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“I am coming round to the idea of a modern-day Great Schism, with those of a pure and Anglican mind setting up a sort of Avignon Archiepiscopate”

Goodness! Well here we are in a brand new year – who knows what things will pop up to entertain, delight and outrage? With the semi-lunatic brigade installed in the Vatican and chancelleries of Europe, and the certifiable in charge in Pyongyang, Caracas and London, it is not going to be dull, is it! Here in Barchester the bunting is safely packed away, the Christmas trees removed and everything has returned to normal… well, as normal as it gets here in Barset. I had thought of visiting one of Madame Hecate Thump’s Palm and Tripe Reading soirées to see what the future holds, but I prefer things to come at me unawares. It perks one up.

I see His Grace has allowed an errant chaplain to pen a missive this week, calling into question the General Sin-odd. Quite right. We have enough of these talking shops, think tanks and fol-de-rols infesting modern life, when what we need are people with gumption (discounting the ghastly John Selwyn Gumption and his force-fed burger-child). The trouble is, with a bench of bishops well-versed in the Book of Common Purpose and favouring the new-fangled Feast of the Blessed Mohammed, we are likely to be led into the Pit of Hell (or Scunthorpe, as we here in Blighty call it). I am coming round to the idea of a modern-day Great Schism, with those of a pure and Anglican mind setting up a sort of Avignon Archiepiscopate seated here in Barchester. Now, who could possibly head such a venture? Answers on an antimacassar posted directly to the Palace (no reverse charges!).

Spring is the perfect time for weddings, and of course we have a royal one coming up. I understand the streets of Windsor are going to be ethnically cleansed of hobos, tramps and vagabonds, so that the world can see the town really is like Shrek’s DuLac, all neat, tidy and Potemkin. This comes at great financial cost, but getting new blood into the royal line is deemed worth it (as we are leaving the Holy Zollverein we need to water down the German). I wish the young(ish) couple well, but I fear for the longevity of their union. Actresses are notoriously fickle in their affections, and gold-diggers not unknown amongst them. Each time royalty marries into the common herd the bloodline gets thinner, which then begs the question, ‘What makes them so special?’ As for their discourtesy towards the US President and hobnobbing with the O’Barmey creature, words fail me.

Speaking of creatures, the Archdeacon tells me that Mr. Blair is making noises again, advocating another referendum to reverse the previous result which he didn’t like.

“I’m not one for folklore and superstition,” spluttered Dr. Grantly as we whitewashed over the lewd frescos in the crypt Chapel of Our Lady Underwear (12th century, by the Master of the Well-turned Ankle) which somehow escaped Lord Cromwell’s inquisitors. “But really there is something of the night about that man. Just when you think he’s gone, he re-appears like some blood-sucking vampire ready to stick his teeth into the body-politic. I’d dearly like to be one of his ‘stakeholders’, though I wouldn’t be holding it for long!”

“I believe he seeks a public forum simply to get out of the house. Remember to whom he is married!”

“Ah yes,” replied the Archdeacon, “The face that launched a thousand pillar boxes.”

“Exactly,” I replied, “She should never wear red.”

I was most put out when told my new Persian carpet would not be delivered for some time, as the Persians were revolting against the mullahs (though why they have taken against this brand of yoghurt is a mystery). Mr. Slope, no stranger to dusky foreign parts, explained it was a revolution against theocracy and a demand for justice, liberty and democracy. We seasoned observers of the political scene know their chances of securing ‘the big three’ are somewhat less that the Bourbons have of being restored in France, but I digress. The Archdeacon suggested President Trumpelstiltskin might be behind the uprising which, if successful, would alter the balance of power in the region. The next thousand and one nights will be crucial.

Having read in The Jupiter that London’s crime figures have gone through the roof during ‘Saracen’ Khan’s tenure of office, I thought I’d have a word with our own boys in blue to see how Barchester compared. I could tell Inspector Cuffem was pleased to see me. Then he adjusted his truncheon.

“Have no fears, dear lady! Barchester is a haven of peace and tranquillity, unlike the capital. The most serious crime we had to investigate last month was the theft of a knocker from Signora Neroni’s frontage, and tracking down the identity of the Phantom Snowballer of Diphtheria Avenue, a case we are still working on as it happens, now the snow has melted.”

“That is good to know, Inspector. Perhaps you should write to The Saracen with a few tips on sleuthing… he’s clearly not doing well and needs all the help he can get.”

“I’ll think about it, Ma’am,” replied the Inspector (which means he won’t).

I see President Jupiter of France is on the cover of this week’s Vanity Fair. How apt. He warns his ‘fellow citizens’ across Europe to avoid nationalism and the far-right and to embrace the oblivion he and Frau Merkin have planned for them. So much Jovian wisdom from one so fundamentally articulate is a wonder to behold: he speaks, and Europe holds its nose. Mr. Slope has known M. Macron ever since he was a can-can girl at the Folies Bergère, when he went by the name ‘Frou-Frou’ and displayed a fine calf. One must admit he has done well for himself… herself… itself… whatever! I don’t think Frau Merkin was ever a dancer in her youth – too busy spying on her neighbours and dropping them in it with the secret police.

Well that’s all I have for you this week, so I will take my leave. My Lord the Bishop and I are attending a charity concert in aid of The Duchess of Cornwall’s Facelift Fund at St. Tampax-Within-the-Gussett, Burleybridge, with music by the West Barset Transphobic Quartet and poetry readings by Dame Judy Dentures from her recently published collection, ‘I Love Trees’.  Here’s my favourite:-

Give me the Birch
Give me the Birch, most-noble of trees,
A jolly good birching will certainly please.
My rosy red cheeks will glow in the dark.
Whenever a birching takes place in the park.

