jQuery Slider

You are here

REALIGNMENT Woes...FIFNA president to be TAC bishop...Diocesan news...more

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The realignment of the Anglican Communion took another interesting turn this week. The persecuted Pennsylvania Anglo-Catholic priest and president of Forward in Faith NA, Fr. David Moyer was nominated to become a bishop in the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) under the authority of John Hepworth Primate of the largest of the Continuing church body in the world. This group is not part of the Anglican Communion.

Fr. Moyer is presently under the canonical care of the Primate of Central Africa, Archbishop Bernard Malango while in litigation against the revisionist ECUSA Bishop of Pennsylvania, Charles E. Bennison for improper "deposition" and "inhibition".

In the tortured ecclesiastical world of Anglicanism with its myriad branches and liturgical permutations, this comes as yet another knot that tightens or loosens, (depending on your viewpoint), the noose that encircles the neck of the Anglican Communion and its leader Archbishop Rowan Williams.

This may be the most convoluted, involved consecration in modern times involving not only Moyer himself but an Australian Anglo-Catholic priest, Fr. David Chislett - both of them will be consecrated a bishop by a group of bishops from multiple jurisdictions both inside and outside the formal construct of the Anglican Communion. The announcement of Moyer's consecration is without question a catalyst. It certainly ratchets up the pain on Frank Griswold as he now has another licensed competitor on the same turf, along with Nigeria, AMiA, and anyone else who cares to park a tank on his lawn. In fact it gives Rowan Williams an immense bargaining chip with Griswold if he recognizes the TAC and cares to use it. But it is a consecration that few bishops, even among the orthodox, are blessing.

Beneath all the maneuverings lie charges of apostasy and heresy leveled at the American Episcopal Church over the faith itself, bad morals, pluriform thinking, a dying Western church and more. At the same time the Global South continues to grow and expand with a clear view and grip on what it is the gospel is and a clear definition of mission and church planting.

Moyer's consecration just before the Primates meet in February raises more questions than it answers. Dr. Rowan Williams says the consecration raises "serious canonical questions," It is uncertain which of the Forward in Faith NA bishops will attend. Fr. Moyer is president of the group. But at a special parish meeting on Sunday at Good Shepherd the parish expressed unanimous support for Father Moyer. As for Charles Bennison, he is a prisoner of his own wrongdoing. Because of his "deposition" of Fr. Moyer, he (alone) regards Father Moyer as a lay person. Bennison will look pretty silly if he does nothing for two years while a "lay person" celebrates Mass and then suddenly objects when a Bishop does the same thing.

Along with everything else going on in the US Episcopal Church, the Church of England, the likelihood of women bishops, gay bishops and the inadequacies of the Windsor Report, this is another log being thrown onto an already blazing ecclesiastical fire. You can read the full story in today's digest.

And in the DIOCESE OF TEXAS this week it was announced that openly gay deacon Blake Rider currently serving as a Deacon at the Cathedral in Houston, will be ordained to the priesthood in January. The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, Bishop of Texas will perform the ordination. The special preacher for the occasion will be Bishop Mark Dyer. Now Dyer, you will recall, was the American representative to the Lambeth Commission, which recently issued the Windsor Report. Twas he who said the real problem in the ECUSA was not the consecration of a gay bishop but those who broke ranks and crossed diocesan lines, they are the real enemies of the church. So now he is going to participate in the ordination of an openly gay deacon! So where does this leave Wimberly who keeps telling his clergy that he is really orthodox on faith and morals and who recently called together some 32 bishops in Houston who voted against the Robinson consecration! This sort of action sends so many mixed signals it drives the laity into apoplectic fits. Is it any wonder they just up and leave! Who wants to put up with this kind of theological and ecclesiastical schizophrenia? No one in their rights minds it seems.

The homoerotic Rider recently gave a lecture at St. Stephens (another gay church in Houston) on the topic: "The Limits of Change: How Far Can One Person, Church, or Society Push the Envelope?" The answer apparently is right off the end of the table.

