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CATHEDRAL hires Muslim Iman...San Diego elects liberal bishop...more

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." 2 Tim 4:1-3 NIV

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Episcopal Church is, regrettably, filled with men and women who have "itching ears", and they dutifully follow revisionist bishops who no longer expound "sound doctrine" and the two together have become the potent force for spiritual idolatry, apostasy and heresy in a church that has lost its way, perhaps forever.

Several things happened this week to make that a reality. In the DIOCESE OF COLORADO the cathedral hired a Muslim Imam on its staff to preach the gospel of inclusion, "a new chapter in interfaith relations" we are told - the first in Denver and perhaps nationally, thus nullifying forever the biblical mandate to go into all the world and preach the gospel; making disciples of all nations including Muslims.

By doing the exact opposite the dean of the cathedral invited the less than loyal opposition in to sit down and break bread with him at a time when Islam remains the most potent religious force opposed to Christian expansion in the world and its biggest single persecutor of Christians.

This is like inviting the fox into the henhouse in the vain hope that the two can dialogue together just before lunch when the fox announces that hunger pangs are upon him and the failure of the owner to provide him with chicken parts, apologizes profusely and then snaps the hen's neck for his own personal survival.

One can only imagine what the Anglican Bishop of Jos in Nigeria must be thinking as he reads this and thinks of all the Anglican Christians who have been butchered outside his compound on the streets when groups of mad Muslims go on frequent rampages through the city with large machetes, slaughtering any Christians they can find.

One can see him dropping his head into his hands and weeping for the crass idiocy and stupidity of this liberal dean in a diocese run by an equally brain dead bishop who wants to broker in same-sex blessings, increase the numbers of sodomite priests and much more.

And then you must ask yourself the question, why would the Global South want to have anything more to do with The Episcopal Church? What is in it for them to be in communion with a thoroughly dysfunctional member of the body called the ECUSA that has major portions of its body suffering from advanced stages of spiritual gangrene?

On hearing the news of the Dean's appointment, Mortimer Smith who clearly has a wicked sense of humor wrote the following: "Not to be outdone St. John's Cathedral, Grace Church & St. Stephen's in Colorado Springs announced today that they have hired two canine-Americans to staff positions at the church. Brothers Bart and Bubba Spears were officially hired this week after a wonderful liturgy of new ministry. "I'm just so happy that Grace Church is so inclusive of canine-Americans," said the elder Mr. Spears in an interview yesterday. "I just hope that all churches can follow our lead and open their doors to all of our furry, four-legged friends." Both Mr. Spears are members of the Yorkshire Terrier clan and have spent their entire lives fighting against canine oppression in the church. While on the Grace Church staff, Bart will be in charge of nap taking and belly scratching, while Bubba will be the executive director of ACAPS (Anglican Canines Against Pesky Squirrels), a grassroots organization dedicated to canine/squirrel relations. "We're just so happy to have the boyz on board with us," said an elated rector in a telephone interview. "They have both begun the discernment process and we hope to have them ordained as deacons as soon as we can change the canons at the next General Convention to allow for canine ordinations." The rector added that it was good to finally have some assistants in the office that were worth their salaries. Bart and Bubba are both currently enrolled at the Illif School of Theology, where they both maintain a "B" average.

As humorous as this is, what is happening is a tragedy beyond all human and spiritual understanding.

But he wasn't the only dean talking and acting this week. Dean Richard Giles, a former British Anglo-Catholic and now dean of the cathedral in Philadelphia, told the recent Diocese of Pennsylvania clergy that he had an open door to Muslims for worship. He was taken to task by an evangelical rector who accused the dean of preaching "another Gospel".

Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, an Anglican who is Director of the Institute for the study of Islam and Christianity and a world authority on Islam writes in his new book 'Understanding Islamic Terrorism', "Islam in its classical interpretation finds it difficult to coexist with the modern world. No matter how carefully the West tries to avoid causing any kind of "humiliation" which might inflict psychological pain on Muslims, there will still remain reasons for Muslims to wage war on non-Muslims, unless Islam can change."

In their book 'Islam at the Crossroads', the three authors write: "Islam is a religion torn and divided. Most Muslims are peaceable and moderate. But many are militant and warlike. The militant are organized and threaten to kill nonbelievers. The extremist agenda is engaged in a major struggle for the future of Islam. Islam is at a crossroads."

While the pope has encouraged "interfaith dialogue" between Christianity and Islam and has argued vigorously for peace he has not, at any time, invited an Imam onto his Vatican staff. An Episcopal diocese and the dean of a cathedral have invited the fox into the henhouse. In time the hens (Christians) will get eaten or they will flee to save their own souls.

