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International Catholic Congress of Anglicans Meet in Texas*Four Episcopal Dioceses Reject Gay Marriage Resolutions* LA Bishop Bruno Faces Presentment Charges*Panic Hits CofE over Shrinking Future

This isn't constitutional law, it's theology -- a secular theology of self-actualization -- crafted in such a way that its adherents will no doubt ask, "What decent person can disagree?" This is about love, and the law can't fight love. Justice Kennedy's opinion was nine parts romantic poetry and one part legal analysis (if that). --- David A. French, National Review

The general political direction of the [Western political] elite bears, without doubt, an anti-Christian and anti-religious character. We have been through an epoch of atheism, and we know what it is to live without God. We want to shout to the whole world, 'Stop!' ---- Patriarch Kyril of Moscow and all Russia

Judgment now. Like eternal life, judgment begins now. As we respond to Christ, so we are being judged. The final judgment will be but the public declaration of a destiny already reaped. --- John R.W. Stott

Dear Brothers and Sisters
July 17, 2015

I am in Ft. Worth, Texas, this week attending the International Catholic Congress of Anglicans, a conciliar gathering of Catholic Anglicans, rooted, as they say, in the past, ready for the future.

It is an historic occasion, the first of its kind in the 21st Century (the last conferences of this kind were held in the 1920s) drawing in some 350 congress participants from multiple Anglican jurisdictions across the globe (including TEC) under the watchful eye of patron bishops Keith Ackerman (US) and Michael Nazir Ali (UK). In attendance are two dozen archbishops, bishops, and some 150 clergy navigating their way through the seas of post modernity while holding onto "the faith once delivered for all to the saints."

It is no easy task. Among the speakers is Bishop Michael Nazir Ali of England, a bishop, who in my estimation should have been the Archbishop of Canterbury, but whose candidacy was scuttled by a liberal media and false accusations. He has carved out a life warning people of the dangers of Islam, of Britain forfeiting its heritage, and much more.

Here in Ft. Worth, he has conducted worship with sound Bible teaching, spoken on the necessity of unity in truth for the Church's mission, and much more.

In one lecture, he said he sees little hope for the future of the Anglican Communion because of its divisions and prospects appear tenuous, "if not impossible" for unity as the global family.

In response to a question put by VOL as to whether there would come a time when the Global South Primates and GAFCON really could remain with Western Anglican revisionists, the Pakistani-born orthodox Anglican bishop replied, "I think living together is already proving difficult, if not impossible. This is the reason for the impossibility of gathering the Communion. People are simply not able to come together. Primates are unable to meet. Will there ever be another Lambeth Conference? We don't know. How tragic that is, but nevertheless, we have to be realistic. There is no interchangeability of ministry anymore. In all of those signs of ecclesial communion haven't quite disappeared but are disappearing fast."

The former Bishop of Rochester also warned participants at the International Congress of Catholic Anglicans (ICCA) against the ordination of women, suggesting that it led to false language about God and a denial of revealed truth.

Speaking to Jesus' prayer for unity in John 17: 21, "That they all may be one," Nazir-Ali reminded listeners that unity was contingent on truth, quoting John 17: 19, "And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth."

After saying that "you can't just put unlike things together," Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali gave examples of contemporary issues that contradict the truth found in Scripture and the Church's teaching, threatening its unity. Nazir-Ali singled out the ordination of women to the priesthood and the consecration of women as bishops.

"We are facing a situation," said the Bishop, "where women have been ordained as priests and consecrated as bishops, and because of this the church has to revisit its language about God." For Nazir-Ali, the result of this was potentially catastrophic because the "whole Bible and usage of the Church," speaks of God as Father and husband, and his people as feminine.

He will be the chief speaker at next year's gathering of Anglo-Catholics.

Emerging from a long dark spiritual night, the Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo from Myanmar spoke on conditions in his own country for preaching the gospel and the years of persecution Christians have faced. Things are changing even in his country, a new spiritual dawn is emerging, an omen of better days to come for both the gospel and the Anglican way in his country.

Canon Arthur Middleton sent an address on "Restoring the Anglican mind," read by Bishop Keith Ackerman. ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach set the tone early on when he appealed for unity between evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics.

