Ain’t That Peculiar

“Episcopal” means “a church governed by bishops”. Many of the largest Christian denominations are episcopal (little “e’) in nature: the Catholic, Anglican\Episcopal, Lutheran and Orthodox churches are divided into a large geographic area (typically an entire nation) that’s called a province. Each province is headed by either an archbishop or some sort of legislative body, such as House of Bishops in The Episcopal Church in the US or the General Synod in the Church of England in the UK. Each province is subdivided into dioceses, with a bishop at its head, governing from a cathedral. The diocese is then subdivided into parishes, with one church per parish. Although Anglican and Lutheran churches aren’t hierarchical in the same sense that Catholic and Orthodox churches are, the jist of it is that orders come from the top to the bishop, who carries them out at the diocesan level.

England just can’t do anything simply, and that’s where royal peculiars come in. A royal peculiar is a church under the direct jurisdiction of the British monarch instead of a bishop. The most famous royal peculiar is the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, better known to most as Westminster Abbey.

Of course, the current Queen doesn’t actually the handle day-to-day affairs of Westminster Abbey. That’s handled by a college of canons, hence “collegiate” in the official name. The college is a group of secular priests (as opposed to a monastic order) who run the church. Confusingly, one of the canons also serves as the rector of next-door St. Margaret’s Church, which is the parish church of the Houses of Parliament, and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London.

Continue reading “Ain’t That Peculiar”

An Anglican Funny

From here, where there is more:

Dr Rowan Williams has failed to quell the row over his recent comments with the announcement that he has been fully accepted into the Muslim faith. He claims to see no inconsistency with his new religion and his continuing role as the leader of the Anglican faith.

‘Both religions are saying basically the same thing,’ said Rahman Muhammed bin Williams as he now wishes to be known, ‘and I hope to bring together two aspects of these two major world faiths. So we will still have the Church of England Christingle Jumble Sale, but instead of getting a jar of home made jam in the raffle, the winner gets to drive a car bomb into the American Embassy.’

It’s funny because it could happen.

The Thursday News Roundup

– There’s a meeting of the primates of the Anglican Communion going on in Dublin this week. Sort of. Primates of the Global South made it clear to the Archbishop of Canterbury that they would not attend if Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church in the US, was invited. She was, so they boycotted. This post at the Anglican Communion Institute has a Pac-Man like graph which shows, in one simple picture, how the boycotting primates hold all the power in the Communion.

– Speaking of The Episcopal Church, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (of which the Church is a member) has been strangely silent about the sickening case of Kermit Gosnell, a Philadelphia doctor indicted recently on eight charges of murder. Gosnell was the doctor of choice for women who wanted late-stage abortions… very late stage abortions. In fact, Gosnell didn’t really perform “abortions” so much as he’d give women huge doses of labor-inducing drugs, deliver the babies and then jab a pair of scissors into the base of the babies’ necks and cut their spinal cords. What’s worse is that few of the machines in his clinic (i.e. EKGs and respirators, etc). were functional, and even if they worked, they were rarely used. Hygiene was found to be almost non-existent. Many of his staff had attended medical school, but most were drop-outs. Even more vile: although his clinic routinely aborted 25-30 week-old fetuses during the week, he’d sometimes secretly open the clinic on Sundays to perform abortions on even later term babies. There’s a PDF at the linked article, but you really don’t want to read it.

– On a lighter note, Glee creator Ryan Murphy appears to be a bit of a dick. The short version of the story is that Kings of Leon didn’t want their music used on his show, so Murphy went on a rant about how the band is (somehow) taking music education away from children. Whatever.

– Paul Allen has died. No, not the co-founder of Microsoft and current owner of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers. I’m talking about Paul Allen, an Englishman and one of the few professional jousters in this world. Allen was killed when a wooden lance fragment went through his face mask, pierced his eyeball and punctured his brain. Allen was filming a segment about jousting for the popular British TV show Time Team when the accident occurred.

– TripAdvisor has released their 2011 list of the Dirtiest Hotels in America. If you have some spare time, check out the reviews for these places… they’re sadly hilarious! And it’s nice to see that NYC’s Hotel Carter made the list, although it fell from #1 last year to #4 this year.

– Speaking of New York, I’ve been spending a lot of time at ScoutingNY recently. It’s a blog written by a guy who scouts filming locations for movie and TV shoots in the city. If you like stories about urban architectural oddities, this site is for you! He has a few long posts in which he shows screen caps of old movies shot in New York (like Taxi Driver and Ghost Busters) and then takes photos of the same sites, so you can see what’s changed. But I especially recommend The Abandoned Palace At 5 Beekman Street and The Smallest Plot of Land In New York City to get started.

– American football was almost banned in 1905, a year when there were 18 deaths on football fields across the country. With President Theodore Roosevelt breathing down their necks, representatives of 62 schools met in New York City and approved several changes to the game. These included banning the “flying wedge” (a brutal, V-shaped formation that frequently led to injuries), creating the “neutral zone” between the offense and defense, and doubling the amount of yardage needed for a first down from five to ten yards. But their most innovative change – the one that would forever separate American football from rugby – was legalizing the forward pass. It might seem hard to believe with today’s pass-happy NFL, but the forward pass wasn’t popular at first. Check out this article at for the full story.

