Recently I’ve been receiving some interesting correspondence from Jensenland – aka the Diocese of Mordor – where a number of souls laboring under the belief that celebrating the Eucharist comprises part of Anglican worship have been wondering if it might be possible for Bishop Quinine to assume some sort of alternative pastoral oversight. Naturally I’ve kept their inquiry a secret from the Prelate: given that he still spends at least half his waking hours convinced he’s pregnant the excitement might prove too much for him. Nor would it do much for my own ministry’s credibility if he started soliciting the poor Australians for money to buy baby paraphernalia: it’s bad enough that their real Archbishop suffered delusions of financial competency, but phantom pregnancy might be more than they can handle. Then again, a few booties would have cost them a lot less than the $100 million little Peter Jensen managed to lose.
Of real interest, however, was the news that the wives of not one, not two, but three of little Pete’s senior bondservants have recently managed to escape their conjugal prisons, and have exchanged their complementarian prisons for a life in which they are not only permitted to think for themselves, but can even read the Bible when in the presence of men. Aloud!!
Now I’m not talking about any run-of-the-mill Jensen cannon-fodder, nor even diocesan house-elves like Dobby Ould, that would be merely a tragedy, and certainly not worth repeating here. No, these three were about as high up in Mordor’s hierarchy as it’s possible to ascend without being a member of the Archbishop’s family, and at least two were personally responsible for sending the fodder to the cannons. Naturally their Master will be feeding them all into a grinder as soon as he thinks nobody’s watching, since Donatists must never be seen to experience the same sorts of failures and tragedies as everyone else, but so senior are their positions that making them vanish is not as easy as it sounds, since replacements must first be found if the already leaking ship is not to founder altogether.
Beyond the borders of Mordor the Bishop of New Hampshire is being blamed for this sadness, but I believe that internally Cardinal Newman is held responsible. This is, you’ve got to admit, an interesting choice either way, since I wouldn’t have thought either of them would have been too interested in a dalliance with the now no-longer-captive ladies. Still anything’s better than facing up to reality as astutely appraised by the Rev. Giles Fraser (and thank you dear MP for bringing Fr. Fraser's words to my attention).
Let us all pray the soon-to-be-unemployed bondservants are treated with the same compassion they treated others whose disgrace preceded theirs. Or perhaps not: it might be better if we ask that through this sorrow they might so grow in mercy and wisdom that Bishop Quinine is able to reappoint them when he’s stable enough to assume his new See.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.