Thinking Anglicans

conservative primate plans a consecration

Updated again Thursday morning

There were two news reports Wednesday:

In the Daily Telegraph Jonathan Petre reports under the headline Anglican coalition to force through breakaway that:

A powerful coalition of conservative Anglican leaders is preparing to create a parallel Church for conservatives in America in defiance of the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoking the biggest split in Anglican history, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

According to sources, at least six primates are planning the consecration of a prominent American cleric as a bishop to minister to Americans who have rejected their liberal bishops over the issue of homosexuality…

In the Living Church George Conger reports Kenyan Primate to Consecrate Former Episcopalian as U.S. Bishop:

The Most Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi, Primate of Kenya, has announced he will consecrate the Rev. Canon Bill Atwood as a suffragan bishop to oversee the U.S.-based congregations of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK).

The Aug. 30 consecration of Canon Atwood as “Suffragan Bishop of All Saints’ Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi” is “part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces,” Archbishop Nzimbi said on June 12, to “support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.”

An undisclosed number of Global South primates are expected to participate in Canon Atwood’s consecration in Nairobi and are expected to work with the Kenyan Church in forming a “North American Anglican Coalition…”

For those who have never heard of Bill Atwood, this website may provide information (it’s rather out of date).

Update Kendall Harmon has posted the full text of an email from Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi:

FROM THE ARCHBISHOP OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF KENYA

RE: CONSECRATION OF THE REVD. CANON DR. BILL ATWOOD AS SUFFRAGAN BISHOP ON THURSDAY 30TH AUGUST, 2007

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ.

God in His mercy has granted us a great salvation in Jesus Christ in the power of the Spirit. The foundations of that faith have been celebrated and shared through many centuries and cultures. In particular, we rejoice in the godly Christian heritage of this faith that we have received in the Anglican Communion.

Now, the fabric of the Anglican Communion has been torn by the actions of The Episcopal Church. The damage has been exacerbated by the failure of the House of Bishops there to provide for the care called for in the Windsor Report and to reject the Pastoral Council offered through the Primates in their Communiqué from Dar es Salaam.

Tragically, the Episcopal Church has refused to provide adequate care for the faithful who continue steadfastly in “the faith once delivered to the saints.” Following months of consultation with other provinces, the Anglican Church of Kenya is taking steps to provide for the care of churches under our charge.

As a part of a broader and coordinated plan with other provinces, the ACK will consecrate The Revd Canon Dr. Bill Atwood as Suffragan bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi of the ACK to support the international interests of the Anglican Church of Kenya, including support of Kenyan clergy and congregations in North America.

Our goal is to collaborate with faithful Anglicans (including those in North America who are related with other provinces). A North American Anglican Coalition can provide a safe haven for those who maintain historic Anglican faith and practice, and offer a way to live and work together in the furtherance of the Gospel.

Yours sincerely,
The Most Rev. Rev. Benjamin Nzimbi
ARCHBISHOP OF KENYA &
BISHOP OF ALL SAINTS CATHEDRAL DIOCESE

Wednesday evening update
Archbishop Akinola has also issued a statement which begins:

I have received news of the proposed consecration of Canon Bill Atwood as Suffragan Bishop of All Saints Cathedral Diocese, Nairobi, in the Anglican Church of Kenya, to serve Kenyan related congregations in North America. Canon Atwood has worked tirelessly throughout the Communion for the sake of the Gospel and is well known to many of us in the Church of Nigeria.

This action demonstrates a growing recognition by Anglican provinces in Africa that the situation in North America continues to deteriorate because of the intransigence of the leadership of The Episcopal Church. This was made most evident by the response of their House of Bishops to the carefully crafted Primates’ Dar es Salaam Communiqué. We cannot sit quietly by while those who continue steadfastly in the ‘faith once delivered to the saints’ are denied adequate pastoral care and made the targets of pernicious lawsuits…

Religious Intelligence has a report: New blow for Anglican Communion unity hopes by Nick Mackenzie.

Ruth Gledhill had US conservatives to defy Archbishop of Canterbury in Times Online.

