Tags: Barry Morgan, gay marriage
The coalition government’s push to introduce same-sex marriage in England and Wales necessitates a review of the Church in Wales thinking on marriage, the Archbishop of Wales Dr. Barry Morgan said last week.
In his presidential address to the 10 – 11 April 2013 meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales in Lampeter, Dr. Morgan said the church needed to consider the issue of same-sex relationships. “There has been a growth in understanding of same sex relationships in wider society in recent years and a more comprehensive understanding of human sexuality in general,” he said.
“Within the Church in Wales, as the bishops have pointed out, there are a variety of views about the ethics of same sex relationships. There is a new appreciation of the value of any faithful committed life-long relationship. The new Archbishop of Canterbury observed recently that, ‘It would be completely absurd to suggest that the love expressed in gay relationships was less than the love that there is between straight couples’. The bishops have, therefore, asked the Doctrinal Commission to examine the whole issue of same sex relationships, and once it has produced its report, we will need to have a general discussion, perhaps in groups in the first instance, in this Governing Body to map out the way ahead for us as a Church.”
The doctrinal commission will also examine the Church in Wales’ relationship to the state. The coalition government had not consulted the Church in Wales when it said it would be banned in law from offering same sex marriages. The church in Wales should make up its own mind on this issue he declared, and it must decide whether it would keep its quasi-established position under Welsh law words clergy had a duty to solemnise marriages.
“If marriage were ever to become a devolved issue, I cannot see a devolved Welsh government allowing a disestablished church to hang on to this vestige of establishment,” he added, but “in any case, we ourselves might want to change the present arrangements.”
Dr. Morgan also discussed revisiting the issue of women bishops which was turned back by the governing body in 2008 by 3 votes after the bishops refused to give assurances or protections to those opposed to the innovation. In 2012 the Bishop’s bench released a discussion paper stating their unanimous support the ordination of women bishops.
The Archbishop also spoke to the challenges of the paper presented by Lord Harries last year on reorganizing structures of the church. “Churches with ordained clergy have been tempted to assume that all ministry is vested in an omnicompetent, all-singing, all-dancing professional minister and that the task of ministry belongs to him or her and then when he/she is a bit hard pressed, he or she may delegate some of the tasks to other people but really essentially it is her/her ministry. That is to start in the wrong place,” he argued.
The church must use “all the resources that we have been given, and the gifts that all of us have, more creatively and imaginatively. It means laity and clergy together, having a shared vision of the work of the Church,” Dr. Morgan said.
Easter messages from across the Communion: The Church of England Newspaper, April 7, 2013 p 6. April 9, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Aotearoa New Zealand & Polynesia, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Canada, Anglican Church of Kenya, Anglican Church of North America, Anglican Church of Southern Africa, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, Church of Nigeria, Church of the Province of Uganda, Church of the Province of West Africa, Scottish Episcopal Church, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Barry Morgan, David Chillingworth, Eliud Wabukala, Fred Hiltz, Katharine Jefferts Schori, Nicholas Okoh, Peter Jensen, Philip Richardson, Richard Clarke, Robert Duncan, Stanley Ntagali, Thabo Makgoba, Tilewa Johnson
Easter messages from the overseas leaders of the Anglican Communion sounded a common theme this year of hope and joy. While the archbishops of the church touched upon issues of local concern, each spoke to the victory of Christ over death and the grave.
The Archbishop of Uganda Stanley Ntagali urged Christians not to lose heart in the face of economic and political uncertainties. “There could be social pressures in the country and many people might have lost hope. Many people no longer trust fellow human beings, but let the risen Lord Jesus whose victory over death we are celebrating this Easter give us a new hope.”
He also warned of the dangers of alcohol. “I urge our people not to celebrate [Easter] by drinking. They should go to church and worship the Lord and return home. This a time to repent and make our homes, offices, schools and business places more enjoyable and suitable to glorify God who gave us the greatest gift of salvation through his Son Jesus Christ,” he noted.
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala of Kenya, Chairman of the GAFCON Primates’ Council, also spoke of the joy found in life in Christ. “In his resurrection from the dead there is the glorious ‘yes’ of the fulfilment, actual and yet to come, of the promises and purposes of God. Through repentance and faith we share in his risen life and at its heart, our calling is to simply say the ‘Amen’ and glorify the God who has triumphed over sin and death.”
The GAFCON leader also urged Christians to reject the “ungodly innovations” coming from Western liberal churches which seek to “substitute human effort and speculation for divine grace and revealed truth. It is a profound contradiction to say this ‘Amen’ and then go on, as some do, to deny the real physical resurrection of Jesus.”
When Christians say ‘no’ to false teaching it is for the sake of truth. “There can be no more positive a movement than one which gives an unqualified ‘Amen’ to the fulfilment of all God promises in Jesus Christ.”
The Archbishop of West Africa Dr. Tilewa Johnson said the Christian’s response to the sufferings was to turn towards God. “Where to start? We have tools and guidelines to hand. One of the greatest tools we have is prayer. Prayer is a means of communication with God.”
“As with so many things, it requires practice. We know what it is like when we become close to another human being – a husband, wife, brother, sister or close friend. In time it is possible to read their thoughts, and know what they are going to say before they say it. It is the same with God. To sit in the presence of God – maybe in silence; maybe with a few words – it is possible increasingly to come to know God and the will of God. Gradually we know the way to go,” the Gambian archbishop said.
The Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh said that when celebrating Easter it was “important” to “re-emphasize the incontrovertible fact that Jesus has risen from the dead and He is alive for ever. Through His resurrection power, therefore we can overcome all sorts of challenges we might have as an individual, as the Church of God and as a Nation.”
The Archbishop called on “all Christians and Nigerians as a whole to reaffirm their trust in God, and in corporate Nigeria.”
“Let us remain resolute and resilient, having our hope in the strength and power of the Almighty God. Our prayer for our country, Nigeria is that we shall overcome the present challenges of lingering insecurity: bloodshed, destruction of lives and property; poverty and political squabbles. We should keep hope alive of a corporate Nigeria,” he said.
Preaching at the Easter Vigil at the Cathedral of St. George the Martyr in Cape Town, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba told the congregation he had just returned from a retreat in “frozen rural North Wales”, staying in an attic room overlooking the Irish Sea in the mountains of Snowdonia.
“I was there to follow the 30-days Full Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola,” he explained “to explore what God was wanting to do in my life.”
But even found that the spiritual journey did not end there as God was leading him “to integrate all I’ve experienced and learnt into my ministry and life” – “And I certainly came back to find an awful lot had been going on,’ he said.
“The over-riding lesson of my retreat is that God, in his redeeming love, is everywhere. Nothing is beyond his care, or his desire to bring healing and new life to you, to me, to everyone,” the archbishop said.
“If you truly want to know what Easter is all about, look at the places where there are tough challenges, difficult issues, hard wrestling, painful contexts – and where God’s people nonetheless dare to go, and to stay for as long as it takes, witnessing to light and hope and life.” Archbishop Makgoba said.
In in his final Easter message before he retires in July the Archbishop of Sydney Dr Peter Jensen reflected on his tenure in office. “As I think on my time as Archbishop, naturally I look back and try to judge myself – not with much success!” he says. “Like you, I have a real judge. Think how much more God, who knows all the secrets of our hearts, must be able to hold me to account. It should make us tremble.”
But Easter filled him with hope. “What happened at the first Easter reminds me of the love of God. Through the death of Jesus even I, and all of us, can have forgiveness as we turn to him in sorrow and trust him for our lives” he says.
“Our failures are not the last word over our lives. And, through the resurrection of Jesus I have a great and undeserved hope of my own resurrection and future,” Dr. Jensen said.
Archbishop-elect Philip Richardson of New Zealand reminded Kiwi Christians that “life comes out of death; the horror of crucifixion bears the fruit of redeemed and renewed humanity; the worst that we are capable of becomes the access way to that intimacy of relationship with God that Christ makes possible; it is in the bowl and towel of the servant that true power is expressed; it is in losing ourselves that we are found.”
The “heart of the message of Easter,” he observed was not the “passion or the suffering, but the resurrection.”
“As Martin Luther King rightly reminded us, ‘Hate begets hate, anger begets anger, killing only begets more killing. The only thing that can turn an enemy into a friend is the power of love’,” he said.
In a joint message released with the leader of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz of the Anglican Church of Canada celebrated the bonds of friendship between the two denominations and also urged Christians to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem”.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori the Episcopal Church stated: “Easter celebrates the victory of light and life over darkness and death. God re-creates and redeems all life from dead, dry, and destroyed bones. We are released from the bonds of self-obsession, addiction, and whatever would steal away the radical freedom of God-with-us.”
At Easter “our lives re-center in what is most holy and creative, the new thing God is continually doing in our midst,” she said, “practicing vulnerability toward the need and hunger of others around us” thereby cultivating “compassionate hearts. We join in baptismal rebirth in the midst of Jesus’ own passing-over.”
The Archbishop of the Anglican Church in North America, writing from Juba where he was standing holy week with Archbishop Daniel Deng of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, wrote: “This Easter I am looking back,” he said – “I am asking, ‘What does it all mean?’ Whether in Juba or in Pittsburgh – and wherever you find yourself – what I testify is that the Gospel is my strength and my song, and that Jesus has become my salvation.”
“Easter is the day that lights and gives meaning to all the others, wherever I – we – spend it and with whomever I – we – spend it. The tomb is empty. The world, the flesh and the devil are defeated. Jesus is alive. In Him, the alien becomes familiar, loss becomes gain, sorrow becomes joy, and death becomes life. This Easter I am also looking around and looking ahead,” Archbishop Robert Duncan wrote.
The Archbishop of Armagh Dr. Richard Clarke said what Ireland need this Easter was “confidence – a full–blooded confidence – that we actually want to allow Christ to run loose and dangerous in the world around us. We need to recover that spirited confidence to assert that Jesus Christ, crucified and risen, is not our private property as churchy people, but is truly for the whole of society and the entire world.”
Dr. Barry Morgan the Archbishop of Wales in his Easter sermon preached at Llandaff Cathedral stated that: “If you wanted to sum up God’s work, He is a God who is in the rescue business. That is the root meaning of the word ‘salvation’ – it means being saved from something or someone.”
“Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we too as members of His body, are rescued from sin, despair, meaninglessness, disaster, and death,” he said, adding that “this offer of rescue, of salvation, by Jesus, is for all people not just for the select few – a bit like being rescued by a lifeboat. When a life-station receives a distress signal, no enquiry is made about the social status of those who need rescuing, or whether they can pay for the service, or whether they are at fault for having got themselves into danger in the first place by being careless in going out without life jackets when a storm was forecast. Lifeboats simply go to the rescue.”
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church Bishop David Chillingworth of St Andrews, Dunkeld & Dunblane stated: “We greet with joy the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. We look forward to welcoming many people to worship in our churches at Easter. We hope and pray that they will experience joy and hope in our congregations.
“As disciples of Jesus Christ, we believe that we are people of the resurrection. We are Easter people – shaped in our baptism through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We feel deeply the pain of the world and its people. We bring compassion and care to the ministry which we exercise in our service of others. We have a passion for justice. We are also people of hope. Because of the resurrection, we believe that good will triumph over evil and life over death.”
Overseas Anglican applause for Francis: The Church of England Newspaper, March 24, 2013, p 6. March 26, 2013Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of Australia, Church in Wales, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Church of Ireland, The Episcopal Church.
Tags: Barry Morgan, David Chillingworth, Fred Hiltz, Gregory Venables, Katharine Jefferts Schori, Peter Jensen, Pope Francis, Richard Clarke
Anglican leaders around the world and joined with Archbishop Justin Welby in applauding the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as the next Pope and 226th Bishop of Rome.
The Bishop of Argentina and former primate of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, the Most Rev. Gregory Venables, gave Francis high marks as a champion of the poor and critic of government corruption.
In a note released after the election of Cardinal Bergoglio who has taken the name Francis on 13 March 2013 Bishop Venables wrote: “Many are asking me what Jorge Bergoglio is really like. He is much more of a Christian, Christ centered and Spirit filled, than a mere churchman. He believes the Bible as it is written. I have been with him on many occasions and he always makes me sit next to him and invariably makes me take part and often do what he as Cardinal should have done. He is consistently humble and wise, outstandingly gifted yet a common man. He is no fool and speaks out very quietly yet clearly when necessary.”