She’s a national treasure.

So, as the Thuggees of Marxist Morality demand the suttee of Western Civilisation and the Blue Passport of Brexit wards off the banshees of Brussels, I shall tuck my hands in my muff and mount the barouche. Adieu, dear hearts, adieu.

  • David

    “So as the Thuggees of Marxist Morality demand the suttee of western civilisation..”
    So precise, prescient and with a beautiful economy of words ! Pure genius Mrs Proudie, pure genius.
    A future career in political satire surely awaits you, if you wish that is.
    All very much appreciated Mrs Proudie.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      David, you are a treasure too!

  • MichaelA

    How can a church as small as the Church of England is these days have a “Great” schism? Wouldn’t it be a Wee Schism, or a “Rather quaint schism”?

    I know there are 80+ million Anglicans in the world, but let’s face it, the vast majority of them are not in England… ;o)

    • Manfarang

      Is there or is there not a Free Church of England?

      • Opinions differ.

        • Manfarang

          Low and High Church no doubt.

        • MichaelA

          Well, there is no doubt that the Free Church of England exists. As layreader points out, it is very small. There are also many “free” churches, rather more than there are “free houses” these days.

      • ecclesiaman

        There is a denomination known as, “The Free Church of England”, we have one in the City where I live. I have not found out anything about it save that it is not affiliated to Mr Welby’s official state association.
        The Minister is a genuine Christian and he visits the Church I attend on occasions.

        • layreader

          We also have a local ‘Free Church of England’, congregation very small, and no minister for many years. The denomination can be traced back to the time of Whitefield and the Wesleys and, after all that time, are now down to about 15 part-time congregations. There are some advantages to being an established church.

          • MichaelA

            If one extrapolates the current trajectory of the established church, it appears to be on its way to a similar ending as the FCE. Take another century or so, but then so did the FCE

      • Pubcrawler

        In primis concessimus Deo et hac presenti carta nostra confirmavimus pro nobis et heredibus nostris in perpetuum quod anglicana ecclesia libera sit, et habeat omnia jura sua integra et libertates suas illesas.

        • Manfarang

          Though it be appointed, that all things shall be read and sung in the Church in the English Tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      How about a Modest Schism (if nobody minded)?

      • Sarky

        Hairline fracture???

      • dannybhoy

        Small group it’s a squism
        Big group squasm..

      • Chefofsinners

        Anyone for circumschism?

        • MichaelA

          ouch

    • Phil Young

      Hahaha! That made me laugh :). I reckon we’re all pretty much schismatic between individuals, let alone denoms, anyhow. Only Christ will unify. But can you imagine it – in heaven? ‘Oi..you, what you doing over this section of heaven..you’re RC…this is the United Reformed section. Oh, and that bit over there is High Church..over there, Low Church…no incense here thanks very much, it affects my asthma – ah, forgot, now I’m here I’ve been healed. Uh oh, here comes Jesus..perhaps we’d better look like we’re all quite friendly. Don’t be so silly…I know we’re all sheep, but there’s no pulling the wool over Jesus’ eyes…didn’t you know that yet? Yes, I know I got the cessation of gifts wrong, but you were also wrong about the End Times! Nothing whatsoever like anyone theorised or predicted. Just like the Pharisees got it wrong at the first coming…

  • Father David

    Ma’am, do you think it wise to question the longevity of the Royal wedding that has yet to take place? Do you not recall that the current Acting Bishop of London uttered similar sentiments about the Cambridges’ union lasting no longer than seven years and the then real Bishop of London suspended him from duty. I think you may well find a missive of censure from Nurisie in Monday morning’s post!

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Indeed I do recall, but Miss Markle comes from Hollywood…they do things differently there.

      As for ‘Nurisie’ we haven’t been introduced

      • Manfarang

        Hey she works in Toronto,

      • Father David

        Indeed so, as Mr. Harvey Weinstein has proved beyond all serious doubt.
        I’m sure that your husband, the Bishop, will fill you in on all that you need to know about Nursie, once they become better acquainted at the next meeting of the House of Bishops.

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          And I was nice to you last week…how the cleric turns…

          • Father David

            What have I done to upset you now?

          • dannybhoy

            Spoken like a true husband..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Just keeping you on your toes x

          • Father David

            I’m suitably chastened but not quite sure of the cause of my chastisement?

          • bluedog

            The year is yet young, but that post entitles you to the award of Dr*p of the Year. Granting a woman like Mrs Proudie a free option to berate you, seemingly ad infinitum, is surely taking masochism to dangerous lengths. If you must do this sort of thing, have you thought of direct communication by email, or possibly Whatsapp? It would spare us the agony of your impending public humiliation.

  • michaelkx

    ” Mr Blair is making noises again, advocating another referendum to reverse the previous result which he didn’t like.” what would keep him quiet would be a spell in the tower of London for lying to this Country. over his and Bush’s war.

    • Anton

      The man is so unpopular that he is doing a wonderful job for Brexit.

  • bluedog

    Heavens, Mrs P. It really does seem that you’re starting 2018 with a bang, so to speak.

    But it also seems necessary to remind you that the CoE owes its birth to a royal divorce. One therefore suggests that any proposed schism is probably doomed to fail unless soundly based on the institution of divorce. Despite the smutty innuendoes in The Crown, we cannot rely on Her Majesty to oblige, and her relationship with HRH the Prince Phillip is obviously rock solid.

