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the defenestration of dolly

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 12, 2006

Bishop of Southwark (C of E) Tom Butler tied on a noseful the other night at a London party and had an eventful, if circuitous, journey home. He initially claimed to have been mugged, but it turns out to be a case of aggravated auto-kenosis. The Daily Mirror has the story:

The Mercedes' alarm went off outside the Suchard bar near Southwark Cathedral, in South London, on Tuesay night. Mercedes owner Nicola Sumpter, 33, said: "My boyfriend and his pal raced outside and were stunned to see a grey-haired man in the back seat. He was throwing my one-year-old son's toys everywhere.

"He wouldn't get out so they pulled him away. He couldn't stand up straight and fell over, bashing his head.

"Asked what he was doing, the man said 'I'm the Bishop of Southwark. It's what I do'. He then staggered off. He was wearing some sort of robe under his coat."

On the strength of that single night's antics, Butler stands fair to see himself immortalized in the Annals of English Episcopal Limericks. He must be grateful there aren't more easily recoverable rhymes for "Southwark"; were he Bishop of Lincoln the verses would write themselves. You may remember Butler as the author of a controversial report arguing that "it may in some circumstances be right to choose to withhold or withdraw treatment" from severely ill babies. What better emblem of his ministry than the image of a bishop, in the wee hours, seated in the back of somebody else's Mercedes, pitching toddlers' toys out the window?

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  • Posted by: - Dec. 12, 2006 4:02 PM ET USA

    At least his eminence is good for a few laughs. That's much more than can be said for 90% of our heirarchy.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Dec. 12, 2006 3:16 PM ET USA

    You know, if I'd done something like that (unthinkable today, not in my earlier, more bibulous days) I would literally never be able to show my face in public again. I would resign my office and become a hermit. It might be interesting to watch what the Most Rev. Tom does. Maybe a fortnight at the Betty Ford of Southwark? Or maybe not.

  • Posted by: FrPhillips - Dec. 12, 2006 11:50 AM ET USA

    I'd have to be drunk too, to be an Anglican bishop.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 12, 2006 10:34 AM ET USA

    The Bishop while on a slight bender, was caught tossing toys out the winder, roared Dad, "Sir, you're goin to Archbishop Rowan while tagged 'returning to sender'".

  • Posted by: parochus - Dec. 12, 2006 8:00 AM ET USA

    Episcopal Tom whilst a-stew Mistook an automobile for a loo He fell on his pate Yet had the composure to state I'm the Bishop: 'It is what I do'