The Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) has called for an extraordinary General Convention to debate growing calls for the ordination of Metrosexuals.
Spurred on by changes in the Anglican Church of Canada, which in April recognised Metrosexuals as "equal partners in the body of Christ", proponents in the ECUSA are aiming to speed up the process.
The Reverend Warren Mitchell, the carefully sculptured and well dressed Vicar of Saint Marcouf's Episcopal Church in Strong, Maine, is one of the lobbyists responsible for calling the convention.
"There is no point in denying that Metrosexuals have a place in today's church" he said, while rubbing moisturiser on his hands, "I can't understand why anyone would want to oppose us."
Mitchell was ordained as a priest six years ago, but made headlines in 2003 when he publically identified himself as a Metrosexual. Since then he has been inundated with messages of support.
"I received all sorts of well-written letters on quality stationary from men who applauded my decision to 'come out' as it were."
Since Mitchell's public identification, a number of other Metrosexual priests have not been coy about going public. The Reverend John Bird, Vicar of St Appolonia's in Grants Pass, Oregon, made history by becoming the first ordained Anglican priest to grace the front cover of GQ magazine.
"Before morning prayers, I spend at least an hour brushing my hair, exfoliating my skin and trimming my nails." Said Bird "The congregational members are so impressed that I am now styling their hair as part of my pastoral work."
"My wife think's its wonderful, although she keeps stealing my lip gloss whenever she goes out with the girls."
"My choice of lifestyle is not harming anyone - why should the church hierarchy be concerned about people like me?"
Concerns have been raised, however, from a variety of sources. Antony Carrick, Lecturer in Modern Ethics at the evangelical Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, believes that ordaining Metrosexuals goes against the church's stand on Christian behaviour.
"The Gospel narrative of the rich young ruler is perhaps the best text to examine on the matter. Here was Jesus, presented with a man who was, essentially, a dandy. What kept him from the Kingdom of God? It was his foppery."
Strangely enough, concerns about ordaining metrosexuals can be found throughout the entire church.
The Most Reverend Frank Griswold, one of the most progressive and liberal bishops in the history of the ECUSA, argues that Metrosexuality is not consistent with the church's teachings about inclusiveness and social justice.
"The true Christian is one who is willing to get dirty helping the poor and the needy - the oppressed need a helping hand. How can they be helped by the hand of a man that is wet with moisturiser?"
"They set themselves up as the image of the perfect man. No one who is needy can live up to that."
Dr. Max Wall, professor of Liturgical Ethics at the St Joseph of Arimathea Seminary in Berkeley, California, has spoken out against this potential move.
"In 1977, the ECUSA lost thousands of members because of their liberal stance", Wall said "The sight of a man wearing good shoes and a fashionable cassock will distract the people of God as they celebrate mass."
Fr. Bernard Bresslaw, Rector of St. Hubbin's church in Beaverton, Oregon, and the Episcopal chaplain to Nike Inc, is one who argues that there should be no barrier to the ordination of metrosexuals.
"I like them. I'm not one myself, you understand, but I can't see any reason why they shouldn't receive the holy orders."
"The only worry I would have would be the effect of a manscaped Priest upon a congregation that contains single women. He would need to be very careful that he be an intermediary for God, not a gift from God."
The General Convention will commence in early November.
From the Department of Attempted Humour
© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.