    Which brings us to HRH the Prince of Wales and his consort, where the potential for a good divorce is yet to be realised. Does Charles still have a wandering eye? Is Camilla worried about possible rivals? These are the questions that must be addressed. As the prospects of Charles succeeding to the throne increase by the year, there must somewhere be a well-bred, intelligent and beautiful 40-something divorcee with an engaging manner who could be seated next to Charles at a dinner party to test his mettle. Let’s call her Anne, and lets assume she impresses as having the sort of star quality that Camilla lacks. If subsequently they were to ‘keep in touch’, nature might take its chemically enhanced course, you just never know. Gloucestershire is Gloucestershire after all. How would Camilla react if Charles were to blot his copy-book? Maybe she would be grateful for an excuse to call it quits. If Camilla did decide to divorce Charles it would be a scandal of the highest order, and his fitness to succeed Her Majesty would be seriously questioned. His hopes of becoming the Supreme Governor of the existing CoE would be dashed. Schism may then loom.

    But bear in mind Charles is a traditionalist and may well have ideas that align with your own. That being the case, one can scarcely imagine you objecting to Charles as the Supreme Governor of your splinter group, can one? Or can one?

    • Chefofsinners

      There is a lot in what you say.
      It’s been a while since we had a good royal divorce. It might be just the lift the nation needs.
      And congratulations on managing to use the words ‘Charles’ and ‘succeed’ in the same sentence.

      • bluedog

        It wasn’t easy, CoS, thanks for your support.

  • len

    There has always been a great schism between those who accept Christ’s Words and those who have a plan of their own devising for entering’ the sheepfold’.

    There are many religions and many different and diverse branches of Christianity(not all springing from the same root.)
    There is but one Way to enter the sheep fold and that Way is through Christ.
    John 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that enters not through the door into the sheepfold, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
    But not all men accept this.
    Some say’ their Church’ is a way to enter, others claim to have’ the right formula’ which when performed will gain entry, others claim to be ‘a good person’ which allows them the right, others claim if they kill in the name of their god he will be so please with their actions he will welcome them in (who would fall for that one?)
    Diversity your name is religion but Christ remains the Only Way but it seems that few will take Him at His Word.

  • Chris Bell

    Hardly anything left that could be divided……….is it possible to divide cant from hypocrisy or confusion from ignorance??

    • Chris Bell

      you are mistaken if you think this writer is RC or even CoE. But your reply does rather display the insecurity of a schismatic organisation.

  • Dolphinfish

    A schism in Protestantism? Such a thing could never happen.

    • Chris Bell

      What a bastardised word ‘protestantism’ is. How ugly and stupid. Indeed it always will be a tiny and insignificant shard of untruth.

      • magnolia

        Plenty of bastards in RC history, all too often the progeny of cardinals and Popes. Part of what was being protested against. Oh and those lovely things called indulgences. As the counter-reformation acknowledged and redressed some of the worst aspects, in protest and reaction against them, eventually, and learnt to welcome the Bible in native languages, your rant is highly illogical.

        • Dolphinfish

          Another who thinks he understands indulgences.

          • Anton

            Another who thinks he can defend the indefensible.

        • Chris Bell

          you are mistaken if you think this writer is RC or even CoE. But your reply does rather display the insecurity of a schismatic organisation

          • magnolia

            How is the Orthodox faith served by general misanthropy, especially given that it is very much not native to the UK nor readily part of our specific British cultural Christian heritage? I find it rather oddly inimical to the charismatic movement and wedded to a peculiar blend of extremely lengthy materialistic opulence with ethereal mystery. Fine for some but not part of our long tradition which started with our fine Celtic Saints.

          • Chris Bell

            Ah, if it only were Orthodox………..then, indeed, the Holy Mystery would be preserved within the Icon, within the Poetry, within the Silence ……….instead of within the foolish arguments and inanities of men….. and now women….and those that seem confused as to who they may be.

      • pobjoy

        What a bastardised word ‘protestantism’ is.

        It’s an invented, imagined word. There is no such thing as protestantism. There is protest, such as that made by millions of Catholics at the scandalous behaviour of priests, friars, monks, bishops and even popes, so-called; a chronic phenomenon, as we know. This despite apostolic command that those who represent the church must be ‘above reproach’.

        Otoh, Protestantism, capitalised, does exist, at least, as an idea. It is the belief that the Bible (as defined in the Anglican Articles, among other denominational statements of faith) is the final rule of faith and practice. In particular, Protestantism declares that personal saving faith is in the completed work of Christ on the cross, revelation of which is the chief purpose of the Bible.

        So there is no direct idea of protest, though of course Protestantism denies the existence of any necessary service of a priest, such service denying the completed work of Christ on the cross.

        Now if that is a bastardised notion, it’s one that began a long time ago, in the 14th century, when ignorance and superstition were norms, and survives still, in the modern world; if those claims are valid, it was the faith of the apostles. If it is true faith, it is the intervening centuries in which belief was illegitimate, and faith was indeed in ‘stories made up’, as the apostle foretold.

    • Anton

      It could never happen if the church held to its original nonhierarchical structure.

      • dannybhoy

        Now that I would agree with one hundred percent.

    • dannybhoy

      Unless the good Anglican Christian folk up and down our land are determined to emulate the old puppet churches of the Soviet Union era, I think it’s becoming more and more inevitable..

      • Dolphinfish

        The C of E was ALWAYS a puppet church. It was deliberately created for the purpose of serving the state. It happens that today, after nearly a century of cultural Marxism (the history of which is too long and involved to go into here, beginning with WWI, and progressing through Gramschi, the Frankfurt School, at al) the state has no need of puppet churches anymore. I doubt there’ll be a schism, as such. The evangelicals will just start doing jazz hands with the Baptists and the high Anglicans will take a swim in the Tiber.

