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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Oh My, My, My! That Would Never Do!

First among the benefits of embracing the full Catholic faith are, of course, the undisputed sacraments; of that there is, well, no disputing. There are, however, numerous secondary and tertiary benefits and probably foremost among the latter is, for this former Episcopalian at least, no longer feeling the slightest compulsion to slog through the mollycoddling hand-wringing screeds from the pen of the Rev'd Dr. Ephraim Radner, of the Anglican Communion Institute, on the troubles tearing apart the Episcopal Church.

Dr. Radner has for years affirmed in numerous, seemingly interminable, essays the same message: while the Episcopal Church is in a deplorable state (oh dear, dear, dear, my, my!), straying further and further (oh, dear, dear, dear!) from Christianity (oh my!), we mustn't do anything rash (oh no, no, no, my stars!) like jump off this sinking ship (oh dear no, no, no, don't even rock the boat!) and seek out Christian alternatives to an institution rotten to the core (oh dear, dear, dear, no, no, no, heaven forefend!).

Radner comes across, in other words, as the clerical equivalent of the character played by the venerable Edward Everett Horton in umpteen movies, most notably the Astaire-Rogers musicals: the fussy, servile and hesitant nervous-Nellie who instinctively recoils at any suggestion of bold action. Horton was merely a comic actor, albeit a fine one, playing a part. Dr. Radner, alas, serves as the unfortunate exemplar of myriad frightened Episcopalians, clerical and lay, who remain in that apostate organization; appalled at what it has become yet too terrified to flee it, unmindful, apparently, of the possible risk to their souls. Wise up.

Thanks to the MCJ.



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