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Welby and Kirill Discuss Peace for Ukraine * Anger at ROC Patriarch Grows * Diocese of SC Gets New Bishop * Trinity Wall Street Fires Organist * To Leave or Not to Leave, that is the Question * Anglican Abuse Victims Break with ACNAtoo * More

Welby and Kirill Discuss Peace for Ukraine * Anger at ROC Patriarch Grows * Diocese of SC Gets New Bishop * Trinity Wall Street Fires Organist * To Leave or Not to Leave, that is the Question * Anglican Abuse Victims Break with ACNAtoo * TEC Offers Free Menstrual Products

The norm of Christian initiation. The norm of Christian experience, then, is a cluster of four things: repentance, faith in Jesus, water baptism and the gift of the Spirit. Though the perceived order may vary a little, the four belong together and are universal in Christian initiation. The laying-on of apostolic hands, however, together with tongue-speaking and prophesying, were special to Ephesus, as to Samaria, in order to demonstrate visibly and publicly that particular groups were incorporated into Christ by the Spirit; the New Testament does not universalise them. There are no Samaritans or disciples of John the Baptist left in the world today. --- John R.W. Stott

As worship attendance shrinks, more churches are entering the small category. In the Episcopal Church, the median average Sunday attendance declined steadily year over year from 57 in 2016 to 50 in 2020, according to parochial reports. Seventy-five percent of Episcopal congregations now have fewer than 100 in worship on an average Sunday. --- G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Francis is driving that ship ["the Barque of Peter"] towards the same rocks that have shipwrecked liberal Protestantism -- and not through innocent naivety, but with a mad, self-destructive gleam in his eye. - Damian Thompson in the Spectator

Most churches across America are small: 69 percent have fewer than 100 in worship, and 44 percent have fewer than 50 in worship, according to a Faith Communities Today survey of 15,000 congregations in 2019-20. --- G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Faced with financial challenges, congregations are using the small-church playbook by turning to part-time clergy. The Church Pension Group reports that 56 percent of active, working Episcopal priests do not serve in a "traditional" model, i.e., full time in one setting. Instead, these 56 percent serve in "emerging" ministry models that can be part-time paid, non-stipendiary, or spread over multiple part-time roles in various settings. --- G. Jeffrey MacDonald

Dear Brothers and sisters,
March 18, 2022

THE Archbishop of Canterbury met with His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia via video call to discuss the urgent need for peace in Ukraine.

During the conversation, Archbishop Justin Welby expressed his grave concern about the war in Ukraine which he said is a great tragedy. He stressed the need for an end to the violence in Ukraine and said that war and violence is never an answer. The archbishop said we need to find ways to live as neighbors in Europe without the aggression and human suffering which have been too much part of our life and history.

The archbishop said that as churches we must be united in following the great call of Jesus Christ on his disciples to be peacemakers, to do what we can to enable politicians to do their work of establishing the freedom and rights of all people in Ukraine. He appealed to His Holiness to join him in speaking for peace in public, and spoke of the need for a ceasefire. The archbishop said that he and the Church of England would do whatever it could to support refugees.

The response from Kirill was, well, nothing. Both leaders emphasized the need to achieve a lasting peace based on justice as soon as possible and agreed to continued communication. That's it!

Why didn't Welby call out Kirill for his support of Putin? Isn't this time for a reset with the ROC by the Church of England? Kirill wants to restore Kiev as the ROC Jerusalem and he will stop at nothing to oust the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Welby wants Putin to bomb the hell out of the Ukraine to achieve his end.

