From Deacon Andrewes:

Fate of the Communion Now on eBay

I have been asked to call attention to the following listing on eBay, which is not, as one might infer from this post title, a remaindered work from the oeuvre of Dr. Ephraim Radner:

Travel for the Archbishop of Canterbury to the USA

See American bishops in their native habitat!

The bishops of the American Episcopal Church have asked Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to make an unprecedented and long-delayed visit to them in North America to discuss the Current Unpleasantness pre-occupying the Anglican Communion. The Americans assure ++Cantuar that their Christian hospitality will match that of the various fissiparous bishops he has broken bread with on multiple continents. So that the plate and pledge of parishes is not unnecessarily depleted, elements within TEC inclined toward reconciliation or at least a good face-to-face row are offering a business class ticket to any USA destination of the archbishop's choosing, along with lodging in a Courtyard by Marriott (tm) or better accommodation within strolling distance of the agreed-upon meeting place. A team of Th.D translators will be on hand to couch ++Cantuar's musings in terms accessible to the colonials. Tea and biscuits to be provided by the ECW.

All are invited to bid on this communion-saving encounter.


eBayers ask questions:

[W]ill accommodations be provided for the Nigerian assistants that will accompany the archbishop? Also, is this an "all inclusive package" like certain Mexican resorts or will the archbishop be required to cover additional expenses (such as his bar tab, greens fees, gratuities, transportation to and from the airport, & etc.)? Finally, are optional sight-seeing activities available for the archbishop?

Brother Causticus (I hope it gets better soon) may I ask is this a one-way ticket, or will the AB be expected to return to C, as it may have a bearing on my bidding? Also, is it possible to combine other items to ship with this one? Thanking you in anticipation...

BC assures eBayers that, while details of arrangements are still lacking precision, all things will be done decently and in order. The current president of the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of BC's home parish St. Euphemesius-By-The-Freeway has specifically requested that BC note a range of entertainments are being devised even now, but there will not, she emphasizes, be a reprise of the "Birettas and Boilermakers" themed soiree of the last ABC visit.

Brother Causticus (love it!): This morning, when I entered "archbishop of Canterbury" in the ebay search field, I got two items -- one on a picture of ++Fisher, and the other to this travel item. Now, this item is no longer being listed, although I see that it's still active. Has ebay smelled a rat? Curious minds want to know...

BC assures [you] that eBay -- like the rest of the world -- would scarcely notice any shenanigans by Anglicans and expects this listing to continue to completion.

I thought Stephen Bates warned us: he only flies 1st Class.

BC has noted the Stephen Bates article, but, in this time of crisis, we all must sacrifice: gays and lesbians must forgo their appointed place in the life and worship of the Church and the ABC must travel business class.

I think your little satire is entirely reprehensible. Whether you are liberal or conservative on the current issues of TEC, you ought to learn some respect, and perhaps some humility as well. If you were carrying his load, would you want to be diminished, as you have diminished him?

Perhaps one might consider whom the target of satire might actually be -- could it perhaps also be the American bishops who, rather smugly in BC's estimation, offered to pay all expenses for the ABC's travel? Perhaps it could. BC does try to walk a fine line between a light touch and mean-spiritedness. If BC has failed in your estimation, simply know that he prays fervently and frequently for all in God's church and especially those burdened with leadership in these difficult times

In that vein, BC thanks the eBayers who have evinced a concern about an individual with a spine condition traveling a great distance, but finds such remarks cut a little closer to the bone, so to speak, than is entirely necessary and will keep these communications private.

Must agree with previous question and ask again: "What is gained by the satire offered?" And yes, I did immediately see it as such. No matter which side it was directed towards, charity demands civility in this issue. Or do you not care to hold our Church together?

It is quite possible that a chuckle or two will aid in holding our Church together as much or more as serious conversations. Perhaps there is a place for both and more?