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WILLIAMS concerned for homophobia...dioceses polarized over Windsor Report

"The Windsor Report does nothing to advance the Gospel witness. Its priority, as with so much recent Anglican polity, seems to be the maintenance of the club and the rich white liberal domination of it." New Directions Magazine (November 2004)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The Archbishop of Canterbury wrote to a VirtueOnline reader recently, who passed the letter on to this writer, and this is what he had to say in answer to charges that the Anglican Communion and the Windsor Report is lopsided in its support of the pansexual agenda of the Episcopal Church.

"Many people have already made sensible contributions to the debate within the Church on matters relating to sexuality and I have been grateful for them. Happily these far outweigh the correspondence that has been offensive or homophobic and which I deplore. I am under no illusion about the challenge posed for the Church and Communion, not least in relation to its unity, by the wide range of views held, nor about how strongly they are held by many people."

One wonders if the learned archbishop can tell the difference between homophobia (fear of homosexuals) and a legitimate opposition to a lethal behavior which, if indulged in, has the power to kill. Has he fallen prey to gay and liberal agit-prop that says if you don't agree with me you suffer from sort of phobia (homo, hetero, etc) that requires you get counseling. This is always the stunted logic of ECUSA's pansexualists. If you disagree with them and what they do, and what Scripture specifically says will keep you out of the kingdom, why is it that those of us, who say so, are deemed the bad guys!

If you see your children or grand children playing around a toilet bowl the first thing you do is clean their hands with soap and water and point them in the direction of the sand box. That's common sense. And parents do it not it because they have toilophobia, it is because they know it is a place they can contract diseases. And the Center for Disease Control outlines 25 known diseases from anal sex with the 26th being HIV/AIDS.

So one has to ask just how much correspondence is the Archbishop of Canterbury getting from gays, liberals and revisionists that prompted him to say they "outweigh" those in the orthodox camp bearing in mind that out of some 77 million Anglicans worldwide fully 90 percent are orthodox. On any kind of reading the numbers are about 10 to one against pansexual behavior, so who is doing all the writing? Does Louie Crew, Via Media, Pittsburgh's PEPboys, and the Integrity crowd employ gnomes to write handwritten letters all day long and send them to Lambeth Palace pleading for inclusion, or was Dr. Williams convinced by Archbishop Robin Eames that there really is no problem in North America because Mark Dyer, ECUSA's representative on the Lambeth Commission said so, and that the real bad boys are those who cross diocesan lines and offer protection from marauding revisionist bishops.

Is Dr. Williams so out of touch, or is it that he doesn’t want to know or hear? He has heard from Bishop Robert Duncan, Canon Martyn Minns and a whole host of orthodox folk, not to mention the Primate of Nigeria Peter Akinola and an assortment of home grown Evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics in the Church of England. What is it about the word "no" that he doesn’t understand.

Dr. Williams rant against unnamed homophobes echoes the same words uttered by Archbishop Robin Eames when he delivered the Windsor Report in London. It was an unnecessary distraction and unrelated to anything because we were told repeatedly that the Report was not about homosexual behavior (that was decided at Lambeth '98) but how the communion would move forward in the light of extreme polar positions honorably held by both sides. But Eames used his bully pulpit to lecture us all on homophobia, because an American reporter stupidly gave him an opening he should never have been given to talk about it.

And the truth of the matter is; the way forward is no clearer now than when the Report was issued.

Frank Griswold snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with the help of American theologian Mark Dyer who schmoozed the liberal head of the Lambeth Commission, Robin Eames himself, along with the rest of the commission, into believing that North American theological and moral innovations were not the problem, but those who crossed boundaries were the real culprits constituting a greater threat to Anglican unity!

The question must now be asked, is the Episcopal Church any longer a safe place for true believing Episcopalians?

One of the enormous tensions moderately orthodox bishops like Don Wimberly, John Lipscomb, and John Howard, to name but a few face is this, can they be both faithful to Scripture and organic "unity" in the House of Bishops which they know is theologically and morally out of sync with Scripture.

One senses it in nearly all their ruminations. In one breath they talk gospel, and then lapse into talk of unity that MUST be maintained at all costs. They hate schism with a passion, but they also know they won't hear gospel talk from Frank Griswold. Their gut tells them one thing, their orthodox priests confirm it, and then they get with the HOB and it all falls apart. Is it any wonder that Lipscomb says he will retire next year? Retirement has become the great avoidance game. If you are in your late 50s or early 60s, have put in 25 or 30 years then you can leave honorably with your pension. But is it honorable to leave when you know the guy or gal following will undoubtedly be liberal and soon become a revisionist and take the diocese down that slippery road. Look what just happened in the DIOCESE OF SAN DIEGO and that will be repeated across the country?

