Friday, April 13, 2012
Popular Anglican vicar converts to Catholicism... and takes HALF his flock with him to church 500 yards away
The C of E had become too wishy-washy and without moorings for him
A vicar led half his congregation in converting to Catholicism after complaining that the Church of England is telling believers in traditional values to ‘sod off'. Father Donald Minchew was followed by 70 of his flock when he left the Anglican church where he has led services for nearly two decades to join a Catholic church less than 500 yards up the road.
He said the extraordinary leap of faith made him feel like the ‘Prodigal Son’ returning to a church with established beliefs after years of enduring the ‘pick and choose’ attitude of the CofE where congregations are fed on a diet of ‘pap and banality’.
The 63-year-old quit St Michael’s and All Angels parish church in Croydon, south London, to move to neighbouring St Mary’s Church because he opposed many decisions by the General Synod, including the ordination of women priests and bishops.
When he first told his congregation at St Michael’s of his plan during a service there was ‘surprise and astonishment’, he said. ‘They faced a stark choice - to follow me or stay where they were with what was left. ‘I never bullied or pressured anyone to join me. I let them make their own choices. ‘In the end about 70 of the congregation of 120 came with me.
‘They are very brave because they have answered the call of God and done it at great cost, often causing rifts and divisions with family and old friends.
‘The Anglican bishop and Archdeacon of Croydon were extremely understanding and supportive.
‘But from within St Michael’s there were a few false rumours put around to try to keep members of the congregation, including the ludicrous claim that the Catholic church would be ordaining women within a decade. ‘It was a little uncomfortable but I have no regrets.
‘When I was ordained in the Church of England in 1976 there were some things that would never be challenged. ‘But now it just seems that everything has come up for grabs.
‘Those of us who believed in traditional values and opposed the ordination of women and other innovations, who were once an honoured and valued part of the Cof E, are now just being told to ‘sod off’. That’s the bottom line. ‘They all talk of being inclusive and being a broad church when what they really mean is bugger off if you don’t believe in what we believe.
‘Making the move has been like coming home. I feel like the Prodigal Son returning. ‘It is a return to a faith that has fixed values that are not going to change at the next meeting of the General Synod. ‘The Church of England has become like a buffet where you pick and choose which commandments and doctrines you want to follow.
‘We are being fed this pap diet of common worship and banality upon banality rather than the Book of Common Prayer.’
Father Minchew and his followers were received into the full communion at St Mary’s Church last week. Former Anglican bishop Monsignor John Broadhurst received and confirmed the group, who will now form the Croydon Ordinariate.
Father Minchew said 2,000 people attended the mass at St Mary’s on Easter Sunday - more than ten times the congregation he got at his previous church on an Easter Sunday.
He said: ‘In the Catholic Church they take their faith seriously compared to the take it or leave it attitude of the Church of England, where there’s a sense of ‘I don’t fancy it this Sunday.’
The father of four, who is a widower, spent a year deciding on whether to make the move which had serious financial implications for him and his family. He sacrificed his £11,500-a-year pension - which he was due to start drawing in 18 months - and will have to leave his vicarage home because of his decision.
Parishioner Barry Barnes was one of those who left after 30 years in the congregation at St Michael and All Angels. He said: ‘We saw where the church was going and decided we could no longer stay in the Church of England. ‘My wife and I decided the Church of England was no longer where we wanted to be and we joined the Ordinariate for a number of reasons.
'Their attitude towards homosexuality and in light of the possible ordination of women as bishops, neither of us can accept that.’
A spokesman for the Diocese of Southwark, said while they regretted losing Father Minchew and some members of his congregation, ‘we wish them well for their future Christian journey'.
Another very British farce
The men who built the empire would be disgusted by these pansies
It must have looked like a major catastrophe unfolding as 25 firefighters descended on the scene. But this was no terrorist atrocity or terrible car crash – the five teams of emergency crews had been scrambled to rescue a stranded seagull from a three foot deep pond.
And matters became even more farcical, when the emergency crews were rendered utterly powerless to act because of health and safety rules prevented them from 'risking their lives' by venturing into the waist deep waters.
Instead they watched helplessly as staff from a nearby wildlife centre pulled on his waders, paddled out to the stricken Herring Gull, and freed its foot from a plastic bag.
Ten minutes later, Adam Briddock, 20, part of the two man team, returned safely to shore at Carshalton Ponds, in South London, with the gull in good health on Saturday.