  • getting new blood into the royal line

    How wonderful if this particular new blood were to yield royal babies who were black with flaming red hair. The resemblance to tiny coal fires would add greatly to the gaiety of the nations and their great-grandmother, who has nobly devoted her reign to making her kingdom less white and less Christian—‘diversity is indeed a strength and not a threat’—would positively piss herself laughing.

    • Anton

      She would have done well to read Mark 3:24 before saying that.

    • Manfarang

      African-American churches are thriving while America’s Christianity Is declining.

      • @ Manfarang—If you mean ‘while white America’s Christianity is declining’, that flows from whites’ declining share of the US population. President Putin notes a few seconds into this video that America’s ‘White Christian population is already outnumbered.’ He goes on to say that Russia needs to preserve its European culture in order ‘to remain a significant centre in the world’. Easy to see why the West’s ruling classes, intent on destroying their European cultures through mass immigration, would have us believe that Putin is a villain.

        • Manfarang

          America’s Christianity is declining on the east and west coast, its decline not related to changing demographics.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            One for him (above), and one for you:

            Why I Won’t Date Secular White Women

          • Manfarang

            Somewhat irrelevant as far as I am concerned.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Sorry, nothing personal intended. I was thinking of the cultural and demographic implications.

        • IrishNeanderthal
          • @ IrishNeanderthal—Thank you. Pace Patrina, no one has ever suggested that the imminent minority status of American whites signals the death of American Christianity. It signals only the transition of whites from hated majority to hated and powerless minority.

  • TropicalAnglican

    President Donald Trump has won the 2017 Pro-Life Person of the Year Malachi Award, which is awarded by the organisation Operation Rescue:

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/trumps-top-8-pro-life-victories-operation-rescue-pro-life-person-of-the-year-212545/

    There’s a nice pix of Pres Trump holding two babies … they don’t look too thrilled, but well, never mind …

  • dannybhoy

    I had to leave the previous topic in order to read your missive while it is still Satuday.
    I owe it to you..
    “we are likely to be led into the Pit of Hell (or Scunthorpe, as we here in Blighty call it).”
    Brilliant.
    “She’s a national treasure.”
    And on this blog so are you.

    • IrishNeanderthal

      Last sentence: unmatched parentheses: sentence does not compile.

      • dannybhoy

        Does not compile??

        • Pubcrawler

          Compu-nerd for ‘unclear punctuation, syntax ambiguous’.

          • dannybhoy

            Thanks. It was kinda sloppy.
            How’s you btw?

        • Chefofsinners

          I believe there is something called Preparation H which may alleviate your suffering.

  • carl jacobs

    Mrs Proudie

    How is Mr Slope coping with his sudden unemployment now that he is no longer chaplain? It must have come as a shock to him.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      He is beside himself…despite Old Testament prohibitions…

  • gadjodilo

    “Frau Merkin was…. too busy spying on her neighbours and dropping them in it with the secret police.” Joking aside, that’s a rather serious accusation, and something she’s always denied as far as I’m aware.

    • I would think it true. She’s from East Germany where the Stasi had people spying on their neighbours and reporting any dissent. They were really ruthless, Frau Merkin wouldn’t have been an exception. She obviously would deny it.

      • gadjodilo

        I only know about Romania, where 1 in 4 were reckoned to be informers. But that’s still 75% who weren’t and it was possible to avoid it if you were brave and/or clever. I think Frau Merkin should be considered innocent until proven guilty!

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          All politicians are guilty…its just the depth that differs….

          • Manfarang

            Jeremy Corbyn was granted access by communist East Germany to go behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s. Stasi expert Prof Anthony Glees said: “His and Diane Abbott’s files would have gone to the KGB and therefore they are at the disposal of the Kremlin and Vladimir Putin.

        • I know about Germany. Frau Merkin is German, we weren’t discussing Romania.

          • gadjodilo

            I know. And I’ve just done some research and it turns out that there’s a MUCH lower chance of her having been an informer: apparently the Stasi had about 200,000 informers at most in a population of 16,000,000, which is less than 1%. Or do you know something about her specifically?

          • Dolphinfish

            You don’t know that much. Merkel was born in Hamburg in then West Germany. She’s not “from East Germany”; her father was a Lutheran pastor sent there. I appreciate that, being English, you would assume Johnny and Joanna Foreigner would have no concept of right and wrong, but seriously, a Stasi informer?

          • I don’t assume all foreigners have no concept of right and wrong. My friends escaped in 1955 over the border in the night between the Soviets leaving and the East Germans taking over. the Stasi were brutal, not all informers were registered. People were encouraged to listen on their neighbours. The tentacles of the state were everywhere, they owned you. If they knew one family member dissented they would shoot the whole family.

          • Dolphinfish

            And you have evidence that Merkel was part of this?

          • Jon of GSG

            I seem to remember reading or hearing at some point that one in five East Germans was a Stasi informant. Unfortunately I can’t remember where now, but it was a reasonably authoritative source – maybe a documentary or something.

        • Ray Spring

          NO. She is Guilty. She was part of the system, not just a menial.

          • Manfarang

            When she applied to be a professor at an engineering school, the Stasi attempted to recruit her to spy on her colleagues. She refused, and the job went to someone else.

          • Ray Spring

            But she was still part of the system. In East Germany. In a political party, (I think). It is a bit like saying Tony Blair is innocent because he has not been convicted of anything.

          • Manfarang

            She joined the (communist) Free German Youth but pursued a scientific career.

