Friday, October 26, 2007

Quaker Plain Speech and Independent Catholic Clergy

John Plummer has an interesting post, which I heartily recommend reading, criticizing the excess of clericalism in our movement, particularly all of the grand titles which people insist on using.

I work for a Quaker organization, and Quakers have a tradition of "plain speech" in which, among other things, they refuse to use titles of any kind, even to the point of children addressing their parents as "John" or "Mary" rather than "Dad" or "Mom". When we send out fundraising letters, they go to "John Smith" or "Mary Jones", not "Mr. John Smith" or "Dr. Mary Jones" or "The Right Reverend Anastasia Beaverhausen" (which begs the question of who might be the Wrong Reverend . . . ). The envelope will include a middle initial, with the salutation being the first and last names.

The practice has much to commend it. Although there is a time and a place for titles, I wonder what would happen if more Independent clergy would introduce themselves without titles most of the time, and let their ministry speak for itself, than insisting on being called "Father Zophar the Nephite" or "His Beatitude Alexander the Coppersmith, Patriarch of Sodom and Gomorrah and All Canaan"? Perhaps we could add this to John Plummer's Advent discipline.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Very Silly Post on what to call the Independent Movement

Some prefer Old Catholic or Independent Catholic or IC/OC, to use both. Some prefer Independent Sacramental Movement, ISM for short. I propose a new abbreviation to use:


Here's why:

Arnold Mathew had a church E I E I O
And in that church he made many bishops E I E I O
With a schism here with a schism there
Here a schism there a schism
Everywhere a schism schism
Arnold Mathew had a church E I E I O

Please feel free to submit additional verses in the comments.