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Anglican Communion Erupts over Welby's Refusal to Allow Same-Sex Partners of Bishops to attend Lambeth 2020 * Welby and Okoh line up Bishops for & against 2020 * Homosexuals and Women now Dominate in TEC * Diocese of Maine Appoints First Homosexual Bishop

Anglican Communion Erupts over Welby's Refusal to Allow Same-Sex Partners of Bishops to attend Lambeth 2020 * Welby and Okoh line up Bishops for & against 2020 * Homosexuals and Women now Dominate in TEC * Diocese of Maine Appoints First Homosexual Bishop * ACNA is Growing says Independent Report * David Booth Beers Exits TEC

The secular mind. Probably at no point does the Christian mind clash more violently with the secular mind than in its insistence on humility and its implacable hostility to pride. --- John R. W. Stott

The Grand Imam speaks the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth in Arabic. This is his in-house discourse. He is an open scroll to Sunni Muslims, who comprise 85-90 per cent of the world's Islamic population. On the other hand, Grand Sheikh Al-Tayyeb speaks in carefully crafted cant to Western leaders. This is his public relations glossolalia. --- Jules Gomes

One wonders whether when the dust settles from the current church battles, there might be a genuine ecumenical koinonia, if not formal union, of Methodists and Anglicans -- and, for that matter, Presbyterians and Lutherans, as a part of the one holy, catholic and apostolic church. By that time (who knows?) perhaps Roman Catholicism will have gone through the refiner's fire and be looking quite different. Maybe, just maybe, as C.S. Lewis imagined, Aslan is on the move. --- Dr. Stephen Noll

Intersectionality and identity politics breed division. These ideologies atomize society and drive humanity away from its core and essential commonality. This is where Christians must counter with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture. Only the gospel secures peace and establishes truth. Only the gospel will unite a fractured society. Only the gospel can stem the tide of modernity's downward spiral into chaos and decay. Identity politics is bad enough in the culture. In the church, it denies the gospel altogether. At the marriage supper of the Lamb, no one will hold any kind of sign claiming their own identity. --- Albert Mohler

The @Ozanne Foundn report on human sexuality reports that 1 in 8 respondents said they had been through some kind of conversion therapy and are now in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender. That's a higher success rate than Alcoholics Anonymous --- Peter Ould

God's holiness and human sin. All divine judgment seems and sounds unjust until we see God as he is and ourselves as we are, according to Scripture. As for God, Scripture uses the pictures of light and fire to set forth his perfect holiness. He dwells in unapproachable light, dazzling, even blinding in its splendour, and is a consuming fire. Human beings who have only glimpsed his glory have been unable to bear the sight, and have turned away or run away or swooned. As for ourselves, I often want to say to my contemporaries what Anselm said to his, 'You have not yet considered the seriousness of sin.' --- John R. W. Stott

The Episcopal Church's 2019-2021 budget pledges $1.15 million to the work of the Anglican Communion office plus an additional $538,000 in block grants to other communion provinces. The budget also shows nearly $2.3 million in staff costs in the Anglican Communion budget lines, but that money covers members of The Episcopal Church staff who work with partners and program across the communion. --- ENS report

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
www.virtueonline.org
February 22, 2019

Winston Churchill once said, "an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last". For the Episcopal Church's Communion Partner bishops who have appeased, over and over again the Church's radical left, the crocodile has all but eaten up the remnant quisling bishops who have appeased PB Michael Curry over Resolution B012. Only Albany Bishop William Love has refused to appease the powers that be and has paid the price for doing so.

The Episcopal Church Cultural Marxists who now own and run the show have virtually no opposition. Bishop Bill Love has been gelded by Bishop Michael Curry so there is no way he can ever reproduce his like again, either in the Diocese of Albany or anywhere else in The Episcopal Church. His evangelical Catholicism is finished and faux evangelicals like Greg Brewer (Central Florida) and George Sumner (Dallas) have rolled over, as have John Bauerschmidt (Tennessee) and Springfield Bishop Dan Martins.

The Left has devoured the right in the name of inclusion, diversity and progressivism, the new unholy trinity of Episcopal revisionism.

Every time the left says we need more "conversation" about the issues, this is an invitation to bullying by the left if the "conversation" doesn't go their way. This tactic has worked well for the Episcopal Church's pansexualists, who have bleated that if orthodox Episcopalians don't roll over, they will be declared homophobic and haters, not fit for purpose.

