Reet Canny Innovations

30Days is delighted to see that much-overlooked corner of England, the north-east, which pioneered so much industrial innovation, is spearheading the twenty-first century re-writing of two thousand years of Christian faith and practice. For example, our roving north-east correspondent was greatly excited at a recent confirmation in the Diocese of Durham, in the home town of the Diocesan Bishop, to observe the candidates returning to their places with purple foreheads. His investigations after the confirmation revealed that purple glitter (and presumablywallpaperpaste?) hadbeen added to the “holy” oil (if such it was) to add a touch of levity and sparkle to the proceedings. Liturgically-minded readers might feel inspired to compose some suitable benedictions for future use in the chrism mass in the Diocese of Durham.

Meanwhile, further north, the frontier diocese of the Church of England, Newcastle, (proprietor: the overdue-for-retirement Martin Wharton) is also at the forefront of innovation. At a recent licensing of a priest to a traditional Anglo-catholic parish the diocesan bishop exercised his Episcopal infallibility to inform the congregation that Mary Magdalene is henceforth to be numbered among the apostles. Why this re-writing of the Christian Gospel? The astute among you will have guessed the answer. The Church has no right, therefore, to deny the orders of priests and bishops to women.

Presumably the avant garde prelate has already heard from Dan Brown’s solicitors, who have already established the author’s intellectual rights to this myth. The tragedy of all this is that X Dunelm and X Newcastle are just too late, for if the translators of the new Roman Missal (© 2010) had known of these developments, they might well have included them in the chrism rites and calendar of the Universal Church. Or, perhaps, not. We will never know.

…as a row of chiffon tents

Many thanks to a 30Days reader in Sarf London for the link to a story from the Episcopal News Service, the first sentence of which we reproduce here without comment . . .

Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers July 8 presented Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her husband, Richard Schori, with Hero of Camping Ministry awards for their contributions to the Episcopal camping world.

Naked Drink-Driving Priest Shock Horror

As headlines go, Naked Priest driving while intoxicated in Dearborn, Michigan told Cop he likes driving nude certainly grabbed our attention! But could the story live up to the hype? The Huffington Post of Detroit went on:

When cops approached this priest’s car last weekend, he may have been too busy gathering his clothes to come up with a good excuse for his nudity. Rev. Peter Petroske, former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, was arrested last week in Dearborn, Mich. after allegedly driving a vehicle while intoxicated and naked, and now faces charges for his driving under the influence and and obscene conduct. The Detroit Free Press reports an officer stopped Petroske after another driver called 911 to report a nude traveler on the roads. The priest was completely in the buff when approached by an officer, whom he reportedly told, “I was uhhh … hot … I like to drive around naked.” Petroske’ blood alcohol content was .09, .01 above the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle in Michigan,, according to the Detroit News. According to the police report, says the News, Petroske was unable to correctly recite the alphabet or count from one to four. Petroske was suspended indefinitely Monday after the Archdiocese of Detroit got wind of the incident, though he did perform

Mass the morning after his arrest. The Catholic Archdiocese released a statement saying that it takes the situation seriously and is cooperating fully with law enforcement. Petroske, 57, served as a pastor at eight churches in Michigan and had been at Sacred Heart since 2008. He won’t be allowed on the church or school premises during his suspension, according to Dearborn Patch.

Back-handed compliment?

Over now to – ‘The Ultimate Financial Resource’ – for a story alleging inaction on the part of the European Central Bank:

The European Central Bank is working on the crisis. No use rushing – after all, the crisis has been with us for the past four years and the causes go back much further. . . . The problem won’t go away, yet the eurozone leaders . . . keep muddling through with disaster repeatedly postponed. Spain is in trouble, Italy is struggling and Greece will be back this month as the worst of the three. Apart from doing nothing about interest rates, which is of no consequence, the ECB has also done nothing about the debt-ridden southern states in its tender care. It is thinking about what to do next…

The problem was that the unnamed writer needed a really good metaphor to illustrate his thesis. You know the sort of thing: one which would help all his readers to grasp just how useless the European Central Bank was being! Where did he turn? Why, to the General Synod, of course!

It’s a bit like the Church of England Synod trying to grapple with the issue of women bishops. Since there is no decision available that will hold the whole edifice together, there is little choice but to keep postponing action in the hope that the problem will go away.

It’s always nice to be noticed, isn’t it?

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