Why did wimpy Welby not call Kirill out for Putin's blasphemous assault on the Ukraine, as we all watch Putin bomb and kill civilians indiscriminately.
The Church of England is slowly going down the moral drain on pansexuality. One of the reasons Putin is making war is to defend Western Christianity he says, from the very decadence the CofE is embracing. You can read my piece on Jayne Ozanne, an activist Church of England lesbian. Ozanne wants to go to hell and take the Church of England with her. You can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/jayne-ozanne-wants-go-hell-and-take-church-england-her

Welby is happy to call out the archbishops of Ghana and Nigeria for their alleged homophobia

And you wonder why GAFCON bishops have severed their relationship with the CofE and Global South bishops become more and more ambivalent in their relationship with Welby. A queer Eucharist as a precursor to the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury should be a deal breaker. Will it?

From Moscow, the Rev. Canon Malcolm Rogers, Chaplain of St Andrews, Moscow, writes that the conflict was predicted and we were helpless, unable to do anything to prevent it. Now that 'special military operations', as they are called here, have begun, there is nothing that we can do to stop them.

"But it is precisely our powerlessness which means that there are things that we can do. We are gospel people, who serve a crucified but risen Lord. We are the 'nobodies' of 1 Corinthians 1, and it is our very powerlessness and insignificance and foolishness that can also be our strength, if it is handed to God.

"First of all, we are simply here. We are a community of very messed up people, but as we gather together to hear the Word of God and to receive bread and wine, a community of Russians and foreigners gathered together, centered on and receiving from Jesus Christ, our simple presence can be a witness of what the world can be like, of the future kingdom.

Secondly, in our powerlessness, we can worship and pray. We pray for peace. We pray for the time when there will be no more 'fake news', lies, betrayals or violence, and no more fear and death. And it is our very powerlessness which opens to us our dependence on God and on him doing wonderful works.

Thirdly, we can still speak truth. There are some things that we cannot say in Moscow, but we can still preach Jesus Christ crucified and risen and reigning. We can call people to repentance and offer people hope. In my 30 plus years of ministry, I have never known a time and a place when people are more hungering for God."

Now this is a fulsome response from the Moscow-based chaplain. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/message-chaplain-st-andrews-moscow


The anger at ROC Patriarch Kirill and his support for Putin and the war grows by the day. The Russian Patriarch's full-throated blessing for Moscow's invasion of Ukraine has splintered the worldwide Orthodox Church and unleashed an internal rebellion that experts say is unprecedented.

Kirill, 75, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, sees the war as a bulwark against a West he considers decadent, particularly over the acceptance of homosexuality.

He and Putin share a vision of the "Russkiy Mir", or "Russian World", linking spiritual unity and territorial expansion aimed at parts of the ex-Soviet Union, experts told Reuters.

What Putin sees as a political restoration; Kirill sees as a crusade.

But the patriarch has sparked a backlash at home as well among Churches abroad linked to the Moscow Patriarchate.

In Russia, nearly 300 Orthodox members of a group called Russian Priests for Peace signed a letter condemning the "murderous orders" carried out in Ukraine.

"The people of Ukraine should make their choice on their own, not at gunpoint, without pressure from the West or the East," it read, referring to millions in Ukraine now split between Moscow and Kyiv.

Kirill's hands are dirty and he is not escaping worldwide opprobrium for his non-action to stop Putin.

In Amsterdam, the war convinced priests at St. Nicholas Orthodox parish to stop commemorating Kirill in services.

A Russian bishop in Western Europe visited to try to change their minds, but the parish severed ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, calling the decision a "very difficult step (taken) with pain in our hearts".

"Kirill has simply discredited the Church," said Rev. Taras Khomych, a senior lecturer in theology at Liverpool Hope University and member of Ukraine's Byzantine-rite Catholic Church. "More people want to speak out in Russia but are afraid," he told Reuters in telephone interview.

Ukraine has about 30 million Orthodox believers, divided between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) and two other Orthodox Churches, one of which is the autocephalous, or independent, Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Ukraine is of visceral significance to the Russian Orthodox Church because it is seen as the cradle of the Rus' civilisation, a medieval entity where in the 10th century Byzantine Orthodox missionaries converted the pagan Prince Volodymyr.

