I am more and more seeing the doings in Anglicanism as an episode in the continuing battle between those who want a tightly controlled world, and those who favor freedom. I was put in mind of this today by a comment on the previous post about those swimming or hydroplaning the Tiber. There is a definite attraction to the order and rule in the magisterial realm of the Italian Church, quite different from the sometimes messy open pasture of the "Episcopal Commons" -- as Paul Wattson denigrated it. Some people just want more structure in their lives, while others are content with a bit of disorder. The proposed Anglican Covenant, it seems to me, is an unhappy mix: order poorly defined.
But I was also put in mind of one of my favorite artistic creations. Consider Sarastro's Temple (from Magic Flute) particularly as described by Gary McGath:
The virtues which Sarastro's temple cites are courage, willingness to accept any assigned task, silence when commanded, and intense distrust of women. The Temple of Wisdom is a frightening sort of organization: its members revere their leader, require newcomers to undergo dangerous initiation rituals, subject people to humiliating psychological manipulation, kidnap people for their own good, and instill strong distrust of those outside (particularly women).Sound familiar? Ironically, Mozart's light opera is redolent of Freemasonry — at odds with Rome — but after all it's hard to tell the difference when it comes to the appeal of Order and Rule. Some might envision a modern production in our current brouhaha: Cue ++KJS as Queen of the Night (in the eyes of her detractors) vs Benedetto 16 as Sarastro. As a baritone, I'll take Papageno; like him I rarely hold my tongue; and my lovely Wounded Bird will I'm sure be happy to do a turn as Papagena! I'll leave the rest of the casting up to your imagination.
In the meantime, I'll stay where the wild things, mostly of the Anglican sort, thrive — in an English Garden rather than one of the more symmetrical Continental sort. May Anglicanism continue to be just that sort of cultivated wildness, and not trim its boxwood hedges too fine.
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG