NEWS FLASH: Episcopal General Convention, A.D. 2021
LAS VEGAS, June 18, 2021: Holding its 80th General
Convention in Las Vegas this week, The Episcopal
Church broke new ground by naming as its new Presiding
Bishop Muffin, a 26-year old Rhesus Macaque from the
Diocese of Los Angeles. Muffin, who holds an honorary
Ph.D. in Theology from Yale Divinity School, had
previously served as the Bishop of West Hollywood.
Muffin is the first non-human primate to be elected as
a Primate in the Anglican Communion, which faces
schism over the appointment.
In a break with tradition, the installation mass was
held immediately following the election in the Madonna
Room of Circus Circus. The service featured a
magnificent new organ-grinder concerto commissioned
especially for the event, as well as a moving
liturgical dance by the Folies Bergere showgirls. An
ecumenical sermon was delivered by Sri Svanapanda
Prabhubada of The Society for Krishna Consciousness,
entitled "Jesus Schmesus: The Many Paths to
Niceness." During the offertory, the new bishop
herself went up and down the aisles collecting
donations in a tin cup. Communion was given using
banana slices and mango juice instead of the
traditional bread and wine.
Dr. Muffin (Ph.D., Yale Divinity), Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church USA (as of 2021), strikes an appropriately contemplative pose.
Integrity, a group of moderate laity and clergy within
The Episcopal Church, released a statement praising
the selection of Muffy as a "bold move forward which
demonstrates The Episcopal Church's commitment to
inclusivity for all living things." Integrity
spokescreature Shamu expressed hope that a future
convention would go beyond "animal chauvinism" to
elevate a being from one of the other kingdoms of life
to the primacy.
Bishop Phyllis Creeper of South Florida, a split-leaf philodendron,
is considered a leading candidate for the next Episcopal convention in
2024. One delegate, who asked to remain unnamed, said
that he saw no objections to a photosynthesizing
leader. "Most of our bishops are vegetation as it
is. Putting a plant in the PB's chair just seems
like a logical next step."
Conservative groups within the church were generally
displeased. A number of archconservatives opposed the
elevation of a simian to the highest position in the
church, claiming that it was in direct opposition to
the criteria for bishops established in the so-called
"pastoral letters" ostensibly written by Saul of
Tarsus. A spokesman for the new bishop dismissed the
objections as "the literalistic scriptural
interpretations of a fundamentalist fringe."
The American Anglican Council released a statement
predicting that the election of Bishop Muffy would
likely cause dissension within the greater Anglican
Communion. They did note, however, the fact that the
new primate, being a vertebrate, actually did have a
spine. They expressed hope that this shared anatomical
feature between the bishop and conservatives might be
the basis for conversations that would prevent schism
in the Church, but warned that "if current trends
continued" they might eventually be forced to split.
In other Episcopal news, the convention approved a
change to church laws removing "Trinity Sunday"
from the liturgical calendar as being "too
controversial and divisive," and substituted the
feast of St. Darwin. Delegates also approved a
resolution to offer monetary reparations for the
Church's complicity in the extinction of a prior
species of humans, describing the crime as "genocide
against our Neanderthal brothers and sisters."
The church's Committee on Evangelization,
recognizing the fact that the growing number of
ordained Episcopal clergy had now exceeded the average
Sunday attendance for the church as a whole, proposed
a plan to evangelize robots in hopes of filling the
pews sufficiently to give each clergycreature a pulpit
in which to preach.
The convention will continue for three more days, or
until the majority of deputies lose it all at the craps table.