And Archbishop Henry Orombi who issued this statement, was also quoted on a related matter in this report from the Kampala Monitor via AllAfrica.com, Fight Gay Acts in Schools – Orombi:

…Bishop Orombi reaffirmed his stand that the Church of Uganda will not restore links with churches in America that support homosexuality. “We shall not associate with them even if it means losing aid. We rather remain poor than accept aid which will in the end lead to moral decay of society,” he said…

The Anglican Communion Network issued a statement and so also did CANA. And there is also one from Fort Worth’s Bishop Jack Iker.

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badman
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badman

The real significance of this is the trouble taken to state that Akinola is not in charge. So the splitters split further among themselves.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
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mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

Gosh! October already? My calendar must have stopped….

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

Split? What split?

“a parallel Church for conservatives in America”

Another one? To add to the three-men-and-a-website entities already in existence?

“provoking the biggest split in Anglican history”

Hardly. Can’t see Anglicanism being rent asunder by another schism in its long history.

“very vulnerable, very fragile” Church.

Code for “senior prelates feeling very vulnerable, very fragile”

NP
Guest
NP

Now, Lambeth Palace will realise that the GS are very serious about wanting unequivocal, clear decisions from TEC and also from the AC with regard to TEC. Is the ABC willing to see the ABC split in order to accomodate the TEC HOB? After all, these are the very people who initiated all the strife in the AC by their deliberate actions in 2003, when TEC rejected the calls of all the Primates of the AC (including Griswold!) not to tear the fabric of the communion…..will the ABC see the GS walk for the sake of a few rebellious liberals… Read more »

badman
Guest
badman

Did the “months of consultation with other provinces” include consultation with the Archbishop of Canterbury? With the Primates Standing Committee? With the Anglican Consultative Council? It plainly did not wait until Lambeth 2008, which is only a few months away. Looks like Nzimbi is “walking away”. And, in answer to the question “will the ABC see the GS walk”?, he has answered in his own words to TIME magazine: “I don’t particularly want to be — I wouldn’t say blackmailed but pressured by either extreme on this. I think they’d lose by not coming. I think they need to talk… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

Hugh – reading your post, maybe this site should be called “Wishful Thinking Anglicans”…

….if you are right, then it has not taken much, “just three-men-and-a-website entities”, to get TWR, Tanzania etc, has it?

But, you are not right….and you are also mistaken if you think that Anglicanism is at its heart all about being a broad church with all views welcome – that is also one for Wishful Thinking Anglicans

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

NP, the Archbishop of Canterbury is on study leave, and I hope he is not pestered by these ridiculous schismatic gestures. It seems to me that they can safely be trusted to undermine and discredit themselves, without his reactions. That is, I hope that the fact that Kenya is running its own secession-mongering operation independently of Nigeria (both no doubt handsomely funded by US culture-warriors) is indeed a sign of splitting among the splitters.

NP
Guest
NP

FJOL – when you see ++Akinola being one of the consecrators of the future Bishop Attwood, you amy be disappointed that your hope for splits amongst your enemies are not coming true. Given the many who love to blame everything on ++Akinola, pretending that he is the cause of all this AC trouble rather than TEC’s 2003 actions, it is not at all surprising to see others taking a lead ……. to explode the lie that it is only ++Akinola who thinks the AC has no right to take scripture which say “do NOT” and teach “DO whatever feels right… Read more »

ettu
Guest
ettu

It does seem conservatives are going farther and farther out on separate thin branches that are likely to snap beneath them sooner or later.

Hugh of Lincoln
Guest
Hugh of Lincoln

NP: “it has not taken much, “just three-men-and-a-website entities”, to get TWR, Tanzania etc, has it?”

You’re right, NP. Doesn’t take much to get a majority of 38 people.

