Monday, July 21, 2008

More on Lambeth and the List of Virtue

It’s taken longer than we’d expected, but Bishop Quinine has finally regained consciousness. Granted, at the moment he’s unable to respond unless addressed in Danish, and appears convinced he’s actually Esther Williams, but Consuella’s found him a fetching one-piece, and since the weather’s been quite warm we’ve left him on his own in the swimming pool, where’s he’s happily rehearsing for his next picture. Brother Richthofen is seeing whether it’s too late for us to enter him in the Beijing Olympics; he looks a certainty for gold in the synchronised swimming.

Meanwhile, I keep thinking about little David Virtue's “List of Lambeth”. I’ve said it before about that boy, and I like him too much to not say it again: if David Virtue has a fault it’s that he just never takes things far enough. There was simply no excuse for stopping in 1844 with the "Independently Discontented Anglicans" (or whatever they call themselves this century). Why not push back another 60 years and include the Methodists? Certainly, they don’t actually have Bishops, but don’t some of them believe something about “every Minister is as a Bishop unto his Congregation”? Or is that just a quote I made up for an essay on Wesley back in seminary? Either way, there’s easily another few thousand names that would have really given some weight to David’s point about the Anglican Communion as we know it being finished.

Then again, as one fine young man noted, Rome was once in Communion with Canterbury, and would doubtless want to be so again if it wasn’t for all of our godless liberals, so there’s no reason to leave their Bishops off the list either. Yet as another wise reader pointed out, if one includes the Bishops one can hardly not invite the Pope. So his non-appearance at Lambeth also counts as proof the conference no longer defines who’s in and who’s not.

Although, as still another fine student of mine puts forward, the succession could have been traced right back to the High Priest of Jerusalem, which could have then included all of international Jewry. Leaving them out is typical of the kind of half-hearted effort for which David has sadly gained a reputation, and my fervent hope is we’ll one day see him really taking things seriously.

Though there is one ray of hope. David’s list does include the Rt. Rev. Charles E. Bennison, and David Virtue of all people knows full well why this particular Bishop isn’t at Lambeth: let’s just say that sympathy for GAFCON isn’t a reason. Yet our David has no qualms about sneaking Bennison’s name in there to pad the numbers and make his case look just that bit more convincing. Just imagine where we’d be today if only David Virtue had been given a Vocation! I wonder if he’d like to star in a remake of Bathing Beauty with Bishop Quinine?

I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.

1 comment :

Lynn said...

Dear Father Troll,

Evangelical Eric was obviously lax in his research for you. Do pop up the potential Bishop count. The United Methodist Church has bishops...don't let that silly thing about being "consecrated" rather than "ordained" leave them out of the party. Particularly because no matter what people say Methodists drink and play cards in private (just not in the church hall).