ragon THE P RTAL June 2018 Page 5 Telling The Beads An alternative view of the Whitsun octave W hat a week and a half we’ve had, what with a Royal wedding and the Whitsun octave: punctuated in my case with a trip to Milan to get enough hats to see me through the season. I had no idea that so many of the smarter sort of cleric get their headgear run up at the really lovely ateliers on the back side of the cathedral. Most disconcerting watching what was clearly an archbishop being measured up for evening wear. Wondering about this in the city of St Ambrose got me thinking about bishops and more precisely for what they are called to be. The eve of Pentecost thrash in St George’s Windsor was undoubtedly a wedding: the officiant is licensed to conduct ceremonies according to the laws of England and Wales and neither the bride or groom was suffering from any legal impediment such that they could be prevented from marrying one another. magistrate trying the case at least was good enough to find that the Archbishop’s evidence was simply unbelievable. I guess that those who had been with the Lord Jesus Christ from the baptism of John until his death and resurrection, would have remembered his teaching about children and millstones: but apparently not this Archbishop. ]The problem, at least it clearly wasn’t a problem for the most senior of the Anglican bishops in this country and the USA, is that she is divorced and neither of the Most Reverend Gentlemen had any business being there. One of the most difficult things is to remain true to the clear teachings of Christ when our own personal circumstances make it infinitely easier to be nice and look absent-mindedly the other way. The Irish referendum on the killing of those in utero has been a triumph for the church militant. The kindest thing one can possibly say is that the Irish b ench of bishops, realising that their credit is shot when almost all of the population thought that doing and saying not very much would do the least damage. Telling the truth to those who do not want to hear it used to be the duty of bishops: now let’s hear it for damage limitation. I expect the Holy Father will much enjoy his trip Bishops, following the first election criterion set by St Peter after the death of Judas, are called to be witnesses to Ireland in August. Perhaps he can find another of the teachings of Christ and faithful guardians of the progressive couple to marry on the flight back. After all who am I to judge if God made us like that? The doctrines of the Church. obvious answer is that the Pope, like all bishops, is The ludicrous platitude, no matter how breathily given the terrible charge from Christ himself that repeated, “that all you need is love” does not quite get ‘whosoever sins ye forgive are forgiven and whosoever round the fact that one of the happy couple had broken sins ye retain are retained’. That, I should have thought, was pre-eminently a case for a spot of judging. what even Anglicans persist in thinking of as vows. As for the Archbishop of Canterbury, I guess even the horror of the Gafcon reaction to his leading role didn’t outweigh the fuzzy sense of pleasure of being up front and on message. There are, I understand now, 1.1 million people attending Anglican services in England at least once a month (down from 10 million a week in 1960 which is obviously progress of a sort and well worth reinforcing). Still it hasn’t been altogether a bad month. One of our bitches had puppies and there have been a couple of really good invitations. The weather has been terrific and so far as I know none of our own dear bishops has done anything other than be entirely faithful to their charge. Well done to the single English bishop and the single Scottish bishop who were able to take time out to rally From Adelaide comes the cheering news that the only to the support of the catholic MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, slightly demented catholic archbishop has taken steps being given a very hard time by the BBC for insisting to ensure the smooth running of his diocese in case on the truth of the teachings of the church. he goes to prison for absent mindedly forgetting to let Thank goodness for the rest of the season when we the police know that a clerical molester had been at it even more prolifically than even they suspected. The can plunge into a riot of good taste and hats.