Thursday, November 22, 2012

Steps forward, steps back this week

Steps back: 

In England this week, on 20 November 2012, a coalition of fundamentalists in the Church of England managed to defeat church legislation which would have allowed for women bishops.

Note that the Church of England, though an Anglican church, is separate from all other Anglican churches. Its legislation does not affect the Anglican church in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc, which have had women bishops for some time now.

Steps forward:

A big step forward came outside the Church this week, when on the same day, in Washington, White House officials welcomed more than two dozen transgender and allied activists and organizations to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Canterbury Caps

Well, I learnt today what a Canterbury Cap is (quite by accident, it wasn't on the immediate todo list!)

It's a square, soft, foldable cloth hat with four ridges and sharp corners. It's the only headgear officially sanctioned for Anglican clergy to wear in church (aside from Bishops' mitres, of course, presumably.) Usually black, bishops get to wear a purple version though if they wish.

Rev. Bosco Peters writes, "The Canterbury cap is Anglican head-covering, essentially the medieval birettum, descended from the ancient pileus headcovering. Make your own conclusions from the Anglican version being soft and foldable, whereas the biretta, its Roman Catholic Counter-Reformation equivalent, is rigid." ( )

The cap can look quite jolly, depending on the person wearing it, I suppose. Here it is, worn by Father Ron Smith of New Zealand:

Here is a wikipedia entry on the topic:

Mark Twain on slavery and the church

"Our own conversion came at last. We began to stir against slavery. Hearts grew soft, here, there, and yonder. There was no place in the land where the seeker could not find some small budding sign of pity for the slave. No place in all the land but one - the pulpit.

It yielded at last; it always does. It fought a strong and stubborn fight, and then did what it always does, joined the procession - at the tail end. Slavery fell. The slavery text remained; the practice changed, that was all."

 -- Mark Twain, in Europe and Elsewhere.