Cheryl Clough
Guest

NP is right, as usual, when it comes to organisational politics. There are groupings that were never about broad tent anglicanism, or women, or the downtrodden, or justice in this world. There are groupings who think that they might as well plunder while this world is here, because it is going to be replaced with a world free of the unrepentant and where they never have to worry about resource management or cleaning up after themselves. By their own testimony, no woman is or has been authorised to be their teacher within the Anglican communion, and some claim going back… Read more »

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

This certainly suggests a split in the wider communion, and a move away from Canterbury. There simply isn’t a majority in the CofE for the GS position – as the recent debates in Synod indicated, the CofE does not want to throw out all liberals or refuse a place in the church for laity in gay relationships.

badman
Guest
badman

NP, the question is not “Who is right”. Only God knows the answer to that one. As Rowan Williams said in his TIME interview: “good religion is good for people because it teaches you… to believe your actions are always fallible… Bad religion tries to persuade you that God is invariably and automatically on your side.” The question is “How do we decide what to do?” I can’t see any basis for saying that Archbishop Nzimbi’s email is the answer to that one, unless he is not interested in submitting to the Instruments of the Anglican Communion, in which case… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“these are the very people who initiated all the strife in the AC “ As you well know, the current strife has roots extending back years, if not decades. It has roots in bishops who do not actually “hold fast the catholic faith” but are to all intents and purposes congregationalist Protestants. It goes back to an insistance by some that the Church live by the letter not the spirit of the Law. It goes back to conservative bishops refusing to engage with their gay flock, directly disobeying the statements of at least two Lambeths. It was there before 2003,… Read more »

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Boy, I sure hope that Fleet Street rag is right. It would begin to solve a lot of problems. It would be a big defeat for our fundagelical opponents, with international ramifications for them. Might even goad that Gutless Wonder of Canterbury to do something positive for a change.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

The two stories (Telegraph,Living Church) don’t jibe, do they? Canon Atwood hardly fits the bill as a “prominent American cleric” (mind you, harking back to old business, this is the paper – the Telegraph – that recently described “South Cone” Venables as a “senior Anglican primate”). A prominent characteristic of schismatics is a marked tendency to fragmentation as egos proliferate(see citation below to Peter Anson’s “Bishops at Large”). Less than a year ago Martyn Minns was consecrated by Akinola; now Nzinbi is announcing the consecration of Atwood to a rival N. American hierarchy. Plus the flotsam and jetsam of the… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

Poor NP still cannot see the forest for the trees, as he/she chooses to ignore the fact that more and more provinces of the Anglican Communion, around the globe, are rejecting the fundamentalist exclusionary model which Akinola, and his minions (including Kenya) are trying to impose on the traditional Anglican Communion.

Then NP has the chutzpah to reclassify this website as “Wishful” Thinking Anglicans; if that was to be the case then its equivalent for NP, and his/her allies, would have to be “Delusional Fundamentalist Anglicans.”

Really, NP, open your eyes.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Forgot to flesh out the mention above of Peter Anson’s “Bishops at Large”, which chronicles the many and varied fruits of roughly a century of “irregular” Roman and Eastern rite successor consecrations between the mid 19th century and the early 1960’s. It was originally published by Faber in 1964 and a wrappered facsimile reprint was put out by the Apocryphile Press in 2005 ($24.95 through Amazon.com – the strange and wonderful illustrations alone fully repay the price of admission). The true value of Anson’s book lies in the light that it sheds on the many, many dangers and wonders of… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

NP – Progressive are quite aware that there is a small group of GS Primates that want to blackmail the ABC into doing things their way are are very “serious” about it. They are going to go forward with Plan B (Plan A is to get TEC kicked out of the AC), set up additional convocations, posturing about not coming to Lambeth, making noises about “walking away” and setting up their own communion. But to date, they have done nothing new except continue to do whatever they want (the same thing they accuse TEC of doing). Not until they announce… Read more »

Charlotte
Guest
Charlotte

This irregular consecration of Attwood is clearly NOT a reaction to the House of Bishops of Episcopal Church’s initial expression of displeasure with one provision of the Primates’ Tanzania communique. It has nothing to do with the September 30th deadline for acceptance of its provisions. No, it’s a reaction to the Lambeth invitations — which included all Episcopal bishops except +Gene, but did not include Martyn Minns or Cavalcanti, who styles himself bishop of a breakaway diocese in Recife aligned with the Southern Cone. In response, the so-called Global South Primates will 1) create a breakaway North American province and… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