Now Rowan Williams has repeatedly said that further gay ordinations should cease and the Windsor Report called for a cessation of such actions, plus a little mild regret, but still they continue in defiance not only of people supportive of their views but in direct violation of Scripture and the wishes of the Global South bishops. How much more of this nonsense are the African, Asian and South American bishops expected to put up with? Is it any wonder that the Primates meeting will be a make or break time for the Anglican Communion. Clearly the American Episcopal Church has no intention of listening (a much favored word of Frank Griswold) to any voices they don't want to hear or obey. Perhaps the real question is how much will Bishop Duncan, the Network and FIFNA bishops put up with? The FIFNA bishops appear content to just serve out their time. They must do more than that if they don't want the revisionists to control their successors. Why don't they bring presentment charges against Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno BEFORE he brings charges against retired Texas Bishop Ben Benitez.

A STRAW POLL says bishops Michael Curry (NC) and Knudsen (Maine) top the list to be the next presiding bishop. The two were drawn from an unscientific straw poll conducted during the “Justice is Orthodox Theology” conference held at All Saints’ Church, Atlanta, recently. The conference, sponsored by the ultra-liberal Claiming the Blessing, Episcopal Women’s Caucus, Every Voice Network, Integrity, and The Witness, crowd featured V. Gene Robinson, Bishop who urged the 176 participants to go “beyond justice” and work for reconciliation. Reconcile what exactly? ECUSA's orthodox in the person of Canon David Anderson and the American Anglican Council and the Network under Bishop Bob Duncan don't want reconciliation, they want repentance and renewal.

In a steering committee meeting held prior to the start of the conference, the Claiming the Blessing coalition decided to continue to promote efforts leading toward inclusion of a liturgical rite of same-sex blessing in the Book of Occasional Services. And this act is about reconciliation? Who are they kidding?

And in CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA where Anglo-Catholic Priest Fr. Daren Williams got the heave-ho by his bishop Michael Creighton at Christ Church in Williamsport, there is good news. Fr. Williams and his flock are dong just fine thank you. They have formed a new body under the ecclesiastical authority of the Anglican Church in America under their new bishop Louis Campese. The ACA is a constituent member of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Since leaving Christ Church parish the group of 40 plus now meets at the Divine Providence Hospital where the Sisters of Christian Charity have offered the rector and his flock a safe worshipping place at no charge. Feelings are very buoyant said Professor Gary Hafer, rectors' warden, "We have incorporated as the Church of the Incarnation. At the end of January Bishop Campese will come a calling."

"We have been under a barrage of negative criticism," said Fr. Williams to VirtueOnline. An editorial article in the Williamsport Sun Gazette by the bishop said that whatever work was being formed here would not be Anglican."

Of his new work Williams had this to say. "It is a wonderful experience and one of the most positive I have had in the church for years. The people are open, supportive, committed and they tell me so. The attendance is holding firm and we are growing. A new family attends each Sunday."

Bishop Creighton has asked Williams to renounce his orders. "I won't", he told VirtueOnline. One Lutheran pastor has given him the purple set of vestments for Advent. Several offers have been made for other vestments, he said.

VirtueOnline has learned that at Fr. William's former parish of Christ Church the 8am mass is down to 8 angry souls. Archdeacon Paul Doneker is in charge of the failing flock that remains.

IN A NOTE OF CONCILIATION, the homoerotic bishop of New Hampshire said he would be happy to attend the once-in-a-decade 2008 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury "in a diminished capacity" rather than offend Global South bishops who don't agree with his homosexual behavior. Not a chance. The Archbishop of Canterbury will not invite him, said a report. The Rev. Kendall Harmon, Canon to the Ordinary in the Diocese of South Carolina, called Robinson's offer "charitable" but said it would not appease conservatives. "His consecration was completely opposed to the teaching of the communion and to have him be present would be to legitimate the breach of that teaching," Harmon said. Robinson said that if he was not invited, some liberal bishops may decide to boycott the conference in support of him. They should, it would be a mere handful that would not be missed. Robinson's consecration not only offended orthodox bishops it violates Holy Scripture. A number of conservatives from Africa, Asia and elsewhere have said THEY would boycott the meeting if Robinson attended. Some traditionalist bishops have said they would not even want to share church sacraments with him. Certainly not a hard decision for Williams to make. But later in the week Robinson denied an Associated Press report saying he would attend the conference without an invitation. He said only the Archbishop can make the invitation and he has asked the Associated Press for a retraction.