Will Jeffrey Steenson, the newly elected BISHOP OF THE RIO GRANDE invite Frank Griswold to his consecration? If he does, is he inviting an evil influence into that diocese that will guarantee its ultimate demise?

BUT NEW AND HOPEFUL VOICES are being heard. Increasingly orthodox diocesan bishops are saying that a time is coming if the ECUSA does not conform to the wishes and intent of the Windsor Report, they will choose to stay in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, and when the final report is made next June to the Anglican Consultative Council and nothing has changed and Griswold has not repented, they may "walk apart."

Just how serious is this threat? The BISHOP OF WESTERN LOUISIANA, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, 64, says he will not compromise the authority of Scripture, his relationship with Christ and the gospel, and he will seek an "alternative structure" for his diocese if the national Episcopal Church rejects the ultimate recommendations of the Windsor Report.

And this past weekend the DIOCESE OF SPRINGFIELD passed a resolution at its Diocesan Council commending The Episcopal Church's full compliance with the Windsor Report.

The resolution urged the House of Bishops to fully accept and implement the recommendations of the Windsor Report through repentance of the actions against God and his church (by approving at the 74th General Convention in Minneapolis in 2003 the ordination of a non-celibate homosexual as Bishop of New Hampshire and the approval of the blessing of same sex relationships), apologize by expressing regret for those actions and cease and desist from ordaining non-celibate homosexuals and blessing same sex relationships.

Bishop Beckwith wrote VirtueOnline and said, "I am pleased to announce that the following resolution was passed today at our Diocesan Council by a large margin. It was adopted from the resolution that the DIOCESE OF FORTH WORTH passed recently. As Bishop of Springfield, I will communicate (in the near future) our resolution and its passage to the Presiding Bishop and members of the House of Bishops. The orthodox Christians in the Diocese of Springfield continue in our resolve to carry forth the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people."

And if the Episcopal Church doesn't repent, what then? Stay tuned.

And in the DIOCESE OF TEXAS this week Bishop Don Wimberly sent out a loud signal to his clergy that "regret" was not enough and that nothing less than repentance was called for by those bishops who voted to affirm the election of Vicki Gene. The Rev. Reagan W. Cocke Assistant Rector of St. John the Divine, an orthodox priest in the diocese sang Wimberley's praises for his stand and wrote to say, "You should have seen the slumped shoulders and moronic expressions of the faces of the liberal clergy in our diocese. Their intellectual elitism is proving useless in dealing with Windsor [Report]." One confused liberal was heard to say, "I just can't understand why the rest of the Anglican Communion would care so much that we have a gay bishop. The Africans have polygamist bishops (that's a lie) and we don't interfere with them."

Wimberly may be a defender of the unity of the Episcopal Church and Anglicanism and he may go to the mat for the sake of unity, and he will fight against the hubris of the American bishops and laity who brought about this present crisis which threatens unity; but it doesn’t follow that he has the theological backing for his position. He invited a liberal theologian to address his clergy and then said he was not forcing any belief upon his clergy through this teaching, so the question must be asked, where does that REALLY leave the orthodox priests in his diocese? Wimberly has not joined the Network of orthodox bishops which speaks volumes, and based on this reporter's long experience with fence sitting bishops, once they compromise on sexuality issues, it is all over. Frank Griswold has them by the you-know-whats and the jig is up. If Wimberly is sincere, he is going to have to make a decision. VirtueOnline has learned that he has called a meeting of the 43 bishops who voted against Robinson's consecration. So what is he going to say? Whatever it is, Griswold has nothing to fear unless they collectively act to leave. If not it is still ho hum and Griswold goes off to Ireland to take communion with the Primates in February and does another bear hug photo op with Rowan Williams. The status quo is thus maintained.

And in the DIOCESE OF LONG ISLAND, Bishop Orris Walker told his diocese that the state of the financial stewardship in support of the work of the diocese was "tragic". In a recent report, the diocese was just above the Missionary Diocese of Navajoland in the giving of parishes in the diocese. The average assessment of a congregation to the diocese in the Episcopal Church nationwide is 15 to 20%, he said. Long Island’s tithe is 10% with the asking at just 13%. "The asking figure is where every congregation should be in order to do their fair share and meet their responsibility. We would be at a very different place if all 148 units were on target. I have seen a report that indicates that the giving to the diocese has been at a level of 7% for practically 10 years. When I began as bishop the percentage was 11%. We owe it to our successors to be in a better position when the torch is passed."

