Skip to comments.Elections [ECUSA, 5/06]
Posted on 05/05/2006 6:47:01 PM PDT by sionnsar
Following the drama of the local elections down south yesterday, tomorrow is the day when four US dioceses try to elect bishops. California, East Michigan, North California, and Tennessee are those in question. The first is a focus of some controversy because of the same-sex partnerships of three of the candidates; the last failed to elect a bishop in April after many ballots. These dioceses need our prayers.
The sad thing is the method of election of bishops. In England, bishops get there because of something called the Crown Appointments Commission which recommends to the Prime Minister who should get senior appointments. Sometimes it will have to be a case of 'if the face fits'. It's not a perfect system by any means, and I do wonder what on earth they were thinking of when some people are appointed.
In other Provinces, including Scotland and U.S.A., diocesan clergy and lay representatives get to vote for their bishop. Too often, the clergy are thinking, 'Who will leave me alone, or fight my corner, or help me out, the most?'. It's most interesting in Scotland, where it seems increasingly difficult for internal diocesan candidates to get elected (We know too much about them?). On the other hand, the laity will be thinking, ' Who will preserve the institution, be a bit of a character, manage well, bring in money?'.
How many will ask, ' Who does God want to be bishop?'.
I have some thoughts. Let's find the clergy person who wants to do it least. Or simply appoint the best listener (to God and people) in the diocese. Or appoint a proper diocesan manager with real-world credentials alongside a super-pastor. Or have limited periods of office for bishops? Or have lots more bishops? Is it time for a radical rethink?
May the Lord bless those dioceses mentioned above, as they choose people to serve them best.
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