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GAFCON Primates Blast Burundi Archbishop over TEC "friendship" call*Georgia Bishop Rips TREC*ABC Welby gives TEC a Pass*CofE Archbishops to Snub Traditionalist Bishop Consecration

Motive and source. Evangelism is born of love. --- John R.W. Stott

"A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will -- well, who am I to judge him?" -- the full quote by Pope Francis. Most of the media took it out context.

What all this can easily obscure is that the real conflict is not one with the West but between Muslims themselves. This is ultimately all about an intra-Muslim fight for domination of the Islamic world and who defines Islam. The West is being sucked into this as a means to change the balance. If Western nations can be provoked into more interventions in the Middle East this can be used to urge all Muslims to make common cause with extremists against the infidel invaders. --- By Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff

TREC's members don't name it specifically in the report, but many of their recommendations seem to be aimed at providing palliative care for a patient that has entered a long, slow, inevitable decline." --- Rev. Susan Snook

As some Episcopalians prepare to celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, providing yet another example of how the church has gone astray, I would beg the church to abandon its marriage to the goddess of modernity and return to its Creator, because in the absence of correction, the Episcopal party will remain just that, a left wing political party playing dress up on Sunday mornings. --- The Underground Pewster

Our opportunity to shape churchwide reform will pass, we will not do much of substance, and in the 2020s and 2030s our churchwide structures will collapse on their own. There's going to be lots of collapse in the church, after all. ... Those surviving Episcopalians doing the mission of the Gospel will come together and create something. --- The Very Rev. Tom Ferguson, Dean Bexley Hill Seminary

Evangelism and social action. If pressed ... if one has to choose, eternal salvation is more important than temporal welfare. This seems to be indisputable. But I want immediately to add that one should not normally have to choose. As William Temple put it, 'if we have to choose between making men Christian and making the social order more Christian, we must make the former. But there is no such antithesis'. --- John R.W. Stott

The Supreme Court is going to once again review the issue of homosexual marriage. Last time around the Court punted on ruling whether states had the Constitutional right to outlaw such "marriages." This time around they won't be punting. Odds are by the end of June the Supreme Court will dictate to the country that sodomites have the legal right to marry. Our nation will finally have stooped to the point where we're no better than Sodom and Gomorrah. Marriage was ordained by God in the Garden of Eden, it has lasted since that time as an institution involving one man and one woman. The progressive elites in this country want to toss aside God's ordination and nature in order to allow sexual deviants to marry. Our Supreme Court will go right along with them. --- Leon McNeil

Dear Brothers and Sisters
www.virtueonline.org
January 25, 2015

The question that must be asked is this: How many incompetent, stupid, bullying, theologically vacuous, gay and lesbian, alcohol addicted Episcopal bishops can you squeeze into a telephone booth? The answer, of course, is that there aren't enough telephone booths.

The latest vacuous alcohol-driven miter belongs to the Bishop Suffragan of Maryland Heather Cook who killed a cyclist while under the influence of alcohol. She has now been largely disowned by The Episcopal Church with her boss, Bishop Eugene Sutton absolving himself and washing his hands of her following the hit and run accident. Cook was sprung from jail with her bail being paid for by her live in boyfriend Mark Hansen. She is now apparently in a 12-step program of recovery. It is fair to say that following the exercise of Title IV she will not be back as bishop. A lot of angry parishioners are now asking Sutton how come they were not told about her addiction to alcohol when she was in the running for bishop! One thing is for sure, Sutton's behavior has sunk any aspirations he might have had to succeed Katharine Jefferts Schori as the next PB.

As one observer noted, TEC's love affair with lawsuits invites (and maybe even compels) survivors in the Palermo family to seek financial redress from both Bishop Cook ("wrongful death") and Bishop Sutton ("culpable negligence," perhaps, by choosing not to inform electors, diocesan bishops and standing committees of her arrest record).

The final word ecclesiastically and legally has yet to play out.

*****

Georgia Episcopal Bishop Scott Benhase ripped the Episcopal Church's Plan to Reimagine Church (TREC) calling the Executive Council's proposal to reduce diocesan asking from 19% to 15% "magical thinking resulting in further guilt, blaming, and resentments."

