The Good Samaritan School of Church Canon Law in Corvallis, Oregon announced at yesterday’s convocation that it, too, will award the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (USA) a D.D. degree honoris causa — only in this case, the initials stand for “Doctor of Deposition.”
“We certainly are not trying to compete with the likes of Oxford,” the School’s Dean, the Very Rev. Dewuntoo Others, explained. “Instead, the faculty decided that the Presiding Bishop deserved recognition for the achievement that has made her the most famous primate in the Anglican world: no one else has mastered the skill of deposing bishops and clergy to the degree that she has.”
“For that very reason — that she has taken the techniques of episcopal deposition to a new level, never before seen in Church history — this is our first such Doctorate degree ever awarded. But we feel certain that the award will ensure that other primates will be inspired to emulate her accomplishment, and so we expect to make this award a regular feature of our School,” Dean Others continued.
“Indeed, thanks to generous funding received from law firms who have greatly increased their revenues due to her actions, we have been able to establish a wholly new department here at our school. It is only fitting, therefore, that we extend an open invitation to the Most Rev. Dr. Jefferts Schori (as she will now be known) to be the first occupant, upon her leaving her current position, of the Chancellor’s Chair of Depositions, Defenestrations and Purges. Having mastered her skills in the field, so to speak, she is better qualified than anyone else now living to impart those techniques to future generations of Episcopal Church leaders.”
The Presiding Bishop has not indicated yet whether she will accept the School’s offer. There are unconfirmed rumors that the bishops of the Episcopal Church (USA) are desperate to keep her for a second term, because (it is said) they despair of finding any candidate among their ranks who could even approach, let alone attain, her track record. Apparently, they are afraid that the Church will be unable to fall apart without her, and they do not want to risk experimenting with its demise at the hands of an unknown.
A bizarre element was added to this background a week ago, when Spain’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Tomás de Torquemada announced that he would be stepping down at the end of 2015 from his position as Grand Inquisitor, and that a search committee had already begun its task of finding his replacement. His announcement contained a sentence which was little noticed — until now:
… The committee has no prerequisites or limitations, other than to find the most qualified candidate: it will accept Catholics or Protestants, and will recognize degrees the world over — from Calcutta to Cordoba, and from Oxford to Oregon.
Close observers at the Vatican had never considered even the possibility of appointing a female to the position of Grand Inquisitor, but now several expressed themselves as no longer quite so certain. “Although the position has always been occupied till now by clergy ordained in the Catholic Church,” one of them noted, “the original decree establishing the post by Ferdinand II and Isabella does not specify any such requirement. It could be that the Roman Curia wants to let another denomination take up the torch, so to speak.”
Inquiries to ENS (the Episcopal Nonsense Service) were brushed aside with no comment.
Reprinted from the Anglican Curmudgeon