THE BASTARDS! CONTINUED

In English employment law we have this thing called "constructive dismissal." It applies when an employer forces an employee out of his job using any form of unfair pressure and completely ignoring the customary dismissal process. It is illegal.

I am hereby inventing the ecclesiastical equivalent and claim intellectual property rights to it.

CONSTRUCTIVE DEFROCKING: When a bishop forces a priest, deacon or junior bishop out of his or her employment and making it impossible for that clergyperson to get a job elsewhere in the church, without even going through the pantomime of the self-invented, corrupt and very much wanting dismissal procedures of the church. It should be illegal but, as the church is exempt from having to abide by even the most uncontroversial and universally agreed upon moral standards of the secular workplace they get away with it and the offending bishops happily carry on with their own working lives until they reach the age when they can retire and live off their episcopally inflated pensions.

Thank God for hell. To be honest, I sometimes think its existence is the only thing that stops me from committing murder.

Comments

THE BASTARDS! CONTINUED — 24 Comments

  1. If the bridges to the church are well burned, then you can do what you please and have the Eucharist with a few friends. Why not? Once you are validly ordained, you are ordained for life. You may not have permissions from a bishop, but you are still a priest.

  2. The Order of Service for the Unfrocking of a Naughty Vicar
    Rite One
    In this service, it is custom that the ordinary bishop (or his/her representative) should
    process into the worship space (cathedral, church, vicarage drawing room) wearing a black
    academic gown and a tea cosy on his/her head.
    Bishop: We are gathered here today in order to defrock a priest, it is a serious affair
    and should not be taken lightly. Mrs Doyle you may take the tea cosy back to the
    kitchen.
    All: Thank you
    Bishop: Oh Lord, spare thy unworthy servant from the pits of hell
    All: But don’t make things too comfortable for him/her
    Bishop: Lord make this unfrocking valid
    All: Because Rome didn’t think the frocking was valid in the first place
    Bishop: Bring up the naughty vicar
    All: Oh naughty vicar!
    The naughty vicar is brought up to the Bishop where he/she must put his finger in his/her
    mouth and make a cheeky pop.
    Vicar: Oh I am so naughty!
    Bishop: Indeed you are, so in the name of Almighty God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit,
    Panorama and UFOs I defrock you from being a vicar
    The Bishop strips the Vicar of all his/her robes so he/she is no longer a vicar, he then takes
    his/her clerical collar and reattaches it to the fairy liquid bottle it whence came from.
    The newly made layman/woman turns around and faces the congregation and says
    Layman/woman: It’s a bit cold here
    All: Yes, you even have goosepimples
    Layman/women: I’m going home
    All: Thanks be to God.
    Common Worship Creator playset is available from all good Church House stockists.

    ps I am not a troll and have posted 3 times in the last year

  3. OK, Jonathan is likely to absolutely kill me for this, but I did find that defrocking rite rather giggleworthy. It reminds me of the Chocolate Ritual, which I’ve posted here.

    But I’m running short on sleep today and everything is giggleworthy to me. Sleep deprivation will do that to you.

  4. Just wondering when they ‘De-frock’ a women priest, does a woman bishop have to be present.

    It could be quite tricky for the male bishop, removing a ladies frock? Could lead to all sorts of complications and police action.

  5. It’s okay, anon. Church of England bishops are exempt from all known laws and regulations under the ancient statute of “But God Says.”

  6. Ah, the “But God says…” sanction no doubt shares some heritage with the “Ways and Means Act” under which many police officers of earlier generations deprived people of their liberty, hoping that they would find a suitable offence in Calver’s handy tome (of summons and charges) to justify said incarceration…

  7. “…he then takes
    his/her clerical collar and reattaches it to the fairy liquid bottle it whence came from.”

    Anonymous, this is funny!!!

    (For all the Americans here, “Fairy Liquid” is a dishwashing detergent that comes in a mostly white plastic bottle.)

  8. Anonymous, come out, come out, wherever you are. Your service for defrocking is excellently hilarious.

    My WV is “talorka”. Surely, the defrocked priest is talorka, which is similar in meaning to anathema.

  9. Surely amongst your followers there are enough people of influence… synod members, rural deans, archdeacons, even the (very) odd Bishop, willing to put in a good word? I hate to think that it is internet notoriety that is stifling your ministry. But the alternative, that their are priests galore whom we don’t know, whose vocation is similarly and wantonly stomped on, is even worse.

  10. No, Graham, there are not. Not even those priests I love and would sacrifice my life for. Every British priest I have ever come across is too scared to sacrifice their own career for another priest no matter how much pain that other priest is suffering. I have had correspondence from British bishops who have stated that they think what has happened to me is despicable and have openly admitted that they dare not say that in public for fear of reprisals that would effect their livelihood for the worse. The only clergyman I have any respect for in British Anglicanism is Father Kelvin at Glasgow Cathedral who refuses to deny his own sexuality and the worth of gay people even when his bishops, especially the last one, threaten him. This has resulted, I believe, in his blackballing from the Scottish episcopacy and he will have known all along that this would be the result of his honesty and integrity. That is Christlike.

  11. No, Graham, there are not.

    Not one? That is so very sad.

    I’d be tempted to say to the bishops who offer words of sympathy, “Save your words until they can be followed by actions.”

    The priests probably can’t do much for you anyway.

  12. Of course, they can, Mimi. I’m a socialist, remember. I know how powerful collective action can be. Anyway, so what? If a priest can’t be expected and allowed to put integrity before everything else then the church has no right to call Jesus its Lord.

  13. Yes, there is collective action, but it would have to be on a rather vast scale to be at all effective.

    I’ve suggested a grand coming-out day for clergy who are gay and closeted, with sympathetic straight clergy supporting them. “So OK, bishops, here we all are. What will you do about us?”

    Of course, it’s easy for me to stake out my position, because I risk nothing.

  14. I don’t know. If it went pear shaped we could all blame you and you would become the pariah of progressive Anglicanism and lose all your gay friends.

  15. “Every British priest I have ever come across is too scared to sacrifice their own career for another priest no matter how much pain that other priest is suffering. I have had correspondence from British bishops who have stated that they think what has happened to me is despicable and have openly admitted that they dare not say that in public for fear of reprisals that would effect their livelihood for the worse.”

    That is true in this country (the U.S.) as well. At least it is in the diocese in which I currently reside.