May 27 2020 – THE BISHOPS’ DILEMMA IN TWO ORDERS OF REALITY

House-of-Bishops-2

C/E Bishops and Moral Outrage

“I have argued for a long while that the bishops of the Church of England exercise oversight over an institution, at times severely compromised.  Our Church seems to operate on two levels, and it needs leadership for both these aspects.   The first is the theological or ideal aspect.  This attempts to embody and articulate the spirit and the ethos of its founder.  Thus, the Church would be expected to enrich us all by being a place of reconciliation, healing, forgiveness and joy.  The other aspect of the Church is the physical reality of its institutional embodiment.  This involves buildings, money and power.  It is extremely hard for this second dimension of the Church’s existence to remain anywhere approaching moral perfection.   Whenever power and money come into any situation, there will almost inevitably be conflict of some kind.  In the Church’s institutional life, as we constantly remind our readers, power games are often played, selfishness is common, and people are often exploited and treated badly.  You expect such behaviour in institutions in general, but somehow you always hope that the Church will operate according to a different set of rules and values.  Sadly this does not seem to be the case”

Stephen Parsons

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