What’s the thin branch, ettu? Don’t you realise that these faithful archbishops are deadly serious that they would rather not be yoked with false teachers? If the unikely outcome of TWR and Tanzania is that TEC gets its own way in the AC, these faithful people are quite happy to go their own way….leaving the AC as a small club of declining liberal talkers, surviving only as long as dead people’s money lasts to pay for all the decline. But, looking at TWR and Tanzania and the ABCs statements in TIME, I think we have reason to be hopeful that… Read more »

bls
Guest

Who’s left to join this new group? The U.S. is chock-full of Evangelical groups already – and even these are now expressing concern about losing members. The fastest-growing segment of the population is the “unchurched,” something that’s been true for years now. So who do they think is going to pack these churches? There just isn’t any sizable market for “Conservative Episcopalians” of this stripe in the U.S. The people who were possibly going to join have already done so – a tiny segment on the order of 5-7% of the current Episcopal Church. This is just another attempt to… Read more »

Pluralist
Guest

As we all know our history in Scotland, there were the Frees, the Wee Frees and the Wee wee frees.

I propose that we call this new Anglican Church the Nick Nack Wack Acks.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

The new touted conservative entity helps reveal to us just what is so patently mistaken with acting and speaking as if the wedge issues of homosexuality were the whole point, only to say that reading scripture in the new conservative hermeneutic is the whole point, only to say that achieving new worldwide institutional church power to judge, punish, and police the provinces is the point. Meanwhile, the rest of us may notice that what is notable about this Kenyan move is more or less more of the same old thing. (1)Repeats of the false witness -involving a sound bite redacted… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

NP: “Is the ABC willing to see the ABC split in order to accomodate the TEC HOB?”

So, the Global South are trying to pull a “it’s us or them” move? Jesus showed us how to deal with those who objected to his dining with sinners. He called them hypocrites and turned his back on them.

Rowan Williams may yet be crucified for his stand in trying to hold the AC together from the rampant factionalism which has infected it. But its very clear that he is playing the Christ role in this little passion play.

Marshall Scott
Guest

The association of separated congregations in the United States with the Province of Kenya is not new, if it has for some time been under the radar. According to an Anglican Mainstream news release, they have 25 congregations – all associated quietly while CANA has gotten all the press. Much of the difference is because many if not most of these congregations have never been part of the Episcopal Church, although many of the clergy and parishioners have. I’m not aware of significant fights over property, for example. Another difference is that this has taken place in what many in… Read more »

Robert Leduc
Guest
Robert Leduc

The last consecration didn’t get them much in the way of support around the Communion – rather, the other provinces seem to be growing tired of these shrill shenanigans. However, the conservative pressure groups seem to be trying again. Isn’t insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results?

David H.
Guest

Regarding the article in the Daily Telegraph –

While this is just rumor-grade material right now, I really hope it’s true and that my bishop (+Stanton) is part of it.

This whole AAC/ACN debacle is a boil that TEC desperately needs to lance, and this sort of thing would certainly motivate them do it! Can you say “presentments” boys & girls ? There, I knew you could 🙂

Pluralist
Guest

There’s more here: http://www.religiousintelligence.co.uk/news/?NewsID=826 However, the latest news from Kenya may only serve to strengthen the US leadership in their stance. Earlier this week the bishop at the centre of the row, Gene Robinson, announced plans to allow his clergy to carry out same-sex blessings. And the Executive Council heard from Nigerian gay rights activist Davis Mac-Illya, who heads up his country’s branch of Changing Attitude deliver an attack on Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola for backing anti-gay legislation there. The new front in the battle has come, however, from Kenya. Archbishop Nzimbi said that developments in North America had left… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

