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Bishop Phil’s hardships have not ceased. Truly, the way of Farver Phil seems beset with pratfalls pitfalls.

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This being a bishop isn’t all it’s cracked on to be. Not only do I have a group of my new converts breaking away and contesting my authority, they responded to my olive branch by issuing a statement:

Over the bishop as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else, even if necessary against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority. This emphasis on the individual, whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, and one which in the last resort is beyond the claim of external social groups, even the official Church, also establishes a principle in opposition to increasing totalitarianism”.

Now I ask you, what is one to do with that?  I’m all for a bit of conscience, but you can’t just have every Thomasina, Dora and Harriet refusing to obey properly constituted ecclesiastical authority because of their ‘conscience’.  For goodness sake, how is one to know whether this is just an excuse for being bloody-minded?  I remember when I used to help those Catholics who didn’t like those opposed to the spirit of Vatican II, they used to bang on like this, but they were on the right side, not the wrong one; don’t these folk realise that the only conscience which is acceptable is one on the right side of the argument – and as I am the bishop, that means my side of it?

So, how did they respond to my maternal care for them? With this:

 Our view is that we should not wait for “authorities” in  the Church to give us permission or leadership but we can already be seeking how to express in our lives that which we see obstructed by the Mass text and other actions of those seeking to exercise authority. 

Well, again, I ask you.  So, they set themselves up as ‘authorities’, but answerable to no one but their consciences? Well, how jolly convenient.  They don’t appear to realise that the Mass text in my new liturgical document is based on best practice – there’s some Buddhism there, some Hinduism. a bit of Islam, and a twist of Judaism, topped off with some good pagan stuff; do they really want to ponce around with some old Latin nonsense and argue over cup and chalices? C’mon ladies (of both sexes and none), get with it, we’ve gotta reach out beyond the grey beards who still think Vatican II is where it is at.

Here in the Free Universal Celtic Catholic Communion (we dropped the old bit, and the church – all seemed a bit archaic) we’ve gone beyond disputes about authority. After all, now we have womyn bishops, pagans as altar girls, homosexual priests, hand-fasting, abortion on demand and a Mass which represents the best bits of all religions and none, what the hell is there to argue over? It’s what the rebels have always wanted, and now they’ve got it, so they should get with the Bish who brought it them – me.

Really, since my authority has given them everything they said they wanted, you’d think they really just wanted to be in charge themselves – well, sorry kiddos, you can’t have the benefits brought by me, unless you accept my authority.  Still, perhaps when they see my revised version of the Bible (Bible according to Phil) which includes lots of Dan Brown in it, they’ll realise my vision goes so much further than their adolescent tantrums against father-figures.