"Evangelicalism is the seedbed of Anglo-Catholicism." He appealed for a new generation of servant leadership as the Church and Christian Faith are under "incredible attack."

"We have never seen the faith under such an attack in the US. Islam, secularism and materialism continue to attack the foundation of our faith, with Islam being promoted in the White House and a president promoting their agenda," added Beach.

Stressing the need for a new generation of servant leaders, Beach asked, "What is to be our response to all this?"

The Archbishop urged his listeners to imitate Christ, serve the Lord in worship, serve the church in discipleship, and finally to serve the community. "Christian leaders are called to be servants and to serve. The leader is first a servant. A leader never needs to grab for power. We must die to our own ambitions and own desires and take up our cross daily as servant leaders. The Cross must be attached to our shoulders. Christian leaders are called to be servants and called to serve. Good leaders must first become good servants. We must die to the personal trinity of me, myself, and I."

Strong stuff but necessary for Anglo-Catholics, especially the Continuers, who have been fragmented since 1977 and the St. Louis Convention. A number were at this conference, signaling that perhaps it was time to come in out of the cold and ally with the ACNA. One can but hope. Lurking in the shadows were members from what was the Anglican Mission in America, now calling itself An Anglican Society of Mission & Apostolic Works... whatever that means.

I have posted a number of papers delivered at this conference. They are long and are offered as links only in this week's digest. A particularly fine paper was delivered on the final evening by anthropologist Alice Linsley whose paper I hope to have up shortly.

Forward in Faith US, one of the conveners of this event, is alive and well, according to Bishop Ackerman, drawing members from numerous jurisdictions including The Episcopal Church.


IN OTHER NEWS there is some push back to The Episcopal Church which recently became the third mainline denomination in the U.S. to embrace same-sex nuptials. A number of bishops have stepped up to the plate, including the Rt. Rev. John C. Bauerschmidt, Bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee, who has said that churches under his jurisdiction will not be performing gay marriage ceremonies.

After the denomination approved homosexual "marriage" and even approved a homosexual wedding rite, one Episcopal bishop still says "no." He wrote a pastoral letter explaining that there will be no gay "marriage" under his watch.

Similar pronouncements came from Bishop Daniel Martins of Springfield, IL, who issued a long statement nixing any notion that people living in a same sex arrangement can expect cooperation to tie the knot in his diocese. No rites, no marriage, nothing.

Bishop Dabney Smith of Southwest Florida, who presides over 77 churches with almost 31,000 active baptized members, is still deciding whether to allow his clergy to perform them. He has until the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 29, when the supplemental liturgy takes effect.

"The decision is on my shoulders," Bishop Smith said. "I am going to carefully review the trial liturgies now that I am back from the convention and I have more time, I will talk to my diocesan lawyer to make sure I'm doing everything right and then I'll talk to my priests."

The clergy, Bishop Smith says, are the ones with the "real skin in the game."
Dallas Suffragan Bishop Paul E. Lambert also said no to gay weddings. He cited his responsibility as successor to the apostles.

Lambert joined 19 Episcopal and Anglican bishops around the globe in opting out of the new rules on gay marriage in the church and was a signer to a minority report.

The 19 declared together in a published dissent that, "As bishops of the Church, we must dissent from these actions." So if you and your intended are gay Episcopalians and you go to church in Dallas, Honduras, North Dakota, or the Dominican Republic, you can forget about a church wedding any time soon.


The Episcopal rats are beginning to turn on themselves. Having dealt what they believe is a death blow to the orthodox in The Episcopal Church, they are now starting to eat their own. In Los Angeles this past week charges were filed against Bishop Jon Bruno by the remnant clergy and parishioners of St. James the Great in Newport Beach.

Bruno's hope to grab the parish after dumping the orthodox and sell it for $15 million to developers has backfired. The remnant liberals say he has no right or authority to sell the property and have sued him to keep it. They also filed presentment charges against him, accusing him of lying and misrepresenting his intentions to them. He is also an A1 bully.

They say he is attempting to sell the valuable property on which their church is located without any appraisal, and at far below its market value.

