It has taken 20 years after female ordination for the Church of England to go completely, as opposed to partially, bonkers.
The C of E Synod yesterday rubber-stamped the consecration of women bishops, thereby confirming its PC credentials at the small cost of relinquishing whatever residual claim it had to being a Christian ecclesia.
To reinforce the impression that we’re dealing with a clinical, rather than merely theological, aberration, the Archbishop of Canterbury mournfully admitted that it might be as long as 10 years before the episcopate faithfully reflects the demographic makeup of mankind… sorry, personkind is what I mean.
This reminds me of the Soviet story of an alcoholic looking at an “Alcohol is slow death” poster and saying “Well, we’re in no rush.”
In the overall state of euphoria some Synod members confidently predicted that before long we’d be blessed with gay bishops as well, and they didn’t mean it as the antonym of morose.
They missed a trick for it’s likely that two birds, as it were, will be killed with one stone. If malicious rumours are to be believed, some of the women candidates for bishoprics combine the two essential qualifications by being both female and homosexual.
Considering their general take on theology and Christian tradition, they probably see this as a reflection on the dual nature of Jesus Christ.
Commenting on the historic ruling, for which he had campaigned with nothing short of maniacal persistence, Archbishop Welby couldn’t contain his joy: “Today we can begin to embrace a new way of being the church and moving forward together. We will also continue to seek the flourishing of the church of those who disagree.”
I’m not sure I fully understand the second sentence. If His Grace meant conservative Anglicanism within the C of E, then some may accuse him of hypocrisy. For years now, under the leadership of its principal prelates the Church has been marginalising conservative, which is to say real, Christians.
They have been effectively silenced at church assemblies, such as this Synod; their priests have been pushed out on the slightest pretexts; their continued use of the Prayer Book and the Authorised Version has been discouraged and mocked.
Not long ago I met an intelligent young man who had matriculated at a seminary and was about to be ordained in the Church of England. He enthusiastically admitted that he had never in his life attended a 1662 service, which ought to tell you all you need to know about the meaning of ‘moving forward together’.
Probably coming up next: making rock ‘n roll music mandatory for all Anglican liturgy.
Contrary to the misconception dominant for 2,000 years, when Jesus said “you are the rock on which my church will be built”, he wasn’t making a pun on the Greek word for Peter (Petrus). As we have to acknowledge now, Jesus presciently foresaw the advent of rock ‘n roll and saw its vast potential as the building block of Christian worship.
When, by way of moving forward together, the proposed measure goes into effect, such services will gradually start to downplay the God part of the masses, turning them into out-and-out pop concerts. Ushers at the door will be making sure that all three sexes are proportionately represented in the audience (formerly known as congregation).
Clearly, the Catholic Church has much to learn from the Anglicans. For the time being, Pope Francis, whose natural instincts are similar to Archbishop Welby’s, has been forced to accept grudgingly that “children have a right to grow up in a family with a father and a mother.”
Personally, I would have tried to express the same thought in the terms of the God-given natural order, rather than relying on the purely secular construct of rights. But hey, let’s not quibble – we must be grateful for whatever we get.
However, His Holiness didn’t specify the sex of either parent, which, depending on how you read it, may be either a careless or deliberate omission. After all, two homosexuals wishing to adopt a child may nominate each other for these formerly ‘gender-specific’ roles.
If, as I optimistically believe, the Pope hasn’t yet realised that such old-fashioned terms might these days need qualifying, then it’s clear that orthodox Christians still exert some influence at the Vatican.
This may point out the direction in which orthodox Christians among the Anglicans may consider ‘moving forward together’.
Swiftly shifting from religion to politics, one has to compliment the Tory party for its restraint – while wishing it had been more decisive.
Desperately trying to keep the projected margin of Ukip victory at Rochester and Strood in single digits, a Tory spokesman kindly explained to the local electorate the dangers of voting wrong.
Should you in your folly, he proclaimed, decide to vote for Ukip, the value of your house will drop like a rock. Potential buyers wouldn’t want to move into the otherwise desirable area knowing that Ukip voters roam free at night.
Truer words have never been spoken in any lunatic asylum of my knowledge. But more strident words have.
In this instance, the threat would have carried so much more punch had the voters been told that a cheaper house would be the least of their worries.
Vote Ukip, the Tories should have said to complete the clinical picture, and your wife will have an affair with your best friend, who will then join forces with her to poison you and reclaim your devalued house. Alternatively, your brakes will fail at a motorway speed, you’ll contract Ebola at your Aids clinic and you’ll never see an openly homosexual bishop in your area.
I’ll keep you posted on any future developments. Meanwhile, may I suggest installing another lock and a more up-to-date alarm system?
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