It’s that time of year again when tired internet hacks try to capitalise on the symbolism of the Summer Solstice in a pathetic attempt to drive traffic to their website. But enough about me, and let’s have a good chortle at what journalists around the web have been down to recently.
Your humble blogmaster’s interest was briefly awakened this morning when I saw a news report saying that the Church of England is trying to create its own Pagan Church. The otherwise sensible Daily Telegraph even went as far as saying:
The new move could see famous druids such as druid leader Arthur Pendragon move to Anglicanism.
This reminds me of a sketch from Not The Nine O’Clock News some thirty years ago, in which the premise was that the Church of England was so desperate for members that it was now accepting practising Satanists into its ranks. Cue trendy vicars trying to justify why this was a sensible proposition.
As always, the truth is far more boring. Since the news report first came out, the Church Mission Service – the body alleged to be wanting to create this Pagan CofE church – has issued a clarification:
CMS is happy to categorically say, for the record, that we are not seeking to create any kind of ‘Pagan church’. Our vision remains unaltered: we want the world to know Jesus.
The story may have come about due to the fact that a member of the CMS attended a Lammas festival in Eastbourne last year, and did “readings” for visitors to her tent, with something called the Jesus Deck. Presumably a cunning plan to prosetelyse Tarot enthusiasts!
Perhaps though, the CMS could teach the Catholic Church in Ireland a thing or two. The Association of Catholic Priests there has said that Irish people have “to all intents and purposes, become pagan.” NB: in the mind of the ACP this is supposedly a Bad Thing. Their response however is bizarre. Ask any right-thinking person why this state of affairs might have come to pass, and they will probably say it is because the Irish Church has made a complete balls-up, including most notably – but not exclusively – the scandal surrounding its treatment of child molesters. Ah no, says the ACP, it is because the Irish have been seduced by the evils of materialism and consumerism – it’s not the Church’s fault at all! Hence the answer is not wholesale reform of the Church but more evangelisation. Which is another way of saying more of the kind of stuff that got it into so much trouble in the first place.