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God hardens bishops' hearts...multiple dioceses cited...heat on Eames...

“But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord said to Moses...he (Pharaoh) and his officials hardened their hearts.” Exodus 9:12 & 34

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is now becoming apparent to this writer and to the orthodox leadership in The Episcopal Church that God is hardening the hearts of its revisionist bishops. As He did with Pharaoh in the days of the Exodus, he is doing again today. And just as the wrath of God was visited upon Pharaoh, so it will be on ECUSA’s unbelieving bishops.

The hearts of unbelieving, canonically Fundamentalist ECUSA bishops are being turned against the truth; they have turned the truth of God into a lie and as a result they will now do all in their power to stamp out the remnant of orthodox, faithful believing priests, inhibiting them, reducing their status as rectors, demanding more and more money, while pushing congregations to accept unbelieving inclusionist priests to lead them.

In one diocese after another the screws are being tightened, fear and loathing reigns as rectors and vestries weigh their future as letters pour in from revisionist bishops demanding loyalty to the Canons and Constitutions of the Church while the Faith itself is rubbished and made irrelevant.

Consider the following:

In the DIOCESE OF WESTERN NEW YORK Bishop J. Michael Garrison has come down hard on three rectors in his diocese writing letters demanding loyalty and money. He has lowered the boom on one orthodox rector, making unreal demands on him, in order to stifle the priest’s canonical right for Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight. (See full story in today’s digest.)

In the DIOCESE OF BETHLEHEM, Bishop Paul Marshall is coming down on Anglo-Catholic priest William Ilgenfritz, because the priest is orthodox. The bishop has written a book lauding lesbian love.

In the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA, Bishop Charles Bennison is waging war on three Anglo-Catholic parishes with multiple lawsuit actions pending. Now he is threatening an Evangelical parish priest, demanding the right to make a visitation even though his own Standing Committee has told him not to and the rector has asked for alternative Episcopal oversight.

In the DIOCESE OF NEWARK, Bishop John Croneberger has tossed out a Hispanic woman priest because she attended the Plano conference last year. They say she resigned, she says she was fired and has hired an attorney.

In the DIOCESE OF ALABAMA, Bishop William Parsley is playing hard ball with several parishes who want to join the Network. He gave Dr. Paul Zahl a hard time when he was Dean of Advent Cathedral. Parsley won’t relent it seems till everyone has fallen into line with his way of thinking.

In the DIOCESE OF MASSACHUSETTS, Bishop Tom Shaw refused to ordain an Evangelical priest despite his four years of jumping through hoops. The deacon, Simon Barnes who is now resident in the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLANIA will now be priested by Bishop Bob Duncan of the DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH in the DIOCESE OF NEW JERSEY. Go figure.

In the DIOCESE OF CONNECTICUT, a dozen orthodox priests are in conflict with their bishop Andrew D. Smith. They watch and wait hoping the Lambeth Commission will give them room to breathe the fresh air of orthodoxy. One priest has already had a public face off with the bishop.

In the DIOCESE OF MISSOURI a lone orthodox rector has told the bishop he’s leaving and believes he has a legal, moral and ecclesiastical right to the property. Bishop George Wayne Smith thinks otherwise and it is all going to court.

In the DIOCESE OF NEW YORK, a lonely orthodox priest on the banks of the Hudson River walks on eggshells with Mark Sisk his bishop. He wants DEPO but has to face a tyrannical revisionist suffragan bishop in the person of Cathy Roskam.

In the DIOCESE OF EASTERN MICHIGAN, Bishop Ed Leidel faces a revolt from some six parishes in the Flint River Convocation (Deanery). Two priests have already resigned, parishes are losing people and money to the diocese is in free fall.

And in the DIOCESE OF VIRGINIA, several wealthy orthodox parish priests will shortly face the wrath of Bishop Peter Lee when he realizes that the money pool is drying up faster than he can replace it. They have it, he wants it. Their pain has only just begun.

In the DIOCESE OF MISSISSIPPI the vestry of an orthodox parish expressed its displeasure to the Bishop Duncan Gray for assigning to them, as an interim priest, a man they say is not only a homosexual, but living in a non-celibate relationship with another man. The Bishop briefly engaged his brain and the priest was quietly recalled.

