Thursday, October 6, 2011

Consecrate! Consecrate!

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, has suggested that consecrating women as bishops in the Church of England will "humanise" the priesthood, put a stop to "creeping bureaucratisation" and "box ticking." 

Williams, who is known for his trademark "full set" beard, also questioned whether an all male episcopate was able to read the the Bible properly. Is it "possible for bishops to read the bible adequately if they're an all male group" wondered the hirsute prelate at a private meeting.

Outspoken "wimmin priest" spokesperson, Hilary Cotton, went one step further than the bearded Anglican Supremo stating, "It will be a disaster for the credibility of the Church if this legislation (to consecrate women bishops) does not go through."

what a monkey - thanks Samizdat
Credibility? Women bishops are sure to solve that knotty little dilemma. But in the meanwhile, I'll wager my fighting monkey against any two of your priestesses that even more Anglicans will head to Rome.

The challenge is on.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Your Money or your Life!

Anyone following the slow-moving(ish) train-wreck that is the Sovereign Debt crisis, will have noticed that France and Belgium have pledged to prop up Dexia, one of several rotten franchises in the heart of Europe. Presumably taxpayers will come to the rescue, but in the meanwhile, Dexia dropped a miserable 22 points on the Brussel's 'change. You can read about it in the SF Chronicle, if you like.

Belloc wrote somewhere that the Roman Empire was plagued with periodic financial crises brought on by usurious bankers. Interest on non-productive loans (his definition of usury) would mount up over the years until the burden became unsustainable, leading to financial collapse and ever higher tax burdens. Odd how history seems to repeat itself.

Jefferson had this to say about the banks:

"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered..."

Prescient, that Founding Father.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


A member of Team LSP has been shipped off to the Front and tells me that he's been having exciting helicopter rides. He also feels like "Abraham in the desert". This makes me suspect that he has grown a beard, which is fast becoming a disturbing trend amongst certain sectors of this site's readership. Not being a Capuchin, I remain clean-shaven. Some people say that "a beard is nothing other than cry for help." JEB Stuart might disagree with that.

In other news, JB is still waiting to "get on the trailer" but she is eating off the back of it. We should have taken a more patient approach first time around. But more on  that later.

Say a prayer for everyone stationed overseas.

God bless Texas.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Horse Attitudes

Because Bonnie isn't boarding horses anymore, the day came to move JB to fresh pastures. So off I drove to meet a parishioner with a trailer and load up the horse. Did JB want to get into the trailer? Not a bit of it.

After rearing, pulling away, falling over, you name it, we decided to tie her to the entrance of the trailer. Maybe she'd get used to the idea and walk on in. Instead she foolishly attempted to jump over the trailer, pulled loose of the halter and trotted back to her pasture. At least she didn't run off like an out of control  Exocet into the countryside.

Now she's in a round pen, the trailer's backed up to its gate with food and water in the back and the horse has a choice. If she wants to eat and drink she can walk in and get it, or she can go hungry. We'll see how that tactic works. If it doesn't, it'll be time to make a 'chute' out of panels and try to funnel her into the trailer.

JB's trailer treason has taught me several things. Wear gloves when loading a recalcitrant horse, otherwise you won't have any skin left on your hands. More importantly, train your horse to get in the trailer, which  probably seems to the uninitiated animal on a par with the gates of hell.

Horses are evidently less intelligent than dogs but you can ride them. That is a great bonus.



Friday, September 30, 2011

Bishop Jane Lost in Space

This is Jane Alexander, ACoC's (Anglican Church of Canada) jocular Bishop of Edmonton. Perhaps you remember them telling us that no one would take the church seriously unless they ordained women. That worked well, didn't it.

Alexander and her tiny diocese have a mission to proclaim the Gospel, "The Gospel isn't proclaimed from a loudspeaker or a billboard," states Alexander's diocesan website, "but through the loving relationships we build with people around us and the service we offer to our local and global communities."

But Jane, I'm confused. What communities can you possibly be serving as you hurtle through the chill vastness of the stellar void? 

Remember, in space no one can hear you scream.

FTL coms with ACoC are presently down for an unspecified period of time.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Punk is not Dead!

Derided by some as the "most unpopular ex-pat Britain has ever produced, Piers "Whatapunk" Morgan denies having any connection whatsoever with the UK's phone hacking scandal. The Associated Press seems to question that:

"The 46-year-old's past is already under scrutiny thanks in part to suggestive statements he's made about listening in on other people's voicemails. Morgan has denied ordering anyone to hack a phone or knowingly publishing stories based on hacked information, but he was in charge at the News of the World when it was bribing people for information and freely acknowledged that the practice was wrong.
'It's a disgrace, of course, and totally unethical,' he wrote. 'But very handy.'"
You can read all about it here, via Drudge.
Please, Great Britain, take him back.

Get Out in the Field and Break your Gun

Drove out in the scorching, parched, doveless countryside for the customary Thursday morning ride and shoot; rode JB about for a little while but the ground is full of deep and treacherous cracks, which curtails things a bit. Still, it keeps the hand in.

Before plinking about I took the old JC Higgins 103.13 .22 (essentially a Marlin 81 - I think) down for a clean. Very important; if you don't clean your firearms they don't work, even if they're .22s. Trust me. So I cleaned the thing and it broke anyway, because a pin fell out of the trigger mechanism onto the ground. It probably fell down a crack.

Nothing daunted, I pulled out the handy "Leatherman Wave" multitool and a piece of fencing wire -- always carry both in your EDC (every day carry) loadout. That's my advice. Tools in hand I fashioned a new pin, which seemed to do the trick.

Except that it didn't because working the action simply decocked the rifle, rendering the thing useless. 10 out of 10 for in the field gunsmith ingenuity, 0 out of 10 for a working solution. Annoying.