AND THE LOSER IS….THE DIOCESE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. Recent 2003 statistics on the decline of the Episcopal Church (http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=1775) reveal that hardest hit was New Hampshire, where V. Gene Robinson reigns. His diocese saw the largest decline in attendance of any state in the Northeast at six per cent. So what happened to all the gays who were supposed to come dashing back into the church with Robinson's consecration? It never happened. The blood letting continues.

AT A MISSION ENERGY PROVINCIAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE at the Episcopal Church Center in NY, Bishop James Jelinek of Minnesota, president of Province VI said, "the actions of General Convention [in ratifying the election of a gay priest as bishop] are not crippling the church. This is really good news," he said. So what is Jelinek smoking these days? Hasn't he read the latest statistics? There is no coherence on how to run the Episcopal Church, rather there is a "creative incoherence", according to a massive study of the church by the Episcopal Church Foundation, VirtueOnline recently reported.

IN AUSTIN, TEXAS a new work has begun. The Rev. Matthew S. Kessler has launched the MESA COMMUNITY CHURCH. What began as small groups has now become a full blown Anglican parish. "We offer a fresh and relevant experience of the Christian faith for individuals and families. Through small groups, two worship offerings, the Discovery course, one-to-one discipleship relationships, spiritual formation workshops, retreats, and full participation in ministry—MESA is providing a comprehensive and balanced approach to Christian life in community," Kessler told VirtueOnline.

"We’re attempting to live out the faith that has been received and carried on by the historic Christian church throughout the centuries in ways that engage people today. This includes a commitment to the Bible as the Word of God, salvation by grace through faith in His sacrificial death and resurrection alone. The parish is part of the ever growing and expanding Anglican Mission in America. Kessler describes their worship as "liturgical renewal, drawing from charismatic, evangelical, and traditional influences, like three streams flowing together as one river in Jesus Christ. Said Kessler, "we reach outward toward those who are lost and disconnected from Christ and His Church. We prioritize connecting with people who are not in a relationship with Christ through acts of kindness and service. As we reach toward the lost, we call them to follow Christ in community." Kessler transferred his Holy Orders from the ECUSA to the Province of Rwanda. Kessler wrote VirtueOnline, "I realized the Episcopal Church USA had left me by abandoning its Anglican theology and historical Christian roots." The AMIA presently has two archbishops, six archbishops, 130 plus clergy, and 70 plus congregations.

PEACE ON EARTH BUT NOT PEACE IN ECUSA. Emphasizing world peace and welcoming viewers to the Episcopal Church, a new 30-second television spot is set to air nationally December 18-26 on CNN Headline News and the related CNN Airport Network. The spot features the song “Peace on Earth” composed by Kim Oler and Alison Hubbard, and recorded by the choir of All Saints Episcopal Church, Pasadena, California, the biggest gay Episcopal parish in California. And this is going to energize the great unwashed to dash into local Episcopal churches to hear the Rev. Annie Sprinkles deliver herself of sermons on the efficacy of "holy one night stands" (with any combination of sexual preferences) so the national average of 77 largely geriatric souls (per parish) will suddenly spike to 80 with additions from the gay generation. Not a prayer, just another great waste of ECUSA money.

IN VANCOUVER the controversial Canadian revisionist Anglican Bishop who bears partial responsibility for the ruckus in the Anglican Communion worldwide for his blessing of homosexual unions within his New Westminster diocese, has said he is worried about the Supreme Court opinion on homosexual 'marriage'. Bishop Michael Ingham is concerned about the section of the Court decision which specifies that religious officials in Canada cannot be forced by the state to perform homosexual 'marriages'. Ingham told the media: "It means that if you're a non-believer, you can't discriminate against gay and lesbians, but if you're a believer you can. So if you want to discriminate against gays and lesbian people, join a religious organization." So if Ingham has his way and the clergy are coerced into performing gay marriages their consciences are violated, but that's okay for this horrible bishop. Now you know why a senior official on the Archbishop of Canterbury's Council predicted “a time of great persecution, which will drive Christianity all but underground in the West”. It's bishops like Ingham that will force that.

Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews.com that Bishop Ingham's remarks were indicative of the New Age morality being imposed in Canada. "God-given morality and nature itself tells us that sexual relations are intended between a man and a woman in a loving, committed and monogamous union. However, the New Age morality which is being imposed in Canada has turned normal morality on its head. Good is called evil and evil good.

IT SEEMS Ingham and Frank Griswold are reading from the same book these days, and the vox populi is Sufi Rumi. Quoth Ingham on Christmas: "The great Muslim poet Rumi wrote: 'We are all different lamps, but the light is the same'." Funny-- that's not what Jesus or St. John's Gospel actually says about light and dark ... but then again many of us think Ingham's spiritual light bulb burned out a long time ago. Frank's too. Both these men are many shingles short of a theological roof line.

MY ARTICLE ON LEAVING ECUSA prompted hundreds of responses. I include one about the option to go to the Orthodox Church. Here is what one reader wrote. "Several whole parishes have joined the Western Rite Orthodox Vicariate. It is not a separate church, but rather it is an option for those who come into the Orthodox Church in the Antiochene jurisdiction so that new converts, particularly whole parishes, don't have to change their form of worship drastically (as they would have to with the Byzantine Rite). It is precisely that the Orthodox Church is wishing to reach out to disaffected High Church Anglicans and Catholics who want to be in a traditional, apostolic, and ancient Church without having to assume all of the ethnic packaging that is often difficult to relate to. The Western Rite is part of the Orthodox Church proper and is in full communion with the Patriarchate of Antioch, the 2nd highest see in the Orthodox Church and the most active in North America. It preserves an English and Gregorian Rite and a hymnal based off of Catholic and Episcopal Church hymnals.

IN ENGLAND A NEW LAW allowing the age of consent for homosexuals in Britain to be reduced from 18 to 16 has been forced through Parliament. Home Secretary Jack Straw must now decide when the new law comes into force under the Sexual Offences (Amendment) Act. For the first time the Act will see gay men and lesbians have the same age of consent as heterosexuals. The age of consent in Northern Ireland will be 17. Religious leaders pleaded with the government to think again, to "protect young people of both sexes from the most dangerous of sexual practices". Among the 17 signatories were Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey, Cormac Murphy-O'Connor head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Yousof Bhailok, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Great Britain. Question; why didn’t the present Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams sign the document enquiring minds want to know.

IN ANOTHER IN YOUR FACE ACT the homoerotic Dean of St. Albans Jeffrey John, the cleric at the heart of homosexual acceptance in the Church of England, has been invited to preach the sermon during a BBC broadcast service over Christmas. John who was forced to stand down from the suffragan bishopric of Reading following much Evangelical outrage, will preach during the Boxing Day morning service which will be broadcast from the cathedral on Radio 4. This is yet another red rag to evangelicals who refuse to recognize John's appointment. It is also another provocative act to the Global South bishops who must be asking just how long they want to view the Church of England as anything but a dying sect.

AND THE BASHING OF ROWAN WILLIAMS CONTINUES but this time it comes from the gay side of the aisle. Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent of the London Times writes that gay clergy and laity in the Church of England have sent the Archbishop of Canterbury a severely critical Christmas message, saying that he has suffered the loss of goodwill and support of many who welcomed his appointment. In a stinging rejoinder to Dr Rowan Williams’s own Advent letter to the primates of the Anglican Communion, the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement said that homosexuals in the Church will no longer accept the status of second-class citizens to preserve unity. Said Kirker: “We have not heard, so far, any hint of an apology for our hurt feelings, yet alone any sense of repentance for the torture, suicide and murder that are consequences of these dehumanising words." Oh the pain of it all. Poor old Rowan Williams, he can't please anybody these days. The gays now hate him, the evangelicals don't trust him on faith and morals, and the Anglo-Catholics want a Third Province because they don’t want women priests and the consecration of a woman bishop will push many of them to cross the Tiber to Rome. And Williams may yet get another earful from Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola when all the archbishops gather in Ireland in February.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE, the Supreme Court in Canada has ruled that there cannot be a nativity scene on Ottawa's Parliament Hill this Christmas. This isn't for any religious reason. They simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation's capital. There was no problem however, finding enough asses to fill the stable. Perhaps Ingham could apply for the job.

