Enforcement ministers

A thought-provoking post from Tim, the Lapped Catholic the other day speculated on the question of lay ministry. He was taking up the suggestion of Fr Erich Richtsteig that we should reintroduce the ministry of Beadle:
... a minor official in medieval and some Protestant churches. His badge of office was a good, long stick used to smack people misbehaving in church. Not only could he take care of the clappers, but also unrepentant cellphone users.
This reminds me of a story from my elder sister's parish one Christmas Midnight Mass. Some local Jack-the-Lad had a bit too much lemonade and thought he would come along and disrupt the Catholic Mass. He encountered two of my nephews in the porch:

Austin (medical student) who was then in full training as a boxer. (He had to give it up when the consultant told him he couldn't do ward rounds with a black eye.)

Declan - a short, unassuming, mild-mannered sort of chap who happened to be in the British National Judo Squad, gave it up to study but was persuaded to join the team at Oxford, earning himself a blue. (He now teaches philosophy in Ohio.)

Awww! How was the poor guy to know? (They did help him back up onto his feet.) Shouldn't they have had had a sash or a badge or something. What about the Ministry of "Come back tomorrow when you've slept it off, Son"?

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