It's finally dawning on some liberal Episcopal bishops, and the occasional seminary professor, that the Episcopal Church is mired in ecclesiastical muck and the money won't be there in the future to dig the Church out...or even to continue "God's mission" in any meaningful sense.

"The one elephant in the room we do not seem to be addressing clearly is our financial resources. Where will they come from? How will they be strategically deployed? And, with the principal of subsidiarity in mind, at what level of the Church are they best gathered and deployed?" complained the bishop who rode into the diocese in 2010 on a horse saying he had "a different way of being Christian", blaming unnamed fundamentalists for the division in the church.

He said his own diocese reduced its asking to 10%, but that will be too high within a decade or so and will have to be reduced even more.

You can read the full story in today's digest.

*****

Five GAFCON Primates wrote a blistering letter to Burundi Anglican Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi this week accusing him of betraying the faith by attending a "Transformation Through Friendship" gathering put on by The Episcopal Church in October 2014.

They told the African archbishop in no uncertain terms that he was playing with fire in accepting any invitation from the leaders of The Episcopal Church. Such actions lead only to further alienation from the Global South.

"The New York Communique does not speak for the Anglican Provinces of Africa and it is a matter of very great regret that the 'Continuing Indaba' strategy has led to the division of African Anglicans," the Primates of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Sudan wrote.

Horrified by what they saw was a betrayal of all they have worked for in maintaining orthodoxy in the Anglican Communion, the Primates, who represent the vast majority of Anglicans, fired off a letter to the Burundi Archbishop, but never got a reply. "We are making this letter public in order to avoid any misunderstanding," they announced. You can read the full story in today's digest.

*****

The Church of England made headlines in November after allowing female priests to become bishops. Traditionalists within the centuries-old institution are refusing to budge on the issue.

The divide within the church will go on public display during the upcoming consecration of one British priest, who will not be consecrated by bishops who have previously consecrated a woman, Christian Today reports.

Rev. Philip North, currently a team rector at the Parish of Old Saint Pancras in London, is slated to become a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Blackburn on February 2. During a consecration ceremony, it has been a long-held custom for all bishops present to jointly lay hands on the candidate and offer blessings.

The Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu and the Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson will be present at North's consecration ceremony, but neither will be laying hands on the priest, sources told Christian Today reporter Ruth Gledhill.

One week earlier, on January 26, Sentamu and Henderson will consecrate the Rev. Libby Lane. Lane is set to become the first woman bishop in the Church of England.

The Archbishop of York confirmed the consecration arrangements to the HuffPost in a statement. He will preside as the chief guest and Metropolitan at the ceremony, but when time comes to say the Ordination Prayer and celebrate the Eucharist, he will hold back.

Clearly a divide is coming in the Church of England, not only over the blessing of same sex unions, but also the age-old problem of the ordination of women to the priesthood and now to the episcopacy.

In an allied move, MPs have approved legislation to help fast-track female bishops into the House of Lords over the next decade.

The proposed bill will ensure senior female bishops will be first in line to succeed current "Lords Spiritual" members of Parliament when they retire.

At the moment, positions are filled on the basis of seniority in dioceses.

The law, which must be backed by peers, was passed quickly on Monday afternoon just weeks after the Church of England appointed its first female bishop.

Reverend Libby Lane was named as the Bishop of Stockport in December, the first woman to hold such a post in the Church of England - five months after the Church of England voted to allow female bishops.

*****

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was in New York City this past week at Trinity Church in Manhattan attending a conference on inequality. He spoke with Michael Paulson of the New York Times. Here are a few choice responses to questions the NY Times reporter asked him. Note his comments about The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in North America.

Q. Why is income inequality a religious issue?

A. It tends to result in the development of overmighty areas within society, and at the same time of people who are excluded and forgotten. Therefore it becomes an issue about the nature of the value of the human being, the dignity of the human being, which is a religious issue. The human being for whom Christ died is of equal value, whoever they are.

Q. Should the church have a preference for the poor over the rich?

A. Liberation theology in Latin America talked about God's preference to the poor, God's bias to the poor. There is emphatically in Scripture a tradition, a sense of God's bias to the poor, and you see that in the origins of the Christian church. And the church around the world is generally poor, including the Anglican Church and the vast majority of its membership.