“I consider this to be an inspired appointment not because he is a close and personal friend but because of who he is In Christ. Pray for him,” Bishop Venables said.
Other Anglican leaders have also praised the election of Pope Francis. Archbishop Peter Jensen, in a statement released just after the election, said “The papacy continues to have huge global significance in testing times for humanity. We join those who pray that Pope Francis will use the office to further the gospel of Jesus Christ for the sake of all humanity.”
The Most Rev David Chillingworth, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church welcomed “the election of Pope Francis. He is known for his simplicity of life and his compassionate humility. The church in South America expresses vigorous life and a deep commitment to justice for the poor. God has called him to this ministry at a time when its demands seem overwhelming. We pray that God will equip him with the grace which he needs to fulfil the task. We also pray that his many gifts and his experience will enable him to lead the church forward in mission and service.”
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said, “We welcome and assure Pope Francis I of our prayers and our best wishes for his future ministry. We hope he will bring an ecumenical perspective to the role, a desire to work with Christians of all traditions and a goodwill to people of other faiths.”
Dr. Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland wrote: “In company with millions of men and women throughout the world of different Christian traditions to his own, I assure the new Pope of our prayers as he begins his new ministry. An Argentinian of European parentage, he brings together in his own person the cultures, hopes and spiritual needs of the first world and of the developing world, so much to be valued amidst the complexities and apprehensions of our globalised earth. He has been a champion of the needs of the poor and dispossessed, and, in the simplicity of his own lifestyle, he has sought to reflect the life of the much–loved saint whose name he now carries in the future, Saint Francis.”
“As the Church of Ireland’s Archbishop of Armagh I extend also to Cardinal Seán Brady, to Jesuit friends throughout the island and to all the Roman Catholic people of Ireland, our best wishes, with the hopes and prayers of many fellow–Christians, as Pope Francis now embarks on the ministry to which he has been called,” Dr Clarke said.
Archbishop Fred Hiltz of Canada noted: The new Pope comes from humble beginnings and he is known to have lived modestly throughout his entire ministry. In taking the name of Francis after Francis of Assisi he has already given us some indication of the holiness, simplicity, and courage of gospel conviction he will bring to this new ministry.”
“As the new Pope endeavours to call people back to the Faith, to rebuild the Church and to strengthen the integrity of its witness to the Gospel in very diverse global contexts, we join our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers in upholding him our prayers,” he said adding “for Latin Americans this is a particularly proud moment — a moment of great rejoicing! For from the church there the new Pope carries a passion for evangelism, a stance of solidarity with the poor and a posture of perseverance in the pursuit of peace and justice for all people.”
The presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Katharine Jefferts Schori was less effusive. “The Episcopal Church will pray for the new Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis I, and for the possibility of constructive dialogue and cooperation between our Churches.”
Horse Meat scandal prompts church calls to buy British: The Church of England Newspaper, February 24, 2013 p 6. March 23, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Farming.
Tags: horse meat, John Davies
The Church in Wales has urged consumers to purchase meat from local farms – to support British agriculture and to protect themselves from the false labeling.
Revelations that Romanian horse and donkey meat had been repackaged as beef and sold in prepared food products in 13 EU countries, including Britain and Ireland, has prompted the Welsh church’s Rural Life Advisors to urge consumers take more responsibility for what they buy.
The Bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Rt. Rev. John Davies on 15 Feb 2013 said “The recent publicity about the discovery of horse-meat in processed food has raised a lot of questions about our food: quality, affordability, traceability, food miles, and the availability of produce that shoppers can buy with confidence.”
Europol, the EU’s police agency, reports that DNA tests have revealed that beef mixed with horse meat has been sold across Europe. Some products, including hamburgers, were found to contain as much as 30 per cent horse meat. Other products found to contain horse meet labeled as beef include frozen lasagna, tortellini, and Bolognese sauce. Three men were arrested last week in England and Wales in connection with the scandal and have been charged with fraud.
“Welsh farmers enjoy high levels of confidence and support from their local communities and have close links with local butchers and other shops,” said Bishop Davies – the Church in Wales spokesman on rural affairs.
“Seeking out retailers who can offer local knowledge and traceability is an excellent way to support Welsh farmers, butchers, and their communities as well as obtaining a product that is both trustworthy and tasty,” the bishop said.
NHS exec to lead Welsh parochial reform commission: The Church of England Newspaper, January 27, 2013 p 7. January 31, 2013Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: ecclesiology, Helen Biggin, parochial reform, Richard Harries
The Church in Wales has announced the formation of a committee tasked with reviewing proposals made by a commission chaired by Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, to reform the Welsh parochial system.
On 10 Jan 2013 the church announced that five mebers of the Governing Body, the church’s general synod, would “review the recommendations and the responses received to them, draw up a timetable of action, act as a liaison point and monitor progress.”
The director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, Helen Biggin, will chair the committee and will be joined by Bishop Andy John of Bangor, business consultant James Turner, market research professional Nigel King, and the Vicar of Haverfordwest the Rev. Paul Mackness on the committee.
On 14 Sept 2012 the Governing Body unanimously accepted a report for a commission chaired by Lord Harries that proposed an overhaul of the local organization of the church.
“The parish system is no longer sustainable,” Lord Harries said. “We have to radically rethink the way we look at our ministry, and begin with the concept of an area ministry.”
Amongst its 50 recommendations were the amalgamation of parishes into “ministry areas”; the employment of a full time youth worker in each archdeaconry; “creative use” of church buildings to generate income and serve the wider community; training lay people for church leadership responsibilities; investing financial resources in youth work; adopting new forms of outreach akin to the Church of England’s “Fresh Expressions”; promote the doctrine of tithing; create three administrative centres to serve the church’s six diocese; reform the process for electing bishops; and designate the Diocese of Llandaff as the permanent archiepiscopal see of the Church in Wales.
Mrs. Biggin’s committee is to issue its first report to the February meeting of the Governing Body’s standing committee with a full report to be given to the next meeting of the Governing Body.
“This is a really exciting time for the Church in Wales,” Mrs. Biggin said, as the “Review Group has made some radical and challenging recommendations, which offer great opportunities. Together with an enthusiastic team, I am looking forward to helping meet these challenges and deliver the changes that will enable the Church to thrive as it serves communities throughout Wales.”
Gay church wedding ban for Wales a “step too far”: The Church of England Newspaper, December 23, 2012 p 6. December 28, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
Tags: Barry Morgan, gay marriage Maria Miller
The Archbishop of Wales has denounced the government’s plans to impose a “quadruple legal lock” that would exempt the Church in Wales from performing gay marriages, saying Culture Secretary Maria Miller’s promise was a “step too far.”
However, Dr. Barry Morgan’s protestations the Church in Wales was being treated in the same way as the Church of England over same-sex marriage appears to place him at odds with the formal position of his church.
On 12 Dec, the government announced its gay marriage legislation would explicitly state that it will be illegal for the Church of England and the Church in Wales to marry same-sex couples and that canon law, which bans same-sex weddings, will continue to apply. Like the Church of England, the Church in Wales has a legal obligation to marry couples where there is a link to the parish.
Dr Morgan responded that “excluding the Church in Wales and the Church of England from the legislation so that it will be illegal for them to have gay marriage. I think that is a step too far.”
“It does not leave it to the governing bodies of the two churches to decide whether they want to opt in or out as other churches are allowed to do. It curtails our freedom of choice and seems to close the door on even the possibility of doing so in the future without a change in law.
“It makes these churches seem exclusive and I think that is unfortunate,” Dr. Morgan said.
However, in its March 2012 response to the government’s consultation on marriage, the Welsh bishops said: “The Church in Wales is in an almost identical position to the Church of England with regard to the solemnisation of marriages. The Church in Wales’ concerns about the legal implications are therefore the same as those of the Church of England. We have taken note of these, and would seek assurances that the Government would specifically include the Church in Wales in any provisions for the Church of England under the proposed legislation.”
The bishops stated they did not see the need for the legislation. “It is not at all clear in what ways same-sex marriage will be different in substance from existing arrangements for civil partnerships. They already appear to be in all respects the same, in the rights and responsibilities conferred on the parties; and with only very minor distinctions in the methods of registration, or the reasons for dissolving the relationship. Nor is it clear what will be the purpose of retaining the category of civil partnership alongside same-sex marriage, especially since it is not proposed that heterosexual couples be allowed to enter into a civil partnership. In the context of equality of access to registered relationships, this appears to create a new inequality.”
“Recognising and supporting” same-sex civil unions “are to be welcomed” the bishops said, but as “such provision already exists” they saw no need for gay marriage. “Beyond raising the dangers of significant confusion and debate, the current proposals do not add to these provisions,” the March statement said.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Christmas sermons from across Britain: Anglican Ink, December 25, 2012 December 26, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Ink, Church in Wales, Church of England, Church of Ireland.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, is urging people to go and ‘join the human race’ this Christmas and become agents of transformation and renewal. In his final Christmas sermon in Canterbury Cathedral Dr Williams says the purpose of the Christian message isn’t to defend religion or make the church credible, but to pose a challenge to everyone to reconsider who they are: “Here is something so extraordinary that it interrupts our world; here is something that – like Moses in the story of the Burning Bush – makes you ‘turn aside to see’, that stops you short. Faith begins in the moment of stopping … the moment when you can’t just walk on as you did before …”
The full text of the sermon can be found here.
The Archbishop of Canterbury-designate, Bishop Justin Welby of Durham preached a Christmas Eve Sermon and a Christmas Day Sermon at Durham Cathedral, which touched upon poverty and social discontent in Britain. He stated it was “very easy to be despondent” about the state of the church and the world.
Read it all in Anglican Ink.
Prince of Wales visits flood ravaged St Asaph’s: The Church of England Newspaper, December 3, 2012 December 12, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Disaster Relief.
Tags: Prince of Wales, St Asaph's Cathedral
The Prince of Wales visited St Asaph Cathedral this week to meet victims of last week’s flooding and in North Wales. More than 400 properties in the city were submerged when the River Elwy burst its banks on 27 Nov 2012.
A statement from Clarence House said the prince was “keen to thank the emergency services and lend his support to some of the residents affected”. Prayers were also said in the cathedral and at St Asaph’s parish church for the flooding victims, including 91-year-old Margaret Jane Hughes who was found dead in her flooded home on Tuesday.
An inquest was opened last week and John Gittins, the acting coroner for north Wales central, heard that the provisional cause of death was drowning.
During his visit to the cathedral the Prince was introduced to members of the RNLI, the Red Cross and local secondary school children during his time at the Cathedral. He also met other members of the public who had been personally affected by the floods and visited Roe Parc estate, which had been severely damaged by the flood waters.
After his visit, the Dean of St Asaph Cathedral the Very Reverend Nigel Williams said:
“I’m really pleased that The Prince decided to come because he was with us in our joy when we received City status and now he’s come alongside us in our sorrow – this has made a vast difference to the people of this community.
“He’s got a deep sense of concern for the individuals who have been affected, especially the fact that these floods have gone through people’s homes. People are glad that he’s been to the affected areas and that has been very well received.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper
Bishop of Monmouth to retire: The Church of England Newspaper, October 28, 2012 p 6. October 29, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Diocese of Monmouth, Dominic Walker
The Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt. Rev. Dominic Walker OGS has announced that he will retire from office in June 2013 shortly after his 65th birthday.
In an address to his diocesan synod on 20 Oct 2012, Bishop Walker said that “after much thought and prayer I have decided that you need a new and younger bishop to provide the leadership and energy that will be needed to bring about the changes” necessary for the future growth of the church.
“I hope that by giving such notice it will be possible to give plenty of time for prayerful preparation for the process to elect my successor,” he said.
