FATHER FRANK’S RANTS
Rant Number 307 12 June 2008
Angels and Demons
I know your works; you are neither cold not hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-17
Burnt alive at the stake. A lot I would not wish on my bitterest enemy. Nor would I like to suffer it myself. Yet a friend warned me about risking going the way of a prophet Abinadi. Big in the Book of Mormons. God sent him with a stern warning to a certain king Noah and his worthless clergy. Noah wasn’t amused and Abinadi was martyred by fire. Yak! Not a happy ending.
A brief letter of mine, published abridged in yesterday’s Times, started it. Very rude to top Anglican panjandrums like the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. I quoted the passage from Revelation about the lukewarm ending up vomited out. I believe they richly deserve it, the way they are conspiring to lead this great and prestigious English Church into the abyss. Consistently, they have followed and implemented all the cultural trends of secularism in the church. Their tepidness is actually lethal. Neither John Sentamu’s well-publicised parachuting stunts nor Rowan Williams’ learned ambiguities can disguise the truth. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, these are the hollow men. The stuffed men. They are shapes without form, shades without colour, paralysed forces, gestures without motion. Behind York’s phoney fury and Canterbury’s donnish sounds there is nothing and I said so.
York especially takes the biscuit. Yesterday in the House of Lords he spoke against holding a referendum on the new EU treaty, a measure that will further minimise Britain’s independence. Yet, the media love his capers – from doffing his clerical collar before the TV cameras, vowing never to wear it again till Bobby Mugabe is dethroned, to playing pseudo-hermit in a tent for a short while in Yorkminster. A shrewd observer will note how Sentamu’s exercises have nothing of the truly prophetic. How could they? He owes his job to the Prime Minister. A political placeman, put there to play the clown. It was said that Stalin would appoint as Orthodox Patriarch of All Russias anyone of his secret police stooges. I see the similarities.
Some e-mails from good Anglican people have cheered me on but today the phone rang a few times. A silky, parsonical voice whispered the English equivalent of ‘stai attento’ and then rang off. The old mafia warning: ‘be careful’. Ye gods! A joke? I hope so. Would not have imagined even our scheming prelates had not gone as far as that, yet. But, should the poor priest’s lifeless body be discovered in his palatial mansion ‘suicided’, don’t believe a word of it, please. When I go out, it will be with a bang, not a whimper, geddit?
Sheer paranoia, you’ll think. Perhaps. Fr Frank, a suitable case for treatment! Didn’t another bishop once suggest I was ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know?’ That in reference to my reckless pro-Islamic activities. Still, just because I am paranoid it does not mean they are not out to get me. And the Church of England has occasionally shown its dark side. Years ago the suicide of Canon Gareth Bennett stunned the establishment. The distinguished historian had written an explosive preface to Crockford’s, the ecclesiastical directory. Accusing the then Archbishop Runcie of easing his pet liberal mafia into the key posts in the church. As the media broke the story, the hounded canon was found dead in his flat, his poisoned cat by his side. Tongues wagged but nothing came of it. Next scandal involved the secretary of the Anglican parliament, the pestilent General Synod, the most deleterious and anti-Christian institution since the days of the Diocletian persecution. The Revd Sir Derek Pattinson. A rather intriguing chap, I can vouchsafe, as I knew him personally. Respectable in public and outrageous in private. A uranist, a freemason and a plotter worthy of a Byzantine court. He was a veritable eminence grise to the Archbishop of Canterbury but had to resign because of the Bennett affair. More salacious, even murderous scandals followed. Can’t cast the first stone – there but for the grace of God go I. However, I do not approve of what a priest friend with a little vizietto related to me. About the advice Sir Derek had given him: ‘Whatever you do, never forget the eleventh commandment: don’t get caught’. I wonder what Jesus would have made of that.
The dark side, however, must be balanced with the luminous side. There have been, and they still are many godly and saintly people in the church. They are like angels. The wheat mingles with the tares. Bishop John Hughes, my former Father in Christ, was one. His spiteful and petty enemies broke his heart and he died prematurely. Sister Benedicta Ward, a contemplative nun and an Oxford scholar, just had to look at you to make you feel you were gazing into Heaven. Canon David Jackson, formerly Rector of Holy Trinity, Clapham, is the closest to a real saint I have ever met in my life. He never got preferred to anything, of course. (It figures.) And then there are the numberless good and faithful servants, the fine Christian people up and down the land, labouring in parishes. They are angels, too. Some have been disheartened and misled by the relentless infidel propaganda and by the bad shepherds but many do hold out. They trust in Christ’s sure promise that the gates of hell will not prevail against his church.
As to the unfortunate prophet Abinadi. The Book of Mormons avers that, yes, he suffered an atrocious death. Because he had prophesied to the wicked ruler, preached atonement, proclaimed divine justice and foretold redemption and resurrection. Yet Abinadi’s sacrifice was not in vain, as he brought about the conversion of a key figure called Alma. My friend Richard tells me that Alma later converted the heathenish people to Christianity and led them out of bondage.
Any Alma out there?
Revd Frank Julian Gelli