I think there is such a thing as God's bias to the poor. It's not God's bias against the rich, it's not a zero-sum game. It's not that God sort of has only a certain amount of preference he can give, and if he doesn't give it to the rich he has to give it to the poor; and if he gives it to the poor, he can't love the rich.

We see within the life and ministry of Jesus a challenge to the rich to love the poor as God loves the poor: in the same way, with the same intention, and with the same generosity.

Q. In the United States, the Episcopal Church has a reputation as a church of the elite, a church that has generated presidents, that is affluent. Is that a problem?

A. Not necessarily, it depends what you do with it. I'm very careful about commenting on church situations that I don't entirely understand. But I think you see across the Christian spectrum in the United States many churches that have great resources but deploy those resources with a great deal of passion and love of Christ.

There's a sensible politics of immigration, and there is a hateful despising of foreigners. And there is a foolish politics of immigration that says, "Well, communities just have to deal with the changes that happen." It's a failure of politics more than a failure of people.

Q. Speaking of the Church of England, you said recently, "We are falling in numbers and there's a change in the attitude to the Christian faith generally across the country." Do you see the march of secularism as unstoppable?

A. Oh no, good heavens, no. Anything but. In fact, I think the march of secularism has stopped in many, many ways. The church's challenge is to be seen as something that is not just a very old institution talking largely to itself. The church doesn't depend on archbishops. The church depends on what it's like at the local level.

Q. Do you see a future for the Episcopal Church in the United States?

A. Well, you'd have to ask them. I am dodging the question, but it's not because I don't see a future for the Episcopal Church. I don't feel I'm qualified to answer that question. What I see a great future for is the church of Christ in the United States. Because Christ is faithful, and I'm sure there will be a lot of Episcopalians in that.

Q. Over the last decade, or longer, there have been a lot of divisions over gender and sexuality. Some people think it's just a matter of time for Christian leaders to all come around to embracing equality, others think there's a fundamental, immutable divide. What do you think?

A. In the last two years I've visited 37 provinces of the Anglican Communion, and you get a different view of what is inevitable in each place. We're in the middle of guided conversations about that in the Church of England, so I'm not going to say where I think we're going to end up. I am deliberately avoiding that question, so I won't pretend I'm not.

Q. Do you think that the American Episcopal Church made a mistake in consenting to the election of Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest who was elected bishop of New Hampshire?

A. I'm not going to go there. I'm very careful about lecturing other churches, here or elsewhere.

Q. Do you see the Anglican Church in North America, which broke away from the Episcopal Church after Bishop Robinson's election, as part of the Anglican Communion?

A. ACNA is certainly a church of Anglican tradition. It is not currently part of the formal structures of the Anglican Communion. It's recognized as a fellow Anglican church by many primates in the Anglican Communion, primates whose membership is probably more than half the Anglican Communion. And they're doing a lot of good work.

Q. Do you think that the Anglican Communion will ever have leadership that is African or non-Western, and should it?

A. Yes and yes. You'd have to sort out the legal and regulatory issues, but the process has changed many times over the years.

You can read the full interview in today's digest.

*****

Eight hundred years after it was signed, one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta has been identified as being from Canterbury.

The remarkable discovery, unveiled in a new book, Magna Carta by Professor David Carpenter, reinforces the role that Canterbury and Archbishop Stephen Langton had in one of the most famous and revolutionary documents in our history.

Cressida Williams, Head of Archives and Library at Canterbury Cathedral, explains, "Professor David Carpenter has compared the text of a transcription made in the 1290s of the 1215 Magna Carta then held at the Cathedral with one of the two copies of the 1215 Magna Carta in the British Library. He has shown that the text is the same. We are delighted to know that, after 800 years, Canterbury Cathedral's copy of Magna Carta still survives."

*****

In TEC word is out that Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno is hanging up his miter and will call for a coadjutor in 2016 to replace him in 2018. He presided over the loss of several prominent orthodox parishes to the ACNA and his performance has been lackluster at best. The diocese has an ASA of less than 20,000. Last year the diocese lost 1381 members.

*****

As Western pan Anglicanism continues to slide into the sunset, the Anglican Church of Uganda has ordained two new bishops.

The Rev. Canon Eridard Kironde Nsubuga has been elected the 3rd Bishop of Luweero Diocese. He will be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop on 17th May 2015 at St. Mark's Cathedral, Luweero.