And it is why the PROVINCE of the SOUTHERN CONE announced this week that it would continue to provide a safe place for persecuted orthodox parishes in the Episcopal Church, and the Africans will do the same. A resolution put out by the Southern Cone province covers boundaries, repentance, and the tools that the report offers to hold ECUSA accountable. Bishop Bennison is also providing a "safe place" but in his case it is for Druids and witches.

The Global South is ratcheting up the pain on the ECUSA for sure. Both sides are dutifully ignoring the decrees of the Windsor Report. And why shouldn't they; The Episcopal Church is also ignoring the Report. This week its Executive Council announced it would continue its policy of ordaining and consecrating whomever to the priesthood and the episcopacy and VirtueOnline has examined this at length.

And in the "itching ears" department, Pennsylvania Bishop Charles E. Bennison delivered himself of his New Religious World Order to a group of Haverford College students and faculty this week and you can read his thoughts on the Brave New ECUSA World that is unfolding before our very eyes, even as the diocese slowly empties, churches close, the money dries up and the lawsuits continue.

Bennison told the Philadelphia INQUIRER that his diocese was open to "theological experimentation," if that's the case perhaps he might consider the possibility of Mayan human sacrifices. Where does it end?

The DIOCESE OF SAN DIEGO elected a new bishop this week and the liberal candidate, Canon James Mathes was elected on the 3rd ballot. This was a swing diocese to begin with. Bishop Gethin Hughes, a moderately orthodox bishop never had the stones to rein in the revisionists when he was bishop and they took over. They always do. They fight better and nastier than the orthodox do because the orthodox practice the Doctrine of Niceness, while the revisionists who preach it, never do. Will the orthodox ever learn? Apparently not.

A VirtueOnline reader wrote to say that after the election there was a fair amount of jumping up and down and hugging and backslapping and cries of "we won" by the Liberals. "An orthodox lay delegate admitted voting for Mathes on the 3rd ballot after voting for Canadian Bishop Tony Burton on the first two ballots. Go figure!" Following the election everyone was asked to sign the following testimonial: "We, whose names are hereunder written, fully sensible of how important it is that the Sacred Order and Office of a Bishop should not be unworthily conferred, and firmly persuaded that it is our duty to bear testimony on this solemn occasion without partiality, do, in the presence of Almighty God, testify that we know of no impediment on account of which the Reverend Canon James Mathes ought not be ordained to that Holy Office..."

Many of us did not sign the testimonial, said the source. "We were approached by one priest from the other side who acknowledged the depth of the pain we were feeling and assured us that they would do everything in their power to prevent Bishop Mathes from dividing the Diocese by doing such things as Blessing of Same Sex Unions. I know this person is sincere, but he will be powerless." The game is over in this diocese. Watch for same-sex blessings to flow from this consecration in short order. Over time the faithful will leave.

In the DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON a new mission has been formed. It has not gotten the approval or permission of revisionist Bishop John Chane. Forward in Faith USA is behind the formation of this Anglo-Catholic upstart. They will meet in the Upper Chapel of the Church of the Holy City, 1611 16th Street, N.W. with the first service on Nov. 21st. at 11am. The Rev. Dr. Earle Fox will officiate. He writes, "If you are an Episcopalian (or other orthodox Christian, or want to be) who feels abandoned in a wilderness of spiritual darkness, come join us." Fox told VirtueOnline that he has Bishop Henry Scriven's (Pittsburgh) permission. "We are not asking Chane's permission, I do not care what Chane thinks. He and his ilk have already deposed themselves." The diocese recently announced that it was $800,000 in the hole and will need to soak the Soper Fund to stay afloat. Why are we surprised?

And new figures on church attendance in New Hampshire out this week revealed that the Episcopal DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE has 49 parishes and missions with about 12,000 members. According to the 2003 Episcopal Church Annual which used 2001 parochial and diocesan reports, the Diocese of New Hampshire had 50 parishes and 16, 912 baptized members at that time. It has shrunk by nearly 5,000 members under Bishop Douglas E. Theuner! We await with breathless anticipation the figures for 2003-2004 under Bishop Vickie Gene for his first year!

In the DIOCESE OF OKLAHOMA, a VirtueOnline reader sent this report. "Diocesan Convention Passes the Buck on Windsor Report. Freedom of Association Opposed."

The 67th Annual Meeting of the Convention of the Diocese of Oklahoma, met in Oklahoma City November 12 and 13, and postponed until next year's meeting a resolution which would have called upon all parties addressed by the Windsor Report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion to conform to the recommendations of the report. Although Bishop Robert Moody did not oppose the substance of the resolution which also asked him to "lead us in expressing regret that the bonds of affection were breached by the controversial actions of the 2003 General Convention," many delegates who spoke in favor of postponing the measure said they had not read the Windsor Report.