          • gadjodilo

            You need to justify that. Everything I’ve read suggests that she was a dedicated scientist, merely accommodating herself to the system in order to pursue her career. The only known Stasi document about her says that in fact she was critical of the system (but had a love for Russia and It’s language, which my have been a help to her). I suggest people read the 2014 article about her in The New Yorker.

      • Manfarang

        It is all documented in the files.

  • not a machine

    Mrs Proudie I barely could put the hymn books back on the shelf “book of common purpose” however the schism idea had quite a few followers when papa Benedict offered the ordinal and what Anglican/Catholic bits could then went to reform and forward in faith. However there is still disdain and as we have seen we have some very undisciplined thoughts about what the Christian faith is in this emotionally policed world where a great deal of your life is given to commercial reciprocity and a backward sacrifice intent is made as God is made a button or a screen. Tell me can the giving of your day be merely an argument about Godless mental addiction and coercive requests for money from people who are losing their job? Through AI? Wow that’s going to be some eutopia why not get smily robot Bishop, save a fortune in rural parishes….

  • Tend to agree about the prospects for the royal wedding. It has lots against it: divorced parents; a culture of individualism, narcissism and divorce in society; previous marriage; serious social divide; cultural divide.

    Arguably, from a biblical perspective, it is forbidden. I wonder what the Queen (a believer, I think) thinks of this prohibition. God is merciful and it may survive all these obstacles. I hope so.

    • Manfarang

      “He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.”

  • IrishNeanderthal

    getting new blood into the royal line

    Some folks down below have poured disdain upon the idea. But I am thinking of the Spanish Hapsburgs. We had enough trouble with that lot in the person of Philip II marrying Mary Tudor and then sending the Armada, end then Charles I of England marrying the Elephant and Castle. But they were very much into inbreeding, thinking it would strengthen the line. Instead it caused a lot of trouble, for example in the person of Philip’s first son, Carlos of Asturias.

    Contrary to his portrayal by Verdi in his opera Don Carlos, the young man was sickly and mentally unstable.

    And one only has to think of the haemophilia which plagued the descendants of Queen Victoria.

    • dannybhoy

      “..From that moment on the heir to the throne was to be kept in confinement, dead to the world. It was forbidden to mention Don Carlos in conversation or even in prayers. To the Pope, Philip II explained in a private letter: “It has been God’s will that the Prince should have such great and numerous defects, partly mental, partly due to his physical condition, utterly lacking as he is in the qualifications necessary for ruling, I saw the grave risks which would arise were he to be given the succession.” To his Aunt Catherine, Queen of Portugal6, Philip wrote: “I have been compelled to place my son in strict confinement. [..] This determination has not been brought about by [..] any want of respect to me; nor is this treatment of him intended by way of chastisement – for that, however just the grounds of it, would have its time and its limit. [..] The remedy I propose is not one either of time or of experience, but is of the greatest moment [..] to satisfy my obligations to God and my people.”
      http://madmonarchs.guusbeltman.nl/madmonarchs/doncarlos/doncarlos_bio.htm

      Hmm.. God’s will eh?

  • gadjodilo

    On a lighter note, I’m probably not the first to notice that in the photo at the top of this post the bishop appears to be checking out Mrs Proudie’s ass. Call me A Vile Pervert but I rather appreciated that – we’re all only flesh and blood after all.

    • Dolphinfish

      That’s Henry from Drop the Dead Donkey, so I’m guessing that picture was taken at a vicars and tarts party.

      • gadjodilo

        Really? The newsreader guy? That seems likes long time ago now.

        • Dolphinfish

          I suspect Mrs Proudie’s rather flattering portrait is from a long time ago too.

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            You are on thin ice, sir….thin ice indeed!

    • Manfarang

      You can check our Mrs. P’s donkey while you are at it.

      • gadjodilo

        There’s a joke here somewhere about Neighbours and coverting, but I can’t quite remember how it goes!

    • dannybhoy

      Vile pervert.
      Happy?

      • gadjodilo

        It’s all relative isn’t it. One thing this unfortunate episode has taught me is that my nature is still sinful and my need for grace is still great, which I guess is a positive.

        • dannybhoy

          Ye-es,
          And true of all of us, however sanctified.
          But best not to share too much, otherwise instead of ‘gadjodilo’ you’ll morph into Aunt Sally..

    • Chefofsinners

      The more gentlemanly amongst us have previously observed that it is more likely to be Mrs Proudie’s ‘well turned ankle’ which has captured his attention.

      • gadjodilo

        Dear me yes! That’s what comes of reading too much Charles Bukowski and not enough Anthony Trollop. I’m no better than I ought to be.

      • IanCad

        No Chef, I think gadjodilo may be correct and the good bishop truly is staring in amazement at Mrs. P’s bustle. It should be noted that his distance from her rear would be consistent with the projection of the fakery, the more extreme of which far outdid the large cosmetically enhanced asses of today. Then as now tales of the fecundity of the ladies of deepest Africa with their natural steatagopia and the attraction it held for the local lads filtered into the western advanced nations with the result that the diminished cotton and whaling industries saw an advantage to their cause by the promotion of the ridiculous fashion.

        • dannybhoy

          It may say more about our multi talented Avi Barzel than gadjodilo..
          (Gasp!)
          He may have been led astray by Avi’s artistic eye…

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      There’s a bustle behind there…

    • layreader

      Clive Swift was getting into practice for his later role as the put-upon Richard Bucket. However, he never got to ogle very much, not even the delectable Josephine Tewson next door.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        His son is often presenting Chelsea Flower Show on tv…

        • layreader

          Joe doesn’t do a leer quite like his dad did, or even his Uncle David, who managed quite a lot of it on Drop the Dead Donkey.

