Now Shoot the Other Foot

Not content with the already inflamed situation in his church, the Anglican Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, (who is also an old friend of Rowan Williams) declares that he would be more than willing to consecrate an openly gay man to be a bishop.

He is pictured here on the left with Episcopal bishop Gene Robinson–the man who left his wife and children to live with his boyfriend, had a ‘divorce ceremony’ in which he and his wife went to the church where they were married and ‘released one another from their vows.’ He has now married his boyfriend in a public ceremony gushing, “I always wanted to be a June bride.”

Robinson was banned from the upcoming Lambeth Conference. He’s in England anyway on a speaking tour and the Archbishop of Wales has done this as an ‘inyerface’ affront to conservatives. 
It really does seem like the Anglican Church has not only hit the self destruct button, but they seem to be enjoying their own suicide. I expect this what it must be like to overdose on pep pills.
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  • If +Barry wants headlines, he can forget gay bishops, that’s so 2003.He needs a transsexual bishop, and fast.LBGT… the consonants are about used up.

  • Oh dear me! It is like they are on fast forward to destruction and no one will press the pause button.Lord have mercy.

  • I’d suggest that now this is just getting sad.But that shoe has already dropped.I am as indifferent and board with that spectical as I would be about 3 minutes into a 24-hour Jerry Springer Marathon.Would the last sad tranny pseudo-Muslim bishop please turn out the light?

  • Do these people even listen to themselves? I mean, really.”There used to be a generosity of spirit and diversity in the Anglican communion. There should be a backlash against this fundamentalism that has been thrust upon us.“It is contrary to the ministry of Jesus and damaging that in the Church, we’re still fighting battles that have already been won in society.”Last I heard, the “ministry of Jesus” wasn’t particularly concerned with what “society” determined was right or wrong. Again, this is all so sad. And I do not see that everyone will now flee home to the Catholic Church. Many will head to evangelicals and fundamentalists who claim certainty and miracules occurences… I have seen this happen already.

  • Dan

    I honestly cannot understand the Anglican church…. What with the teachings of bishop Spong and the ‘ordinations’ of men and women in questionable relationships. It appears to me (a Catholic) that the Anglican church is purposely trying to self-destruct.

  • Forgive me if this seems insensitive, but how can they logically avoid this end?If they are right and women and gay men should be admitted to the priesthood, then why not the episcopacy? It’s like saying someone is a little bit pregnant.Or to put it another way, the only sin in the practice of moral relativism is hypocrisy.

  • I wonder if the Anglican Church’s real intents are not so much in self-destroying as destroying Christianity as such. If one remembers their role since the 1930’s, particularly their influence in America, it’s not too far fetched that they indeed have the power to make Christianity irrelevant before the mockery of a church they’ve been for five, O Lord, five centuries!

  • And now I read that they are excluding Robinson from the Lambeth Conference . . . so as NOT to draw attention to him.Sure, that’ll work like a charm!

  • I want to marry my llama. Do you think I can find a Anglican or Episcopalian bishop to condone this? Then I want to move to Vermont where I’ll demand health insurance benefits for all my stable animals.Old McDonald had a farm….

  • Yes, the actions of the Anglican Communion do affect the rest of us. As long as they use the name christian, their heretical teachings and bizarre actions will create confusion and further impede the mission of the Church. Would one be too much of a triumphalist to suggest that the obvious distinction be made widely known? I.e., Catholicism is the one, true Church founded by Christ on Peter and continues under the leadership and in communion with Saint Peter’s successor, the Bishop of Rome. Perhaps we should remind the world: Anglican orders are null and void (Apostolicae Curae, 1896, Pope Leo XIII). Perhaps it would be helpful to be blunt. There’s no use in beating around the bush when it comes to confronting heresy. After all, souls are at stake.