The progressives have gotten their way in the Episcopal Church and they have swept all before them, ably abetted by a compliant House of Bishops and, of course, a Presiding Bishop, who, despite calls for "love" and his evangelical style revivals, has no intention of calling practicing homosexuals to repent of their sinful behavior. Racism, yes. Poverty, yes. Safeguarding yes, Persecution, yes, (but the persecution of orthodox Episcopalians is okay). Israel bashing, yes. The list goes on and on.

The Presiding Bishop told the biggest black lie this week when, in a live-streamed public conversation with Bishop Samuel Howard (VII Florida), Michael Curry, said, "I don't get into the business of intervening with bishops in their dioceses. This is your diocese." The dialogue arose after some priests in his diocese did not like the threatening tone of Howard's take on B012 and sent a letter to Curry saying Howard was not conforming to the mind and will of the resolution passed last summer in Austin, Texas.

Howard, of course, did back down, despite his protests that he believes man/woman marriage is really the only way to go. ultimately Howard values collegiality and his pension, and he will give those parishes who want to perform these unnatural ceremonies the right to do so.

However, Presiding Bishop Curry did directly intervene between Bishop William Love (IX Albany) and his diocese when he slapped a partial restriction on the New York-based bishop for failing to allow the full implementation of Resolution B012 in his diocese. That action must have slipped the Presiding Bishop's mind. You can read Mary Ann Mueller's take here: https://www.virtueonline.org/presiding-bishops-big-black-lie

But consistency is irrelevant if you are as popular as Curry on the national and international stage. You can pretty well say what you like if you soak it all in a lot of love talk.

*****

But the big news of the week is the backlash erupting over Archbishop Justin Welby's invitations to attend the Lambeth Conference next year in Canterbury.

In an effort to honor Lambeth Resolution 1:10, Welby decided that the married partners of homosexual and lesbian bishops cannot attend the conference and must stay at home, or at least wander around Canterbury while their partners plumb the depths of 1 Peter that they can take back to their constituencies.

Almost everybody is up in arms about this non-invitation. Orthodox Anglicans say it is hypocrisy to allow practicing homosexual bishops to attend, which is a violation of Lambeth 1:10, but then say their partners are not! They say it violates both the intent of the resolution and what it absolutely affirmed about marriage between a man and a woman or celibacy for single people.

Gay Jennings, HOD president, devoted most of her opening remarks at an Executive Council meeting to Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby's decision to not invite same-sex spouses to the 2020 Lambeth Conference. She asked whether "there is still time to resolve this situation and ensure that all bishops' spouses will be invited to the Lambeth Conference."

Jennings said if the communion is "not yet able to hold a global meeting of Anglican bishops and spouses to which everyone is invited, then I think we should not be holding global meetings of Anglican bishops and spouses."

Anglican Communion Secretary General Josiah Idowu-Fearon wrote in a Feb. 15 letter that Welby had invited "every active bishop" because "that is how it should be -- we are recognizing that all those consecrated into the office of bishop should be able to attend. This begs the question what would he do if two homosexual bishops were married to each other, who would get the invitation, the catcher or the pitcher?

Resolution I.10 was passed by the conference in 1998 after heated debate.

Jennings said that Idowu-Fearon's post promulgated "a misconception about the Anglican Communion's governance" by claiming that the Anglican Communion's position on marriage is defined by that resolution.

She said that among the communion's four Instruments of Communion -- the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lambeth Conference, the Primates' Meeting and the Anglican Consultative Council, or ACC -- only the ACC is seen as the corporate entity of the Anglican Communion by the instruments' governing documents and British law. Thus, Jennings said, setting policy is the ACC's job.

Jennings suggested that if the communion cannot resolve to invite all of the bishops' spouses, "I think that the day is coming when we will need to take a hard look at where and how we invest the resources of The Episcopal Church across the Anglican Communion." This is code for 'no more money if you don't shape up and practice what we have passed in the US Episcopal Church.' In that case, it might be a time to say as Peter said in Acts 8: 20 "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!"

But she was not the only left-wing voice raised against Welby and the ACC. It is time to put schism on the table said a homosexual Episcopal activist leader because the Archbishop of Canterbury refuses to allow homosexual partners of bishops to attend, said a left-wing Episcopal homosexual in the Diocese of Washington.

