Sunday, October 17, 2004

Things Anglican
On the box

‘Dagliesh: Death in Holy Orders’
About the only things authentic in this are the accents but visually it's a tat festival - the way things ought to be and perhaps once were in the 1920s in places like the now-gone Chichester, compromised Cuddesdon and my old college, St Stephen's House, but suppressed by the time I got there.

Biggest larf: the moody, handsome young man 'left at the college as an orphaned child' (where did he go during the vacs?) modelling a couple of pieces of ecclesiastical fashion, from the 39-button cassock with mozetta (that only rectors on up have a right to wear) and something that looks like a crude, early monk's habit. By the time I was on the scene even wearing a cassock - which of course ordinands can do - would have got the offender 'sent down' (in Oxfordspeak) posthaste.

More seriously part of the plot was about a papyrus document allegedly from Pontius Pilate with orders regarding the disposal of the bodies after the Crucifixion, a bombshell denying the Resurrection and thus Christianity - a secret passed down from the founder's irreligious brother through the principals of the college (very Da Vinci Code that).

A detective asked the priest who showed him the document the big question 'What if it's real? What if all this is disproved?' and Father gave an ambiguous answer that either is a Modernist dodge ('Christ of history' vs. 'Christ of faith' codswallop) or a repeated denial of the alleged proof - 'I experience the light of Christ every day; how does a piece of papyrus change that?'

It also reminds me of those adverts you'd see in the National Review and other places about 20 years ago offering to sell you a book 'proving' 'Jesus fictional!'. I think it claimed Flavius Josephus, author of The Jewish Wars, made the whole gospel story up.

I like the answer William F. Buckley Jnr gave (not saying here that I endorse it): he said if he were convinced by something like that he'd get himself bris'd (ouch) and become an Orthodox Jew.

From Kerygma (Lee Nelson)
Fr Jeffrey Steenson is the Episcopal Church’s bishop-elect of the Diocese of the Rio Grande
I remember him when he was the rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont (18 years ago!) - nice man and back then sound on the essentials. I fear for that, though, if he's going to be the bishop of a non-Forward in Faith diocese.

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