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Griswold on "reconciliation" to HOB...Hazing incident...ECUSA news...more

"The Church is to be a missionary outpost, not a museum. It is not enough to preserve a dead language whether it is Elizabethan English, Old Slavic, Latin, or Old Greek. We need English poets. We need musicians. We need preachers. We need all this to attract and hold the next Saint Augustine. We cannot and should not change our theology. Our core doctrines in the Creeds are sound. We need to express our theology in the best liturgy using the best poets, best musicians, and best preachers. It is not time to retreat and wait for Christ. It is time to start a new revival to Christianize our world. We know the truth. We need to share it without fear and without turning our churches and liturgies into museums." Deacon Ordice Gallups, S.T.S., Obl.S.B.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, fearful that he will be disciplined as a result of the Lambeth/Eames Commission, ratcheted up talk on reconciliation, a favorite topic of his, and to calm his nerves, drew the largely revisionist House of Bishops together around himself this past week in Spokane, Washington for comfort and affirmation.

Some 132 bishops and their wives came to stroke Frank and affirm his pluriform gospel at the swanky and expensive ($200.00+ a day plus food and travel) Davenport Hotel to listen to a range of speakers deliver themselves on Griswold's favorite topic, "reconciliation."

The line up of speakers represented the latest in post-modern thinking laced with Christian language and the usual code words like "inclusion", "diversity", "exclusion and embrace" with theologian Miroslav Wolf offering a heady lecture on a Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation. These are all code words to embrace pansexuality. To cap the liberal spin, Richard Rodriguez, essayist and author of the book "Brown: the Last Discovery of America", offered up his thoughts on what it is like to being a minority in America. Rodriguez, it should be noted, is gay and a lapsed Catholic. (You can read the full story in today's digest.)

A STORY ON HAZING AT ST. PAUL'S EPISCOPAL SCHOOL IN CONCORD, NH (see today's digest) prompted numerous responses, mainly from men who experienced similar hazing experiences, some still in pain from what happened to them years ago. Though this is a story about hazing by girls on girls, one couple wrote to tell of their daughter's experience when she was at the school in the 90's. As well as having a lesbian for a chaplain, there were seven reported attempted suicides, they said.

Fr. David Allen, SSC, St Francis Church in Dallas, TX wrote Virtuosity to tell of his experience. "I am always grateful when the silence is broken on hazing in Episcopal Boarding Schools. I cannot say that I experienced any sexually humiliating torture but in the sixties I was hazed physically at Shattuck School in Minn. The school completely condoned psychological and physical violence against students. This included the clergy. I have again and again asked the school to acknowledge wrong-doing (not compensation but simple Christian repentance) but they have only said 'things have changed.' The story of St. Paul's is, alas, nothing new, but I had hoped that the sad history of vicious sadism at Episcopal Schools had come to an end. It sounds like 'things have not changed' and probably the absence of any moral compass in the Episcopal Church has only exacerbated the situation."

Now the headmaster of this school, Bishop Craig Anderson was at one time Dean of General Seminary in New York, where he began officially to permit same-sex cohabitation in the resident halls. The Wall Street Journal exposed the fact that he was getting paid over half a million dollars a year in salary with his wife collecting some $32,000 for her efforts in supporting her husband at the school.

An activist lay woman wrote Virtuosity to say that there is a book called "Casualties of Privilege" in which students from St. Paul's and other coed boarding schools tell their stories about what goes on in those environments. The story of what has just happened at St. Paul's certainly illustrates the far reaching effects of the moral decline in the Episcopal Church, she said.

BIT BY BIT LEAKS are dribbling out from the Lambeth/Eames Commission report. One member of the commission, the Archbishop of Kaduna, Josiah Iduwo-Fearon, of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, compares the American church to a misbehaving child that has to be taught a lesson. The archbishop, who has never before spoken publicly on the issue, said that the American Church would have to admit that the consecration had been harmful to the overall interests of worldwide Anglicanism, or face suspension. He said that the 17-strong Lambeth Commission set up last October to seek ways of maintaining the Anglican Communion that was divided between evangelicals and liberals over the issue had agreed that the only way forward was for the Episcopalians to apologize for their actions. "The thrust of our concerns is that our communion is a family and if you have a family there has to be give and take for us to keep the family together," he told The Sunday Telegraph. "That is what we are expecting and we hope that the American Church will be willing to behave the way members of the family should behave. The archbishop conceded that if the Episcopalian Church did not accept the commission's findings, to be published on October 18, it would be "difficult" to proceed. The report appeared in the London Telegraph.