"I honestly don't see how any Bishop in the Canadian, New Zealand or US Episcopal Church can accept an invitation to the 2020 Lambeth. I think it is time to put real schism on the table...let the Canadian, New Zealand, and US Episcopal Church have its own conference with a more thoughtful deliverable than getting together and having tea with the Queen of England. But what can't happen, is a return to the marginalized standing at a gate with those claiming to be the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement walking by to the welcome of those who don't understand what welcome really means, theologically, practically, or emotionally," said John B. Johnson, IV a member of St. Thomas' Parish in Washington, DC who served on the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church from 2012 to 2018.

He said that what the last Lambeth conference did to V. Gene Robinson, is being repeated by Archbishop Welby. Johnson described it as a "new insult" to the active bishops who are openly Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgendered, Queer/Questioning and that their spouses, unlike those of straight folk, are not welcome. "It is to wound and hurt again; it is wrong, and it is a sin that needs to be called out. So, I am doing just that here."

Johnson said the Archbishop of Canterbury knew this was coming. He also knew that it would cause pain and be yet another poke in the eye of the Canadian, New Zealand and US Episcopal Church.

In England, the outrage continued with leading homosexual Christians also accusing the Anglican Church of hypocrisy following its decision to ban same-sex spouses from attending the church's 2020 global conference.

Canon Jeremy Pemberton, who in 2014 became the first Church of England priest to wed his same-sex partner, said the move to exclude LGBT+ spouses "panders to the views of the most extremely conservative" members of the Anglican Church.

"I just think they increase public revulsion at their hypocrisy and their inability to treat people decently. Imagine receiving an invitation (that says), 'By the way your spouse isn't allowed to come as they're the wrong gender.'

On the conservative side of the ledger, GAFCON chairman and Nigerian Primate Nicholas Okoh called for a boycott of Lambeth 2020, and says the conference is an obstacle to the Gospel. He warned against attending the 2020 Lambeth Conference as currently constituted.

He said the conference embraces teaching and a pattern of life which are profoundly at odds with the biblical witness and apostolic Christianity through the ages.

In an effort to bring everybody to the table, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba called on bishops to attend and "express your difference."

The African archbishop, in conjunction with Archbishop Welby, says he wants all the bishops in the Anglican Communion to attend Lambeth in 2020 despite the fact that the fabric of the communion is "torn" and has been impaired for decades, "we need each other." I have fisked the archbishop's remarks here: https://tinyurl.com/yyoqmref

Here is one memorable interchange:

MAKGOBA: It's what I call at home, 'celebrating the gift of difference'. So, I encourage all bishops and their spouses to make every possible effort to come and see what God is doing through us in his world.

VOL: There is no such thing as the "gift of difference" in the English language. It does not exist. There is a gift of discernment, there are gifts of the Spirit, but no such "gift of difference" exists. This is the retro mystic language of Frank Griswold, or the convoluted, multi-layered language of Rowan Williams. But "difference" is not a gift, it distinguishes left from right and right from wrong. Several Anglican provinces have committed terrible wrong over sexuality issues and they will not be covered up or glossed over by appeals to "difference." This is just plain nonsense. It is nothing more than Thabospeak.

Keeping the pressure on the Anglican Communion's bishops, the Archbishop of Canterbury invited 30 new "baby bishops" to Canterbury to inaugurate them into the ways of the Anglican Communion.

In contrast, GAFCON primates are meeting in Dubai this week to keep orthodox archbishops and bishops' feet to the fire about not attending the Lambeth conference next year.

Then Welby invited primates of the 40 Anglican provinces to attend a Primates' Meeting in January 2020 in Amman, Jordan. Primates' Meetings are one of four "Instruments of Communion" within the Anglican Communion. The last one took place in Canterbury in October 2017.

In his Epiphany letter, Archbishop Justin spoke of the "long and agonizing" list of difficulties facing Christians across the world, including violence, corruption, poverty, religious-based discrimination and climate-change related rises in water levels. But, he said, "it is our vocation to be bearers of joy . . . in the midst of the real troubles of our world."

"When we come together at the Lambeth Conference in 2020, we will speak of holiness seeking to ensure that we aim to be a holy church", he said. "We will reflect on intentional discipleship and the proclamation in word and deed. We will pray together and find the refreshment of worship in many styles. We will gather in fellowship and mutual love."

