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Primates push deadline for ECUSA repentance...Ohio...Rio Grande...London news

“We will not, on the altar of money, mortgage our conscience, mortgage our faith, and mortgage our salvation.” Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

African Anglican Primates meeting in Nairobi this week sent shock waves through the Anglican Communion, but they aimed their sharpest barbs at the US Episcopal Church for its ordination of an avowed homoerotic bishop to the episcopacy.

African archbishops intensified the threat to the unity of the worldwide Anglican Communion last and increased pressure on Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by insisting that the US Episcopal Church must be disciplined within three months unless it "repents" for electing a gay bishop.

Their demand preempts the Lambeth Commission set up by the Archbishop of Canterbury last October in an attempt to avoid a split. The report is due out at the beginning of next year.

The major issue was whether these African leaders should go on accepting crucial funding from the U.S. Episcopal Church. After the two-day closed-door meeting of the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA). They decided they wouldn’t.

African Anglicans, led by Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, fiercely protested the decision to consecrate Bishop Robinson, with some threatening a permanent schism.

The official said it would not be "morally right and spiritually proper" for the African churches to accept money from people and groups who have failed to respect the word of God.

"If we rejected them, then it's fair before God to say 'no' to their money. But then we must be ready to get our own funds," the official added.

About 70 percent of CAPA's funding comes from rich churches in the West, particularly in the United States, home to most proponents of homosexual bishops.

Conservative members of the worldwide communion also warned that the consecration of Bishop Robinson, 56, who had lived with his male partner for 13 years, would plunge the faith into the worst turmoil in its 450-year history!

THE DIOCESE OF OHIO got a new bishop yesterday. He is Mark Hollingsworth (formerly of the Diocese of Massachusetts) and he was installed as Clark Grew's replacement. Just ten short days into his reign and he will meet with the Integrity crowd. A Virtuosity reader reports that The Community Alliance of Trinity Cathedral will welcome the GLBT community of the Diocese of Ohio to join them for a special Choral Evensong to be followed by a potluck. The guest speaker will be the new Bishop. The potluck will also relaunch the gay Episcopal activist organization known as Integrity. It had apparently been dormant. But after the pleasantries are over the new bishop will come out swinging because five Northeast Ohio congregations have told him to stay out of their churches. To those five parishes who don't want Hollingsworth to visit, it’s been suggested they start scouting Western Reserve movie theaters and high school gyms right now. You can read the full story in today’s digest.)

IN THE DIOCESE OF ILLINOIS, the assistant bishop of Chicago Victor Alfonso Scantlebury came to the parish of St. Mark's, Glen Ellyn, and told conservatives to work within the framework of the ECUSA. A laywoman reader told Virtuosity that Scantlebury then went on to say that there was nothing that barred the ordination of active homosexuals to the priesthood. “I wrote back, after a friend did some research, and informed him that there is a resolution from GC 1979 that says we can't ordain active homosexuals to the priesthood. It is supremely frustrating that he wants us to follow the rules when he won't.” He ignored the woman’s letter. This should come as no surprise. Frank Griswold was Bishop of Chicago and he ignored the canons as well.

AND IN THE DIOCESE OF FLORIDA comes word that the sanctuary of the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit in Tallahassee was destroyed by fire. The priest and approximately 80% of the congregation had resigned and left the church, diocese and ECUSA several weeks ago. No determination as to the cause of the fire has been made. The fire, determined as arson, is under investigation by local, state and federal authorities.

AND IN THE DIOCESE OF THE RIO GRANDE THE VIA MEDIA crowd proved once and for all that they are not remotely via media at all. They are so upset at the prospect of getting another orthodox bishop to succeed Bishop Terence Kelshaw that they elicited the help of Jack Spong the most revisionist bishop in the history of ECUSA to come to their aid. Spong had some nasty things to say about Kelshaw but couldn’t offer much hope to the revisionists except time, which he says will show that the orthodox are nothing more than a bunch of out of date people who need to be relieved of their beliefs in order to discover the freedom from faith that Spong has discovered.

V. GENE ROBINSON the newly anointed Bishop of New Hampshire told an audience in Nashua, NH that while he still has some self doubts, he vows he will continue to work for change. He says he’s getting death threats, but we’ve heard that before. His basic argument is that his appointment shows this is about the end of patriarchy. “For a very long time, straight white men have pretty much run the world," said Robinson, who spoke of knowing "from a very early age that the liberation of people of color in the '60s, and women in the '70s, would somehow become linked to his liberation (as a gay person). “I knew that long before I could articulate it." And Blacks in ECUSA are incensed that he equates the issue of color with homoerotic behavior. The two issues are not even close they say.

AND IN LONDON Jeffrey John the wannabe be Bishop of Reading will now become the next Dean of St Albans cathedral. The gay canon who was forced to stand down as Bishop of Reading, will now take this senior position in the Church of England. It’s a back door attempt to mainstream homosexuality into the Church of England. His new appointment will undoubtedly cause international ructions even as the CAPA primates are meeting in Africa. They condemned the consecration of Robinson, now they will have a C of E appointment to add to the list. You have to wonder what is going on in the tiny brains of British clerics that they are willing to do these sorts of acts and hope it won’t split the communion! You can read Ruth Gledhill’s story from the London Times. She broke the story first in the UK.

IN CANADA THE C250 BILL WHICH COULD HAVE MADE HOMOSEXUALITY A HATE CRIME could get deep-sixed permanently because its primary supporter, Burnaby, BC politician Svend Robinson admitted to stealing jewelry this week. He blames his stealing on the stress of pushing his bill through Parliament. Now there’s an argument we haven’t seen before. And here is what his gay lover had to say: "Svend's inner strength must be applied to a very personal inner challenge. I have every confidence that my friend Svend will overcome."

HE THAT LIVES BY THE PORT DIES BY THE CLARET. In a land of sprawling vineyards and vintage claret, the Church of England is experiencing an unusually good year. A new parish has been inaugurated covering one of the most rustic regions of France, which has become the home to 25,000 expatriates who have left England for a more sedate, sophisticated lifestyle. The Rev. Michael Hepper has been installed as the chaplain for Christ the Good Shepherd in Poiteau-Charentes, and will be covering a parish the size of Wales, from Poitiers to Cognac and Limoges. Meeting in buildings lent by local French Protestant and Catholic Christians, worshippers have been reading from the Book of Common Prayer, a liturgy from a bygone past in this country.

IN CANADA THEY WILL SHORTLY ELECT A NEW PRIMATE but only two candidates out of 12 are remotely orthodox. A source said that the only likely ones are Victoria Matthews who is very hard to read in her orthodoxy, and Ron Ferris who has been quite weak and invisible lately. “I don't think that any orthodox have a chance”, he said. Vancouver Bishop Michael Ingham is on the short list.

IN TODAY’S LEAD STORY WE EXAMINE THE TALE OF TWO CHURCHES, one in Atlanta, the other in Plano, Texas. Both are large and prosperous but both have very different theologies. One is prospering and the other is suffering as a result of the Robinson consecration.

AND FROM DR. MICHAEL GREEN AN EVANGELICAL ANGLICAN LEADER IN ENGLAND COMES THIS. “I have just come off a mission in a southern town in the UK, and it was very interesting. We had Rowan [Williams] for one evening. He was simply brilliant…marvelous, [with a] fresh explanation of the gospel and a strong ransom theory on the atonement. It led some people there to commitment.”

THE LOS ANGELES CHAPTER OF THE AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL has announced plans for a “Plano-West” conference scheduled for Thursday and Friday, June 3-4, 2004 at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long Beach, California. The San Diego Chapter of the AAC will assist AAC-Los Angeles in hosting the gathering. The event, “An Historic Gathering of Anglicans Committed to the Great Commission,” is designed as a follow-up to two other meetings of orthodox Episcopalians in the United States.

“A Place to Stand: Michigan”: Episcopalians upholding orthodox teaching in the Upper Midwest are invited to attend this two-day event in the Diocese of Michigan on May 21 and 22, 2004. The event will feature a session for clergy, Friday night Eucharist, several prominent speakers, and a panel discussion.

PRO LIFERS HAVE A NEW WEBSITE. ABOUT LIFENEWS.COM is an independent news agency specifically devoted to reporting news that affects the pro-life community. With a team of experienced journalists and reporters, LifeNews.com reaches tens of thousands of pro-life advocates with timely, accurate pro-life news. lifeNews.com also acts as a service provider to furnish news content to media that share the pro-life perspective. The topics covered by LifeNews.com include abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, bioethics issues such as human cloning and stem cell research, campaigns and elections, and legal and legislative issues.

TODAY‘S STORIES INCLUDE AN ANALYSIS of Frank Griswold’s review of the Passion, a story about how giving to churches is not in decline in the US even though it is in the ECUSA. The deep thinkers at national headquarters said it was the economy. Not true. More spin. The down trend in giving to The Episcopal Church is about the Robinson consecration.


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All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

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