This kind of thing went on for years in the DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON under Bishop Ron Haines – dumping queer priests on unsuspecting orthodox parishes by his development officer Ted Karpf.

IN THE DIOCESE OF SOUTHERN OHIO the Rt. Rev. Herbert Thompson, Jr. removed the Rev. John Reade, who has been serving as priest-in-charge at All Saints', Portsmouth, apparently to prevent any conflict that might arise from Fr. Reade's orthodox Christian faith and his decision to leave The Episcopal Church for the Roman Catholic Church. Fr. Reade was ordained to the priesthood in June 2003. Heaven forbid that Fr. Reade should lead others “astray”.

AND ALL THE WHILE THIS IS GOING ON, orthodox bishops cross diocesan lines to minister to faithful priests in a revisionist diocese, while a revisionist bishop (Walter Righter) works without permission in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. And to top off the insanity a queer bishop marries his partner in the revisionist DIOCESE OF CALIFORNIA, which the diocesan, Bishop Swing protested because it was a “marriage” and not a “blessing”…as if that is going to impress the Primates.

AND IN THE DIOCESE OF NEW JERSEY THE OUTRAGE continues. Ms. Mantelle Bradley, the pregnant lesbian priest Youth Ministry leader in the diocese gave birth and so could not attend the last Happening weekend. But not to worry, a source told Virtuosity, she was there showing off the new baby to all of the teens participating. And a couple of weeks ago, her baby was baptized by Bishop George Councell. “They had to have the baptism in her partners church because the two churches that Mantelle is vicar of were too small for the crowd of well-wishers which included the teens from around the diocese who idolize her,” said the source.

AND TO KEEP THE POT BOILING orthodox West Coast Episcopalians will meet in Long Beach, California, June 3 - 4. Among the Plano-West goals: preparing "for the emerging realignment of an orthodox and vital Anglicanism in the United States."

AND THE HEAT IS ON ARCHBISHOP EAMES AND THE LAMBETH COMMISSION. In an address to the Irish General Synod recently he said this: “I want to make plain to this Synod and to the wider Anglican Communion that without prejudice to the final report of the Commission what the media likes to term the conservative view and the liberal view are being listened to, noted and taken fully into account. It is wrong for anyone to conclude that the Commission is listening only to one or the other. It is wrong to think that the Commission is more sympathetic to one view rather than to another"-- much Anglican waffling. "The fact that pilgrims on the journey of the Church can differ on the interpretation of that same Scripture has produced much of our present crisis. So we need guidance on how we interpret Scripture". Really. The Global South have no difficulty in interpreting Scripture, they, along with most of us take the plain meaning of the text unless it is metaphor, Psalmody, poetry etc. Mel Gibson had no problem with the literalness of Jesus’ pain and suffering and he figured out that the tomb was later empty…all by himself. No to sodomy yes to the resurrection, no PhD from Cantab or Oxon necessary.

AND IN THE MATTER OF THE JEFFREY JOHN APPOINTMENT comes this from a Virtuosity reader. Strictly speaking, the appointment of the Dean of one of the historic cathedrals is made directly by the Crown. It became de facto a prime ministerial appointment in the 19th century, and is nowadays handled by a senior civil servant in 10 Downing Street, Mr. William Chapman, who identifies candidates, and consults with the diocesan bishop about the appointment. The evidence suggests that a series of recent decanal appointments have followed the New Labour agenda, such that it is very rare for a married male to be offered a deanery.

He adds that given the sensitivities involved with Jeffrey John it is extremely unlikely that this appointment would have been made without the full knowledge and at least passive consent of the Archbishop of Canterbury. A (ludicrous) distinction may have been drawn between the ministry of a bishop and that of a dean.

“It now seems that the rule in Issues in Human Sexuality has been modified so that a gay lifestyle is permissible for the laity, but not for the clergy, unless they become senior clergy.” He writes: “I wonder whether he will decide to wear a bullet proof vest for his installation? "Safe sex plus safe consecration"?