Bishop Walker was educated at King’s College London and Heythrop College, London and served his curacy at St Faith’s in Southwark. He served as domestic chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark, rector of Newington St Mary, vicar of St Peter Brighton and was appointed Bishop of Reading in 1997. In 2003 he was translated to Monmouth upon the appointment of Dr. Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dr. Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, will oversee the process of electing a new bishop in January, the bishop explained. The election is expected to take place in July followed by his consecration in Llandaff Cathedral on 21 Sept 2013 and installation in Newport Cathedral on 18 Oct 2013.\
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Wales to reform parochial system: The Church of England Newspaper, September 23, 2012 p 5. September 27, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Barry Morgan, Richard Harries
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales may end the parochial system of parish ministry, changing the traditional organization of church life from parishes to “ministry areas” modeled on the catchment areas of secondary schools.
Meeting at Trinity Saint David at the University of Wales Lampeter on 13-14 Sept 2012, the Governing Body unanimously accepted a report for detailed study prepared by commission chaired by the former Bishop of Oxford Lord Harries that proposed a complete overhaul of the local organization of the church.
Vicars would no longer be “lone rangers” the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, told the meeting, but would be part of a mixed team ministry of stipendiary and NSM clergy, youth workers and lay church workers for a region comprising approximately 25 current parishes.
Amongst the 50 recommendations made by the committee were the amalgamation of parishes into “ministry areas”; the employment of a full time youth worker in each archdeaconry; “creative use” of church buildings to generate income and serve the sider community; training lay people for church leadership responsibilities; investing financial resources in youth work; adopting new forms of outreach akin to the Church of England’s “Fresh Expressions” programme to reach those unfamiliar with traditional church life; promote the doctrine of tithing; create three administrative centres to serve the church’s six diocese; reform the process for electing bishops; and designate the Diocese of Llandaff as the permanent archiepiscopal see of the Church in Wales.
“The parish system is no longer sustainable,” Lord Harries told the Governing Body. “We have to radically rethink the way we look at our ministry, and begin with the concept of an area ministry.”
“The old vision of the parish priest in a small community knowing everybody no longer holds—too often the parish priest has to run a number of parishes, not able to know all the people and spending far too much time administrating PCCs and buildings,” he said.
“This does not mean that the parish system goes out of the window,” Lord Harries noted, adding we want people to “feel that the church belongs to them whether they are a member of it or not. We want the team in the ministry area to feel a responsibility to the whole community, not just to the congregations within it.”
Under his committee’s proposal “each area will have three full time stipendiary ministers, two financed by the congregations within the area” and the third financed by the province. NSM ministers would be assigned to each congregation in the ministry area as well, he added, with the goal of “reaching out to the vast population who are now totally unfamiliar with the Christian faith and the Church,” said Lord Harries.
Dr. Morgan said the Church in Wales was “enormously indebted to the Review Group” for its work and said that “We, as a Church, will have to give serious consideration to this report and its recommendations from parish up to province and decide where we go from here.”
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Wales votes “not yet” on the Anglican Covenant: The Church of England Newspaper, May 6, 2012 p 6. May 11, 2012Posted by geoconger in Anglican Covenant, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Gregory Cameron, Helen Biggin, John Davies, Philip Price
The Church in Wales has declined to endorse the Anglican Covenant. The Governing Body – the Welsh church’s general synod – on 18 April 2012 passed a motion calling for further study of the covenant in light of its failure to be affirmed by a majority of dioceses of the Church of England.
The original motion proposed by the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt. Rev. Gregoy Cameron and Mrs. Helen Biggin of the Diocese of Llandaff asked the church to subscribe to the covenant. In support of the motion, Bishop Cameron stated the “Covenant is Anglican, setting out the wells from which we draw out faith.”
“It is an affirmation of the Lambeth Quadrilateral, of Bible, Sacraments, Creeds and Apostolic Succession. To these are added the tradition of Common Prayer and the Anglican way of teaching from scripture, reason and tradition.”
He added the covenant was “about communion, sustaining one another, working with one another, taking one another seriously.”
Bishop Cameron noted the covenant “not a law, about relationships not legalities—a commitment to work with one another. It gives us a modest framework to hold the churches of the Communion together in mutual respect and cooperation. It gives us the pathways rather than to shout at each other. It sets out the foundation of our common life, rather than the drama of boycotts. It gives something for the whole of the Communion and not just a part, a flexible commitment and not a partisan declaration.”
Mrs. Biggen asked the Governing Body not to be swayed by the Church of England’s apparent rejection of the covenant, saying ““this is not game over”.
The bishop of Swansea and Brecon, the Rt. Rev. John Davies moved an amendment to the motion, saying he believed a pause was in order. The bishop believed the covenant was too “legalistic” and would stifle the communion, not strengthen it.
The amended text proposed by Bishop Davies read:
That the Governing Body: (i) affirm the commitment of the Church in Wales to the life of the Anglican Communion; (ii) affirm its readiness to engage with any ongoing process of consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant; (iii) request clarification from the 15th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council as to the status and direction of the Covenant process in the light of the position of the Church of England; (iv) urge upon the instruments of Communion a course of action which continues to seek reconciliation and the preservation of the Communion as a family of interdependent but autonomous Churches.”
Rising in support of the amended motion, Philip Price QC, chairman of the Standing Committee, stated the covenant did not address the problems besetting the communion. ““We have to consider still how to consult together, how to manage disagreement—and that remains a priority. We must continue to go down that road, exploring what it means to be Anglican. The Covenant has been hugely useful as a focus for asking the question and answering it in discussion with each other—what it means to be Anglican in the rough and tumble of the raw, everyday world in which we have to engage?”
The amended motion was put to a vote and passed by a strong margin.
Bishop Cameron sought to put a good face on the vote noting the Governing Body had given an “amber light” instead of the “green light.”
“However, I think we need to reaffirm our strong commitment to each other through the saving power of Christ revealed in the Gospels. That is what I believe the Covenant ultimately calls us to do and I hope one day the Church in Wales will be able to vote for it,” Bishop Cameron said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Women bishops on the agenda for Wales: The Church of England Newspaper, May 6, 2012 p 6. May 11, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Women Priests.
Tags: Barry Morgan, Women bishops
The House of Bishops of the Church in Wales has rejected calls for the reintroduction of a flying bishop for its members opposed to women clergy.
In a paper given to last month’s meeting of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, the bishops said that while they wish to “uphold the principle of respect for those, who in conscience, cannot accept that women can be ordained to holy orders,” they would not permit the creation of any legal structures to safeguard these principles.
The paper stated the bishops “do not feel able to support any scheme for the reintroduction of alternative episcopal oversight, such as the appointment of a Provincial Assistant Bishop.”
In 2008 the Governing Body rebuffed Archbishop Barry Morgan and declined to support his bid to enact legislation permitting women bishops. At the September 2011 meeting of the Governing Body, Dr. Morgan announced that discussions on women bishops would be re-launched in 2012. Copies of the bishops’ proposals were distributed to the members of the Governing Body and delegates broke into small groups to discuss the paper. The results of the discussions will be compiled and distributed to the next meeting of synod.
The bishops asked the Governing Body whether it believes it is time to refight the women bishops’ battle, whether there should be safeguards for those opposed to women bishops, and if so, what form these safeguards might take.
The bishops proposed amending canon law to allow women to be ordained to the episcopate and to render the ordinal gender neutral. Two model conscience clauses were proposed by the bishops:
(a) No member of the Church in Wales who has a conscientious objection to the ordination of women to the episcopate shall be required to receive the sacramental ministry of a woman bishop. And (b) In circumstances where a member of the Church in Wales believes that they require specific arrangements under these provisions, he or she may make application to the diocesan bishop, who shall make such reasonable arrangements necessary to enable that member to receive such sacramental ministry from a bishop whose ministry is not subject to such objection.
Or: (a) At a meeting chaired by the Archdeacon, the Parochial Church Council of a Parish in the Church in Wales may, by secret ballot of its members, resolve: (1) not to receive the sacramental ministry of its woman Diocesan Bishop or woman Assistant Bishop; and (2) to make application to the Diocesan Bishop to receive only the sacramental ministry of a male bishop. (b) Upon receipt by the Diocesan Bishop of written confirmation of the resolution, the Bishop shall make the necessary arrangements, and notify the Archdeacon, the Incumbent and the Secretary of the Parochial Church Council in writing of the arrangements made. (c) The Parochial Church Council may at any time, and not less than every five years, by secret ballot taken at a properly convened meeting to consider whether to rescind such a resolution. (d) During any vacancy in the incumbency a further secret ballot shall be taken at a meeting of the PCC chaired by the Archdeacon.
The bishops also proposed legislation that would prohibit a bishop from refusing to sponsor for ordination, ordain or license a woman priest.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Anglican Unscripted Episode 36, April 16, 2012 April 16, 2012Posted by geoconger in AMiA, Anglican Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Rwanda, Anglican Church of the Congo, Anglican.TV, Church in Wales, Property Litigation, Wicca/Druidism.
Back from Holy Week your Host Kevin and George discuss AMiA, the Occult, and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. David Ould joins us this week to talk about Clergy Protocol in the Australian Church and Dean Munday tackles Easter (the real one). Alan Haley talks about San Joaquin and the battle for paper documents.
Tags: Diocese of Monmouth, Dominic Walker, occult
The Bishop of Monmouth has voiced concern over the illicit celebration of black magic rituals in churches and graveyards performed by devotees of Wicca in Wales.
In an interview with WalesonLine, Bishop Dominic Walker said that the rise in popularity in the occult and wicca may have led to a rise in break-ins. “Churches get disturbed and you can see someone’s carried out a ritual in a graveyard,” the bishop said.
“They’ll have drawn pentagrams and they will have performed rituals summoning up spirits. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what’s happened whether it’s just sheer vandalism, kids playing, or whether it really has been a witchcraft group,” Bishop Walker said.
In an interview published last month with WalesonLine, Bishop Walker spoke of his work in deliverance ministries and exorcism helping people break free from the entanglements of the occult.
“Those who belong to occult groups – where someone has got into black magical group or satanic group or involved with the black arts – they can find it very difficult to get out,” the bishop said, adding that there can be “peer pressure and sometimes they’re controlled by fear – they’re told if they leave, if they disclose any of the secrets you’ll be cursed. It’s sort of religious version of belonging to a gang.”
Some hoped to use the occult for “good, for healing and for love” the bishops said, while others sought to practice the “black arts.” “White magicians would say they’re an ancient religion which give equality to men and women … but also occult powers can be used for evil so the other side of it is that there are more involved in the black magic,” he said, noting “they hex, curse people [and] they try to use their powers for their own personal gain.”
While exorcism and deliverance ministries in popular imagination may be linked with the Roman Catholic Church or charismatic groups, some Church of England dioceses have clergy licensed by the diocesan bishop to perform exorcisms.
In 1972 the SPCK published a report entitled “Exorcism: the Findings of a Commission Convened by the Bishop of Exeter” that summarized the Church of England’s views on the phenomena. In the foreward to the report, Bishop Robert Mortimer said the “unhealthy and near-hysterical publicity” given by the press to the subject led him to convene a group of Anglican and Roman Catholic scholars to investigate the theological, scriptural and pastoral issues involved.
In the 1970s, the bishop reported, few within the Church of England had knowledge of exorcism. The church’s “general attitude” seemed to regard “exorcism as an exercise in white magic or a survival of medieval superstition. It was seen as the purely negative action of expelling an evil force or cleansing an evil environment. Its positive aspect as an extension of the frontiers of Christ’s Kingdom, and a demonstration of the power of the Resurrection to overcome evil and replace it with good was overlooked.”
The situation today within the church had changed, Bishop Walker said. While some remained skeptical , “We know people practice black magic and if we believe that prayers and blessings are effective then you could say there must be spiritual forces that are evil and oppress people.”
“I think most of our clergy would say they know when they’re involved in a spiritual battle, when good things are happening and the Holy Spirit seems to be at work there does seem to be a force working against it as well,” the bishop said.
First printed in The Church of England Newspaper.
Welsh church leaders reject presumed consent for organ donations: The Church of England Newspaper, January 27, 2012 p 5. February 2, 2012Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
Tags: Barry Morgan, organ donation
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Church leaders in Wales have expressed profound misgivings over government proposals to establish a presumed consent rule for organ donations.
The “positive ethos of donation as a free gift” the Anglican, Catholic and Orthodox leaders said on 23 January 2012 was being “endangered by an ill-judged if well-intentioned proposal to move from voluntary donation to presumed consent.”
