Don't repeat the mistake on page 847 of The Prayer Book .  Here is what God really requires from the chosen people:

Do justice

A series of essays in the Episcopal Church



By The Rev. Lane Denson
© 2007 Lane Denson III.

Old Bishop Dan Corrigan, once-upon-a-time head of the one-time Home Department up at 815, would poke fun at his episcopal colleagues who had a penchant for adding a + mark to their signatures. He'd call them "Plus John," "Plus Frank," etc. With archbishops now adding on ++, it's a wonder what he'd call them. Double-crossers?

I saw recently where somebody had actually tagged the Archbishop of Canterbury, himself, with three. I guess that approaches Calvary more nearly, though I'm not so sure if that's the intention.

H L Mencken once defined an archbishop as a Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Jesus. There seem to be more of them around of late, a few taking quite an interest in us Episcopalians. Some have even begun tweaking with our canons, saying, of all things, that they're too ambiguous. (Next time you need a definition for irony, try "one Anglican calling another Anglican ambiguous.")

Our polity, admittedly clumsy though it may be, has never seemed all that clear or probably even necessary to our colleagues in the overseas provinces. If it's any comfort, neither is it all that clear to us. Democracy is messy. Nevertheless, it's our tireless attempt to accomplish justice by legislating grace, oxymoronic as it may seem.

Our generally conventional system probably comes across from outside our jurisdiction as more than just geographically foreign. When some of those other primates begin to catch the gist of how much more collegial it is than pontifical, it may well scare their purple socks off. Under those circumstances, one might need all the pluses one can get.

This item is used with permission of the author. It aappeared originally in Out of Nowhere, is an occasional piece, intentionally daily, but not likely. On Fridays, it picks up a theme from the coming Sunday's propers. Be free to use it as you will. Attribution would be nice. Archives are kept at

If you know someone who would like to subscribe, they may do so by sending a blank email to, or going on the web to

You are welcome to submit your essays for consideration for this series. Send them to Identify yourself by name, snail address, parish, and other connections to the Episcopal Church. Please encourage others to do the same.


Please sign my guestbook and view it.

My site has been accessed times since February 14, 1996.

Statistics courtesy of WebCounter.