Trebots @ Thursday November 6th 2014 23:06: caveat lector!

Ordination of Bishop Edson Damian (with tucum's ring), Amazonas, Brazil Image: Father Tiago Hahusseau. More pics.

A foreign female beggar approached the bishop emeritus of San Sebastián, Juan María Uriarte, who wasn't feeling particularly charitable, whereupon she asked if she could kiss his hand, and when he didn't back off quickly enough, tore off his episcopal ring and legged it, presumably alla Monty Python.

Assuming the thief was not a tourist from Wolfsburg, a Sinn Fein worker, or a businessperson from Burgos, but was in fact one of the great horde of Romanian gypsies which has selflessly come to assist us in this hour of great need, one's first thought was that the ring will go to fuel Romania's gypsy real estate boom, which is producing some truly startling architecture.

But most Romanian gypsies apparently still regard themselves as Orthodox, and afaik Orthodox bishops don't wear rings, so maybe a donation will be made at a throne somewhere along the Danube and a fashion revolution will take place in the Eastern church.

I haven't seen any Romanian gypsy religious activity of any nature in Spain or England, apart from the begging-at-church-doors variety, now ubiquitous in Spain. I'd like to remedy that ignorance, and in particular I'd like to see whether their Pentecostalism is along the same lines as that of the Spanish gypsies, who in considerable numbers have taken to the Iglesia Evangélica Filadelfia, one of the offshoots of the extraordinarily successful (and almostly completely unknown) post-war evangelism to the gypsies by Clément Le Cossec, who was a Breton, not a Cossack.

If we exclude what people get up to in the literature departments of confused minor American colleges, and if we discount Iain Duncan Smith's financial dependence on the Common Agricultural Policy, Le Cossec's is surely now the only French intellectual product from the latter half of the 20th century to be held in any regard elsewhere, and the only one to have made any genuine contribution to people's wellbeing. I hope he has a statue.

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