Just when Bishop Quinine was regaining what passes for sanity in GAFCON circles, little Bobby Duncan has upset him again by making a play for the big hat in North America’s newest diocese.
If he’s successful (and I keep trying to calm Bishop Quinine by telling him that’s a very big if), this will mean an end to Greggie Veneballs’ dreams of controlling the north from Tierra del Fuego (or wherever it is he’s sheltering this week), since the Pittsburgh Pirate himself, Bishop “Coming-or-Going” Duncan will have stitched up for himself a monopoly on the Episcopalian lunatic fringe that certainly won’t leave any room for a Englishman willing to go anywhere for a chance to wear purple.
But, as we are all insisting to Bishop Quinine, what are his chances? In the first instance, by excluding Layman Schofield from the front bench (not too mention the table of after-meeting refreshments), there’s little chance of him rushing to join Duncan’s parade. Meanwhile, where are the jobs for Akinola’s friends and relatives? Certainly Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya all get a mention, but you don’t have to be a linguist to notice Minns, Atwood & Guernsey are hardly African names. If anyone thinks Big Pete is going to freely let GAFCON hand over the biggest source of golden eggs he’s ever dreamed of they can think again.
Or, for that matter, even if Duncan is successful, how long does anyone really expect this gaggle of geese can stay in out one place? The Reformed Episcopal Church, for example, have been muttering by themselves since 1873, and while there’s no doubt they’ll initially be delighted to find themselves back as part of something which considers itself mainstream, but there’s no way they’ll be too happy to play pup-tent with the likes of The Diocese of the Holy Cross, who only a few years back came within a hair’s breadth of hiving off into Eastern Orthodoxy – do they get any less Reformed than that? Or take a good look at Bishop Timothy B. Farmer from the Holy Crosswords here - there’s no doubt that he’s as straight as they come, but I’m still not sure I’d be comfortable with him spending an evening with Brother Richthofen’s friend’s from seminary.
No, as I keep telling our dear schismatic Bishop Quinine, there’s no need to worry about the little guys losing their grasp on the manna bowl just yet. Bobby Duncan can dream of being the One Ring to Bind Them all he likes, but not even Sauron could herd cats.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.