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Will Apb suspend ECUSA and Griswold or just 60 bishops?...ECUSA news...more

"Let yourself be despised, cast your own will behind your back, and you will be free from care and at peace." Abba Sisoes

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A high level bishop in the Church of England believes that the Episcopal Church and Frank Griswold will be suspended when the Lambeth/Eames Commission report is made public.

Asking that his name not be revealed, the bishop told Virtuosity that it will not be a wrist slap, and that the implications for the suspension will have legal implications for the Episcopal Church in the U.S.

The bishop could not say how long Griswold would be suspended, or if repentance was at the core of the issue, but another Church of England bishop suggested that if the actions against Griswold are only a wrist slap; the Africans will punish the Archbishop of Canterbury in more serious ways. Dr. Williams is scheduled to address some 350 CAPA bishops in late October in Lagos, Nigeria.

Another perspective has it that the report might actually recommend suspension of the 60 bishops who consecrated Robinson rather than the entire church, so if that is the case Lambeth would be right to point that out. They have not done so.

Although newspaper reports have talked up the possibility of the exclusion of the Episcopal Church of the USA, it is believed that "suspension" of North American Bishops who have given the green light to same sex blessings and ratified the election of Gene Robinson from the Instruments of Anglican Unity will be the first step in discipline. A full expulsion could follow, although it is not yet clear whether any of the instruments of unity have the power to do so. It is the Archbishop of Canterbury, in consultation with the Archbishop of York who decides whether churches are in communion with Canterbury, but this need not be binding on the constitutions of all 38-member provinces of the Anglican Communion, said another report.

Adding fuel to an already incendiary situation the new ARCHBISHOP OF WALES, Dr. Barry Morgan placed himself firmly in the liberal camp in the increasingly bitter split over gay sex in the world Anglican Church. Morgan said, "In many countries of our world people are being persecuted simply because of their sexual orientation. In fact there are 80 countries in the world which persecute gay and lesbian people through their penal codes with punishments ranging from death to mutilation and imprisonment. We do not as a church want to do anything that adds to the suffering and marginalization of such people."

What the Archbishop conveniently ignored is that no orthodox Anglican is persecuting or marginalizing gays. In fact most orthodox dioceses in the ECUSA have a number of gay and lesbian priests including the Dioceses of Dallas and Texas to name but two; it is the BEHAVIOR they want to proscribe, not persons. The Archbishop was speaking this week at the Church in Wales governing body meeting in Lampeter where he made these comments.

It is now apparent that Dr. Morgan is way more liberal on sexuality issues than his predecessor Dr. Williams. The Archbishop of Canterbury is far more "Patristic" in his theology, said Anglo-Catholic Bishop John Broadhurst at a meeting of the Fellowship of Concerned Churchman in Wilmington, Delaware, this week. "He will come out on the right side of the angels on the Lambeth/Eames Commission report he told delegates to the conference." Broadhurst predicted that it will not go well for ECUSA's revisionists.

Virtuosity has also learned that the consecration of the Rev. Sandy Millar by the Ugandan Archbishop could backfire. If it occurs, London's vigorous gay, lesbian and liberal priests will ask for oversight from V. Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire.

That is easier said than done. Having an extra-provincial bishop to visit, and crossing boundaries, would need the consent of either the Bishop of London Richard Chartres or the Archbishop himself and it is most unlikely that either of them would ever give it.

But Louie Crew and liberal bishops on the House of Bishops/Deputies listserv are in a major snit that Vickie Gene has not been able to have that special "conversation" with Dr. Williams. "I have grave problems with ++Rowan's steadfast refusal to meet with Gene. How does that promote reconciliation?" whined Crew.

Wrote another: "I don't recall Bp. Duncan et al having any direct pastoral relationship with the ABC either. The Anglican Communion, by contrast, seems increasingly to be two different entities held together by a very thin external skin – ferrets in the proverbial sack, to use the language of one’s local hostelry! ECUSA has been stamping on its dissenters at home, using the full force of civil law against clergy and congregations to suppress the traditional ethical way, while appealing for compassion and harmony over here. This ‘good cop – bad cop’ routine has worked wonderfully well for them. It seems that their sudden embassy to the Eames Lambeth Commission, a privilege not accorded to their opponents, has worked to prevent sanctions being implemented on ECUSA. Perhaps the so-called ‘liberal’ squeal of church rage from the Dean of Southwark, noted for his Father Christmas costume, scared the commission, who knows – but Eames has ‘choked’ at the only decision it can make if it is to maintain a single Anglican Communion."

It is 27 days till the Lambeth/Eames Commission report is made known.

ACROSS ECUSA AND THE ANGLICAN COMMUNION the pressure is on. The steady evisceration of godly priests and bishops continues apace, while some orthodox bishops are stepping up to the plate willing to put their careers and futures on the line.