AND THE WIFE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY Jane Williams made a plea for family values this week. “Divorce and infidelity have ‘ravaged’ British families much as war and Aids have destroyed lives in the Third World, she said. In a speech to the Mothers' Union, Jane Williams said that too many children were growing up without models of lasting, committed relationships. Her comments follow a series of high-profile divorces and allegations of infidelity surrounding the footballer David Beckham, who is idolized by many young people. Mrs. Williams, who is a theologian and mother of two, asked what chance young people would have of "building for themselves something they had never seen". "I have seen housing estates where families that are already fragmenting are all put together, often with poor public transport, no schools, no doctor's surgery, no shops," she said. "How can that possibly help to uphold the family?"

AND FROM THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS comes this clarification regarding the appointment of Dr. Paul Zahl to be the next president of TESM. “A story on the first page of Friday's Metro/State section was inaccurate on several points regarding the Rev. Paul Zahl, dean of the Cathedral Church of the Advent. The story said Zahl had resigned. Zahl says he has accepted the unanimous nomination of the board of directors of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pa., but won't resign until Trinity's board votes to elect him president and dean of the school. Zahl noted that he presented his decision to the cathedral's executive committee in person, although the story implied otherwise by saying he was out of town and unavailable for comment on the day he notified the committee. Zahl said the story also implied that his decision was related to controversy in the parish over his opposition to the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop. That was not the case, Zahl said.

BISHOP GREIN, ANN RICHARDS AND GRACE CHURCH IN MANHATTAN. Virtuosity has received word that Richards, who was cited as “the other woman” in Grein’s divorce proceedings is going to marry the former NY Bishop. This will be her third marriage and his second. As a priest in the ‘Diocese of Sodom’ she requires Bishop Mark's permission. Can’t imagine that being a problem. She is no longer with Grace Church but has gotten a job as chaplain of Grace Church School. What a great model of a Christian cleric for the school, faculty and students to emulate! No word on where they are tying the nuptial knot, but Grein must be happy on several counts. He walked away from 39 charges laid against him courtesy of Frank Griswold and an attorney Griswold brought in to look at the charges. He also walked away from a presentment against him, and the case of the Rev. Janet Kraft was nearly resolved when Federal Judge Wood refused to consider Janet’s case against the former bishop. But Kraft is not giving up, Virtuosity was told, she is appealing to a higher court. Good for her. Kraft, you will recall, was a priest at Grace Church when she was dismissed by Grein so he could put Richards in her place. Makes you wonder just how corrupt the Diocese of New York is. And oh yes, the source for the rumor was Joan Grein.

AND THE DIOCESE OF OLYMPIA HAS ELECTED A NEW SUFFRAGAN BISHOP. She is The Rev. Bavi Edna 'Nedi' Rivera. She is the first Hispanic woman bishop and only the 12th woman bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church in the United States. A Virtuosity reader noted that Nedi Rivera's father refused to ordain women when he was a bishop. She, on the other hand, is an ardent feminist. “I do have to laugh about the Hispanic aspect. Her mother is white.”

AND IN THE DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON the Rev. Christopher Halliday (St. George's Episcopal Church, William and Mary Parish - Valley Lee, MD) was removed from the church by Bishop John Chane of the Washington Diocese for "violation of his sacred vows" and will no longer be a practicing priest in the United States and will be returning to England. Seems that Rev. Halliday was having an affair with a woman from England and his wife (Rev. Paula Halliday) found an email between the two and reported the affair to the Bishop. Rev. Halliday has been barred from having any contact with parishioners from the church and must make an appearance before the Vestry of the church to explain his actions and issue a personal apology before leaving the country.

Now this is the same diocese that has pushed queer priests onto unsuspecting parishes, spent a million dollars crucifying one single Anglo-Catholic priest, and its former diocesan Bishop Ron Haines never allowed single or married white males to be priests in his diocese during his tenure…and Chane is among the worst of the worst revisionist bishops pushing queer rites and more.

IN THE DIOCESE OF THE RIO GRANDE, where Bishop Terence Kelshaw is shortly to retire, the Diocese reported on the bishop search process. In the midst of the search the Standing Committee president of NEW HAMPSHIRE contacted the Rio Grande Search Committee to tell them he was appalled at the tactics of the Rio Grande Via Media. So much for the inclusionary methods of the Via Media.

