Spot the difference
Interesting to read on the internet that the ‘success’ (sic) of the Campaign for the Ordination of Women in the Roman Catholic Church led to the founding of the St Catherine of Siena Institute, a ‘network of thousands of people spread around the world’ who devote themselves to what is by any estimate the most lost cause of our times. From their palatial headquarters in Rickmansworth, they spend almost £55,000 per annum on the struggle against sexist and uncaring patriarchy.
The fact that the Institute is under the patronage of St Catherine of Siena, who (as every skoolboy kno) ‘felt called to the priesthood,’ is much less interesting than the fact that the list of patrons who are not dead has changed markedly in recent weeks; at the time of writing, eleven Roman Catholic patrons appear, along with four ‘Ecumenical Patrons’. Predictably enough, Mrs Christina Rees, Chairman of WATCH, appears, but much more to the point is the fact that Google’s cached version of the list of patrons retrieved on 9 June 2005 is so much different to that which is online today.
For in the space now occupied by the ‘Most Revd Joris Vercammen, Old Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht in the Netherlands,’ there used to be the ‘Most Revd and Rt Hon George L Carey of Clifton BD ThM PhD, retired Archbishop of Canterbury, Anglican Primate of All England and Metropolitan.’ Why on earth our George has ceased to be a patron of this exciting venture we can only wonder.
Surely no one could possibly have interpreted his support for these beleaguered women as in any way being interference in the affairs of another ecclesial body?
At a time when the Church is so bound up with women, it is good to know that men are at last getting a look in, thanks to ‘Episcopal Men’s Ministry,’ a subsidiary of the ever-wonderful ECUSA. A ‘biblically based four-hour workshop,’ under the title ‘Great Dads’, will, according to EMM, ‘encourage and equip Dads to be more intentional about fathering their children.’ Quite how one fathers a child more intentionally defeats the imagination of 30Days, but it probably has something to do with eating fewer hamburgers.
30Days is grateful to an alumnus of Trinity College, Cambridge for news from the Dean of Chapel regarding an ‘installation’ in the college chapel during the Easter term. ‘Soul Space’ used plants and sculpture, cushions and water, fabrics and lighting, to help anyone who entered to see themselves differently, unwind a little and then ‘leave feeling just a little bit lighter.’
Apparently, this offered a helpful sense of perspective for the examination period but, if that is all it achieved, it must be counted a failure. Any number of 30Days readers could do with feeling a little bit lighter (as the Master General of SSC could testify) but, sadly, the installation appears to be history already.
The stuff of fairytales
30Days was present in spirit at the recent nuptials at Durham Cathedral of cyber-couple ‘Andrew and Jane’ who, according to their website
Deacon and Subdeacon were also named, to say nothing of those responsible for the offertory procession, but then came the pièce de resistance: ‘Unfortunately the Revd Father Paul Such, Rector of St John the Baptist, Coventry (Jane & Andrew’s parish) in Coventry felt unable to take part due to placing the authority of Rome above that of his own communion and not accepting women priests. We pray for an end to this denial of people’s vocation to the sacred priesthood.’
The news that St John the Baptist, Coventry is in Coventry is shocking enough, but worse was to come: on another page, the happy couple write: ‘As we have already set up our home [compilers’ note: what can they mean?], rather than the normal wedding gift list we are asking people to donate to our round-the-world honeymoon.
We have divided up the cost of this into various segments so you can choose the most appropriate segment to “give” to us.’ Quite how much Fr Such has given is not recorded (‘segments’ are priced variously between £190 and £10·31), but we hope that 30Days readers will rally round and give Andrew and Jane the send-off they so richly deserve.
Bishop Tom Wright, speaking to the closing meeting of the recent Anglican Consultative Council in Nottingham, came up with the following incisive statement: ‘When I heard that you had been studying Acts in your time together, my mind went, for some reason, to acronyms. I imagined myself coming to address the Anglican Communion Theological Society, or perhaps the Anglican Council for Tea and Sympathy, which goodness knows you may be in need of by this stage of your meeting.
‘And I have finally come up with an answer to a question which Archbishop Rowan asked me a year or two ago, whether there might be an organization whose acronym would be ACRONYM: I propose that we set up the Anglican Communion Renewal Of New Youth Ministries…’
30Days finds itself warming to the idea of an organization whose acronym would be ACRONYM and so challenges its readers to improve on the Bishop of Durham’s laudable effort. Suggestions on a postcard, preferably by email, to be received no later than the end of this month, or perhaps next. A bottle of Forward in Faith Champagne to the best printable effort, and (perhaps) one to the best unprintable one as well.