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COMMUNION SPLIT INEVITABLE...ECUSA - orthodox departures rise...more

"To remain divided is sinful! Did not our Lord pray that they may be one, even as we are one"? (John 17:22). A chorus of ecumenical voices keep harping the unity tune. What they are saying is, "Christians of all doctrinal shades and beliefs must come together in one visible organization, regardless... Unite, unite!" Such teaching is false, reckless and dangerous. Truth alone must determine our alignments. Truth comes before unity. Unity without truth is hazardous." Charles H. Spurgeon

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

An American student completing his Ph. D. in Old Testament at Cambridge University says there is a sense in England that the Anglican Communion as we know it is over and that a split is inevitable. The only question is whether or not there will be parallel jurisdictions. Rowan Williams is so ineffectual that most evangelicals have completely written him off, VirtueOnline was told.

If that's the mood in the Church of England, imagine what the mood must be like in Abuja (the headquarters of the Anglican Church in Nigeria), or even, for that matter in the US Episcopal Church where Frank Griswold feels that William's lack of leadership (read conviction on homosexuality) got him his head handed to him on a plate at Dromantine.

BUT THE CONFLICT IN THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION is reaching fever pitch everywhere.

IN CANADA the actions of New Westminster Bishop Michael Ingham in his grab for four parishes has so angered the Rev. Barclay Mayo that he has threatened to call the police if a rival preacher shows up at St. Simon's to take over the pulpit on the Sunshine Coast. Same-sex rites is dividing the Canadian Anglican Church like nothing else and the orthodox are gearing up for a big fight. Ingham has deposed four priests and wants their properties and the clergy out of the pulpits. Not on your life they are saying. They will fight the bishop all way to the high court; they will never give up a pew, stained glass window or chalice to this bully bishop....and they won't give up the gospel for Ingham's revisionist version either.

IN ENGLAND, evangelical priests are up in arms with the Bishop of Chelmsford, John Gladwin and have refused to take communion with the bishop and broken sacramental ties in revolt against his permissive view on homosexuality. They are furious that the bishop and five of his colleagues sent a letter to a national newspaper announcing their determined support for liberal Anglicans in North America. The group could prove the tip of an iceberg because 100 priests in the diocese - more than a fifth of the total -signed a statement in November - expressing unease about the liberal drift of the Anglican Church. According to observers, the protest could spread to other dioceses, a development that will alarm the Archbishop of Canterbury. NOTE. Evangelicals have more power in England than the U.S. and it seems they might just be about to exercise it.

And in Brazil in the DIOCESE OF RECIFE the good people of that evangelical diocese decided, at an extraordinary and historical Synod "to protest and to reject" the Resolutions from liberal Primate Orlando Santos suspending their Diocesan Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti, from his "Office and Ministry". This diocese has appealed twice now to Archbishop Rowan Williams for help but have heard nothing. Why did Williams not confront the liberal Brazilian Primate in Dromantine? The suspension is not based on any current disciplinary process for being "in submission", but, to everybody's surprise, a new accusation of "voluntary church renunciation", that Bishop Cavalcanti denies!

And this is the tip of the iceberg. In the EPISCOPAL CHURCH USA the largest parish in the DIOCESE OF KANSAS took a walk after agreeing to pay its revisionist bishop $1 million over a ten year period; then he deposed the priests. You can read what the Rev. Dr. Alison Barfoot formerly of that parish and now working for the Archbishop of Uganda thinks about that, in today's digest. This will be repeated around the country over time.

So what starts out as a bad case of theology and morals always ends up about property and money for revisionist bishops to keep failing mission parishes that ought to close, from closing. Over the next few months the multiple defections in the DIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES and PENNSYLVANIA will come to a head, and then we will see the sparks fly. This writer predicts that over the next two years we will see massive defections of large evangelical parishes from revisionist dioceses with deals being cut or lawsuits initiated over money, endowments, properties with depositions flying in all directions. VIRTUEONLINE will document it all. The deeper question is what can the Anglican Communion Network and the AAC do about the hemorrhaging?

