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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More embarrassing questions for the Archbishop of Wales

"Former Llandaff Cathedral choir members question £4,000 payment to former Dean" says a report in WalesOnline. That is Barry's old mate Dean John Lewis who was paid £4,390 as an “Easter gift” despite the Cathedral's desperate financial position which resulted in "the slimming down of the Cathedral Choir in order to save nearly £50,000 which would significantly cut down the anticipated deficit of £81,000" (see 'Morgan's organ' here). Dean Henderson left with nothing other than "an apparent discrepancy in diocesan documents"!

Another WalesOnline report says that "Wales is no longer a nation of churchgoers but faith is alive"! Between 2011 and 2012, the number of adults attending Church in Wales Sunday services fell by 5%, from 33,783 to 32,171. Easter attendance dropped by 8% from 60,924 to 56,063. Research by Tear Fund in 2007 showed Wales had the lowest level of regular church attendance in the UK at 12%, behind England (14%), Scotland (18%), London (22%) and Northern Ireland (45%). The 2001 census showed 71.9% of the Welsh population were self-described Christians but this fell to just 57.6% by the time of the 2011 survey.

The Archbishop's response? - "Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan is also intrigued by the continuing self-identification of so many people with the faith, saying: “It’s interesting, lots of people who are not regular worshippers claim to be Christian and they want that label for themselves. It’s not something people put on them.” Regardless of the low ranking of the Church in Wales in attendance figures the Archbishop likes to give the impression that he is leading world opinion. Concluding his Presidential Address to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales he said of blessing same-sex unions: "Much as some people may want to do so, the rule is the same as was the case over the re-marriage of divorced people – we need to wait for the Church, as a whole, to decide the matter – and we are beginning that process at this GB".

A law unto himself, there was no "waiting for the Church as a whole" to decide the question of the ordination of women. He did his own thing. This process is continuing at the Governing Body. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" sounds pretty unequivocal to me so why is Assisted Dying being discussed? The official position of the Church is that marriage is between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others but the Governing Body is being dragged through the same process used to see women ordained to the priesthood so that it appears unremarkable despite being contrary to the faith of the Church as a whole.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Message

If you don't like it you know what you can do!                                                        Credit: Church in Wales

Archbishop Barry Morgan has been pretty consistent in his pastoral care; if you don't like it you know what you can do. Let's face it, looking at the steep decline in Church attendance in Wales under his stewardship, many have.

Concluding his Easter Message he said: "Solidarity and forgiveness sum up the meaning of Easter and when one sees these values exemplified, one begins to realise the significance of what it means to believe in the God of Jesus."

Archbishop Morgan's local newspaper has been looking forward to the meeting of the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales on 23 and 24 April suggesting that "Political parties could learn from the Church in Wales' approach to decision-making" concluding with "People of all parties could work to bring something of the generous spirit of the governing body to wider politics and work to build a society in which are neighbours are not just tolerated but loved."

Published with the GB minutes is an appendix, Appendix 1 – To enable Women to be Consecrated as Bishops. The 4th clause will be of particular interest to members of the Church in Wales who have not left but have not felt loved either:

 "In approving this Canon the Governing Body entrusts the Bench of Bishops without delay to agree a Code of Practice which commits the Bench to making provisions such that all members of the Church in Wales including those who in conscience dissent from the provision of section 1 may have a sense of security in their accepted and valued place within the Church in Wales."

According to the LNYD blog (here) diocesan meetings called to discuss the Code of Practice have been consistent in calling on the Bench of Bishops to provide a traditionalist bishop to minister to the 'original integrity' within the Province. 

Hitherto the Archbishop has strenuously opposed this. The Bench must now demonstrate solidarity and love. If Dr Morgan still has a problem with that he knows what he can do.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Christos anesti!

Christ's Appearance to Mary Magdalene after the Resurrection               Alexander Ivanov 1835

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Passion tide

"Fling wide the gates,
For the Saviour waits to tread in His royal way
He has come from above in His power and love, to die on this Passion day.
Fling wide the gates!
The Saviour waits......."

Stainer's Crucifixion Oratorio is a well loved meditation on the Sacred Passion of the Holy Redeemer but this Passiontide has seen other manifestations of passion in the Church.