The Rev. Paul Kiptoo Masaba was also elected the 2nd Bishop of Sebei Diocese. He will be consecrated and enthroned as Bishop on 12th April 2015 at St. Peters Cathedral, Kokwomurya, Kapchorwa.

*****

Two Supreme Court justices should recuse themselves from "gay" marriage cases, say reporters from Anglican Mainstream. U.S. Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Ruth Bader Ginsburg should recuse themselves from any cases involving the homosexual marriage issue on the basis that they have conducted same-sex marriage ceremonies.

The justices announced last Friday they will review an appellate ruling that upheld bans on same-sex unions in four states. The case will be argued in April and a decision is expected by late June.

Justice Kagan performed a September 21 same-sex marriage for her former law clerk and his partner, Patrick Pearsall, in Maryland. Justice Ginsburg performed a same-sex marriage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC in August 2013.

Both of these justices' personal and private actions actively endorsing gay marriage clearly indicate how they would vote on same-sex marriage cases already before the Supreme Court.

Congress has directed that federal judicial officers must disqualify themselves from hearing cases in specified circumstances. Title 28, Section 455 of the United States Code states "any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned."

Both Kagan and Ginsburg have not only been partial to same-sex marriage, they have proven themselves to be activists in favor of it!

You can read Mike McManus's piece "Will the supreme Court Legalize same-Sex Marriage" here: http://tinyurl.com/ke7cxf2

*****

The official autobiography of Dr. David M. Gitari Troubled but not Destroyed has been published.

David Gitari, third Archbishop of Kenya, was one of the first post-colonial global Anglican leaders. He challenged Kenya's politicians, survived attempted assassination, devised new worship services, reformed the Anglican Communion's pastoral care of polygamists, and consolidated Anglican orthodoxy as a global movement with leadership from Africans. He kept a diary of 'daily occurrences' throughout his life. His book is a unique resource for African Church History in the twentieth century.

Gitari (1937-2013), first Bishop of Mount Kenya East and of Kirinyaga (1975-1997) and Archbishop of Kenya (1997-2002), played a key role in his nation's development and was recognized internationally as a global Christian leader. He challenged President Moi on the secret ballot, risking imprisonment and escaping assassination. Gitari was a member of the Kenyan Constitutional Review Conference from 2003-2005. He consolidated Anglican orthodoxy as a global movement under African leadership.

The book is available on Kindle or in paperback from Amazon, for $11.92. Hard copies may be obtained from Canon Chris Sugden for £15 plus postage of £2 (in UK. higher elsewhere) to the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life, 21 High Street, Eynsham, OX29 4HE csugden@ocrpl.org

VOL fully recommends this volume as a timely reminder of how faithful bishops and archbishops can not only survive but thrive in the face of suffering and persecution. Even as the Western Church collapses because it is accommodating itself to the culture, the African church defies culture with a clear understanding of the gospel and makes new converts in the face of so much.

*****

Anglican churches continue to close in Canada, especially in rural communities, this time in Lucknow Ontario near Wingham, Ontario. Writes one concerned Anglican, "What are the citizens on the farms and in the small rural communities going to do for a social life when these churches continue to close?"

Services of Deconsecration were held for Christ Church (Camlachie) while another service of Deconsecration took place for St. Peter's Church, Lucknow, Bishop Robert Bennett preached and Celebrated at both.

Clergy were invited to vest, the color being white. Perhaps they should wear black as a sign of mourning at dying churches in Canada.

*****

The Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice say "Christian belief about family life is incompatible with JP duties".

A Cabinet minister and England's highest judge have together disciplined a Christian Magistrate for saying that a child's best interests lie in being raised by both a mother and a father, telling him that his Christian beliefs about the family must not influence his work whilst sitting on the Bench.

Richard Page, who has served as a Justice of the Peace in Kent for 15 years and is a well respected member of the panel, expressed the view during a closed-door consultation with colleagues in an adoption case.

Having heard all the evidence in an adoption case, Richard decided that his legal duty to act in the best interests of the child meant that he couldn't agree to placing the child with a same-sex couple.