Bishop Peter Beckwith, DIOCESE OF SPRINGFIELD, wrote a stiff letter (see today's digest) telling Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno in blunt language that he no longer has jurisdiction over the five Los Angeles priests he has inhibited. He has now licensed the five priests; Kathleen Adams, Praveen Bunyan, Richard Menees, Jose A. Poch, and William Thompson to function in his Diocese.

Faithful Anglicans from two dioceses, the DIOCESE OF KENTUCKY AND THE DIOCESE OF LEXINGTON united this past week where retired South Carolina bishop C. FitzSimons Allison spoke to some 440 Episcopalians across the state. Both dioceses in Kentucky came together to worship the risen the Lord Jesus, to rejoice in the never changing truth of his gospel, and to stand together in love and support of one another in His name, said a Virtuosity reader. "God poured out his blessings on a very special week end in the blue grass state. They met at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Louisville for “A Place to Stand-Kentucky,” sponsored by the American Anglican Council of Kentucky.
Also present for the occasion was Diane Knippers, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, and The Rev. David “Doc” Loomis, rector of the Hudson Anglican Fellowship in Ohio and director of the Great Lakes Anglican Renewal church planting group.

Mac Wheatley, affiliates coordinator of the AAC national was on hand for the day-long conference and he told the AAC group they had become the largest in the nation! The recipe for this growth is that in the year since Minneapolis, the laity of both dioceses in Kentucky had begun to fully comprehend the extent of the moral and theological chasm that divides them from their church leadership.

Some were learning for the first time that 85 bishops voted against Resolution B001 in Minneapolis, a resolution which affirmed the authority of Scripture and belief in the creeds and basic tenets of the faith; something more significant than either of the more well-known resolutions.

It's amazing what liberal bishops and their clergy don't tell their flocks. Keep them in the dark. Thank God for the Internet. Revisionist Lexington Bishop Stacy Sauls felt it better not to condemn the light and wrote a note to Allison saying that he forgave him for coming into his diocese without his permission. Allison responded and wrote a letter to Sauls saying that the congregation of St. Andrew's had felt betrayed by the HOB's consecration of Robinson. You can read both letters in today's digest.

And from the DIOCESE OF MINNESOTA comes word of major cuts in the Diocesan budget. "Council Enacts Budget Cuts" screamed a headline. At a recent meeting the Diocesan Council approved a recommendation from its Finance Committee to cut the 2004 budget by $164,092. The reduction will have a direct impact on the seven common ministry priorities. The Council also adopted a recommendation to the 2004 Convention to delay full implementation of the new apportionment assessment formula and cut $110,000 from the 2005 budget, part of the 2004-2006 Triennial Operating Budget approved by Convention in October, 2003. Bishop James Jelinek implemented a spending moratorium on all discretionary expenses associated with the 2004 budget. The action followed a meeting of the Finance Committee on May 24, where it was agreed that there was reason to expect a revenue shortfall of $223,000 for the remainder of the year.

The spin is the anticipated shortfall from several congregations being either unable or unwilling to contribute their full Apportionment for the Common Good. Interpretation: Proclaiming sodomy doesn't pay and the orthodox are letting the bishop know. People are withholding their money. Ah the power of the laity.

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. Which, of course, prompts the question of the day: is Taylor orthodox or liberal?

Quoth Taylor: "People are so hung up on issues. That's not who we are ... The church is so consumed by political dialogue. We label everything. But that's not a valid way of doing it. We're at a crucial juncture in the life of the Church. Any time you get to this place, you have to go deeper in the faith. You have to be more rooted in Jesus Christ. We have to find what binds us together before we deal with what we disagree on. We have to go deeper inward and work more outward as witnesses in the community."

Let's see. We're all "so hung up on issues" these days. Before we can begin to deal with this whole Robinson situation, "we have to find what binds us together" so stay in the church and triple your pledges. And we also "have to go deeper inward and work more outward." Clearly he's found Griswold's theobabble useful and is looking for the PB's "deeper place". Don't look for the orthodox to have much of a future in that diocese.

And in the DIOCESE OF FLORIDA, Bishop John Howard has decided not to have a Diocesan Convention in January of 2005. Instead he is going to have something he's calling a "Convocation." Howard wants a "conversation" (there's that word again) within the diocesan family rather than continue with a regularly scheduled legislative session.

"Many of you have already begun to talk about the anticipated 'fight' in January. Many of you are also awaiting further clarification from the greater church in America and our Anglican brothers and sisters around the world on the events stemming from the actions taken at the 2003 General Convention and subsequent events in the Episcopal Church."