AND THE SINGLE biggest story of the week is the possible revisions to Title IV of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. The House of Bishops are meeting in Camp Allen, Texas this week and they will consider, among other things, proposed revisions to the disciplinary canons that govern not only the behavior of Episcopal clergy but laity as well. What this means is that any lay person who sues a bishop over bad morals can be excommunicated from the church, and this includes lawyers. Read this important story, it could affect whether or not you want to stay in The Episcopal Church if a bishop can take you, a godly lay person, up before an ecclesiastical court. As they say 'watch your back.' What this means is that there is no longer any rule of law, but the rule of persons with some fake "pastoral care" notions being put up as a smoke screen to keep you quiet while a revisionist bishop pushes his or her agenda in the name of whatever god they believe in. The noose that is tightening around the necks of orthodox clergy, will now begin to tighten around the necks of orthodox laity. You have been warned.

However, one canon lawyer I talked too said that the new revisions, if adopted, could have a reverse affect than intended by the revisionists. "The civil courts will not react favorably to this attempt to punish lawyers for representing their clients," he said. By the time the appellate process reaches the US Supreme Court we could have a more conservative court who would not share the same values as ECUSA. One hopes.

ON THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH FRONT in the DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, the first closing of an Episcopal Church because of Vicky Gene Robinson took place this week. Christ Church Portsmouth should have been closed quite some time ago, said a VirtueOnline reader. It decreased to a "nothing" parish under the last rector, a homo-sexual approved by the previous Bishop of NH, said the source. And Easter Sunday will be the last day for Church of the Redeemer, they too are closing. Those who left Redeemer have started St. Michael's in Rochester, NH. "We are alive and well and have an average Sunday attendance of 38 people. We have a church school with anywhere to 6-12 on Sunday. We have 75 people registered on our books that have left the Episcopal Church. We started on July 4th Independence day and have incorporated," said an elated vestry woman. This parish is now part of the Anglican Communion Network.

Last year Robinson stated, after the people walked out, that new people would come. They didn't, and now they are closing down. Redeemer has been part of the Rochester NH community for over 100 years. The Diocese has announced that sometime around Easter, Robinson will hold a service of thanksgiving for the life of the Church of the Redeemer, then shut the doors and sell the property. Despite his busing people in to attend services in an attempt to jump start the miniscule congregation that stayed, has completely failed. This is another reminder of how Robinson is breaking up the ECUSA communion.

Now if you have any doubts about what Robinson is doing to his diocese you can read my exclusive story about what he said about Jesus and homosexuality. The homoerotic bishop told parishioners at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham that when Jesus was on this earth he implied he may have had a homosexual relationship with the "one he loved!"

In the DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT this week the leader of the "Connecticut Six" a group of orthodox priests who oppose their bishop Andrew Smith over the Robinson consecration and more, resigned, fed up with the whole stinking mess. The Rev. Mark Hansen of St. John's, Bristol, who faced having his parish and the others reduced to mission status because he and they will not fall into line with the bishop's understanding of DEPO, quit.

The bishop had issued an edict to the "Connecticut Six" and a deadline of February 15 to comply with his demands to accept his understanding of DEPO, pay their fair share to the diocese or face the music. The six had staved off the bishop till now, but the end seems to be in sight. Hansen announced he was getting out of the diocese and parish ministry, another victim of the ECUSA's contagious disease for self destruction.

In a letter he wrote: Dearest Family and Friends, "After much prayer and discussion, I have decided the time has come for us to move on from our work here in the vineyard of St. John's...the heresies of the 2003 General Convention happened, and I felt a call to stand up for the ultimate battle of Biblical truth; we stayed on. That staying on has cost us much in our personal lives, and that of the family. And so we believe the time has come and it can wait no longer. The timing of course, seems awful, with all the hopeful news from the Primates and seeming so close to the realization of that which we have been fighting for -- but there is no 'good' time to leave a parish."

Hansen will preach his last Sunday on April 10th, after which he will move full time into university work and writing. Bishop Smith wrote a letter to Hansen still talking as though DEPO was on the table; and stated flat out that after that he is expecting "resumption of pastoral oversight by the bishops of this diocese".

VirtueOnline will keep you abreast with what happens to the other five parishes, but there is probably no good ending to this story. The revisionist running dog bishops have the orthodox by the throat, and their one desire is to squeeze them out of existence.

And in the DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON we move from the heretical to the totally absurd or perhaps totally apostate, with word that Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold will hear confessions on Saturday night before the Great Vigil service at ST. PAUL'S K STREET, a once devout Anglo-Catholic parish in the heart of Washington, DC.

