For many years now the health of the Pope has occupied disproportionate space in Catholic publications. The more conservative journals comment with genuine affection and familial concern. The more radical prints can scarcely contain their enthusiasm for his 'translation' and the advent of that much-heralded liberal successor.
Now, the Catholic Herald informs us, the much pained Pontiff has developed one more problem – knee trouble. The cause of it, according to his doctors, is wear and tear caused by a lifetime of prayer.
Though this ailment is unlikely to afflict many Anglican bishops there is another danger for them. A Doctor of the Faith writes : 'Knee-jerk reactions to social and political fashion can lead to permanent doctrinal disability, and subsequently provoke Orthodox knees to be brought up swiftly and severely into other parts of the episcopal body.'
SIMPLE AS ABC
Events surrounding the Bishop of London over the last month have only intensified calls for the long overdue reform of the secretive clubby method of appointment in the Church of England. The Telegraph is standing by its story of being deliberately briefed by Big Dick's pals to indicate his change of mind on priestesses and his desire to ditch his traditionalist baggage (in other words, you and me). Meanwhile, his press secretary has issued a statement which does nothing to clarify the situation. The deafening silence of the bishop himself has been noted by friend and foe alike.
Should all this turn out to be true then perhaps we can all look forward to return to those happier times, the Runcie years, when you never knew where a man stood until he wasn't standing there any more.
LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR
Tired of boring old repressive Christianity? Feel there is more to sex than the traditional positions of overseas evangelists? Then 'Liberated Christians' is for you! Founders Dave and Bill, two former Conservative Evangelical Americans who operate out of Phoenix Arizona, have dedicated their lives to spreading the new Good News. Apparently the Bible is not the tired old one-partner-for-life manifesto that generations of dreary clergy have assumed. 'Non-monogamy' (or 'Polyamory') is the real Christian way to spread love and understanding. Fellowship groups take on a whole new meaning as participants cut the prayer and get down to 'various levels of sexual intimacy'.
Apart from the wide range of literary and mechanical assistance on offer, Dave and Bill kindly offer a personal pastoring service to the wives of their fellow liberals in the Phoenix area. Too kind.
FORTY YEARS ON
Those who have always suspected there was something dodgy about the Roman Catholic Church have been vindicated. The present charade, run from the Vatican, is a false Church hijacked in 1958 by that Rosicrucian initiate and tool of the international Jewish conspiracy, Roncalli or, as he is better known to history, Pope John XXIII. Since then there has been a series of anti-popes culminating in the present Polack.
It now appears that God left the true Catholic Church without a Pope until 1998 when he decided to appoint PIUS XIII !
P13, unlucky for some, turns out to be one Earl 'Lucian' Pulvermacher who, as far as one can make out, is largely in communion with himself. Serving variously in Milwaukee, Japan and Australia, Fr Pulvermacher dropped out of the new Roman Church and made common cause with the Latin Mass priests – until he discovered that they weren't really Catholics either.
Subsequently involved with a German, briefly considered as a possible true Pope until he turned out not to be a true Catholic either, Earl was finally voted into office in a conclave of 'a handful' of the faithful. His web site shows the white smoke ascending from the chimney of the log cabin in Montana where this historic event took place.
Habemus Papam ! – the long interregnum is ended.
Could it be that, later this year, Anglicans will be celebrating, in similar fashion, the first real Archbishop of Canterbury since Dr Geoffrey Fisher?
The recent excellent Cost of Conscience seminar on drugs was a great hit with the lucky few who found their way to the ancient ashram of St Alban’s, Holborn. Fuelled by lashings of caffeine, and one or two nipping out for a crafty hit of nicotine and the odd catarrhal cleric snorting an ephedrine cocktail (the Vic's Vick), everyone had a high old time. Unfortunately, while the caffeine was free, you had to pay for your own Coke. The nice police officer informed us that while speed was still a crime, he would only enforce it if you took your car with you.
ECUSA CANT REFUSE HER
Bishop James Lee is head boy of the Diocese of Virginia, third largest in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. He is also chairperson of the jolly little 'investigation panel' sent around the few remaining orthodox dioceses to bully them into submission on women priests, alternative sexualities and other gospel priorities of Frank Griswold's increasingly bizarre cult.
Lee's approach to his task as Grand Inquisitor became starkly apparent in his response to some who dared to complain about goings-on in his own diocese recently. Elaine Pagels, author of a major book on the Gnostic Gospels, was invited to speak at a Church in his diocese. So far so good. Ms Pagels believes gnosticism (an early, persistent and noxious heresy) is the real Christianity; only sidelined by male-dominated clergy in their attempt to suppress women, repress Jesus the free spirit and jettison his teachings on mystical sex. Even better.
Some old stick-in-the-muds complained that this regularly recycled old tosh should not be given a Christian platform.
Hark the bishop, guardian of the deposit: 'I am not a censor of unorthodoxy and guarantor of tradition.’
So much for the Prayer Book.
He went on to clarify that the Episcopal Church is not a place for those who want 'dogmatic clarity' on questions of Christian belief. Quite so.
Curiously, like most of Grizzly's Groupies and their Careyite counterparts over here, the only dogmatic clarity they agree on is that orthodoxy must be extinguished. In less enlightened times that used to be called ' heresy'.
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