London Fire Brigade said they were ‘not willing to put the lives of our firefighters at risk for the sake of a seagull’.
Ted Burden, who runs Riverside Animal Centre in Beddington, said: ‘It was a bit ridiculous really. Five fire crews turned up, but because of protocols they couldn’t go into the water. ‘It is health and safety gone mad really when you look at it, because the water was not really anymore than waist deep.’
A member of the public became so concerned for the welfare of a bird they went home to get an inflatable boat in a bid to go out on the water themselves, but the craft was found not to be water-worthy.
An RSPCA spokeswoman described the situation at the ponds as ‘quite a scene.’
A fire source said firefighters were sometimes frustrated by strict protocols, like not rescuing trapped birds, which sometimes did not fit actual scenarios firefighters were presented with.
The fire source added: ‘Although we have the facilities to effect a rescue, we are not allowed to do it for a bird. There is no leeway.’
The adult gull was taken back to the centre, dried out and fed, before it was released back into the wild the next day.
A LFB spokesman defended the numbers of firefighters sent out, saying it was a standard response to an animal being in trouble, and the firefighters were on hand in case a member of public had tried to rescue the birds or the water rescue team had got into trouble.
She added: ‘We are not willing to put the lives of our firefighters at risk for the sake of a seagull. Our firefighters get called out to lots of different incidents and never know what they’re going to find when they get there.
'At any incident we need to make sure we have enough staff on hand in case something goes wrong and to ensure that our firefighters, and the public, are safe at all times.’
His Grace strikes back -- but he's still dim
I reproduced the derisive comments by Peter Costello on words by the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne yesterday. His Grace was obviously upset to be ridiculed so I find online today a reply from him. There is no comments facility attached to his reply (I wonder why?) so I will make a few comments here.
Most of what he says is fluff but two of his statements were interesting:
"The common good must motivate our nation at every possible level"
"A full and good life for all includes a fair sharing of wealth"
I can't remember who first said the first of those comments but it was either Marx or Hitler: I think Hitler. His Grace would appear to be unaware of where ideas such as his lead.
The second comment betrays a complete failure to grapple with what is "fair". I think it is fair that those who earn the money should keep it. His Grace has obviously not thought of that! Or maybe he is just too limited a thinker to grapple with it.
He is just a red under the bed hiding behind a pectoral cross.... which is rather an amusing image if you think about it.
Must not link to naughty American sites which say things that are forbidden in Australia?
Sad that we have to rely on America's culture of free speech (encouraged by their First Amendment) to be given access to a full range of views on a given subject
RACIST comments published on US book retailer website Amazon about an Aboriginal author have reignited debate surrounding News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt's writings on indigenous people and drawn fire from Aboriginal groups.
Bolt, who was found guilty last year of offences under the Racial Discrimination Act, wrote a blog this week titled "Are we censored enough for you?" in response to Anita Heiss' book, Am I Black Enough for You?
Heiss was one of nine Aboriginal people who took Bolt and his publisher to court over articles that implied light-skinned indigenous people chose to be black for personal gain.
In a post on the Herald Sun website on Tuesday, Bolt included a link to US-based Amazon.com on which almost 80 "reviews" of Heiss' book had been published by last night, some openly racist. Some attacked Heiss personally and referred to a perceived lack of freedom of speech in Australia that prevented the writers from expressing their views here.
Bolt's blog linked to the webpage, stating: "Only in America, it seems, is an open debate on this Australian issue able to be had. That should embarrass us."
He said Random House and the ABC had deleted and "censored" comments on their websites about Heiss' book.
Bolt's writings this week and the ensuing publicity in social media and the wider news media prompted the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples to issue a strong statement - which did not name individuals or publications.
"Much of this 'debate' has become a thinly veiled platform for racists to peddle their tired, ill-informed, racist rhetoric," Congress co-chairwoman Jody Broun, said.
[Rubbish! It was nothing to do with racism. What Bolt was condemning was the appropriation of welfare facilities designed for severely disadvantaged people by people who were not obviously disadvantaged]
"Racism lies just beneath the surface and it bubbles out when Aboriginal identity is discussed. "Let's be clear, Aboriginal identity is defined by us, no one else. We are a diverse peoples reflecting the contemporary Australia we all inhabit."
Heiss, whose memoir is partly a response to Bolt, did not want to comment last night and Amazon.com in the US had not responded last night.
Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner, Helen Szoke, said racist views published outside Australia but accessible here posed a growing - and challenging - problem.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
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