Sunday, March 14, 2004

Be not Episcopal

Philadelphia -- UNS (Unsaintly News Service) The Rev. Dr. Peter Toon, spiritual counsel to the American Anglican Council (AAC) and Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes (NACDP), admitted today that he had not gone far enough in his advice to them to go back to the 1928 prayer book.

"I realized I had been incredibly short-sighted," he admitted, of his advice to the groups who wanted to stand their ground on opposition to policies and practices of the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA). "I told them that in order to have an identity distinct from that of the revisionist ECUSA, they should go back 70-some years to the 1928 prayer book, before the revisionist practices of admitting women, gays and lesbians and minorities to the priesthood. Now I realize that doesn't go far enough."

Toon now recommends going back to the 13th century, "before the innovations of Pietists, Anabaptists and such groups who taught that it's possible to have direct experience with the Holy Spirit, undirected by bishopric authority."

"This current practice of everyone having Bibles is just not traditional, either," Toon exclaimed. "In those days, the only Bibles were those chained down in the churches, and they were in a foreign language, so people did the orthodox thing and waited for their priest or bishop to explain to them what was inside the Good Book. It kept order and kept everyone on the same page, so to speak."

Obviously incensed, Toon continued, " Nowadays, everyone has an opinion on the interpretation of scripture. Lots of these heretics even say they can have grace as a direct gift from God, unchanneled by higher authority within the church. It's just not orthodox."

In order to gain AAC-bishops' opinion on this, UNS reporter Dwayne T. Smodge infiltrated an AAC meeting by signing an oath.

"It was kind of hairy," Smodge reported. "I was supposed to sign allegiance to the Network [NACDP] in blood, but I distracted them by asking if Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold should be removed from office, and signed it with a red ballpoint pen while they were shouting."

Pittsburgh bishop and possible 39th Province presiding bishop, Bob Duncan, told our reporter that he agrees with Toon's assessment.

"It's been a mess these past 800 or so years," he said. "We need to get back to the basics. I'm going to call for the faithful to make a voluntary surrender of all their Bibles. As the potential next pope of the new Traditional Orthodox Anglican Union, everyone should heed my infallible, inerrant interpretation of Scripture and not strain their intellects trying to think and pray and form their own thoughts on its meaning."

"There were a lot of heresies that appeared around the time of the Reformation. People were getting Bibles hot off those newfangled printing presses and spouting all sorts of ideas. Oh, there were a few good things from that time, like Cromwell. But don't forget that a woman became head of the Church of England in the 16th century and various unorthodox trends were coming about. The conclusion you have to draw is inevitable."

Duncan continued, "This return to the true faith will be much easier to put into practice without all those Bibles all over the place. In fact, I'm having them removed from the pews in all the parishes in my diocese today."

Duncan said he believes going back to the practice of burning heretics at the stake will be good for orthodoxy, as well, "Especially when dealing with these pesky women. They've been nothing but a thorn in my side ever since they got the vote in 1924. The ones who didn't turn lesbo right away started wearing pants and immediately got too big for their britches, thinking they had the right to have opinions and take part in things. I trace a lot of the current problems in the church back to these opinionated godly ladies getting the vote. And, of course, as soon as they got in [to ordained priesthood] it opened the way for all these gays, too."

Duncan concluded that the new slogan of the AAC will be "Let's get back to the true orthodoxy of the Middle Ages."

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