Still, the JC Higgins is ancient, its had many thousands of rounds through it and perhaps the time has come to bite the proverbial bullet and get a new .22 for plinking and shooting the odd rabbit. The broken rifle can be fixed at leisure but in the meanwhile I think I will get an...

Entirely predictable Ruger 10/22 -- birch stock, iron sights (I like the bead front sight) semi-auto, all for the grand price of $200. Thank you, Walmart, for helping me out.

Don't lose bits of your gun down gaping cracks in the earth.

Happy Michaelmas.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

King of Terrors

When not riding, shooting and going about the business of several country missions, I've been sorting through some of my father's writing, including an unpublished book on Canon Henry Scott Holland.

HSH became Dean of St. Paul's in the late nineteenth century and was a leading light in the Lux Mundi school of the 2nd Oxford Movement. He was a great priest, not least in his work for the poor.

Lytellton had this to say about him, in The Mind and Character of Henry Scott Holland:

"In writing a tentative estimate of a great personality there is a danger of profanity, the attempt to probe what is intended to be a mystery. How can anyone dare to discriminate between any natural character and that which grows from a man being 'born anew': or to indicate the nature of the hidden struggle against temptation; how all fleshly desires are more and more turned into stepping stones to higher things; how the single heart takes the place of the perverse and distempered will; how the craving for approval even of good men 'melts like wax' before the light of the Divine Countenance, as it is lifted up before the wondering eyes; what, in short, is the nature of the self-conquest which is needed if the Holy Spirit is to achieve the miracle of transformation?"

HSH is mostly forgotten now, perhaps that will change. The name of the upcoming book is The King of Terrors, the Theology of Henry Scott Holland.

God bless,


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Market Meltdown - Anglican Church of Canada Launches Stimulus

As investors fled today's market, dumping everything from equities to gold, ACoC, the small-footprint Canadian Anglican franchise, launched its own brand of stimulus - handing out free tokens in Toronto.

Led by top ACoC official, Bishop Mark MacDonald, clergypersons gave away gratis invites to commuters on the metro area GO Train, asking them to "go back to church." 

Dressed in full bishop's regalia, including a "button blanket" depicting an eagle, a wolf, a raven and a killer whale, MacDonald acknowledges he shocked some passengers. "People aren't used to seeing somebody dressed like that, especially at seven o'clock in the morning," said MacDonald in a statement to press.

According to Bishop Patrick Yu, who handed out tokens at Agincourt GO station, ACoC's giveaway gambit might not result in more people going to church. "The success isn't how many people come," said Yu to the Toronto diocesan website, "it's how many people do the inviting."

Others are less optimistic. "Is this Halloween?" remarked one commuter.

NASA scientists predict that ACoC, or similar space debris will fall to earth on Friday, but that's one chance in thousands. "We take in about 450,000 observations per day, and that helps us track the 22,000 space objects that we track currently. The small Anglican Church of Canada is one of them," said Major Michael Duncan at the Defense Department.

Experts are unsure as to whether ACoC's efforts to boost value in time for Back to Church Sunday will coincide with the tiny ecclesial body's possible re-entry into earth atmosphere.

ACoC leader, Fred Hiltz, was unavailable for comment.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Feast of St. Matthew

It's the Feast of St. Matthew today and after Mass we discussed that bit in the Bible which goes, "Verily I say unto you, that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you." (Matt. 21.31)

When I was younger this used to puzzle me. I thought the "publicans" were pub landlords, you see, and where's the evil in that? Well, some might be, but it doesn't necessarily go with the territory. Then I learned that the term means tax collector - and all became clear.

St. Matthew is the patron saint of bankers.

I should imagine he's working overtime.

God bless,


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Berdyaev Sunday

It's all very well to post dubiously genuine photos of Vladimir "Lord of Awesomness" Putin riding sharks and manning about but it is, I admit, frivolous.

So here's some 1917 vintage Berdyaev to get things back on track.

The soul of the Russian people will be tempered within a more austere morality. Russia has its own mission, distinct from the mission of Germany, France and England. But the fulfilling of this mission lies through culture, through a duty of obedience to the burdens of civilisation. We have mistaken our backwardness for a point of excellence, as a sign of our higher calling and our greatness. But the terrible fact is that the human person for us is drowning in a primitive collectivism, and this is nowise a point of excellence, nor a sign of our greatness. It makes totally no difference, whether this all-engulfing collectivism be that of the "Black Hundreds" or of the "Bolsheviks". The Russian land lives under the power of a pagan khlysty-like element. In this element gets submerged every face, it is incompatible with personal worthiness and personal responsibility. This demonic element can pull forth from its bosom no true face, save only the likes of Rasputin and Lenin. The Russian "Bolshevik Revolution" is a dreadful worldwide reactionary phenomenon, just as reactionary in its spirit, as the "Rasputinism", as the Black Hundred khlystyism. The Russian people, just like every people, has to pass through a religious and cultural discipline of the person. And for this, it is needful to repudiate Russian illusions. The perishing of these illusions is not at all a perishing of the world. For us it is not given to know the times and seasons of the end of the world. And is not the eschatological and apocalyptic investigation of the religious populists of all the Russian woes and the Russian sins -- is this not one of the Russian illusions and temptations, begotten of the Russian self-conceit?

Nothing like a bit of Berdyaev to get the Sunday going, I always think.

God bless,


Saturday, September 17, 2011

London Riots - A Question

I won't comment on last month's disturbance in London and other British cities but I do have a question.

Just who and what is the blond bloke standing to the right of the 'feral youth' as they loot the Carhartt store in Dalston? Everything else is pretty self-explanatory, but what's he up to?