It appears ++Akinola and ++Orombi are in support of ++Nzimbi’s announcement. It’s good to see more lifeboats in the water – my hope is they begin to coordinate the search-and-rescue missions soon.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

Are African prelates like Big Pete and now the Primate of Kenya really Anglicans? They willfully ignore Anglican polity and set up their own African-brand jurisdictions in provinces of the Communion where they have no jurisdiction. They actually, by doing so, reduce their own episcopal office to a joke, creating episcopi vagantes, to use the terminology of the Augustinian churches in N. Africa in their controversy with the schismatic Donatists. Sadly, the African prelates do not see the speck in their own eyes, how they have departed from Catholic practice and the faith ‘once delivered to the saints’. Power-grab, stealing… Read more »

lewdakruss
Guest
lewdakruss

At this point there are more acronyms on the Anglican right wing than there are in the US military…

Tobias Haller
Guest

It seems to me that if the GS bishops think that these continued multi-front (coordinated or not) actions will turn up the heat on the US House of Bishops, they have seriously misunderstood the American psyche. Americans to not respond well to pressure. ++Rowan knows this, and has himself allowed that _he_ doesn’t wish to be placed under any more pressure than he already has, by continued “unhelpful” incursions in the US. Of course, it may be that the GS knows full well it will never get its entire way (including, as the “Road to Lambeth” demands, the resignation or… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“The real significance of this is the trouble taken to state that Akinola is not in charge. So the splitters split further among themselves” See – here’s where I’m puzzled. TEC is accused of departing from “the faith once delivered to the saints,” with the implication being that at some point in the past there was ONE faith, ONE reading of the biblical witness, ONE monolithic Christian moral theology, etc. etc. So you would think that all of those lifting their skirts and hastening away from TEC would find ONE alternative church where ‘the faith etc.” is purely held. But… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

I stated above that “CANA is not opposed to women’s ordination and already has at least two women priests working within its structure”.

I have now tracked down the citation on which I based the statement:

http://apologeticsgalore.blogspot.com/2006/12/question-13-what-is-canas-position-on.html

Jim Pratt
Guest
Jim Pratt

NP, Assume for a moment what you hope for: that one of the Instruments of Unity claims for itself the power to determine membership in the Anglican Communion and declares TEC out. Then what happens? With Kenya’s move, there are now 3 “Anglican” jurisdictions in the US (AMiA/Rwanda, CANA/Nigeria, and ?/Kenya), not counting various parishes affiliated with dioceses in the Southern Cone and elsewhere. Which one is recognized as the new official Anglican franchisee in the US? Are Murphy, Minns, Atwood and all the other players going to be able to sit down and create a unifed provincial structure? And… Read more »

RA
Guest
RA

NP, you are one tough guy among these liberals in the midst of Thinking Anglicans bloggers. Don’t you feel like sheep among wolves? You are totally outnumbered. But you have proved that conscience is an open wound; TEC cannot niddle on it and expect the rest the Anglican Church not to prickle. You don’t scratch on an open wound and expect it not to bleed.

The liberals can rationalize all they want. But one thing is needed: REPENTANCE, for the harm they have caused the Church.

Richard Warren
Guest
Richard Warren

How tiresome this has all become, after four years of this the homophobes and mysoginists in the Anglican Communion should stop their posturing and just do whatever it is they want to do. If they think TEC is going to reverse itself and kiss their shoes – forget it. Some of you act like the WWAC is a 2000 year old established religious monolith the Episcopalians had the bad manners to thumb its nose at. Well its not and we didn’t in spite of the rhetoric – I care about what the Episcopal Church does and what it does in… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Dark at the Top of the Mitre”…it’s a movie about creating a emergency against Christian Gay people that have always existed as friends and family members at all levels of Churchlife…one wonders how this distraction from seeking the persecution of fellow human beins will “play out” in the end. Not a very good a award winning performance on anyones part.

