Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Battle of Truro Has Begun

The ACNA parish of Truro playing nice with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has long been an issue in the background.  Now it has become an issue front and center in ACNA with the formation of the Truro Institute, “A School of Peace and Reconciliation”.

Excuse me.  I had to go vomit there.  For we know what “peace and reconciliation” looks like in The Episcopal Church.  And look further at the mission of the Truro Institute -- to “work with seminarians and other young people to seed our respective denominations with a new generation of peace makers.”

Thanks, but no thanks.  The last thing the Anglican Church in North American needs is to be seeded with “peace makers” from The Episcopal Church.

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach, to his credit, has wasted no time in issuing a frank statement about this school:

I have only recently been made aware of the “Truro Institute,” described as “A School of Peace and Reconciliation” which is proposed to be jointly led by Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax, VA, and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

The idea of a School of Peace and Reconciliation is to be commended. I would welcome the opening of centers with this focus around the Anglican Church in North America if they promote Biblical reconciliation.  Unfortunately, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has not been reconciled with the revealed Word of God, and is therefore not an appropriate partner for such a project. Their leadership continues to promote teaching and practice that is contrary to Scripture —teaching that, if followed, would keep people from an eternal inheritance in the Kingdom of God, teaching that has torn the fabric of the Anglican Communion, and teaching that remains a scandal in the Anglican Communion to this day. Therefore, until there is repentance by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, there can be no true Gospel partnership with them.

Bishop Guernsey and I had both made this clear to the leadership of Truro. I have been amazed at the godly counsel, patience, and goodness of Bishop Guernsey in these discussions. I am disappointed that they have not just ignored, but defied our counsel. In doing so they have entered into a legal relationship with the Episcopal Church that makes them unequally yoked. It requires the permission of the Episcopal bishop for me to visit, and it creates an Episcopal Diocese of Virginia center of ministry with a required on-campus presence of one of their bishops. The decision to partner with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in this way is not in harmony with the Bible’s instruction in dealing with false teachers, and it denigrates the costly sacrifice of the many congregations who had their buildings and assets taken by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

It is ironic to begin a “Peace and Reconciliation” center when you are not at peace with your own bishop and archbishop. Truro has been a leader in the renewal of North American Anglicanism, giving a robust defense of the Gospel, and refusing to peddle any counterfeit. It is my hope that they will uphold that heritage, resist counterfeit versions of “reconciliation,” and fulfill their calling among the leading congregations of the Anglican Church in North America.


A good statement indeed that sets forth just how serious a situation this is.  But further measures will surely be necessary and that probably soon lest the Provincial Assembly this summer become that much more *interesting*.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Queen’s Maundy

Today, The Queen once again celebrated the wonderful English tradition of the Sovereign distributing the Maundy.  This year it occurred at Leicester Cathedral.  The Daily Mail has the usual abundance of photos and some interesting history.

The 90-year-old monarch traditionally hands two purses - one white and one red - to each person during the service. The red purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating the Centenary of the House of Windsor and a 50p coin commemorating Sir Isaac Newton. 

The white purse will contain uniquely minted Maundy coins, equating in pence to her age, as Her Majesty prepares to celebrate her 91st birthday on April 21. The coins, a ceremonial gift from the Sovereign, are legal tender but recipients normally prefer to retain them as a keepsake.

I imagine they do!  I’ve wondered what a special occasion it must be for those few who get to receive the Maundy.

The first monarch to take part in a Maundy Thursday service was King John, of Magna Carta and Robin Hood fame, who distributed gifts of clothes and money to the poor in Knaresborough in 1210. John was also the first to present the poor with silver coins and is recorded as having done so in Rochester in 1213. 


There’s much more interesting history at the link.  Do go read and gaze for yourself.  And have blessed Maundy Thursday.

Monday, April 10, 2017

When I First Knew Something Was Wrong With Pope Francis

By now traditional Catholics know too well that Pope Francis is dreadful in too many ways.  Not to brag – one would rather be wrong about such things – but I knew very early on there was something wrong with him.  How?

His first Easter Vigil was less than three weeks after he became Pope.  It would have been logical that he’d just go with Benedict’s excellent liturgy.  Instead, Francis shortened it.

Francis processed into a darkened and silent Saint Peter's Basilica at the start of the service, in which the faithful recall the period between Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday and resurrection on Easter Sunday.

One of the most dramatic moments of the Easter Vigil service that usually follows - when the pope would share the light of his candle with others until the entire basilica twinkled - was shortened this year as were some of the Old Testament readings.

The Vatican has said these provisions were in keeping with Francis' aim to not have his Masses go on too long.

Thus, early on, Francis showed his utter lack of sound priorities.  The Easter Vigil is not a service one cuts short.  For one thing, part of the drama of it is its deliberate pace.  In the primitive church, it could go all night.  And so early in his papacy didn’t he have better things to do than chop up the Easter Vigil?

But Francis rushes in and starts undoing the excellent liturgy of the best liturgical Pope of our lifetimes. 

Yes, it was then that I already knew something was wrong with Francis.


I pray my Roman Catholic friends have a blessed Holy Week and Easter anyway.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Why We Are So Divided

Daniel Greenfield has written one of the better explanations I’ve seen of why we are so divided as a country.  In short, the Left has taken over the Democrat Party and is refusing to submit to the Constitutional Rule of Law.  And that includes attacking the Constitutional freedoms of opponents, of which the violent attacks on Trump rallies and right-of-center speaking engagements are only the tip of the iceberg.  One can hardly be unified with those trying to attack and enslave you.

Some highlights of Greenfield’s piece:

Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control.

The left has rejected the outcome of the last two presidential elections won by Republicans. It has rejected the judicial authority of the Supreme Court when it decisions don’t accord with its agenda. It rejects the legislative authority of Congress when it is not dominated by the left.

