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Anglican Discipline of Griswold and ECUSA

"The Church of England is not comprehensive, it is merely incoherent,
'all things to all men'. It has largely become anything to any men and
no thing to no men. Run by committees, the Church of England has little
authority or charisma. Its constant search for compromise, for the
middle way, for 'tolerance', its constant fudges, its 'niceness',
largely exclude the concept of Absolute Truth." Fr. Andrew Phillips

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Eames Commission will, in its recommendation discipline Frank
Griswold, sources tell Virtuosity. That will be the conclusion of the
report when it is delivered in October of this year. The question is how
and in what form that "discipline" will take.

Virtuosity has been told that it will likely be in the form of a "no
voice, no vote" for Griswold. What this means is that at any future
primatial gatherings Griswold will not be permitted to speak on anything
at all and will not be permitted to vote. It will be a humbling, perhaps
even humiliating experience for the ECUSA Presiding Bishop, but it does
mean that ECUSA will stay in the club, whatever that means. It may well
mean that any discipline at all could bring about a dramatic
re-alignment of the communion because of the content of the ECUSA
constitution. Ultimately, it all centers around what the Global South
bishops ultimately agree upon. Rowan Williams is "first among equals" as
Archbishop of Canterbury, but his role can be overwhelmed if the Global
South Primates agree to a stronger course of action.

And the wild card in all this is Primate of Nigeria Peter Akinola. He is
being utterly reclusive to the press, but sources tell Virtuosity that
he is burning up the phone lines and flights consulting with primatial
peers. His is the largest of the Anglican provinces by far, and he has
been handed virtually every official leadership role available in
Africa. In addition, we have yet to see what the new Archbishop of
Uganda Henry Luke Orombi (the second largest province) will do.
Archbishop Orombi is described as a deeply spiritual and godly man who
is, in the words of one well placed Communion leader "absolutely 24K gold."

And as if to make that point Akinola refused to attend a meeting of
church leaders in Canterbury yesterday hosted by Dr. Williams, because
he objected to the presence of Frank Griswold. His boycott of the
top-level meeting was in protest over the consecration of V. Gene
Robinson ECUSA's first elected non-celibate homosexual bishop.

This is proof that the Eames Commission does not hold all the cards,
though it might like to. Their mandate is being moved around by the big
wind blowing from Africa. Add to that the fact that the Archbishop of
Canterbury suggested to them that there are "limits" in the communion
and you can predict that they better be hard at work cutting teeth for
their report. If it is all bark and only a gummy mess then it will be
utterly irrelevant.

Earlier reports that some sort of action would be taken by the African
bishops at Easter were deep-sixed in favor of waiting till the Eames
Commission finished its work. But one should not read into that, that
waiting equals prevarication, it does not. Even the moderate Primates in
the communion see that this situation has to be corrected or the next
Lambeth Conference will be able to fit in one room at a Motel Six.

A third Church of England province for opponents of women bishops and
priests - for many years a pipe dream of implacable Anglican
traditionalists - is now looking like a distinct possibility. But is it?
A recent meeting of Forward in Faith leaders yielded little, just
another tea and crumpets warm fuzzy feelings occasion with no promises
of anything. Talk is cheap, but it does fan the fires of hope.

And what of the AMIA? They too will meet with Rowan Williams shortly,
but he will promise them nothing, so sources tell Virtuosity. And what
if he did, would they accept it if The American Episcopal Church is
still in the supreme club of purple. ECUSA and AMIA are oil and water.
Even more troubling for them is the fact that some Global South Primates
are less than enthusiastic about the way the Anglican Mission does its PR.

IN LAMBETH much of the cadre surrounding Williams is hopelessly and
cluelessly liberal, revisionist, pansexualist and Affirming Catholic,
but he has recently brought some real Evangelicals into the mix. One
wonders if he is growing weary of the vapid smarm from the likes of
Canon John Peterson (ACC). It's too soon to know what impact these new
voices will have on the situation, but at the first hint, Virtuosity
will be there to tell all.

So far, the LAMPAL (Lambeth Palace to the in crowd) strategy is this:
Schmooze absolutely everyone and hold off as long as possible on
delivering the goods. Make nice noises towards the Anglo-Catholics but
don't show your hold card till you have too.

The private word is that Williams could live with a non-geographical
province, alongside Canterbury and York with its own archbishop,
bishops, clergy, parishes and theological colleges. Talk to the AMIA,
tell them that you understand their pain but do nothing and Williams
handlers sit back, grin to themselves, and poor another round of drinks.
The status quo has just been maintained once again.

