Monday, November 22, 2010
Prince William, Kate Middleton and Bishop Broadbent
The death of deference cuts both ways...
Above, the man who put the "pric" in "bishopric" - Rt Rev "Pete" Broadbent (fashionably tieless - and somewhat unbuttoned - in the Sun's pic), Bishop of Willesden, who has now apologised for prognosticating the failure of a royal marriage that hasn't yet taken place. His wonderwall is on Facebook here - he seems to have time for such things. He has also put the "twit" in Twitter.
What else does he do? Does he curse infants at christenings, like the wicked fairy at Sleeping Beauty's? Or is his malevolence reserved only for his superiors? Did it occur to him that "Big Ears"'s mother is the Head of the Church of England, and William may one day be so?
Does he quite understand the difference between the C of E and the Labour Party? Perhaps not: "Formerly an Islington Councillor and Chair of its Development and Planning Committee, Peter Broadbent is a member of the Labour Party." ("Cranmer" had a bit of a go at this bien-pensant prelate last year.)
As a "good republican", perhaps he should consider his position, since Anglican bishops also "cost us an arm and a leg" - see "Bishops' office and working costs" and The Times' recent article on same. After all, those who have decamped to the Catholic Church are prepared to "make sacrifices, giving up salaries, additions to their pensions and accommodation." Would he be willing to turn his footsteps that way, like a previous incumbent (Graham Leonard)? Less likely, I suppose, since he seems to be an "evangelical", than the other direction; but in that case, perhaps, following Leonard's example, prudently after retirement and receiving his pension, so costing us an arm and a leg all the way.
As long ago as 2004 the Daily Telegraph revealed that "Newly appointed bishops are currently paid £33,930 a year in addition to which they receive a number of perks and allowances." "Pete" won 30Days' "Golden Mitre Suffragans Award" for his expenses in 2005, claiming £45,207. I don't know if he gets anything extra from his other position as the acting Bishop of Stepney - he has been riding both horses since July this year. King Athelstan must regret having given the parish ten manses.
Still, it's only the same sort of screw as a pole dancer. And, it would seem, for a similar degree of exhibitionism, if manifested in a slightly different way. Perhaps Willesden is his day job and he moonlights as Stepney.
UPDATE: He's been suspended "indefinitely". What price the "early retirement" solution ("Pete" is 58)? Of course, like the publicity-seeking, fast-gabbling controversialist David Jenkins, he may merely leave his episcopal post but continue with his priestly duties. At least Bishop Broadbent hasn't (so far as I know) sworn in sermons or had his church struck by lightning.