Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anglican ‘conclave’ makes Roman version look transparent

From Commonweal-

It can be hard to make the Vatican look good these days, what with sex abuse victims suing the Pope for crimes against humanity and such.

But with the head of the Anglican Communion, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, looking ready to retire next year, Nelson Jones at The New Statesman notes that the way a new Anglican leader is chosen is easily as obscure as a flock of cardinals meeting in a secret conclave in the Sistine Chapel — and the art isn’t as good:

The process of choosing bishops and archbishops of the Established church is convoluted and arcane, but its underlying philosophy (like much in Britain) seems to be that some matters are too important to be left to the vagaries of a democratic process. Technically, senior posts in the Church of England are appointed by the Queen, in her capacity as Supreme Governor and Defender of the Faith, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister (who isn’t required to have any religious affiliations at all). Some recent prime ministers, including Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, are rumoured to have intervened in the selection process. These days, however, the practice of submitting two alternative names to Downing Street has been superseded, which means that bishops and archbishops are now effectively chosen by an obscure committee.

More here-

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