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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.

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

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.