The statement follows a public meeting chaired by the Primate of Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan, held in Cardiff on 21 January that explored the morality of consent in conversations with Roy Thomas, the Executive Chair of Kidney Wales Foundation, and Dr Chris Jones, Medical Director of NHS Wales.
While supporting the principle of organ donation, in their statement the church leaders urged the government to revisit its policy process.
“If the proposals in the White Paper are not subject to independent scrutiny then there is a real danger that a change in the law would alienate a significant proportion of the public and undermine the positive image of organ donation and the reputation of Wales. For while a high rate of voluntary donation speaks of a culture of generosity, a system of presumed consent would ‘turn donation into action by default’,” the church leaders said.
The statement endorsed by Dr. Morgan, the Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff George Stack and the Archimandrite of the Wales Eastern Orthodox Mission, Fr. Dienoil, said the principles the government should follow in creating an organ donation policy must “seek to preserve the dignity and autonomy of every person whilst creating a proper framework in which the gift of human organs after death is precisely that – an act of solidarity, generosity and love.”
In November the Government published a white paper, “Proposals for Legislation on Organ and Tissue Donation” and the public consultation period ends on 31 January 2012. Under the Welsh government proposal, the problem of a shortage of organ donations would be cured by having everyone in Wales automatically become a donor unless they opted out.
However, the church leaders’ statement said the “most effective way to increase rates of both organ donation and family agreement to donation after death is to encourage people to sign the Organ Donation Register and to talk about the issue with relatives and those close to them.”
Bible burning vicar under investigation: The Church of England Newspaper, July 29, 2011 p 6. July 30, 2011Posted by geoconger in Biblical Interpretation, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
A Welsh vicar’s foray into modern art has elicited responses of bad taste and heresy — and has landed him in hot water with the Bishop of Bangor.
On July 23 the Western Mail reported the Rev Geraint ap Iorwerth, vicar of St Peter ad Vincula Church in Pennal, Machynlleth, was under investigation by his bishop for burning parts of the Bible he believed were unchristian and contrary to the teachings of Jesus.
The 60-year-old vicar cut out passages of the Bible that offended his moral sensibilities and displayed them on a mural in the church hall, and burned the scraps from the Bible in a symbolic gesture celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible.
Mr ap Iorwerth told the Western Mail: “The passages I cut out referred to the wrath of God, a God who killed millions of people in a vengeful, spiteful way. This has absolutely nothing to do with Jesus, a reactionary leader who preached peace. I’m not a complete pacifist, I’d use a baseball bat if anyone came for my family.
“But he was the ultimate campaigner for peace and I wanted to literally cut out parts of the Bible that seemed to preach violence – naughty children being rewarded, bad children not being just punished but killed violently,” he noted.
“Nietzsche said we should philosophise with a hammer, whereas I prefer to theologise with a pair of scissors,” Mr ap Iowerth said.
The Bishop of Bangor, the Rt Rev Andrew John responded that “destroying parts of the Bible we don’t like is disrespectful and will offend many people. I have therefore written to the Rev Geraint ap Iorwerth and will be investigating the matter.”
While there were difficult sections of the Bible, “it is not given to us to pick and choose” those passages we will honour. “Sometimes the most challenging parts are those which we need to wrestle with most of all,” the Bishop said.
However, Mr ap Iorwerth said he was not persuaded by his Bishop’s words. “The charred remains [of the burnt Bible] were a memorial to the millions whose lives have been destroyed as a result of the cruelty of this kind of God and his followers,” he said.
While Mr ap Iowerth’s actions may be avant-garde for the Diocese of Bangor, they have arisen from time to time in the course of church history. In the second century, Marcion taught that Jesus was the saviour sent by God and Paul of Tarsus his chief apostle. However, Marcion rejected the Old Testament, believing the wrathful God of Israel was different from the loving God of the New Testament. The early church denounced Marcion as a heretic, and while his writings have not survived, Tertullian’s Adversus Marcionem has preserved some of his arguments.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Church in Wales has appointed its first female dean.
The Bishop of Bangor has appointed Dr Sue Jones, the Residentiary Canon Missioner of the diocese, to be the 56th dean of the cathedral. She will take up her appointment on August 1st.
Born in South Wales, Dr. Jones worked for the Midland Bank before entering the ministry after training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and was ordained to the deaconate in 1995. She was one of the first women priests in the Church in Wales when she was ordained in 1997 in Brecon.
She has served as Chaplain at Swansea University, Director of Studies at St Michael’s college in Llandaff, vicar of St Peter’s Church in Penrhosgarnedd as well as being the Area Dean for Ogwen and Canon of Bangor Cathedral.
Dr. Jones thanked Bishop Andrew John for her appointment and stated, “The Diocese of Bangor is in good heart. It is committed to being a Learning Church through the Exploring Faith Programme and nurturing committed and articulate disciples and fostering vocations for lay and ordained ministries. The Diocese of Bangor is the place to be.”
“St Deiniol brought the Christian faith to Bangor in 525 and his Cathedral Church has been a continuous place of prayer, praise and study ever since,” the new dean said, adding she looked forward to “standing in St Deiniol’s shoes” and to “continuing his commitment in shaping the cathedral as a powerful witness to Christ nurtured within the distinctive and special culture and language of Wales.”
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Managing the decline of the Church in Wales calls for a fundamental re-think of its structures and finances, the Archbishop of Wales said last week.
In his presidential address to the April 27-28 meeting of the church’s Governing Body gathered at Swansea University, Dr. Barry Morgan said a three-man review commission led by Lord Harries, the former Bishop of Oxford, and retired London Business School Professor Charles Handy would examine the church’s structures in light of declining revenues, clergy and members.
The commission would be asked to determine whether “the resources available to the Church in Wales are being deployed efficiently and effectively;” whether the “organisation of the Church in Wales is one which enables the Church to be effective in addressing the nation of Wales;” and whether the “organisation should be adapted to enable the Church to live more fully into a model of church life which is theologically and missionally coherent and sustainable in the long term.”
Declining revenues, rising expenses, aging clergy and congregations and an absence of young people were driving the reforms. Dr. Morgan noted that “average attendance had continued to fall by 2 per cent in line with the longer term trend,” while “average attendance among young people had fallen particularly sharply.”
Finances were also a concern, as the “level of total direct giving fell for the first time since the statistics began to be collected in this format in 1990” and “for the first time since 1993, total parish income was less than expenditure.” This was coupled with a rise from 28 per cent to 31 per cent of the proportion of parish funds “spent on buildings.”
Long standing polices, including a presence across all of Wales, would have to be reviewed, the archbishop noted. However, Dr. Morgan stressed the importance of the work of the church’s bishops, who would be “devoting more time at our forthcoming meetings to further defining our vision for a more ‘fit for purpose Church’ and for ensuring that we have in place the right plans and processes for providing and supporting ministry at all levels of the Church to achieve this vision.”
Dr. Morgan said that “in commissioning such a review, we will all have to be prepared to take seriously its findings and to be open to the possibility of significant change in our structures, ministry, use of buildings and other resources if it is seen to be in the best interests of the church and its mission to the people and communities of Wales as we look ahead to the next decade.”
Bishop’s call to give up foie gras this Lent: The Church of England Newspaper, March 25, 2011 p 6. March 24, 2011Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Farming.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Bishop of Monmouth has urged Welsh gastronomes to give up foie gras this Lent.
In a letter to the Western Mail published on March 19, Bishop Dominic Walker OGS claimed eating the duck’s liver pâté supported animal cruelty and urged Welsh gourmands to follow the moral example of the Prince of Wales and down their forks in solidarity with animal rights.
Bishop Walker asked readers of the Western Mail during the Lenten season to think about “foie gras production, which involves force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers become diseased and painfully enlarged to up to ten times their normal size – it is a practice so cruel that it is prohibited in the UK and many other countries, although foie gras is still imported and sold in some stores, and served in many restaurants.”
“The Prince of Wales refuses to allow foie gras on menus at his royal residences, and stores like Selfridges, House of Fraser and Harvey Nicholls refuse to sell it,” the bishop said.
“Unfortunately, other stores and restaurants continue to sell and serve foie gras in spite of the terrible animal cruelty that is involved in its production.”
“I would urge Christians to refuse to eat foie gras and to write to those stores that stock it and to those restaurants that serve it and to help end this cruel trade,” Bishop Walker said.
The animal husbandry technique of gavage—fattening birds through force feeding—is an ancient farming practice and is illustrated on wall paintings dating from 2500 BC in Egypt. However, in recent years animal rights activists have denounced the practice and a number of European countries including the UK have outlawed the gavage method of force feeding.
The Council of Europe’s European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes signed by 35 countries prohibits gavage. However, those countries “where it is current practice” are permitted to continue using the technique. Five European countries produce foie gras and in France the delicacy has been given protected status. French Rural Code L654-27-1 states, “Foie gras belongs to the protected cultural and gastronomical heritage of France.”
The culinary world is divided over the use of foie gras, with some restaurants having removed the delicacy from its menu. However, the acerbic food writer and chef Anthony Bourdain has taken to task foie gras critics, saying their criticisms are without scientific merit.
However, Bourdain’s ire is reserved for those who see foie gras as a moral issue. Speaking to Salon magazine in 2007 Bourdain said “telling people what they should and shouldn’t eat is cultural imperialism — and deeply disturbing.”
Saying that “how you eat” and “what you’ve been eating for hundreds, if not thousands, of years” is “wrong and should not be allowed,” Bourdain finds “offensive.”
Such attitudes are “ethnically insensitive, jingoistic, xenophobic, anti-human and disrespectful of the diversity of cultures on this planet, and for human history,” he said, adding that laws banning foie gras are a “win for the forces of darkness, willful ignorance and intolerance.”
Welsh church abuse review released: The Church of England Newspaper, March 18, 2011 p 6.` March 18, 2011Posted by geoconger in Abuse, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
A review commissioned by the Church in Wales of the personnel files of its active and retired clergy has resulted in five police referrals for investigation of child abuse.
On March 9, the church released the findings of an 18-month investigation conducted on its behalf by social worker Elaine Cloke of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales office. It called for stricter sanctions for clergy engaged in physical, emotional and spiritual abuse, including homophobic attitudes.
The investigation reviewed 1381 clergy files. Of these 219 were referred for further action.
However, the “majority of these referrals related to incomplete service records and other complaints in relation to clergy conduct and personnel issues. Of these cases only five files were identified as containing information relating to child protection and safeguarding which required further action. These were referred on to the appropriate agencies following discussions with the relevant Bishop,” the report said.
The police declined to take any action against the five clergymen.
The report offered 36 recommendations for strengthening the church’s child protection policies, including compulsory child abuse prevention training, increasing awareness of domestic violence, and providing guidance to clergy “on the dangers of emotional abuse arising out of the inappropriate use of pastoral supervision or theological teaching.”
The report also recommended that “inappropriate and unacceptable conduct such as discriminatory behaviour involving aggression, bullying or attitudes such as homophobia should not be tolerated and can in some instances be emotionally abusive. This should be a professional development issue and where necessary, subject to disciplinary procedures.”
It also recommended that clergy not be permitted to resign in lieu of facing a hearing over their conduct.
The Archbishop of Wales Dr Barry Morgan said the church “commissioned this comprehensive review because we want to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the Church in Wales is a safe place for children. We are delighted with the findings as they give us the confidence to say that the Church has not brushed allegations of abuse under the carpet or turned a blind eye to them.”
“However, we must remain vigilant, taking on the recommendations in the review and ensuring they help us develop all our procedures for safeguarding children and vulnerable people,” he said.
Archbishop condemns bankers’ bonus culture as ‘immoral’: The Church of England Newspaper, Jan 28, 2011 p 6. February 1, 2011Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Popular Culture.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Archbishop of Wales has called on bankers and businessmen to adopt a moral code governing their professional conduct.
In a speech delivered on Jan 12 to the Profession Wales Group, Dr. Barry Morgan said the current climate of bankers’ bonuses was “immoral” and urged those taking a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degree to adopt a code of conduct akin to the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians.