Kyiv Metropolitan (Archbishop) Onufry Berezovsky of the UOC-MP appealed to Putin for "an immediate end to the fratricidal war", and another UOC-MP Metropolitan, Evology, from the eastern city of Sumy, told his priests to stop praying for Kirill.

Kirill, who claims Ukraine as an indivisible part of his spiritual jurisdiction, had already severed ties with Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch who acts as a first among equals in the Orthodox world and backs the autonomy of Ukraine's Orthodox Church.

"Some Churches are so angry with Kirill over his position on war that we are facing an upheaval in world Orthodoxy," Tamara Grdzelidze, professor of Religious Studies at Ilia State University in Georgia and a former Georgian ambassador to the Vatican, told Reuters.

In the end it won't be just Putin who loses, but Kirill and the spiritual integrity of the Russian Orthodox Church.

You can read an excellent take on all this from Archbishop Cranmer; Welby and Kirill demand peace in Ukraine (but woolliness won't stop war): https://archbishopcranmer.com/welby-kirill-peace-ukraine-woolliness-war/

Here is a sample: "His Holiness Patriarch Kirill set forth in detail the stand taken by the Russian Orthodox Church on the developments since 2014. They dealt with the humanitarian aspect of the crisis, including the church aid to refugees. His Holiness in particular stressed that each person should have the right to freely confess their faith and speak their mother tongue without being subjected to political persecution for it.

"This is an allusion to his dissatisfaction with the enduring Kyiv-Moscow Orthodox schism, and a desire to restore the historic ecclesial authority to ordain the Metropolitan of Kyiv in the 'mother tongue'. There have long been inter-parish and wider regional tensions between Ukrainian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox, with both sides appealing to historic nationalism and political patriotism to bolster their ecclesial jurisdictions."

Is this all part of the "good disagreement", Welby's anemic response to pansexuality filtering through the Anglican Communion? Well, it is not working in the communion and it won't work in the Russia/Ukraine religious war. War demands something more than a bit of Anglican 'good disagreement'? Indeed.

I was sent this moving song from a Ukrainian colleague. It is based on Psalm 91. The song is in Ukrainian (with English subtitles). https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8VMZoQlBafM#menu


Unholy Christian Alliances and Dangers by Dr. Terry Webb is an excellent take on the Russia/Ukrainian war. She provides insights and background not found elsewhere. Here is a sample:

Moscow Patriarch Kirill supports Putin in his current messianic military endeavors, because Kirill seeks to reclaim the Ukrainian Orthodox Patriarchy after it broke away from the Moscow Patriarchy in 2019. Publicly, Kirill admonishes Putin to do "everything possible to avoid civilian casualties." Will he pay attention to a letter written to him and signed by 300 Orthodox priests asking him to intervene to end Russia's war of aggression? Probably not. Kirill too was once a KGB agent and believes that Ukraine is his canonical territory.

...those who during the January 6, 2021 insurrection carried American flags along with a Cross or Bible with their Trump signs formed an alliance with then president Donald Trump, because Trump, like Putin, claimed he was the savior of America and pledged to make it great again for the glory of God. Both Trump and Putin have found it politically advantageous to have willing bedfellows with an aberrant form of Christianity. Their unholy alliances can only lead to division, destruction, more bloodshed, and human misery."

PUTIN AND THE PATRIARCH By Tom Woodle gives us insights into Putin's background. "Surprisingly, Putin declares himself to be a devout Christian. He was secretly baptized by his mother at 18 months of age in Petersburg at the Cathedral of the Martyrs Alexandria and Antonia of Rome on the holy day of St. Michael and All Angels. This was at a time when Christianity was still basically outlawed (for all practical purposes) in the Soviet Union.

Putin was taught the Orthodox faith growing up and constantly wears a cross given to him by his mother on a trip to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. He often tells the story of a house fire that destroyed his home when he was younger. He was devastated because he had left the cross on his bedside table and assumed it was lost forever.

