Written to flofx‘s commissioned prompt: “Bishop Macnamilla says ‘The elders did not listen to me. They were squeamish’ in Faries in the Church. Just what happened between Macnamilla and the elders? How much did he tell them of what he wanted to do?”
Fairy Town has a landing page here.. This story is set a few decades or more before the “current” storyline.
Bishop Tanner studied the young priest standing in front of him. “Father Macnamilla. I see you are visiting us yet again.”
The others on the diocese’s council of elders shifted uncomfortably. Bishop Tanner didn’t fault them for that – Father Macnamilla brought an aura of discomfort with him. But they needed to remain firm and in control, or the hot-headed priest would be causing them more than just discomfort.
“I will continue to visit you until you listen to reason. I will continue to visit you until this diocese does what needs to be done.”
Bishop Tanner cleared his throat. “I’m sure that it appears to you…”
“No, no, Bishop Tanner. This is not a matter of what ‘appears to me.’ This is a matter of the holy writs and the scriptures of the Blessed Oren. This is a matter of what must be.“
The Father Above save him from zealots with books. “Ah, but the Gospel of the Blessed Leah-“
“Leah was a heretic and no fit prophet!” The young priest’s shout made the rafters shake and the elders flinch. “Don’t you see – can’t you see? Are you truly so blinded by the taint of this place-“
Bishop Tanner cleared his throat again, far more loudly this time. If Father Macnamilla kept going on about taint, Elder Judith was going to say something, and if she said something –
Well, if she said what he feared, then they would all be in a world of hurt. “Please tell me, Father Macnamilla, your plan, then.”
The priest was only too glad to comply. “The consecrated land of all our churches in this Diocese had been filled with the -” he hesitated, eyed the Bishop, and chose another word “-the unique air of this city, but that air belongs… belongs in places that are not the church. Fairies…” he spoke as if navigating his way through a mindfield, suddenly far quieter “…they do not belong in churches.”
Elder Judith might disagree, but Elder Judith had always understood her place on the Elder Council was on sufferance.
“Fairies do not believe in churches.” Bishop Tanner nodded. “If one ignores the Gospel of the Blessed Leah, this is truth as the Church acknowledges it, yes.”
“And, if the Church is going to remain ascendant and pure, we must purge the fairies from our churches.”
Bishop Tanner hid a wince. This was not the conversation to have in such a forum. “There are doctrines for this, yes.”
“Then why is the Church doing nothing?” Father Macnamilla slammed his fist into his open palm. “I’ll tell you why. Because the congregations have grown soft. Because the priests and the bishops and the cardinals have grown soft. Because fairy magic is tempting and we have all been led into temptation!”
“Father Macnamilla, this is not your pulpit.” Bishop Tanner found the strength to silence the tirade, but he feared it was too late. The words were out.
“No.” The young priest looked not at all calmed. “But I tell you, Bishop Tanner, it is not the pulpit where you will have to worry about me. Unlike many members of the city… my parishioners have not gone soft.”
“If you act outside the doctrines, you will be defrocked.”
“Oh, have no fear, Bishop Tanner.” The man was mad, truly mad. “I will act entirely within the doctrines and gospels.”
He stalked out, leaving Bishop Tanner to calm an agitated elders’ council. Between the elders and the thousand other small crises that attack a diocese in a city fairy-strong, it was weeks before Bishop Tanner truly had time to think about the father’s words again.
And by the time he opened the old doctrines to find what Father Macnamilla was talking about, the blood had already starting spilling.
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