Will we learn more? Stay tuned.

It is 20 days till Oct. 18 when we will learn the fate of Frank Griswold and the Episcopal Church.

In the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA this week there was bad news for Bishop Charles E. Bennison. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania did not have to hear the appeal of St. James the Less whose property is being taken from them by the revisionist bishop, but the Court has, however, decided to hear the appeal anyway. It's still anybody's guess how it will go.

According to Mark Jakubik, an attorney familiar with the case said that what the Court has agreed to consider is whether the Commonwealth Court's decision ordering St. James to turn over its property was legally correct, and also to consider whether the lower court's decision failed to give proper consideration to St. James' first amendment rights. "I find it most interesting that it will look at whether using a canon which St. James "never agreed to be bound" by violates the first amendment. The Court has refused to enter a stay of the Commonwealth Court's order while this new appeal is litigated. Nonetheless, I would certainly see this order as a MAJOR victory for St. James."

In other Philadelphia news, someone slipped into the rooms of six patients at Episcopal Long Term Care and cut the feeding tubes keeping them alive, almost killing them. In 1998, the city and the company it hires to run the home, Episcopal Long Term Care, agreed to improve conditions there to settle a Justice Department complaint that patients there had been subjected to abuse and neglect. All six patients at the city-owned Philadelphia Nursing Home survived after the slashed tubes were discovered Wednesday morning. The tubes were reinserted at a hospital, according to an Associated Press report.

In the DIOCESE OF MISSOURI, the Bishop George Wayne Smith has threatened to reduce Saint Luke’s, Manchester, (a suburb of St. Louis) to mission status, and to fire the Vestry and the Rector, William Luley. The reason: St. Luke’s has been withholding payments on their diocesan apportionment and sending them to other charitable causes. A source told Virtuosity, that the bishop is beginning to believe that Good Shepherd (the other parish) might prevail in the courts, so he wants to intimidate any other parishes that might be thinking of bolting. Apparently the bishop is now telling diocesan clergy that Good Shepherd exploited a loophole that has now been closed. Luley is a solid evangelical catholic.

In my recent story about Bishop Curry coming to speak in the DIOCESE OF MISSISSIPPI and the excuse being offered by Bishop Grey that that engagement could not be cancelled because Curry had been invited better than a year ago, a Virtuosity reader wrote to say that Bishop Parsley used the same excuse when it was discovered that Curry was to be the keynote speaker at Alabama's Diocesan Convention this past February. Now what are the odds would you say?

THE EVER-TOLERANT Anglicans Online "moderate" Bishop Pierre Whalon who is in Charge of the Convocation of American churches in Europe recently attacked the Episcopal Orthodox Mission in Italy-- which is under the pastoral care of Bp. Kapinga, Bishop of Ruvuma in the Anglican Church of Tanzania.

Whalon issued an inhibition determining that the actions of the Rev. Claudio Bocca because he rejected the authority of his bishop and affiliating with an ecclesial body not in communion with the Protestant Episcopal Church and thereby abandoning the communion of this church. If such retraction is not made within six months he will be deposed for abandonment of communion.

The issue is over ECUSA's recent sexual innovations. Write Bocca, "I cannot in good conscience make any retraction of my decision to be canonically residence into the Diocese of Ruvuma in the Anglican Church of Tanzania within the Anglican Communion because for me to be faithful to the Divine Law of our Lord Jesus Christ is much more important than to comply with ECUSA canon law. I must make clear that I have only rejected to accept the recent ECUSA-General Convention’s decisions but I have not abandoned the Communion of the Church (I mean the Anglican Communion) as you affirm in your NOTE OF INHIBITION. Therefore I strongly refuse to accept your charge. I do hope that you, as a Bishop of the Church of God, would be able to respect my “case of conscience” issuing regular “Letters Dimissory” to the Bishop of Ruvuma the Rt. Revd. Maternus K. Kapinga .

