Barbie ordained to the priesthood

Toymaker Mattell™ would not comment today on reports that Barbie™ has left the toy and fashion world to enter the Episcopal priesthood.


News from Boston broke earlier this week that the Rev’d Barbara Hightower Smythe of the Diocese of Atlanta, for years known simply as “Barbie”, appears to have received a Masters of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA, and after having done an internship at famed Trinity Church, Copley Square, is now serving in an Episcopal parish somewhere in the northeastern US. The Rev. Dr. Katherine Ragsdale, dean and president of EDS confirms that Hightower Smythe graduated magna cum laude.

Unitarian Universalist minister, fashion maven and part-time paparazzi Peace Bang, who writes Beauty Tips for Ministers, discovered Hightower Smythe and broke the news.

Barbie-225x300.jpgbarbie-morning-prayer-225x300.jpgbarbiebiretta.jpg

Photographs of the famed 11 inch tall doll clearly show her wearing the professional garb of Episcopal ministry.

Observers speculate it will be hard for Hightower Smythe to put aside the frivolities of her fashion years for the serious work of ministry, as her “Friends of Episcopal Priest Barbie” fan page now on Facebook demonstrates.

The Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Keaton, of Chatham, New Jersey, on seeing the pictures of Mo. Barbi, said, “There’s something about a woman in a long black dress and a biretta that just screams the question, ‘And this is traditional clergymen’s clothing?'”

While refusing to comment on individual seminarians or ordinands during a recent news conference, Episcopal Church Director of Communications Neva Rae Fox appeared visibly relieved that a celebrity managed to enter holy orders in the Episcopal Church without first having a public scandal.

Barbie has not returned requests for comment at press time.

Other stories catching attention today:

Church of England seeking new brand

Pope to be ABC for a day

Friends of Jake begins new venture with apps for iPods

First off is an app called Substantiator. Are you ultra-concerned about whether or not your host is properly consecrated? How can you tell what the true intentions of the eucharistic presider really are? What if they don’t believe the host and wine are turned into the acutal body and blood of Christ? What if it would totally gross you out if they did? Well now, the Substantiator app can answer all your questions.

Simply download the app on your Iphone or Ipod touch (beta version will shortly be available for the new Ipad), and open it up as the Eucharistic prayer starts. Using very specific algorithms and state of the art lie-detector technology, by the end of the prayer, you will be able to determine whether tran- or con- substantiation has occured (or whether the presider is really just all about the anamnesis of the moment, if you know what I mean…). The specific belief of the presider will be clearly displayed on the Iphone or Ipod, so that you can make a determination if the sacrament will meet your spiritual needs. No more guessing!

More apps available at Friends of Jake blog!

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8 Comments
  1. And here I thought we were progressive for ordaining our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers. Or for consecrating them Bishops. That was but the tip of the iceberg, the beginning of the slope.

    Who will join me in demanding ordination for those who truly serve a pastoral need? Let’s hear it for Teddy Bear and Cuddly Blanket.

  2. Kit Carlson

    My understanding is that the Rev. Hightower Smythe is rector of St. Barbara’s-by-the-Sea, Malibu, CA. In the vast collection of photos of her on the fan page, her sacristy door is clearly labeled as the Sacristy of St. Barbara’s-by-the-Sea, in Malibu.

  3. Yes, Kit – we understand she has been called to that much more chic and trendy place since being spotted in the NE.

  4. revsusan

    I also understand — from inside sources — that Rev. Barbi has already calendared her first wedding.

    While the exact location and date are understandably being kept quiet (due to the high profile of the celebrity couple) I am at liberty to reveal that the nuptials will take place in the District of Columbia between Barbi’s former boyfriend Ken and G.I. Joe.

    After a honeymoon on St. Bart’s, the happy couple plans to return to the nation’s captial and help repeal DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell).

    Susan Russell

  5. Goodness! This post has been up for six or seven hours and nobody has yet commented on it!

    Poor Frederick Denison Maurice. He can understand it when his commemoration is bumped by Maundy Thursday, but it must grate to be buried every year by You-Know-What Day.

  6. No one finds this offensive? Encouraging more clergy to conflate their call with playing dress up is only part of the problem. What makes it odious is that it’s Barbie as the vehicle for career aspirations. Barbie is after all, a doll known to generate dysmorphia and self loathing in females. Her body is known nowhere in God’s creation.

    Dolly dress up has morphed into something very cynical. I don’t think I would go to anyone who supports this for pastoral advice – particularly when it came to my daughter.

    (Editor’s note: Thanks for the comment. Please leave your real name next time.)

  7. kayak_girl

    I’m happy to leave my name. It is Brook Packard. For personal reasons, I chose a pseudonym several years ago and Typepad makes it difficult to re-register as my email account pops up as “already taken.”

  8. Susan, I love your spelling much better than the doll, “Barbie”! 🙂 I especially like the idea of officiating at the wedding of Ken and Joe.

    Long ago when my discernment process began in Fort Worth even prior to my knowing it, a friend gave me a “Rev. Barbi”. She came complete with vestments, chalice and paten.

    I have not liked the model of the Barbie doll but if there is to be such a model, then reflecting a new reality is a good thing.

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