Monday, July 22, 2002

Election of Bishops

One of the things that has gotten a lot of bandying about lately in the wake of the Scandal, particularly among the group calling itself "Voice of the Faithful," is the idea that Bishops should be popularly elected. Many fellow bloggers are pooh-poohing the notion loudly and clearly. They seem to fear a demaguogery of the sort we see all too often in American politics.

Now, I'm not in favor of this as a solution. But, 1) it was the norm for significant parts of the Church's history; and, 2) I rather suspect the Holy Spirit's power to influence the hearts and minds of Pope's and Cardinals in their choices is not somehow diffused by having to affect significantly larger numbers of the laity. In the end, I would guess that the selections would be neither better nor worse than those we get under the present system. (That is in fact one reason not to favor it: it will accomplish nothing so far as I can tell.)


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