This prompted the Archbishop of the ANGLICAN CHURCH OF TANZANIA, The Most Revd. Donald Mtetemela to jump in saying, "reports have been reaching us of sustained attacks on the Episcopal Orthodox Mission in Italy ( EOMI ) by Pierre Whalon Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of American churches in Europe, attacks directed especially at the Mission’s Vicar General, The Very Revd. Claudio Bocca and myself as Episcopal Overseer of the Mission.

"Bishop Whalon is reported to be circulating false information in Europe using Your Grace’s name as Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, to the effect, for instance allegedly, that you regard the Ministry of the Episcopal Orthodox Mission in Italy as some “misdoing” namely evil. He further tells Church leaders in Europe allegedly that you do not recognize the Bishop of Ruvuma as a Bishop of the Anglican Church of Tanzania. It would appear that Bishop Pierre Whalon has appointed himself as your spokesman or a spokesman of the Anglican Church of Tanzania, bent on doing damage to the image of our Church abroad.

"The Revd. Claudio Bocca on his own will and on a “casus conscientie” basis left once for all the Convocation of American Churches in Europe ( hence ECUSA ) when in 2003 that Church by consecrating a practicing gay priest to the Episcopate (with Whalon’s Bishop as chief consecrator ) Fr. Bocca applied to me to be licensed a priest of our Diocese and I, regarding the spiritual “signa temporum”, did just that, after prayerfully seeking of God’ s guidance in the matter. Using my authority as a Bishop of the Church and responding to pastoral needs of the people of God, rendered “sheep without a shepherd” by their would be shepherds, I permitted Fr. Claudio Bocca to minister among his own people in Italy, out of which pastoral efforts emerged. The Episcopal Orthodox Mission in Italy ( EOMI ). The mission has now been granted official legal recognition by the Italian State as a Religious Organisation (Culto)!

"Upon critical analysis we must conclude that there is failure on the part of Bishop Whalon to read the spiritual signs of the times, whereby there are plebes sancta Dei in Europe and America, rendered “sheep without shepherd’s” by their would be shepherds, who are turning to Africa and Asia for spiritual leadership ! The Bishop of Ruvuma is neither the first nor the last Global South Prelate to be asked to extend such leadership to a needy people of God!

The African Primate accused Whalon's actions as being "another instance of the predilection so pervasive among ECUSA Prelates, that of persecuting orthodox clergy! This is unacceptable!" Indeed.

SPONG AGAIN. Like an apostate jack-in-the-box up jumps Jack Spong again, this time to take a swipe at the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams. Here is what he said. "When Rowan Williams was chosen for this post there was such hope. He is a man of intellectual brilliance with a liberal spirit wrapped around a theologically conservative center. People believed that he might restore that office to the luster that it had before his predecessor George Carey carried it to an all time low. His early actions, however, revealed a fatal character flaw. He has no courage, no backbone and no ability to lead. Seldom have I watched a quicker collapse of potential. Shortly after being chosen, he assured the third world bishops that he would not press his personal openness on his homophobic colleagues. It was an abdication of leadership, so dramatic as to be breath taking. In response to Gene Robinson's election, he demonstrated a willingness to place unity over truth by accepting the uninformed and prejudiced opinions of those who believed that ignorance should not be challenged and that homophobia must be accepted as a Christian virtue."

Spong is known for his effluvient, childish outbursts from time to time. The last time he attacked an archbishop it was Dr. George Carey at Lambeth 1998. Williams has described Spong's diatribes over the years as those of a 6th former (12th grade student) and ignores him. And the absurd thing about Spong this time is that his verbal blasts
are entirely premature. Williams has not betrayed his hand at all. He did not sit on the Lambeth Commission, Archbishop Eames did. Furthermore Williams is a theologian for the LGBT community, he is not an Evangelical and no one knows what he will do or how he will act when the report is made public. Spong is just up to his old tricks...a spent man with a spent message.