  • Dwight,I share your views on much of what is happening in the Anglican church, but I wonder if you could give your thoughts on the following.I interviewed a Catholic priest this week. He was an Anglican vicar who moved to Rome after the ordination of women was approved.As an Anglican he believed Communion was Jesus ‘body, soul, divinity’ as Catholics do.Yet, for two decades he remained outside Catholicism, denying himself this Sacrament, celebrating an Anglican communion which Catholics believe is only a memorial meal. How could it be anything more if Rome regards Anglican orders invalid – no matter what Anglican priests personally believe.It was only when women were ordained, that he suddenly decided, ‘that’s it, I’m off to Rome.’Surely, if you really believe the ‘body,soul, divinity,’ theology, you would want to get to the altar as soon as possible? It would be nice to bring your family, friends and parishioners but your soul is at stake, so get yourself there asap.If the Synod had not voted for women priests, he told me he would have remained an Anglican. Strange.A Catholic bishop once told me he was in favour of women being ordained. However, he would reject the first 1,000 applicants as that rush would include all the cranks. I think you should be cautious of welcoming converts who regard the presence of a woman’s body in the sanctuary as more important than Jesus’ body on the altar.James

  • Dwight,I know you are no longer an active and practicing Catholic, is it really too much to ask out of respect for those of us that are that you do NOT assume such familiarity and at least go with “pastor” or “rev.”? Out of respect for us?…As an Anglican he believed Communion was Jesus ‘body, soul, divinity’ as Catholics do.Yet, for two decades he remained outside Catholicism, denying himself this Sacrament, celebrating an Anglican communion which Catholics believe is only a memorial meal. How could it be anything more if Rome regards Anglican orders invalid – no matter what Anglican priests personally believe.It was only when women were ordained, that he suddenly decided, ‘that’s it, I’m off to Rome.’Surely, if you really believe the ‘body,soul, divinity,’ theology, you would want to get to the altar as soon as possible? It would be nice to bring your family, friends and parishioners but your soul is at stake, so get yourself there asap.Disjointed points that I don’t see making a coherent whole. Part of the conversion process can be growth in understanding and of course changing theology and thinking. So if you are trying to say this priest was disingenous after 20 years because he no longer did or could believe what he believed before… Well, isn’t that when people convert?If the Synod had not voted for women priests, he told me he would have remained an Anglican. Strange.A Catholic bishop once told me he was in favour of women being ordained. However, he would reject the first 1,000 applicants as that rush would include all the cranks. He will never suffer that problem. Not sure why you include this alleged quote… It would never be up to him anyway.I think you should be cautious of welcoming converts who regard the presence of a woman’s body in the sanctuary as more important than Jesus’ body on the altar.IF that were all it were James – and I suspect you know it is NOT – than your words of caution would be especially pressing and important. But the folks leaving aren’t doing so out of some vague objection to “A woman’s body in the sanctuary”. I think you know that.Just curious, where do you yourself stand on the Eucharist these days?

  • James, thank you for your contribution. Anglo Catholics sincerely believe their orders are valid and that the ‘real presence’ of Christ is there at their Eucharist. You are correct that Catholics disagreeAnglicans who leave over women’s ordination did not leave over that issue per se. They left because that issue caused them to think about the question of authority in the church. I was one of them. I listened carefully to both sides of the argument. Those for women’s ordination and those opposed both had good arguments from Scripture, tradition, psychology, sociology, politics, ancient languages, history etc. Who was to say who was right? Where was the authority to make this choice? How were we to avoid simply following personal preference or personal opinion?This is the problem which plagues all of Protestantism, and why Protestant churches constantly divide.It was the issue of women’s ordination which raised the larger question. You might remember that this is a question I keep asking you.How do you know James, that you and your Pastor Stone are right and all the other Protestants are wrong? You still haven’t even begun to offer an answer to this question.Why not come back to the Catholic Church and build on the Rock rather than on the Stone?

  • Is that the lavendar mafia?

  • I don’t know why you say the Anglicans are self-destructing, Father. We are not Anglicans. How much does it matter when non-Catholics disagree with what the Catholic Church decides? What we as Catholics think about what the Anglicans do is irrelevant to the Anglicans, first, but then it’s simply irrelevant, period.Another way of saying what I mean is: All this stuff about women bishops, gay clergy, etc., is none of our business. Pronouncing “self-destruction” over them seems a little arrogant, actually, and more than a little superfluous.The Anglican church has no validity anyway. I hasten to add here that I do not mean Anglicans themselves. There are better Christians than I in many diverse denominations.But “worldwide” Anglicanism is a product of British imperialism, not a product of the Holy Spirit. It does not, and never has had, any validity. I continue to be surprised that anyone should get in a lather about any of this. If Anglicanism persecuted, tortured, and murdered Catholics just in order to be politically correct, should it surprise us if they ordain women, etc., for the same purpose?

