By Diogenes (articles ) | November 06, 2006 12:40 AM
The BBC reports that the very fashionable Ecclesiology from Below has caught on big-time in Japan.
With a rise in the popularity of Christian-style weddings in Japan, some Westerners are finding they can make a lucrative living by acting as priests. But it does not please everyone, particularly genuine priests.
Mark Kelly is originally from Lancashire in England. He has been living in Japan for six years and, at the weekend, he is a fake priest.
"I was living in Sapporo, studying Japanese, and I needed the money. It's far better paid than teaching in a language school," he said.
"Being a fake priest is big business in Japan -- I've done a TV commercial for one company," he added. "In Sapporo, there are five agencies employing about 20 fake priests. In a city like Tokyo, there must be hundreds."
The fake Western priests are employed at Western-style weddings to give a performance and add to the atmosphere. These are not legal ceremonies -- the couples also have to make a trip to the local registrar.
The BBC captions the photo below, "Mark Kelly is a fake priest on weekends." You're not alone, pal. We all know plenty of validly ordained men engaged in what they call full-time ministry who'd find their theology "actualized" beyond their fondest hopes in these client-centered ceremonies and who, were they true to their principles, would head Sapporo-wards forthwith. The attendant pastoral problem, I suppose, would be that of distinguishing the fake fake priests from the real fake priests. Doubtless Bishop Lussier could be of service here.
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