Today’s disgruntled Anglican shows just how wonderfully far we’ve progressed. When Newman folded his chasuble and left Canterbury all those years ago he didn’t take with him so much as a few vegetables from the vicarage garden, when the very least he could have done was to first drain the parish discretionary fund.
Yet if only dear John Henry could have had few of Fort Worth’s finest to guide him the village of Littlemore wouldn’t have had a single piece of silverware left untouched by the time the biggest realignment since Saul of Tarsus realised he’d never get to write Scripture by remaining a Pharisee was finished. In a stunning example of what a few years under little Jack Iker can inspire a man to achieve, four of his clergy have approached the local Roman diocese for help with persuading the Vatican that what it really needs is a few more churches in Texas.
That’s right - churches. Not just clergy, but the whole package, since Iker’s boys have decided that if they’re going to go to all the trouble of finding a new province, why restrict their options to Anglicanism? Especially when the only places offering to accept them are hardly in parts of the world familiar with good old Fort Worth Episcopalian values: what on earth will happen (as it will) when somebody’s Primate decides that their unemployed brother-in-law in Lagos deserves a green card – and just happens to be the perfect appointment for that plum parish? Rome might not be famous for its sensitivity, but that’s one mistake they know not to make.
In a wonderful understatement, Iker’s brains trust concede: “it will take time to bring the laity on board with this proposal." Not as long as it’ll take to convince the courts that Episcopalian property can swim the Tiber as easily as a few deluded clergy. Nor as long as it’ll take Rome to decide they really need to dive into this particular basket of rattle-snakes. Still, if they can get away with this one I fully intend to realign with a limited company that just so happens to be entirely owned by myself, transferring all parish property into my name as part of the deal.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.