Imagine the scene:

PENITENT: "Forgive me father for I have sinned, it has been nine years since I have been to confession. I have been having sex with someone of the same... er persuasion and I feel guil...

GRISWOLD (interrupting): "My son that is no longer a sin. Look I lied to the Primates in 2003 that I wouldn't consecrate a homosexual to the episcopacy and then did it. We have banished lying and homosexual behavior in the ECUSA as sins. On the other hand if you are harboring any homophobic or racist thoughts then..."

PENITENT: "Father I'm black AND gay..."

NOW IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN ANGLO-CATHOLIC parish in Washington DC you might want to consider the start up parish of The Companions of Saint Peter the Apostle. The instigator behind this new work is layman Robert England and he has done so well, virtually single-handed, that the parish has thriven and recently they called Fr. James Blacker from England to assume duties as mission priest beginning Good Friday, March 25th at the 12:15 P.M. celebration of this ancient liturgy. The service will be held in the Upper Chapel of the Church of the Holy City, 1611 16th Street, N.W., in the heart of Washington. Father Blacker previously served at the Anglo-Catholic parish of All Saints Wimbledon in the Diocese of Southwark in London. The parish was served briefly by Fr. Earle Fox who heads to California where he will work with the Christian Community of Family Ministry. He will also begin teaching this fall at BIOLA University, formerly the Bible Institute of Los Angeles.

And the DIOCESE OF SOUTH CAROLINA did a major MEA CULPA passing a resolution at their recent diocesan convention acknowledging their guilt and repentance. Here is what it said:

"Whereas The Episcopal Church has erred and strayed from the clear teaching of the Scriptures and has deliberately acted in ways repugnant to the will and teaching of the Church-both the past community of the faithful (tradition) and the present community (the bodies of Anglican unity)-by consecrating a practicing homosexual to the episcopate and by allowing for the blessing of same sex unions against the urgent counsel of the greater Anglican Communion...Be it resolved that we, the Diocese of South Carolina, acknowledge our guilt in the deplorable crisis facing our church. We confess that, to our shame and our Lord's dishonor, we have been lax in contending for the faith and the authority of the Scriptures and that we have preferred "peace" more than faithfulness. We have sinned against God and against the Body of Christ and we do hereby repent."

Much breast beating followed, according to a source who was there. It was very widely discussed but not reported in the local media. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out when the whole house of ECUSA cards come falling down. Bishop Ed Salmon is all set to retire and his replacement, undoubtedly orthodox, will either play ball with Frank and the revisionist HOB or choose the Network. It would be great to see the crisis with All Saints' Pawleys Island brought to a satisfactory conclusion before Salmon stands down.

The motion concluded with these words: "Be it further resolved, that we seek to be reconciled to the faith and to the greater Church by whatever means of penance deemed necessary by the Primates of our Communion." More breast beating followed closing with a MEA MAXIMA CULPA.

Gosh, one wonders why it took so long. This writer was yelling and screaming 20 years ago that the ECUSA bishops had no theological clothes, and a couple of dioceses are now get around to admitting it, when it is all probably too late.

And in the DIOCESE OF OHIO the Rev. Scott A. Woodstuff received a letter from Bishop Mark Hollingsworth informing him that he had been formally inhibited as an Episcopal priest as of March 4th. The charge was the usual "Abandonment of Communion" under the ECUSA Title IV, Canon 10, Section 1.

Woodstuff accepted a severance at St. Stephen's, East Liverpool late last year and began a formal plant immediately in Rogers town, Columbiana with about 20 members under the new name of Faithful Anglican Fellowship (Columbiana County, Ohio). Two weeks ago he was formally received by Bishop Frank Lyons as a priest in good standing of the Diocese of Bolivia, where he will be serving as a missionary priest in Columbiana County, Ohio. "We are planning a major evangelistic outreach in the area," he told VirtueOnline. "The new church plant contains people from three Episcopal congregations," he said.

Woodstuff said St. Stephen's continued to be polarized 60/40 after the "Akron Five" bishops intervention last year. Hollingsworth was ready to step in as people were starting to complain to the bishop about the church's vocal minority. He resigned. The congregation which was 75 is now down to 20. The church has a liberal supply priest out of Erie, said Woodstuff.