ON THE BRIGHTER SIDE THIS WEEK, the former vicar of Grace Church in New York, Janet Kraft won her case against Richard Grein the former Bishop of New York who summarily dismissed her from her job to put his lover (and later wife) Anne Richards into her slot into the church. Kraft was accused of stealing and misusing money and much more. It was all lies and she collected big time with a generous financial settlement. "My name was cleared, files cleared out," she told Virtuosity. It was total exoneration for the Jewish convert. Virtuosity had this story in hand for some weeks but agreed not to run it till the checks had cleared, but the New York Times got wind of the story and ran it last Saturday. I am not permitted to run their story, but I will have my own up on the website in due course. Watch for it. Grein did manage to slip away from some 39 charges against him including a presentment when his pal Frank Griswold made it all go away with a lawyer. The Title IV Review committee never even got to see the charges. It's nice to have friends in high places.

Kraft says she will have a huge exoneration party with live bands and music!!! A country western band is playing and they have written a song in Janet Kraft's honor called "Its not that you were wrong but that I was right". Virtuosity will be there with bells and whistles. Score one for the righteous lady.

AND THEN FOR THE TOTALLY ABSURD, Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral, in Louisville, KY will begin a two-week discussion series on "Queer Eye for the Church Guy (and Gal)". A mediator from Just Solutions will facilitate and record members' responses to controversies involving church actions concerning homosexuality locally and nationally. They will then be forwarded to a diocesan task force.

"I am appalled that the cathedral would make light of ECUSA's non-biblical actions during GC 2003 by equating this discussion with a shallow gay makeover TV series. Things will not be OK in the Episcopal Church once we tastefully redecorate, learn how to prepare and serve a stylish meal, don hip new clothing, and shape our new hairdos with the latest styling products. Have these people ever heard of the Bread of Life or the robe of righteousness? That's what they're going to need for the ultimate wedding banquet," wrote Ralinda Gregor to Virtuosity.

In DOBBS FERRY, NY an Episcopal church embraced a gay pair after they were removed from the choir at a Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx when it was learned they were married in Canada last year. They were welcomed into the choir at the tiny Zion Episcopal Church, where the rector, one Richard McKeon Jr. equated homophobia with "the forces of evil" at a church service. He did not name the Catholic Church - St. Benedict's in Throgs Neck - that ejected Michael Sabatino and Robert Voorheis from the choir eight days after they returned from their Oct. 4 marriage in Ontario, a province that officially recognized gay marriage earlier last year.

October 1 will be the last day for early registration for STANDING IN FAITH for the ACN Mid-Continental Convocation conference to be held on October 28-30. If you want to go log on to www.regonline.com/15966 and follow the prompts. For those without computers, please call Christ Church, 913-648-2271 and ask for Sally Cline, Registrations Coordinator.

"This promises to be a wonderful time to come together to worship, to network with others who affirm biblical authority and historic Anglicanism, and to consider the future implications of the Lambeth Commission report (to be published two weeks before the conference) on the realignment of our church in North America," said Deacon D. O. Smart, Coordinator, ACN Mid-Continental Convocation Christ Church.

IN AUSTRALIA, The Australian Church Record, an independent evangelical voice that has published (on and off) since 1880, will be relaunched after a break of some years on 9th October 2004. The relaunched Record will be in electronic form only, to be accessed at: www.australianchurchrecord.net.

CORRECTION: In my last digest I omitted to give credit to one news item: GO FLY A CHASUBLE. The Episcopal Diocese of WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, one of three Episcopal dioceses in the Tar Heel State (to paraphrase Andy Warhol, in the future everybody will be an Episcopal bishop for fifteen minutes) is getting a new bishop, one G. Porter Taylor. I neglected to mention that this came from Christopher Johnson's acerbic Midwest Conservative Journal blogsite for 9/17/2004. My apologies to Mr. Johnson.

WEBSITE. Virtuosity's website has a new look courtesy of Mr. Robert Turner, Virtuosity's website genius. This current makeover will make it easier on the eye, more accessible than ever, more stories available at a single click and easier roving. Buy your books online, delve into the archives, read the latest news which is posted now seven days a week from 6am to midnight Eastern Standard Time. Check it out at www.virtuosityonline.org. VIRTUOSITY will soon register its 3 millionth hit, making it the fastest growing, most timely orthodox news source in the entire Anglican Communion.

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