WORD IS THAT ACC SECRETARY GENERAL JOHN PETERSON is out the door and
into retirement at the end of 2004. Not soon enough for countless
people. His departure will leave several phalanxes of intercessing
angels with oceans of free time. Members of the Standing Committee are
elected by their fellow ACC members or by fellow Primates to represent
the various regions of the Communion. Now this will be a
golden opportunity for the Global South to kick up enough dust to put an
orthodox person in his place. If that happens it could begin to change
the direction of the whole communion. Ian Douglas, another Peterson
style American liberal is campaigning tirelessly for the job, but the
Global South Primates are not impressed. Not only has he completely
embraced the same-sex agenda, he personally voted for Gene Robinson's
confirmation at General Convention. Despite vociferous denials rumors
abound that he wants the job.

NOTE TO GLOBAL SOUTH PRIMATES: Ian Douglas is the theological and
ideological son of John Peterson. Invite him to deny that he voted for
Gene Robinson. Let another fox in the "ACC hen house" and the "egg
production" will plummet even more.

This is exactly the right moment for Primates like Akinola, Gomez,
Venables et al to push for a thoroughly orthodox person to replace him.
Problem though&there are only fifty million Spirit-filled orthodox
believers to choose from. One can only hope.

AND FROM GABAORONE, CENTRAL AFRICA comes word that separation with US
the Episcopal Church is inevitable. The Episcopal synod of the Anglican
province of central Africa comprising bishops from Botswana, Malawi,
Zambia and Zimbabwe feels
separation with Episcopal Church in the United States of America (ECUSA)
is inevitable. In practice, it has already begun. (You can read the full
story in the digest today.)

IF YOU THINK ECUSA'S DECLINE IS A CONSPIRACY BY VIRTUOSITY, a reader
sent this from the Diocese of New York. Attendance last Sunday at the
main Eucharist service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC,
has gradually declined to about 300 people in the last 4 months or so.
Average attendance in previous years has been about 500 people. Ushers
who pass the collection plate are commenting about the lower collections
and attendance, wondering what's going on. The Cathedral Dean James
Kowolski has been spending more time helping Diocesan Bishop Mark Sisk
with the crisis in the Episcopal Church. "Obviously," he writes, "the
crisis in ECUSA is affecting many clergy in many different ways."

THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY DENOUNCED PASSION FILM AS PRO-CHRISTIAN. In
his homily yesterday during a memorial service for Palestinian suicide
bombers, the Right Reverend Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, denounced Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" as
being "overtly pro-Christian." OVERTLY PRO-CHRISTIAN! What the blazes
does he think the movie is all about.

The DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS has called a special convention on March 13
that's titled "Evangelism through Music" but the entire afternoon is
devoted to passing a resolution supporting the Supreme Judicial Court's
decision on gay marriage. Resolved, that this Special Convention of the
Diocese of Massachusetts join with its Bishops in affirming its
commitment to civil rights by recording its support of the
Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court's&that to deny same-sex couples
the right of civil marriage is unconstitutional in this Commonwealth.

The convention will conclude by "Finding Truth Together Invitation to
Prayer and Dialogue". They'll never find it. Dialogue ALWAYS works for
revisionists in ECUSA. Shaw, the bishop will brook no opposition to the
church's sodomite agenda, just try it. He has more sodomite priests in
his diocese than the Diocese of Pennsylvania∧ he has to feel their
pain before all else.

IN WASHINGTON, DC The Rev. Thomas W. Logan Jr. hosted a panel discussion
on same-sex unions at Calvary Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill. Mr.
Logan is seeking a resolution by the parish denouncing the Washington
diocese's stance on same-sex marriages. A debate on the pros and cons of
sodomy yielded little. No one who came there with a fixed point of view
went away changed. Nobody's mind was changed and the participants were
quite civil to each other, said a source. That's why we have heaven and
hell.

THERE IS A CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT THE CHURCH PENSION FUND. The Board
of Trustees has elected a new President, Mr. T. Dennis Sullivan to
succeed Alan F. Blanchard. Mr. Blanchard was investigated by this writer
some years ago for his high rolling lifestyle, which didnt seem to
affect much of anything. He leaves the CPF with millions in his pocket
and a six-figure pension fund income of his own. HE won't need Social
Security or Medicare.

THE NATIONAL CHURCH HEADQUARTERS at 815 2nd Avenue in New York will
undergo a $1.35 million refurbishment as part of a $28 million
renovation that will come from endowment funds not from general
operating expenses, it was decided at the recent Executive council
meeting in Tampa, Florida. When it's all done the total cost to renovate
the building will be a cool $30 million. A plan to sell the building and
relocate the church's national headquarters to the campus of the General
Theological Seminary was finally closed. The move did not meet the
church's "missional objectives" said Frank Griswold. The Rev. Titus
Presler asked management whether this was an appropriate time to
undertake a new capital expense. "There is a current crisis in the
church. I think we should postpone this until a later time." He was
overruled according to a report in The Living Church. Basic functioning
is what we are talking about, said Griswold. Indeed.

