Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bishops-Without-Penises: an appraisal.

The Church of England General Synod has inched even closer to the day when we might see people who don't have penises in the episcopacy. As a person who doesn't have a penis, and is in favour of people with all sorts of different genital make-up being ordained, I am very pleased about this.

We might even have a Bishop-Without-A-Penis in the next few years!

Katherine Jefferts Schori: Doesn't have a penis.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. Surely (you might say to me), these people who don't have penises shouldn't be Bishops! (In fact you might even think they shouldn't be priests but they are already, and you don't want to get sidetracked into a conversation about priest-genitalia.)

People without penises are definitely equal to people who have penises, but it is quite obvious (you might argue) that the having of a penis makes a person completely different to a person without one. For instance, those who don't have penises are actually more special than people with penises, because the non-penis people can be mothers! They can actually produce babies out of their no-penis area, and look after the babies! This is something that God likes, for sure. Especially because God was born from a person without a penis.

Anyway, to side-step the obvious point that Jesus had a penis (God couldn't possibly have been incarnated as a no-penis-person) and all his disciples had penises, the really important thing is that only people with penises can ordain priests (you might tell me). Thus people who are ordained by people without penises aren't actually priests and can't say mass. This is crucial, because the most important thing a Bishop does is to ordain priests. ('Theology of taint' sounds like an innuendo but in fact is very very serious.)

What Synod should have done was to make sure that for every diocesan Bishop-without-a-penis consecrated, there would also be a proper Bishop-with-penis to help out, so that those who realise that penises are crucial to sacramental authority won't have to put up with fake priests, fake eucharists, and a fake Bishop. Otherwise, any privilege usually gained by having-a-penis in the secular world is totally undermined by the fact of being under a non-penis-'Bishop' in one's diocese and puts one on a level with in other oppressed minorities, which is unacceptable. Instead we're going to have to trust that 'Bishops'-without-Penises will look after the pro-penis Anglicans.

So, you will conclude, though you are very fond of the Church of England and would like to stay in it, your only option is a) if you're Anglo-Catholic, to leave and go to the Roman Catholic Church, which is entirely governed by penises; or b) if you're an evangelical, to not pay any of your parish's huge income to the Bishop-without-a-penis. Unfortunately, the Roman Catholics don't pay very well, and you can't take your building with you; and if you don't pay your parish share, the diocese won't help out with your 10 new church plants.

It's a painful, distressing decision to make, and I have a great amount of sympathy for it. If only there was a way of thinking about sex and gender that could make it all easier: if only there was a way to trust each other that wasn't all about what we look like naked.


  1. I like the idea of genital make-up. You should start your own range.

  2. Ah, but given that Vajazzling already exists, I don't need to...

  3. Gosh - I didn't know evangelicals had so many church plants! Does the diocese arrange to water them? Do they have plant sales? That would definitely encourage more anglo-catholics to go along. "A lovely church plant sale", they might say...

  4. Amazing. Where has vajazzling been all my life?

  5. Or this, for your head... You could be covered in sparkles!


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