  • Dwight,I like your humor. I have to repeat. My 40 years in the Catholic church was like time spent in a waiting room. Now, as a Charismatic Evangelical, the doors have been opened and I have gone boldy to the throne of God. The priest I spoke to was adamant that it was womens ordination alone which made him cross to Rome. As an Anglo Catholic he also accepted papal infallability, purgatory, praying to saints etc. He said he had no issues with any of those. I’m still puzzled why he and others – if they really believed in body, soul, divinity – would not cross for that reason rather than some bothersome wimmin.Why sepnd 20 years on a fake (from Catholic eyes) Eucharist, but jump when the wimmin come in?I’ve just moved house and found your book, More Christianity. I re-read the chapter The Keeper of the Keys where you used the same tired arguments I once knew by heart and failed to answer the question of authority; so why should I?A Simple Sinner:Oh my! If only your eyes were opened and you could see how anti-Catholic, anti-Gospel, that fake humble title really is! Scripture warns us to guard our tongue. By labelling yourself a simple sinner, instead of a new person in Jesus, you continue to negate God’s grace and allow the devil to have dominance in your life. The moment Dwight, my bank manager, my doctor, my pastor or absolutely anyone requests that I use their title rather than their Christian name, then I will, out of respect for them, even if I feel it unecessary. As for the Eucharist. Well, I stand with Jesus on that. He said do this is remembrance of him. I do.James

  • Well, ‘tired’ arguments they may be, but at least there is a coherent and rational system of authority in the Catholic Church which the majority of Christians worldwide both today and down the ages have subscribed to.We have explained our authority system. When are you going to attempt doing the same, or shall we be satisfied with your ‘tired’ emotionalism: “For forty years I was in the waiting room. Now as a charismatic I go boldly into the throne room.”Is that it? Your personal emotional religious experience is your authority? If I have to choose between Pastor Stone and Captain Hasting’s subjective emotionalism and the authority of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church you’ll forgive me if I choose the latter.

  • Dwight,You remind me of the religious leaders who got upset with the people following Jesus. After all, those leaders were the keepers of the Law. They could argue their lineage back to Moses. How dare a woman, for example, go up to Jesus, especially a woman who was unclean with an issue of blood, and touch Jesus’ cloak and be healed! Pure emotionalism. Trite sentimentality. Or what about that centurion who wasn’t even Jewish or the begger born blind or the many others whose “personal emotional religious experience” was their authority to know Jesus.Healing on the Sabbath? Disgraceful! Stick to the rules and go through the ordained clerics, the so called authority. Jesus said: (John 10: 27) My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me.”If Captain Hastings has to choose between your religious, legalistic authority or the Master’s voice, you’ll forgive me if I choose the latter.James

  • James, at last you have explained the authority system by which you operate: i.e. your own personal subjective religious emotion. That’s actually what I thought, but it’s great to hear it from you.The next thing we would love to hear is the reason why James’ contact with ‘the Master’s voice’ is necessarily the right one. How do you know that your understanding of ‘the Master’s voice’ is actually what you think it is, and why should we believe you?You see, direct contact with ‘the Master’ is claimed by all Protestants from the most sensible, respectable mainstream folks to the most wacky sectarian cultists.Why should your claim be authentic?

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  • Dwight,John 10:2-5. Jesus was speaking: “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him and the sheep lisen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger, in fact they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”Psalm 45: 10 says: “Be still and know that I am God.”Psalm 37:4 says,”Delight yourself also in the Lord and he shall give you the desires of your heart.”Does GOd lie? Is Jesus a sheep stealer?In Acts and elsewhere we are told the importance of believers praying and working out (theology) their salvation together. (which of course is different from working for your salvation.)Dwight, you are absolutely right. Failure to listen to God’s voice leads one to some real wacky beliefs such as purgatory, limbo, indulgences etc.The Catholic church is a great church, full of God’s wisdom and holiness, but failure to listen to God will lead to and has led to, problems at various times. You see, if you are not listening to the Master’s voice as you imply you are not, then who’s voice are you listening to, Dwight? God won’t lead you astray; men will.James

  • James, you have quoted Bible verses and given your interpretation of those verses.That’s what all the Protestants do. Why should your interpretation of the Bible verses be the right one?

