The story is buzzing on Facebook about the appointment of former chief nurse Sarah Mullally as next Bishop of London. One such posting contains a comment:
This woman’s appointment as the 3rd most senior bishop in the Church of England (without having been a bishop first) is, what may be called, the ‘management paradigm’. This is the mistaken notion that the terminal condition of the Church of England can somehow be ‘managed’. Justin Welby had a secular senior management background before he very speedily became an archbishop. A short time ago, he was unable to give a straight answer to a straight question about the Biblical teaching upon sexual morality. No other previous archbishop would have prevaricated in this way. The harsh fact is that the grave situation with the Church of England cannot be ‘managed’ unless by management is meant the management and sale of empty church buildings. Please note: The only apostle who was a ‘manager’ was Judas Iscariot.
I haven’t really gone into this lady’s profile or the details. I have just finished a translation order and still have today’s washing-up to do! I would hope that Mrs Mullally’s experience as a nurse will give her a special devotion to the sick – but I suspect that being a chief nurse in the NHS has little to do with nursing these days. I cannot judge Mrs Mullally, but the spectre of corporate management in the Church chills me to the bone. I replied in the thread:
There are still a few small RC dioceses in southern Italy where there are less than 10 parishes and just someone at the diocesan curia to help the Bishop manage the registers and the finances. Paul VI merged many of them into larger dioceses but not all. Many priests who have influenced me have spent time in Italy, and I have spent 2 years in that country. This other paradigm brings over the diocesan Bishop as something like a dean or a parish priest, visiting people and spending time with families, schools, the poor and sick – just “mere” pastoral work. It is like the small family firm against the huge and inhuman modern corporation. Most of the RC Church and the Church of England are run like large corporations that stifle humanity and intimacy. They are breeding grounds for psychopaths and narcissists. I have found in the Anglican Catholic Church a spirit that is similar to some of the little Italian and French parishes I have known (whose priests are now dead). Our bishops are first and foremost parish priests, and Bishop Damien Mead is no exception. Oddly, we may well be the most modern and progressive using the Internet and modern communications, not the obfuscation and obscurantism of modern bureaucracy and corporate management.
The question of women’s ordination is a serious one. A part of the raison d’être of the ACC is this issue in “mainstream” Anglicanism. The underlying dystopian element is there and we really wonder what it is all about. I left the Church of England too long ago to really care about the latest developments – but it must be a lesson to us all.