And this from a bishop who has eviscerated his orthodox priests, sold off churches and schools, tried to reinstate a degenerate priest who "married" his Brazilian boy, and may well have AIDS himself, if the New York Times is to be believed. And to top it off he fired the Dean of the Cathedral on thin charges the very day the Very Rev. Cardone's son committed suicide! At a recent meeting of the congregation of the Cathedral of the Incarnation there were tears from parishioners who were incredibly upset about the firing of Dean Cardone by Walker. The feeling was that as long as Walker was in charge people were afraid because he can pull the rug out again, a source told VirtueOnline. On another note VirtueOnline has heard that Fr. Clevenger, who ran the stewardship for the diocese is also leaving. Recently the diocese got $11million from the sale of a convent following a lawsuit. Said a source, "who knows where that will go, all the while the cathedral church is actually falling down."

And the 152nd Annual Convention of the DIOCESE OF IOWA passed a resolution "affirming its desire to preserve the Communion by affirming the spirit of the Windsor Report and to do all in its power to conform to that spirit. But Dee Townsend who put up the resolution saw it butchered to read: "This 152nd Annual Convention of the Diocese of Iowa, affirm its desire to preserve the communion by affirming the spirit of this report and to do all in its power to conform to the request of the report." How's that for watering it down, she wrote to VirtueOnline.

And in the DIOCESE OF ATLANTA the diocese approved a committee to create same sex unions for the Diocese. There were also resolutions that failed to affirm their own Diocesan guidelines on ordination and sex issues. A resolution was put to act against General Convention's approval the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual priest to the office of bishop, and in providing individual dioceses the option to bless same-sex relationships as being inconsistent with and counter to the clear authority of Holy Scripture, and likely to separate the Episcopal Church of the United States from unity with the worldwide Anglican Communion and the consensus of other Christian denominations, was postponed indefinitely. A resolution to affirm the Lambeth Resolution 1.10 of 1998 failed. Why are we not surprised, Bishop J. Neil Alexander is no lover of orthodoxy. A resolution calling upon Bishop Alexander to repudiate the action of the GC that approved the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual priest to the office of bishop also failed. But a resolution concerning the blessing of same-sex unions is and shall remain the policy of the Diocese of Atlanta passed.

And in the DIOCESE OF MISSOURI they held the Sixth Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Saturday. There was a candlelight walk to St. John's Episcopal Church in St. Louis, said a press release. Somehow "Remembering Our Dead, a project of Gender Education & Advocacy, Inc." hardly fits in the same breath as D-Day remembrances of those slain on the beaches of Omaha. And you wonder why the Rev. Paul Walter was prepared to walk away from that diocese with his people and leave the properties behind.

And in the DIOCESE OF PENNSYLVANIA, four orthodox Primates are about to descend on the evangelical parish of Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli. They are Peter Akinola (Nigeria), Henry Orombi (Uganda) David Gitari (Kenya ret.) and Yong Ping Chung (South East Asia). No word as yet from Bishop Charles Bennison on whether he will allow them to preach and perform eucharistically, though he has said the new Bishop of North Dakota can come.

And in another odd turn of the ecclesiastical screw, the Rev. William H. Wood, rector of St. Christopher's Church in Gladwyne, has invited the deposed and inhibited Fr. David Moyer of Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont and his congregation to a gabfest on the subject of "Why is it so hard to make peace in the Holy Land." Is this an admission of guilt and error at the bishop's actions against Fr. Moyer?

Now the letter is addressed to the REV. David L. Moyer and Wood was Vice President of the Standing Committee when Father Moyer was "deposed". Indeed, Wood signed the "sentence of deposition" as a witness (while Bennison told jokes and a photograph was taken). Perhaps, Wood now repents of his actions. Who knows perhaps Bennison will deliver his own lecture on "Why is it so hard to make peace with the orthodox in his diocese," now that might be worth attending.