      • gadjodilo

        I think it was Clive’s brother, David Swift, who played Henry in Drop the Dead Donkey. Both of them good actors, evidently. Josephine Tewson, oh yes…. I thought I was the only one 🙂

  • IanCad

    “Ah yes,” replied the Archdeacon, “The face that launched a thousand pillar boxes.”

    “Exactly,” I replied, “She should never wear red.”

    As professed Christians we are counseled to be kind and gentle and slow to speak. That said Mrs. P., you have caused me to stumble and wallow in delight over your delicious cattiness.
    I do believe, were he still with us, Oscar Wilde would be jealous.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      A little naughtiness now and then…

  • dannybhoy

    ot:
    dannybhoy • 8 minutes ago
    Could anyone please tell me how to adjust Discus settings, so that I can get back to where Discus emails only inform me when someone had responded to a post of mine?
    I am utterly befuddled!
    For whatever reason I now have to receive ALL postings; and whilst I respect all of you, it was better when I only had to deal with responses to my own posts.
    Over the last week I have tried adjusting email notifications and web notifications, but I either get nothing or everything.
    Help me please!

    • Just untick the “Subscribe” box. And remember to “Save”.

      • dannybhoy

        Din’t work Jack.
        I have a laptop with Windows 10, and an iPad.
        I have email settings I have web settings, and it’s all or nothing.
        Surely Discus has changed something. Never had these problems before..

      • dannybhoy

        I have uninstalled and re-installed Archbishop Cranmer.

        • Hope it didn’t hurt him. Ashes are a delicate substance.

          • dannybhoy

            A long pale bony finger wrote ‘Heretic!’ across my iPad screen before dissolving into dust..
            (I must make another financial offering)

    • Ray Sunshine

      I’m still only getting replies to my own comments, which is what I want. Nothing has changed. Did yours change suddenly, for no apparent reason, or did you instal a new gadget of some kind?

      • We’re talking Danny here. You expect him to remember?!

        • dannybhoy

          Lol!
          Quite right Jack..

      • dannybhoy

        Thanks for responding.
        Yes, I always used to get replies to my own comments and then it stopped -no replies at all.
        Went into settings. You have email notifications and web notifications.
        In email settings you can only get replies by ticking ‘receive emails’ then you tick ‘receive replies to your comments’. Leave the others unticked.
        But for some reason I get ALL comments, and NO replies to my comments!
        I’ve tried re-setting etc., but can’t sort it out. Contacted Discus waiting for reply.
        It is weird, because I’ve never had problems with Discus before.

    • CliveM

      Go into email notifications, scroll down to the bottom and untick subscribe.

  • Inspector General

    Good Day to you Mrs Proudie

    2018 is most likely to become the year of Transgender ‘rights’. Mrs May is keen to get going, once the objections by sane people are overcome.

    This farce in the making will surely end with ladies and girls preferring to change in the corridor rather than risk exposure to the hideousness that lies inside a woman’s changing room gone mad with equality…
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/12/28/government-delays-transgender-rights-review-amid-right-wing-press-backlash/

    • It could be the year of the sex robot, Inspector.
      Imported from China, Hong Kong, and Japan, these dolls come in all ages, shapes, sizes and sexes. Talking sex robots, powered by artificial intelligence, anatomically detailed for sexual gratification, are now here and include children.

      https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/congressman-fights-to-ban-sick-child-sex-dolls

      Man’s depravity knows no bounds.

      • carl jacobs

        Close-minded robophobe.

        • Royinsouthwest

          The “equalities” industry has not got around to “robophobia” yet. Perhaps you could get a job on a good salary with a very good pension if you offered your services to the government as an adviser on this subject. After all, I am sure there must be plenty of prejudice against sex robots that needs to be combatted. As far as I know the Guardian has not taken a line on this issue yet so you are ahead of the curve – just what Mrs. DisMay needs.

          • carl jacobs

            Paul of course was a repressed robosexual who associated robosexuality with temple prosititution. He was unaware of long-term faithful monogamous robosexual relationships. I can only imagine therefore what conclusions we should draw about Jack given his hostile and controlling reaction.

          • A glimpse of the future:

            Tasha: “Data. You are fully functional aren’t you?”
            Data: “Of course, but…”
            Tasha: “How fully?”
            Data: “In every way, of course. I am programmed in multiple techniques. A broad variety of pleasuring.”
            Tasha: “Oh, you jewel! That’s exactly what I hoped.”
            (Star Trek: The Next Generation, “The Naked Now”)

          • dannybhoy

            Jack’s a Cathobot.
            Listens to orders, then runs them through his Magesterium processor to see whether he’s allowed to obey them..

          • And you?
            A Prodobot, ruled by private judgement, subject to the whims of fashion and adrift in a sea of moral confusion with no reliable guide to lighten the way.

          • dannybhoy

            (weird metallic wail)
            Do not compute! Do not compute!
            Suspected virus attack by Romeonly fake wop software…

          • carl jacobs

            Heh.

            The Happy Jack Virus. Benign. Embeds itself in a weblog and systematically writes Magisterial pronouncements into all available memory. The Happy Jack Virus is easily identified and isolated but tends to be persistant. Install Wittenberg 1.0 or later version to achieve secure operation.

          • The Carl Jacobs virus – Muppet

            M meticulous providence
            U unconditional election
            P particular redemption
            P perseverance of the saints
            E effectual grace
            T total depravity

            The operational system becomes pre-determined and irresistible and will only do what its maker intends. Resistance is futile. It chooses you.

          • You need to reformat your hard drive and install Trent 1. This will safeguard you from all malicious attacks going forward.

          • dannybhoy

            My Nonconformist ‘Nanobot Seek and Destroy alien Doctrines’ (free) programme seems to be working alright tho’..