The international financial crisis, the bankers’ bonus culture and the MPs’ expense scandal were evidence of the moral decline of the business professions, he argued. Ethical behavior was seen by some in industry as being contrary to good business practice, yet without the standards of trust and behavior the capitalist system would collapse, he said.
“To talk about ethics means talking about how we should live our lives and the kind of people we ought to be and the way we would like our communities to function. In the context of business this used to be regarded as irrelevant, pious or even weak. It was not seen as ‘businesslike’ in a world where competition ruled and financial growth was the only marker of success,” Dr. Morgan said.
Government regulation would not fix the problem, however, as the issue was at heart one of morality rather than economics. He urged business to adopt a code of conduct proposed by professors at Harvard’s Business School.
“The MBA Oath is something worth considering because in the end conventional regulation cannot cure moral blindness or rule out greed,” Dr. Morgan said.
Top executives should set an example for their staff, he argued, calling upon British industry to foster a “culture, customs, traditions and an ethos where people are valued.”
“If we separate economic life from longer term goals for humans and fail to ask the questions of what life is for, and assume that the profit motive is paramount, then we will not be seeking the wellbeing of all, especially the most vulnerable and our society will unravel. Shared wellbeing and how we achieve it are the most crucial questions that our country and world faces,” the archbishop said.
Devolution will benefit Church in Wales, archbishop claims: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 29, 2010 p 7. November 3, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Devolution will do for Wales what disestablishment did for the Church in Wales, Archbishop Barry Morgan told a meeting of the Cross Party Group on Faith at the National Assembly for Wales this month.
Dr. Morgan urged the Assembly to press on with devolution of political power from the national to the regional government, arguing the current power sharing arrangement between Parliament and the Assembly was flawed. “If we had proper law-making powers, we could have simpler, more effective and efficient Government, able to act swiftly in the interests of Wales and avoiding unnecessary conflict with Westminster,” Dr. Morgan said.”
Transferring political powers from national to local government was not “about wanting independence for Wales,” Dr. Morgan said, but allowing government to function more effectively and equitably.
“What devolution has meant in Wales is less remote Government, easy access, a Government that deals specifically with Welsh matters and Welsh issues,” Dr. Morgan said on Oct 6.
“Faith communities are much more involved than they were before, not because they want to have privileges as faith communities but because of their involvement in issues which affect and concern our communities and our nation. The Welsh Assembly Government realises that faith communities have a presence in every community in Wales,” he said.
The Welsh archbishop likened devolution to the disestablishment of the Welsh dioceses of the Church of England 90 years ago.
“The fact that our appointments are now made by the Church in Wales and that we have our own liturgy and that we are a bilingual church means that we have in fact developed a Welsh identity and a closer relationship with the nation,” Dr. Morgan said.
Disestablishment had “parallels for devolved government,” he noted, adding that “this model of devolution enhances a sense of place, purpose and belonging. It gives a sense of identity to the nation and the agenda is clear – it is for the betterment of Wales.”
Wales has been “enriched by” devolution, Dr. Morgan said, and has “become more self confident, more mature and there has been the development of a distinct Welsh identity and access to Government has been easier.”
Israel is an apartheid state, archbishop declares: The Church of England Newspaper, Oct 1, 2010 p 6. October 2, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Israel.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, Archbishop Barry Morgan told the Governing Body of the Church in Wales last week, in a speech where he compared the relationship between Gaza and Israel to the former apartheid system in South Africa.
While the Church in Wales can do little to change the situation in Israel and Gaza, “we ought to acquaint ourselves with what is going on, and fight against injustice, and demand that the rule of law be upheld wherever it is being flouted for whatever reason,” Dr. Morgan said on Sept 22.
“We have a duty to speak out. What happens to one person or nation affects us all,” he declared at the start of the Governing Body’s two-day meeting at the University of Wales Trinity St David, in Lampeter.
In his speech to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales, Dr Barry Morgan outlined what he believed was the situation on the ground. “The situation in Israel/Palestine is appalling and the UK bears a historical responsibility for that particular region,” he said.
While, “no-one denies that Israel has the right to exist and defend itself, and it is indeed surrounded by states that want its destruction, and one cannot condone the firing of rockets into Israel by Hamas. But the longer things continue as they are then moderate, ordinary Palestinians become more resentful and are in danger of being radicalized,” Dr. Morgan said.
“The situation resembles the apartheid system in South Africa because Gaza is next to one of the most sophisticated and modern countries in the world – Israel. Whereas Israel has excellent technology and infrastructure, in Gaza people carry goods by horse and cart. Whereas Israel has an educational system second to none, next to it children live who are denied even a basic education because their schools have been bombed,” Dr. Morgan said.
A spokesman for the Israeli Embassy called the archbishop’s remarks “troubling.”
“The incitement of terrorist violence against Jews and similar radicalisation, characterised the region long before the establishment of the modern state of Israel,” the spokesman said, adding “we must not forget that the same organisation who continue this trend today, by bombarding Israelis with the deadly rockets that the Archbishop kindly ‘cannot condone’, are condoned, and were indeed, elected by the Palestinians.”
“The subsequent investment of foreign aid in warfare and ammunition rather than welfare and education by this Hamas government, is responsible for the economic disparity highlighted,” the embassy spokesman said.
Dr. Morgan told the Governing Body that he expected his remarks would cause a stir. “Whenever I say anything about this matter, I will be accused of being anti-Semitic, but our own Prime Minister has described Gaza as a prison camp,” he said.
The analogy of Israel’s relations with the Palestinians to the South African Apartheid regimes relations with black Africans is not new, and has been a stock critique of Israel by the left. In 2004 South African law professor John Dugard, the special rapporteur for the United Nations on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, told the UN General Assembly that “there is ‘an apartheid regime’ in the territories ‘worse than the one that existed in South Africa.”
The response to the Israel-Apartheid analogy has been equally strong. “Labeling Israel as an ‘apartheid state’ is the embodiment of the new anti-Semitism that seeks to deny the Jewish people the right of equality and self-determination among the nations,” Prof. Gerald Steinberg of Bar-Ilan University wrote in the Jerusalem Post following publication of Prof. Dugard’s claims.
Radio 4’s unusual service for the Ryder Cup: The Church of England Newspaper, Sept 24, 2010 p 5. September 25, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Popular Culture.
Radio 4’s Sunday Worship programme for this Sunday will be broadcast from a Norman church located on a golf course in Wales.
To commemorate the Ryder Cup golf tournament underway in Newport, the Archbishop of Wales will lead services at the Church of St Peter located on the groups of the Marriot St Pierre Hotel and Country Club in Chepstow, Monmouthshire.
Dr. Morgan will be joined by former professional golfer Kitrina Douglas, the Cambrensis Choir, and the director of the Welsh Christian Golf Society, the Rev. John Hall, a former Ryder Cup team member.
“Many prayers are offered up by anxious players between the bunkers and the greens of golf courses throughout the country, but this is the only course which actually has a chapel on site,” Dr. Morgan said.
“This service is a chance for us to celebrate great competitions like the Ryder Cup and to give thanks to God for making us whole people – in terms of body, mind and spirit. It will also remind us that leading a Christian life is something which, like golf, requires lots of practice, patience and the understanding of those around us,” the archbishop said.
Welsh archdeacon pick sparks controversy: The Church of England Newspaper, August 6, 2010 p 5. August 8, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Bishop of Bangor has defended his selection as Archdeacon of Meirionnydd a priest once arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover policeman. The Rt. Rev. Andrew John told Wales on Sunday that the new archdeacon, Canon Andrew Jones, has his full support.
On July 24, the diocese announced that Canon Jones, rector of the parishes of Llanbedrog and Llannor with Llanengan and Llangian, and Area Dean of Llyn and Eifionnydd had been chosen to oversee the diocese’s southern archdeaconry.
However, on Aug 1, the Welsh press reported that Canon Jones had been arrested sixteen years ago while serving as a lecturer at St. Michael’s Theological College in Llandaff. Canon Jones admitted in court ‘importuning for immoral purposes’ an undercover policeman, and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Canon Jones declined to comment on the controversy, but Bishop John said he was satisfied with his choice. The bishop said Canon Jones “has been a devoted priest to locals and diocese alike. He has attracted respect for his honesty, warmth and openness. He is a person of deep faith and integrity and has my wholehearted and unreserved support.”
“He regrets his behaviour which led to the offence and conditional discharge 16 years ago and the diocese has always been fully aware of it,” Bishop John said.
Former Welsh bishop buys house with ex-chaplain: The Church of England Newspaper, June 11, 2010 p June 20, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Welsh bishop who resigned in 2008 after denying allegations that he was engaged in an adulterous relationship with his female chaplain, is now living with his former chaplain in a home the two purchased in January.
The Western Mail reported last week that property records have confirmed that the former Bishop of St. David’s, the Rt. Rev. Carl Cooper and his chaplain, the Rev. Mandy Williams-Potter had purchased a home in January in Llandeilo.
In 2008, 23 clergy in the Diocese of St David’s requested the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, investigate Bishop Cooper for “conduct giving just cause for scandal and offence.” Their request came after Bishop Cooper and his wife Joy announced in February that they were separating after 25 years of marriage.
Bishop Cooper and his wife stated at that time that “difficulties in our relationship” led to the break up, and that “there is no- one else involved on either side.”
Mrs. Williams-Potter then issued a statement announcing her separation from her husband and denying an “inappropriate relationship with Bishop Carl,” adding that “there is no-one else involved in the break-up of our marriage. The two marital breakdowns are tragically coincidental and not connected in any way.”
On May 1, Bishop Cooper wrote to the diocese announcing his resignation, six weeks after being placed on a leave of absence while the Church in Wales investigated the circumstances of the breakdown of his marriage.
The “current situation has made it impossible for me to continue as your Bishop,” he said, offering his apologies for “any of my actions” that might have caused offence. Mrs. Williams-Potter also resigned as bishop’s chaplain and diocesan communications officer. Both have since left the ordained ministry.
Mr. Cooper and Mrs. Williams-Potter have declined to respond to press queries. The former bishop presently serves as chief executive of Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO), while his former chaplain is a project manager for the trade union Unison.
Place justice over economics when voting, Welsh Bishops say: The Church of England Newspaper, April 16, 2010 p 7. April 22, 2010Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Bishops of the Church in Wales have issued a pastoral letter urging its members to vote for candidates who support a progressive social agenda in the General Election.
“For Christians, voting at the time of elections is not only a privilege but a duty and we write to urge you to take this responsibility seriously,” the bishops said on April 6.
They urged voters to resist the “temptation” to “vote for the party that will best serve their own interest,” asking them instead to “focus on gospel values and consider the ‘common good’.”
Christians, they said, should strive to follow the example of Jesus and work towards supporting the “marginalised” and “strive to establish a more just society.”
The bishops called upon voters to consider issues “such as the sanctity of life, the care and sustainability of creation, freedom of belief, family life, child poverty, care of the elderly and building local communities” when voting on May 6.
“We urge you to pray for those who are standing for the General Election and where possible for churches to hold meetings to question candidates. Above all we urge you to use your vote; it can make a difference,” the bishops said.
Welsh church leaders back nuclear weapons ban: The Church of England Newspaper, March 10, 2010 March 24, 2010Posted by geoconger in Arms Control/Defense/Peace Issues, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
For the sake of the “children,” the leaders of the Anglican, Catholic and Free churches of Wales are calling upon the Government to commit to a “world free of nuclear weapons.”
On March 5, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith, and the President of the Free Church Council of Wales, the Rev Martin Spain, released a statement supporting the “Now is the Time” campaign. Their concerns come in advance of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference this May in New York, which they see as a key moment in dismantling the nuclear stockpile.
Held every five years, the NPT Review Conferences serve as a “barometer of the health of the nuclear nonproliferation regime,” the Carnegie Endowment said, and allow member states to maintain and strengthen the effectiveness of the NPT, which governs nuclear nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and disarmament.
While Iran and North Korea will likely be at the top of the agenda for this meeting, peace advocates hope the change of administrations in Washington will see a greater willingness in the US for the adoption of an international treaty controlling nuclear weapons.
The “Now is the Time” campaign supported by the Church of England, the World Council of Churches and other UK church groups is pressing the government to sign up to a new Nuclear Weapons Convention that would put current stocks of bomb-grade uranium under international control and criminalize the state-possession of nuclear weapons.