John-Julian, OJN
Guest
John-Julian, OJN

OK, I’ll confess it: when I read these articles, I actually broke out laughing. “And yet another one….and how much more mini-game-playing before the dust finally settles?” I really chuckle at the “Finally-the-massive-earth-shaking-step-has-been-taken” style of the articles as though this was something even faintly new. It’s all so entirely predictable, and it has all happened so many times before. One of these days we are going to run out of letters to designate all these alphabet soup combinations. Back in my day, all these various episcopi vagantes were objects of compassionate humor. I do wish them all well, but I… Read more »

Jerry Hannon
Guest
Jerry Hannon

How wonderful.

We now have an unrevealed “RA” reinforcing the flawed beliefs of an unrevealed “NP”., and encouraging him/her with “…you are one tough guy among these liberals…”

RA says “guy;” perhaps there is a secret code in this secret society that I cannot decipher.

But, neither NP nor RA have even acknowldeged the ever-increasing number of global provinces in the Anglican Communion (no longer merely in North America, but in South America, in Europe, and even…oh my…in Africa) who are rejecting the fundamentalist exclusionary efforts of Abjuja and its allies.

Those, my dear unrevealed NP and RA, are the indisputable facts.

Merseymike
Guest
Merseymike

There will be no repentance, and neither should there be, for TEC have done nothing wrong. They deserve congratulations, and the sooner the communion splits the better.

Margaret
Guest
Margaret

I find the glee at the splintering of the church perplexing. Can you please explain to me why you see this as a good thing that builds up the church? It seems to me that splintering occurs when the heart-felt, strongly believed faith of a group is not being heard and adequately addressed, either by correction that they can accept, or by amendment to the direction of the main body so that their needs are being addressed. Is the splintering that is now occurring what you believe should be the result of the listening process run by those in power… Read more »

RA
Guest
RA

Richard, I just wonder what will happen to the liberals in the gay debate if words like “homophobes/homophobia”, “hate/fear”, “bigots/mysoginists”, are frozen out from the debate? Boy, do they love those words. These are very beaten up and tires and worn out words.

John Henry
Guest
John Henry

The more posturing goes on by the African prelates the more they become a joke on the global scene. One thing I advocate is that TEC cease and desist from any relief efforts to aid African provinces that engage in this kind of posturing through their unaccountable primates, but direct its resources to secular aid agencies, such as Bill Gates’s and Bill Clinton’s. Yes, we help Africans but not through dishonorable Anglican primates.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Be thankful, RA, that the curators of this page are currently down on ad-hominems (guess you think that that’s Latin for “gay-friendly”?) because there’s no polite way of responding to the knee-jerk bile you just spewed out. Though were you to re-phrase that last sentence in English, it’s possible you might make more sense.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Bravo for all the realignment folks who continue to talk about life boats, rescue and that sort of thing. The message reveals its traditional bent: Save me from queer folks, and all those who know and love them as the often competent and endearing people that in truth they really are. What chutzpah, to so blithely continue to bear this rhyme so bravely among us while we know better, for real, and face to face in relationship to all our non-straight family members, coworkers, and friends. How exemplary to fly in the face of the global human facts, still taking… Read more »

Chris H
Guest
Chris H

John Henry,
I’m afraid some groups have already beaten you to the punch and have refused to accept money from TEC.

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“homophobes/homophobia”, “hate/fear”, “bigots/mysoginists” RA Ah, don’t remove these very descriptive words as they are so appropriate sounding to me…I’ve been listening to extremist religious zealots for a lifetime from my view from the pew and couldn’t make heads nor tales of all of the anxiety against LGBT people (as if anyone could know anyone else true/real moral character)…I didn’t know what you called my brothers and sisters in Christ that hated me and people like me until recently…silly me, I thought they were ALL loving Christians playing “pretend” that Gods world was different than it REALLY is! No muss, no… Read more »

Fr Joseph O'Leary
Guest

RA, NP and the minority of alienated bishops you admire: it is the TEC who have lived by conscience on this issue; in the RCC too, conscience is making forward strides; see http://commonwealmagazine.org/article.php3?id_article=1957. Start using your conscience, including your intelligence, and you will find that the tide of truth will bear you up.