April 27, 2008
Surprise Episcopal Convention at Local Parish
Some Episcopal parishoners at Calvary Episcopal church were surprised today to find the leader of their organization, Dr. K. J. Schori, present at their 11 am service. Schori, after presiding over worship services, met in a special (and largely unexpected) diocesean convention with area Episcopalians to appoint a new bishop and standing committee for the troubled diocese.
Some parishoners expressed surprise at the announcement, of which they had received no warning. Rev. Geoffrey Chapman, a member of the standing committee, was informed about the visit via cellphone during the service's recessional hymn ("Unbreakable Union of Post-modern Anglicans") and arrived by taxi in time to raise an objection during the meeting, saying that he had never resigned from the Standing Committee and thus should not have his seat taken away from him. Several heavily-muscled deacons from the Episcopal Organization's central office muscled him out of the room before his protests could be completed. The Rev. H. Lewis, convention chair, merely said "this matter has been settled", and added, gesturing to the returning deacons, "anyone else who wishes to raise canonical or other legal concerns may address their questions to Deacon Mickey Da Finger and his associates, who will be pleased to have a conversation with their kneecaps."
When the convention secretary read a roll-call of the diocese's 74 congregations, 13 of them responded, represented by 4 clergy and 27 laity... although there was some delay caused when 25 of the 27 laity apparently forgot which parishes they were supposed to be representing and all of them demanded their promised checks to be handed over before announcing their presence and affiliation. Several of these individuals were then appointed to be the new diocesean Standing Committee.
Delegates, both clergy and laity, and nominees to diocesean office were required to sign an oath before taking up their posts. The oath read, in part, "I swear by my bank account and sex life this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Dr. K. Jefferts Schori, Führer of the Episcopal organization and its parishes, supreme interpreter of canon law, final arbitrator of belief, quintessential designer of liturgical garb, primate of primates and most beloved of dictators, and that I shall at all times be ready, as a brave Episcopalian, to violate my conscience, my faith, Scripture, Tradition and Christian Heritage and to sacrifice all my worldly goods for this oath."
Schori then cited canon III.13.1, which states in part that "a Diocese without a Bishop may, by an act of its Convention, and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop" may be placed under another bishop's authority. "Robert Duncan is no longer recognized as a bishop of this organization because I SAID SO AND YOU HAVE SWORN UNCONDITIONAL OBEDIENCE TO ME RESISTANCE IS FUTILE YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED" screamed Schori; then, pausing to wipe spittle from the corner of her mouth, added more normally "besides, I don't like his haircut."
Turning to the matter of the new diocesean bishop, Schori said "I am pleased to announce that, late last night, a special investigatory committee cleared retired bishop Charles Bennison of all charges, and I now appoint him to be bishop of the diocese of Pittsburgh. His years of leadership, integrity and vision provide an inspiration and example that we can all admire."
She then told the convention that there is "new hope here for a church that can tolerate and even welcome diversity. Deacon Da Finger is now handing out a manual to help you recognize what sorts of diversity are to be tolerated, welcomed and celebrated... and what statements, beliefs, liturgical styles and prayerbooks require their advocates to be hunted down and slaughtered without hesitation or mercy regardless of what Scripture or the Episcopal canons might appear, to the uninitiated, to actually say."
Convention then approved a $459,000 annual budget for the diocese, a budget funded by an anonymous donation, given only with the stipulation that the diocese be renamed "The Diocese of the Glorious and Immaculate David Booth Beers." The resolution to rename the diocese passed unanimously, with the roll-call "aye" votes punctured only by the sound of Deacon Finger whacking a blackjack into his open palm.
Concluding the convention, a beaming Schori announced that the rest of the Episcopal organization "stand[s] with you in the firm and constant hope that this body will grow and flourish and bless the Pittsburgh areas in ways you have not yet dreamed of," a statement met by loud crys of "Aye!" and "Hear! Hear!" and "Heil Schori!" from a collection of cross-dressing transgendered Wiccans and Satanists gathered in the back of the room around the buffet table.
Former bishop Duncan was not available for comment.
First posted on the MCJ blog.