In the spirit of Bob Runcie and John Paul, and in the interest of our ever-closer ecumenical relations, I want to let you know what we are up to next. A team of experts has decided that, now we have women bishops, we have to start calling God a woman.
Don’t be alarmed – it’s not as bad as it sounds. We have always said that a good woman can be like God. Well, now the theologian chappies have decided, because of something they call ‘analogical language ‘, that we can as well say that God is like a good woman. Same thing! Strange that no one had spotted it before; but there you are.
So (hey presto!) the ‘God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ’ becomes the ‘God and Mother etc…’ Your people may have problems with the Virgin Mary (431 and all that), but you have to understand that we gave up that sort of thing years ago.
The Lord’s Prayer, apparently, is no problem because Jesus was just culturally conditioned. If he had known what we know now there are all sorts of things he wouldn’t have got wrong.
Anyway, it turns out that this ‘analogical’ malarkey has a really useful spin off. Because priests represent ‘God to the people and the people to God’ (who was it who said that?) we had to introduce women priests. Obviously we are aiming at parity between the sexes, because the tradition requires it; but it’s hard to achieve. Now we have devised a way of doing it at a stroke – and improving relations with the LGBT crowd at the same time. What we intend to do is to assign every priest a gender at ordination. By careful calculation we will be able to keep the numbers stable and the representation of God will be safeguarded. Bishops might have to undergo gender reassignment at consecration; but it’s a small price to pay.
I hope you find this explanation helpful. If you find it hard to follow we could get Baron Williams of Oystermouth to stop by and explain it. He is brevity and lucidity itself.
With all good wishes,
Your friend Justin.