Monday’s News

From the International News Desk (or, as I just call it… my desk) at… let’s do the news:

– Don’t like your home or business showing up in Google Maps? Then Google CEO Eric Schmidt has a helpful suggestion: just move! Somehow Microsoft is still the “evil” company out there, yet Schmidt recently told The Atlantic that his company’s policy was to “get right up to the creepy line and not cross it”. Yeah, I trust them with that!

– Prostitutes in one area of Spain have been ordered to wear fluorescent safety jackets. It seems that working girls near the town of Els Alamus ply their trade on a highway just outside of town, and the measure was put in place to ensure their safety. The linked article also notes that prostitution is not illegal in Spain, that there are an estimated 300,000 prostitutes in the county, 95% of them are from North Africa or South America, and a whopping 25% of Spanish men admit to using their services.

– Speaking of whores, The Episcopal Church is shutting down several services in an attempt to save money… instead of just, you know, not suing their parishioners. The “church’s” legal bills are expected to be in the $3m range this year, and the cuts are expected to save $2.1m. What’s worse? Many of the items being cut actually generate revenue for the “church”.

– Sony has ceased production of the cassette Walkman in Japan. I bet you didn’t even know they still made them in the first place, huh? Apparently they’ll still be manufactured in China, for some reason.

– Mobile phones can’t cause cancer. You know who says so? The laws of physics.

– Britain’s decent into politically correct mamby-pamby idiocy continues: several museums in the country are now covering up mummies or placing large warning signs about them… so as not to offend pagans. :eyeroll:


Anglican Curmudgeon has been adding up the numbers, and that’s how much The Episcopal Church has spent in the past few years suing parishes and dioceses that want to leave.


It takes your breath away at how much money that truly is, and it almost makes me weep to think of all the better uses that money could have gone to. Planting new churches? Helping the homeless? Missions in Africa and India? Shoring up pension funds? Keeping union labor at 815? Nope, it’s all gone, thanks to That Woman. She fiddles while Rome burns.

Anglican Bishops “draw the line” with Canterbury

Boy, we’ve heard that one before… but maybe this time Canterbury has had the message given to him in such a way that he can’t possibly misinterpret it:

“We sympathize with his position as head of the Anglican communion suffering disunity on moral grounds and teaching of the scripture. It’s like having unruly kids in his house and he can’t sit down to eat food.”

“We have told him and he understood us, that (there’s) no more diplomacy on that matter, homosexuality. We made our minds very clear and he is going back knowing there is no gray area on our part,” Orombi said.

via BabyBlueOnline

“One Parishioner’s Boycott”

Stand Firm has a link to this interesting article about one man’s boycott of the Episcopal Church:

67% of Episcopal clergy identify themselves as Democrats, 8% Independents, and 22% Republicans. Maybe that helps explain this:49% of Episcopal clergy say that gay couples should be allowed to legally marry and 38% say that civil unions should be allowed. Of course this majority might claim that politics has nothing to do with their quest for gay marriage. In fact, I have read the claim that the Holy Spirit has is guiding them to this er…, um…, position. Unfortunately, they are lying because they have failed to back up their claims by using scriptural sources. There is a good possibility that an unholy spirit is doing the leading, and that the filthy spirit of politics has a lot to do with the current course of the Church.

Linked within that article is this post, entitled “Red Pew, Blue Pulpit”, which goes through some interesting numbers about the PCUSA. Of course, the PCUSA isn’t the TEC… the TEC is worse.

via Stand Firm.

Episcopal Hypocrisy

Anglican Curmudgeon once again hits it out of the park, filling in the details on the story I reported on back in February.

It seems that the ECUSA’s Executive Council met in Memphis on October 5-8, 2009, and at that meeting they adopted the following resolution, which reads, in part:

Resolved, That the Executive Council, meeting in Memphis, Tennessee, October 5-8, directs the Executive Officers of General Convention and the Office of General Convention to refrain from using the Hyatt hotel chain for General Convention and its related bodies and staff, until housekeeping staff summarily fired from its Massachusetts hotels and replaced by contract workers are offered the opportunity to be restored to their original employment and work conditions and provided with back pay for time missed due to their fall 2009 layoffs;

Two and a half months later – as in, ten weeks, or seventy-five days later – the Episcopal Church headquarters in New York City fired all its union workers and replaced them with a cheaper, non-union company:

The workers lost their jobs – which paid standard wages and benefits – when the church canceled the contract with Paris Maintenance, a union cleaning contractor, and replaced it with the nonunion Benjamin Enterprises.

Nice. Read the whole article here, especially the part at the end, where it’s noted that TEC is using a non-union Hyatt in Indianapolis for the 2012 General Convention.

Hypocrites, the lot of them!