He did not mention Lambeth Resolution 1:10 proscribing homosexual conduct which has divided the Anglican Communion for the past decade, and which the vast majority of the communion believe is "unholy" behavior. This is a bullet Welby cannot dodge when the bishops meet next year in Canterbury. Some bishop should stand up at Canterbury and ask Welby directly, 'do you think sodomy is an unholy behavior, archbishop? Do you think God condones same-sex marriage? Can you tell us where to find that in Scripture?'

The Anglican Communion has been "impaired" and the "fabric torn" for over a decade and revisionists and progressives have done nothing about repairing it. They were warned in 1998 when Lambeth 1:10 was passed that the Episcopal Church had to repent of its position. Sodomy is a salvation issue. Instead, TEC went ahead and ordained an openly homosexual to the episcopacy in the person of Gene Robinson. It did so, defying the will and mind of the vast majority of the Anglican Communion. As a result, the Episcopal Church split, the ACNA was born and GAFCON was formed. The 2020 Lambeth Conference looks broken before it has even begun.

*****

The slow but steady drip of evangelical vicars and their congregations leaving the Church of England continues. It was announced last Sunday that Peter Sanlon is stepping down as vicar of St. Mark's Church in Tunbridge Wells.

This is so that he can be received into the Free Church of England, as Rector of Emmanuel Church, Tunbridge Wells. The Free Church of England is a Christian church in the Anglican tradition, committed to the authority of the Bible as the inspired Word of God; it is a designated Church with which the Church of England has had formal ecumenical relations since 1992.

For the record, VOL has posted a number of stories by Sanlon over the years. He is a brilliant, thoughtful vicar and the CofE's loss will be the FCE's gain. I will write more about this in time.

*****

Homosexuals and Women now dominate in the Episcopal Church. As a result, the Church is on the road to spiritual, ecclesial and demographic suicide.

The diocese of Maine elected its first openly homosexual to be the next bishop of the New England diocese. On Saturday, in Bangor after three rounds of voting, the Rev. Thomas James Brown, 48, received the majority of votes from 261 clergy members and laypeople. His election will surely be confirmed by other Episcopal dioceses, including Communion Partner bishops, who recently caved in over resolution B012. Maine is one of only two states, along with West Virginia, where deaths now outnumber births, so the odds of the diocese growing is zero.

On the occasion, Brown said this; "Love at first sight came twice in Brattleboro, first with the parish, and second with the local United Methodist pastor, Tom Mousin. Tom has been my partner and spouse since 2001." You can read my full account of this action here: https://tinyurl.com/y4l7m2av

*****

The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth and its corporation under the leadership of Bishop Jack Iker got some good news when the Texas Supreme Court said it is requesting briefs "on the merits" in its appeal. "While our Petition for Review remains "under consideration" by the Court, this is very good news, signaling that the Court wishes to take a closer look at the April 2018 decision of the Second Court of Appeals", said Bishop Iker. This is often the next step before the Court grants a Petition for Review.

It was the decision of the high Court in 2013 that neutral principles of law should govern disputes over church property in Texas, yet the only judge of the Fort Worth court of appeals to sign an opinion took an approach that effectively reverted to the deference standard in that opinion.

In other diocesan news, a Special Convention for the Election of a Bishop Coadjutor to succeed Bishop Iker will be held Saturday, June 1*, at St. Vincent's Cathedral. The name of the Coadjutor-elect will be announced that day.

In accord with ACNA canons, the College of Bishops must examine and approve the Coadjutor-elect. This will occur during their regular meeting on June 14-15. The bishops are scheduled to gather at Christ Church in Plano, the same location where the first Archbishop was installed 10 years ago. Once the College of Bishops gives its consent, the Coadjutor-elect will be eligible for consecration.

A retirement celebration for Bishop Iker will take place at a banquet following the opening Eucharist of the 37th annual Diocesan Convention, on Friday, Nov. 15, in Granbury. Retired Archbishop Robert Duncan will be the keynote speaker after dinner. Bishop Iker will continue to serve as chief pastor of the Diocese until his retirement on Dec. 31, 2019, when the Coadjutor will succeed him, becoming Fourth Bishop of Fort Worth on New Year's Day.