The names of the signatories have not been disclosed in order to protect them from retaliation until the Disciplinary Board for Bishops can act on the charges. Under the Canons, the charges are reviewed first by Bishop F. Clayton Matthews, the Intake Officer for the Disciplinary Board. If he finds them presentable (capable of being made a formal presentment under the disciplinary canons), he will convene a Review Panel, consisting of himself, the Presiding Bishop, and the President of the Disciplinary Board. The latter is a bishop who is soon to be elected for a new three-year term following General Convention; until his successor is so elected, the Rt. Rev. Dorsey Henderson, Jr. will function in that role.

One hopes this is the end for this worthless bishop. But based on past actions, TEC leaders will do their best to cover it up or have the charges thrown out. He is, after all, one of their own. If it were Bishops Dan Martins (Springfield) or Bill Love (Albany), it would be another matter altogether, but for now the revisionist Bruno has been hog-tied by his own people and that's got to be good news.


Panic seems to have hit the Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the future of the Church of England. Recent reports say Justin Welby has a "spiritual magpie" plan to save the Church of England. Lots of luck.

There's a fantastic article this weeks' Spectator entitled 'God's management consultants: the Church of England turns to bankers for salvation'. It's the sort of piece that is bound to send many clergy and lay members of the Church of England into a big flap, accusing Justin Welby of attempting to turn their beloved church, with all of its woolliness and eccentricity, into an efficient and hard-nosed organization full of managerial types who have more interest in numbers and "talent pools" than theology or the pastoral wellbeing of parishioners.

"A new mood has taken hold of Lambeth Palace," writes Mark Greaves:

Officials call it urgency; critics say it is panic. The Church of England, the thinking goes, is about to shrink rapidly, even vanish in some areas, unless urgent action is taken. This action, laid out in a flurry of high-level reports, amounts to the biggest institutional shake-up since the 1990s. Red tape is to be cut, processes streamlined, resources optimized. Targets have been set. The Church is ill -- and business management is going to cure it.

Sources from the Church of England at the Anglo-Catholic conference in Texas told VOL that the CofE has 7 to ten years left before it finally dissolves and the last member closes the last doors on the last church. We shall see.


The latest session of the General Synod of the Church of England drew to a close in York this week and, absent any debate about women bishops, it failed to set the blood racing, according to reports. Until discussion on the outcomes of the two-year "shared conversations" on sexuality emerge, things are likely to stay pretty quiet. A couple of items did manage to gain some media attention, though.

Firstly, these shared conversations involving 600 people will cost the CofE £360,000 ($535,000). That's a lot of money spent on talking about sex, especially when it runs the risk of producing little by way of helpful conclusions. Like the Episcopal Church's huge investment in twisting sex to make it fit a handful of people, this will be talked to death with the only winners being those who want their behavior brokered officially into the church. "Listening" always goes in favor of those who want change, not for those who believe change is not possible, why else discuss it. This is a no win for orthodox Anglicans, a "no lose" for pansexualists.

Talking of investments, the second item was the matter of climate change and divestment from fossil fuels. Despite various recent rumblings about the need for the Church of England to set an example and steer away from companies extracting fossil fuels, somewhat surprisingly it would appear that the Church's Ethical Investment Advisory Group (EAIG) is in agreement with Brother Ivo. The former national secretary of the Green Party is now a member of Synod and, having changed his mind on many "green" issues, contributed to the discussion as a devil's advocate, explaining why a complete halt in investing in these companies could potentially be disastrous. "Until renewable sources are able to provide the majority of our energy needs, we need to accept that affordable and readily-available fossil fuels are essential not only to keep societies functioning, but also to drive down global poverty."

Is it the task of the Church to create Disciples of Christ or eco-warriors? The Church of England is not a branch of the Green Party or a subsidiary of Greenpeace.


Women bishops in the Church of England recently marked their first anniversary. A year ago, a historic vote within the Anglican Church decreed that women bishops could become a reality.

Since then, six women have been chosen as bishops in the Church of England - the first was Libby Lane, named just before Christmas.

With each new announcement, the news coverage has lessened. There are new battles to fight.

Perhaps this can only be a good thing.

