|The bishops of St Asaph, St Davids, Monmouth, Llandaff (Abp), Swansea & Brecon and Bangor.|
Credit: South Wales Argus
The Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of the Church in Wales to "all the faithful" concerning admission to Holy Communion of all the baptised "by virtue of their Baptism alone" has been published on the Diocese of St Davids web site. It can be read here. Its contents remained secret until it was introduced at the recent meeting of the Governing Body (GB) of the Church in Wales raising some suspicion that another round of duplicity might be expected from the Bench of Bishops.
Fine details have yet to emerge but whatever one's views on the subject one thing is clear, the Bench of Bishops has been inconsistent. They hark back to history and tradition to support their case in this instance while scripture and tradition have been confined to the bin on just about every other matter under Archbishop Barry Morgan's guidance.
Dr Morgan's final GB Presidential Address provided an excellent opportunity to sum up the current state of the Church in Wales as he prepares for his retirement as the longest serving primate in the Anglican Communion. That, instead, he chose to bend Holy Scripture to support his views on the divisive issue of same sex marriage rather than address the decline in membership of the church under his leadership suggests that his political agenda always takes precedence over the spiritual well-being of his flock.
Rumour has it that Dr Morgan wants one more liberal feather in his hat before he retires in January, the appointment of the first woman bishop in Wales. The diocese of St Davids will become vacant when Bishop Wyn Evans retires in October. Originally a monastic community founded c. AD 589 by Saint David, the Patron saint of Wales, St Davids has been a centre of pilgrimage since the Cathedral was built the 12th century. The shrine was regarded as so important that it was decreed that two pilgrimages to St Davids were equivalent to one to Rome, three were equivalent to one to Jerusalem. St Davids remains an important centre of pilgrimage to this day.
When David died in the year 589 the monastery is said to have been 'filled with angels as Christ received his soul'. St David's final words to his followers were: 'Be Joyful. Keep the Faith. Do the little things that you have heard and seen me do.'
If a political gesture is allowed to take precedence over faith in the appointment to the See of St Davids it will be the final nail in the coffin for the faithful.