Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quick Little Pete - Hide the Money!

“From little things, big things grow”: it was while meditating on a poppy seed that this timeless wisdom came into my Great-uncle’s mind, inspiring him to establish the opium farms which subsequently funded his famous Far Eastern Mission to Bar Girls. It’s a truism which has in turn always guided my own ministry, although I often prefer to rephrase it as “Watch out for the little ones – they’ll cause the most trouble”.

This is why I have always taken it upon myself to watch out for the noisy little trouble-makers in the corner of the room: while everyone’s got their eye on the Akinola-shaped elephant trumpeting on the carpet there’s invariably a Sugden picking pockets in the corners – and I should know, since many is the happy evening I’ve spent joining his type in their merry activities.

Thus while the whole world has been fixated upon ex-Bishop Duncan, my finely-tuned ecclesiastic instinct has drawn me to sniff out what’s happening at the other end of the world, and to be honest it’s something sure to set the Confessing Primates’ knees trembling – and not for the reasons they usually enjoy.

By way of background, readers must understand that the GAFCON (or whatever they’re called this week) top echelon doesn’t include little Pete Jensen: since he’s only a Metropolitan, and not a Primate, they couldn’t bring themselves to dilute their exalted splendour by including a near layman in their inner-clique. Yet since the exalted ones were all well aware their need for +Jensen’s vast resources of hot sweaty lucre, they decided to come up with a way of including him.

The solution was, on the surface, brilliant: the new organization’s “Secretariat” would be in Sydney. Personally I’ve always thought the Jensen brothers would look lovely dressed as secretaries – sort of like Tweedledum and Tweedledee crossed with Miss. Moneypenny - but the idea went a lot deeper than just a little playful cross-dressing. By incorporating GAFCON’s administration into Sydney’s already substantial administrative machine all associated costs could be hidden from prying eyes, while at the same time ensuring money earmarked for frivolities like servers, web-design and travel don’t get frittered away on essentials like a really good night out on the town for the lads in Lagos, or a shiny new set of monogrammed machetes.

The one flaw, however, was something that little Pete didn’t think worth mentioning to his new big friends, namely that he’s no more in charge of what happens in the Australian church than ex-Bishop Bobbie could call the shots in the HOB. And that the rest of the country – who have a legal hold on little Pete’s substantial property assets much tighter than anything Presiding Bishop Schiori could ever dream of having over her renegades – wouldn’t take kindly to Sydney developing an alternative “communion” on their own front-doorstep.

Perhaps because he’s so used to keeping everything in his own small pond so tightly locked down that he couldn’t imagine anyone might start asking questions, or perhaps because any of little Pete’s employees not family members are bond-servants so firmly indentured that they long ago lost any ability to think for themselves, but little Pete simply thought he could keep the nature and extent of his involvement a secret. There wasn’t any mention of his new “Secretariat” on the Sydney Anglican web site, it certainly wasn’t referred to in any Diocesan publicity material, and even clergy – never mind parishioners – were kept blissfully unaware of their Archbishop’s major new role on the stage of global schism. Nor were any of them told how much this exercise in Anglican brinkmanship costs: everything has been structured to run beneath the Jensen brother’s not inconsiderable desks.

Except that one or two nosey sinners just happened to notice that the “Primates Council” mailing address just happens to be a box at the same post-office that the Sydney Anglican Diocese just happens to use. A box that just happens to belong to the Sydney Anglican Diocese.

To make matters worse, those same sinners have started making an almighty racket about what they’ve found; so much so that Australia’s leading newspaper has now shared little Pete’s secret with the whole world. Which has resulted in troublemakers elsewhere in the country preparing to ask little Pete the same sort of questions in General Synod that resulted in the former Right Reverend Pittsburgh being shown the door.

None of which should need concern Bible-believers elsewhere, since what’s a little collateral damage on the other side of the world if at the end of the day we win the war? Except that losing Sydney would be much more than collateral damage; few people realise just how much money our brethren down under have to squander in pursuit of global Puritanism. The combination of having been for more than two centuries the sole voice of establishment religion, and an investment strategy that’s gained them more commercial real estate than Donald Trump, has left Sydney Diocese positively wallowing in money – as their new friends around the world well know. Take it from me: the lunar-catholics of Forward in Faith aren’t supporting +Jensen because they like the color of his business shirts.

