“Wanna see the bishop? Pay up! Ya won’t pay… we won’t let you in!”
During the forthcoming visit of Benedict XVI to Britain in September, the faithful who wish to see him will have to pay 25 UK Pounds (1,184 Roubles 39 USD 30 Euros). Admission will be charged for the evening service that the Pope of Rome will serve on 18 September in Hyde Park in London, as well as for the beatification of John Henry Cardinal Newman, scheduled on 19 September in Birmingham. At present, 130,000 tickets were sold for the Hyde Park service, and 70,000 more for the beatification, the British newspaper Independent wrote. Government sources blamed the British Commission on Health and Safety for mandating increased precautions, entailing high costs that did not exist during the visit in 1982 of John Paul II to the UK.
30 July 2010
I’m not gonna slam the papists for this one… they’ve got enough of their own who are gonna see to it that this gets the opprobrium it deserves. I do wonder, though… 200,000 tickets were sold at 25 quid per head, that’s 5 million pound (237.403 million Roubles 7.827 million USD 6.003 million Euros)… that’s a hefty chunk of change. How much of that is “profit?” Shouldn’t it go to the victims of paedophile predator priests?
You see, we’re not innocent either, so, we shouldn’t point fingers (but watch Dreher the Fool do so… doesn’t he realise that everyone knows that he’s a puppet of Fester and Bobby K?) … not after Raymond Velencia and Feodosy Lazor, we certainly can’t! In any case, I know of two cases that illustrate that most Orthodox have surrendered to the zeitgeist and charge admission to see their bishops. In both cases, the presiding bishop came (or is coming) to the parish to serve liturgy. In one case, if you wished to see the bishop after services, you had to pay 35 bucks a head for a ticket. In the other, forthcoming instance, I heard that they’re stinging people 50 bucks… whether that’s per person or per family, I don’t know. You hear such un-Christian rot from such people as, “Build the money-maker first”, and, “We’re only trying to recoup our expenses”. Reflect well on the fact that the lower form of clergy (which includes a certain set of monastics, by the way, sadly enough) SUPPORTS these sorts and blesses their endeavours to raise filthy lucre at every possible opportunity.
What should we do? We should follow the good example of the wonderful folks on Russian Hill in Mayfield PA. When Bishop George Schaefer came to serve liturgy on the patronal feastday of St John the Baptist Cathedral on 7 July, the dinner afterwards was free to all comers. The techka was passed, no doubt… and people were generous, if they had the means. However, no admissions charge was assessed to restrict access to the bishop to the “right people”. That’s the REAL reason for such fees amongst us (I can’t speak about the RCs… it’s outside of my experience). Ponder the fact that squiffy people such as Freddie Matthewes-Green charge such admission as a matter of course (one wonders how much of it sticks in her purse)… we have to keep out the riff-raff, after all.
THIS is the abyss in contemporary American Orthodoxy. There are those who worship Mammon, and who show it by charging “admission” to all parish events (and by charging a fee to be considered “in good standing”… what utter rot). Then, there are those who see this as simony. I agree with the latter, what about you?