The Rev. Dr. John Jorden, former Anglo-Catholic rector of Grace Church in Mansfield, Ohio was also fired and received an inhibition letter from Hollingsworth and forced to resign during the Episcopal transition. "I also got my walking papers this week," he told VirtueOnline. Jorden, who is also a clinical psychologist got a good severance but by publicly coming out against GC2003 and the combination of church politics, he got the heave ho. "He threatened to inhibit me because I took communion to a dying parishioner. He wouldn't let me supply," said Jorden. The parish he left has dropped from 200 to 60. "I have also been received by Bishp Lyons." Jorden is now Adjunct Professor of Spiritual formation at Ashland Theological Seminary and teaches a doctoral class. He is also involved with Good Shepherd Anglican mission in Mansfield where about 50 meet. He is the last of the Anglo-Catholic priests in that diocese.

Jorden said that Bishop Hollingsworth, a protégé of the venal Tom Shaw Bishop of Massachusetts, had to walk warily because the Akron Five had a six figure defense fund and had retained two law firms under a "mutual defense agreement" and they told the bishop it would cost him a bundle to fight. Hollingsworth got the message. Diocesan finances through May of last year are in the pits. "They keep adjusting the diocesan staff down and now they are short two full time staff plus a suffragan which they can't afford to hire. The diocesan camp is also under pressure and could close its doors. Monies promised to the camp have been restricted, there is not enough liquidity to give them." Three congregations have closed in the last 12 months. More will follow. Hollingsworth has said repeatedly that he will not talk about "issues" only about "relationships."

In the DIOCESE OF WISCONSIN the Rev. Terence L. Wilson, rector of Light of Christ Anglican Mission was deposed by his bishop, the Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller. "While this was neither unexpected nor a problem, as we are under the jurisdiction of Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti, Anglican Diocese of Recife (Brazil), the interesting thing is that Bishop Miller never found me important enough to ask what was going on. I have never met the man, was never informed there was to be a meeting of the Standing Committee that recommended my inhibition six months ago and never informed me that the deposition was going to be considered at this time."

So add cowardice to the long list of slimy things about revisionist bishops. Wilson's inhibition was signed by two of the most liberal priests in the diocese, one of whom was the Rev. Debra Trakel who flies the Gay/lesbian flag outside St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Milwaukee. Ironically in 2002 the police department declared her downtown church a public nuisance, which meant the church had to pay up to $275 each time police were called to the property.

And in the DIOCESE OF CENTRAL FLORIDA it has been learned that Deacon Marc Rivera has requested to be released from his vows, and has informed Bishop John W. Howe that he has applied to the Anglican Province in America, headed by Bishop Walter Grundorff and will be received in holy orders there. Rivera was the founder and director of Anchor House Ministries, which extends housing and care to troubled boys and young men.

Wrote Bishop Howe: "Rivera said he enjoyed his long association with the Diocese of Central Florida, but he is grieved (my word) by the lack of support he and Anchor House have received from us. He believes he will receive better from the APA." Howe said Rivera had moved very far in this direction without any consultation with or input from him. The bishop and the clerical members of the Standing Committee voted unanimously yesterday to release Marc from his vows.

And in the DIOCESE OF NEW WESTMINSTER the last "catholic" parish received its new rector, Michael Batten, an Affirming Catholic type, and one of Michael Ingham's boys, a source told VirtueOnline. The capitulation of St. David's of Wales gives Ingham a total stranglehold over any further dissenters. The former interim priest, John Firmston, was hoping to be appointed full-time rector. But Firmston had told the congregation when he went there that he was not in favor of same sex blessings and that they wouldn't happen in the parish as long as he was there. "That statement was the kiss of death for him. I feel very sad about this development," said a former parishioner.

CAMP ALLEN. Word from Bishop Robert Duncan, the Network leader is that the House of Bishops meeting now underway in Texas, is that the mindset of the House is "business as usual," even after the clear call from the Primates for the Episcopal Church to respond to the Windsor Report.

"I, and a number of other Anglican Communion Network bishops will be attending those portions of meeting dealing with the Windsor Report and the Primates' meeting. Our hope is to help the House squarely face what the primates have said and clearly respond to it." The ACN bishops will not stay at Camp Allen, VirtueOnline was told.

QUINCY BISHOP Keith Ackerman is planning a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham on May 26, 2005, leaving from Chicago. If you are interested in going with him you can obtain information and brochures from Jo at dovehaven2@insightbb.com. All are welcome to join this special pilgrimage followed by a tour of Eastern and Southern England concluding in London.

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All blessings,


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