happening to the Church of England as they rush towards the precipice.

As the Mail Online puts it (story here) "The Church of England is being given a second chance to back the introduction of women bishops ... after the plan was derailed by just six votes cast by lay members in November 2012, causing shock and bitter recriminations within the Church of England and prompting threats of an intervention by Parliament." Note the language. 'Derailed' and 'second chance' suggesting an automatic right for women to be bishops, adapting the rules where necessary to achieve the desired result. A second chance should be an opportunity for reflection but little else matters besides the advancement of women. So successful has their campaign been that bringing the Church into the 21st Century as they see it has become written into the psyche without a thought for the consequences.

We are told that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, is preparing to "drive through" the plan should the General Synod choose to reject it for a second time. "The body could be dissolved so that fresh elections could produce the necessary majority by November or the bishops in the House of Lords could move to introduce the legislation without the approval of the Synod." [Patheos provides an interesting analysis of the plan here.]

Writing in The Yorkshire Post Sir Bernard Ingham says: "Nothing to prevent Church’s final leap of faith in women. - Frankly, it is overdue and I don’t know what all the fuss is about". Clearly he doesn't so he would be better advised to study the faith of the Church before sounding off about his idol, Mrs Thatcher. She was the Methodist Prime Minister who exerted her authority on the Church by imposing George Carey on the Church of England as Archbishop of Canterbury. He has now come out in favour of assisted dying much to the annoyance of the women bishops lobby deflecting attention as their big day approaches.

Ingham quotes: "If you want anything done, ask a woman, was Thatcher’s view". The point he misses is not whether women 'can' but whether they 'should' be bishops based on theology, not "this day and age" as I heard someone say on the Breakfast show this morning. Looking at some of the trendy, modern day bishops it is not a hard act to follow when relevance to society is your mantra but the question has already been answered by the wider Church including the majority of Anglicans. It is a resounding: NO.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Feminists of faith

Sateenkaarimessu
Symbolic of the shroud that covered Christ, the Holy Table at the time of
 the Ministry of the Sacrament shall be covered with a fair white linen cloth
- subject to LGBT limitations?

In November 2012 the Evening Standard published a piece "God girls: who'll be the first female bishop?" The author wrote: "One of the first problems facing the new Archbishop of Canterbury is how to end the battle in the Church over women bishops. In the ultimate boys’ club, feminists of faith long to see a woman wearing a mitre". She went on to list the four top contenders as the Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Rev Lucy Winkett, Rev Jane Hedges and in fourth place, "Canon Rosie Harper, vicar of Great Missenden and Chaplain to the Bishop of Buckingham, opera-lover". She continued. "Harper is media-savvy, writing for the Guardian and tweeting regularly. On the issue of female bishops, she has said that women are 'spoken about as the problem and not really valued for what they contribute' ". 

That is not surprising given the dishonesty with which she and other campaigners, particularly members of Women and the Church (WATCH),  misrepresent their opponents as 'men who are afraid of women' ignoring the fact that significant numbers of women bitterly regret what these campaigners have done to the Church.

Canon Rosie Harper at York General Synod in 2012
         Guardian Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Canon Harper explained her attitude to those who disagree with her in a piece in the Guardian in February 2012: "In Buckinghamshire, where I live, the sort of folk who feel they need protecting from women are only 3% of all churchgoers. ... the synod patched together a dirty little compromise which gave the anti-women brigade a ghetto clause [my emphasis - Ed]. If she were to look at the Anglican Communion worldwide she would find that her views are in the minority but that hinders ambition.


The suggestion that opponents to their scheming are afraid of women continues on Twitter:


This must be great fun for feminists who have no regard for the feelings of ordinary women and men whose faith rises above false claims of inequality. But do people who are taken in by these false claims fully understand the liberal agenda in which they have become pawns? Cranmer has taken Canon Harper to task for her attitude to assisted dying (here), a position which is contrary to the view of the Church. He wrote: "His Grace tweeted about this yesterday, because he found the final paragraph astonishing in its starkness and cruelty. Here is a Canon of the Established Church telling Peers of the Realm that should they oppose Lord Falconer's Bill, they are 'requiring people to suffer extreme agony', and so voting in a manner which is neither moral nor Christian."

With scant regard for synodical governance, the Ten Commandments or anything which stands in their way it was no surprise that Canon Harper was the chosen one to preach at the recent  ordinations in the Diocese of Llandaff where Barry their bishop is busy ensuring that his Governing Body is eased towards assisted dying and same-sex marriage using the same process which saw the realisation of his ambition to see women consecrated as bishops in the Church in Wales before he returns to his nonconformist roots as senior bishop in the Uniting Church in Wales.

In her Guardian piece Rosie Harper wrote "Out in the normal world, Christians around the country have voted loud and clear for female bishops. Full stop. But in the Hogwarts world of synod it feels more precarious". So what is "the normal world" today and what does it hold for the Church? In Great Britain most Anglicans are nominal Christians who have been conned into believing that scripture and tradition must reflect society, misusing 'equality' as their byword. 

In the  Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland where nearly half the church's clergy are women, so called "equality" now reigns. The majority of their pastors are more tolerant to same-sex unions than the General Synod. From the Helsinki Times: "A survey conducted by the Academic Church Professionals shows that as many as 60 per cent of pastors believe they should be able to bless the union of same-sex couples living in a registered partnership.The survey also shows that in this respect female pastors are more tolerant than their male colleagues, with nearly three in four prepared to bless the union of same-sex couples."

"Feminists of faith" are changing the Church for their own ends. In doing so they demean true women of faith and wound the Body of Christ. Where is the equality in that?  Next - Judith of Nazareth.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Leading by example!


This morning two of the items to arrive in my in tray referred to His Grace the Archbishop of Wales. The first was an alert about the NATO summit to be held in Newport, South Wales in September (see second half of the article):
"THE Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, has come out in support of anti-Nato protestors. A Church in Wales spokeswoman confirmed yesterday that the archbishop had signed the No Nato Newport 'statement of opposition.'

However she said the archbishop wouldn’t be taking part in protests themselves, due to take place in the days leading to the September event...'We are a broad church, literally,' she said, saying she didn’t know the Archbishop’s motivation for joining in. 'It’s all about helping magnify the voices of the little people that are being bombed and droned,' she added.

Dr Morgan's concern for "the little people" is touching but selective. The little people in his "broad church" dare not speak openly for fear of retribution if they criticise Barry's agenda. It is noticeable that in general only commentators wishing to secure favour with the Archbishop such as the Diocesan Secretary and his staff have used their own names when making unsubstantiated accusations against commentators.

The second item was a comment in response to the previous entry, Discretionary funds @ 9:45AM on July 5, 2014: " I am happy to facilitate the tabling of a proposal at the PCC that such collections are only contributed to audited funds".

To avoid retribution others need to step forward so I would urge all readers who are PCC members in the Church in Wales to propose similar action along the lines:
'That this Council resolves, for the furthering of the mission of the Church in Wales in the Diocese of Llandaff, within a framework of full accountability, that collections at confirmations and institutions in this parish will, after expenses have been defrayed, be donated only to those accounts which are the subject of annual audit and publication.'