About a week ago little Dobby Ould was permitted by his master, Lord Volder-Jensen of Sydney, to attend (upon payment of the requisite fee, of course) the Anglican Church League’s Centenary Dinner. The following morning, with his heart all a-flutter, the hapless house-elf posted at Viagraville a breathlessly gullible account of the wonders his beady little eyes had beheld at this glamorous event on the Antipodean pseudo-Calvinist calendar (despite their rhetoric, you’ve only got to look at any of their “ministry initiatives” to see they’re actually as Arminian as any other bunch of spittle-flecked revivalists).
For those not familiar with this fascinating organization, it’s the Australian Anglo-Baptist answer to Tammany Hall, although the ACL has never enjoyed Tammany Hall’s reputation for integrity and democracy. Nor did Tammany Hall ever embrace nepotism as shamelessly as these Australian synod-fixers, which as any Christian familiar with the Biblical account of Saul, Jonathan, and David, knows, is always how the Kingdom of God is furthered.
In fact little Dobby had such an exciting time (obviously Jensen family slaves don’t get out much) that he’s just shared another highlight of his gala evening: an account of the Anglican Church League’s splendid century of misogyny, homophobia, sectarianism, all all-round misanthropy.
Naturally this address wasn’t delivered by a qualified historian, but by the recently ordained grandson of a former Archbishop (I told you they’re serious about nepotism). Consequently as a piece of research it was as balanced as anything produced by, for example, such unbiased academics as Kim Il-sung’s hagiographers. Yet a few of my Australian correspondents have expressed dismay at their neglect to mention any of the ACL’s proudest moments.
Perhaps that’s because there are simply too many of these to recount: if you’re utterly convinced you have a monopoly on god then one hundred years offers a great many opportunities to mistreat your fellow humans. Certainly mention was made of the terrible circumstances that brought about the League’s formation: two congregations introduced Chasubles, while other Sydney parishes started incorporating such blasphemous popish follies as brass crosses and robed choirs! (Nashotah House must be so proud to see their advertising subsidize Dobby’s polemic), but sadly the finest accomplishments were indeed ignored.
Thus, for example, no mention was made of the former ACL President who twenty-five years ago was one of Peter Jensen’s most powerful patrons. Indeed, it’s doubtful the Gafcon faux-primate would be where he is today were it not for the support once given to him by little ex-Reverend Victor Roland Cole. A tireless fighter in the battle against women’s ordination, “Big Vic” eventually found his ministry cut short when word got out about the liturgical role for women he claimed to have identified in Scripture; a musical ministry involving a fourteen year-old girl blowing tunes upon his Oboe of Orthodoxy.
This omission is a pity, because the story of dirty old Vic Cole is also a charming illustration of the way the Anglican Church League protects their own: it took 20 years, three consecutive Archbishops, mentions in parliament and a Royal Commission into police corruption, not to mention significant media outrage, before this was finally demanded. Not even Tammany Hall was that tenacious when it came to protecting child abusers. But then again Tammany Hall never accused the Episcopal Church of immorality either.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.