Well, well, well: nobody can ever say that life isn’t full of surprises when you’re the World’s Leading Doctrinal Warrior. One moment I’m enjoying a balmy 80 knot sub-zero gale in the Peri-Antarctic, and the next the satellite phone is ringing with little Peter Akinola on the line in a terrible state, utterly distraught at learning the manna that’s been falling on his expense accounts courtesy of little Pete Jensen’s Diocese of Sydney is about to be no more.
Naturally I reminded him that that this was something I’d warned everyone about last December - but you know kids today: do you think any senior Gafconeers paid me attention? No, I'm afraid it was just a case of Business Class as usual while little Peter Jensen tried to bluff his way out of trouble. the problem is that while you can hide cash, bullion, and Blood Diamonds for as long as you want providing one's bodily cavities can stand the strain, bills and creditors always refuse to remain invisible. Even concrete boots offer only a temporary solution: eventually tell-tale body parts invariably break off and float to the surface. Unless a problem wants to stay hidden, (like Jimmy Hoffa, our head of Parish Security and Construction, or Lord Lucan, the St. Onuphrius’ HR coordinator), you’d better believe some nosey blogger will start making a noise about it.
Since poor big Pete was incoherent with grief, it was thanks to a link from Father David Heron that I was able to make sense of the latest fuss: a little further research dished up this article which a Sydney prisoner-of-conscience has emailed, saying it was actually on the front page of their leading newspaper. Just as I'd warned everyone, little Pete Jensen has managed to misplace an awful of lot his parishioners money in the course of trying to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room.
Despite my trying to calm big Pete by explaining the loss wasn’t as bad as it might have been: in reality it only amounted to the paltry sum of 100 million Australian dollars, which at current exchange rates is a mere US$81,662,200.00, he didn’t seem able to stop screaming hysterically. When, in an effort to make things clearer, I said that’s about 12 Billion Nigerian Naira he fainted. One of his assistants then grabbed the phone, demanding to know if Little Pete Jensen had been caught in some kind of internet scam, but I fear the lad couldn’t believe that there are far more efficient ways of separating the foolish and their money than simple-but-good old-fashioned 419 frauds.
Since then you wouldn't believe how many calls I've received from terrified Gafconeers pleading for my help, and so as an indication of my immeasurable pastoral compassion, I am – even as I write these words – on my way back to dear old Ichabod Springs, where I’ve no doubt I’ll be able to concoct a way for the Lord to sort out all this mess.
After all, while this might seem to you like a simple case of a few evangelicals getting carried away after finding a way to enjoy all the thrills of the roulette wheel with none of the risk of being caught inside a sinful casino, the reality is it’s going to have serious implications for the global schism. Sure little Bobby Duncan’s show isn’t going to be too troubled: indeed, anything that curbs continued African incursion into what he’s already seeing as “his” territory will bring a smile to his face when he thinks no one’s watching, but you’d better believe little David Short’s hope of funding an appeal should Vancouver courts take the same view of theft as those in New York and Colorado have just vanished. And it’s more likely than not that naughty little Archbishop Mokiwa of Tanzania is going to “have other obligations” next time there’s a Primate’s Council junket; given the choice between ensuring the extensive network of Sydney missionaries in that country can continue eating, and whizzing the Dude of Dodoma to some ritzty conference I rather suspect little Pete will announce that he’ll be speaking on ++Tanzania’s behalf.
Oh it’s great to be back! I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible!