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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Heretic unfrocked

The parishioners are careful
Not to gloat.

At long last
They have got rid
Of their parish priest.

He is a heretic.
Ho ho.

English Churchianity,
Through due process of law,
Has finally and officially
Pronounced him to be a heretic.

He doesn't believe
In the virgin birth.
He doesn't believe
In the pneumatic resurrection.
He doesn't believe
In the evil of other religions.

He has been known
To speak to homosexuals.

He doesn't preach the full gospel,
Including the unpasteurised
Wholegrain
Naughty bits.

He is honest
In an unholy way.
He will not give lip-service
To their prepubertal
Salvific superstitions,
Even though they are
Older than him.

And worst of all,
He doesn't believe
In the existence of heresy.
He says: "If there is no such thing
As orthodoxy,
How can there be such a thing
As heresy?"

And his wife
Is known to meditate.
And do yoga.
And take coffee
With persons of neopagan persuasion.

He had to go.
His frock had to be taken off.

He used to frock around the clock
At all hours
And in all weathers
For the benefit of the parishioners,
Many of them old, infirm and frightened.
But now they have told him to frock off.
And he has.

And the parish has returned
To the God-given certainties
Of medieval piety.
The whipping post has been dusted down.

It doesn't matter
That they are now without a priest.
It doesn't matter
That there is now no-one in the parish
Who knows more about prayer than them.
It doesn't matter
That no priest will ever want
To come near their parish again.

What does matter
Is that the baubles of the liberal agenda
Have been decisively rejected.
What does matter
Is that the ancient rule of God
Has been re-established.
It is the priesthood of all believers now.

The Rectory stands empty:
Its windows like the eye sockets
Of yesterday's skull.

The parishioners are careful
Not to gloat.

At long last
They have got rid

Of their parish priest.


................................................


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