  • Dwight,Twenty years ago I would have made just the exact same reply as you. I too was once bound rigid with fear of believing or thinking anything without first running it by my priest. I was taught God only spoke to holy people like Mother Teresa or the Fatima children. Then one day a Missionary of Charity explained God speaks to everyone as much as he speaks to Mother Teresa. What a revelation. Jesus chastised the religious leaders of his time for binding the people. They tried to ridicule the man born blind, even called his parents in for interrogation because surely it was just his personal, subjective opinion: but he could SEE! Jesus’ real target was the spiritually blind, the religious leaders.Surely you haven’t closed your Bible and your Spirit too and walked through the wardrobe marked ‘legalism.’Go back to real Catholicism. There you will find salvation, not in the narrow religious view where you are currently adrift.James

  • James, on the other hand, you could answer my question.

  • Dwight,Ah well, its late here in the UK so I’m going to leave it there.Like the blind man giving his sight by Jesus, I can only stand and offer my testimony and leave it with you.I can see. I see God’s love operating in my life and the lives of others in a way I never saw before. You remind me of the evangelist speaking to a class of teenagers who demanded he explain God to them. He asked if they’d ever kissed someone. They all giggled and said they had.He asked them to explain that kiss. They couldn’t. He said a kiss is not to be explained, but experienced. The same with God.I have experienced the kiss of God. Dwight, I pray you do too.James

  • Father I wouldn’t spend too much time with Hastings on this one – the logic is circular and emotive, the arguments he presents as “obvious” are obviously his.Further James spends a good deal of time trolling from blog to blog, notably Catholic blogs (we have had him as a visitor at The Black Cordelias, Dr Blosser has had him as a guest – wildly pontificating about something not the least bit germaine to the post – over at The Pertinacious Papist…The MO is usually thus: JH gets it in his craw that he wants to mix it up with some of us errant Catholics, latches unto a topic that is nominally related (if at all) to what he wants to pontificate about, and then proceeds to affably speak of how he used to think as errantly as we do now, but know, thanks to his newfound discovery of the Scriptures, knows better.Sometimes he will go off on a tangent and espouse some of his personally adopted views on faith healing, or how one REALLY talks to God, all the while sort of acting as though the Catholic position is alternately possible, but so flawed… I mean on this very thread of discussion, what is it to him, someone who is his own priest, what those of us who believe in priesthood, the Eucharist and the Sacrifice of the Altar believe. Would that we did ordain women priests, he wouldn’t be all that big a fan of the priesthood. So what dog does he have in this fight?So having put his 2¢ in about the state of my spiritual affairs, I will go out on a limb and offer some reciprocity. I believe that JH may have a mental disorder that manifests itself in “trolling” and seeking opportunities to bait and be contentious. I believe that this situation is excacerbated by a situation of sin or personal disorder that – left unattended to with the grace of confession and absolution (and perhaps counseling and treatment) – leads to episodes as we are currently enjoying now. That is to say, looking for opportunities (almost like sour grapes) to tell us how wrong we were, and how much better he is now.The efforts made to come to the blog of a convert priest, call him so informally (something that is provacative and intended to be so) and then say ridiculous things like “I have experienced the kiss of God, Dwight, I hope you do to.”Prayers for this man are needed far more than time spent in rebuttle.

  • It really is sad to see the Anglican Church go down in flames. I would rather see them come back to the Catholic faith institutionally, but I suppose any hope for that is gone. Let’s pray that as many as possible might come to find the truth in Roman Catholicism and come home!

  • Let’s be realistic Padre Steve. The Anglican church is not ‘going down in flames’. It will continue as a liberal protestant church. The sad thing is that it has lost, or will lose, all of its traditional character and has moved a step further away from the trunk of the body of Christ to one of the more distant extremities. I am still glad to call them my christian brothers. I am happy they are my christian brothers rather than muslims or atheists for that matter, just as i am glad that Unitarians presumably at least study and reflect on Christ’s words even if they are mistaken about the trinity and Christ’s divinity. We don’t need to over state the matter that the anglican church is going down in flames over female bishops.

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  • In response to James above, I just can’t get beyond this line of his: >It was only when women were ordained, that he suddenly decided, ‘that’s it, I’m off to Rome.< This comment suggests that the Anglican turned Roman Catholic priest, just up and changed his mind overnight. Clearly, James was not listening deeply to his interviewee or he would have understood that the priest had been suffering doubts and concerns for years. These sorts of changes of heart don’t happen overnight but all it takes is one cannot-be-ignored action to push someone to make the change. Oh, and about the post itself, sadly the Anglican church is bent on committing spiritual suicide and these sorts of public displays of rejection of a sacrament such as the one described above makes a mockery of the sanctity of marriage not to mention their church.