      • IrishNeanderthal

        Ecclesiastes 7:29
        לְבַד רְאֵה-זֶה מָצָאתִי, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה הָאֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם יָשָׁר; וְהֵמָּה בִקְשׁוּ, חִשְּׁבֹנוֹת רַבִּים.
        Behold, this only have I found, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.

        And for enjoyment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZppBL-5ac0

        Sort the comments “newest first” for an English translation.

        • dannybhoy

          Interesting that, because in modern Hebrew the word ‘חִשְּׁבֹנוֹת’ means calculations,
          and ‘להמציא’ (verb) means ‘to invent’ – המצאות (inventions).

          • IrishNeanderthal

            As far as I know, there is no connection.

            The band is from Vasto, a town and comune on the Adriatic coast of the Province of Chieti in southern Abruzzo, Italy, and a lot of their stuff is in the local lingo, rather than standard Italian.

            A lot of their stuff pokes fun at social trends. However, they sometimes get gently political, as in this one VOTATE A ZI’ NICOLA.

            The platform is “Italy is a huge magna-magna (eat-eat in southern Italian, referring to politicians gobbling up the country, see Psalm 14:4) so vote for a donkey instead.” Zì Nicola (Uncle Nicholas) is the local nickname for a donkey.

          • Ray Sunshine

            15 הֵם מַרְאִים שֶׁפֹּעַל הַתּוֹרָה כָּתוּב בְּלִבָּם, שֶׁכֵּן מַצְפּוּנָם מֵעִיד בָּהֶם וּמַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיהֶם מְחַיְּבוֹת אוֹ מְזַכּוֹת אוֹתָם
            http://www.kirjasilta.net/hadash/Rom.2.html

          • dannybhoy

            and their thoughts
            In modern Hebrew “and their calculations…”

      • Royinsouthwest

        How many years will it be before sex robots are discussed in the Church of England Synod? After all, there are important theological issues involved:

        1. Is it still adultery if one partner is a robot?

        2. Are sex robots good for a marriage by freeing a wife from unwanted libidinous attention from her husband?

        3. Should adulterous robots be stoned?

        All right, I made up the third point. I cannot imagine the CoE approving of stoning.

        • “I cannot imagine the CoE approving of stoning.”
          Umm … why not? The Lib-Dems want to make it legal.

        • Anton

          Convert the robot?

        • How many years before a robot becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury?

          • Anton

            Are we allowed negative numbers in the answer?

          • carl jacobs

            The Three Laws of Anglicanism:

            1. A bishop may not injure the Church of England or, through inaction, allow the Church of England to come to harm.

            2. A bishop must obey the Canon Laws given it by the Church of England except where such Canon Laws would conflict with the First Law.

            3. A bishop must protect his own diocesan budget as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

          • dannybhoy

            As opposed to a hologram?

      • Inspector General

        Sex dolls have featured on Pink News before, Jack, if an Inspector recalls. No surprise there as deviant sexuality draws these people like a magnet.

        As it stands, child sex dolls are impounded by customs. For
        this we owe our sincere gratitude to militant buggery. It goes without saying
        that this action by HM Government would only be possible with their tacit
        approval. Otherwise the contrary wish of ‘those who must be obeyed’ would
        surely win through. Something to do with equality they say.

        The whole issue of paedophilia and pederasty makes for an
        unhappy embarrassment on said site, in this Inspector’s opinion. There is an
        unwritten rule that commentators are banned from mentioning these subjectsunless they can squeeze ‘Catholic priest’ into the sentence. They have no problem in doing that. At which point the rest of the jackals descend and there be a chorus of mocking derision in agreement.

    • Terry Mushroom

      I wanted to have Man Flu but evidently that’s not a choice any more.

      However Trans Flu does sound rather serious

      • Royinsouthwest

        Gender flu – id is the worst kind.

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      Good evening dear Inspector. I fear I have no great hopes for 2018, though some brave souls are predicting a ‘turning of the tide’ on progressive claptrap…I am less confident. On the political disaster scale 1 to 10 I fear Mrs. May is currently scoring 9.5, and who knows what she will concede next in her insane drive to be ‘with it.’

      • Inspector General

        Mrs May is very much part of the problem, not the solution, dear thing…

    • dannybhoy

      We have to get these policies changed Inspector before it gets really out of hand.

    • Lucius

      The chink in the armor of modern liberal victim-identity politics is when one “victim” group (in this case women) squares off against another “victim” group (in this case trans-women). Absent the common hatred of straight, white, unapologetic males, this mere alliance of convenience among victim groups falls apart and quickly.

  • carl jacobs

    I wouldn’t know. Being a comedic genius means never having to encounter such a barrier. What is that emoji you inserted?

  • dannybhoy

    You might be able to get treatment Jack..

    • Need a transister …..

      • dannybhoy

        I’ll contact Alexa..

      • carl jacobs

        The proper English spelling is “Transistor.” Anyways. A blown transistor explains alot. Now we can understand Jack’s resistance to simple logic. A quick fix and Jack will be reading Luther in no time.

        • “Transister” was the joke, Carl.
          RoboJack cannot have brothers.

          • carl jacobs

            I briefly considered that possibility, but it didn’t fit with DB’s assertion that you could get treatment. So the balance of probabilities would indicate that you just didn’t know how to spell the word.

          • No, Carl. You missed the joke. It did not compute.

          • carl jacobs

            Of course it didn’t “compute”. There was no logical connection between the setup and the punchline.

          • Did you suffer a robot logic paradox? Careful you don’t loop eternally trying to find a solution or experience a melt down.