Take this headline from Changing Attitudes: "The Church of England enters a new era – married gay clergy are the new reality". Fling wide the gates indeed.

Perhaps we should no longer be surprised to read "The Passion of Christ" is banned by Oxford City Council in the mistaken belief that it was a live sex show! 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Assisted killing of the Church in Wales - Part 3

St Michael's College, Llandaff, Cardiff                                                                        Picture: WalesOnline

WalesOnline is carrying the headline, "Top Church college could face axe despite £1.7m revamp", a complete turnaround of the story in 2009, "Report praises St Michael’s College in Llandaff." Followers of the greatly missed Llandaffchester Chronicles will recall the forecast closure of  'St. Michelle’s College' after the failure of substituting sing-along-worship for scholarship to accommodate the mainly women social workers the Archbishop likes to point towards ordination to justify his belief that only women clergy and gay pride matter in the Church today.

Hat tip to Llandaff Pewster for the links under a previous entry here, the first of which harks back to March 2004 with the headline "Church college up for sale".  Another commentator, Episkopos, estimates that the Church in Wales has wasted over £3 million pounds:

"£1.7 million refurbishment since 2007.
£150,000 per annum since 2007 to keep the place financially afloat = £900,000.
Another £150,000 for 2014, 2015 and 2016 until the place can be closed = £450,000
This for a college that was a dead duck and put up for sale in 2004.
Grand total of the profligacy = £3,050,000"
"If such a sum of money had been invested by the RB into a Choral Foundation for Llandaff Cathedral Choir, it's future would have been secured into perpetuity. As things now stand, Wales (the land of song) has neither a professional Cathedral Choir nor a Theological College."

Theology is no longer the main consideration of the Archbishop of Wales. He is more comfortable operating in the political arena having long since sacrificed the pillars of Christianity in favour of promoting the heretical ideas of his idol, the  Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Ten years after the rejected proposal to sell the site of St Michael’s College, Llandaff, the whole Church in Wales as handed down to the present overseers appears to be on the verge of collapse as it embraces non-conformity with the Archbishop and his Bench securing their own futures as 'bishops' in a new protestant backwater in which bishops don't necessarily have to be priests!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

This piece of papyrus

In 1938 Neville Chamberlain returned from Munich with his worthless piece of paper. In 2014 a fragment of papyrus is held up to suggest that, contrary to all the biblical evidence, Jesus had a wife. That must be a considerable disappointment for today's proponents of same-sex marriage but it is hardly earth shattering news that this fragment could "support the notion that Mary Magdalene was a major leader in the early Jesus movement!"

On moving up to an affluent parish in reward for doing her Archbishop's bidding, a 'major leader' in the current Jesus movement, the Archdeacon of Llandaff said: "It’s unbelievably important that discrimination against women in the Church is coming to an end. Anybody coming into the Church in Wales now is joining a Church that opens all its offices to women – we can’t have people joining this Church, with the expectation that it will continue to discriminate – that is absolutely unacceptable. It is shame on us that it has taken this long."

Real discrimination against women is defined here. There is no discrimination against women in the Church. That the role of women in the Church is different is NOT discrimination as Dr. Marianne Dorman explains here. The accusation is simply a tool used to convince the ignorant that some ambitious women are being denied their fundamental right. If what they claim were true, Christ Himself would be guilty of discrimination.

In between fiddling filling in their expenses in the "palace of sexminster" MPs are instead conspiring to discriminate against men to allow women bishops to be fast tracked into the Lords. Caroline Spelman, the Conservative MP for Meriden, said: "At present, many ordained women have reported feeling that they are still regarded as second best, which will persist unless we are successful in getting a mix of men and women bishops in the Upper House." Helen Goodman, Labour MP for Bishop Auckland, said: "To have places reserved solely for men brings into question the legitimacy of bishops in the Lords in a modern democracy. Since the seats are currently allocated on a seniority basis, changing this will require legislation, which the Labour Party will be happy to support." 

Our Prime Minister knows a little bit about Christianity as he explained in his Easter message here. His 'acts of kindness' in fighting discrimination where none exists and in pushing through same-sex marriage without a mandate help us to see how much more Christ could have done if only he had the insight of the modern Jesus movement.

Read here about "the state of modern scholarship" which puts “The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” into context.