Following an investigation by the local JP Advisory Panel, the case was referred to the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Chief Justice who have now told Richard that his Christian beliefs about family life are discriminatory against same-sex couples. He has been publicly reprimanded and barred from sitting as a Magistrate until he has received "equality training" for his views.

*****

It's the same all over the world: "Talk about extreme, militant Islamists and the atrocities that they have perpetrated globally might undercut the positive achievements that Catholics have attained in inter-religious dialogue with devout Muslims," writes Robert McManus, Roman Catholic Bishop of Worcester, Massachusetts.

This polite silence about the mass murder of Christians will not end the jihad against Christians and Christianity. The Church, at least for now, has made a decision to go quietly into the night, and accept a future of persecution and subjugation. Unless there is some massive change in the ecclesiastical culture, you can see what the Catholic Church will look like in 100 or 200 years by looking at the remnants of the Eastern Churches that have lived under Islamic rule for centuries. They are tiny, cowed, fearful, and must endure an ever-present low-level persecution.

This isn't inevitable. But current Church policy is hastening the day of its arrival.

A case in point, a Catholic priest in Germany has been banned from preaching after speaking at an anti-Islam protest. The Rev. Paul Spaetling took part in a rally in the western city of Duisburg on Monday. It was organized by a group that associates itself with the organization Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West, or PEGIDA, which has staged large weekly rallies in Dresden for about three months.

*****

The official Anglican bishop of Lahore in Pakistan, Bishop Irfan Jamil, said that Christians in Pakistan need and must be enforced by Islamic Sharia law. Shoebat.com did an exclusive interview with Pakistani Christian activist, Farrukh Harrison, on the actions of this wicked bishop. Farrukh added that when the Muslims in Pakistan get their full way, they would reduce the Christian population to just 3%:

One Pakistani publication also reported on the evil of this bishop: Anger spread among Pakistani Christians when Bishop Jamil demanded enforcement of Islamic Sharia law during a national forum organized by Mir Khalil Ur Rahman, founder of Jang Media Group and World Council of Religion, in which Muslim-Christian religious and political leaders participated on January 19, 2015, in Lahore.

In his speech, Bishop Jamil very surprisingly demanded enforcement of Islamic Sharia Law in Pakistan to promote peace and harmony in Pakistan.

It is not first time that an Anglican Bishop has demanded Islamic Sharia law. One retired Bishop of Lahore Dioceses of Church of Pakistan, who claims to be champion of human rights and pretends to be against persecution of minorities under the blasphemy law, joined hands with Premier Nawaz Sharif on stage during an International Jurist Conference in Lahore in 1998 and openly welcomed legislation of Islamic Sharia law which carries blasphemy law, Hadood Ordinance, and laws of evidence and compensation.

These Church of Pakistan and Catholic Church of Pakistan religious leaders have stabbed Christians in the back over their vested interests to impose a Joint Electorate System and to abolish a Separate Electorate System, which empowered Christian voters to elect their representatives in parliament in 1992 national general elections.

The Christians of Pakistan are sheep without a shepherd; they are leaderless and helpless. They are completely defenseless and have no bulwark to protect them. The Pakistani Christians are under a bunch of hirelings who will flee from the wolf and not care a second about the sheep getting slaughtered by the wolves.

FULL DISCLOSURE. I showed this article to former Pakistan-born Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali while in Charleston, SC at the Mere Anglican Conference and he was skeptical about the facticity of this story. I therefore publish it with this disclaimer by the former Bishop of Rochester.

*****

I have been attending Mere Anglican conference in Charleston SC where I have had the privilege of listening to some of the most important thinkers of the 21st Century like Prof. Alister McGrath, Dr. Os Guinness, Prof. N. T. Wright, Ross Douthart and Mary Eberstadt. The content was frankly overwhelming and left all of us breathless. Sorting it all out will take some time. Please bear with me.

*****

Truth: We love VOL, we love what we do. More Truth: Getting (some of you) folks to donate is like pulling teeth. Every month we strive to pay the bills and, by God's grace, we do so. To get the necessary donations I have to write letters and make appeals, all of which takes away from researching and writing more articles for you to read, time that should rightly be dedicated to the mission of information. Timing is everything. Depending on voluntary support is always risky. Our need for funding is immediate and serious. We are making progress but if you have time please hit the donate link and make a contribution. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Many thanks for your support.

In Christ,

David

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