It rejected the Constitution so long ago that it hardly bears mentioning….

There is no form of legal authority that the left accepts as a permanent institution. It only utilizes forms of authority selectively when it controls them. But when government officials refuse the orders of the duly elected government because their allegiance is to an ideology whose agenda is in conflict with the President and Congress, that’s not activism, protest, politics or civil disobedience; it’s treason.

Exactly.  Today’s Left only submits to Constitutional democracy when they win.  And when they win, they work to tear down Constitutional democracy.  

We can have a system of government based around the Constitution with democratically elected representatives. Or we can have one based on the ideological principles of the left in which all laws and processes, including elections and the Constitution, are fig leaves for enforcing social justice.

But we cannot have both.

Now I do not think we are headed towards a shooting civil war.  But I do think the only good way in front of us to deal with our current divisions is the complete and virtually permanent defeat of the Left. (Another tolerable possibility is a national divorce as Ace has advocated from time to time.  But that appears unlikely.) For it is not just policy differences at stake.  Our Constitutional freedoms are at stake.  We must defend them and defeat their enemies.  Yes, today’s Democrat Party is among the enemies.


The left is a treasonous movement. The Democrats became a treasonous organization when they fell under the sway of a movement that rejects our system of government, its laws and its elections.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Multiculturalism Kills

Multiculturalism, the delusion that all cultures are more or less morally equivalent and are to be welcomed, has once again been proven a deadly delusion.

My prayers are with the victims of the Westminster terrorist attack and with their friends and families.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Gavin Ashenden on the Philip North Affair

Studies and other responsibilities continue to restrain my blogging.  But I must direct your attention to two excellent posts on the Philip North withdrawal and its aftermath from Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden, former Chaplain to the Queen.  The Ashes of Cranmer has graciously hosted both posts here and here.

A segment from the second post stands out.  I will excerpt it and run:

The three-card trick that Professor Percy [The Dean of Christ Church Oxford who led the attack on North] and his cultural fellow-travellers play is to refuse to exclude anyone except those who don’t agree with them. You only get to be included in the equality stakes once you have accepted their moral and political presuppositions. So, of course, they do actually discriminate between anyone who shares their basic world view and those who don’t.

They pretend they are relativists by claiming that all views are equally legitimate, but become absolutists if you challenge their relativism. In other words, their ideas of equality and relativism are actually practised by placing their value above those who disagree with them, and discriminating against anyone who has the audacity and moral turpitude to dissent.

Meanwhile, they claim the higher moral ground by pretending to be something that they are not – outlawing discrimination while practising it.

This is, of course, hypocrisy – that is, saying one thing while doing another.

What happens when the hypocrisy is challenged, as with the attempt to include a bishop who embodies an older more traditional view in an inclusive non-discriminatory Church?


Well, we just saw what happens, haven’t we?

And, yes, Justin Welby is still silent about it.

Friday, March 10, 2017

++York Decries Attacks on Philip North UPDATED

In the aftermath of Bishop Philip North’s decision to withdraw from consideration for the See of Sheffield, the Archbishop of York’s statement stands out.

He is frank, to say the least:

…What has happened to Bishop Philip clearly does not reflect the settlement under which, two and a half years ago, the Church of England joyfully and decisively opened up all orders of ministry to men and women. It also made a commitment to mutual flourishing: that those who on grounds of theological conviction, are unable to receive the ministry of women bishops or priests, will continue to be within the spectrum of teaching and tradition of the Anglican Communion, the Church of England remains committed to enabling them to flourish within its life and structures; and pastoral and sacramental provision for the minority within the Church of England will be made without specifying a limit of time and in a way that maintains the highest possible degree of communion and contribute to mutual flourishing across the whole Church of England.’

There will be continuing debate in the coming days and weeks of lessons to be learned, how that learning might inform and inspire us to act as a Church in our dealings with one another and how, when we disagree, to disagree Christianly, remembering at all times that our identity is in Christ alone.

It is now time – during this season of Lent - that the Church spends time in penitence, repentance and reflection. If we are serious about our commitment to loving one another and to mutual flourishing within the Body of Christ, there must now be time for us all to reflect and recognise in Bishop Philip’s own words The highly individualised nature of the attacks upon me have been hard. If as Christians we cannot relate to each other within the bounds of love, how can we possibly presume to transform a nation in the name of Christ?  I hope though that this conversation can continue in future without it being hung upon the shoulders of one individual. I agree with him entirely.

I think this is about as close as an Anglican archbishop gets to being angry in an official statement. 

Although he does not use the term, what ++ York is decrying is the con game of Bait-and-Switch libchurchers play oh so well.  They promise tolerance, space, and “mutual flourishing” to those who disagree with their innovations.  But once they lie to get their way and have enough power, libchurchers throttle the orthodox faithful.  Oh, those mossback orthodox laity are fine as long as they keep the money coming.  But if one of those bigots try to become a diocesan bishop…. 

And, of course, the day will come when traditionalists won’t be able to become any kind of bishop.  Then they won’t be able to become priests.  We’ve seen this sort of thing in the Episcopal Church already.


So far, there is no statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury.  Where’s the “radical inclusion,” Your Grace?


MORE:
Susie Leafe, Director of Reform has issued a brilliant statement that also calls out Bait-and-Switch:

I have lost count of the number of times conservatives have been asked to trust that we can flourish in the Church of England, but without solid evidence that there is an equal future for conservatives in the Church of England (beyond that of dhimmitude) it becomes harder and harder to convince talented young men and women to offer themselves to serve in this denomination or to persuade congregations to continue to finance the work.


And still no statement from Justin Welby.