Should the wicked liberals of the national Australian Anglican church take the cookie jar away from little Pete – or even just force a small measure of accountability – Akinola Airways won’t keep flying for so much as a day. And as for little whats-his-name from Rwanda; does anyone really think he’s ever paid for his own ticket to anywhere? No, you’d better believe that none of us have heard the last of this story, which has far more potential to knock the GAFCON wagon of the rails that anything Canterbury has come up with so far.

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

13 comments :

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Ah, the door has been kicked open...let's see what two-faced costumes hang in the Sydney closets too...don't these people do REAL spiritual work or simply parade around congratulating themselves on their purity (as they attempt to exclude and destroy fellow Christians at Church?).

Airbrushed crapola.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Fr Christian, what would we do without you sniffing about in the corners, while the noisy ones pound their chests in the center of the room?

Pierre R. Wheaton said...

Yer again another astounding analysis by the World's Greatest Bible Teacher! I can only hope to be able to
Break down the words and deeds of the GAFCON cognoscenti with one- one thousandth
of the accuracy that you have displayed here. I have the sudden urge to divest myself of all my worldly goods and present them at your feet as a love offering to your ministry. Will the usual arrangements be sufficient?

Two Cents said...

This is going to be good ! I'll make some popcorn and we can all sit under a grope blanket and watch together. Someone get the lights.

Lynn said...

What a delicious bit of news and commentary. Thank you, I must go read more about this.

Doorman-Priest said...

I sit at the feet of the mentor.

Lapinbizarre said...

Very good indeed. Thank you.

eileen - the uppity woman said...

giggles hysterically...

HEEE HEE HEEE!!

joseph said...

Gee, mail to an organization goes to the secretary's address. In this case, an organization has a secretary in Australia, and correspondence (I presume that's what a postbox is for) goes to the guy in Australia.

That's hardly what I would classify as breaking news.

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

That's hardly what I would classify as breaking news.

I must differ, my dear little Joseph, when the recipient of that mail has done his best to hide the facts concerning his new role from the people whom he serves - the Anglicans of Sydney Diocese.

And when he's not telling them how much of their money he's spending running this new "Secretariat" some of us who care as little for episcopal transparency as you obviously do begin to find Secretary Pete's new game absolutely fascinating.

And then when all discussion of the matter is blocked from the Sydney Anglican forum it becomes the kind of thing that Leading Bible teachers such as myself simply can't help talking about.

Now a question for you, dear boy: I see you're in Canada - why do you suppose none of my Australian readers (and believe me, the counter shows there's a lot of them) have felt inspired to defend Pete's interesting use of their resources? Certainly some of them have sent me foolish emails (although more have been most supportive, and added all sorts of further information concerning the Jensen's spectacular dive into his parishioners trough, but none of my critics have offered so much as a single explanation or defense of their money being used in this way. In fact none of them have mentioned the money at all - even though I have it on good authority that many of little Pete's parishes are being forced to cutback on such trivialities as youth outreach as part of a cost-cutting exercise.

So why has the only voice in favor been yours? Hmmm? Perhaps you could care to offer some details concerning the money?

joseph said...

Well, I suppose I would be as interested to see how much $$ the Yanks are spending on litigation, and whether there is full disclosure on that front. You know, everyone lay their cards on the table...

The Rev. Dr. Christian Troll said...

I quite agree, little Joseph. How dare anyone> waste money trying to retain title to their own property. Much better to spend it on inciting others to take someone else's - and if both of those parties are thousands of miles away from you all the better: that way there's no chance of you getting dragged in when the fighting turns nasty.

Especially if you're able to keep the details of your involvement a secret from your own people....

joseph said...

The question is not the ligitimacy of engaging in the endeavour per se - I say they should sue to their hearts' content to retain property from terrible takeovers.

The question is whether they are using the appropriate funds and disclosing such for their litigation. And I see that at least a few diocesan conventions are now asking the same question.