“We believe that the use or threat of use of weapons of mass destruction is immoral,” the Welsh clerics said.
“We acknowledge the spread and increasing accessibility of nuclear technology and the threat that this poses to our security. We are encouraged by the prospect of significant reductions in US and Russian nuclear arsenals,” and “we call on nuclear weapons states to refrain from updating their nuclear arsenals and remind them of their “unequivocal undertaking” to meet their obligations to eliminate all nuclear weapons under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The three church leaders said they owed it to the “children” to “seize the opportunity” of putting in place a “new legally binding verifiable and universal agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.”
NHS criticized over priest’s murder: CEN 12.04.09 p 5. December 10, 2009Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Crime.
|First published in The Church of England Newspaper.
The death of the Rev Paul Bennett, at the hands of a paranoid schizophrenic who fell through the cracks of the NHS, is a personal tragedy for his family and the Church in Wales, but also an indictment of the substandard care given to the mentally ill across Britain, the Archbishop of Wales tells The Church of England Newspaper.
On Nov 27 a report released by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales found the NHS’s failure to provide adequate supervision and care for Geraint Evans contributed to the death of Fr Bennett..
“While the homicide of Fr Paul could not have been predicted, had (Evans) received appropriate care and treatment, the risk of him committing an act of violence or homicide might have been reduced,” concluded Dr Peter Higson, the head of the Healthcare Inspectorate
On March 14, 2007, Fr Bennett was murdered outside of the vicarage of St Fagan’s Church, Trecynon, Aberdare, by Evans. He was a “compassionate and diligent priest,” said Dr Barry Morgan; one “who cared deeply for all his parishioners and is still very much missed.”
Since the age of 11, Evans had displayed serious behavioural problems, including the sexual assault of young girl, but had never been properly assessed and diagnosed, the report found, noting that even after slitting his own throat outside the vicarage in Aberdare in July 2006, Evans was allowed to walk free from hospital because there was a 40-minute delay before he could be seen by the psychiatric team.
The Healthcare Inspectorate found that a lack of concern and communication meant that Evans’ GP and community workers were not notified of the suicide attempt. The report went on to list a number of failures with the NHS system including failing to offer bereavement services to Mrs Bennett for over two months, the ambulance responding to the wrong address, the 999 operator’s request that Mrs Bennett check on her husband even though the killer was standing over the dying priest, and the paramedics failure to attempt resuscitation when they finally arrived 16 minutes after being dispatched. In a statement read out by Ms Ann Clwyd, the Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley (Lab.), on behalf of Mrs Bennett after the report was released, Fr Bennett’s family asked how many more people would have to suffer due to the failure of government.
“Once more, society has been let down by the failings of our social services and health authorities,” she said.
“How many more innocent people are going to lose their lives in the most horrific of circumstances before these organisations begin to realise the consequences of their inadequate actions?” In a statement released by the Church in Wales, Dr Morgan said he welcomed the report and trusted that “all its recommendations” would be taken on board “to lessen the chances of anything like this from ever happening again.”
He said he was encouraged the authorities had acknowledged their errors and “apologised for the failures highlighted in the report and have not tried to sweep them under the carpet.”
“It is difficult to know whether or not the killing of Father Paul could have been predicted or prevented, looking at it as we are with hindsight. What is clear, however, is that there were two tragedies here – firstly, Father Paul’s death and secondly, the failure of society generally to notice the increasingly desperate circumstances of his killer, Geraint Evans, as he grew up and to recognise his many cries for help before it was too late. Perhaps Evans’ tragedy reveals the stigma we attach to mental health – an area which sadly remains the Cinderella of the health service,” Dr Morgan said.
Archbishop criticizes Vatican church plan: CEN 11.13.09 p 7. November 20, 2009Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Roman Catholic Church.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan has criticized Pope Benedict XVI’s offer of personal ordinariates for Anglicans seeking to enter the Roman Catholic Church, saying the Oct 20 statement from the Vatican was an unhelpful interference in the life of the Anglican Communion.
On Nov 9, Dr. Morgan stated, the announcement had come as “a surprise” to the Church in Wales, adding that it was “unfortunate that it has happened at a time when great efforts are being made by the Archbishop of Canterbury to keep the worldwide Anglican Communion united.”
He noted that within the Church in Wales, “there are tensions and disagreements on a range of issues. I recognise that in some cases, these may be so insurmountable that people feel they would be better placed in a different church where they would be able to accept all its doctrines.”
Tensions remain high between the Welsh bishops’ bench and Anglo-Catholics in the wake of Dr. Morgan’s Sept 17, 2008 statement that the Church in Wales would not appoint a new “flying bishop” for traditionalists. In his address to the Welsh Church Assembly last year, Dr. Morgan said “there remains a continuing place in the Church in Wales for those unable to accept the ministry of women priests, but we do not believe that this is contingent upon appointing another Provincial Assistant Bishop and it is therefore our decision not to appoint.”
Traditionalists should trust the good intentions of the Bishops’ bench as they “remain committed to serving every person and every parish within our respective Dioceses,” Dr. Morgan said, adding that he believed that ‘flying bishops’ were not “consistent with Anglican ecclesiology.”
The decision not to honour the Provincial Assistant Bishop plan, created by the then Archbishop of Wales Dr. Rowan Williams, provoked outrage from Forward in Faith, which accused Dr. Morgan of undermining Dr. Williams’ attempts to keep the Welsh Church united.
In his statement on the Vatican’s offer, Dr. Morgan said he hoped that the Church in Wales will “will all stay together and work through our differences, recognising that what we have in common is far greater than that which would drive us apart.”
“In the Church in Wales, the bishops remain committed to maintaining a continuing place for all its members regardless of their position on this or any other issue,” he said.
It is a crime that there are no jails in Wales for women, says the Archbishop of Wales Dr. Barry Morgan.
In a statement released Aug 3 following a pastoral visitation to HMP Eastwood Park in Gloucestershire, the archbishop said jailing Welsh women in England imposed a hardship on many families. His concerns, however, were not motivated merely by Welsh nationalism. Dr. Morgan urged the government to introduce reforms for women offenders that would support their successful reintegration into society after their term of imprisonment had ended.
“It seems very strange that I have to go across the border, and out of the Province of Wales, in order to visit women prisoners from Wales,” Dr. Morgan noted, adding that many of the prisoners asked “can we have a jail for women in Wales?”
“Their distress at being in prison is heightened far more than it is for men because in England they feel like strangers,” Dr. Morgan said, and their “biggest worry” was that friends and family would not visit “because they are too far away.”
An added burden for some of the prisoners was a sense of isolation and neglect, as some “feel cut off from Wales because English prisons do not show Welsh television channels or have Welsh newspapers so they have no way of keeping up with things happening in Wales.”
Approximately 80 percent of women prisoners come to jail with substance abuse problems Dr. Morgan said, a “high proportion will have had contact with mental health services” and “many” will “have got caught up in crime after years of being abused themselves.”
A penal system that does not plan on the successful reintegration of convicts into society, ultimately fails society, Dr. Morgan warned. “It is vital that these women are given every chance possible to keep their lives together while they are in prison so that they have support and stability when they are released and a chance to break out of the cycle of crime,” he said.
He lauded the work done at Eastwood Park, but called for the building of jails in Wales for women. “Locking them up far from home where, even with the best of care, they feel abandoned, worthless and forgotten will only condemn some of the most deprived people in society to a life spent constantly in and out of trouble,” Dr. Morgan said.
MP attacks Archbishop: CEN 5.22.09 p 6. May 24, 2009Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Politics.
A Welsh Conservative MP has launched a verbal attack on the Archbishop of Wales, accusing Dr. Barry Morgan of abusing his episcopal office when he denounced as immoral those who oppose granting greater political powers to the Welsh Assembly.
In an exchange of correspondence published by the Western Mail on May 2 between Dr. Morgan and Monmouth MP David Davies, Mr. Davies objected to the archbishop’s assertions that Wales was being treated unfairly by the government.
In April Dr. Morgan told the Western Mail “If we were to have imposed the political settlement on any Commonwealth nation that has been imposed on Wales, there would have been a huge outcry. Because, I say, this isn’t right, this isn’t fair, this is immoral.”
Dr. Morgan was arrogant for asserting that his views commanded the moral high ground, Mr. Davies said. “It is disgraceful that you are using your position as the Archbishop of the Church in Wales to promote a political cause with which many of your parishioners disagree. I was brought up in the Anglican faith, but I would never have the audacity to think that my role as an MP gives me any greater credibility to comment on the state of the church than any other parishioner.”
The archbishop’s time would have been more profitably spent in addressing the problems of the Church in Wales, Mr. Davies said. “Congregation numbers are collapsing because instead of taking a strong moral line on numerous issues, including abortion, the breakdown of traditional family structures and the oppression of Christians in various countries around the world, leading prelates are more concerned in speaking out about the benefits of adopting Sharia law or involving themselves in straightforward political campaigns which are certain to be divisive among churchgoers.”
A spokesman for Dr. Morgan defended the archbishop’s involvement in secular politics as just and right, while the pressure group Tomorrow’s Wales criticized Mr. Davies for drawing church politics into secular disputes over the powers of the Welsh Assembly.
There is no need for a “Flying Bishop” for Welsh traditionalists, the Archbishop of Wales told members of the church’s Governing Body last week, as the pastoral care offered by the current bishop’s bench is sufficient to meet the needs of all Welsh Anglicans.
Responding to a question from a member of the Governing Body during is April 22 session in Llandudno, Dr. Barry Morgan said the bishops were offering “pastoral and sacramental care to every member of the Church in Wales, without exception.”
He added that there was “room in the Church in Wales for those who in conscience cannot accept the ordination of women.” However this latitude did not extend to episcopal oversight.
The bishops would not “perpetuate a system whereby conscientious objectors may avoid not only the ministry of ordained women but also the ministry of male bishops who have ordained them. That leads in the end to fundamental division and a denial that things are other than they are – that we do live in a church that ordains both women and men,” he said.
Dr. Morgan’s comments follow upon his Sept 17 announcement that no successor would be appointed to succeed the Rt. Rev. David Thomas—the Church in Wales Provincial Assistant Bishop. Following the introduction of women priests in the Church in Wales in 1996, the position of provincial assistant bishop was created to offer delegated episcopal oversight to those who could not accept the innovation.
September’s decision to end alternative oversight was greeted with regret by the Rev. Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith Wales. Last year he stated the group rejected “the claim that such an appointment is unnecessary and do not regard what was said yesterday as the final word on this subject.”
However, Dr. Morgan last week said the issue was closed as matters of personal conscience could not trump church law, he argued. “There is a difference between recognising the fact that some individuals hold personal views that are at variance with what the Governing Body has decided about the ordination of women and reflecting those views in the structures of the church as if the Church in Wales as a whole had doubts about women’s ordination and the bishops who ordained them. That to my mind would be a real act of injustice – to ordained women, bishops, indeed to the whole church.”
Scenes from Alexandria: Wales & Australia February 20, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Anglican Church of Australia, Church in Wales, Primates Meeting 2009.
Scenes from Alexandria: Wales February 18, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Church in Wales, Primates Meeting 2009.
Welsh Primate: New Province is ‘Total Nonsense’: TLC 1.28.09 January 28, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Church of North America, Church in Wales, Living Church, Primates Meeting 2009.
On Jan. 24, Archbishop Barry Morgan of Wales told delegates attending the annual council meeting of the Diocese of Virginia he would oppose the creation of the ACNA with “every fiber of his body.” Another North American province was “total nonsense,” he said, according to a report by Anglican blogger Mary Ailes, but the archbishop conceded that his views were in the minority among primates.
The degree of support for the ACNA among the primates is uncertain, but a core group representing a near majority have given public and private assurances of support. On Dec. 5 five primates from the steering committee of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) met with the Archbishop of Canterbury at Canterbury Cathedral telling him that Bishop Duncan and the ACNA had their full support.