As Rachel Treweek, now the Bishop of Gloucester, said about her appointment in March, "I hope this will become something normal. Won't that be wonderful when, in the best sense, it isn't newsworthy because we're women?"

The reality is that even in the Church, interest in women bishops has waned rapidly.

Your average Anglican wouldn't be able to name any female bishops other than Lane, mostly because they have very little contact with them. Bishops are rather aloof figures, who roam between churches and public appointments.


Bishops Call for Prayers in the Wake of Chattanooga Shooting. Once again we have witnessed the horrific results of gun violence in our nation. This week a nationalized Kuwaiti Muslim gunman entered a Recruitment Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and shot and killed four innocent people. The fact that the man who did the shooting is Muslim and all the victims were Marines leads us to assume that this is a hate crime motivated by Jihad. Such death and destruction is utterly sinful and must be decried in the strongest of terms.

One tongue in cheek observer wrote saying, "These repeated outbreaks of violence by Muslims should not lead us to condemn Islam which we all know is a Religion of Peace. In fact, we were pleased to learn that the Dean of Washington Cathedral will replace the Confederate stained glass with one praising the Prophet Mohammed. Blessed be His Name. The sticker on the front door of the center read: This is a gun free zone."


ALJAZEERA AMERICA accused The Episcopal Church of throwing Jerusalem's Anglican bishop under the bus. In their efforts to put off discussing BDS, US bishops turned down a chance to stand up for peace in the Middle East at their recent General Convention.

In their effort to get out of a dicey problem with powerful Zionists, American Episcopalians landed their bishop in Jerusalem in hot water, wrote Daoud Kuttab.

"The Episcopal Church of America deviated from their prophetic mission for peace and justice this week by refusing to stand with the oppressed Palestinian people. In their efforts to justify why they wouldn't begin discussing the potential for future divestment from Israel, they badly hurt the reputation and image of the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem and essentially turned down a chance to stand up for peace in the Middle East.

"At the church's general assembly in Salt Lake City, the church's committee on corporate social responsibility (CSR) was asked to develop a list of U.S. and foreign corporations that provide goods and services that support the Israeli occupation's infrastructure. According to a report in the Episcopal News Service the goal of Resolution D016 was to 'to monitor its investments and apply its CSR policy to any possible future investments' in such companies.

"The resolution didn't even use the word 'divestment,' let alone 'boycott' or 'sanctions,' the other two elements of BDS -- the popular movement to apply those tactics against Israeli economic interests until Israel changes its conduct toward Palestinians in the occupied territories -- which are an anathema in pro-Israel circles.

"Instead of discussing the merits of the resolution or listening to what their parishes said, the Episcopalian bishops looked for a weak link. Citing conversations with the Anglican bishop of Jerusalem, the Rev. Suheil Dawani, the American bishops justified rejecting the resolution in order to protect their leader from political backlash."


This week's release of a video showing the senior medical director of Planned Parenthood casually discussing the sale of organs from aborted babies is a moral challenge thrown right in the face of all Americans.

The video reveals Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services for Planned Parenthood, discussing the intentional harvesting of organs and other tissues from babies aborted in Planned Parenthood clinics. While reaching with her fork for salad, Dr. Nucatola openly tells a group, she believes to be medical researchers, that there is a great demand for fetal livers, but "a lot of people want intact hearts these days."

Dr. Nucatola went on to explain in chilling detail that abortionists often plan in advance how to harvest desired organs, even telling the group that a "huddle" is sometimes held with clinic staff early in the day, so that targeted organs can be harvested from unborn babies.

Her language is beyond chilling as she described how abortions are conducted specifically to harvest intact organs: "We've been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I'm not gonna crush that part. I'm gonna basically crush below, I'm gonna crush above, and I'm gonna see if I can get it all intact." She also described using an abortion technique that appears to be partial-birth abortion.

The undercover video was released by the Center for Medical Progress, a group with ties to previous efforts to expose Planned Parenthood and the reality of its murderous work. As expected, Planned Parenthood struck back, claiming that the video misrepresented Dr. Nucatola, Planned Parenthood, and the procurement of fetal organs.

You can see the video here: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/undercover-video-planned-parenthood-uses-illegal-partial-birth-abortions-to


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In Christ,


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