After my frivolous account of modern Anglican wedding rites, you might easily think I am making this next bit up.
A day or three ago, some dear friends, devout Anglicans, whom we got to know well when we were in our Devon parishes, came to see us, and most generously took us to have a look around Blenheim Palace together. At the end of the tour is the Chapel. People often make jokes about the fact that everything else in the Chapel is dwarfed by the ginormous Kentissimo monument to the First Duke (alias Johnny Churchill). Doesn't worry me. Rysbrack carved it, and I like the baroque. And Sir Thomas Jackson, who designed so very much of Oxford in his 'iconic' Jacobethan style, including my own college, worked intelligently there.
But we didn't have a look around; because our friends very properly shepherded us out in horror. We discussed whether to demand our entrance money back.
There, in the sanctuary, concealing the altar, was a (temporary?) display the main feature of which appeared, to our fleeting glances before we fled, to be a large white marble statue of the back of a naked woman.
It is fair to assume that the new Bishop of Oxford, a former S Ebbesite Evangelical, has granted faculties for this. And the General Synod, which is qualified to pronounce what Anglican doctrine is without there being any possibility of appeal, must have altered the beginning of the Anglican Creed to Credo in anum Deum. And, of course, appropriately felicitous liturgical formulae will be in the process of being drafted.
I seem to recall ... or am I imagining it ... that, according to Pausanias, Praxiteles' first Greek statue of Aphrodite gumna, at Cnidos, was housed in a tholos and that proctophiliacs used to bribe the Verger to let them peep in at the back. Perhaps such proctoscopy will be the new Anglican way of fund-raising. The tax levied from parishes, which used to be called the quota and is now renamed the share, will have its name further abbreviated to the nomisma procticon.
But Papists, believe me, are in no position to mock. Whatever the Anglicans do today, the blessedly eternal Spirit of Vatican II will ineluctably prescribe tomorrow. Roll on, Pope Francis III! Clothed or unclothed!