30 September 2016

I am NOT, NOT, NOT making this up!

After my frivolous account of modern Anglican wedding rites, you might easily think I am making this next bit up.

I'm not.

A day or three ago, some dear friends, devout Anglicans, whom we got to know well when we were in our Devon parishes, came to see us, and most generously took us to have a look around Blenheim Palace together. At the end of the tour is the Chapel. People often make jokes about the fact that everything else in the Chapel is dwarfed by the ginormous Kentissimo monument to the First Duke (alias Johnny Churchill). Doesn't worry me. Rysbrack carved it, and I like the baroque. And Sir Thomas Jackson, who designed so very much of Oxford in his 'iconic' Jacobethan style, including my own college, worked intelligently there.

But we didn't have a look around; because our friends very properly shepherded us out in horror. We discussed whether to demand our entrance money back.

There, in the sanctuary, concealing the altar, was a (temporary?) display the main feature of which appeared, to our fleeting glances before we fled, to be a large white marble statue of the back of a naked woman.

It is fair to assume that the new Bishop of Oxford, a former S Ebbesite Evangelical, has granted faculties for this. And the General Synod, which is qualified to pronounce what Anglican doctrine is without there being any possibility of appeal, must have altered the beginning of the Anglican Creed to Credo in anum Deum. And, of course, appropriately felicitous liturgical formulae will be in the process of being drafted.

I seem to recall ... or am I imagining it ... that, according to Pausanias, Praxiteles' first Greek statue of Aphrodite gumna, at Cnidos, was housed in a tholos and that proctophiliacs used to bribe the Verger to let them peep in at the back. Perhaps such proctoscopy will be the new Anglican way of fund-raising. The tax levied from parishes, which used to be called the quota and is now renamed the share, will have its name further abbreviated to the nomisma procticon.

But Papists, believe me, are in no position to mock. Whatever the Anglicans do today, the blessedly eternal Spirit of Vatican II will ineluctably prescribe tomorrow. Roll on, Pope Francis III! Clothed or unclothed!


Banshee said...

Upon consulting the webpage, I find that the complaints department seems to have an email address. It is: customerservice @ blenheimpalace.com. There are also various business team emails. Presumably one should also mail the Duke of Marlborough and the bishop in question. Also the newspapers. Make a big stink, and maybe the sacrilege will be removed.

The rear end seems to be part of a big art event called "Michelangelo Pistoletto at Blenheim Palace" which started September 15 and will run until December 31. So yes, giant heinies in the chapel for Advent and Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Well they are late to the party, Father. In my days as a United Methodist, I remember being told that at a church somewhere an idol to the goddess Sophia was installed up front fenced off as-it-were by the communion rail {yeah, we in the UMC still had communion rails after the post-Vatican 2 "In the Spirit of John Calvinites" in the Catholic Church demolished ours. IIRC, I was told the goddess, was supposed to fix the congregations thoughts on "Wisdom", naturally.

You have, yet again, nailed it, tho. The Anglicans are to the heretics what California is to the leftists in the USA; the first rock of the avalanche to fall down the mountain. heretics

I'll bet you a liter of Löwenbräu and a hundred old-school Marks the first praiser of this latest God-rejecting move will be that homo-supporter and past editor of the CCC and bestie of Pope Francis Cardinal Schonborn who yes, doesn't even deserve an umlaut.

Oliver Nicholson said...

Would a faculty be required in a private chapel ? Just asking

manocan said...

The Bishop of Oxford may well have no knowledge of this. The reason for this maybe weird or obscure, but it would be interesting to know why the statue was there.

Gillineau said...

I believe it's Venus of the Rags by Michelangelo Pistoletto, a contemporary assembler of stuff towards a challenge. He's 83 and really rather terribly radical and naughty, if perhaps trying a bit too hard.