The Parson’s Tale

There was a good man of religion, too,
A country parson, poor, I warrant you;
But rich he was in holy thought and work.
He was a learned man also, a clerk,
Who Christ’s own gospel truly sought to preach;
Devoutly his parishioners would he teach.
Benign he was and wondrous diligent,
Patient in adverse times and well content,
As he was oft times proven; always blithe,
He was right loath to curse to get a tithe,
But rather would he give, in case of doubt,
Unto those poor parishioners about,
Part of his income, even of his goods.
Enough with little, coloured all his moods.
Wide was his parish, houses far asunder,
But never did he fail, for rain or thunder,
In sickness, or in sin, or any state,
To visit to the farthest, small and great,
Going afoot, and in his hand, a stave.
This fine example to his flock he gave,
That first he wrought and afterwards he taught;
Out of the gospel then that text he caught,
And this figure he added thereunto
That, if gold rust, what shall poor iron do?
For if the priest be foul, in whom we trust,
What wonder if a layman yield to lust?
And shame it is, if priest take thought for keep,
A shitty shepherd, shepherding clean sheep.
Well ought a priest example good to give,
By his own cleanness, how his flock should live.
He never let his benefice for hire,
Leaving his flock to flounder in the mire,
And ran to London, up to old Saint Paul’s
To get himself a chantry there for souls,
Nor in some brotherhood did he withhold;
But dwelt at home and kept so well the fold
That never wolf could make his plans miscarry;
He was a shepherd and not mercenary.
And holy though he was, and virtuous,
To sinners he was not impiteous,
Nor haughty in his speech, nor too divine,
But in all teaching prudent and benign.
To lead folk into Heaven but by stress
Of good example was his busyness.
But if some sinful one proved obstinate,
Be who it might, of high or low estate,
Him he reproved, and sharply, as I know.
There is nowhere a better priest, I trow.
He had no thirst for pomp or reverence,
Nor made himself a special, spiced conscience,
But Christ’s own lore, and His apostles’ twelve
He taught, but first he followed it himself.


With thanks to Charles Coulombe for the timeous reminder of Geoffrey Chaucer’s final tale in the poetic cycle The Canterbury Tales.


Colorado Shooting Happened Because ‘America has Lost its Fear of Hell’

And the non-Christian victims are going to a ‘terrible place’. So says one Evangelical leader over there.

Gosh, the first thing I thought while reading the above news story was this:

There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

– St Luke 13:1-5

In tragedy, there is a great need to be both pastoral and sensitive.  Bad things happen to Christians and non-Christian. It’s not just grievous sinners who suffer violent death. Nor do these things happen simply because Americans have lost their fear of hell. Of course, there is always the urgent need of repentance. For all manner of men.

UPDATE:  The Westboro lot are at it again:

Members of the Westboro Baptist Church appear to be on their way to protest a prayer vigil for victims of the Aurora massacre, according to tweets from members posted by

Using the hashtag #ThankGodForTheShooter, reports members tweeted out their plans to “super picket” the candle lit prayer service, saying “God is at work in Colorado.”

I simply can’t bear to go on. If you can, click here.



Fr Harry Entwistle at the Melbourne Information Day

A talk by Fr Harry Entwistle on the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross at the Melbourne Informtion Day.

Download it in pdf. here.

HT: Conchúr

UPDATE:   Australia: Is no news good news?

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Australia has now been up and running for 5 weeks, but news from down under is few and far between.

We know that Very Rev. Harry Entwistle is the Ordinary. (This post will include below an interview with Fr. Entwistle from the end of June and a recent talk.)

We know that St. Ninian and St. Chad, Maylands, Perth, is the principal church or Pro-Cathedral.

For some time we have known that the Ordinariate Group in Melbourne shares Holy Ghost Church in South Caulfield with the diocesan congregation.

We also learned some time ago that Fr. Warren Wade leads an Ordinariate Group of some 10 faithful in North Turramurra.

But that’s about it. There would seem to be no Ordinariate website yet, no Ordinariate groups, fraternities, communities, fellowships, sodalities or societies are immediately findable on Google, little news has been made public. And what about the Church of the Torres Strait?

Rest here.