URGENT NEWS. There is an urgent need to replace missionary support funds that are being lost because of ECUSA's sin, writes Bill Atwood of EKKLESIA. “The actions of the ECUSA General Convention to consecrate a non-celibate candidate in a same-sex relationship continues to create shockwaves around the world. Last month the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa released a statement saying that CAPA Provinces were no longer willing to receive funds from 815 or revisionist dioceses. They made this decision lest they be accused of supporting the same-sex agenda of ECUSA by accepting funds.”

“I have received word that there are a number of missionaries appointed by the Episcopal Church that have been informed that they must sever their relationship with ECUSA and find orthodox sources of funds in order to stay in Africa. The challenge is significant. There is an immediate emergency need to raise money. While it will take some time to learn the full extent of the need, we are aware of an immediate need for almost $60,000 for missionary support to replace rejected funds. The total need will likely exceed $1,000,000 per year. As has been the case since our inception, 100% of designated funds are delivered to the field. There are not (nor have their ever been) any deductions for administrative overhead. Immediate support can be sent through the Ekklesia web site (www.ekk.org) or by check to Ekklesia, PO Box 118526, Carrollton, TX 75011-8526.

THE JESUS SEMINAR AND SPONG ARE ON THEIR ANNUAL ROAD SHOW with their heresy fest and blasphemy palooza. In Nyack, NY recently Spong said, "Jesus cannot be bound in the Scriptures, creeds, doctrines or dogmas of the church." During his tenure as Bishop of Newark, the diocese went into free fall and lost more than 30 percent of its membership. Under Bishop John Croneberger it is faring no better. As for the future, Spong said the church has to first drop the concept of original sin. Mankind was never perfect and has never fallen, he said, but is still trying to become human. "We have to see the Christ figure as an experience of God that helped people become more fully human, to help set them free," he said. Truth is thousands are being freed up to leave the Episcopal Church precisely because of Spong and his nonsense.

PRESIDING BISHOP’S EMAIL. A Virtuosity reader noticed that the Presiding Bishop's e-mail address has been removed from the Episcopal Church website. The wag observed, “You don't expect it's because he’s been receiving too much laudatory mail, do you?”

ONE OF THE ISSUES FACING worldwide Anglicanism is Islamic persecution and the need to support persecuted Christians and fulfilling the Great Commission as the best response to this persecution. Dr. Peter Hammond who has been received as a minister in the Episcopal Church of Sudan will be speaking on "Revival Amidst Persecution in Sudan" at First Presbyterian Church 252 Admiral Circle Lawrenceburg TN 38464 on THURSDAY MAY 20 at 7PM for more information people can email pastor@soulfriend.org Dr. Hammond's website is http://www.frontline.org.za
Dr. Hammond ministers in the war zones of Africa and has spent considerable time ministering in the war torn areas of the Sudan.

CORRECTION. In my last digest I said Bishop Parsley will nominate and place the new Dean of Advent Cathedral in Birmingham. Not so. A cathedral staffer wrote saying, “We are a parish church cathedral. Our relationship with the Bishop is governed by an agreement between the Advent and the Diocese. That agreement covers the selection of a Dean and states: “When the office of Dean of the Cathedral is vacant, it shall be the duty of the Chapter to elect and call a Dean in accordance with and pursuant to the Canons of the Diocese as they relate to the call of a Minister.” Canon 8 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama states: “A Rector shall be elected by the majority of the Vestry, on written ballot, after prior consultation with the Bishop.”

CORRECTION: “You continue to name the Lambeth Commission on Communion as the Eames Commission. This is wrong. The Eames Commission reported on the Ordination of Women to the Episcopate in the last century, and took a particular line, which is not a precedent for the basis of the Commission's findings on this issue.”

CORRECTION: In a story on the recent Anglican Communion Institute held in Colorado Springs I referred to the Rev. John Karanja as a bishop. “I am not a bishop but a priest of the Anglican Church of Kenya teaching at Trinity Lutheran Lutheran in Columbus, Ohio.”

I AM POSTING A NUMBER OF STORIES in today’s digest including another on the current malaise of The Episcopal Church.

THE AKRON FIVE BISHOPS who crossed diocesan lines recently have written a response to Bishop Jenkins the president of the PB’s Council of Advice. You can read that story today.

Please feel free to forward them to your friends. With the INTERNET nobody needs to stay in the dark. Tell your friends to join by going to the website: www.virtuosityonline.org and signing up, or you can simply read the stories at the website.

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