However, it was found, in perfect condition by fire investigators. He considered this a miracle and a revelation to him, and since that time he has been unwavering in his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church.

As Putin assumed power in Russia, he renounced, on behalf of Russia, the previous atheistic culture and has done more to spread Orthodox Christianity in Russia than any other head of state. It is said by biographers of Putin that he keeps his deep religious faith internally so as not to make a show of it. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/putin-and-patriarch


On the brighter side, there was a changing of the guard in the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina this week. Bishop Mark Lawrence relinquished his crozier to Bishop Chip Edgar at a festive service consecration service at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and St. Paul in Charleston, Saturday, March 12, 2022.

The processional of bishops, priests and deacons from the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, included the Diocese of the Southeast (Reformed Episcopal Church) and the Diocese of the Carolinas, as well as clergy from other dioceses, laity representing various diocesan ministries, institutions, and ministry partners.

The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), the Most Rev. Foley Beach was the chief consecrator and Bishops Mark Lawrence, Steve Wood and William White of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, the Diocese of the Carolinas, and the Diocese of the Southeast were co-consecrators. More than a dozen other bishops participated in the service.

As diocesan bishop, Edgar will lead 53 churches (including parishes and missions) in the diocese which is affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). The diocese has nearly 20,000 members, 92 priests and 32 deacons in the eastern half of South Carolina.

Edgar takes over even as church litigation continues with $500 million dollars' worth of properties hanging in the balance.


A much beloved bishop passed into the presence of the Lord this week. The Rt. Rev. Ed MacBurney, 95, was consecrated in 1988 as VII Quincy. He retired in 1994 and went into ACNA 2009. A graduate of Dartmouth College (BA 1949), Berkeley Divinity School (STB 1952), and St Stephen's House, Oxford, he was ordained to the priesthood in December 1952 by the Church of England Bishop of Ely Edward Wynn. He served in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire at Trinity Episcopal Church, Hanover, from 1953 to 1973 before appointment as dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa from 1973 to 1987. MacBurney served from 1988 to 1994 as the seventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. He was later deposed by Katharine Jefferts Schori. He is not the oldest living ACNA bishop, that honor goes to +FitzSimons Allison (XII South Carolina) who is 7 months older than Bishop MacBurney. Bishop Allison is still living.


The prestigious and wealthiest church in the world, Trinity Wall Street, fired its acclaimed music director Julian Wachner. He happens to be married to a woman priest. A woman alleged he pushed her against a wall, groped and kissed her as she demanded he stop at a 2014 music festival. His termination came in wake of sexually misconduct allegations made by former Julliard employee, Mary Poole. You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/ny-trinity-church-fires-its-acclaimed-music-director-whos-married-female-reverend


CRANMER'S CHURCH: Then and Today by Chuck Collins, from The Center for Reformation Anglicanism is a great read. Collins writes, "I have come to see that the hope for the future of the Anglican Communion is Reformation Anglicanism. Reformation Anglicans define "Anglicanism" in the light of the historic formularies, viewing Holy scripture as God's uniquely inspired word that transforms human affections towards loving God and loving neighbor, and they see justification by grace through faith in Christ alone as the doctrine on which the church stands for worship, theology and Christian living." You can read my review here: https://virtueonline.org/cranmers-church-then-and-today

If you would like a copy of Cranmer's Church, Dean Collins is making it available free only through the Center for Reformation Anglicanism. He will send you a copy as a "thank you" to anyone who contributes a tax-deductible donation to the center in any amount. You can access it here: https://www.anglicanism.info/

If you would like to read my interview with Dean Collins, you can read it here: https://virtueonline.org/could-reformation-anglicanism-save-anglican-communion


Alleged US Anglican abuse victims have broken with ACNAtoo and say they support their bishop, Stewart E. Ruch. At least four self-identified survivors of abuse by Mark Rivera, a former Anglican Church of North America lay minister, spoke out against ACNAtoo, the anti-abuse advocacy group that has advanced charges against Rivera since last year. They say in a statement released Saturday (March 12): "ACNAtoo does not speak for us. We would like to be heard for ourselves."

