I haven’t seen my dear friend Martin Marprelate for many years. The last time was almost 8 years ago when he had to take on an Anglican priest who had forgotten he wasn’t Catholic. Marprelate’s appearance was short, that time, as the priest was educated and realised what he was up against. The time before that was about 12 years ago; that was a longer appearance, as the priest was not playing with a full Communion set and had confused his Martins. When the priest used the surname Luther, Marprelate offered to nail 95 theologians to his door so he could remember who was who.
Yes, Martin Marprelate has broadened horizons since his first pamphlets some 422 years ago. But, then, a pamphleteer must be willing to adapt. Some might even suggest evolution would be a guarantee of survival for a determined pamphleteer.
Generally, Martin Marprelate sleeps quietly. Yesterday, however, as I was cleaning my bedroom and thinking about Bishop Patrick Yu, I smelled the distinct odour of Marprelate’s favourite ink (cheap, black and common, so as to be untraceable even in this age of technology and CSI dudes). I heard a rattle from the wooden chest in which his seal has been resting since the last Anglican priest needed a reminder of his lack of divinity.
Mr. Marprelate is a wonderful guest: quiet, unobtrusive, doesn’t eat much. I welcome him into my home any time he needs a place to hide out.