Forty Years On

The Rector of Broughton, The Revd. Stephen Trott is celebrating his fortieth birthday.

Trott, a devotee of the Prayer Book and great traditionalist, has astonished friends in recent years by becoming the convenor of the clerical branch of the MSF trade union and a doughty defender of his members against persecutory Episcopal employers. Possibly the most conservative man ever to hold union office, Trott has caused further amusement amongst prospective guests at his forthcoming bash by the laconic instructions on the invitation.

It says simply, “DRESS – IF YOU MUST”. Knowing Trott’s rigorous moral probity we can be assured that it is not “that sort of party” but just Trott expressing his new found solidarity with the sans culottes.

Non Bulla Sed Turnbulla

Catholic Anglicans celebrated St. Augustine’s day this year with a wry smile and mixed feelings. The noble Roman missionary monk is often characterised as the evangelist of the English. More discerning historians acknowledge his missionary work but give more attention to his work being the beginning of the process of the Romanising of the Celtic Church and centralising under Papal sway.

Apparently oblivious of this irony the current heir of Augustine, one Dr. George Carey, barged his way up the Thames, to historic landing places like Ebbsfleet and Richborough, as a celebration of historic papal triumph and unification.

Whether this was to signal a change of heart in an Archepiscopate which has seen the greatest setback to doctrinal relations since Vatican 1 or merely an approbation of Dark Age style Turnbullism remains to be seen.

Lambada Conference?

Readers of the serious newspapers have been rather starved of religious news of late. There is no shortage of it happening so what can be the reason? The plucky hacks keep churning it out but to no avail apparently. An indication of how seriously the Murdoch stable takes religious news (remember Rupert is a born again Christian ? !) is that poor Ruth Gledhill (Times R. E. correspondent) has been given a significantly more important but clearly related brief – Ballroom Dancing Correspondent!

Were the Lambeth Planning Group or the Kuala Lumpur signatories to learn the BOGO POGO or cover their chasubles with hand sewn sequins they would, no doubt, be instantly returned to the front page.

Coming apart at the Eames No47

Keen students of establishment tolerance of the original integrity have had an interesting month. There are accumulated reports of grumpy diocesans muttering in private conversations, that the Flying Bishops, system “wasn’t supposed to work like this.” ( i.e. be successful) and that it should not be repeated.

Such unguarded moments are, of course, easy to deny. However, sometimes one’s friends are less discreet.

Appearing on a TV programme in Stockholm where the Poorvoo misunderstandings were front page news and there are no orthodox bishops, the Bishop of Karlstadt rather gave the game away.

Would Sweden be having flying bishops to care for the dispossessed orthodox, still a considerable number and growing after 30 years persecution! No, certainly not, the bishop assured his interlocutor. Their sister diocese in England had advised that such a scheme was harmful, divisive and not to be repeated.

And who was the sister diocese? Step forward Chelmsford – proprietor John Perry – where the retiring orthodox archdeacon and assistant bishop have been replaced by a liberal and no one respectively.

Coming Apart at the Eames No 48

Two recent Episcopal appointments have carried the art of casuistry to new heights – with interesting doctrinal ramifications.

Confronted by clergy asking why their areas of oversight seemed to be operating as “Bonds of Peace” free zones, the reply is simple and disarming.

“I wasn’t a diocesan when Bonds of Peace was signed so it doesn’t apply to me”.

This line of reasoning of course also neatly dispenses with the Nicene Creed, 39 Articles, Lambeth Quadrilateral, Apostolic Succession etc., etc., etc.

Make your own list.

Bible True – Shock!

Liberals eat your heart out – the fundamentalists were right. The Bible is literally true!

Not quite in the way you might think though. Exhilarating as some of the smiting in the Book of Judges and as vital to personal presbyteral hygiene as parts of Leviticus may be – that is far from the whole story. Computers have unwrapped a huge code in the Bible foretelling all the major events of history to date spelt out in every nth letter a new book, The Bible Code, claims.

Following this extraordinary revelation, appropriately in the Daily Star, 30 Days has decoded the following uncanny prophecy from Genesis.

“G T L T D M I A W W C W (Authorised version). Of course it’s easier to understand in the Newly Infallible Version where it reads “G T T A G W S E F P F S”

Extraordinarily this refers to the 1930s and gives insight into Axis thinking. Viz……Hitler, for it is he, “Got to let the dictator Mussolini into Abyssinia. World War can wait”…and Mussolini, “Got to take Abyssinia. Germans will support Ethiopian Fascist Putsch for sure.”

Free white coat with every copy, apparently.

Friend of Sinners

Whilst English traditionalists were rejoicing in Dr. Carey’s defence of Christian sexual values on a recent trip Stateside, American observers took a less starry-eyed view. Our Sister journal, The Christian Challenge (Washington DC) printed the following letter:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury’s unofficial, somewhat qualified statement, that sex outside of marriage is wrong, lacked enough force to have any effect on the downward moral spiral of [the Episcopal Church]. Perhaps this was out of respect for his host, Virginia Theological Seminary, [which] just announced a “free love” policy for its ministerial candidates. This is in keeping with the Episcopal Church’s policy of welcoming all sinners except politically incorrect conservatives, who admit to being sinners …”