Friday, 13 May 2016

Women's ordination...


I'm not made of stone. I enjoyed The Vicar of Dibley just as much as the next bourgeois, metropolitan trendy. Brought to us by Richard Curtis (he of Four Weddings and a Funeral), the eponymous Rev. Granger is portrayed as a very nice woman (that's important), attractive, chubby, vivacious; qualities brought very much to life by the one and only Dawn French, and it's implied by Granger in the first episode that these are qualities one wouldn't ordinarily look to find in a typical male (presumably Evangelical) village parson with the words, "beard, Bible and bad breath." The conservative parishioners are portrayed as backward and dim-witted, or as stuffy old snobs. Eventually, as the series concludes, they all warm to her and the general consensus is: "well, women's ordination can't be that bad; we've had it rather good here." What a clever way to soften the blow of this revolutionary change in ecclesiastical polity: smother it with humour! I wonder if, when Francis or his bourgeois, metropolitan trendy successor ordains women, we'll see an Italian version of The Vicar of Dibley? No, I don't think we will. It wouldn't be as good as Dibley, and I really, really doubt if, by 2031, anyone will care that much about women's ordination in that private taboo and burden that a tiny remnant of "society" (if there is such a thing then) takes on themselves, which used to be called Christianity. Like Bibles in basic English, women's ordination seems to be a desperate trump card used by semi-Christian institutions to drag back a few curious, fair-weather Christians to the pews who, when they see the howling disaster of such a change, go back to secularism and materialism, even more disillusioned with the obvious charlatonry of mainstream Western churches and how irrelevant they are to their lives. Can you blame them?

12 comments:

  1. By 2031 I think it entirely possibly that the Anglican clergy in this country will be exclusively female, although who will be left in the pews by that point is anyone's guess.

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    1. And what a miserable end to so venerable an institution as the Church of England. It was never the "true" Church, or even a branch thereof, but it maintained dignified worship down to my grandparents' time, and was a force for good in terms of education through liturgy with the Prayer Book and the King James Bible. Not to mention the towering figures, true men of Christ, in the history of Anglicanism; Hooker, Andrewes, Baxter, Ussher, Swift, and closer to our own time Hope Patten, Frank Weston, Dom Gregory and countless others who shaped Anglican eucharistic and liturgical thought. One cannot forget the historical and liturgical undertakings of the Henry Bradshaw Society, Dr John Wickham Legg, William Stubbs, Dr Pusey, even Newman before he poped. The Church of England has made an enormous contribution to the broader Christian Church that cannot be forgotten or underestimated.

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  2. Always enjoyed this series, but anyone who was unaware that it was nothing but rank propaganda and cultural manipulation must have been an idiot.

    Remember when it openly stated that Anglo-Catholics were all women-hating homosexuals?

    It really simply shows how easy it is to manipulate people.

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    1. Yes, rather says it all, doesn't it?

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    2. I was impressed, being in a country still largely believing but ignorant of my kind of religion, by a not-highbrow sitcom's writers knowing what Anglo-Catholicism is, if only to take a swipe at it.

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  3. I remember when I was doing my masters there was a vixen who was priestess-in-charge of six medieval churches in East Anglia. When I asked if any had Easter Sepulchres in them she replied that four of them did but that she had no idea what they were used for. Says it all really.

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    1. Doesn't know, doesn't care. She sounds typical of most contemporary Western Christians.

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    2. Oh, I have seen worse. Not too long ago I had to attend a funeral for a former co-worker who was supposedly Anglo-Catholic, the Mass was celebrated by a female, who to impress the "Catholics" in the crowd wore vestments, with the stole on the outside of the chasuble, and the maniple on the right wrist. Even the candles, six, on the altar were incorrectly lit. But in the woman's defense, she is an expert in social justice issue. It was a comedy of liturgical errors, almost as bad as some of the liturgical games I have seen in so-called western rite Orthodox services.

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  4. Unlike you, Patrick, Roman to begin with, I was Episcopal to begin with because of my dad's marriage conversion way back (he came back to the church before he checked out). I was a would-be Catholic who when I found out about the attempted ordination of women, in a diocesan newspaper 34 years ago, felt like I'd been punched in the face. A couple of years later an Episcopal priest told me the next Pope would ordain women (like the Pope can), for sure. We got Benedict XVI. Man makes plans; God laughs.

    "The Vicar of Dibley" was an interesting propaganda piece, an endearing, dumb sitcom engineered not to try to convert the few conservative churchgoing English but the many unchurched: "See? Church is cool and fun now." How's that working out for the C of E? Parish churches full?

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    1. I took The Vicar of Dibley at face value. It didn't move me to sympathise with women's ordination at all, but it did have funny moments. You can say the same about any sitcom with a liberal bias; The Simpsons, for example, although Matt Groening should have killed that off at least fifteen years ago. This is why I began this post with "I'm not made of stone." You can either stop watching television, listening to the radio, and using the Internet for the reasons I've just explained - it is dominated by the left, and notoriously by Jews - or, if you have the strength of mind and conviction, just take them at face value.

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    2. It is a sweet show. (Counter-argument: it's a milkshake with a dash of rat poison.) Related: for me it's nothing against women Anglican ministers personally. With this, the greatest library and communications medium ever, in the past 10 years I've corresponded with some; we are friendly. This medium doesn't flood me with leftist sewage; rather, it's largely a lifeline to the like-minded as well as simply a source of information (current events, etc.); my morning paper. My television viewing is very limited: a '50s-'60s music channel just like a commercial-free radio station and some reruns from the era. Radio: news, such as the weather forecast, and old music.

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