By Diogenes (articles ) | May 06, 2005 6:07 AM
Watching the course of the Church of England over the past few decades has been like seeing the trailers for a film series that progressive Catholics act out in real time five years later. So one reads new developments with a sense of impending dread. Wednesday's Telegraph recounts a dispute affecting the career of the Rt. Rev. John Gladwin, Anglican Bishop of Chelmsford.
The row is thought to have further damaged [Gladwin's] chances of succeeding Dr David Hope as Archbishop of York. Bishop Gladwin had been considered a front-runner but the York Diocese has requested an archbishop with orthodox beliefs.
How does a diocese submit a request for a bishop "with orthodox beliefs"? I wish we had the chance to ask for this special option when filling our own episcopal vacancies. It would be a definite advance if the faithful were presented with a series of option packages, like those you get when ordering a new car. You pay extra for non-standard accessories, of course, but that's all part of the deal. Herewith a sample customer reply form:
BUILD YOUR OWN BISHOP
Please choose among the following options (1 max per category):
1. Liturgical Style:
_____ a. clown
_____ b. folk
_____ c. rave/tech/wicca
_____ d. rainbow
_____ e. Catholic (add $3600)
2. Political Orientation:
_____ a. Reagan Democrat
_____ b. Clinton Democrat
_____ c. Ho Chi Minh Democrat
_____ d. Gumbleton Democrat
_____ e. Catholic (add $1750)
_____ a. Cutty
_____ b. Chivas
_____ c. Glenmorangie
_____ d. Laphroaig
_____ e. Catholic (add $310)
4. Lifestyle Preference:
_____ a. girls
_____ b. boys
_____ c. other (pls. specify: _____________)
_____ d. canon 401 - §2 (pls. don't specify)
_____ e. Catholic/celibate (add $5350)
5. Crisis Management Resource:
_____ a. Good Touch/Bad Touch
_____ b. Talking About Touching
_____ c. Heather Has Bad Record Keeping
_____ d. what crisis?
_____ e. Leviticus 20:2-16. (add bail money).
Send completed form to:
Piazza Pio XII, 10
00193 Roma, Italia
Be advised that your model preference may not be available. Please allow six to eight years for delivery. Fire Island residents add 8% sales tax.
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Posted by: -
May. 09, 2005 10:06 PM ET USA
I just returned from my daughter's confirmation. Our bishop, a model of rectitude who only lied a little when the Scandal first broke (his "I removed a couple of priests from ministry" turned out to be more like ten), and whose prediliction for inclusive (i.e., ridiculous and heretical) language in the liturgy, had the chutzpah to preach about JP II's courage and holiness. I could only gaze upon this defeated little man with pity; I found myself without ears to hear.
Posted by: -
May. 07, 2005 6:45 PM ET USA
While the intent of this ironic report is to cluck knowingly over the sad state of the Catholic episcopacy, it nonetheless arrogates to a wisdom and power that would, a la Protestant denominations, reduce the selection process and submit profiles of Church leadership to popular approval. It verges on scorn for the correct, longstanding method in place for episcopal appointments. We need to trust the Holy Father, and demonstrate respect for the role of the Holy Spirit in this matter.
Posted by: Zoromyster -
May. 06, 2005 3:06 PM ET USA
Now I know why Phil writes under an assumed name.
Posted by: Pseudodionysius -
May. 06, 2005 9:50 AM ET USA
In certain diocese, a question should be added -- given the automobile option analogy -- as to whether the candidate has ever, or does currently, own(ed) a Buick.
Posted by: -
May. 06, 2005 6:22 AM ET USA
This may not be as ficticious as it appears