Friday, 9 November 2012

On the Strangeness of Being Clergy

A phrase from ++Rowan's Anglican Consultative Council Presidential address caused me to smile. He referred to
a favourite phrase of mine from the great Richard Hooker, our common imbecility as Archbishops.
Far be it from me to comment on that from my much humbler station. It reminded me, however, of a couple of descriptions of those of us at my level. For example, Alistair McGrath shares a rather similar description of some nineteenth century pastors as
thin, vapid, affected, driveling little doodles. (Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: the Protestant Revolution—a History from the Sixteenth Century to the Twenty-first (HarperOne, 2007), p369
I fear such doodlery still exists. I catch glimpses of it from the corner of my eye in myself some days.

And then there's the much kinder GK Chesteron,
A clergyman may be apparently as useless as a cat, but he is also as fascinating, for there must be some strange reason for his existence. Orthodoxy (Logos ebook) p289 
There must be some truth in it all. Canon 17 of our erstwhile Diocesan Canons deals with the
Intrusions and the Inhibition of Strange Clergymen
Most of us remain uninhibited as useless, but fascinating, doodles. Some rise to the dizzy heights of ArchEpiscopal imbecility. It puts the idea of being fools for Christ in a whole new light!

Anglicanism is so much fun.