Posts Tagged ‘Church’

Pope’s resignation will re-energise Roman Catholic Church

February 12, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI at one time admitted that he had no talent for administration or management. That is why he resigned. He saw how the Church already became disorganised in the declining years of Pope John Paul II. But his own qualities lay in theological thought and reflection. Under his reign, there were new gaffes and missteps which a better manager could perhaps have avoided. It is to his credit that he openly recognised his incapacity yesterday and drew the consequences.

The Cardinals are likely to learn the lesson, and choose a new Pope who can get a grip on affairs more effectively. He will doubtless be just as conservative in matters of doctrine, since most of the Cardinals were handpicked by Benedict XVI and his predecessor. But he is likely to be better at managing. The outcome will be dynamising and the Roman Catholic Church may come to appear more modern.

The Church of England just went through the same process. The last Archbishop was a learned and likeable personality, but lost control and his Church suffered. The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is a former oil business executive with experience in finance. He too is clearly expected to be a better manager.

So, Faith is not enough. Material obsessions no, but worldly organisational talents: yes please.

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Church of England and women – time to change the voting rules

November 22, 2012

The Church of England did not vote against women bishops, it voted heavily in favour. What turned victory into defeat was the over-conservative, cumbersome system of voting.
The House of Bishops voted 44 to 3 in favour. The House of Clergy voted 148 to 45 in favour. The House of Laity voted 132 to 74 in favour, just short of a two-thirds majority. But the rules said a two-thirds majority was necessary in all three votes. So the motion was defeated (by lay people not the clergy), and nothing will change.
The requirement of a two-thirds majority weights the vote heavily in favour of the status quo. Putting the vote to three different bodies, all of which are required to have two thirds majorities, is a further invitation for somebody to find fault and block it.
If you ask people if they are in favour of something, and they say yes, and then you ask “Are you over there in favour too?” and received the answer again yes, then ask a third time “But what about you others?” eventually some small group will have second thoughts and say “Well, actually no.” It is asking for obstruction.
The Church of England reacted in a modern way sympathetic to women’s expectations when the question of women bishops came up. Its spirit is in the right place. The anachronistic and conservative voting system however made yes mean no.
Time for a change to the rules.


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