Delegates rejected a measure which affirmed the rights of people, congregations, and organizations to freely associate with organizations which do not require members to leave the Episcopal Church. Organizations mentioned in the resolution included the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, the American Anglican Council, and the Oklahoma Anglican Council.

The convention also rejected measures which would have joined the diocese of Oklahoma to the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, changed the congregational assessment rate to ten percent of unrestricted receipts, and disassociated the diocese from the controversial actions of the 2003 General Convention.

And the BISHOP OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA says he will retire and called for the election of a new coadjutor at their recent diocesan convention. Bishop Jerry Lamb is officially out the door December of 2006.

The Rev. Christopher Seal, former President of the Standing Committee, wrote, "Although Bishop Lamb voted for the consecration of Gene Robinson, he has been unwavering in his commitment to carefully listen to often very frank feedback from the orthodox clergy of his diocese. Jerry has continued to appoint clergy to important Diocesan positions irrespective of their views on Gene Robinson and same-sex unions. I have been very impressed by his consistent choice of the pastoral option in decision making. All of his clergy are grateful that he, unlike some bishops, upholds the principle of freedom of conscience for those with whom he disagrees. This position of his undoubtedly has prevented much conflict."

Since the 2003 General Convention, Bishop Lamb has continued his policy of forbidding the ordination of gay and lesbian persons or same-sex unions in his diocese.

IN CANADA THIS WEEK, the DIOCESE OF NIAGARA passed the following motion: “That the Bishop grant clergy permission to exercise their discretion in blessing the relationship of gay or lesbian couples who have been married civilly, once they with their congregations have petitioned the Bishop for permission to be a ‘Blessing Community’.” The motion was carried with a 66% majority of the assembly. “As the bishop I hear the will of the house. I am inwardly torn. I would have personally voted with those in majority. I am the bishop for all people - and try to keep unity with the rest of the church. It is with certain personal pain - but it is my responsibility. I am not able to give my assent to this legislation and hence will not.

VATICAN CITY. Pope John Paul urged Christians this week to be committed to seeking unity of their divided Churches but, in a reference to homosexual clergy in the Anglican communion, said new ethical obstacles had surfaced. "Unfortunately, we are faced with new problems, especially those of an ethical nature, where new divisions which impede a common witness have sprouted," he said to some 7,000 people inside the basilica. This was a clear reference to the crisis currently besieging the Anglican communion after the Episcopalian Church in the United States appointed an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire. Hullo, is anybody listening at 815 2nd Ave?

WAS HE KILLED BECAUSE HE WAS GAY OR WAS IT FOR THE MONEY? For six years the Episcopal Church along with the help of gay friendly media has been saying that Matthew Shepard was a gay-bashing hate crime. Not true, it was a mugging gone wrong. ABC-TV is preparing a major investigation of the Matthew Shepard gay-bashing murder. They contend it may not have been a hate crime. Friends and family of Shepard — who became a national symbol of the senseless violence against gays — as well as gay activists are upset about the report, scheduled to air on "20/20" later this month. The two killers, McKinney and Henderson in their first interviews since they were convicted, claim anti-gay bias had nothing to do with the crime. VirtueOnline said at the time, based on interviews with local police that Shepard was not killed because he was gay, he had AIDS and was trying to solicit money for sex from two cowboys. Dumb thing to do.

Andrew Sullivan the gay editor of the New Republic even weighed in on the Shepard case saying the evidence shows that Shepard is representative of very few gay Americans. According to the FBI, in 1997, the year before Shepard was killed, a total of three hate-crime murders of homosexuals were recorded in the entire United States. This number is not a fiction. Murders are the least underreported of crimes, because bodies have to be accounted for, and the FBI's number is the total reported by some 10,000 reporting agencies across the country. But let's assume that the FBI understates gay hate-crime murders by a factor of five. That makes 15 anti-gay murders a year. Further assume that around five percent of the population is gay. That means that the chance of a gay American meeting the same fate as Matthew Shepard is about one in a million. Or about the same as being hit by a railroad train. QED. The Episcopal Church still doesn't get it. It's not about homophobia it is about a lethal behavior that is ungodly, salvation denying and has no place in the church.

Wrote Sullivan: "I never joined in the sanctification of Matthew Shepard. What happened to him was appalling, evil, horrifying. But what gay rights groups made of it was, in my view, exploitative and crude. I gave up counting the number of direct mail requests for money I received using Matthew Shepard's name. I wrote about my misgivings. Harper's Magazine has already sketched the role that crystal meth may have played in the scenario that led to Shepard's murder. Now ABC News has prepared an important, thorough and debunking of what happened. I was tangentially involved in the documentary, but wasn't privy to its most closely held findings. I have a feeling it will reveal how dangerous it is to rest an entire political argument on one incident, whose details were always murky and subsequently turned into myth."

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