  • Annie,Just for the record, I do listen to my interviewees and the priest DID insist it was soley the issue of women priests which made him move to Rome.For 20 years or more he celebrated Communion as an Anglican believing it was ‘body, soul, divinity.’ He accepted papal infallability, Mary’s Assumption, praying to saints etc. He told me he had no trouble with those issues.But when women were ordained, he and many others simply decided enough was enough and left.I can’t understand why he didn’t leave over the Eucharist. As I said, men like him seem to have more problems with a woman’s body in the sanctuary than Jesus’ body -as Catholics believe – on the altar.I hope you enjoy the visit of Pope Benedict to Australia and pray it is a great success. A number of my UK Catholic friends, including seminarians and priests, have gone over.James

  • Our visitor with the deep fascination in all things Catholic claims that some Anglican–>Catholic converts have problems with women’s bodies in the sanctuary.Well, he’s obviously not seen a Catholic sanctuary in recent history. There’s female altar servers, eucharistic ministers, lectors. There’s all kinds of women in the sanctuary! (And they don’t have to shout “Unclean!” either!)

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  • kentuckyliz,You probably haven’t heard of the recent row involving the Latin Mass Society in the UK which cancelled a service because the altar servers in the parish they booked for the Mass, were all wommen. As no men were available, the LMS simply abandoned their service. My oldest sister who is a Daughter of Charity of St Vincent de Paul was 16 in 1969 and a member of the Legion of Mary. The wimmin members duties were limited to cleaning the church and pews. They weren’t allowed into the sanctuary to clean until a priest removed the Blessed Sacrament to a side altar. Then there are the priests today, who complain about the congregation who all go to them for communion because they refuse to receive from a lay woman, or even woman religious as its somehow “second best” or “not as good as receiving from the priest” – and those are direct quotes the priests tell me!But at least your ‘blog image’ is a bright, positive, fun one unlike poor simple sinner. Well done.A simple sinner (why denegrade yourself with such an anti-Catholic label)Thanks for the diagnosis! I forwarded it to a good friend of mine, a Catholic priest who is also a psychologist. It made him smile.Like me, he wonders why you call yourself a simple sinner when Jesus, Paul, Peter and the Catholic church you claim to be a member of, tells you otherwise?You are not simple or a sinner – unless you choose to be and then you allow the devil to have control over you. That’s why many who surrounded Jesus when he healed the woman with the issue of blood were not healed. They, like you, wanted healed but refused to go near Jesus or touched him in fear not faith because they regarded themselves as simple sinners, not worthy of healing or to be close to Jesus. The woman on the other hand, walked boldy in faith.Romans 8: 37 reminds us: “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”No, you’re not a simple sinner. You are a wonderfil conqueror.James

  • yes James there are questions like that arise between discussion of different groups within the church, If only there was a means by which we can determine an answer that is inspired by the holy spirit and whom we can turn to in confidence whenver questions such as this need to be addressed. It certainly would be something more reliable and credible than our own subjective opinions, oh that’s right it’s called the magisterium. Thanks to its institution by the Holy Spirit it has helped keep this old warhorse running strong for 2 millenia, I wonder how long a church could last without it? I suppose we’ll find out based on what’s going on these days.

  • Be fair to James.It can`t be easy living in the region with the lowest mortality rate in the UK.All those resurrections … it’s exhausting.

  • thursday,not enough space here to even start a debate on the magisterium.But I think we can learn much from Jesus’ healing of the centurion’s servant (Matt 8: 5-13)The centurion was an ‘outsider’ in every sense – a non-Jew, probably a pagan and certainly not a keeper of the Jewish Law. (magisterium)Yet his faith in Jesus causes Jesus to make a remarkable statement: (verse 10) “I tell you the truth. I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”No wonder the religious leaders and ordinary faithful Jews were outraged that Jesus should place a hated Roman centurian above them!In today’s world, that would be like Jesus standing in St Peter’s Square and saying of a lowly Evangelical or Anglican who you might consider an “outsider”: “I tell you the truth. I have not found anyone in the Vatican with such great faith.”2,000 years ago, the religious leaders made much of their status, their role as rulers and their position as keepers of the Law.Yet time and time again, it was the outsider like the centurion or the woman at the well or the man born blind who understood what it was all about.I say this not as an attack on the Catholic church. I believe there is salvation within it. I support Catholic ministries financially, in prayer and through my writing.James