On the plus side ALPHA continues to grow. In 1996 there were 202 Alpha
courses in the US, today there are over 6,800 with over 28,000 courses
running worldwide, reports the latest issue of ALPHA. Hundreds of ALPHA
courses are operating in Episcopal Churches, a sign perhaps, that all is
not lost.

BUT TO KEEP THE GAY AGENDA ALIVE AND WELL IN ECUSA, The Integrity Board
has issued a response to President Bush's call for a Constitutional
Amendment. Susan Russell, Integrity President says the constitutional
amendment to ban gay marriage called for by President Bush is clear and
unabashed discrimination against gays and lesbians and their families.
"It will do nothing to defend the institution of marriage and everything
to deny equal rights under the law to a segment of the population. We
wholeheartedly disagree with the argument that extending equal access to
the constitutional protections afforded heterosexual couples by civil
marriage to same gender couples will undermine families." And you wonder
why the Global South bishops have declared themselves in broken
communion with The Episcopal Church, with little likelihood of it ever
being restored.

To complete the circle, Integrity has started a knockoff NACDP
organization. They are calling themselves the Network of Anglican
Communion Dioceses and Parishes Chapter of Integrity. They have started
their first chapter in the orthodox Diocese of Dallas, Jim Stanton's
diocese. Talk about in your face. They "teach tolerance and
inclusiveness" of course, except of course if you happen to be orthodox
in faith and morals&your invitation will not be in the mail. The
sleazeball behind this is orthodox hater Dallas flatfoot Jack H. Taylor Jr.

A VIRTUOSITY READER SENT THE FOLLOWING. The councils of Nicea ruled that
if a bishop became a heretic, it was the affirmative duty of a Christian
to seek a new bishop. The learned Bishop of Virginia ("schism is worse
than heresy")has it reversed as he does on many other issues. Seeking a
new bishop, of course, triggers the Dennis Canon. The great councils of
the church were interested in peoples souls, ECUSA is not. The Dennis
Canon seeks to impose a constructive trust and apply it retroactively.
This is truly a unique legal concept, one not tried since the national
socialist experiment.

TO TEST THE DENNIS CANON, an orthodox parish in the Diocese of Missouri
has walked away from ECUSA, joined the AMIA and come under the Province
of Rwanda. They are ready to fight the bishop all the way to the Supreme
Court. "We want to keep our property and we have a war chest," says The
Rev. Paul R. Walter of Church of the Good Shepherd. This will be a good
test case as civil law on properties happens not to gel with ECUSA's
canon law in Missouri.

AND IN THE DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA the Rev. Rosa Lee Harden, vicar of Holy
Innocents' Episcopal Church, San Francisco, admits that she performed a
same-sex marriage ceremony (not a commitment ceremony). This is in clear
violation of Canon 18, Title I, that every member of the clergy conform
to the laws of the State (not city!) and that Holy Matrimony is union
between a man and a woman. By doing so the Rev. Harden publicly
announced her violation of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. Will
Bishop William Swing, swing into action to inhibit her? Don't hold your
breath.

AND FROM LONDON comes word that Canon Edward Norman, the chancellor of
York Minster Cathedral and a leading Anglican scholar, has announced
that he is converting to Catholicism when he retires in May, calling it
"a shaft of light before the sun sets." In his most recent book,
"Anglican Difficulties: A New Syllabus of Errors", Canon Norman offers
sharp criticisms of the Church of England. "Every disagreement [at the
General Synod] proceeds by avoidance of principled debate. Ordinary
moral cowardice is represented as wise judgment; equivocation in the
construction of compromise formulae is second nature to leaders." You
can read the full story today.

THE DIOCESE OF SPRINGFIELD joined The Network of Anglican Communion
Dioceses and Parishes at their quarterly Council Meeting this week. The
action was opposed, naturally, by the leadership of the local Via Media
group.

ONE MILLIONTH WINNER. Mr. Randall Romine was the one millionth visitor
to Virtuosity's website and will receive the "famous" Virtuosity Coffee
Mug cast by Virtuosity's very own potter Jim Rice of Florida. Our
congratulations to Mr. Romine.

CORRECTION: In my last digest I said the Mission Church of St. Paul in
Waxahachie, Texas was located in the Diocese of Texas. Incorrect. It is
located in the Diocese of Dallas.

WELCOME TO VIRTUOSITY AND INVITE YOUR FRIENDS TO JOIN. Dont let the
revisionists spin the news. Learn the truth. Read Virtuosity. Go to the
website www.virtuosityonline.org and read what is REALLY going on. And
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NEEDED AT THIS TIME.

VIRTUOSITY is read in 45 countries on six continents. Send a story to a
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All Blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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