Perhaps someone might ask him how he managed to get the diocese to underwrite some $400,000 of an $800,000 plus 3-bedroom home he recently purchased, when the African church and many in his diocese are suffering. A priest of a poor parish in his diocese told Virtuosity, recalling the woman in the NT who "gave all that she had" - some two cents, "this is what the people of my parish give - the widow's mite." It is an outrage he should buy such an expensive home. This is not New York City (a reference to his working at Trinity Wall Street before coming bishop)," said the priest who asked not to be named.

And in another item, Howard has spent $12,000 of an annual $15,000 budget item on telephone calls between January and the end of June, with some $600 - $700 in cell phone bills. As well Howard gave one of his own recruited staff members a 60% salary increase with NO knowledge of the Diocesan Council!

Howard, who pegs himself as orthodox is not getting a 100 percent approval rating from his orthodox people. What kind of orthodoxy does he really have, asked one priest. "Is it the "orthodoxy" of Frank Griswold or Bruno or Robinson, or is it the orthodoxy of Bishop Robert Duncan. They all say they are orthodox. Howard's orthodoxy is increasingly being called into question by many of his priests and laity", said the priest.

Last Sunday I spoke at the parish of St. Mary's in Carle Place, in the DIOCESE OF LONG ISLAND. The talk was sponsored by Episcopalians for Traditional Faith whose major focus is the 1928 Prayer Book. Also in attendance were other orthodox clergy and parishioners who are affiliated with the major organizations like FiFNA, AAC, AU, or not affiliated at all. There was genuine enthusiasm for coming together and being ready to act after the Lambeth/Eames Commission report is released.

Following the talk I spoke with concerned parishioners, many with tears in their eyes about the way Bishop Orris Walker is treating them. Said one elderly parishioner; "He hates orthodox folk like us. He calls us 'the enemy'. We pay him 'protection money' so he won't close us down. He has sold off a convent against the will of the nuns and pocketed millions of dollars for the diocese. He says he doesn't care; he has enough money from the sale of parishes, until he goes into retirement. He has closed down two schools and numerous orthodox parishes. He won't allow us to use the '28 Prayer Book and when he comes he deliberately uses Rite 2 in our face. We live in fear of him." Because of all this, I believe this man is evil. Now you know King David wrote the Psalms that he did. "How long Oh Lord will you allow your people to be in travail...rescue us..."

If you are out there, believing that you are alone, be assured that you are not. Any reader who wants to be part of a grassroots groundswell to show Bishop Walker that he cannot kill the Faith no matter how hard he tries, please contact jackmeade1@juno.com a coordinator.

The Bishop of the DIOCESE OF COLORADO WAS IN LONDON recently to see the Archbishop of Canterbury. Here is what Robert O'Neill said; "Our conversation was candid and forthright, and while Archbishop Williams asked that we treat our meeting confidentially, I can describe our agenda in broad terms. Given the considerable misapprehension and misunderstanding of the current climate in the Church, each of us was able to describe firsthand the different contexts for ministry of our respective dioceses and to share directly with the Archbishop our local experiences in the wake of our last General Convention. Much of our conversation focused on our collective efforts to maintain unity while working toward reconciliation within the Church, and we discussed in some detail some of the specific challenges we each face in our dioceses. Archbishop Williams also shared with us some thoughts about the current state of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and we collectively considered various ways in which we might be supportive of one another. Our meeting concluded after an hour and twenty minutes, after which Archbishop Williams joined us in the crypt chapel for Evening Prayer."

A knowledgeable insider said they were handled. "Evening Prayer is a cut the meeting and a get out of here signal at Lambeth."

A RECENT CHAPTER MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ANGLICAN COUNCIL shows they mean business. They are dividing up the Episcopal Church into convocations with oversight by senior orthodox bishops of the church. The latest public development will see the AAC working out a system of Episcopal pastoral care for the Network convocations. In this system Bishop C. FitzSimons Allison will oversee the Mid-Atlantic region with the Rev. John Guernsey as his abbot. Other convocations will see bishops Wantland, Dickson and Benitez actively involved in different areas of the country. Expect them to start making pastoral visits.

In the DIOCESE OF WASHINGTON the leading Anglo-Catholic priest and leading sodomist priest are exiting the diocese. The Rev Michael Hopkins, ECUSA's leading sodomite rector and Integrity head is leaving St. George's for the Diocese of Rochester. Hopkins will become the rector of the Church of St. Luke's and Simon Cyrene an integrated urban congregation. He has family in upstate NY in Avoca said a diocesan communicator. It is not without its significance that this was the parish of Gale Harris, who went on to become the Suffragan Bishop of Massachusetts. Does Hopkins see a purple shirt in his future? Consult your local gay psychic.