The political strength of the GAFCON primates will be tested against Archbishop Morgan and supporters of The Episcopal Church. The proposed agenda, however, seeks to avoid a direct decision, calling for further dialogue on the issue of rites for the blessing of same-sex unions, the consecration of non-celibate homosexual clergy to the episcopate, and the violation of traditional diocesan boundaries by overseas bishops.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams solicited the views of his fellow primates in crafting an agenda that includes business sessions on global warming, international finance, coordination of development work among church agencies, and the Communion’s theological working group. Time has been set aside for a discussion of the agenda for the Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Kingston, Jamaica, in May, the proposed Anglican Covenant, and a presentation from the Windsor Continuation Group.
It is unlikely the agenda for the five-day gathering will go unchanged. At their meeting in 2005 in Northern Ireland and in 2007 in Tanzania, the primates insisted on confronting the issues that had split the Anglican Communion.
In an interview with the Anglican Journal of Canada, Archbishop Fred Hiltz said that he and Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, along with the primates of Uganda, Pakistan and South Africa have been asked to prepare briefings on issues facing their churches around the issue of human sexuality. Leaders of the GAFCON movement also have been asked to present a paper on the third province movement in North America.
However, a spokesman for Archbishop Henry Orombi of Uganda said he was unaware of any request by Archbishop Williams for him to prepare a reflection paper. The primates of Pakistan and South India previously notified Archbishop Williams that they would be unable to attend. The deans or senior bishops of provinces currently without primates-the West Indies, Central Africa, and Melanesia-will represent those churches.
First printed in The Living Church magazine
Gregory Cameron to be next Bishop of St Asaph: CEN 1.09.09 p 5. January 14, 2009Posted by geoconger in Anglican Consultative Council, Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
The Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Counsel, Canon Gregory Cameron, has been elected the 76th Bishop of St Asaph.
On Jan 5 the Electoral College of the Church in Wales elected Canon Cameron (49) bishop in succession to the Rt. Rev. John Davies following a closed door meeting at St Asaph Cathedral.
“I am conscious that for the family of St Asaph the choice of a new bishop is a profoundly important point in their life and that of the Gospel in North-East Wales,” Canon Cameron said.
“I am both stunned and honoured by the choice of the Electoral College and hope that by God’s grace I can at least in part live up to people’s expectations. I will need the prayers of all the diocese and the church as we find a way forward together.”
A native of Wales, Canon Cameron read law at Lincoln College, Oxford and theology at Downing College, Cambridge and earned further degrees in theology and canon law at University College in Cardiff and University of Wales College, and prepared for the ministry at St Michael’s College, Llandaff.
Ordained deacon in 1983 and priest in 1984 in the Diocese of Monmouth, Canon Cameron was Assistant Curate at St Paul’s, Newport and then Team Vicar in the Rectorial Benefice of Llanmartin. He served as chaplain and head of religious studies at Wycliffe College in Gloucester and in 2000 was appointed chaplain to the then Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Rowan Williams.
In 2003, Canon Cameron followed Dr. Williams to London and was appointed Director of Ecumenical Relations for the Anglican Consultative Council, and Deputy Secretary General in 2005. At the ACC, he oversaw the Communion’s ecumenical partnerships and facilitated the publication of the ARCIC report “Growing Together in Unity and Mission” and Anglican-Orthodox Theological Dialogue report “The Church of the Triune God”.
In 2003 Canon Cameron was appointed to the Lambeth Commission on Communion and has since served as secretary of the various committees that have arisen from the Windsor Report, including the Windsor Continuation Group and the Anglican Covenant Design Group.
In a statement released following the election, the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan welcomed Canon Cameron’s return to Wales. He was an “immensely gifted man with wide experience of the worldwide Anglican Communion and of our ministry here in Wales. I look forward to working with him and welcoming him back to his home Province.”
New bishop chosen for diocese of Bangor: CEN 10.17.08 p 5. October 17, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
The Archdeacon of Cardigan, the Ven. Andrew John was elected Bishop of Bangor last week, squelching fears that the Dean of St. Albans, the Very Rev. Jeffrey John, would be tipped for the Welsh post.
Following a three-day “lock-in” at Bangor Cathedral of the 46-member Electoral College, including the four other sitting Welsh bishops, elected Archdeacon John (44).
A graduate of the University of Wales, Cardiff and University of Nottingham, Archdeacon John was ordained deacon in 1989 and priest in 1990 in the Diocese of St. Davids, and has served his entire ministry there. Since 2006 he had been vicar of Pencarreg & Llanycrwys and Archdeacon of Cardigan. A member of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Church in Wales, Bishop-elect John succeeds the Rt. Rev. Anthony Crockett, who died in June.
On Aug 29 one of the American bishops of the Church of Nigeria charged the Archbishop of Wales was seeking to seat Dr. Jeffrey John as Bishop of Bangor. Bishop David Anderson of CANA said Dr Barry Morgan’s support of the election of Dr. John would break the Lambeth “ceasefire”.
The Church in Wales responded that Dr. Morgan had no power to impose a bishop upon Bangor. Nor would Wales violate the moratorium on gay bishops set by Dr. Williams.
“In order to preserve that unity and prevent members leaving, the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for a moratorium on the consecration of bishops in same-sex partnerships to allow time for differences to be discussed and hopefully, resolved. The bishops of the Church in Wales respect this request and will discuss it with the electoral colleges concerned during the coming months,” Dr. Morgan said last month.
Wales drops flying bishop: CEN 9.26.08 September 28, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Ecclesiology.
The Church in Wales will not appoint a new “flying bishop” for traditionalists, Archbishop Barry Morgan said on Sept 17, saying the position was no longer necessary nor was such a post consistent with Anglican ecclesiology. Those opposed to the ordination of women still had a place with the Church in Wales, he said and asked traditionalists to trust the bishops to look after their interests.
The decision comes as a repudiation of the work of Dr. Rowan Williams, traditionalists charged, as the former Bishop of Monmouth was instrumental in creating the post of “flying bishop” 12 years ago, and marks a hardening of positions in the Welsh Church.
Traditionalist leaders took little comfort from the bishops’ assurances of continued support. The Rev. Alan Rabjohns, Chairman of Credo Cymru, Forward in Faith Wales said “this is a disappointing and sad statement.”
“We reject the claim that such an appointment is unnecessary and do not regard what was said yesterday as the final word on this subject,” he said on Sept 18.
Following the introduction of women priests in the Church in Wales in 1996, the position of provincial assistant bishop was created to offer delegated episcopal oversight to those who could not accept the innovation. In June the Welsh “flying bishop”, the Rt. Rev. David Thomas retired and traditionalists were expecting a replacement to be appointed.
However in a speech to the Governing Body of the Church in Wales meeting at the University of Wales, Lampeter, Dr. Morgan said, “We reaffirm as Diocesan Bishops our commitment to securing a continuing place in the life of the Church in Wales for those who cannot in conscience accept the ordination of women to the priesthood. However, we no longer consider that the continuation of additional episcopal provision for one part of the Church on grounds of belief or doctrine on one particular issue is either necessary or consistent with Anglican ecclesiology.”
He explained that clergy are in communion with their diocesan bishops regardless of “whether or not they agree on every issue. Episcopal oversight and care for all within each Diocese is the responsibility of the Diocesan Bishop.”
“There remains a continuing place in the Church in Wales for those unable to accept the ministry of women priests, but we do not believe that this is contingent upon appointing another Provincial Assistant Bishop and it is therefore our decision not to appoint. Whilst bringing a particular arrangement to an end, we remain committed to serving every person and every parish within our respective Dioceses and we will continue to be sensitive in our appointments, both in terms of the views of parishes and in ensuring that clergy from different parts of the Church are given the opportunity to progress in their ministry,” he said.
The bishops’ decision not to appoint a new flying bishop comes in a midst of change with three of the dioceses electing new bishops this year. Forward in Faith Wales said they “particularly regret” the decision not to name a successor to Bishop Thomas as “it comes from an incomplete [Bishops'] Bench, giving those to be appointed to the dioceses of Bangor and St Asaph over the next months no say in the matter.”
The Rev. Geoffrey Kirk, secretary of Forward in Faith UK argued the Welsh decision will have consequences for the Church of England. “We are repeatedly told that the future for those opposed to women’s ordination is one of trust in provisions made and confidence that our position will be respected and upheld by the majority,” he said.
“To describe the role of a provincial assistant bishop – one effectively brokered by the Archbishop of Canterbury when he was Bishop of Monmouth – as ‘unnecessary and inconsistent with Anglican ecclesiology’, as the Archbishop of Wales has done, is deliberately to undermine both that trust and Dr Williams’ leadership of the Anglican Communion during this time of crisis,” Fr. Kirk said.
Dean of St Davids elected as new bishop:CEN 9.12.08 p 4. September 12, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
The Dean of St Davids has been elected 128th bishop of the diocese of St Davids. The Very Rev. J. Wyn Evans was elected by the 46 member electoral college of the Church in Wales on Sept 1 to succeed the Rt. Rev. Carl Cooper, who resigned in May.
Called a “safe pair of hands” by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, Dean Evans has served his entire ministry in the diocese since training for the ministry at St Michael’s College, Llandaff.
He has served as a minor canon at St Davids Cathedral, Rector of Llanfallteg with Clunderwen and Hellan Amgoed with Llangan from 1977-82, diocesan Warden of Ordinands from 1978-83, chaplain of Trinity College of Carmarthen 1982-90 and diocesan director of education 1982-1992.
He was made an honorary canon of St Davids Cathedral 1988 and served as a canon from 1990 to 1994; Dean of Chapel, Trinity College Carmarthen 1990-94 and head of department of religious studies 1991 – 94 and was made Dean and Precentor of St Davids Cathedral in 1994.
Dean Evans said he was honoured to have been elected and hoped to build upon the good work of his predecessor. “We are fortunate that Bishop Carl gave the diocese a sense of purpose and direction which I look forward to continuing,” he said.
Dr. Morgan said the new bishop had “enormous support both within and without the diocese. He is a safe pair of hands and also a man who can move the diocese forward and continue its good work.”
Wales will respect Lambeth moratorium: CEN 9.12.08 p 1. September 11, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Human Sexuality --- The gay issue, Lambeth 2008.
Support for the election of Dean Jeffrey John to be Bishop of Bangor in the Church in Wales appears to be drying up in the face of conservative activism and the desire of the Welsh hierarchy not to provoke a conflict with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Liberal activists charge the furore over Dr. John’s possible election was a false controversy, stage managed by those seeking to embarrass Archbishop Barry Morgan and the Church in Wales. “The present rekindling of the [Jeffrey John] saga is mischievous and a deliberate attempt to stir trouble,” the Rev. Martin Reynolds of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement told The Church of England Newspaper.
He added that as a Welsh priest, he was unaware of any “elector who was keen to advocate” Dr. John’s candidacy.”
Last week the Rev. Peter Jones, canon treasurer of Bangor Cathedral and vicar of Conwy told the Western Mail he would resign if Dr. John were elected bishop, saying he “would be strongly opposed to the appointment.”
“Jeffrey John is a strong advocate of changing the Church’s traditional teaching on homosexuality and I accept the teaching of Holy Scripture that homosexual acts are wrong. Therefore to have someone deliberately seek to undermine that teaching – that is clearly not someone who is suitable to hold office as a bishop in the Church of God,” Canon Jones said.
On Aug 29 one of the American bishops of the Church of Nigeria charged the Archbishop of Wales was seeking to seat Dr. John as Bishop of Bangor. Bishop David Anderson of CANA said Dr Barry Morgan’s support of the election of Dr. John would break the Lambeth “ceasefire”.
“Dr Williams might well wish not to know until too late, so that nothing is left on his doorstep for evidence,” he said, but “Dr Williams, if you are on record as knowing about this, and the event takes place despite all the ‘moratoria’ recommendations that were made, the Archbishop of Canterbury will not get a free pass on this one,” Bishop Anderson said.
Mr. Reynolds told CEN Dr. John was “unlikely to be elected to Bangor or any other Welsh diocese” as he is “too little known here as he has spent nearly all his life in England.”
He added that he believed Dr. John to be an outstanding priest and he would have had “a transforming effect on any Welsh diocese – his energy and passion for God is infectious and there are many fine Anglican Christians here who would warm to a man of God with [his] heart and mind.”