*****

The Anglican Church in North America is growing, according to two writers for The Living Church. David Goodhew and Jeremy Bonner noted that substantial swathes of the Anglican Communion were unaware of the birth of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in 2009 and remain unaware of it to this day. Others may be conscious of ACNA's existence but, depending on which side of the various theological divides they fall, will question (or exaggerate) its size and significance. The article they wrote is an attempt to clarify the nature of ACNA on its 10th birthday.

ACNA is reporting growth, but is that growth real? Originating primarily as an exodus of parishes and dioceses unhappy at the theological stance of the Episcopal Church (TEC), does ACNA remain primarily a reaction to TEC, or is it changing into something else as the break from TEC recedes into the past?

Put briefly, the data shows that ACNA has been growing and that it has significant reach beyond the usual Anglican enclaves in North America, but it has vulnerabilities, too. "Understanding ACNA matters. It matters greatly both for Anglicans in the United States and, as similar divisions spread to other areas, for the Anglican Communion more widely." You can read their report here: https://tinyurl.com/yx94d6u3

*****

Parishes in the Church of England will no longer be legally required to conduct a service every Sunday after the General Synod has voted to end a law that has existed since the 17th century.

Canon laws, first passed in 1603 and updated most recently in 1964, stipulate that weekly Sunday services must take place in every church.

However, vicars in rural parts of the country, who have been increasingly responsible for "up to 20 churches" in their area due to the decline in clergy, say they are unable to abide by the law and left with little choice but to break it.

*****

Churches and faith groups are making an important contribution to efforts to eliminate the global scourge of human trafficking, a UN human rights committee has heard.

Jack Palmer-White, the Anglican Communion's Permanent Representative to the UN, outlined the many anti-trafficking initiatives being led by churches in a submission to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) this week.

The CEDAW is considering submissions on the issue of human trafficking as it prepares to make a 'general recommendation' to UN member states.

In his report, Mr Palmer-White asked that the general recommendation 'reflects the key role that churches and other faith actors can, and do, play in the fight against trafficking of women and girls in the context of global migration'.

Examples of anti-trafficking work detailed in the report include a partnership between the US Embassy to Ghana and the Diocese of Accra which has led to the creation of a community shelter called Hope Village that rehabilitates rescued children, while holding the government of Ghana to account on its progress in eliminating trafficking.

In the UK, the Church of England is equipping churches to recognize modern slavery in their communities and provide support and care as part of its anti-trafficking Clewer Initiative.

*****

Faluni herdsmen who killed a Nigerian Anglican priest are demanding a ransom of nearly ₦10 million for the release of his family.

The Rev. Anthony Jata'u of the Diocese of Sokoto was abducted Feb. 7 and his corpse was dumped by the roadside. He was taken along with his wife, three children and two sisters-in-law. Sources say bandits shot at the car the priest was driving and dragged the occupants from the car. Fr. Anthony's body was found a few days afterward, but the family members had been taken away.

"My prayers and those of the whole community at Lambeth Palace are with the family of the Rev. Anthony Idris Jata'u, who grieve even as they continue to be held in captivity and great danger," Archbishop Justin Welby said.

*****

David Booth Beers, the enfant terrible legal beagle of The Episcopal Church has retired and his place is being taken by a woman, Mary Kostel. She was appointed Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. Beers retired after 27 years.

Beers had a no-holds-barred approach to property disputes, and initiated lawsuits for properties that continue to this day. Following the retirement of Frank Griswold, Jefferts Schori took on a more public role, leaping into the fray over property ownership; in turn advising, bullying, coercing and threatening with the help of Beers. He was largely successful. Litigation costs have run up to more than $60 million.

Ms. Kostel, a life-long Episcopalian raised in southwestern Virginia, is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Virginia School of Law where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. After two federal judicial clerkships, she served in the U.S. Department of Justice and practiced law in Washington firms, where she represented The Episcopal Church in various matters. She was appointed in 2009 by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori as Special Counsel for the Church's "property" litigation and disciplinary matters.

*****

My new book, The Episcotape Letters, modeled on that of C.S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters, is available. For a donation, I will send you an autographed copy. This is a volume of my best satirical essays compiled over the years. It catalogues the unravelling of the Episcopal Church, its apostasies and heresies. Such pathology cries out for correction and there is no better way to do so than by humor and satire. In my book I expose the foibles and self-destruct machinations of the Episcopal Church's apostasies.

Please make a donation at this link: https://tinyurl.com/yabemo37

All Blessings,

David

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