After their first, somewhat controversial, essay in publishing (“The priestess and the moustache fiasco”) the Cabinet of the C of E has stuck to safer ground for its second outing - Crockford's and the C of E Yearbook.
Clergypersons throughout the realm will be rushing to avail themselves of the early order bargain offer and writing out their cheques to .....“THE ARCHBISHOPS' COUNCIL”. Many will not have realised that the “elections” to this August body were for the board of directors of a business. Questions about profits, losses, liability, capitalisation, tax, etc. need not trouble the heads of the man in the pew. It is, quite frankly, none of our business.
How come the expenses for a flying bishop covering one third of England come out at a quarter of those claimed by a city suffragan who could get to all his parishes by bus? Just thought we'd ask.
JOCKS BLOCKS MOCKS ORTHODOX
The Scottish Episcopal Church (proprietor Dick Holloway) makes no secret of its ruling elite's hatred of orthodoxy. There are measures afoot to write into the constitution what is already the case in practice i.e. no preferment for the awkward squad (traditionalist believers). News reaches 30 Days of a candidate for high office who was phoned by bishops to advise him to withdraw. The precise words were, “It will be a waste of your time. You will be vetoed.” Thank goodness nothing like that ever happens in good old England.
The exciting vocational posters sent out by the Archbishops' Council continue to attract comment and discussion. Affirming Catholic friends have pointed out that the whole series (yes, there's more come) is called “Affirming Service” and this, together with their membership claim of two dozen bishops, is beginning to add weight to their ambition to be the new version of Bob Runcie's cell group (preferment by membership).
Feminist friends have written to complain that the priestess is shown doing an insignificant task (i.e. nurturing a child) while the male sacerdos is displayed performing the central priestly function. Yes, he’s writing a cheque - presumably for Quota or to the Archbishops' Council PLC.
All clergypersons are asked to suggest the next area of ministry for similar publicity. 30 Days nominates ecclesiastical spin doctors. Every church porch would be cheered by a portrait of Dr Bill (for it is he) with the legend:
“Beavers make great P.R. men”.
OPEN AND SHUT CASE
Anglican listeners to Nicky Campbell’s self-adoration hour on Radio 5 will have been heartened by the recent contribution of the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries. The greatest man never to have been Archbishop of Canterbury was holding forth on the “right to know” and the need, in this country, for a Freedom of Information Act like they have in America.
No doubt by the time this issue goes to press the loyal parishioners of Oxford will have received details of the good bishop's expenses, the clergy will be allowed access to their confidential files, and Bishop Harries will have issued a clarion call to Church House to stop suppressing the vital attendance statistics of the C of E.
TO WHOM IT MAY
Hereford Diocesan Newspaper has a substantial article defending the increasingly feeble Millennium candle project. It defends the accompanying “prayer” from the suggestion that it is not Christian because it doesn’t mention God or Jesus by saying that:
1) It isn’t a prayer it’s an “inclusive resolution” and 2) The Lord's Prayer doesn’t mention God or Jesus.
No doubt many benighted traditionalists have always supposed that they were addressing the Almighty in the opening (and shamefully patriarchal) words and that the prayer was actually given by Jesus and was not just another creation of the early church detected by keen liberal scholarship. Now you know.
The Diocese of Exeter has got the kind of bishop political realists predicted all along - a liberal evangelical with a wife waiting to be made a priestess.
Never mind, Michael Langrish (who he?) has promised “dialogue” with traditionalists. Of course there can only be one conclusion to this dialogue if domestic life is going to be worth living. As an 83 year old lady reader from Dorset writes in:
“What does he expect us to think that he is going to do? Undress her at night and unfrock her in the morning?”
“Wider still and wider shall his bounds be set”. We refer, of course, to good old Dick Holloway, Heresiarch of Hibernia and erstwhile leader of Affirming Catholicism.
Tired of being out of the headlines for a few days, Dick was back on his favourite subject recently - SEX!
On the understanding that there are no moral absolutes in sex except that it be “consensual”? (and presumably “collaborative”) Dick goes on to give a fair wind to a little light sadomasochism. It must, of course, “stop short of the heavier kind of wounding” says Dick, and claims that he has “no appetite for it myself, it's a mystery to me” but we certainly shouldn't’?t discourage it.
In the absence of any advice from the Primus on what specific acts of sadomasochism might be all right for practising Anglicans, it is probably wise for timorous sassenachs to await clerical hospitalisation rates north of the border. As a spokesperson for the C of E so beautifully put it:
“I am not aware of the church having a
position on this.”
WHO SAID THAT?
"One of the ways in which man's enduring egotism shows itself is in a patronising contempt for the past... the implication is that back there, men (sic!) were more naive or credulous in their attitude to life. This discrimination against the past is the only form of discrimination which is respectable today. The inherent intellectual inferiority of every generation but our own is one of the dominant assumptions of our era.
"No matter how fashionable this view may be among men of unimpeachable liberalism, it is only really a form of intellectual fascism."
No! It wasn't a New Directions editorial in 1992. It was Dick Holloway in 1974. The boy has come a long way!
Let God Arise - and let his enemies be scattered!
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