You can read more here: https://virtueonline.org/alleged-us-anglican-abuse-victims-break-acnatoo-and-support-bishop


The departure of former Rochester Bishop Michael Nazir Ali from the Church of England to the Roman Catholic Church via the Ordinariate has sparked much debate, some of it coming from the former bishop himself.

I have published his My Journey to Full Communion with the See of Peter which can be seen and read here: https://virtueonline.org/my-journey-full-communion-see-peter

Nazir Ali writes; "The Common Declaration of Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey in 1996, together with the Malta Report (1968), set the agenda for the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission of which I was a member for many years. This agenda was nothing less than the restoration of full communion in faith and sacramental life between the two traditions. Since then, ARCIC has produced a succession of agreements on Eucharist, Ministry, Authority, Salvation, Moral Teaching and the Blessed Virgin Mary, matters which were seen as church dividing. In the year 2000 AD, in spite of some new obstacles, Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury and Cardinal Cassidy of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, were able to call a meeting of bishops to consider how to take forward, in practical terms, the remarkable agreements already reached by ARCIC and so was formed the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission, of which also I was a member."

A rejoinder to his departure comes from laudablepractice blogspot titled, TO SWIM THE TIBER IS TO REJECT THE ANGLICAN TRADITION.

"I have not turned my back on those who remain in the Church of England and the Anglican Communion." This is the claim of Michael Nazir-Ali in the final paragraph of his recent First Things article, 'From Anglican to Catholic'. Rejecting the Book of Common Prayer and the Articles of Religion; seeking ordination afresh despite having been ordained deacon, priest, and bishop in the Anglican Communion; embracing a whole raft of doctrines explicitly rejected by Hooker, Andrewes, Laud, Taylor, Keble, and Pusey - quite how this is described as not turning his back on those who remain Anglicans is, to say the least, distinctly odd. Put more bluntly, it is nonsense."

Rather more revealing is an earlier statement in the article:
"I had often boasted that Anglicanism, although reformed, had by divine providence retained both the sacred deposit of faith and the sacred ministry."

'Although reformed'? Perhaps nothing so quite indicates the extent to which Nazir-Ali has rejected classical Anglicanism than this statement. Anglicanism is Catholic not in spite of the Reformation: it is Catholic because of the Reformation. Vernacular liturgy, communion in both kinds, married clergy, rejecting the innovation of papal supremacy, restoring patristic eucharistic discourse and practice: the Reformation was an act of ressourcement. You can read his take here: https://virtueonline.org/swim-tiber-reject-anglican-tradition


The Episcopal Church is desperate for new moral fields to conquer (or destroy) as it seeks to be relevant to the culture. The latest lunacy involves Episcopal churches offering menstrual products, to women, girls. Period.

"Period poverty" is not a term routinely used in church to describe economic inequality, but now a growing number of Episcopal congregations are using it in their efforts to help low-income women and girls access menstrual hygiene products.

OMG. Where is the free Viagra for men, pray tell? If tampons for women, why not Cialis for men? Where is the outrage at this omission or emission? With aging males in TEC (average is 67) you would think that justice for men suffering Erectile Dysfunction might be in order. A General Convention resolution please. The lunacy continues.


VOL could really use your support for this one-of-a-kind ministry. We write the stories no one else dares to write or touch. We expose the soft underbelly of TEC and the rise of Global South Anglicanism. We expose sin, we tell the stories of how the communion is being undermined from within. We show how the pansexual agenda of the West is trying to infiltrate the Global South and undermine it. This has never happened before in history. We are committed to telling you the truth even when it hurts.

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TO CONCLUDE today's Viewpoints, this Word from the Lord by Archbishop Foley Beach is worth listening too: https://awftl.podbean.com/

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