          • dannybhoy

            My admittedly unkind retort was based on Jack’s last sentence/transmission..
            “Let’s face it, it’s a barrier for some humans too. “

          • dannybhoy

            Carl’s processor needs more ram..

  • Terry Mushroom

    Apropos of nothing in particular. Our parish priest thanked our Roman Catholic parish in our newsletter today for Christmas gifts, “I’m very grateful for the many warm wishes and gifts I was given by parishioners. They included nine bottles of red wine, 10 bottles of ale, seven bottles of bourbon whisky and one very thoughtful bottle of aspirin were all gratefully received.”

    Which poses the question: what Christmas gift should one buy for an abstemious celibate of simple life?

    • dannybhoy

      Book of crosswords and puzzles and knitted toilet seat warmer..

    • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

      A packet of ryvita, the collected speeches of George Carey and two pairs of sturdy underpants.

    • dannybhoy

      Clarify: are we talking about you or an acquaintance or somebody you respect but don’t necessarily like?

    • Anton

      A partridge in a pear tree?

    • A hot water bottle.

    • Ray Sunshine

      Abstemious is difficult. A bottle of cognac, perhaps? You could tell him it’s good for his digestion.

    • Manfarang

      Easy, a bottle of Norfolk Punch
      https://www.norfolkpunch.com/

    • Anton

      A book, surely.

  • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

    They already have – have you not seen Sandi Toxic?

    • Toxic rather proves the point that humour is beyond machines.

  • not a machine

    Epiphany is referred to as the indwelling of God’s light and perhaps gives some thought about what the soul may look like. As people trying to follow and understand Christ and God we only seem, when we reach some levels of understanding to come away with further pilgrimage to do, further mystery to try and understand. In this age where it seems you can have anything you can think of, or purchase something you haven’t thought of, the notion of a mystery is something of an insult, perhaps even more of an insult when it’s generally agreed that with any amount of physical wealth, you cannot purchase it or indeed own it in any quantity more than you understand it. To understand it requires work but it seems it is always possible if your approach or path is good or true. It also seems if you do not or cannot find good or true paths, you work to things that keep this image and understanding from you.
    For sometime when I didn’t exactly have a good faith, I was obsessed with how it is so many differing physical things, were composed of what was the basic standard model of electrons, protons and neutrons, what started out as a confident seeking of a purely scientific explanation, as my faith seemed so inferior to the great places intellectual science could go, gets to certain levels of enquiry and even the big science runs out of answers and certainty. My favourite one at the moment is what the universe is expanding into, politely called the great unknown, which must be a volume of no or less mass than our universe.
    At another time of my life I was at a baptist church and family service and a woman was holding a baby and the sermon was one on some bit of the gospel, about the second time Jesus was named, the baby let out a noticeable baby chortle, by the time the baby had give its right on que chortle, to Jesus name being said, I was half wondering what was occurring, how could it be I having some faculty of learning to absorb the sermon was in the same time as a baby who seemed to be recieving something for free without even being able to read a Bible and it delighted the baby in a way I did not understand. The Internet was not in use at the time of that sermon, the language of it and it’s use, had not entered into common terms and language we see today.
    For myself as a pre mobile phone and Internet child as I often hear grandparents reflecting, this age seems as different as a photograph of a sail ship unloading its cargo by hand or indeed stuck and tilted on its side on the low tide.
    Many years have passed but I havent forgot that baby chortling away, when Jesus name was spoken and me sat all straight faced, looking for more knowledge,and pondering why that baby seemed so full of a sort of delight in the same service where I was discerning or trying to discern a thoughtful sermon.
    No doubt many other experiences are privately held in our own pilgrimages, some perhaps not in good times either, when it cannot be reasoned if you were to have the unbelief of a world where your minds alpha and omega is without Jesus and God.
    (note to your grace I am hoping my personal reflection will help the faith even though I may be off post topic, as I attempt a definition)

    • dannybhoy

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts again. I think you’re saying that just as there are mysteries to life and the composition of things, so there are mysteries to faith? Not sure I understood the significance of the baby, unless it was like significant in your own pilgrimage..

      Guy spoke on Sunday morning at our Methodist chapel (wife went to parish church). He was saying that we’re all on a journey from the moment we’re born, and it’s very much our journey, peculiar and special to us. We share many points of similarity with others as we go, but still deep inside us it is a solitary journey that we try to make sense of as we go along.

      What we all have in common though is the end of the journey, and for us Christians it’s a putting off of this mortal body and in some way at some point we receive a new body, like our Lord’s body.
      Another aspect of ending our journey is that again, as Christians we will come face to face with our Lord Jesus and we will give to Him an account of all that we did whilst in this world. A scary and awesome thought; soming face to face with Him who died on the Cross for us: Him who is the Word..
      “15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” Colossians 1.

      • magnolia

        I think he was saying that as he strained (as a modernist) to understand with his reason and logic, the baby (unknowingly pre-modernist!?) seemed to become -mysteriouly to him- delighted in the Name of Jesus through channels different from (beyond/ above?) reason, maybe a soul-feeling of goodness.

      • not a machine

        Thank you dannybhoy, I have a great deal of agreement with what you say, using the term journey helps those of us with our endeavour and the changing seasons. The post is also some points I hope to make about why the Christian faith is losing out as we have/are forgetting not only human understanding but the creation which is God’s vessel in which we exist. In short I hope to argue that we are no longer processing emotions to God’s design to understand Jesus purpose. I also believe that this way of living will make Jesus small because he has no tech. Its a psychological supreme age and we may all ponder if that is the route of wisdom by the time we understand just how much of our lives just becomes data.