It was a mistake to suggest that the Archbishop of Wales could impose a candidate on a diocese, a church spokesman said. “Nominations for the Bishop of Bangor will be made by members of the Electoral College when it meets in Bangor Cathedral on Oct 7,” Church in Wales spokesman Anna Morell said.
“The nominations will be confidential both during and after the election. For a nomination to be successful, it has to have a two-thirds majority. There are 47 members of the college, made up of 5 diocesan bishops, 12 elected members from the Bangor Diocese (six lay and six cleric) and six elected members from each of the other five Welsh dioceses (three lay and three cleric),” she explained.
Sources within the Church in Wales have told CEN that the church’s leadership does not support Dr. John’s candidacy and last week Dr. Morgan issued a statement endorsing the Lambeth moratorium.
“The issue of homosexuality is one which is, sadly, threatening the unity of the world-wide Anglican Communion (of which the Church in Wales is a part) at the moment,” Dr. Morgan said.
“In order to preserve that unity and prevent members leaving, the Archbishop of Canterbury has asked for a moratorium on the consecration of bishops in same-sex partnerships to allow time for differences to be discussed and hopefully, resolved. The bishops of the Church in Wales respect this request and will discuss it with the electoral colleges concerned during the coming months,” the archbishop said.
|An American bishop of the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America has alleged that the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, is seeking to place the Dean of St Albans, the Very Rev Jeffrey John (pictured) in the see of Bangor.
In an Aug 29 letter to members of the American Anglican Council (AAC) and CANA, the Rt Rev David Anderson said the Church in Wales would likely be the first province to break the Lambeth moratorium on gay bishops. “Wales is in an election process for Bishop of Bangor and the election has as one of its still-secret nominees none other than Jeffrey John,” Bishop Anderson said.
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.
Canterbury celebrates Wales: CEN 8.29.08 p 6. August 29, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England, Church of England Newspaper, Hymnody/Liturgy.
Welsh music will be on display at Canterbury Cathedral on Sept 13 as a new hymnal written by a vicar from the Rhondda Valley will be launched.
Dr. Rowan Williams and Dr. Barry Morgan, the Archbishops of Canterbury and Wales, will attend a concert given by the National Youth Choir for Wales, the National Youth Symphonic Brass Wales, choristers from Canterbury Cathedral, and the choir from a Welsh primary school performing the music of the Rev. Paul Bigmore from his new hymnal, The Songs of the Pilgrim.
The vicar of St Anne’s Church, Ynyshir, Mr. Bigmore ten years ago launched “Music in the Community,” a programme designed to revive the musical heritage of South Wales and has organised concerts, recitals, master-classes and competitions to engage, entertain and educate local people.
“Music in the Community has made a positive difference to peoples’ lives in the last 10 years,” Mr. Bigmore said. “It involves people of all ages and abilities and addresses the needs of those who are socially excluded. It is a positive scheme for communities as it strengthens their cultural and linguistic identities and enables them to experience performances of all music.”
Dr. Morgan said the concert would celebrate the projects’ success. “The South Wales Valleys have a rich tradition of music making, much of it fostered and inspired by the churches and chapels that have been the focus of community life for generations,” he said.
“The Christian life is often described as a journey where we travel in heart and mind, towards a deeper knowledge of the God who draws us to Himself. It is therefore appropriate in our journey to this great Christian Shrine [Canterbury Cathedral], to have brought with us something of our culture to celebrate and offer, in thanksgiving and praise,” Dr. Morgan said.
Archbishop’s NHS warning: CEN 5.23.08 p 6. May 26, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Health/HIV-AIDS.
The Archbishop of Wales has called upon the NHS to adopt a holistic approach to health care, treating the patient as an individual rather than as a collection of ailments.
In a speech marking the NHS’s 60th anniversary given at the launch of the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Trust in Swansea, Dr Barry Morgan said that effective healthcare “has to recognise the importance of the personal in a world of targets, accountability and value for money.”
The system “has to be kept human – in the way we deal with patients but also in the way we deal with staff,” he said. Harkening to the example of Florence Nightingale, Dr. Morgan said it was wrong to treat patients “as objects. True nursing is about offering respect and dignity to those being ministered to.”
He also warned against the faddish pursuit of high tech remedies, paid for from funds set aside for the elderly and mentally ill. “In a civilised society, we need to ring-fence provision for the aged and the mentally ill, the people who are the most marginalised in our society. And it is certain that we need fuller public discussion of these issues,” he said.
Moving the mentally ill and elderly out of institutions into the care of the community was not working. “The aim is still care but there has not been an adequate shift in resources. They have suffered more than most,” Dr. Morgan said.
Prevention was as important as treatment in responding to sickness, he argued, as a “huge variety of diseases are caused neither by germs nor by viruses and are cured neither by drugs nor surgery, because they have to do with other factors in society.”
“Social factors are responsible for many illnesses – living in poverty, poor housing, working long hours – all lead to illness. We have to tackle root causes not just symptoms. There would be less strain on our health service if the roots of some of our social problems were addressed,” Dr. Morgan argued.
Public health was a spiritual issue. “Fighting disease, restoring people to health is seen as part of God’s purpose,” Dr. Morgan said, for “God is interested in us as total human beings – our minds, our bodies as well as our souls.”
The Archbishop of Wales has rejected plans for the Diocese of St Davids to organize a formal testimonial for its former bishop, the Rt. Rev. Carl Cooper.
In a statement given to the Western Mail, Dr. Barry Morgan said Bishop Cooper had chosen “to resign following allegations of misconduct and therefore it would be inappropriate for the church to ask its members to contribute to an official testimonial for him.”
Supporters of Bishop Cooper amongst the St Davids clergy had asked the diocesan secretary if the diocese would organize a collection on behalf of the bishop and his wife. The custom in the Welsh church is that upon retirement or translation to another see, a testimonial collection is taken and presented to the bishop and his wife at a diocesan service.
The diocese responded that in light of the bishop’s April 29, Dr. Morgan had decided there “should be no official diocesan testimonial or service organised for Bishop Carl and Joy following his resignation as Bishop of St Davids.”
Former Bishop of St Davids gets new job: CEN 5.19.08 May 19, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
|The former Bishop of St Davids has taken a new post as chief executive of a Welsh NGO. The Rt Rev Carl Cooper, who resigned as bishop last month following questions over the breakdown of his marriage, will head up the Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (Pavo).
Pavo vice-chairman, Jacky Tonge said the charity was pleased to have secured the bishop’s services. “Obviously, when you advertise a job, you hope to be in a position to appoint someone who is good. But we didn’t think we’d get anybody this good,” she told the Western Mail on May 6.
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.
Bishop of St Davids resigns: CEN 5.02.08 May 2, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper.
|The Bishop of St Davids has released a pastoral letter to his diocese announcing his resignation. Bishop Carl Cooper’s May 1 letter follows upon the April 29 announcement that Archbishop Barry Morgan and the Welsh bishops had accepted his resignation “as being in the best interests of the diocese and the Church in Wales at this time.”
Bishop Cooper told the members of his West Wales diocese the “current situation has made it impossible for me to continue as your Bishop. I would humbly ask your support and prayers for my family and everyone involved in this painful and vulnerable situation.”
Read it all in The Church of England Newspaper.
The Archbishop of Wales has denounced the pace of the devolution of law-making authority from Westminster to the Welsh Assembly as “tortuous and convoluted,” telling the BBC it would be “immoral” for the Assembly not to be granted further legal powers soon.
Archbishop Barry Morgan’s comments to the Good Evening Wales programme followed a ceremony at Windsor Castle where the Queen approved the transfer of new powers to the Welsh Assembly. The authority to enact laws assisting those with special learning needs was approved on April 9 and is the first of 10 orders ranging from mental health services to fire safety slated for devolution under the 2006 Government of Wales Act.
Welsh First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the ceremony marked “a little bit of Welsh history” as for “the first time in 500 years the people of Wales are now able to create laws to help improve their day-to-day lives.”
However, Dr. Morgan-who is chairman of the Tomorrow’s Wales task force examining devolution—chided the government for the slow pace of devolution. The “present settlement is demeaning to Wales,” he argued, adding that as Archbishop he had a duty to respond as “people like myself can’t divorce themselves from the life of politics”.
“Because politics is about the way we organise ourselves in society and, therefore every single aspect of life ought to have relevance to the Gospel, and that’s why I’m speaking out.”
“More and more people were on board with devolution,” he argued, saying it would likely pass by a strong margin if placed before the public for a referendum in 2011—a referendum on devolution was one of the agreements made by Labour and Plaid Cymru when it formed the coalition government last May that controls the Assembly.
However, David Davies, a Conservative MP for Monmouth and member of the Welsh Assembly criticized Dr. Morgan, saying it was unseemly for the Archbishop to use his office to advance Labour’s political agenda.
“He’s doing so wearing his crown and mitre, as it were, and frankly I think that’s very disappointing, especially when there are so many issues that you would expect the Anglican church to be speaking out at the moment about,” he told BBC Radio Wales.
The Archbishop of Wales April 13, 2008Posted by geoconger in Anglican Album (Photos), Church in Wales.
The Most Rev Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales and Bishop of Llandaff
No women bishops for Wales — Yet: CEN 4.11.08 p 5. April 13, 2008Posted by geoconger in Church in Wales, Church of England Newspaper, Women Priests.
The Governing Body of the Church in Wales has declined to authorize women bishops.
Support for the women bishops fell short of the constitutionally required two thirds majority at the meeting of the Church’s synod in Lampeter on April 2. Although all six bishops voted in favour of the bill and the measure passed in the lay order 52-19, it fell short of the two thirds margin in the clergy order, 27-18.
A bill providing for “pastoral care and support” for opponents of women bishops through the “ministry of an assistant bishop” or flying bishop was also defeated, 48-71.
The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, said he was “deeply disappointed” by the rejection of the women bishops bill, but noted he had the consolation of seeing the flying bishops bill go down to defeat. Had the flying bishops’ amendment passed, it was likely the women bishops bill would have “sailed through.”
However, that “would have meant us, as supporters, compromising our principles, which we were not prepared to do,” he said.
The Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt. Rev. Dominic Walker said that enshrining flying bishops in the church’s canons would undermine the ministry of any future woman bishop. An assistant bishop for recusants who did not recognize the episcopal orders of a woman bishop was an ecclesiological impossibility as it fractured the collegiality of the house of bishops.
The Provincial Assistant Bishop of Wales, the Rt. Rev. David Thomas questioned the House of Bishops inaction in appointing his successor. While he was scheduled to retire in July, the House of Bishops had so far been silent on providing a new flying bishop for traditionalists.
The chairman of Credo Cymru/Forward in Faith Wales, the Rev. Alan Rabjohns said the Governing Body’s failure to pass the bill lay in “trying prematurely to foreclose the period of reception and refusing to clarify the nature of the provision for opponents contained in the original bill, when the constitutional provision contained in the amended bill had been ruled out.”
“This led to some of those who would not have voted against the Bill in the ordinary way of things to say that without even a modicum of fairness and justice they could not support it,” he said.
“Like this Bill, the Bill to ordain women to the priesthood was initially defeated, but it came back to the Governing Body and was passed 11 years ago,” Dr. Morgan said. But this was not “the end”. “It will not go away and it will not be ignored, it is something the Church in Wales will have to grapple with,” he said.
Fr. Rabjohn said opponents of women bishops were under no “illusion that the issue has gone away; it will inevitably return.”
However he hoped that when it does so wiser counsels will prevail and the ‘experiment in internal ecumenism’ which began with the appointment of the first Provincial Assistant Bishop in 1996, and which has helped many of us to continue to play as full a part as possible in the Church of our land, will continue.”
The Welsh experience would “no doubt inform the minds” of the Church of England’s General Synod as “they gather in July to consider the recommendations” of the Legislative Drafting Group, Forward in Faith secretary the Rev. Geoffrey Kirk said.
“Many enthusiasts of the innovation in England had looked to Wales to give a lead – and many in Wales had hoped to pre-empt the English. Both parties need now to take stock. It is clear that the price of women bishops is clear and adequate provision for those whose obedience to scripture and to the Church’s two thousand year tradition prevents them from accepting the orders of ordained and consecrated women,” he said.