Dearly Beloved Sinners: contrary to your fears Bishop Quinine and I haven’t vanished into the Bermuda Triangle. Instead we have actually spent the past week-and-a-bit experiencing the highs and lows that Biblical ministry can offer: for the first few days we checked into the Tucker’s Point Club where, albeit belatedly, we enjoyed a taste of the luxury our fellow Conservative leaders sacrificially endured the preceding week. I must stress, however, that it was only a taste: not only had the Schism’s biggest names emptied most of the club’s larder, but even the cellar was looking decidedly bereft of it’s finer labels: those heterosexual boys in purple mightn’t be able to dance, but they certainly know how to eat and drink. Not to mention how to do something else: the stories those poor souls in the laundry told about their difficulties in getting the linen clean brought tears to my old pastoral eyes.
Not that any of this spoiled our stay: as every self-righteous Primate knows, Tucker’s Point is the place when it comes to golf, and while of course as a Christian I didn’t play, I did obtain a very lovely pair of golf shoes made from the finest baby-seal skin, and hand stitched by children in a Chinese sweat-shop so strict it would make the Christian Reconstructionists currently putting their money where they don't have the courage to put their mouths start reminiscing about dear old Rushdoony. Unfortunately, however, this purchase pushed little David Virtue’s credit card over the edge, leaving us temporarily insolvent and forced to make an unscheduled check out prior to a visit from the local constabulary.
It was while down and out in Bermuda (and without resources to contact Ichabod Springs to arrange for the parish to forward sufficient funds for us to purchase tickets home) that who should we bump into, but a shirtless Peter Jensen! Old habits die hard, it appears, and the precious Puritan had been “investing” again: doubtless they play blackjack a little differently on his side of the world, since he still couldn’t understand why 22 wasn’t one better than 21. And not even Bishop Quinine was convinced by the claim that his losses were simply a result of the global financial crisis, but we all agreed if that one had worked on Dobby and other house-elves once before there was no reason they wouldn’t work again.
Interestingly enough this wasn’t the first time little Pete has been lost in Bermuda: you can read about the first occasion here. Which suggests to me that that the Man from Mordor little Matt Kennedy doesn’t know but loves anyway (try taking your chasuble and preaching wife to that diocese and see how long Dobby wants to be your friend then, my boy) mightn’t actually be human at all, but actually just an alien who's stolen his identity.
Which, my Sinners, might sound strange, but nowhere as strange as this: the outcome of the Tucker’s Point tête-à-tête was that not only does one of the two most senior office-bearers in the Gafcon Primates Council continue to be someone who is not a Primate (nor even an Anglican in anything but name), but the pair of them are as about as much a product of the developing world as Her Majesty the Queen of England (or Baby Blue if you’d prefer someone a little more pompous, but less interested in gin and horse-racing). I mean to say: if I'd dared suggest the kind of people who believe Jesus would have been permitted to post at Viagraville were so gullible as to believe Greggy Venalballs and little Peter Jensen reflect a dynamic movement of God among third-world churches my comment fields would be filled with angry missives akin to that recently left by a virtuous young man calling himself "AJ" (look at the bottom of the comments field) who arrived at my blog as a result of a Google search for "young masturbaters" - nothing is secret on the internet, my hypocritical and orthodox-but-potty-mouthed young friend.
Yet instead the astonishing fact of a movement claiming to represent the fastest growing areas of global Anglicanism now being controlled by two men responsible for some of the least effective dioceses on the planet appears to have passed by without remark. Even more astonishing is the silence concerning what purported to be the voice of post-colonial Episcopalianism now being that of two white men who are themselves the epitome of colonialism, and whose values, interests, and concerns are far closer to those of a mid 19th century London gentlemen’s club than they are to anything found in the parishes of Lagos or Kampala. As Bishop Quinine asked when he learned of the Council’s appointments: “Why does something about all this make me feel like we're the jester in King Lear?”
I’m Father Christian, and I’m awfully afraid Alsion Barfoot is Goneril.