AT THE MEETING OF AFRICAN BISHOPS the following happened that undoubtedly has Frank Griswold gnashing his teeth. Pittsburgh Bishop Bob Duncan had been invited to the conference as an observer and gave some very positive remarks. During the final
ceremony Bishop Duncan was ROBED AS A PRIMATE to signify that he carries an equal load to the primates in bringing all these dioceses and parishes together. Another humiliating whack at Frank.

Among attendees at the recent African Anglican Bishops Conference in Lagos were Anglican Mission in America bishop Chuck Murphy and fellow Bishop T. J. Johnson. One can't help but think that their presence was a slap in the face at Frank Griswold who despises them so. Said Murphy, "We were grateful to have been able to attend—to meet, worship, and work together on issues both regional and global—and to be a part of the growing voice and leadership of Anglican Church in Africa. We did not attend the AABC as observers or visitors from across the ocean, but as true children of those who have offered this home to us as a secure and supportive base from which to follow our missionary call in the United States. After four years of discussion and controversy surrounding the Anglican Mission and our work it was very satisfying to be fully included, recognized and valued as African Anglican bishops from Rwanda."

Also present were representatives from TRINITY CHURCH WALL STREET the richest church in the world. They were not welcome, a source who was there told VirtueOnline. They were repeatedly asked what they were doing there and the response was, "theology is less important than doing good with our money." The Africans were too gracious to toss them out. So why were they there? They wanted to give money to bishops who have serious problems in order to slip a wedge between them and their orthodox Primates. The venality of ECUSA and its satellite organizations knows no bounds. Once upon time the word was that if you criticized the ECUSA's stand on sexuality issues the check book slammed shut. Not any more. Ditto for the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund. They have earmarked $6 million for Africa next year (most going to Southern Africa AIDS projects) and golly no one has to sign on to say they agree with Robinson's consecration! VirtueOnline learned from an African bishop that not all agree with Nigerian Bishop Peter Akinola's hard line stance against taking Western money. Said one bishop, "If my people are dying of starvation I'll take money from whomever."

And in the DIOCESE OF SOUTH CAROLINA they are shoring up support for the Network by having a number of informational meetings in various parishes around the diocese. The diocese, under its bishop Ed Salmon is a strong supporter of the Network.

Can one smell a battle in the making between those dioceses that hate the Network and those that support it? Gentlemen arm yourselves, the day is not far hence when we shall do battle with the Apostate Ones…be ready."

UGANDA ARCHBISHOP HENRY OROMBI is running around the US and he is meeting with a mixed reception wherever he goes. In the DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH he was warmly received, but that was not the case in the DIOCESE OF ALABAMA. The
Archbishop preached at the Church of Ascension, the fourth largest Episcopal Church in Alabama and, along with two other Montgomery area parishes, is a member of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes, whose members are the only elements of the American Episcopal Church still in good standing with the majority of Anglicans in other parts of the world. So when Bishop Henry Parsley heard he was coming he insisted on speaking before Orombi did and in the guise of a “welcome,” reminded the Archbishop that he has only been invited to speak about common missionary activity (and nothing else). This is yet another example of revisionist Speech Control. (You can read a story about that in today's digest. The archbishop's visit apparently has the ECUSA hierarchy truly rattled. Louie Crew, the Church's First Sodomite flew 1,000 miles to spin the occasion and as a representative of Executive Council, of course.

AND IN LITTLE KNOWN NEWS the U.S. Catholic Bishops have agreed to join a new ecumenical group that includes the broadest alliance of Christian churches in the country so far. This would bring the church to the same table as conservative evangelicals and liberal Protestants. Funny thing is this writer did not see the name of The Episcopal Church among the group. Despite its emergence after an election campaign marked by controversial pronouncements on faith and politics by conservative Catholic and Protestant leaders, the new group is expected to skirt most controversial public policy issues, at least for now, said clergy members involved with the organization. Its goal appears instead to be more modest: to create a forum, once a year, where the leaders of a range of churches can discuss topics of common interest, from charity work to interfaith relations.

I HAVE POSTED A NUMBER OF STORIES that reflect what is going on in the ECUSA and the wider Anglican Communion, please feel free to e-mail them to your friends.

THE TRANSITION TO VIRTUEONLINE FROM VIRTUOSITY is almost complete. Thank you all for your patience and understanding. Losing the name has been difficult, but many have written saying it more accurately reflects the content of the website and the digests.

We are entering that season of giving and I urge you to consider making a tax deductible donation to VirtueOnline before the end of the year. We are at a critical juncture in the life of both the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. VirtueOnline will keep you informed with its string of reporters and sources from around the world.


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