Even the best parties must come to an end eventually, and down in little Peter Jensen’s Diocese of Mordor the search has begun for his successor. Not that there’s any need to panic just yet, the Family Firm still has a year or more to rule, but finding someone with the right degree of commitment to financial incompetency, nepotism, and sticking one’s nose into everyone else’s business isn’t easy, so it’s only prudent to start looking early.
Naturally I was the first person the Sydney Politburo approached for the job, but the combination of my being an Anglican (as opposed to a Gnostic Baptist), and there not being anywhere near enough money left in Sydney’s Swiss bank accounts to sustain my ministry in the manner to which I am entitled, meant I had no option but to refuse their tearful pleas. Besides, I doubt I have enough relatives to fill all the key positions in that place.
The next choice was little Pete’s younger brother, the Dean. Not the most stable of personalities at the best of times, it was felt by many Politburo members that his tendency to forget it’s not the 16th century could result in a nasty halberd injury should he slip over the edge while engaging in a little politically expedient dialogue with the Forward in Faith boys. Besides, people still haven’t forgotten his remark about ++Cantaur being a prostitute, and given Sydney’s new-found poverty who knows what their next archbishop might have to do in order to pay the office power bill?
All of which leaves the field wide open. Even the most faithful Sydney house-elves and serfs recognize the next oldest Jensen (bearing in the mind that only the male offspring count) has far too tenuous a grip on reality to be capable of steering them through the murky waters of sectarian politics: just take one look at the new post-graduate course on Anglican Identities he’s proudly touting. Sure the rest of the communion is going to be sympathetic to someone who thinks there were no Anglicans worthy of studying between Hooker and the present... and the question “Is Lay Presidency authentic Classical Anglicanism for today?” (trust me - his answer isn’t going to be “Of course not, you dimwit”) is exactly what the Glorious Schism needs to address in order to keep from coming unstuck. Not.
Fortunately a solution has come in the form of little David Short, the Rector of St. John’s Shaughnessy, Vancouver. The son of a retired Sydney Suffragan Bishop, and trained in Sydney, he has both the correct breeding and indoctrination for the position, while at the same time having proven himself so devotedly homophobic he’d rather break his vow of obedience to his Bishop and tear Canadian Anglicanism in two than risk catching cooties by caring for those whom God has commanded him to love.
To commence grooming for the position he’s currently been whisked down under for a brief visit, which my spies in Mordor tell me is all being kept very quiet. This weekend he and his evangelically subservient consort will be addressing a conference for clergy wives as part of a campaign to increase his profile among the bond-servants, slaves and hoplites. Let’s just pray these poor souls aren’t charged too dearly for the privilege of attending this compulsory indoctrination session. God knows they've already paid dearly enough.
Mind you, what they’ll be enduring is nothing compared to what the good folk of Vancouver have suffered for the past twenty years, and there’s no doubt they’ll be heartbroken when he’s finally departed for good. While the parishioners of St. John’s will simply delighted to be left cleaning up (& paying for) the legal mess he’s landed them in: at least the Canadian bishops have a reputation for being forgiving, so once short David’s misguided charisma has worn off the congregation will undoubtedly be welcomed back into the fold. Meanwhile warning posters prohibiting his re-entry will be posted at all Canadian airports and border controls.
I'm Father Christian and I teach the Bible.