DO WE NEED THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION? Yes, says Dr. Philip Giddings Convenor of Anglican Mainstream UK, a biblically orthodox group in the Church of England. "The Anglican Communion is worth fighting for – and so is the Church of England. And not because of their history, but because they both stand in the authentic scriptural tradition, faithful to the apostolic witness. Bearing witness in that way means sharing in God’s mission to all the peoples of the world, not just to those who inhabit the part of it which is England and North America. Our true inclusiveness rests on being faithful to that apostolic witness: God, we remember, so loved the world.

IN WALES, the former home of the Archbishop of Canterbury and home of one of the great revivals of the last century, former Billy Graham evangelist Luis Pulau was dropped from Welsh revival celebrations for his 'evangelical beliefs', according to Christianity Today.

The Cardiff City Council cancelled a civic reception for the internationally renowned evangelist because of his "extreme evangelical beliefs." The cancellation was prompted by Welsh Assembly Government Member Lorraine Barrett's attack on Palau for his stance on homosexuality and other religions. "I think he is a right-wing reactionary individual. I also think it is dodgy mixing religion and politics in this way. I think he and people like Billy Graham exploit vulnerable people."

Palau, who was in Cardiff for the Welsh Revival Centenary Celebrations, expressed deep disappointment with the decision, and said an unknown person spread misinformation about his beliefs. He also criticized a growing attitude in Britain and Europe that suggests anyone who believes in Jesus must be "intellectually moronic or extremist." Palau described the decision as "anti-Christian fundamentalism."

According to the Operation World prayer guide, since the Welsh Revival of 1904-05, the region of 2.9 million people has experienced the highest rate of church closings and the largest decline of church attendance in the United Kingdom. And to think this province lost Rowan Williams to Canterbury for a liberal who also can’t make churches grow. They should send a team of Nigerian Anglican evangelists over there, then sit back and watch the fireworks….and the conversions.

IT IS ONLY A FEW DAYS TILL WE SEE THE END OF 2004. If you haven’t yet made a year-end tax deductible donation to VirtueOnline, I urge you to do so. 2005 will be a critical year in the life of the Anglican Communion. There will be much travel, bills to pay, staff to support and much more. The grind goes on relentlessly day in and day out. Don't lose heart now, send a few dollars. It all helps. I will not give up, so don't you.

The national Episcopal Church wastes as much money getting the HOB together for five days at a fancy hotel as VirtueOnline takes in, in three years! And you hear what really goes on from this writer, not from the other side.

Please take a moment to sit down and write out a check to:

1236 Waterford Rd.
West Chester, PA 19380

Or you can make a donation through PAYPAL at the website - www.virtueonline.org. Your gift will be promptly acknowledged.

If you are in England, VirtueOnline is a registered charity and you can send your donation to:

c/- Brycedale
105 Ridgeway
Northaw Herts EN6 4BG

Thank you for your support.

All blessings,

David W. Virtue DD

LATE BREAKING NEWS…The Press Officer of the Diocese of Recife reports that the liberal Archbishop of Brazil has ordained a deacon in the evangelical diocese on Friday December 18 without consulting with the Bishop of Recife, Robinson Cavilcanti. The Archbishop of Brasilia has conferred on him the title of Supervisor of the Diocese of Recife. As the pressure continues on the Evangelical Recife bishop, orthodox Anglicans across the world are being asked to show their spiritual and financial support for this orthodox diocese.

Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top