Also departing from the Diocese of Washington is the vigorous young Anglo-Catholic priest Fr. Michael Heidt who is leaving his parish, St. Luke's in Bladensburg, MD and going to the orthodox parish of St. John's in Norristown, PA. In an interview with Bishop Bennison he said he found the bishop "most charming" he told Virtuosity. The previous rector of the parish fled Bennison and the Episcopal Church for the Russian Orthodox Church. From Bishop Chane to Bishop Bennison is like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. In this world you will have tribulation, just ask any orthodox Episcopal priest.

LORD CAREY TO VIRGINIA. Dr. George Carey made a visit to Truro Episcopal Church recently where he confirmed some 300 persons. His visit did not breach Church regulations, according to the Diocese of Virginia, because Bishop Lee granted him permission to preside over the ceremony. In a letter last month to the London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, Carey described the Diocese of Virginia and his trip as a pioneering way of responding to the deep divisions within the Episcopal Church of the U.S. Dr. Carey was later honored at a Five Talents luncheon. (See story in today's digest.)

OVERSEAS, the Liberal house of Bishops of Brazil is trying to intimidate the orthodox Bishop of the DIOCESE OF RECIFE, Robinson Cavilcanti. They have accused him of acting against the canons and the Primate has created a special Episcopal oversight for a group of liberal clergy in the diocese. The majority of the clergy and churches met last Friday to issue a statement and to support the diocesan bishop. The suffragan bishop betrayed Bishop Cavalcanti, a local priest told Virtuosity. (See full story in today's digest).

WYCLIFFE HALL, OXFORD has started a global center for evangelism and apologetics headed up by Alister McGrath and Michael Green. They are seeking help of a group of Americans headed up by a Ralph Veerman out of Orlando to help them promote Wycliffe Hall and get funding - it is called US Friends of Wycliffe Hall. The committee is headed up by the new president of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, Dr. Paul Zahl. Ralph Veerman and Associates is a group that helps wealthy Christians direct their money to worthwhile and strategic causes. He is a Presbyterian. This effort crosses denominational lines.

THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST IS GOING OUT THE DOOR IN MOST UNUSUAL WAYS, an Anglo-Catholic rector told Virtuosity. In Ashland, VA a Walmart clerk said that in the past week more than 40 copies of the Mel Gibson's movie was stolen from the store. He said that people would come in and slit open the DVD box and take the movie and walk out the door without paying for it. All of the staff's store who appear for the most part to be devout Christians are quite shocked by the thefts and they are willing to check the seal on the boxes before legitimate buyers purchase them. Said one check out girl, "Pastor this a'int right." We suspect they are not Episcopalians who are stealing them the movie lacks a certain tactful inclusivity. Of course if the movie had shown Jesus having a last minute fling with the Apostle John before heading to Golgotha, Integrity would be giving them away free of charge.

LONDON. According to a new British poll, the country is quickly forgetting the Ten Commandments. Only three of the laws – passed to Moses on tablets of stone in Old Testament times – made any showing in the poll, commissioned for an event called "Just10 South London." Less than half of the population remembered the admonitions not to steal murder or commit adultery, but it appears that commandments such as "don't take the Lord's name in vain" are fast becoming a distant memory. Only 9 percent of those polled recalled the commandment not to lie. Worst remembered of all the commandments was "keep the Sabbath day holy," which was correctly identified by only 4 percent of those polled. According to a press release from Britain's Premier Christian Radio, the survey was timed to coincide with speaker J. John's 10-night retelling of the commandments, an event dubbed "Just10 South London." Each evening John reworks a different commandment to give it a more contemporary feel – so "thou shalt not kill" becomes "how to tame your temper."

LOUIE CREW, ECUSA's foremost lay sodomite wrote this on his website under "Military Misdeeds": "Isn't it time for the US to follow the lead of Costa Rica and get out of the military business? Our military makes us a major menace to the world. When they were a military power, the Romans were nasty, arrogant, and universally destructive, much like the American empire as it is perceived by most people outside it. We too can be fat and eat pizza the way the Italians do today. We don't need to be a super power."

Aren't you glad he only sits at the right hand of Frank Griswold at Executive Council meetings? And you wonder why the ECUSA has about as much respect as Griswold's pluriformity. We have a military chaplaincy and a long history with the military forces, and you get THIS from Crew. No wonder the church is full of feminized men and bloodless white males.

AND TO CAP THE OUTRAGE this week, The Episcopal Church's official Prayer Calendar Daily Devotions put out by Episcopal women leaders that includes Phoebe Griswold, issued A Special Welcome to Spouses to Bishops Ordained and Consecrated July 2003 - September 2004.

Heading the 15 listed spouses was none other than Mark Andrew, "spouse" of Vickie Gene Robinson. An orthodox bishop who sent the page from the Calendar to Virtuosity expressed outrage. "He is not his spouse. He is not married to Robinson and New Hampshire has no laws allowing for same sex marriages." More on this story at a later date.

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